Mossberg Patriot Revere Bolt Action Rifle
By the Guns and Shooting Online Staff
Descended from the previous Mossberg ATR and 4x4 bolt actions, most Mossberg Patriot rifles are supplied with black plastic stocks. However, in 2015 we reviewed a Patriot Hunting Walnut .30-06 Rifle and found it to be a cut above the competition in bolt action economy rifles.
For 2017, Mossberg (www.mossberg.com) introduced a deluxe version of the Patriot Hunting Walnut, the Patriot Revere that is the subject of this review. This is the reverse of the usual model progression, where most companies introduce a deluxe rifle and then later, after the model's reputation is established, downgrade it with a synthetic stock, matte (unpolished) metal finish, detachable magazine and other production shortcuts to reduce the price.
Perhaps a deluxe version of an economy rifle may seem like a contradiction in terms, but Mossberg has made the concept work with the Patriot Revere. The result is a nice rifle that practically anyone would be proud to own, display and use.
Unlike our previously reviewed Patriot Walnut, the Revere has a polished and blued barreled action. Six calibers are offered in 2017, ranging in caliber and power from .243 Winchester to .300 Winchester Magnum. We requested our test rifle in the flat shooting, low recoil, .243 caliber. All Revere rifles come with round, free floating, 24 inch tapered barrels, the muzzles of which terminate in a target type recessed crown.
We criticized the Patriot Walnut for its excessive barrel channel, within which the barrel does not merely float, it soars. Unfortunately, Mossberg did not heed our advice and tighten things up in the Patriot Revere. Indeed, the barrel to fore end gap is even larger than in our previous test rifle, because the Revere's .243 barrel is slimmer in contour than the earlier rifle's .30-06 barrel. This incredibly wide barrel to fore end gap is the Revere's single greatest aesthetic failing and it was immediately noticed and criticized by everyone who inspected the rifle.
The Mossberg Patriot bolt action is a dual front locking lug, push feed design that cocks on opening. The bolt rotation is approximately 90-degrees.
The round receiver is machined from bar stock. The barrel is threaded into the receiver and locked in place with a smooth, tapered, Savage 110 type nut in front of a washer type recoil lug that is trapped between the receiver and the barrel nut. This system can provide very precise and easily adjustable (at the time of assembly) head spacing. A separate bolt stop and release button is provided. It is located at the left rear of the receiver.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope bases and Patriot Revere rifles are shipped with Weaver bases already installed at the factory at no extra cost. No iron sights are provided and very few shooters will miss them.
A two-position safety lever is mounted at the right rear of the receiver. Forward is "fire" and back is "safe." With the safety lever in the FIRE position, a red dot is revealed. The safety does not lock the bolt closed, allowing the bolt to be opened to eject a chambered cartridge with the safety on, as is typical of most modern bolt actions.
The bolt is assembled, rather than machined from a single billet of steel. The head, body and handle/knob are all separate parts, with the bolt head pinned in place. A small extractor slides in dovetail grooves in the face of one locking lug, in the manner pioneered by the Savage 110 action. A plunger ejector reliably kicks fired cases from the action.
The bolt body is left in the white and decorated with spiral flutes that are blackened. This gives the bolt a distinctive appearance and may provide the added benefit of trapping grit and crud, while reducing bearing surface, possibly making for smoother operation. The bolt knob shape is a sphere flattened on the bottom with a band of checkering intended to provide a secure grip. We found cycling the Patriot's bolt commendably smooth, although there is considerable wobble when the bolt is fully retracted.
The large, circular tail end of the striker is flush with the rear of the blued steel bolt shroud when the action is cocked, so it can be seen and felt. The bolt shroud is designed to prevent the bolt from entering the receiver unless the striker is cocked. When the trigger is pulled, the striker retracts about 0.394 inch (approximately 10mm) into the bolt, indicating that the action is not cocked.
The Mossberg LBA user adjustable trigger has a blade in its face to prevent inadvertent discharge, reminiscent of the Savage Accu-Trigger. The adjustment range is advertised as two to seven pounds. Our test rifle was set for a 3.5 pound trigger pull out of the box and there was an annoying notch or grit in the trigger take-up, which is unusual for this type of trigger.
Preferring a lighter trigger pull, we removed the barreled action from the stock by unscrewing the hex head front and rear action screws. These action screws also hold the plastic magazine well in place. The pull weight adjustment screw is located in the front face of the trigger assembly. Turn the screw counter-clockwise to reduce the pull weight. Be careful not to completely unscrew the trigger pull adjusting screw.
Three pounds per our RCBS pull gauge, not the advertised two pounds, was as light as we could get the trigger and still have it work properly and safely. The creep and hitch mentioned above remained after adjustment; very likely the result of rough trigger/sear/striker engagement surfaces.
The Patriot uses a black polymer trigger guard, magazine well and removable magazine. (These are all separate parts.) We think plastic trigger guards and bottom parts look cheap, which they are. At least the Revere's trigger guard is thinner than most (as seen from the side) and does not have a visible mold line. It is matte black like the magazine, not a polished blue like the barreled action. Inside the stock, the polymer bottom furniture forms bedding blocks for the action.
