Shooters Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 1947 I bought a Mossberg model 151M .22 semi-auto rifle. I was 14 at the time, and had worked and saved my money for a whole year to get that gun. It was my first gun, the gun I taught myself to shoot with. It put a lot of food on our table over the next few years and earned a place in my heart unlike any other gun I've ever owned. It cost all of $32, and I never made a better investment. I still have it, and it's just as dependable and accurate as when brand new.



It has some unusual features. The front sight is on a hooded ramp, and there are 4 different blades to chose from, a wide post, a narrow post, a post with dot on top, a post with an open circle on top. You remove the hood and pop whichever one you want into place.



It is a simple blow-back design, and has never failed in all these years. You remove the bolt by simply unscrewing a cap at the back of the receiver and sliding all the works out. It has a tubular magazine in the butt stock, and the end of the tube has a semi-circular key which fits into and unscrews the receiver cap. Well thought out.





Besides the unusual Mannlicher style stock it has a cheek piece on the butt which makes it fit you very well.



It came with an unusual receiver sight. The receiver is drilled and tapped for it, and there is a little step cut into the stock to fit part of the sight. The sight is on a post and swivels 90 degrees, out of the way if you want to use the iron sights. I replaced that with a scope early on, but I still have it around here, somewhere.

Anybody ever had any experience with this rifle?

Spence
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
655 Posts
That thing is in EXCELLENT shape for a gun that's old enough to draw Social Security! Pretty wood on the stock too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
Mine is a 151K and it is pretty rough compared to yours. My rifle still functions flawlessly and is quite accurate.
I bought the rifle for the sights and made out quite well because I did not expect the rifle to be very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That thing is in EXCELLENT shape for a gun that's old enough to draw Social Security! Pretty wood on the stock too.
Hadn't ever though about it in those terms, pfoxy, but it's true, and I like it.

It took care of me, so I took care of it, and we are both doing OK.

You can imagine how anxious I was to get that thing after waiting a year for it, and I thought it was the best thing that had ever happened to me when the day came. I was just as anxious to get it into the squirrel woods, but it was mid-winter and so blasted nasty I couldn't manage it for 2 weeks. Finally the day came and I hit a spot I was familiar with, along a fair size creek, the water high with the winter rain and snow. It was frigid, and all the still water was frozen over. I had to cross a feeder stream 10 -12 feet wide by walking a log over it. I had done it many times before, thought nothing of it. Until I got right in the middle, that is, and the log broke squarely in half. Down I went, through the ice and completely under the water. Wow! Can still remember that tremendous shock. Such a shock it took my breath away and made me drop my new rifle. The water turned out to be only about shoulder high or i wouldn't be here telling you about it. My friend helped me out of the water, and I was OK, but my new rifle was at the bottom of 4 feet of water, in the mud. I wasn't about to leave it there, so I jumped back in, felt blindly around till I found it and brought it out. It was a sorry sight. As was I. The ride home on my bike was interesting, and my clothes were frozen solid when I arrived, as was the rifle. A good cleaning and warming up put us both back in action, and that was only the first of many adventures that .22 and I shared over the years.

Sorry for the long post, got carried away down memory lane. Old folks do that.

Spence
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
421 Posts
Spence,

THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT GREAT STORY! Sorry to holler, but man, did you take me back! Thank God you had a friend with you, and thank God you suffered no lasting effects. I had so many adventures in my early teens while out hunting with my trusty Glenfield 25 it's amazing I'm still alive. You just took me back to a few of them. Once we reach a certain age I think our memories become some of our most valuable possessions. And it's always a treat to share them. You will always have a willing and eager audience here my friend, I promise you that!
Great looking Mossberg by the way. Looks like you took care of it extremely well, and I'd have to say it sounds like it treated you pretty good too. I'm somewhat of a collector, or maybe accumulator is a better word, of 22 firearms. I like handguns and rifles, and the older the better. I've seen a couple Mossbergs in the rack in the past and never paid too much attention, but you've sparked my interest. Hope I can find one in similar shape. Any advice you can offer on what to look for would be greatly appreciated. I think there are a lot of 22's that are "sleepers" in the collecting world yet. There are a lot of expensive ones too, but those are getting harder and harder to find. As that happens, people will naturally turn to what's left. For example, I just picked up a Stevens Favorite commemorative yesterday that looks brand new. It's a 1 of 1000 made in 1971, so not that old, but getting there. I bet it will be worth double in 5 years easily over the $250 I gave for it. We'll see.
Well, now I need to apologize for being so long winded, but thanks again for your wonderful post!
Take care,
Terry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank God you had a friend with you...
That was lucky, alright. I couldn't swim at the time, and I know, stupid kid like, I would have gone in after that rifle even if alone.

That same spring I went on a squirrel hunting trip to another creek bottom but didn't get to hunt because the whole area was under flood water. My friend and I decided to just do some plinking along the edge of the water, and that didn't end well. The rifle has a tubular magazine in the butt stock, and the spring in the tube is pretty strong. I was reloading, had put all 15 shells in and was replacing the magazine, with the butt of the gun pointed up in the air. It was a cold day, my fingers were a bit numb, and I let it slip. That thing was launched in a high arc out over the water like a mortar. I stood there slack jawed as it disappeared under the deep water 20 feet out. I had to wait 2 weeks for the water to subside before I could go back and find my magazine, no hunting in the meantime.

I was twitchy every time I had that gun around water for quite a while.

I don't have any special expertise about Mossberg .22s. If I were looking for one, I'd think getting one in excellent condition, with the receiver sight and both the ramped rear and front sight intact would be wise. Future collectors would pay for that.

Spence
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Spence -
Hearing stories like these is the reason I'm fond of old 22 rifles...not the expensive ones, but the ones everybody carried with them to the woods and in the field...the working guns. If they could only talk, what stories these old rifles could tell....I feel the same about old pocketknives...I like the worn, used ones that have been around for years and have seen everyday life.

My dad had a bolt action Mossberg made in the 50's....model 140-K. Dad didn't buy it new, but it was the first rifle I ever shot, and it was the only one he had for years...he traded it for a 77/22 ruger when they first came out...Why I let him trade it, I'll never know...it had a cheek piece on the stock, too...and like yours, a great looking gun. I hope to own one someday.

Thanks for telling your stories. I love hearing them.

Regards,
Dean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been wanting to get out for a shooting sessions with my old gun, just to see if it will still shoot, and see where it is sighted in. Finally made it today, a good day for it. Temp 75, wind calm or very light, bright, sunny day. I couldn't be happier with the results. I found that the gun was sighted for 25 yards, and shooting amazingly well for a gun 63 years old. It took a few rounds to get acquainted with her again, but when we got on the same wavelength, this is the 25-yard group it fired:





I have trouble shooting that well with my much newer and much more expensive .22s. They made them very well back in the old days.

My ammo was Remington Golden Bullet bulk, 36 grain. I chronographed 2 strings of 10 rounds from the gun. Average velocities were 1161 and 1134, standard deviations were 26 fps and 31 fps. I had no misfires or other problems from the 60+ rounds I fired today.

The scope is a Bushnell 3x-8x Scopechief Twenty-Two which I put on the gun about 25-30 years ago. It seems to be working like new.

Spence
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top