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Mossberg Seminar 1984-85.

Because of today's market situation, it seems many gun companies are cutting back their models, dropping those that are only marginally profitable and not introducing anything new unless it's a variation of an existing model.

Not so Mossberg. At a seminar for gun writers held late last year, Steve Otway, Mossberg's dynamic new Vice President for sales and marketing, explained that Mossberg was not only declining to cut back on their line, they were doing just the opposite by increasing the versions of their Model 500 slide-action shotgun. Also, they were negotiating for the Howa line of centerfire rifles.

Now, chances are you don't recognize the Howa name, but this Japanese firm built the rifles that were imported and sold by Smith & Wesson before their corporate powers decided to drop out of the long gun market to concentrate only on handguns.

Since that seminar, the negotiations have been concluded, and Mossberg is now the American distributor for these rifles, which will be sold under the Mossberg name. The new rifle lineup will include both long and short actions, varmint models and a lightweight mountain rifle with a detachable box magazine. Look for a test in Guns & Ammo on this last one in the near future.

Besides the announcement of the new rifle line, Steve also introduced Ken Downes from the Eley Ammunition Company in England. Ken stated that henceforth Mossberg would be the sole United States distributor for the Eley Brand. Having Eley available again should be good news for many 822 rimfire target shooters, because down through the years Eley has proven to be one of the most accurate brands of ammo in existence. I believe more world and Olympic records were captured with Eley rimfire ammo than with any other brand.

Besides handling the .22 match ammo, Mossberg will also be bringing in Eley shotshells. Along with the standard American 2-3/4 and 3-inch rounds, there will be the English 2-1/2-inch shells. (That should interest those shotgunners that have, in the past, had trouble locating the shorter shells for their older, high-grade English doubles or older American pump guns.)

In the past, the Model 500 slide-action shotgun has been the mainstay in Mossberg's lineup of firearms, and that's still true. However, in the past the Model 500 has been known as a "basic transportation"-type of gun. It wasn't fancy, didn't have the best trigger pull, wasn't engraved, etc. What it did have, though, was a reputation for reliability. To paraphrase a well-known saying: "It took a licking and kept on shooting."

The newest Model 500 is named the Regal, and it is a greatly upgraded version of the basic gun. It features select grade walnut stock checkered 18 lines-to-the-inch in the pistol grip and forearm areas, a deep rich blueing on the receiver and barrel, and a good plated trigger. The ventilated rib is wider than that on the standard gun, and it is topped with a brass middle bead and a Bradley-type front bead. The bolt and the shell lifter are both damascened. A recoil pad is standard equipment, as is a hard rubber pistol grip cap. This new model is available in both 12 and 20 gauge, and it can be purchased with a fixed choke barrel or one featuring Mossberg's Accu-Choke choke tubes. The suggested price for this beauty? Right at $315...a real bargain.

Another version I personally had the chance to use in the field was the 20-inch barreled Model 500. Available in both 12 and 20 gauge (and called the Upland in 20), this 7-pound gun--in 12 gauge--is a joy to carry around in the field for three or four hours. I also used the same gun to shoot waterfowl one morning with the full-choke Accu-Choke tube in place. Other than having to get used to swinging such a barrel-light 12 gauge, it did its part when I did mine. This is a gun I'd take a long hard look at if I was in need of a single shotgun. With the Accu-Choke choke tubes, this one model is capable of filling about any need a shotgunner might have. Price? An easy $258.

Of course, Mossberg still offers their line of .22 rimfires and their single level action chambered in .30-30. So as you can see, Mossberg isn't one to back off in these days of belt tightening. They offer an extensive line of shotguns at a better than reasonable cost. Their distribution of Eley ammu puts them into that portion of the business, and with the new centerfire rifle line, Mossberg should get their share of that market. In short, Mossberg will be here for a while, and that bodes well for those of us who like bargains in the gun field...Mossberg has them!
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Title Annotation:news from a gun manufacturer
Author:Hertzler, Dave
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Aug 1, 1985
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