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I find my interests lately have been shifting towards "Midcentury Modern" autoloading .22 rifles. Just something about the postwar designs where modern materials and manufacturing techniques coming out during the Mrs. Maisel/Mad Men era kind of appeal to me.

Long story short, I've never owned a Mossberg autoloader before, and at a show in Chantilly, one called out to me. Finding out they were only manufactured from 1958 to 1960 is icing on the cake.

Getting it home, the stock is a bit beat up, and the metal has some rough spots, but overall its a solid Good closer to the Very Good Range. It also came with a Weaver B4 scope and Tip-Off mount.

Its interesting, snap caps hit the ceiling of the chamber, while live .22lr rounds go right on in. Loading from the rear is still pretty quirky to me but it looks reliable in this one (unlike my Marlin 88).

Here is my big concern: I REALLY want to take it apart to start cleaning up the wood and replace that white spacer ahead of the buttplate, but I read somewhere that the rear-loading system makes it tricky to reassemble.

Anyway, seeking enlightenment on these in general. Thanks
 

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Fushigi-Congrats on joining the "More Gun For The Money" club. Mossberg firearms don't get the 'love' they deserve in any way, shape,or form. The timeline for the tube fed semi-autos was from the end of the thirties to 1985. Many different models of the same basic action with design upgrades throughout the production run. Tube feed in the stock, under the barrel, and detachable clip were offered. The dreaded 'White Line' was standard on the '300' series rimfires. The stocks on some of the rifles made after about 1959/60 were walnut stained Beech and will look kinda scruffy with less poor care than the earlier walnut stocked guns, but with that being said, the price point always appealed to folks who didn't want to pay a lot but still have a good tool. So I'd say the greater percentage went to youngsters rather than to geezers. Those usual suspects are hard on everything including the air they breathe. If you have an eight groove barrel it is a 300 series. These are button rifled similar to Marlins but Mossberg's own and a grooved receiver was also provided.
Disassembley is pretty straightforward and YouTube will get you there. Parts are easy to get. There's links to Havlins in previous posts here and believe me when I say that they are great folks to deal with. So with that, enjoy!!
 

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Congrats also on the 351. I have never had a351 model but have had 350s & 352s pass through my hands. Still have a 352KC bought in 1972. Still shoots great and has only had one deep cleaning in that time. Regular cleanings were done though. The model number changes were sometimes just a change for less expensive production. The big changes were new model numbers and design. The big thing with semis is cleaning the bolt if the function goes sideways. Usually takes a lot of rounds to require this - or not so many rounds with dirty ammo. Also if they have sat for a long time and the oil has gummed up. +1 on Havlins - though they don't ship to Canada they are a wealth of information. I have several 151 butt mag models and the trick in putting them back together is aligning the trigger return spring when putting the action back in the stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fushigi-Congrats on joining the "More Gun For The Money" club
Thanks, gonna comment inline and bold the original

Mossberg firearms don't get the 'love' they deserve in any way, shape,or form.


Have to confess, I was not particularly enamored with the 42(m)(b) I lucked into, perhaps becomes the economies taken create the false perception of low-quality/cheapness. Going by the Wikipedia page, it seems talent wad drawn there from elsewhere, which makes me wonder what the appeal was.

I ask you, is there an analagous automaker to Mossberg? Nash perhaps?


The timeline for the tube fed semi-autos was from the end of the thirties to 1985. Many different models of the same basic action with design upgrades throughout the production run. Tube feed in the stock, under the barrel, and detachable clip were offered.

My focus is right now is on tubular-magazine .22 autoladers. The extra capacity and the convenience of not having to worry about magazines negates the only benfit of a quick magazine change.


The dreaded 'White Line' was standard on the '300' series rimfires
.

Numrich/GPC has them, so I will order one and fit it myself. I think these are made of some oddball plastic that shrinks over time, had similar issues with a Marlin 89C stock.


The stocks on some of the rifles made after about 1959/60 were walnut stained Beech and will look kinda scruffy with less poor care than the earlier walnut stocked guns,

Think you are right, the stock has the same look and feel as the Sears-branded Marlins that also use it.


but with that being said, the price point always appealed to folks who didn't want to pay a lot but still have a good tool. So I'd say the greater percentage went to youngsters rather than to geezers. Those usual suspects are hard on everything including the air they breathe. If you have an eight groove barrel it is a 300 series. These are button rifled similar to Marlins but Mossberg's own and a grooved receiver was also provided.

It looks like a lot of the marks are from handling/storage, lots of scruffs and stains. Thats why I really want to get it apart


Disassembly is pretty straightforward and YouTube will get you there. Parts are easy to get. There's links to Havlins in previous posts here and believe me when I say that they are great folks to deal with. So with that, enjoy!!

I'm kind of skittsh about taking anything apart that needs a YouTube video! I just want to get the buttplate off, get it out of the stock and start cleaning those up. But I was reading something about having to align the loading system and it seems, well, like I don't wanna mess with it.



