Mossberg MB 42 used to train American and Great Britain troops
Fairfax, Virginia - Donations arrived at the National Firearms Museum every day. Whether shipped in via crate or carried in a case, hardly a day goes by without something new being added to the collection. The man who meets most of those donations is Senior Curator Doug Wicklund.
"We got a pretty good one in today," said Wicklund. "A very nice gun made up in New Haven, Connecticut. Straight from Mossberg."
Approximately 50,000 Mossberg Model 42 MBs were sent overseas during World War II. Their destination? Great Britain. As most of the country's firearms were battle the Axis powers, rifles fit for training purposes only where in short supply. With an adjustable magazine that allowed for .22 short or .22 long cartridges, the Model 42 was an idea training choice.
"It has a neat feature too," Wicklund said.
"The rear sight, if you adjust it a certain way, can swing out so you can mount a scope on top with relative ease. A very nice little gun."
Also stamped on the gun, it two distinctive locations, is "US Property". Property that found its way out into the general public.
"All lot of these were sold at auction. I remember in High School that there was a wide selection of these rifles that saw little use during World War II. The government, at the time, gave these rifles to schools around the country and never took them back. On loan indefinitely."
And the MB stamp?
"That was a designation from the Mossberg company for arms to be sent overseas," Wicklund said with a smile. "It doesn't mean motorboat or anything like that."