Mossberg Patriot Bolt-Action Rifle in .270 Winchester
Here is what Mossberg has to say. The Patriot series is based on Mossberg's proven push-feed, twin-lug, assembled bolt, round receiver drilled from bar stock action. Cartridges are fed from a lightweight polymer, flush box magazine with 5-round total capacity (4-round capacity for Magnum chambering). A trapped "washer" type recoil lug, plunger ejector and sliding bolt face extractor are among the obvious similarities to the Savage 110 economy action.
The button-rifled, standard contour, free-floating, 22 inch barrel is constructed of carbon steel and features straight-edge fluting and a recessed crown. The barrel is free-floated in the stock. Exposed metalwork has a matte blue finish.
Every Patriot rifle also features Mossberg's patented LBA (Lightning Bolt Action) adjustable trigger system for consistent shot placement and is user-adjustable from two to seven pounds. Other standard features include spiral-fluted bolts, receiver-mounted weaver-style scope bases for ease of adding optics and sling swivel studs.
The tested Patriot Rifle is chambered in .270 Winchester and has the newest Kryptek Highlander stock, "a camouflage pattern specially designed for hunting in varied terrain and elevation. The classic stock design has textured stippling on the grip and the three surface areas of the forend and features a straight comb with rounded edges, raised cheekpiece and traditional rubber butt pad for greater comfort and reduced recoil. A polymer block insert with integral magazine well provides a simple, but effective bedding platform. To complement the stock redesign and improve handling, Mossberg has streamlined the bolt handle, providing additional clearance for gloved or larger hands, and added an aggressively checkered bolt knob." It has a 2015 MSRP of $426.
This is a part of a continuing series of affordable rifles I have been covering, including the Savage Axis, Savage 110, Weatherby Vanguard models, Browning AB3, Ruger American and now this Mossberg Patriot. The Mossberg Patriot is bargain-priced, to say the least, sold as low as $275 or so discount price for the black synthetic version. They can currently be had in "hunting rifle in a box" configuration with a mounted Vortex scope for something like $425.
The Mossberg Patriot is lightweight rifle. It weighs 6 pounds 11 ounces out of the box, sans scope, with the detachable box magazine inserted and the pre-installed Weaver-style bases.
Mossberg did a good job with the trigger. It breaks crisply at three pounds on the nose, as supplied. The fluted bolt is exceptionally smooth, the barrel is partially fluted and the factory recoil pad is better than average.
There are some compromises made to keep the price down. The trigger guard is plastic, actually part of the stock itself. Yet, the stock has a Monte Carlo cheekpiece and the sling studs are metal, not the cheap molded-in approach. The tang safety is a simple two-position affair and the bolt does not lock in place with the safety engaged. A separate bolt stop and release button, located at the left rear of the receiver, is provided.
I have spent a lot of time testing bolt action rifles and of late, entry-level genre bolt-action rifles specifically. The rifle that started it all, in the recent sense, is the Savage Edge, renamed the Savage Axis. Outstandingly good shooters, they are aesthetically vulgar and the heavy trigger pull of the non-AccuTrigger models make you wish you had spring for an Accu-Trigger. Nevertheless, the Edge is typically very high in accuracy for the dollar quotient and have been rabidly successful as a result.
The tested Ruger American center-fire rifles (not the rim-fire) have all had serious problems and cannot be recommended. The Browning AB3 did better than expected, yet it and the perennial winner Weatherby Vanguard are at a slightly higher price point than this Mossberg or the Savage. The only question left with the Mossberg Patriot is not if it can unseat the 24 inch barreled Weatherby, but whether it can dethrone the Savage Axis in the value center-fire category.
I mounted a Sightron SII Big Sky 3-9x42mm scope with Warne medium Maxima QR rings with no issues. Anxious to test the Mossberg Patriot, despite the nasty field conditions of 25-35 mph gusty winds, it was off to the farm with a couple of new .270 loads to try out, as well. These were Hornady's new 130 grain GMX Full Boar (#80527) cartridges and Remington's HyperSonic 140 grain Ultra Bonded PSP rounds (#PRH270WRB).
The wind was roaring and everything was blowing around. The 100 yard target was bouncing, chairs, bags and tripods were blowing over. It was hardly the type of day to expect any one hole groups. Nevertheless, the Mossberg tossed the very first Hornady Full Boar shot on the paper to the right, with the next two shots within a half inch of each other. Three quick shots off of a single bag with the Remington HyperSonic rounds were MOA, despite the very poor shooting conditions. Much more shooting will be forthcoming.
Mossberg has a real winner in the Patriot. It is a bargain-priced rifle with a good trigger, the bolt is super smooth, it feeds rounds smoothly and reliably and ejection is very good as well. It is also soft-shooting, better-looking than either the Savage Axis or the Ruger American. The basic black Patriot currently sells for a stunning $320 street price. I am impressed and you will be, as well.
Copyright 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.