The rifle I learned to shoot with. (DONT LAUGH!)


March 16, 2006, 04:29 PM
I have an old Mossberg Model 152k (semi auto 22). I know its not worth much monitarily, but this is the gun my dad taught me to shoot with and I wouldnt part with it for the world. I remember spending many a Saturday afternoon (1968, 69)walking down the railroad tracks knocking off wayward sparrows from their perch atop of the telephone lines. Thats when I realized how much I love the smell of burnt gunpowder! Anyway, it doesnt have a serial # and I understand that they (Mossberg) werent required to have one before 1958. I'm taking it in to a gunsmith this weekend to have a s/n stamped on the barrel. I figure if Im not at home and some thug burglerizes my house, I'll have a way of getting it back if it ever turns up in some lame pawn shop, or police custody. Is this a good move? I figure it shouldnt ruin the value of it too much, and you cant put a price on sentimental value. Whatcha think? :confused:

P.S. It didnt have a scope on it back then. Is it me, or does 22 LR powder smell differently than all others?

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March 16, 2006, 04:36 PM
My Dad won a shooting contest as a 14 year old in Oregon in 1943 with a Winchester .22lr rifle. Yes, I have that rifle. Yes, it means the world to me.
Are you sure it doesn't have serial number? I also have a 1881 S&W Frontiersman in .44 Russian, 125 years old and it has a serial number.

March 16, 2006, 04:40 PM
Don't have a SN stamped on it. That would certainly be a shame, as there is a finite supply of pre-1968 firearms out there.

March 16, 2006, 04:42 PM
No laughing here. Heck, I learned how to shoot with a Marlin single shot .22. That Mossy is an heirloom now. Probabaly a not a bad idea with the S/N, and like you said, it's not a high dollar gun, so you aren't going to hurt the value of it. Besides, it sounds like that gun is going to be with you a long time, so who cares about the depreciation?

March 16, 2006, 04:43 PM
doesn't really matter, the gun isn't getting sold in your life time so who cares what it does to its dollar value? So long as it doesn't hurt its sentamental value to you have it stamped if you like.

I'd put it someplace it wont be an eyesore and seen everytime you pick it up, but also not somewhere that someone looking would miss it.

Creeping Incrementalism
March 16, 2006, 04:45 PM
No serial number! I think there is something very antique about a firearm not having one--a sign of the days of freedom. If it gets stolen your chances of ever getting it back are probably low even with one..

March 16, 2006, 05:18 PM
I'd skip it. There's no need for a serial number.

If you're concerned about proving it's yours on the off chance that it is actually recovered after being stolen, just have your name engraved on the bottom of the receiver where it's covered up.

I have the tube-fed version of that gun, the 380. It was my first cartridge firearm. I learned on muzzleloaders.

And no, I didn't grow up in Tennessee 150 years ago.:)

March 16, 2006, 05:26 PM
Count me in the "Don't" group.

What are the chances of it being stolen? If it is stolen, what are the chances of getting it back, even with the SN?

Leave it alone I say. I have a few guns without SNs and appreciate that part of their history... Back when you could walk into the town hardware store and walk out 5 minutes later with a new rifle. No NICS, no paperwork.

March 16, 2006, 05:33 PM
Nice little rifle!

I would put some kind of identifying mark in a hidden spot under the stock. The chances of you getting it back are pretty slim but if you had some kind of identifying mark on it you could claim it as yours.

March 16, 2006, 05:36 PM
Why would we laugh? I save the laughing for people who think they need to learn riflecraft on a .300 Winchester Short Mag.

March 16, 2006, 06:33 PM
I agree Dan. Im bored to death with reading about these new BS ctgs. My fav hunting (not JUST deer) gun is a 7x57 scout sprg '03 sporter. If WDM Karamojo Bell can kill 300+ elephants with one, whats in a mulie? Or even a Bullwinkle for that matter? :)


March 16, 2006, 06:51 PM
I'm another who would not have a number added. I still have the first firearm that I ever owned,-- a J.C. Higgins .22 (Marlin 81 in Sears dress), which does not have a number. It will stay that way.

