Mossberg Model 464 ZMB – You Laughed At It

It was 2012. Zombies were everywhere. For the entirety of the 2000s, there was this buildup of zombies. In 2003, we got the Zombie Survival Guide; in 2004, we got the Dawn of the Dead remake, Land of the Dead in 2005; and, of course, the highlight of the zombie universe, the 2010 premiere of The Walking Dead. The gun industry got into the zombie theme, and it was fun for a while, but eventually, they ran it into the ground, and it got a bit cringe. In 2012, Mossberg released a series called the ZMB series. This consisted of a few shotguns and a very interesting version, the Mossberg Model 464.

Everyone laughed at the Model 464 ZMB. It was seen as the gun that helped jump the shark for the zombie theme. How dare someone take a lever gun and make it tactical. They laughed at it! I can’t lie, I loved it. I thought it was a really neat idea, but I hid this shamefully. I will admit the bright green ZMB markings were kind of lame. However, the idea of the Model 464 as a tactical gun was new for the time. Lever guns were never supposed to be tactical and were firmly planted in the realm of Fudd. 

Those Model 464 ZMB models, see you now. They see your 200-dollar Midwest rails and your 400-dollar Chisel stock on your Marlin 336. It sees you pre ordering the Magpul ELG furniture. It sees your Surefire Scouts, your LPVOs, and even your MAWLs, and it remembers! 

The Model 464 ZMB – Too Soon? 

SHOT Show 2024 made it apparent that the tactical lever gun was here to stay. Everyone had one and had a variety of different options widely available. Henry has an AR mag fed 5.56/.330 Blackout rifle option. POF has the Tombstone. Bond Arms has an AR lever gun. Fightlite has one, and so does Aero! They are everywhere. 

As mentioned companies like Magpul, Midwest, Chisel, and more have produced rails and stocks to tacticalize your chosen lever gun platform. You can accessorize a lever gun to almost AR-like levels. It’s never been easier to create a tactical lever gun, but these really aren’t new. Mossberg’s 464 ZMB had the same idea. We should also mention that Mossberg made a 464 SPX, which ditched the ZMB markings but kept the factory tactical look. 

It bears mentioning that in 2012, M-LOK and Keymod weren’t the hot thing. It was all about strapping rails everywhere you could. The hot AR15s of the time had quad rails. The Model 464 ZMB and SPX took that route and outfitted the gun with a tri-rail system on the handguard. Later on, the SPX series featured a scope rail for long eye relief optics or red dots. The top ejection of the 464 made traditional scope mounts impossible. 

The gun did have high-visibility open tights. At the end of the barrel, we had an A2-style flashhider. The most interesting feature was the stock setup. The stock was lever gun-like and lacked a pistol grip, but it still had an AR-type adjustable stock. It looks weird and feels a little weird, but it worked. 

Inside the 464 

The Model 464 is a Winchester 1894-like rifle. It’s not really an 1894, but features a similar open-top design, guts out the bottom system, and tube magazine. The bolt is different from the 1894, and so is the ejection system. The Model 464 was famously an affordable, American-made lever gun. 

It had that Mossberg slop that we shotgunners are familiar with. It’s not a bad gun, but it wasn’t a tuned-up lever gun. It also costs nowhere near that of a tuned-up lever gun. Even the SPX and ZMB models were fairly affordable. Accuracy was okay, and for short-range use, it was more than adequate. 

These guns were .30-30s and held six rounds in their magazine. The Model 464 was nothing revolutionary, but the ZMB and SPX models were way ahead of their time. In 2012 it was often joked about, but in 2024 it would just be another tactical lever gun. But don’t worry the Model 464 ZMB remembers and so do I! 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.