no ser. #s on moss. 500 ?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by goofy, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    I was looking over a mossberg 500 i got at a yard sale(Spent $2.00)It is a earlyer model and has the single action bar But i can't find a ser.# I broke it down and still can't find #it's the original finish and i can;t find any file marks so i don't think the numbers were filed off.Was it sold without #s ? How offten did they sell guns with out #s ??? ........GOOFY:confused:
  2. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    The Mossberg 500 went into production in 1962. Serial numbers weren't required until 1968.

    I own many pre '68 Mossberg's with no serial numbers.
  3. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks gunhugger. I thought serial numbers were required befor that so that was why i was looking so hard.Guess I can put the magnifing glass away now!!.....GOOFY
  4. whirley

    whirley New Member

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    My question...Since there are no serial numbers on a firearm. does that make it an illegal tool. I'm in a similar position. Several old,pre-WW2 firearms but no serial numbers. With the anti-gun platform of the Democrat party, they could make life miserable for many of us, or perhaps use that for confiscation or prison time. Perhaps I'm paranoid!
  5. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    It's nothing to worry about. You can't be hassled for something that was legal before 1968. Serial numbers where made mandatory for all firearms in 1968 but they didn't say that those made before that date without serial numbers were illegal. It was left up to the manufacture before that date, many used serial numbers but some did not.

    Actually when they are made doesn't really matter, it's when they first leave the manufacture. A few years ago, before Marlin was sold they cleaned house and sold a bunch of old guns that had been kept at the Marlin factory for many years. I bought two of them, both made before 1968. Marlin had to stamp serial numbers on them before they could be sold to distributors.

    They used a "AE" prefix serial number for these pre'68 guns without serial numbers sold in 2007. You won't find a AE prefix when looking at date charts for Marlin guns but if you ever find one this is the story behind it.

    Here's a Model 100 made in the 1930's with the AE serial number.
    [​IMG]

    A Model 99 made in the early 1960's
    [​IMG]

    Sorry I got a bit off topic. :D

    EDITED: changed can to can't, sorry.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  6. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Gunhugger,
    Good Information!! One question, how can you tell if your Mossberg was made prior to 1968 without serial or post '68 and the serial has been removed??;);) Is there anything else that would help date them??
  7. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    No, not really a way for an exact year. Only if it's a model that wasn't made before 1968, it should have a serial number. Those models made only before 1968 will not. But some models made before 1968 did have serial numbers, Model 44US had serial numbers because they were made under government contract and they wanted to keep track of them I guess.

    Here's the serial number/dates list for the Model 44US.
    http://home.epix.net/~damguy/44usnumbers.htm

    Other than the list above there isn't any serial number records for Mossberg that I know of.

    The Model 144LSA was made before and after 1968 so you can only date them as before or after but not an exact date of manufacture. As well as a few other changes through the model run will only get you close to an exact date.

    The only way to figure out a rough date of manufacture is to figure the span of years the model was made and research catalogs (not accurate but it will get you close) .

    Here's a page with all the Mossberg rimfire models that shows years of manufacture and specification of each model.
    http://home.epix.net/~damguy/models.htm

    And here's a page of catalogs.
    http://home.epix.net/~damguy/catalog.htm

    For example, I can only guesstimate when this Model 144LSA was made. By looking at the pages I linked to above I know it was between 1962 and 1968 since the Model started in 1962 and it has no serial number. But by looking at the catalogs I can narrow it down a little more. Somewhere around 1966 they changed to bolt handle from a flat stamped one to a round one. So as a guess it was made between 1962 and 1966.

    My Mossberg 144LSA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  8. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for info. gunhugger. Now let me bother you again I know the mossberg 500 had a single bar action slide assembly do you know when they switched to the double bar? And they changed the bolt asembly( bolt slide) maybe this can help in dateing the gun ?...........GOOFY:)
  9. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    They switched to the double slide bar for 1970 production.

    I'm not sure what you mean in your second question. Do you mean the length of the action slide, the part under the forearm that the slide bar(s) attach to? If so the older ones are 6 1/2" and those made in the past 25 years or so are 7 5/8" but I don't know exactly what year this change took place. But I don't think this would help you since I know this took place after 1968.

    Noted in Havlin's book Mossberg, More Gun For The Money it states "The first Mossberg Model 500's featured damascened bolts (later reserved for the higher grade versions...."

    I had to look it up...

    damascened - : to ornament (as iron or steel) with wavy patterns like those of watered silk or with inlaid work of precious metals.

    decorated with wavy patterns of inlay or etching


    I suppose this is what we call a jeweled bolt today. :)

    And I know that the first years of production late 1961 and 1962) they were 12 GA only. By 1963 they were available in 12, 16 and 20.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I think hes talking about the bolt carrier gungugger. Being it engages the slide bars, I believe he wants to know if the old models (single slide bar) carriers are the same as the new models.

    The answer is no, the single slide bar carriers only had one side milled to engage the one slide bar. The later doubles were milled on both sides. So far as I know, that is the only difference, but I could be wrong. I dont see too many pre 68 mossies on my work bench..
  11. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I guess what I was talking about is on the bolt slide on the earlyer models the "top" the part that fits into the bolt assembly is aprox.1/2 inch long but on a newer model it is allmost 2".The bolt lock is a different design to except the new bolt slide.The older bolt is jeweled and the new one has 1/2 circles cut side by side.I also read (don't know where or when) my memory is as shot as my 1911.Anyway what was i talking about? oh yeah I read that mossberg changed the wood they used for the stocks around 1965? I don't know if this is true and I don't know if any of this can help date a mossberg 500?..........GOOFY:)
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  12. nw253

    nw253 New Member

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    Does anyone know where I can buy a single slide bar? My grandfather gave me his old Mossberg 500 a few years ago and the slide broke. I took it to a local gun shop and they noticed it didn't have any serial numbers either. When they saw that they said good luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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  14. goofy

    goofy Well-Known Member

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    You can try jack first at www.jackfirst.com or call at 605-343-9420.They had some in september.
  15. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Not to belabor a point, but it might be prudent to remind those that aren't up on the law that if a firearm was shipped prior to 1968 and never had a serial number, it's OK. However, if it ever had a serial number, regardless when shipped, removing or defacing it is NOT OK.
  16. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Not to highjack the thread, but since there is some good info here, I'd like to see if anybody might have some about my shotgun. It's a Revalation 310A(as far as I can tell it is just a "made for XXX" mossberg 500). It is from the early 70's or before. Single slide bar and no serial number. The bolt slide does have two notches. I have replaced it, but to the best of my knowledge it is the same as the one that was in it when I got it.
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