The New Mossberg Duck Commander Line: Duck Guns Worthy of Duck Dynasty

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The Duck Commander in the blind

The Duck Commander in the blind

By Sam Trisler
http://mossberg.com/duck-commander-products/

The popularity of the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty has done wonders to increase the public’s awareness of duck hunting. Mossberg, making the most of this opportunity, announced this past summer that it had teamed up with the Duck Commander guys to create a new line of products. These interpretations of venerable Mossberg guns are starting to trickle out of the factory. We talked to Mossberg reps at SHOT Show this year and they agreed to send us a Duck Commander 930, which we had in the field before the end of duck season (just a week later). What better way to check out a gun that is designed to knock waterfowl out of the sky than to take it to the blind?

Red, White and Duck-guns at SHOT Show.

Red, White and Duck-guns at SHOT Show.

The Whole Line

Mossberg’s shotguns have earned the company a solid foothold on the entry-level scattergun market. As one would expect from the new Duck Commander line, there are a number of sporting guns. The shotguns pretty much cover most of Mossberg’s regular line. From the 500 pump to the 935 autoloader, they have something that will fit your needs. Mossberg also included the 20 gauge Super Bantam youth model and the 3 ½ inch 12 gauge 835 Ulti-Mag.

The Duck Commander series are in Realtree Max-5. The jacket and vest are in the Max-4 pattern for comparison. The Duck Commander guns all ship with a bandana like the one Willie wears on the Duck Dynasty show.

The Duck Commander series are in Realtree Max-5. The jacket and vest are in the Max-4 pattern for comparison. The Duck Commander guns all ship with a bandana like the one Willie wears on the Duck Dynasty show.

There are some unexpected Duck Commander offerings as well. Non-shotguns. It may seem strange to find the Duck Commander logo on guns that are not meant for duck hunting. Still, why miss an opportunity? There are three .22 LR auto loaders that have gotten the redneck-royalty’s Duck Commander treatment: the 702 Plinkster and the AR-styled 715 pistol and rifle.

In sunlight you can really see how the Max-5 pattern is a bit lighter in color next to the Max-4.

In sunlight you can really see how the Max-5 pattern is a bit lighter in color next to the Max-4.

All of the guns in the Duck Commander line have a couple of things in common. The first one you will notice is the camouflage; they are all dipped in Real Tree’s newest waterfowl pattern, Max-5. Mossberg is only putting this pattern on the Duck Commander guns. The other big standout is the Duck Commander logo on the stocks or receivers. All of the shotguns come with the new Mossberg two-tone Tru-Glo fiber optic front beads. Also, each of these guns comes with an American flag bandana, just like the one Willie wears on the show. I recommend taking it off before heading to your blind, but that’s up to you. It would certainly keep the Canadian Geese well north of your set-up. Mossberg has also released a special edition of these shotguns that has some slight differences. The receivers and barrels are not dipped in Max-5, but instead have a flying duck pattern. They’re also engraved “Faith, Family, Ducks” and “Happy, Happy, Happy.”

The shotguns without Max-5 on the receivers and barrels are the special edition guns. They are engraved with the two Robinson family mantras, “Faith, Family, Ducks” and “Happy, Happy, Happy”.

The shotguns without Max-5 on the receivers and barrels are the special edition guns. They are engraved with the two Robinson family mantras, “Faith, Family, Ducks” and “Happy, Happy, Happy”.

From SHOT Show to the field

When we checked in with Mossberg at SHOT Show, we pitched them an idea for this article—to get a Duck Commander shotgun to Arkansas before the season ended. If they could get me the gun in time, I would get it in the field. I even called one of my hunting buddies from the show floor to see if he was available for the following weekend. The timing was tight. The show ended on January 17th and duck season ended on the 26th. When the show ended, we got the call that a 930 was on the way. I had it in my hands by the evening of the 22nd.

The 930 Duck Commander

I am a huge fan of Realtree’s Max-4 pattern, and Max-5 is similar but a little lighter in color. There are fewer browns and more light greens. The finish is well applied and covered everything thing except the bolt, trigger and recoil pad.

In a strange coincidence timed with this story, last week the Duck Dynasty crew came into town for an event and  hired our own Dwayne Powell from Kissimee River Hunt and Fish to take them crappie fishing.

In a strange coincidence timed with this story, last week the Duck Dynasty crew came into town for an event and hired our own Dwayne Powell from Kissimee River Hunt and Fish to take them crappie fishing.


The two-color front bead is interesting. It is the bright neon yellow with a red dot in the middle. It is super easy to pick out, but it is so bright that it is easy to focus on it and not on what you are aiming at. Overall, the Mossberg felt good and shouldered quickly.

