O.F. Mossberg & Sons

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O.F. Mossberg & Sons
Private
Industry Arms industry
Founded 1919[1][2]
Headquarters North Haven, Connecticut, U.S.[2][3]
Products Firearms
Scopes
US$24,600,000[2]
Number of employees
500[2]
Website www.mossberg.com

O.F. Mossberg & Sons (commonly known as Mossberg) is an American firearms manufacturer, specializing in shotguns, rifles, scopes and firearm accessories.

Origins[edit]

Oscar Frederick Mossberg was born in 1866 in Sweden, near Svanskog in Värmland, and emigrated to the United States in 1886. He worked in the bicycle plant of Iver Johnson, a native of Norway who became famous for his revolver. When Mossberg left Iver Johnson, he went on to manage the small factory of the C.S. Shattuck Arms Co. in nearby Hatfield, Massachusetts. From there he went to work for Stevens and finally for New Haven, Connecticut based Marlin-Rockwell. In 1919, when Marlin Rockwell went out of business (they primarily made machineguns, and World War I had just ended), the unemployed 53-year old O.F. Mossberg, and his two sons Iver and Harold started a new firearms company of their own, O.F. Mossberg & Sons.

Connecticut Production[edit]

After building a factory in New Haven, Connecticut, Mossberg began producing simple, economical firearms for the civilian market. In 1960, the company shifted production to a new facility in North Haven a few miles away. At one time, the plant employed hundreds of skilled workers, many of whom had previously worked at other well-known firearms manufacturers such as Colt's Manufacturing Company, Marlin Firearms, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. O.F. Mossberg & Sons has remained a family-owned business to this day, and is the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in America.[4]

Today, while the corporate headquarters remains in North Haven, the company has moved nearly all firearms production to its Eagle Pass, Texas facility in response to new firearms legislation, and has reduced its North Haven workforce accordingly.[5]

Texas Production Facility[edit]

In 1989, faced with increased foreign competition and rising labor and production costs, Mossberg's corporate affiliate Maverick Arms opened a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the Eagle Pass Industrial Park in the state of Texas. The Eagle Pass, Texas production facility was greatly enlarged in 2013 after new gun control legislation was signed into law in Connecticut which would have banned some Mossberg rifles and shotguns as illegal firearms because some models incorporated a pistol grip into the design of the stock.[6] With the addition of 116,000 square feet of factory space at the Eagle Pass facility, Mossberg also expanded its Texas workforce to 450 employees.[7] Today over 90% of all O.F. Mossberg & Sons shotguns and rifles are produced at the Eagle Pass, Texas facility.[7]

Products[edit]

Beginning in 1919, firearm production consisted of a four-barreled, .22 caliber handgun known as the “Brownie”. Following the success of the Brownie, .22 caliber rifles, shotguns, and rifle scopes were also developed, spawning a period of diversification within the sporting goods market.[8]

From the 1940s through the 1960s, Mossberg produced a HI line of .22 caliber target and sporting rifles.[2][3][9]

After the end of World War II, Mossberg concentrated on producing sporting long guns for the entry-level sportsman, particularly shotguns. Most of these were bolt-action or pump-action designs. In August 1961, Mossberg introduced the 500 Series pump-action shotgun, which eventually became one of the most-produced sporting firearms in the world, with over ten million shotguns sold.[10] The 500 was originally intended for the entry-level hunter and sportsman, but has since become popular for home defense use as well. Using a forged aluminum receiver and steel bolt that locks into a steel extension of the barrel to save weight, the gun was designed with a minimum of parts that could be produced easily with a minimum of machining required and which could be installed without hand-fitting. Variants of the basic Mossberg 500 shotgun have been adopted for use by the U.S. military as well as law enforcement.

Diversifying in the 1960s, the company at one point produced gun racks, golf clubs, and even campers and sailboats, but never abandoned its core sporting firearms business.

Today Mossberg produces a complete line of bolt-action, lever-action and autoloading rifles as well as pump-action and autoloading shotguns, all made in the USA. The company also markets an imported line of over/under shotguns bearing the Mossberg name.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OF Mossberg & Sons, Inc. - Armed and Ready". US Industry Today. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.North Haven, CT, United States". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  3. ^ a b "O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.". McRaes BlueBook. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  4. ^ "About Mossberg". Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  5. ^ Haar, Dan, Upbeat Gun Industry Numbers Mask Deep Turmoil A Year After Law, The Hartford Courant, 6 April 2014
  6. ^ Bellmore, Michael, Mossberg Gun Company May Leave Connecticut After 100 Years of Making Shotguns, Litchfield County Times, 27 April 2013
  7. ^ a b Miniter, Frank, America's Largest Shotgun Maker Shifts More Jobs to Texas, Forbes Magazine online, 11 July 2014
  8. ^ O.F Mossberg - A brief history of the early years
  9. ^ "Mossberg International 702 Plinkster". Mossbergintl.com. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  10. ^ Mossberg 500 Surpasses 10 Millionth Production Landmark, The Daily Caller, 30 April 2013

External links[edit]