The Mossberg SSI-One is a single-shot firearm...
(SSI stands for “Single Shot Interchangeable”) with a novel concept.It is a gun that can have multiple barrels with only one receiver. Well, it is not actually a novel idea, as Thompson Center had already done this, and with a lot better success, than this Mossberg.
Some say this rifle was designed to compete with the Ruger #1. At first glance, this rifle does look a little like the Ruger, with its lever placed under the trigger guard. The lever operates the opening/breaking of the barrel.
Pull the lever down, and the barrel breaks open. The Mossberg SSI came about in the late 1990s and was probably designed to compete with the T/C line, but, for whatever reason, it never shared the success of the T/C line.
This rifle/shotgun series was offered in several rifle barrels and two shotgun barrels that were interchangeable by the user with no factory modifications or special fitting needed.
Each of the following barrels came with its own wooden forend: .223 sporting (tapered) or heavy barrel, .22-250 sporting (tapered) or heavy barrel, .243 sporting barrel only, .270 sporting barrel only, .308 sporting barrel only, .30-06 sporting barrel only.
And the shotgun barrels include: rifled barrel ported, 12-gauge, slug gun for deer hunters and a turkey-choked 12-gauge for those after “Mr. Tom.” Both 12-gauge offerings are chambered to take 2-3/4-, 3- and 3-1/2-inch shells. The turkey barrel has a 12-gauge chamber with a 10-gauge bore to allow the shot to expand in the bore, then get choked down to 12-gauge as it leaves the barrel. This is supposed to give you tighter patterns at long ranges.
The shotguns were offered with walnut or Mossy Oak camo-finished stocks and forends. The weaver-style scope bases on the shotguns were welded to the barrel. This was probably done to prevent the recoil from shaking the mounts loose.
I have heard some complain about the weight with this rifle (it can push 10 pounds before you add glass). I did not notice it to be unusually heavy, but I did not carry it through the woods all day, either. Plus, most of my hunting rifles are a little on the heavy side, so the weight was not bad for me.
Trigger pull is something I have heard many complaints about, but again was something I did not find excessive. Either the ones complaining about this are used to shooting guns with trigger jobs, or the one I shot had trigger work done to it. I found the trigger to be smooth with no creep and it broke at a constant 3.75 pounds.
The safety features on this rifle are nice. It has a cocked rifle indicator just forward of the safety, which is mounted on the top on the stock wrist. The safety is right where it should be, and when your hand is on the wrist and you are in the ready-to-fire position, your thumb fits right there on it. Unlike some of my other rifles, the safety does not make that distinctive “CLICK” when moved from safe to shoot.
The wood is what you would expect from a mid-priced rifle, with nice checkering on the stock wrist and forend, and the metal has a non-reflective finish. The rifle also comes with a nice recoil pad and a Schnabel forend knob on the rifle models. They come with sling studs and a Weaver-style scope base.
I found this rifle to be a refreshing change from the larger and more powerful rifles I have shot over the past few months. The one I shot was chambered in .243 and had almost no felt recoil. Maybe the extra weight had something to do with that.
The SSI came drilled and tapped for glass, but no iron sights. If you just have to have metal sights, a competent gunsmith could resolve that problem.
I found this rifle to shoulder well, and it was comfortable to shoot. However, it was a little awkward when breaking the barrel to eject and chamber a new round. The lever on the SSI is pulled down to break the barrel, unlike the T/C, which is pulled up.
Accuracy on my rifle was perplexing, as I was unable to get what I consider to be acceptable groups with the seven flavors of factory ammo I ran through it. BUT, I have a friend that has this same rifle in a few calibers, and he has found factory loads for each caliber that consistently shoot 1/2 inch or less at 100 yards.
Maybe I was not on my “A game” the day I spent with this rifle. The groups I got ranged from 3-1/2 to 1-1/4 inches at 100 yards, with little to no wind. I only shot seven flavors of ammo, and I will bet you could find a factory load that shot 1/2-inch or less with a lot less money out of your pocket, or use the Hornady reloading equipment I have and come up with a hand load that shoots one-hole groups.
I will bet all of you out there recognize all of the manufacturers above but one. Who is Underwood? I was asking the same thing a month ago when I came across them. This is a new ammo company that, as of this writing, makes ammo for several calibers in “New” and “Reloaded.” Check out their website (www.http://underwoodammo.com) for pricing.
Bottom line: This is a nice rifle that shoots good and handles nicely. If you can find one at a good price, you might want to consider one for your collection. Shoot Straight, Shoot Safe!
Shoot Safe, Shoot Straight.
If all guns were treated as if they were loaded, there would be NO MORE accidental shootings.
Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”