Mossberg: Sure and Steady

After more than 100 years in business, Mossberg remains a staple on gun counters everywhere.

Mossberg: Sure and Steady

World-renowned competition shooter Jerry Miculek with Mossberg's new autoloading platform, the 940 JM Pro.

Every January at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, one of the main topics of discussions centers around the health of the firearms industry. Gun sales are up. Gun sales are down. Company X is struggling. Company Y has changed its entire management team. Company Z is being bought.

Through it all, O.F Mossberg & Sons, Inc., seems to carry on without major corporate drama. The company, entering its 101st year of existence in 2020, continues to add new firearms for tactical and hunting consumers, and is a brand that retailers seek to add to their stores. In 2019, Mossberg made a splash with its MC1sc handgun. At the 2020 SHOT Show it turned heads with new variations of autoloading shotguns and a compact version of the original MC1sc, called the MC2c.

After another successful SHOT Show for Mossberg, Hunting Retailer spoke with Linda Powell, who serves as director of media relations for Mossberg. An accomplished hunter, Powell has more than 23 years of experience in the firearms industry, and has witnessed successful introductions of Mossberg products. She shared some insights on the steady and consistent direction of Mossberg, and the hunting industry as a whole.

Linda Powell
Linda Powell

HR: What is the overarching direction for Mossberg in the next three to five years? It seems like Mossberg is introducing a number of new products, some quite different than we’ve seen before. What’s the motivation for that?

LP: Mossberg continues to expand its market reach with line extensions and new firearms categories and platforms. Our entry into the handgun category is a great example. We looked at market research for new firearms purchases, which showed the largest-growing segment was concealed-carry handguns — in particular, those chambered in 9mm and .380.

Diving deeper into the research, we determined that carryability (size and weight), features and price drove this segment of the market. Last year’s introduction of the MC1sc reflects three years of development, plus new patent-pending ideas combined with those highly desired features.

In addition to doing our homework with market research, we also listen to our dealers and customers. Highly coveted calibers, like the 6.5 PRC, 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster, were all added to our bolt-action rifle lineup as a result of feedback from our sales reps.


HR: What are the areas for growth that Mossberg is currently considering?

LP: One of the keys to success in the firearms industry is product innovation, so we remain focused on research and product development, often working years from the initial concept before bringing a new firearm to the market. This year’s introduction of our new autoloading platform, the 940 JM Pro (photo above), is an example of a multi-year project. Our 930 autoloader has been a reliable platform for years, but thanks to our partnership with world-renowned competition shooter Jerry Miculek, we knew there were features that could be improved upon. With Jerry’s input, we developed a new gas-operated, autoloading system that lessens required maintenance while delivering competition-level performance. As the MC1sc was an opportunity for growth in a new category, the 940 JM Pro provides an opportunity to grow and build upon our success in the autoloading shotgun market.


HR: How has the MC1sc been received?

LP: The MC1sc pistol launch was extremely successful. Honestly, I think no one in the industry, or consumers, ever expected Mossberg to enter such a crowded segment of the market. But it was perfect timing, coinciding with our 100th anniversary, for Mossberg to return to its roots with the release of the MC1sc. We continue to build on our engineering expertise in our core product categories while expanding into new territory. Following on the award-winning success of the MC1sc, we launched its bigger brother, the MC2c (compact; photo below) in January.

HR: How important is it for Mossberg to leverage its relationships with non-profits and conservation organizations?

LP: Mossberg has a long history of working with conservation organizations. Going back to the core values of the Mossberg family, four generations ago, the company’s mission is to build high-quality guns that remain affordable, so everyone can enjoy the hunting and shooting sports. Conservation of our wildlife resources with focus on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation principles; firearms safety and hunter education training; and ensuring access to public lands so everyone can enjoy the outdoors and our hunting heritage serve as guiding forces.

Working hand in hand with partners like NWTF, Ducks Unlimited and educational groups, like IHEA-USA (International Hunter Education Association) and YSSA (Youth Shooting Sports Association), is an essential part of our mission.


HR: How is Mossberg working to sharpen its brand, or position, in a competitive market?

LP: We continue to build on our 100-plus-year history of being America’s oldest family owned and operated firearms manufacturer, delivering innovative, feature-rich products, and by providing the highest level of customer service.

HR: Has the decades-long slide in the number of hunting Americans affected business?

LP: With the depth of our product lines across hunting, shooting sports, personal and home defense categories, we are not impacted as greatly as manufacturers that are strictly hunting-focused — though the decline in the number of Americans hunting is concerning. That’s why efforts by many conservation and educational organizations to recruit, retain and re-engage hunters have become their top initiative, and should be a focus of our industry.


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