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Old February 11, 2007, 03:20 AM   #1
Garand Illusion
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Need some help with a 1930's vingtage shotgun

So I "inherited" my father's .410 shotgun (thankfully he is still alive; it's an early inheritance) that he received as a boy in the early 1930's.

I have fired this shotgun quite a bit, but not since the early 1980's -- which was the last time anyone fired it.

Anyway ... I can't remember what kind of .410 ammunition I used to buy for it. It was a long time ago and I had a shooting buddy who told me what to get.

It's a .410 bolt action shotgun with a 3 round mag. It's a "Ward's Western Field" (made by Mossberg, I believe) 14M 216A and says that it's "3 in proof tested".

So I assume 3" .410 shells, right? Is that what it would say on the proper box?

I would love to shoot this old shotgun again, just trying to figure out what's safe with it.

Also ... it has a choke screwed on the end that says "Mossberg 410F". Can anyone tell me what that choke is meant for and/or if there are other chokes available?

Another interesting thing ... unless that number I gave above is the serial number, there's NO serial number on this thing!

Thanks!
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Old February 11, 2007, 06:40 AM   #2
krimmie
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try this link

This is a link to cross-over brands. I believe you have a Mossberg model 83C and should handle 21/2 or 3" shells.

http://www.gun-data.com/Montgomery_ward_firearms.html

By the way...14m-216a didn't come up in my references...and 14m-215a is in 20 ga.(Mossberg model 85).
Western Field model 04m-216a is the Mossberg 83C(.410 ga. 3-4 shot top loader.)

Last edited by krimmie; February 11, 2007 at 06:47 AM. Reason: More info
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Old February 11, 2007, 11:11 AM   #3
The Gamemaster
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I think you got snookered somewhere.

I don't remember shotguns before the 70's that had choke tubes...

Especially not Mossbergs.. Most of them had a Poly Choke type set up.

More than likely someone made up a story about how old the gun was and you didn't know the difference and bought the story.

The oooold .410's were only a 2 1/2 chamber.

I have a model .104 Ranger that was also chambered in 3" and it was not a bad shotgun - just that the trigger wore out and the price of repair is more than the value of the gun.
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Old February 11, 2007, 12:35 PM   #4
musher
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Gamemaster, your memory must be spotty.

Mossberg indeed produced bolt action 410's chambered for 3" shells with interchangeable chokes marked as described above (full choke). I believe they typically came with a modified tube as well. These were 'economy' grade shotguns.

Not sure if that particular shotgun model goes back as far as the thirties, but they certainly were being built in the early/mid fifties.

Three inch chambering first appeared in the late 20's and 3" ammo was being produced by peters and western by 1933. The winchester 42 appeared the same year with 3" chambers.

I don't know the history of the mossberg bolt actions, but I'd be reluctant to accuse someone's father of lying to them w/o more info.
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Old February 11, 2007, 03:04 PM   #5
Garand Illusion
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The choke screws on the outside of the barrel. The picture below is from another web site, but it looks exactly the same (I did do a LITTLE research before I posted here)




The person who told me the story about how old the shotgun is is my father. I know that he used the shotgun for hunting before he went off to war in 1942 (wwII). So I guess it's possible it could be as young as 1940 or so ... but definitely not younger than that. And from the hunting stories he used to tell me about hunting as a boy I would assume mid to late 30's, possibly even earlier.

I appreciate the answers to my questions. When I went to buy ammo I just got a little confused, and then got worried that I might put too modern of ammo into an old gun. I know this shotgun was a good shooter 20+ years ago, and fortunately I oiled it up the last time I cleaned it so that it doesn't show any rust or pitting on the bolt or in the barrel. Assuming I find the right ammo, it should be good to go.

One thing I still haven't been able to figure out, though ... are there any other chokes available for it besides the "F" (which apparently means full). Some have suggested the choke changes by screwing it in and out (my dad actually told me this as well) but while there is a hole in the side of the choke there are no markings to appear inside to indicate different settings.

Unfortunately while my dad is blessed by relatively good health as an octogenarian, he just doesn't remember a lot of details on this shotgun that he basically quit using in 1942. He did help me clean it up when we dug it out in the 1980's, after I got out of HS., but he never went out skeet shooting with me. All he know is that he went out hunting with it or his .22 about every day it was warm enough, because his family needed an occasional pheasant or rabbit to help stretch out the groceries.

Maybe that's why he hasn't hunted since and never desired to ... it wasn't fun for him so much as a necessity.
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Old February 11, 2007, 03:26 PM   #6
musher
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I believe the shotguns originally came with a full and modified tube. There's a wrench that wraps around the choke and engages the hole to tighten/loosen.

Here's a modified tube for sale that might fit your gun on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mossberg-410-Gau...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old February 11, 2007, 03:34 PM   #7
Garand Illusion
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Quote:
By the way...14m-216a didn't come up in my references...and 14m-215a is in 20 ga.(Mossberg model 85).
Western Field model 04m-216a is the Mossberg 83C(.410 ga. 3-4 shot top loader.)
I verfied again that it says 14m-216a. I think the references must be incomplete.

After doing a google, I got several hits on that reference. Apparently this gun maps to a Mossbert 83c.
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Old February 11, 2007, 08:51 PM   #8
krimmie
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Model 83c(Mossberg)

That model was produced from 1933-1946...so your dad's info is correct. I still can't find anything on the size of shell though
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Old February 11, 2007, 10:21 PM   #9
Garand Illusion
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Alright ...

I've been pursuing multiple leads on this, and according to a very helpful person at Mossbert Collectors Organization which I believe is associated with havlinsales.com:

Quote:
14M means 1941. 216 is the model number
The modified choke allows a more spread pattern than the fullchoke.
Based on the type of hunting you do, you may want both the modified and
the full choke in your aessory pouch. Full choke concentrates all the
pellets in the smallest possible circle.

Modified choke will allow a wider circle distribution of the pellets.

The 83C is not rated for slugs. Please use only shot shells in this shotgun.
Interesting. I called my Dad, and he does seem to remember getting it just before the war, so 1941 seems about right (he would have been about 17 and in H.S.). He did a lot of hunting before then, of course, but apparently with other guns.

I don't have the modified choke, just the full choke. Might have to start looking on Ebay to see if one will come up.

Just for grins ... as this will ever be my main skeet gun.
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