Like the normal line of 930 Mossbergs, the Duck Commander 930 is chambered for 2 ¾ and 3” shells. Mossberg also ships these guns with their stock spacer system to help fit the shotgun to your frame. Every stock Mossberg shotgun I have owned or fired slaps me on the cheekbone when fired. The insert that drops the comb usually fixes this. The MSRP is $864.


Before the hunt

The Max-5 pattern is only offered by Mossberg on the Duck Commander guns.

The Max-5 pattern is only offered by Mossberg on the Duck Commander guns.

Normally I pattern a new shotgun before a hunt, but I didn’t have this one in far enough in advance. I live in town, and the neighbors don’t take to kindly to my shooting in the backyard. I was able to make a quick stop after work to at least test fire the 930. There wasn’t time to pattern it, but I was able to run it with some 3-inch Federal High Speed steels and a few 2.75 inch target rounds I happened to have in the truck. It functioned fine and cycled the two different loads. That would have to do, because I had a date with some ducks the next morning.

The first day

If it weren’t for this shotgun, I probably would have called off the Friday morning hunt. On the drive out to the lake, I passed a bank marquee that showed the temperature as 0. I know some of you fine folks up in the great white north like to splash around and break ice in temps below this, but to an Arkansas native, that is damn cold. Most of the lake had frozen over. After a hard 30-45 minutes of busting two-inch-thick ice, we had a passable hole. It wasn’t the best, but it had to do. The sun was almost up and shooting time was closing in.

One good thing about the cold was that we had the whole 200-acre lake to ourselves. As the sun crested the hills, we could see a flight in the distance. I started on the jerk cord and my partner Steve started in with the call. I wish I could say that we bagged our limit, but we didn’t get a single bird. We had a couple of good looks, but none came in close enough. Them’s the breaks sometimes. We took a few shots that were just at the edge of the kill zone, but without any luck.

The Duck Commander Logo is engraved on the stocks of all the shotguns in the line.

The Duck Commander Logo is engraved on the stocks of all the shotguns in the line.

Then we had eight nice Canadians fly right over the blind, nice and low. I was loaded with Kent #3 Fasteels, which are not my ideal choice for taking geese, but they could have gotten the job done at this range. I threw the Mossberg to my shoulder, drew down a good sight lead and… click. Light strike. I’m sure this was from the cold. But it was a missed shot at the only real opportunity of the day.

Unfortunately, no ducks were harmed while this photo was shot.

Unfortunately, no ducks were harmed while this photo was shot.

Day two

The weather was a lot better on Saturday. The temperature had been above freezing the afternoon before and had not gotten cold enough to freeze the lake up like the morning before. It was still cold, and we spent a good hour clearing our hole out, but it now touched some open water. Much better than the day before.

As we finished up with the decoys, a group of four other hunters in a boat pulled up 50-60 yards from us and started to set up. We called out to them to see if they felt they were too close to us. We would have gotten more than a peppering if they had fired towards us. Yet when we suggested they move, they refused. They claimed they couldn’t get the boat in anywhere else because of the ice.

There are almost as many thoughts on how to call ducks as there are shot in a 3” #8 shell. There are two things I will say. If you can’t make a call sound remotely close to what a real duck sounds like, let someone else try. And if you are not very good at calling, then the less you quack, the better. The yahoos who had set up next to us had no idea how to call. The call sounded like a castrated gadwall with a head cold. It was way too high pitched and too raspy, and we heard a lot of it. The same call over and cover. It was loud. Too loud. I think he must have had some fancy three-reed call with a 10 inch megaphone attached to it. That kind of loud.

An Arkansas sunrise from the duck blind with the Mossberg Duck Commander 930 in hand. Photo by Denis Dunderdale

An Arkansas sunrise from the duck blind with the Mossberg Duck Commander 930 in hand. Photo by Denis Dunderdale

The bad calls were the least of it. Twice, the jokers opened up in the general direction of ducks that were way too far out. Both of those flights were headed right at our decoys with the brakes on. No ducks this day either, but we should have had some. We would have, if Larry, Moe, Curly and Shemp hadn’t scared them off with their 80-yard warning shots.

The Curse of the Duck Commander?

I wasn’t able to get nice stringer full of ducks to show off the prowess of the new Mossberg Duck Commander 930, but it was hardly the gun’s fault. Other than the one light primer strike, the shotgun functioned as it should. After we were done both days, we ran a number of shells through it. It cycled them without fail.

