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Mossberg's operation in Mexico and Texas.


The shooting industry is destined to be hearing more about the Connecticut-based O.F. Mossberg firearms combine -- a lot more and in the very near future now that it is putting plants on line at Torreon, Mexico and at Eagle Pass, Texas.

Actually, the innovative products that are now rolling off the production lines at Mossberg plants are well-designed, well-constructed, reasonably priced as far as the current firearms market is concerned, and above all, are guaranteed to meet the demands of the average sport gunner across the country.

It really all got started in early 1988 when Mossberg designers/engineers created the Model 835 ULTI-MAG pump shotgun chambered for the Federal Cartridge Corporation's new 3-1/2-inch chambered 12-gauge magnum hull as well as its Trophy Slugster (Model 500), a pump action scattergun with an ingeniously designed integral scope mount that's capable of printing rifled slug groups with "x" ring accuracy at 100 yards -- a feat unheard of in past years.

Mossberg officials proudly proclaimed -- and rightly so -- that the ULTI-MAG is the most significant advance in 12-gauge shotgunning in more than 30 years since the new 3-1/2-inch hull actually offers the shooting public 10-gauge shotgun performance in a 12-gauge arm, while the accuracy of the Trophy Slugster is equally destined to gain wide acceptance throughout the shooting fraternity. But that was last year (1988). This year -- 1989 -- we'll be hearing even more about this aggressive firearms combine.

Last fall Mossberg officials took a handful of gun writers to Mexico primarily to peruse its all-new plant at Torreon, some 200 miles west of the tourist community of Monterey, and also to enjoy a bit of dove hunting with Mossberg's new autoloader (Model 5500 MKII).

The Torreon plant went into operation in the summer of 1988 and only barrels for Mossberg scatterguns will be manufactured there. Keep in mind, by Mexican law, no firearms can be constructed in Mexico, yet component parts can and for this reason the Torreon facility is at present producing shotgun barrels only. However, we were informed that in the future other parts may be made there as well.

The Torreon facility currently employs some 140 Mexicans (that was back in the summer of '88); it now employs some 200 Mexicans, with a production quota of 2,000 barrels per week with its employees operating on a three-shift basis six days per week. The reason for Mossberg's venture into Mexico was primarily because of labor costs. The minimum wage in Mexico is .63 cents an hour and despite such low wages the Mexican people are most fastidious and when properly instructed can perform manufacturing tasks most admirably. Indeed, the Mexicans are so quality conscious at the Torreon facility that we understand its employees actually wore our any number of quality control gauges!

So now and in the future the Mossberg Torreon operation will produce all Mossberg shotgun barrels and by March 1989 yet another plant will go on line at Eagle Pass, Texas -- some 200 miles southwest of San Antonio. The Eagle Pass operation will manufacture Mossberg's new pump action shotgun which will be known to the sporting world as the "Maverick" -- a pump shotgun destined to be well-constructed and will retail at a most competitive price that we understand will be difficult to match.

So with the addition of the Torreon and Eagle Pass facilities as well as its North Haven. Connecticut manufacturing operation, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. has become a true giant in the industry and one of the largest and most competitively priced firearms manufacturers in the world.

This year (1989) Mossberg celebrates its 70th anniversary and again a number of new and equally ingeniously-designed products are scheduled for production. The Maverick will be number one.

In addition, the company will offer its Model 835 "limited Edition" National Wild Turkey Federation pump action shotgun chambered for Federal's big 3-1/2-inch magnum hull.

"Our Limited Edition Model 835 National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) shotgun will feature a camo finish and a special 24-inch vent rib barrel with ACCU-MAG chokes," said Dick Pelton, vice-president at Mossberg." Also, each NWTF commemorative will feature a Wild Turkey Federation medallion inlaid in the stock, and a 10-pack of Federal's new 3-1/20-inch 12-gauge copper-plated turkey load with $6 copper-plated shot will be included with each Limited Edition.

"That's not all either," Pelton explained. "With each Limited Edition turkey arm sold Mossberg will donate $10 to the NWTF further offering Mossberg's commitment to aid the conservation and management of the wild turkey."

