firearms, shooting equipment, and outdoor gear for the average enthusiast.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

mossberg 695

Almost two years ago, I mentioned that my father enjoys hunting with a mossberg 695 bolt action 12 gauge shotgun. That still holds true, but I think we've had this gun long enough to have some opinions on it that are based on actual experience in the field.

my pop- cleaning up the 695's bore with a wire brush
we acquired this gun used, and bought it off a friend for 100 bucks and a box of 40sw reloads. Not exactly high-dollar, especially considering it came with a bushnell banner scope.

Well the scope as it turns out, had some issues and was sent back to Bushnell this year for some repair. Now on ring duty is a very nice 15 year old Leupold 3-9. As we had to remount the scope, zeroing was in order.

First let us talk about the negatives of this gun. Chief among them in my opinion, is the magazine. It is quite prone to rimlock on the 12 gauge cartridges if care is not taken while loading up the 2 shot mag. I personally think it is easier to only load 1 in the chamber and 1 in the mag to avoid the problem entirely, so owners could use that as a possible solution if they are experiencing similar issues.

Second, the trigger needs work. We sent ours to bill springfield at and frankly it was completely worth the money. With return shipping, the trigger job ran right around 70 dollars. As we had the leupold sitting around collecting dust, this gun still has under 200 bucks invested into from our end, and has laid up 5 deer to date.
still cleaning. . .

This gun, shooting good slugs (in our case, the ever popular lightfield 2 3/4in slug) will pull an honest 2.5 minute 5 shot group at 100 yards. if you are willing to take a 3 shot group, it'll get you in the 1.5-2 minute range, cloverleafing rounds readily. However, I have never had this gun hold that level of accuracy for a full 5 shots. Maybe it is heat sensitive? frankly I'm not sure- but for a shotgun that cheap, I'll take a sub 3 inch group at 100 yards any day.

I do not shoot 10 shots because lightfields run about 12 bucks a box, and I want to cry every time we pull the trigger at $2.40. The gods were kind today though, and we were able to get it completely zero'd in 2 boxes. Not bad considering the last 3 were for group- so 7 slugs for adjustment. There is no doubt that the gun is a shooter, but it is not without quirks. in addition to the above issues, the gun also kicks like a mule (much like most mossbergs in my experience). Some might describe this feature as 'packable' meaning the gun carries well over distance because it is so light. I would describe it as 'abusive'- because eventually you have to shoot the damn thing, and I'd rather carry an extra pound of stock weight to keep me from wanting to flinch whenever I stare it this gun too hard.

However, it does the job it is meant to do, and does it well. the recoil isn't too abusive in NE hunting garb, and it puts rounds where you point it. Also because it is so cheap, you really don't care how ugly the gun ends up.

As for me? I'll stick to the handguns for deer thank-you-very-much.  Unless this 20 gauge Encore experiment wows me, I suspect handguns will still rule the day for my woods wandering adventures.

Oh- as an afterthought- a big bonus of this gun is the bolt action itself. It is very easy to bore sight the gun by looking straight through the barrel from the rear, and focusing on a distant target. I had an 8.5x11 in piece of paper at 100 yards that I bore sighted with, and that put me on the paper (same size) at 50 yards, which then put us on at 100. All said, it was two shots at 50 for confirming bore sight and gross adjustment, then five shots at 100 for fine adjustment, then a final three for confirmation of group.

If you have any optics mounted and you have the ability to look through the barrel from the breach, practice your bore sighting and you will save BOXES of ammunition and a significant (but much less measurable) amount of frustration.


Usemeplz said...

My friend has it, he said that there was many problems with it, but in general it is good shotgun.

mike's spot said...

Hey Usemeplz-

thanks for commenting! Ours has a few issues, that is for sure- but I agree that overall it isn't a bad piece of hardware at all.

CTone said...

I had one in 20 gauge that is now in the hands of my nephew. I loved that gun dearly, and never had any issues with it. Cranking the choke down to full, I used to hit doves with it at 75 yards or more, which would make people shake their heads in amazement. Damned accurate for a shotgun. The only slug I put through it split the barrel choke at the end because I forgot to put it back to improved cylendar. I might have to pick another one of those up for nostalgia

mike's spot said...

a 20 gauge 695 would be sweet- if it shot well I bet it'd be a 150 yard deer gun.

Usemeplz said...

Hi Mike. Frankly speaking, I'm not a professional in this deal))) but I listen to my friend and only then say my expressions about it:)

Sport Pilot said...

The plus factor's with this shotgun are it's rigidity which equal's improved accuracy. The negative's are it's magazine and feed ramp. Since you are only using your's as a slug gun (best purpose IMMO) you can glass bed the recoil lug's and play around with the barrel bedding for more consistant groups. Or, since it's a deer gun just leave it as is and have fun with it.

mike's spot said...

agreed sport pilot- I think I'm going to leave it alone for now, it throws em well enough for its intended purpose. Though it might be a fun project to try to bed it some day. I've never bed an action before.