As we were picking up our decoys on Saturday morning, we called out to our way-too-close neighbors to ask how long they had been duck hunting. “This is our first year,” was the reply. I have to wonder if Duck Dynasty had at least a small part in keeping the Duck Commander from getting its ducks. Still, everyone has to start somewhere. This past season, I have seen more new hunters than I can ever remember seeing in the past. No matter how you feel about the occasional missed opportunity, this increase is a really good thing. It is great seeing people young and old take to this great shooting sport—even when they might need a good lesson in etiquette.

 

{ 12 comments }

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Bruce K. Paxton February 21, 2014, 10:53 am

    Your site is very good. it is wonderfull to see something about guns that makes a gun feel a part of home. Everyone should have a gun, and, stay out of jail. A gun should be the same thing as anything else. it is a damn shame it isnt! Too many bible thumpers are out there screaming jesus jesus jesus and pay taxes for new gun laws, but, no action against secret drug habits that are showing up in government offices. The end of the world will not exist and the world will stack everything up eventually if “they” dont start a nuclear war with all their god damned cursed uranium that shoud never have left the underground!!!

    your friend Bruce my cell numero is 604–751–6684

  • Bruce K. Paxton February 21, 2014, 11:01 am

    You have a very good service. A suggestion I will make is that all guns should be tested to see if they have not been subjected to heat treatment (by terrorists and insurgent groups). Electric induction furnaces can cause unnoticable weak spots on the barrels and cylinders which will not take the cartridge explosive pressures. As you know, this will cause injury to the shooter.
    cordially Bruce K. Paxton

  • duck hunts in arkansas February 23, 2014, 7:19 pm

    What a good looking rifle. You can’t go wrong with Mossberg. If you need a guided hunt to try out the new Mossberg look us up next year during duck season, we’d love to treat you to some southern hospitality on prime duck hunting land!

  • Duck Hunts in Arkansas February 23, 2014, 7:23 pm

    A nice looking gun. You can’t go wrong with Mossberg. If you’re wanting to try your new Mossberg out on a guided duck hunt in prime duck hunting land in southern Arkansas, look us up next year during duck season!

  • Duck Hunts in Arkansas February 23, 2014, 7:24 pm

    A nice looking gun. You can’t go wrong with Mossberg. If you’re wanting to try your new Mossberg out on a guided duck hunt in prime duck hunting land in southern Arkansas, look us up next year during duck season!

  • Conceal Carry Law February 23, 2014, 7:25 pm

    Mossberg’s are super high quality firearms. I don’t duck hunt much but this looks like an all around good shotgun, I’ll have to find a place to check one out at and maybe test fire a few rounds.

  • Brenten Stevens February 24, 2014, 6:16 am

    I’ve been waiting for duck commander line to show up locally in NW Arkansas . Mossberg is my 2nd favorite field brand first being beluigm Browning . Lots of my hunting buddies want a quality shotgun that they are not afraid of getting wet in the duck blinds down south eastern AR . Arkansas has great duck hunting out on the rice fields has been that way a long time . I spend more time shooting photos than shooting ducks and prefer a good long barel shotgun you know the specs . Duck dynasty has become my favorite camo everything because to us they are home boys although they are on the flip side of our state border the guys and their family have filled our home with laughs , questions and a fantastic release of a stressful week watching the family be a family guided by the all mighty . Phil reminds me of my dad in so many ways I get to giggling burst out laughing and my wife just shakes her head . Thanks guys for endorsing Mossberg by way of creating good long arms for hunting both duck ,deer , any other hunting needs . I curious about the little 22 cal pistol for plunking cans a past time my brother and I just love to do . Thanks Duck Dynasty for going beyond my expectations can’t wait to get several of your new long guns to our collection .

  • Mark February 24, 2014, 9:58 am

    The shotguns without Max-5 on the receivers and barrels are the special edition guns. They are engraved with the two Robinson family mantras, “Faith, Family, Ducks” and “Happy, Happy, Happy”.

    In the above caption that accompanies a photo of guns, you might want to change the name “Robinson family mantra” text to “Robertson family mantra” as this isn’t the Swiss Family Robinson but the Duck Dynasty Robertson family. OOOPS!

  • salty dog February 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

    so you pay extra because it says duck dynasty. what am i missing??

    • Sam Trisler March 4, 2014, 9:09 am

      The Duck Commander guns are also the only Mossbergs that are in the new Realtree Max-5 waterfowl pattern. That will be a selling point for some.

      • salty dog March 10, 2014, 1:21 pm

        so thats going to make it shoot better and be worth more 20 years from now????

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