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Old 10-28-2019, 03:51 PM
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44 -- What to Look For



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Friends, I have a line on a 44. I'm not sure if its a 44 US or the pre-military contract civ 44 version. Will be going to see it maybe as early as tomorrow. What should I look for, beyond the obvious? I'll be tempted if it is a 44US or not if the condition looks good. All info appreciated! Price thoughts would be helpful as well. I've been told it will be "Around $400"...that seems a wee bit high.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:29 PM
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44US what to look for

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Originally Posted by USCGret View Post
Friends, I have a line on a 44. I'm not sure if its a 44 US or the pre-military contract civ 44 version. Will be going to see it maybe as early as tomorrow. What should I look for, beyond the obvious? I'll be tempted if it is a 44US or not if the condition looks good. All info appreciated! Price thoughts would be helpful as well. I've been told it will be "Around $400"...that seems a wee bit high.
$400 seems high to me for a 44US but perhaps not for a 44.
What to look for depends on why you are buying it.
If looking for collectible 44US military contract I would check the following:
- Blued or parkerized (refinished)
- Mossberg rear sight or Lyman rear sight?
- If Mossberg S-100 or S-130? I believe S-130 came out on later civilian rifles
- If Lyman, is serial in proper range (Lyman on first contract only)
- Is stock properly relieved for sight (different for Lyman vs Mossberg)?
- Factory drill & tap for side mount scope mount (unusual for mil contract)?
- Headspace
- If mil contract, or civ 44US (a), are both extractors present and in good shape
- Does it come with a magazine (40-50ish for repro, closer to 100 for original)?
- Original trigger guard (frequently shrunk with age)?

If looking for a shooter, then does it come with a mag, does it function and does it appear well kept?

I have no experience with the pre-war 44 so cannot speak to it.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:03 PM
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I had a Mossberg 44B manufactured in '39 to '41. Came with a Lyman 4x period scopw and iron sights. Bought is from a school teacher whose father left it to him for $20. Dumbest thing I ever did was sell it. It probably out shot every CZ I have.

Oh well, C'est le vie.

VH
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:12 PM
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Big thank you BruceG and Varmint Hunter for the feedback. I'll let you guys know what I stumble across. Bruce, I'm not really a "collector". I enjoy vintage rimfires and thought a 44US would be a nice addition to the Mossberg fleet. Your thoughts are very helpful. Varmint: Go find another one! Thanks again guys.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:19 PM
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At $400 a 44US needs to be perfect and complete. A 44 maybe $350-$400 also nearly perfect. Just my $0.02
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:27 PM
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It would be nice to know which model it is. I walked away from a mint complete 44US trainer Saturday for $350.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:57 AM
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Agree with ya'll Gunsisme and Bone. I'm still not sure which 44 version it is....either way it seems high. Trying to get more info before I make the 5hr rnd trip drive.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:58 PM
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WASTED TRIP! The 44US I went to see today was WAY overpriced for what it was. Yes, it would have been nice to have as a $200 shooter, but here is what I found for a $450 asking price:

- Stock seemed to have been re-finished, but done nicely with Tru Oil or BLO.

- bbl was blued (looked too good IMO; probably a fairly recent re-blue job), but swivels, butt plate, and mag plate were parkerized. Parkerized parts also looked WAY too good for a 1943-45 rifle. No reasonable wear or patina. Bbl bore looked pretty good. Action felt OK.

-S-100 peeper installed but also looked WAY to nice. Do they make repros??

- Pistol grip plastic was OEM; very little shrinkage.

-(1) Repro mag

Needless to say I passed. Not going to pay a museum price for a "restored" shooter. Oh well.

Also sadly, I saw a 44US that had been butchered...painted plastic, stock cut down for reduced LOP, etc etc. $200 OTD. Dude told me Mossbergs are hot sellers now. Not good news there!!!

Last edited by USCGret; 10-29-2019 at 02:31 PM. Reason: 44US -- I put 46 in error
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:01 PM
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I am not aware of any repro S-100's. I don't think anyone could tool up at reasonable cost. Gotta figure the S-100's available now were either found in a drawer after the rifle was long gone or they came off decent guns being parted out.

Too bad about your wasted trip.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:27 PM
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Tnx for the reply Bruce. I was hoping for the best but quickly saw this was not a good deal. Oh well, can't win 'em all!
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:12 PM
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Keep looking they are out there
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:15 PM
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Don’t get 1n a rush to buy one, plenty of the civilian models still out there in decent shape in the 250 range. Sold my extra complete US(b) last year for 250 shipped, she was a shooter grade rifle.

Last edited by bone; 10-30-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:50 PM
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Ten years ago I couldn't pass up a Mossy or WWF model! Yeah,you need to pass on some .
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2019, 06:49 AM
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Bone, Gunsisme and Rosscoe….ya'll are right!
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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In the last couple of months, I have seen at least 5 different US Property marked 44's ranging in all conditions. Anywhere from $200-350, some missing a few minor parts and some complete to mint conditon. That is also unusual for my area to see that many 44's, much less any Mossberg and there have been several other models I have looked at.

That's the thing about gun shows and pawn shops, you never know what they have unless you go look. As Ross mentioned, 10 years ago I probably would have taken 95% of them home.
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