And speaking of Mossberg's 3-1/2-inch magnum scattergun which does indeed boast 10-gauge performance with 12-gauge loadings (with the 3-1/2-inch hull) Federal Cartridge Corporation has also introduced its all-new 3-1/2-inch 12-gauge rifled slug featuring a slug weight of 1-1/4 ounces and with a muzzle velocity of an incredible 3,510 foot pounds -- more energy than a .300 H&H Magnum with 180-grain bullet, 10 percent more energy than a 7mm Remington Magnum with 175-grain bullet and 20 percent more muzzle energy than the .30/06 with a 180-grain projectile!

Federal's new giant rifled slug features helix rifling and a hollow point and has a muzzle velocity of 1,700 feet per second making it the most powerful rifled slug loaded by a domestic manufacturer -- and combine this hefty slug with Mossberg's Model 835 ULTI-MAG and the big-game hunter has a "lot of gun" that is designed to tumble big-game (the size of deer) with optimum dispatch at more than 100 yards!

This new slug in combination with Mossberg's Model 835 should be a boom to the hunter looking to obtain maximum efficiency when big-game hunting with a scattergun -- it is most assuredly a true "powerhouse" in the rifled slug world.

Also new for '89 is Mossberg's Model 5500 MKII 12-gauge autoloader which will henceforth be known as a complete or total "shooting system". That is the Model 5500 MKII will be offered as a package with two barrels -- one barrel for non-magnum 2-3/4-inch 12-gauge loads only and the other barrel for 2-3/4-and 3-inch magnum 12-gauge loads.

"A larger gas port in the non-magnum barrel insures reliable extraction and ejection with even the lightest target or field loads," Pelton said. "The fast swinging 26-inch non-magnum barrel is ideal for close cover upland hunting and comes equipped with three ACCU-II choke tubes (improved cylinder, modified and full) for lead shot use.

"On the other hand, the 28-inch magnum barrel has a smaller gas port, designed to regulate the speed of the bolt and tame the recoil of heavy hunting loads. The magnum barrel provides the balance and longer sighting plane, preferred by waterfowl hunters. It comes equipped with two ACCU-STEEL (modified and full) choke tubes for maximum durability and optimum patterns with steel shot," Pelton added.

Mossberg's Model 5500 MKII autoloader has a five-shot capacity and boasts a high strength aluminum alloy receiver for balance and fast handling in the field and with its two barrel combination should make a perfect all-around hunting arm for the upland/waterfowl hunter seeking quality at a respectably reasonable price.

But back to Mexico. Speaking before the several gun writers at Torreon was Alan Mossberg who said: "Why are we here in Torreon? Well, Mossberg as a company had to grow. We needed more space, more machinery, more employees, etcetera and since we are indeed looking to the future we decided on Torreon purely to compete with the labor costs of the foreign market.

"We will indeed keep our corporate headquarters at North Haven, Connecticut, but we now will have our Torreon, Mexico plant and our Eagle Pass, Texas facility as well," Alan Mossberg continued. "In the future Mossberg will strongly turn to the shotgun as as total shooting system. That is, the consumer won't need, say, a rifle like the .30/30 to hunt deer. Just add one of our rifled slug barrels to a Mossberg scattergun and you have that all-around shotgun for both small game as well as big-game hunting.

"In addition, Mossberg will further step up its home defense concept with the shotgun in mind. In other words, a shotgun loaded with buckshot is a far greater deterrent to any burglar than a handgun. Also, a shotgun is much easier for the beginner to master as compared to a handgun. As much, we do plan to emphasize home protection with a scattergun in the future," Mossberg concluded.

In the immediate future, American sportsmen as well as the sporting goods retailer can look for a lot more innovative items and unique merchandising endeavors from the folks at Mossberg. There will be more emphasis on complete shooting systems for the scattergun, stepped up activity in the use of a shotgun as a home security arm and above all, such merchandise is destined to be well made and at a most affordable price.

Yes, O.F. Mossberg & Sons with its facilities in Connecticut, Mexico and Texas, can be proud of its on-going efforts in the shotgun industry -- quality, optimum delivery and new and exciting firearms, all primarily geared for the purse-strings of the average American. Need we say more...

PHOTO : O.F. Mossberg & Sons employs over 140 workers at its component manufacturing facility in

PHOTO : Torreon, Mexico. Here the worker checks the OD (outer diameter) of a barrel after turning.

PHOTO : Workers at O.F. Mossberg & Sons' facility in Mexico check critical dimensions of all parts

PHOTO : 100% before shipping.
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Title Annotation:O.F. Mossberg and Sons Inc.
Author:Brant, Howard
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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