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The Back Room
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They're all gone...56K death

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  • They're all gone...56K death

    The best $175 I've spent in years.

    This is a CMP Mossberg Model 44 U.S. S/N 154131, which puts its' born-on date in 1944.

    When I got it, it was in "never fired" condition. I know this wouldn't shoot! The firing pin protrusion was .004" too short until I fixed it.

    It has a beech hardwood stock with boiled linseed oil finish, original factory blued finish, the Mossberg S-100 rear aperture sight, a medium contour target barrel, aluminum buttplate, safety indicator pegs, nylon triggerguard and steel sling swivels. the trigger breaks at just over three pounds.

    SIXTY-FIVE years after it was manufactured, I put the first round down the virgin bore.

    Sadly, these rifles are now out of stock at the CMP, which is a damn shame as they will shoot rings around most of the .22 L.R. rifles being sold today.

  • #2
    Re: They're all gone...56K death

    Unloved for 65 years...sitting in a rack in some forgotten arms room on a military base once used to train our sailors for WW2 combat. The U.S. Navy ordered the Mossberg 44 U.S. rifles under two in 1943 and one in 1944.


    • #3
      Re: They're all gone...56K death

      No wear on the anodized aluminum buttplate or the nylon trigger guard...a dead give away the rifle was never used for training.

      U.S. PROPERTY marked on both the barrel and receiver.


      • #4
        Re: They're all gone...56K death

        The O.E.M. Mossberg S-100 rear aperture sight with micro-adjust (1/4-minute clicks) knobs for wingage and elevation. When I received the rifle from the CMP, the sight mounting screws were not even tightened. Oddly, after tightening and cleaning the sight thoroughly the first sighter shots were almost perfectly zero'd!

        Left-side view, shown sitting on the 7-round commercial magazine (available from Vic Havlin at Havlin's Sales). I still need a WW2 vintage Garand web sling for this one.


        • #5
          Re: They're all gone...56K death

          A drift-adjustable for windage front blade sight was standard on the military rifles. Mossberg supplied a sight hood, but they were so small that they obscured the sight picture and the military discarded them. The CMP recently sold off a small batch of original hoods (repros are also available), but after using one I can see why they were tossed in the trash...worthless. The long barrel makes the rifle very quiet when used with standard velocity match ammunition.

          A shot of the pristine nylon trigger guard and parkerized steel magazine estucheon plate. The knurled screw is removed when using .22 Long Rifle ammunition and left in place when shooting .22 Short ammunition.


          • #6
            Re: They're all gone...56K death

            Very nice! Is that some sort of grip safety coming off the trigger guard? How heavy is the beastie?


            • #7
              Re: They're all gone...56K death

              No. It is just a nylon trigger guard extension with finger grooves' Smooth aluminum versions are also available.

              The only safety is the pictured lever just behind the bolt shroud.

              The weight is rather modest for a target rifle, right around 8-1/2 pounds.

              Here are the basic specifications from Vic Havlin's excellent website:

              action type bolt
              adj. trigger no
              stock W-Beavertail
              barrel 26" 13/16 dia.
              lengh 43"
              weight 8.5 lbs
              feed type clip
              cartridge LR only
              capacity 7
              clip type S118
              front S122
              hood S215
              rear none
              reciever S100
              apeture 44US early S196 Late No.4D
              scope mount side
              front S116
              rear S116
              began 1943
              ended 1945
              years 3 yrs


              • #8
                Re: They're all gone...56K death

                I forgot to mention that although the CMP is currently sold out of the $175 Model 44 U.S. rifles, gunshows and sites such as Gunbroker are well stocked with the civilian versions, Models 44 U.S. (a), (b), (c) and (d).

                These generally are priced at a reasonable $200-$300.

                Martially marked rifles may command a slight price premium, but in reality it is not much as the collectors' market' for Mossbergs has never really grown in demand. I pretty much figure the same money for both versions if the condition of the rifles are identical.

                I've bought 'beaters' from the CMP for only $75 in the not-so-distant past and honestly, other than being lightly used they were 'almost' as nice as the rifle I pictured above.