ARCHIVE - ISSUE ELEVEN - MARCH 2015 COVER - FEATURED PICTORIAL - TRAINING - LIFESTYLE - REVIEWS ARCHIVE - ISSUE ELEVEN - MARCH 2015
Mossberg 930 JM Pro Series Shotgun Review
As many of my fellow Sure Shots and I took the big leap in the world of 3-Gun competition, I took a look at my current gun selection to see what I needed to pick up in preparation for our first match. I have a great 1911 pistol and a pretty decent AR-15, but I wasn't thrilled with my shotgun. My Benelli M2 tactical shotgun is just not my favorite gun in the safe. I always feel like it kicks me too hard in the shoulder and I couldn't get excited about shooting it for a full day of 3-gun competition. So I started to do some research to see if I could find something better.
Now I've seen just about every episode of 3-Gun Nation that has aired on TV along with most of the Shooting USA episodes. I have repeatedly heard great things about the Mossberg 930 JM Pro Series shotgun. More than half of the top level female competitors are shooting it. Not to mention, it bears the name of one of the best professional competitors of all time, Jerry Miculek. I looked up the shotgun online and found out it also comes in the same Kryptek Typhon camo as my N.O.R.B. range bag and that it was surprisingly affordable. Ok, now I'm getting excited about a shotgun! I ordered it online and had it shipped to my favorite local gun store, Red's Indoor Range. It arrived in a quick 48 hours and the minute I opened the box, I was in love!
This shotgun is competition ready straight out of the box. It comes with a fiber optic front sight that is very bright and quick to acquire. The oversized bolt handle and bolt release makes it fast to operate without much fumbling. It comes with a 9 round magazine tube and beveled loading gate for expeditious reloading. If you've ever pinched your thumb in a loading gate before, you can definitely appreciate the beveled edge on this Mossberg.
In the weeks leading up the match, I took the shotgun out to the range to run a few drills. Since I don't get the chance to spend much time shooting shotguns, I needed all the practice I could get. It took me a little while to get dialed in, but once I found the sweet spot for the cheek weld on the stock, I started hitting the targets time after time.
I did have a few malfunctions during practice, a double feed and a failure to eject the spent shell, but I think those malfunctions were due to the ammo. This shotgun didn't seem to like the low recoil shells and had a harder time cycling them properly. But even with a higher powered shot shell, it was still a comfortable gun to shoot. The dual gas system and thick recoil pad give it the lightest felt recoil of any shotgun that I have every shot. I could easily spend a full day shooting it.
Overall, this has to be my favorite gun to shoot right now and I can understand what all the excitement was about! The Mossberg 930 JM Pro Series shotgun is the perfect addition to your 3 gun gear.
MSRP $776, mossberg.com
- Jenna Johnson
Bombshell Babe Competition Belt by Flashbang Review
I’ve had a Jones Tactical belt for a few years that I use for days at the range and IDPA. It’s a great belt, it’s sturdy and I think the closure looks pretty cool. Unfortunately, once I started acquiring more gear and equipment for shooting 3-Gun matches I quickly realized that it was not going to cut it for that purpose. In order to get it off I had to remove all the gear so it would slip back through the loops on my pants. That is time consuming, and when I am done at a match not only am I tired, I’m kind of a slob, so everything would just end up in a pile in the back of my car. I looked around at what other people where using and noticed a lot of two-layer systems where there are two belts; an “inner belt" with an exterior covered in the loop side of velcro, and an “exterior belt" with the interior covered with the hook side of velcro. The two belts connect with the velcro to make a very strong structure that keeps all your gear in place while you move. I had noticed law enforcement officers with these belts, but never really knew the purpose until now. It’s a very efficient way to get your gear on and off, while leaving it stationed where it works. You wear the inner belt through your belt loops, like a regular belt and then you attached the exterior belt to the inner belt with the velcro.
When I started looking for one of these belts I was really disappointed in my options. Most of them are just really drab, they tend to come in black and are mostly made out of nylon. Call it vain but I want my gear to be functional and fun, and even cute. Much to the chagrin of my inner goth girl, who loves black, I LOVE COLOR! I want color in my gear! Thanks to Flashbang I can have it. The Flashbang Competition Belt comes in four bright, leather colors: Bombshell Babe Red, Shady Lady Blue, Pretty Poison Green, and Glam Girl Pink. These reinforced leather belts are 1 1/2” wide, which so far has worked with every piece of gear I have tried on it. And they have thought of lots of shapes and sizes as they’re available in sizes 26” to 50”.
It took no time to find an optimal set up. I can fit my UM Tactical pistol holster, a Blade Tech magazine pouch, a High Speed Gear leg rig, and a sizable dump pouch on the belt with room to spare. I shoot a magazine fed shotgun, so I don’t have to use the shot shell holders that many 3-gun shooters use. It might be possible to make room for something like the shot shell holders by turning the outer belt around, making what would be the back of the belt the front. Even though the belt is just 1 1/2” wide once you place the outer belt on the inner belt it becomes very stable, all your gear is locked into place. And I appreciate that it is thin enough to fit through the loops of not only my tactical pants but pretty much any of my jeans, so it doesn’t feel like a big belt even though it’s doing a big job.
I know it sounds like a lovefest over here with a big list of “pros", but there are a couple of “cons”. The velcro that is mounted to the inside of the leather belt is lifting in a few areas, mainly in the places where it bends the most. Because the outer belt is leather it is showing wear and tear, it’s developed a few scratches and nicks. That doesn’t bother me, any gear I have that I love will get used, and used, and used. But it’s something to consider when picking a belt, nylon belts probably show less wear. The other thing that I don’t love is when I wear the inner and outer belts the way the way they are intended, with the closures in the front, the front sticks out quite a bit. I adjusted for this by turning the inner belt backwards with the outer belt facing forward. Unfortunately, that means a little more work when I need to …. um, take a break.
All that being said, I really do love it. It’s strong, sturdy, AND CUTE! Lisa Looper and the ladies at Flashbang have managed to find a good balance between function and fashion in their products, while keeping women’s needs a priority. I have a couple of Flashbang Bra Holsters (PPK & P238) and their IWB holster The Betty (P238). I wear them frequently and have loaned them out for others to get hooked, which is usually what happens.