Everyone needs a good cheap rifle. I don’t mean poorly made, but a good rifle that costs very little. If the rifle is reliable and accurate and affordable that is great.
If the piece weighs less than four pounds loaded that is unique. This is the Mossberg Blaze, it will serve as an emergency rifle when weight is at a minimum.
It is a good camper’s gun and accurate enough for small-game hunting. If it picks up a few dings or even rust, well, no big deal. Just wipe it off occasionally.
The Blaze was introduced about five years ago. Its construction is primarily polymer.
It is so robust and reliable, that comparison to the AK-47 rifle is appropriate. It is that good — and that cheap. The rifle fills many roles.
Feel and Handling
The Mossberg Blaze is light on the back at just 3.5 pounds. This is made possible by housing the action in what are simply dual plastic shells.
The steel bolt, barrel and trigger group ride in these shells. The bolt recoils against a compact action spring. The rifle is supplied with a 25-round magazine.
The banana magazine is a neat trick and it looks downright racy. A 10-round magazine is available. The 10-round magazine is more compact for some uses.
The magazine features twin buttons on the magazine follower that make life, and magazine loading, easier. Load the magazine then tip the front of the magazine into the magazine well and lock it in place.
If you have handled an AK-47, this magazine will seem familiar. After loading, rack the bolt by means of a generous bolt handle. The safety is tang-mounted, the right place for rapid manipulation.
Unlike most every other .22 LR self-loader, the Blaze bolt locks open on the last shot. The trigger isn’t sharp and crisp, but light enough at four-pounds one-ounce compression before it breaks.
The sights are decent for the intended use.
Cleaning and Maintenance
.22 Long Rifle ammunition ranges from dirty to filthy as far as powder residue. To keep your rifle running, it is recommended that the rifle be cleaned every 300 to 500 rounds.
This doesn’t mean squirting oil in the action! So clean the rifle occasionally. The Mossberg Blaze features 16 screws that hold the two shells together.
Remove these and the stock separates. Next, the bolt may be removed and the barrel is removed by removing hex nuts. It isn’t necessary to remove the barrel, but cleaning is easy enough.
After a thorough cleaning, coat the bolt with oil and the rifle will run for hundreds of rounds.
Function and Performance
The rifle has been fired for just short of 500 rounds without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire or eject. As is typical of .22 rimfire firearms, we suffered a failure to fire despite a hard firing-pin indent.
That is simply how .22 LR ammunition is. I fired only .22 Long Rifle High Velocity ammunition. The Mossberg’s iron sights were more than adequate for informal target practice.
Plinking tin cans and dirt clods at a safe firing range is more than enough reason to own a .22-caliber firearm. Most of the ammunition fired was the Fiocchi .22 Long Rifle in both round nose (RN) and hollow point (HP) form.
These are among the most accurate .22-caliber loads and burn cleaner than average. Function is good and so is practical accuracy.
A .22 Long Rifle hollow point at over 1200 fps is good medicine for small game. I would feel far from helpless with the Blaze and a 25-round magazine in a personal-defense situation.
I have long felt that a quality .22 self-loader is a good hedge against assault for many families. Shot placement means a lot and the Mossberg is an easy gun to get hits with.
As for absolute accuracy, I fired the rifle from a solid benchrest firing position. Since this is a lightweight rifle for simple chores, I fired for accuracy at 25 yards, firing both RN and HP Fiocchi loads.
Results for five-shot groups were excellent. The RN bullet averaged 1.1 inch for five shots, the HP 1.2 inch.
If you need an affordable rifle that is also lightweight, the Blaze seems to be the best fit for that requirement.
Mossberg Blaze .22 LR Features and Specifications:
|Caliber||.22 LR, Standard and High Velocity|
|Capacity||25-Round Magazine, 10 Rounds Where Restricted by Law|
|Stock||Black Synthetic with Sling Swivels Fore and Aft|
|Length of Pull||13.5″|
|Warrenty||Limited, 2 Year|
Have you shot the Mossberg Blaze? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments below!