The one-piece, detachable magazine works well. Detachable magazines and magazine followers are parts where we have found polymer to generally be functionally superior to steel, feeding smoother and more reliably.
The magazine holds five cartridges in a staggered row. To load, just push the cartridges straight down into the magazine. The magazine release is located immediately in front of the magazine well and is easy to use.
The Revere's primary selling point, which more than justifies its increased price, is its premium European walnut stock. The stock design is American modern classic with a straight comb and a cheekpiece. The shape is identical to the Patriot Hunter Walnut stock. Our only complaint is that, like most production rifles, the fore end is too thick and should be slenderized. This is the same suggestion we made about the Patriot Walnut stock in 2015
European walnut is, in the opinion of many experienced hunters, the finest stock material in the world, as well as the most attractive. European walnut is tighter grained than American black walnut, harder and takes better checkering. It is seldom seen on US made production rifles.
"Premier 2.0," which Mossberg uses to describe the wood, is not a commonly recognized grade of walnut. (See Grading Gun Stocks for more about gunstock walnut grades.) However, the test Revere's stock is indeed better than standard grade walnut. We would call our test rifle's walnut Select, or possibly Semi-Fancy. This is pretty darn good European walnut on a rifle with a 2017 MSRP of only $823!
There are generous, three panel, fine line, single border, laser cut checkering panels on both sides of the gracefully curved pistol grip and around the fore end in a traditional point pattern. The checkering is unique in that the "diamonds" are not diamonds at all, but little Nike style swooshes. There is a rosewood fore end tip and pistol grip cap. Both incorporate contrasting maple wood and black line spacers, seldom seen these days except on Weatherby Deluxe rifles. A block "M" is laser cut into the bottom of the grip cap.
The butt terminates in a black, ventilated recoil pad, which is soft and works well. Why Mossberg chose a ventilated pad, instead of a pad with solid sides, such as a Pachmayr Decelerator, we could not say. Blued steel, detachable sling swivel studs are included. Overall, this is the nicest stock we have seen on a production rifle anywhere close to the Revere's price class.
Our initial 100 yard shooting session with the Revere produced unexpected results. Shooting from a Lead Sled DFT on a solid bench rest, we had a number of groups with two bullet holes close to each other and the third shot inches away. With other groups, none of the shots were close together.
This sort of thing can certainly be shooter error. However, Guns and Shooting Online Owner/Managing Editor Chuck Hawks and Chief Technical Advisor Jim Fleck, who did most of the preliminary shooting aided by Gunsmithing Editor Rocky Hays and Technical Assistant Bob Fleck, did not call flyers and were convinced their holds were good.
It can also be due to barrel heating, as it was a hot summer day and the .243 Patriot Revere's barrel is a light sporter contour, so it heats quickly. It could also have to do with loose screws bedding the barreled action to the stock, or the scope mounting screws, but we checked these as a matter of course and all were tight.
Rocky suspected upward pressure on the barrel just behind the tip of the fore end might stabilize the thin barrel and improve accuracy. However, the huge gap between the free floating barrel and the fore end of the Revere meant a couple thicknesses of business card or match book cover, the traditional shims, would not work here. This is a loaner rifle for a review, so he could not permanently modify the stock. He decided a thick glob of Thermo-Loc microwaveable plastic might work. In Rocky's Words:
"I put blue painter's tape against the wood so that the Thermo-Loc microwaveable plastic would not stick to the wood. I stuck in a glob of the plastic while it was hot, and bolted the action into the stock. "
This fix had the desired result. On a subsequent trip to the range with the Patriot Revere, the first 100 yard group went into one inch. The second measured 1.5 inches. The erratic accuracy problem was solved. Anyone with only moderate skill could do the same, omitting the blue tape, if they owned a Patriot Revere with a similar accuracy problem.
We strongly recommend that Mossberg tighten the tolerances of their barrel to fore end gap. Leaving enough wood in the fore end channel about 1.5 inches behind the tip to put a little upward pressure on the barrel might improve accuracy across the board and prevent future owners from having to find a way to shim the barrel.
During our shooting sessions with the Revere we found the magazine easy to load and it fed cartridges smoothly and reliably. To single load cartridges, just leave the empty magazine in place and drop a cartridge into the open action, then slide the bolt closed. It will chamber the cartridge. We experienced no functioning problems during our range sessions.
The modern classic style stock handles recoil well and the compliant recoil pad helps, although it is not really necessary on a .243 rifle. The stock fit our medium size (heights between 5' 9" and 6') shooters just fine.
There is a lot to like about the Mossberg Patriot Revere rifle. It is one of the nicest looking hunting rifles around and the Patriot bolt action is smooth and reliable. The Revere's European walnut stock, deluxe features and overall nice finish belie its reasonable price. Offhand, we cannot think of anything comparable in its price class.
Note: Complete reviews of the Mossberg Patriot Revere .243 and Mossberg Patriot Walnut .30-06 rifles, including complete shooting results and a graded rifle review summary, can be found on the Product Reviews index page.
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