4v50 Gary
March 16, 2006, 06:53 PM
The first gun doesn't need to be an Anschutz, engraved, stocked in fancy walnut. It just needs to shoot accurately enough to stir fond memories of your first shots under the watchful eye of your dad.

March 16, 2006, 06:53 PM

You're a man after my own heart! If one is a true hunter, long shots are something to be ashamed about!

March 16, 2006, 06:53 PM
Double tap!

March 16, 2006, 07:14 PM
Why not pull the butt plate, put your name on the butt with a Sharpie, and screw the butt plate back on it.

That way, on the off chance that it is stolen, and the even slimmer chance of it being recovered, you could prove ownership.

Seven High
March 16, 2006, 07:27 PM
Consider buying a gun safe. That way you won't have to put a serial number on the rifle, and you will have a means of safe storage and won't have to worry about it getting stolen.

March 16, 2006, 09:09 PM
Why not have your Dad's initials Lasar engraved on the receiver above the bolt in a monogram style. That would certianly make it distinctive enough. Check with some of the guys here about the safety issues, but I think there is more than enough "MEAT" at the receiver of that gun as I remember it, to put a pretty good etch into the metal

March 16, 2006, 10:28 PM
I have a Remington Single shot with no number either. Leave it be. Someday, in a world where everything, including PEOPLE today have a darned number, the fact it DOESN'T may mean something! Put an indentifying mark in an obscure place, under the receiver in the stock, for instance.

March 17, 2006, 02:58 AM
I think he makes a valid point about serializing. If it were my rifle i would lie to put some kind of identifcation on it in case of said burglary or other reasons . On the legal side your fine but i would suggest doing so. I would even go as fr as getting my name engraved on it instead of a serial. It kina add that certain personalization that is laking in firearms.

March 17, 2006, 03:29 AM
Personally I wouldn't add a SN, but that's just me. She's a beautiful gun and for me a lot of value (and not the $ kind) comes from having it just the way it was. Another thing to consider along the lines of adding your name with a Sharpie is to get a UV pen and do the same. The UV pens are only visible under black light so you can be more discrete.


March 17, 2006, 03:33 AM
no to the number, if it is stolen, either the cops will find a stolen mossy 152k or not. the ser # being there wont matter at that point.

cracked butt
March 17, 2006, 08:55 AM
Not bad.:cool:

I shot my first 10,000 or so .22 rounds through an old Ithaca 49. The front sight was drifted all the way over and the windage was still off, so I learned all about Kentucky windage, Extracting fired brass was done using a fingernail so worn down fingernails and bleeding fingertips was a common occurance for me.

March 17, 2006, 08:59 AM
I learned to shoot on an old Mossbery 146B-A, tube-fed bolt .22

March 17, 2006, 09:05 AM
Chances of getting it back if stolen are pretty small. You could maybe mark it in some way where it wouldn't show. When I was a teenager which was quite a while back, Mossbergs although having a bit different look were considered to be some of the most accurate and reliable .22s made.

March 17, 2006, 10:08 AM
I'm in the "no" braket as well. Having a s/n stamped on it will detract from the gun. From what I have seen at gun shows any type of change like that to a firearm, IMO, will stick out like a sore thumb. I would keep it the way you remember it as a youngster!

Happy Shooting :)

Ranger J
March 17, 2006, 10:23 AM
There is something really special about having you very first gun or your fatherís gun or your grandfatherís gun. I have my dadís old J.C. Higgens 20g pump that I shot my first rabbit and quail with. My grandfatherís old L. C Smith in owned by another family member, dang it, and I have the first gun I actually owned, a Savage Model 24 in 22lr and 410. Both the front sight and the rear sight are long gone and in later years I had a Ďscope mountí welded to the 22 barrel. It now has a red dot site on it and gets taken squirrel hunting or is used to dispatch the occasional copperhead that the dogs have cornered in my back yard. Guns with memories are worth more than all the later, more expensive guns you might acquire in life. Treasure that old gun, as it will bring old memories flooding back.

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