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Mossberg & Sons: Enduring Blue-Collar Innovation

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Mossberg & Sons has grown to one of the world’s foremost firearms manufacturers by pursuing one simple goal: putting quality firearms within reach of every shooter.

Every gun company has an aura about it. Some pinch pennies, while others insist you wear a dinner jacket before you handle their guns. O. F. Mossberg & Sons’ aura is neither.

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. 
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. 

“From day one, the Mossberg philosophy was to design its products with the working class in mind,” said Mossberg’s Linda Powell. “Mossberg was a visionary from a marketing perspective, because the working class has always outnumbered the ‘high social’ class. From the Brownie to the Model 500 pump-action shotguns to today’s centerfire rifles and pistols, look at the sheer numbers of Mossberg firearms that have been made available to, and affordable for, the general public.”

The Mossberg ‘Aura’

I discovered Mossberg’s “aura” as a lawn mower-funded teenager in the late 1980s. A Mossberg was a firearm I could obtain—and did: a Model 500 shotgun. It wasn’t cheap, yet anyone could afford one with a little effort. Once you got one, however, regardless of your tax bracket, you were proud of it. Why? Because you felt the value in every dollar you’d spent in the functionality and quality of the gun, from the buttstock to the muzzle. Mossberg didn’t waste its design and engineering time (or its customers’ money) on the extravagant. It still doesn’t.

My shotgun always worked … every, single time. Like any good hunting dog, my Model 500 was still ready for any adventure, and it always “barked” when it needed to. It wore its hunting-earned scratches and nicks as mechanical tattoos of pride. Every time I took to the woods with my Mossberg, I walked with the boyhood swagger of confidence—which can only come from hunting with your very best friend. This is O.F. Mossberg & Sons’ long-standing aura.

It’s been that way since Mossberg first opened its doors in 1919.

Mossberg understands loyalty because, in the beginning, that, along with O.F. Mossberg’s tinkering genius, is all it had.

Oscar Frederick Mossberg and his two sons, Iver and Harold, founded O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. in 1919. The company has remained a family-owned business to this day and is the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in America. 
Oscar Frederick Mossberg and his two sons, Iver and Harold, founded O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. in 1919. The company has remained a family-owned business to this day and is the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in America. 

According to Powell, “In the early years, it was difficult for the company to keep financially afloat. The young company received assistance from family, friends and a small group of investors. Mossberg demonstrated its loyalty to those individuals by buying back their stock and, in some cases, hiring those individuals. If you helped Mossberg, you were never forgotten. This mindset remains today, and many current and former employees sound a recurring theme: To work for the Mossbergs is like being part of an extended family.”

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