Mossberg 42M Restoration

The restoration of an iconic World War Two training rifle took some skill and a little research. Here’s how I refurbished a Mossberg 42M.

by Paul Mazan

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The Mossberg Model 42M is a Mannlicher-stocked variation of the Model 42 bolt action .22 caliber rimfire rifle with a seven-shot box magazine that was manufactured from 1940 through 1944. There were many variations of the model 42 manufactured between 1935 and the end of production of this model in 1949. They include target, sporter, heavy barreled, left-handed, and even smooth bored versions with a Targo tube. Targo was a trap shooting system made by Mossberg with a clay target launcher attached to the barrel of the gun. The shooter launched the clay target himself and then engaged it with a .22 shot load. It was introduced in 1941 and discontinued in 1942 after the Second World War broke out.

The 42M variation has a two-piece Mannlicher-style stock with the forend extended by the use of a sheet metal piece allowing a wooden extension to be added to the stock. These were used as training rifles during WW2 and a slight modification of the model (42MB) was sent as part of the Lend-Lease Program as rimfire trainers to the British.

With the large number of variations, restoration requires some research to identify the model you have so it can be restored with the proper sights and accessories. The rifle I had to restore was…

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