Long-time industry favorite (and SHARP sponsor) Mossberg is a household name, primarily due to their reliable and affordable shotguns with a vast range of household and hunting applications. But rather than resting content with their dominant place in the market, the company is continuing to expand and innovate. SHOT Show saw Mossberg getting a lot of buzz in the firearm community, so we contacted Dave Miles, Director of Marketing, to get the scoop on what they have in store for 2015.
SHARP: Mossberg debuted what it called its “Big Five” at SHOT Show this year. If you had to pick one new gun or series from that lineup that you’re most excited about, what would it be?
Dave Miles: This year was a huge year for Mossberg. With so many new products, we knew we had to do something to call out those products that were truly exceptional – our challenge was trying to single out just five. So I really can’t call out just one, but there are three that we are particularly excited about.
Our Patriot rifle is a big deal for Mossberg. We went back to the drawing board and identified every modern convenience that today’s rifle shooter is looking for, and we combined those features with a classic-style stock that features an attractive stippling pattern; it not only looks great, but also provides plenty of grip and comfort for the shooter. The rifle is definitely a head turner, and the market has enthusiastically responded.
At the shows, our new lightweight chassis rifle, the MVP LC, has been a huge hit. The patented designs on our MVP rifle allow it to load from standard AR-15 or AR-10-style magazines by coupling this with the MDT LSS chassis system and our LBA™ adjustable trigger system for tack-driving accuracy, a suppressor-ready threaded barrel with a SilencerCo Saker muzzlebrake to tame recoil and Magpul furniture and magazine. We’ve created a great-looking and advanced rifle at a “best in category” price. The rifle is offered in 5.56(.223) or 7.62 mm(.308) and is also available with a Vortex HS-T 4-16X44 rifle scope with an M-Rad reticle for a long-range ready package.
And finally, perhaps just for the fun of it, we’ve developed a .22 LR rifle that combines our innovative new polymer BLAZE™ rifle system with the look and feel of an AK-47. We have two versions, one with a practical composite adjustable stock so it can be adjusted to fit anyone, and the one that looks the most like an AK with wood stocks. It has adjustable rifle sights and is a ton of fun on the range; it’s so reminiscent of the Kalashnikov, we’ve nicknamed it the BLAZE-NIKOV.
S: Mossberg is a sponsor of the NOIR series on NRA Freestyle. What did you enjoy most about last season on NOIR? And what are you looking forward to this season?
DM: I think what we liked best was the opportunity to be a part of it. I’ve been watching Colion’s videos on his YouTube channel for years and have always enjoyed his point of view and his artfully constructed and powerful messages. When we found out the title sponsorship of the NOIR show was available, we leapt at the opportunity. He is a great representative of the future of the shooting sports, and he offers a point of view that our industry hasn’t heard before and one that we will all benefit from hearing.
NOIR definitely offers a non-traditional view of our sports, with its combination of athleticism with shooting skills and variety of guests. We look forward to seeing what Colion and crew cook up for the coming season and to watching Colion pursue his passion for the shooting sports in his own unique way.
S: Your new offerings have been skewed towards rifles, as opposed to the shotguns for which you’re widely known. How do you see the future in terms of balancing home defense/tactical models with options for hunters?
DM: There’s no doubt this year has been a big year for Mossberg rifles. And as the largest manufacturer of shotguns, it will also be a big year for Mossberg shotguns. As for the balance between home security models and those dedicated for hunting, I think Mossberg is in a great position for the future. Our product line runs the gamut from guns that are purpose-built for hunting and those that are more appropriate for home security, and some of our newer models are equally at home in the deer blind or the dark of the night. A great example is our FLEX System that allows the user to change the forend and stock on their purpose-built turkey gun into a pistol-gripped shotgun more suitable for home protection in seconds.
I also think the lines between home security and hunting are not as stark as some would like us to believe, particularly when it comes to rifles. Our MVP line of rifles is also a great choice for both home security and for the field, as they are chambered in readily available calibers and accept readily available magazines. Mossberg’s 464 SPX Lever action rifle with its adjustable stock and railed forend is a great platform for home security, but it is also a great deer hunting rifle. I would like to think if the rifleman Chuck Connors was looking for a gun today, he’d choose a Mossberg 464 SPX and a Mossberg 590A1 FLEX.
S: Should we be looking for any exciting new sponsorships this year, or further models in the very successful Duck Commander line?
DM: We’re very proud of our relationship with the Duck Commanders. At their core, they are a group of diehard duck hunters and perhaps the most effective team of field testers Mossberg has ever had. They hunt every day of the season no matter the weather. From this relationship we’ve learned a lot and have developed a full line of Duck Commander products featuring 14 models that offer something for everyone, from the hardcore hunter to the ardent fan.
This year we are introducing two new guns that were inspired by our relationship with champion shooter Jerry Miculek and our efforts with the Duck Commanders. The result is the Pro-Series 930 and 935 waterfowl models. The guns were designed with the hardcore duck hunter in mind. You know the type: They scoff at a bluebird day, but go out and hunt anyway. When the wind kicks up, the weather turns cold and the rain and snow starts to fall, they can’t wait to get out to their duck blind. That kind of weather is hard on a duck gun. To combat the elements, the pro series guns use all the parts and finishes that are used in our JM Pro Series shotguns that were designed with Jerry Miculek for 3-gun competition, and for added protection we added a stainless steel recoil spring.
As for new sponsorships in the coming year, we’ve increased our support of shooting sports events, which should be good news for 3-gun shooters this summer, and we are continuing to support our team of shooters that includes Jerry, Kay and Lena Miculek, pistol and 3-gun competitor BJ Norris, pro shooter and ambassador for Disabled Shooters Trevor Baucom, exhibition shooter Micah McMillan, and of course, Colion and the NOIR Show.
S: Are there any guns in the Mossberg catalog that you feel are overlooked and would recommend that customers check out?
DM: Our product line is so vast and our customer’s interests so varied it is hard to choose just one. Our new products are awesome and we have a few standouts in the MVP Series that could get overshadowed by the MVP LC. These include our new MVP Scout Rifle that meets Col. Coopers requirements for a scout rifle and adds that specification compatibility with readily available AR-10 and M1A magazines, and our new MVP LR and MVP LR-T rifles that offer a push-button adjustable comb to ensure perfect eye/optic alignment.
Another exciting development from Mossberg that I’m sure 13 percent of the population will really appreciate; after more than 50 years, we’ve finally come out with a left-handed pump-action shotgun. Some right-handed operators might also appreciate this feature for quicker reloading with their weak hand.