Mossberg Firearms, Rugged and True
Mossberg firearms in the 1950s and 60s would
primarily consist of 22 long rifle firearms in both semi-automatic
and 22 bolt action rifles. The shotguns of that period would
primarily consist of bolt action
When speaking of the Mossberg rifles of the Golden age of classic firearms, the Mossberg 22 rifles in the bolt action configuration would have a little collectability today. The primary collectable Mossberg firearm of the 1950s and early 60s would be the target model 144. These model rifles were a well-made 22 target rifle and were considerably less than the Remington and Winchester 22 target rifles.
In 1954 the Mossberg target rifles would retail for $31.95. At that time the Mossberg 144 would have a Mossberg peep sight. By 1961 the Mossberg model 144 target rifles would have a Lyman peep sight and retail for $49.95.
As a gunsmiths in the 1970s and 80s I would work on many of those rifles. The biggest issue with the Mossberg rifles was very similar to other 22 rifles of that era. Maintenance of the gun was a big issue. Not cleaning it properly and not storing it in a good area did not help keep it in good condition. This did contribute to Mossberg gun failures.
They were a firearm that would require some trigger adjustments and sear work because the target 22 Mossberg’s would be heavily used and well worn. I would also reblue many of these firearms and enjoy working on them.
They would introduce several models during the 1950s in the bolt action clip feed and tube feed models and also some semi-automatic models. Some of these firearms are becoming collectible as they are affordable and hard to find in good condition. If you can find the hard to find Mossberg 22 rifles and they are in very good condition. They can be a good collectible firearm.
By 1960 Mossberg would introduce the model 620 series which was a bolt rifle in 22 magnum. It became quite popular in the 60s and 1970s.
Some of the Mossberg firearms in the 1930s and 40s that were made as training rifles for the US military have become quite collectible. This would include the model 42 and 44. They would be marked with “US PROPERTY” on the barrel.
Mainly look at condition of these Mossberg firearms. If you can find these in excellent condition, they can be a good buy. They are gaining a good following in the collectors market. I would give these early Mossberg 22's a good rating for collectors investing in firearms of that Period.
Notes on Mossberg Rifles
• Look for extra holes in receivers (side mounts, ect.).
• Original Mossberg scopes in excellent condition
• Original magazines
• Original sights with gun (Mossberg, Lyman later)
• Mannlicher stocks 151M model
• Excellent shooters