I Didn’t Buy This Shotgun For Hunting. Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Review.

          I saw this shotgun featured in an ad for a local store on sale for $330 before tax. Talk about a deal, am I right? It was for the Duck Commander version but I didn’t mind it. I was willing to buy it in spite of the Realtree MAX-5 camouflage and Duck Commander logo that is stamped into the stock. I had a plan for this one!


This is My Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag. It holds 12 rounds plus 1 in the chamber.

          Are you not impressed? I got this thing outfitted with Nordic Components MXT magazine extension and an accompanying Nordic Components shotgun barrel clamp to keep things from getting damaged. Recently, I just added on a Vortex Venom red dot on to the Weaver Top-Mount Scope Base #417. The initial idea I had for this gun was to make it look like an exotic competition shotgun. Needless to say I also wanted the joy of firing all the rounds of a high capacity shotgun. In this case the mag extension took it from 5+1 to 12+1 capacity, which is pretty f***ing rad. Its magazine tube now sticks out 3.75 inches from the muzzle and brings its overall length to a lanky 52 inches (The factory length is approximately 48 inches). It will require a 54-inch case. The case I have is a MidwayUSA Heavy Duty Shotgun Case which just barely manages to fit this gun. The Nordic Components tube extension has worked great in the 1,080 rounds I have fired through the gun. The magazine follower once got hung up while part way in the mag tube but this was due to me accidentally denting the original part of the magazine after disassembling it for cleaning. The source of the problem was quickly identified and straightened out.

With the Nordic Components MXT magazine extension and the Vortex Venom, this shotgun is a little under 52″ and weighs 7lbs 9oz.

          Now on to the base model of this gun. The Mossberg 835 is a magnum pump action 12 gauge shotgun which means the receiver is slightly elongated to properly feed 3.5 inch 12 gauge shells and, of course, the barrel is chambered for 3.5″ shells. Unlike in the Mossberg 500 and 535, the barrel fastening nut (the thing that you unscrew to take off the barrel) allows for aftermarket mag extensions to be added just like in the Mossberg 590, Remington 870, Browning BPS, Benelli Nova, Winchester SXP, or Winchester 1200/1300. This was a major contributing factor in me picking this shotgun.

          The barrels on 835 Ulti-Mag’s are over-bored to reduce pellet deformation which adds to straighter flying pellets and thus tighter patterns. My particular version of the Ulti-Mag has a ported barrel to reduce recoil. This isn’t the case for all of these guns. I believe all the models of the 835 Ulti-Mag accept Mossberg’s Accu-Mag screw-in choke. Mine came with 4 total chokes with the tightest being extra-full, which equals out to 0.715″. Lastly, the sight on this gun is a dual-color fiber optic sight. Not all models have this. Some are just outfitted with brass beads.

          As far as the small sample size of patterns I took are concerned this gun, when utilizing its “X-Full” Accu-Mag screw-in choke will produce a beautifully dense 12.9″ pattern with Federal 7.5 birdshot 2-3/4 inch shells at a distance of 15yds. Nearly all the pellets landed in a 8″ circle but there were some pellets that strayed off. I also tested a 30″ full choke barreled 12 gauge shotgun under the same conditions and it produced a 14.75″ pattern. Its pattern seemed to be most dense in the right hand side of the pattern. Again at 15yds with the same birdshot ammo, my Ulti-Mag with a full choke landed its pellets in a 13.7″ diameter pattern so I think Mossberg was on to something.

The ports at the end barrel can be seen directing gases upward.

          Just as all of Mossberg’s pump action guns, the 835 Ulti-Mag has a shell elevator that remains out of the way when the pump is in the forward position. This translates to easier loading compared to other models and believe me, this feature makes a difference. Loading a Mossberg pump action shotgun is easy and fast. The safety is on the top, rearward portion of receiver which I like since its right in your face letting you know whether it on or off. A short side note: I think utilizing the safety on a shotgun is more important than on other guns because from what I have been told, most common shotguns are susceptible to firing when dropped. The furniture, as you probably would assume is plastic. The pump is larger in profile than the standard corn-cob grip on other Mossbergs, which is nice. The semi-pistol grip is slender which is kind of annoying. I know older wood models of the Mossberg have large hand-filling grips. The length of pull is long at just over 14 inches and my gun has a rather substantial rubber recoil pad which which will keep the gun from sliding over when you have it propped up against a wall or something.

The fiber optic sight is a red filament with green tube encompassing it. Here you can also see the ports and build up of carbon on the magazine.

          Now as summary, I really like shotgun. It has thoughtfully designed features and certainly allows for modifications to be added. It has been near-perfectly reliable to me despite it being clean once was I got it and again when I had left it out in torrential downpour. The original section of the mag tube may untighten from recoil so I think you should apply so medium strength thread locker to it. The Nordic Components extended tube may also slightly loosen overtime. I suggest the same use of thread locker with it. But even with those easily overcame cons I still thoroughly enjoy owning this gun whether I’m blasting clays or mag dumping with this thing.

          Thank you for reading my article. I put time into making sure they are well constructed. If you have any questions, criticisms, or comments go ahead and let me know in the comment section. Seriously, go ahead and tell me what’s on your mind. I will answer any questions as soon as I can.