The stars aligned and I was actually able to make another Harrison/Simpson CQB match this weekend, marking the second one I’ve attended. Since preparation for the MGM Ironman is at a fever pitch right now this CQB match was setup as a 3Gun match with MGM rules. I am not a 3Gunner. In fact I don’t even own a shotgun and had to borrow a friend’s Mossberg 930. I also had to bum a bandolier and shell holders from a friend during the match, thanks, Randy! Note, arriving at a match with a new system that you’re not familiar with is not a recipe for success. But hey you have to start somewhere, right, so I jumped in with both feet, figured out where the shells go in her and started blowing away the steel. Hmmm. This is actually quite fun!
The first stage went well after figuring out what was hitting where and now I feel good with the Mossberg so I’m confident and ready to take it on the next stage and kick some butt. Unfortunately this “bring it” attitude didn’t last long. I got one shot off with the 930 on the next stage before it stopped running. At first glance I thought it was double feeding and I kept racking it only to see a shell in the receiver and one in the chamber. I then noticed the one in the chamber had the primer dented but I wasn’t sure if it was a hang fire or a stuck shell so while on the clock the RO and I tried to extract it with his knife before giving up and dumping it then completing the rest of the stage and taking the penalties. Hard learned lesson. Upon inspection at the safety table I discovered that the shell had separated and took several minutes with a leatherman to extract the entire carcass.
The next stages went well enough although my lack of experience with the shotgun cost me time because of my inefficiently feeding it and with selecting the proper ammo and barrel. For example, there was a Texas Star that I unloaded on but never dropped a plate. I was using bird shot without a choked barrel so I simply didn’t have the energy to knock them off. A really generous guy on my squad gave me a box of buck shot for the next star so the entire squad didn’t have to sit though another painful stage with me fly swatting a star with the wrong setup. The rest of the day went pretty well with the occasional stovepipe from the 930 and an excruciating experience with a spinner and my 9mm.
Am I hating on the Mossberg 930? Not at all. Every firearm (except my RRA!) has it’s own personality in regard to ammunition and grabbing the cheapest ammo available combined with not testing it and having no experience with it is destine for failure. If I was going to start competing in 3Gun would I consider the Mossberg 930? Yes, but I’d still acquire a Saiga 12. It’s not witty slogans that sell those things!
At the end of the day I’m happy that I didn’t come in dead last which is a miracle. I guess there were five other competitors that had more equipment issues than I did!