I read a lot of forums, and I don’t post often to many of them. I am just not the kind of person who likes to bloviate, either in person or online. I’m sure I will get a lot of flak for being a “newbie” here. But I just can’t let some of the assertions here go unchallenged. And, before you bother to “inform” me about this, I do know that this is a very old chain. But as long as it is on the web it will continue to set there, possibly misinforming people.
Anyway, I have a Mossberg 4x4 in .338 Win. Mag. It is not just a good gun, it is a great gun. (Mine is the new kind, with the fluted barrel and muzzle brake – with the Marinecoat finish and synthetic stock. I have 42 other guns right now, including much more expensive ones, and examples from about every popular manufacturer, so I do have something to compare it to. And recently at the Butte Shoot, where there were about 500 guns and lots of shooters, everyone who shot my 4x4 (about 14 people) pronounced it to be the best gun of its type at the shoot. It is deadly accurate at the 300 to 600 yard range. For example, we were shooting at small fire extinguishers at 300 yards, and hitting virtually every time. With the .338 Win. Mag., there is no need even to adjust much for drop at 300 yards, as it is sighted in to be dead on at 200 yards, and will drop only 2 to 3 inches between 200 and 300 yards. BTW, between the muzzle brake and the excellent butt pad, the recoil is really, really, really tame. It IS loud as hell from the side.
But enough about how good my rifle is. I’m sure about everyone out there has similar stories about how well their rifle has performed. What I am really concerned about is all the B.S. that has been circulated about the 4x4 being bad, or dangerous, or both.
If you have read this chain, then you know that there have been allegations such that there is a “class action suit” against Mossberg relating to at least three cases of the gun malfunctioning and hurting people. First of all, only someone who has no knowledge of law at all (and, therefore, should not be commenting in this forum as though they do) would think that there could possibly be a class action lawsuit on this sort of cause. Secondly, there were, in fact, three lawsuits filed against Mossberg relating to either the 4x4 or its predecessor model, the ATR. I have access to court records, and so I looked them up. One of them, I could find nothing about. It was dropped early on. The second one alleged that the gun had “misfired when the plaintiff was handing the gun to his grandson”. What the hell does that mean? And, whatever it means, what does that have to do with the bolt supposedly not locking when it should – which is the allegation in this forum? In any event, this second case was also dropped early on. The third case was the really interesting one. In that case, the plaintiff was, apparently, actually hit by a bolt coming apart on him. Thankfully, it was not a .338 Win. Mag., or else I’m sure the suit would have been filed by his grieving widow.
The facts of this third case were, in brief, as follows: The guy had his wife buy the gun for him because he was an ex-con and couldn’t own the gun himself. He had, apparently in a drunken rage, smashed the gun against the wall and severely broken it. His neighbor said he did that not once, but on two different occasions. Subsequently, he tried to fix the gun himself. For some undisclosed reason he had the bolt apart, and when he reassembled it he didn’t put the pin back in that locks the bolt body to the bolt face/locking lugs. BOTH SIDES agreed that the accident was caused by this pin being absent. But note that the pin can’t “fall out” when the bold is inserted – as it is prevented from doing so by the sides of the breach. EVEN IF, for some strange reason, the pin were to break (which it really is not going to, given that it doesn’t have a lot of stress on it) at least part of the broken pin would be sufficient to insure that it did its job, at least until the bolt was removed again. The pin HAD to have been missing when he inserted the bolt into the rifle.
Anyway, this guy put the gun back together without this pin in it. Then, in front of his neighbor, he pointed it up in the air and, according to the statements, the bolt fell out. (Actually, I’ll bet only the bolt handle,body, firing pin and spring fell out, without the face, as the locking lugs would have hit the stop and would have stayed in the gun – unless he also broke the bolt stop off when he smashed the gun.) His neighbor warned him, in no uncertain terms, not to fire the gun in that condition. But the next morning, after having drunk and smoked his breakfast, apparently he ignored that warning.
I have read people commenting that the Mossberg bolt design is somehow defective, or that it should be a “one piece” bolt. Well, there is nothing wrong with the 4x4 bolt design. It is a tried and proven design that has pretty much been around for 100 years. Unless you weld on both ends of the bolt, so that there would be no way to replace the firing pin and/or spring, should they need maintenance, then it has to come apart. The pin at the face end is plenty strong, and the right and safest way to do this since, as I said above, it simply can’t come out when the bolt is inserted in the gun.
Now, about the other end of the bolt: It is important to note that NO ONE has even asserted that a 4x4 bolt has come apart at that end. Someone posted pictures of what they claimed was a Mossberg ATR bolt that was found, in the store, to have come apart at the handle end. I don’t have an ATR, so I can’t say for sure whether that is really an ATR bolt or not, but I can tell you that it is certainly not a 4x4 bolt. But even if that picture is real, it is clearly an aberration. Supposedly, this was discovered in the store. Whatever kind of bolt it is, from the picture it looks like it NEVER was properly attached. Maybe that one was missed altogether at the factory? If so, that doesn’t speak well to the ATR quality control – but it says nothing about the 4x4. But even at the worst, it would have been quite obvious that there was a problem there, and I don’t think it is likely that a purchaser would not have noticed that the bolt handle was not attached. I don’t mean to slight this – it is a potential problem, and maybe even it was a problem with a Mossberg ATR. But the topic here is the 4x4.
Finally, please consider that Mossberg, whether you like their guns or not, is a big successful company. They have lawyers that take care of them. If there were even a suggestion of a recurring problem having such great potential liability, they would have issued a recall. Recalls are simply the cheapest way to deal with a high liability problem like this – questions of humanity or “doing what’s right” aside. Mossberg does have some recalls out, but not a word about the 4x4 (or the ATR, for that matter). That, alone, tells me that there is something very fishy about some of the assertions in this chain.
In conclusion, I can’t disagree with those who say the gun is ugly. I have much prettier guns in my safe. But pretty is as pretty does. I have some much uglier guns in my safe, as well. If you don’t want one because it is ugly, then I will defend, to the death, your right not to purchase one. (Although, presumably, now that the Government has dictated that you must buy health insurance, next they will turn to telling you what kinds of guns you can and can’t buy. Oh, that’s right, they are already doing that.) But, please, folks. Try to constrain your assertions to what you know and, when giving an opinion, please say so instead of presenting it as fact. Thank you.