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Mossberg History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came to Be

By    |   Tuesday, 05 May 2015 02:10 PM

Mossberg is America’s oldest family-owned firearm company with a long history of producing high-quality products that are both innovative and affordable.

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Oscar F. Mossberg immigrated to the U.S. from Sweden in 1886, but it took him awhile to become the pioneer of American-made firearms that history recognizes today. At first, he gained employment working in a friend’s bicycle factory in Massachusetts. It wasn’t until this friend, Iver Johnson, started dabbling in the gun manufacturing business that Mossberg showed any interest in his signature field.

According to Mossberg-gunparts.com, “During his tenure with Iver Johnson he designed shotguns, rifles and pistols that were manufactured and marketed under the Iver Johnson brand.”

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Oscar F. Mossberg also started developing his own prototypes with his two sons, Iver and Harold Mossberg, and shortly thereafter made history. Together, they created a pistol called the “Brownie,” which soon became a hit with the public and spurred them to launch their own enterprise.

As Usitoday.com explains, “Mossberg set out on his own, launching O.F. Mossberg with the Brownie, the first of its kind four-shot pistol," which "enjoyed evolutionary improvements in design, construction and cosmetics that led to a 13-year production run of 37,000 guns.”

From there, Mossberg and Sons moved their headquarters to New Haven, Connecticut, where they’re still located today. Although Mossberg isn’t currently most recognized for their pistols, but rather their shotguns, it was this first four-shooter pistol that kept their business afloat in their early history. The “Brownie” pistol is still valuable today, according to Usittoday.com: “Worth about $400 today (in mint condition) the Brownie sold for about $10.50, finding solid sales in the United States and the South American market.”

As the company grew, so, too, did their production capabilities, which allowed them to gradually diversify their inventory. They soon were producing rifles and shotguns along with their famous pistol, and although only a small portion of their sales were to the military, that all changed with World War II.

Usittoday.com writes, “Its market shifted from 27 percent military to 100 percent and the company added 200 employees for a total of 500 working three shifts around the clock to meet the demands of the military.”

This gave Mossberg the opportunity to solidify their standing within the firearm community and expand their production facilities even further. They quickly developed and sold an affordable but powerful pump-action shotgun, which made such an enduring splash that Mossberg soon garnered a reputation for making the most affordable firearms.

As MossbergGuncollectors.org states, “Throughout the past nine decades, Mossberg produced a series of over 50 bolt-action rifles, numerous scopes, sights and shotguns, each designed with the working man in mind and dedicated to the motto of ‘More Gun for the Money.’”

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Mossberg is America’s oldest family-owned firearm company with a long history of producing high-quality products that are both innovative and affordable.
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2015-10-05
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 02:10 PM
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