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Mossberg, Mavericks & self-defense.


A pair of themes ran parallel to each other when gun writers and editors gathered for Mossberg's recent conference at Ashburn Hill Plantation, Moultrie, Georgia. One was that the company would have you know that the Maverick pumpgun was not just another version of the Model 500; it is a different gun, and it has a definite purpose in the line. And secondly, Mossberg research indicates that approximately 35% of all gun sales are related to self-defense, while 27% (about 9.5%) of that figure is related to women. Both make interesting reading for gun dealers.

For those who haven't yet figured it out, the low-priced Maverick pumpgun is entirely a project of the O.F. Mossberg & Sons Corporation. But according to Mossberg's background explanation, the gun wasn't devised merely to put just another economy piece on the market.

The Maverick got its start when the people at Mossberg learned that a startling number of foreign nations were planning to enter the U.S. market with low-priced slide actions, and they decided to do something about it before that end of the stateside gun market fell to outside sources the way the auto market has been impacted. Mossberg has always thought of this as their specialty, and the Maverick pumpgun is said company's way of defending its home turf. Had it not been for the impending pressure from foreign gunmakers, there probably wouldn't have been a Maverick.

Essentially, parts for the Maverick are being made in Mexico and assembled at Eagle Pass, Texas (halfway between Del Rio and Laredo on the Rio Grande). How did the gun get its name? From the fact that Eagle Pass is in Maverick county, Texas.

From its inception as a basic hunting pumpgun, the Maverick has taken on other proportions. For 1991, the gun is being made in the 3 1/2-inch 12 gauge magnum chambering with a synthetic stock and plain barrel to keep costs down. Likewise, there's a couple of new Combo sets teaming a 28-inch hunting barrel with an 18 1/2-inch cylinder-bore barrel. And for those who like ventilated ribs, the basic hunting grade can be had in either 28- or 30-inch lengths. Moreover, all Mavericks have crossbolt safeties, not top-tang slides like the Model 500s.

Thus, it seems like a whole new family of shotguns has been spawned by Mossberg's attempt to thwart encroachments into its domain.

The second aspect of Mossberg's marketing thrust -- self-defense -- has also become a serious part of the business. There were two considerations in the company's gun development for this spectrum: 1) safety for innocent neighbors and 2) acceptance among women, who are a comprising a larger share of the market as violent crimes increase.

The answer, in Mossberg's opinion, was a .410 pumpgun with a compensator device on the muzzle to spread the pattern quickly and to hold the muzzle steady for quick repeat shots. Equipped with a tommygun forend grip, the resulting .410 is boomed for its intimidating appearance; even the bulbous compensator makes it look bigger than it is, and the Mossberg folks believe that the sound of a pumpgun closing has a deterrent effect on bad guys.

Patterning done at the conference under leadened skies proved that the pattern does open wider at in-house distances than conventional field chokes. And further tests against wall-type construction showed that the .410 charge would only break through one wall, whereas a meek .38 special rammed through both like a hot knife through butter. With that as background, the scribes retired from threatening skies for redeye gravy, grits, barbeques and ribs, and all sorts of southern cooking. Meanwhile, it was thought that the HS410 would make a lively conversation piece in any gun shop.

PHOTO : From Top: Mossberg Ghost Ring 500 & HS410
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:O.F. Mossberg and Sons Inc.; Maverick pump gun
Author:Zutz, Don
Publication:Shooting Industry
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Previous Article:Zero in on profits with pre-finished stocks.
Next Article:What's selling.

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