Congrats also on the 351. I have never had a351 model but have had 350s & 352s pass through my hands. Still have a 352KC bought in 1972. Still shoots great and has only had one deep cleaning in that time. Regular cleanings were done though.
Thanks, I've never really tried looking at Mossberg autoloaders, this is a new experience for me.


The model number changes were sometimes just a change for less expensive production. The big changes were new model numbers and design.


So the model numbers are closer in nature to software revision numbers? So its actually a 3.51.K?


The big thing with semis is cleaning the bolt if the function goes sideways. Usually takes a lot of rounds to require this - or not so many rounds with dirty ammo.


May as well ask, what ammo do these rifles like?

Also if they have sat for a long time and the oil has gummed up.

Betting this is the world I find myself in, bolt seemed to move freely though.


+1 on Havlins - though they don't ship to Canada they are a wealth of information. I have several 151 butt mag models and the trick in putting them back together is aligning the trigger return spring when putting the action back in the stock.


So how much different is the 151 from the 351?
 

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So how much different is the 151 from the 351?
I can't say as I have never had a 351 - just 350 & 352.
May as well ask, what ammo do these rifles like?
I stay away from hipervel as I think the buffers wear out quicker with that. Otherwise you need to test different brands. I have 2 144LSBs that each like different brand for their best shooting.
I am narrowing my focus on the Mossberg semis to mainly the older full stocked models except 50/51. There is lots of information on the net about Mossbergs and the history is very interesting for a company that really just started in 1919 (making a 4 barrel pistol).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, got my replacement white line spacer for the buttplate. How bad am I gonna hurt myself if I take off the buttplate?
 

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Well as I said above I have never had a 351 but assume the butt plate is the same or at least similar to the 151. On the 151 models just take the inner mag tube out and undo 2 screws. It gets more interesting putting it back together but not by much. Just make sure to line up the outer mag tube as you put the butt plate back on. Anyway that is for the 151.
 

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Okay, got my replacement white line spacer for the buttplate. How bad am I gonna hurt myself if I take off the buttplate?
Fushigi,
I have a New Haven Model 251C, which is the economy version of your Mossberg 351K. I've had my 251C striped down completely for a deep clean many times. Your not going to damage your rifle by simply pulling the inner mag tube out and removing the two butt plate screws. The outer mag tube will remain in the butt stock of the rifle as it is held in place by a screw under the action.
The only problem you may have is if the original white line spacer is glued or cemented to the butt stock. My 251C doesn't have a white line spacer.
Hope this helps
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the schematic DK thats telling me I don't want to mess with taking this apart any more than I have to.

I'm wondering if I should just wet down a Q-tip® in cleaner, swab out the chamber, and call it a day.


Fushigi,
I have a New Haven Model 251C, which is the economy version of your Mossberg 351K. I've had my 251C striped down completely for a deep clean many times. Your not going to damage your rifle by simply pulling the inner mag tube out and removing the two butt plate screws. The outer mag tube will remain in the butt stock of the rifle as it is held in place by a screw under the action.
The only problem you may have is if the original white line spacer is glued or cemented to the butt stock. My 251C doesn't have a white line spacer.
Hope this helps
Gary
That helps, its game on!

My guess is that the white line is going to be very brittle and just come apart. Will take photos as I go. Its on the list of projects now
 

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Was my thinking when I found it..your welcome
funny thing..I couldn’t find one video showing it all...taking credit For knowing how?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I did a bit of restoration work on the white line spacer, here we go.


Mossberg Buttplate (1).jpg Mossberg Buttplate (10).jpg Mossberg Buttplate (9).JPG
Turns out the new spacer was Numrich/GPC was *way* too big. Fortunately, while examining the old one, I found it wasn't brittle at all, and responded well to cleaning. Dish soap and 0000 steel wool helped get the edges to a kind of off-white. I could not get rid of the black marks, considered it a manufacturing flaw Mister Science came to the rescue.


Mossberg Buttplate (8).JPG
Yes, that is the old buttplate, while not a super bright as the original, its a far sight better than it was.

After researching methods of cleaning/restoring modern plastics, I found a simple one. I placed the spacer in a small/thin plastic bag, filled it with hydrogen peroxide, and then placed it in the sun for a few hours, making sure to rotate it.

The science is that the ultraviolet light causes a chemical reaction with the plastics that break the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O) and oxygen (O1), the latter is the basis for oxygen-based bleaches such as Oxi-Clean. Anyway, it made lots of bubbles as it worked and within a couple hours of bright sunlight it had been completely cleaned/bleached.

The buttplate got treated to a wet sanding with 600- and then 1000-grit sandpaper, followed by Zaino Z-14 Plastic Magic. Its not factory-fresh, but it did help clear out some of the scratches.



Mossberg Buttplate (7).jpg
Mossberg even oiled under the buttplate! I gave a Tru-Oil refresh but thats about it. Note the original pencil marks.


Mossberg Buttplate (5).JPG
Test fit: The buttplate and white line spacer are way smaller than the buttstock. Also, the spacer has a slight taper to it to match the contour of the buttstock, not that it matters when its undersized.


Mossberg Buttplate (6).JPG Mossberg Buttplate (4).jpg

Some details on the spacer.
 
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