Review: Mossberg Blaze .22

Mossberg Blaze Rifle

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.

Mossberg Blaze Safety Selector
The Mossberg Blaze features a handy tang-mounted safety.

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.

Mossberg Blaze Sights
The sighting system is simple but robust.

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.

Mossberg Blaze Charging Handle
An extended cocking handle makes racking the bolt and making the rifle ready to fire easy.

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.

Fiocchi .22 LR Ammunition
Fiocchi offers excellent ammunition. These loads are always accurate, clean burning and reliable.

Mossberg Blaze .22 LR Features and Specifications:

Maker Mossberg
Model Blaze Rifle
Operation Semi-Automatic, Blowback
Caliber .22 LR, Standard and High Velocity
Capacity 25-Round Magazine, 10 Rounds Where Restricted by Law
Barrel Length 16.5″
Overall Length 35.75″
Twist Rate 1:16″
Finished Blued
Sights Fixed
Stock Black Synthetic with Sling Swivels Fore and Aft
Length of Pull 13.5″
Weight 3.5 lbs
Warrenty Limited, 2 Year

Have you shot the Mossberg Blaze? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. I bought my Blaze about four years ago. $220 CDN, one ten round magazine, no red/green dot sight, no pic rail. I have to say that the Mossberg Blaze is a great little .22 rifle. It eat many different brands and design ammo, and ammo dependent is very accurate. I’ve added reflex sight, scope, red/green dot sight, all of them at one time or another , to the dovetail. I prefer a heavier rifle, but the Mossberg Blaze is pretty good, a pain to teardown, but still pretty good.

  2. I’m with mike on the screws. Do you need to remove a mounted optic to clean it as well. Just key points I would look at before I buy one. Even a light weight plinking 22 has to hold par to a marlin and 10/22. Cleaning and optics are key for me. I run a 2x scope on my 22 to keep it fun for all levels at the range. Do the screws have keepers like the one take down screw on a 10/22. That would make a huge difference and could look the other way on that. If you have to remove the optic I would pass it up. Mossberg makes great guns and I’ve never held a blaze so it’s hard to say. looks awesome and light weight. Good pro’s and maybe some deal breaking con’s.

  3. Polymer stocks are a regular feature anymore. My first was a Remington Nylon 66, that my folks bought for me in the early 70’s. Great little rifle. Unfortunately, it was lost in a house fire 7 years ago. I like the fact that even cheap guns are more magazine than tube fed these days. That’s definitely a convenience.
    Great review.

  4. Wholly crap 16 screws to field strip!!! For the price I’d rather check the pawn shops or buy a used 10-22 Ruger. Proven reliable and it doesn’t look like a toy model when you take the 16 screws out. I wonder how long the 16 screws will last before field stripping before the threads are stripped in the stock.

  5. Not that familiar with this rifle as I only own Mossberg shotguns however I’m wondering how much cheaper is it than a good Ruger 10/22?! The takedown is my favorite! Worth the 300 dollars!

  6. I’ve never liked the fact that some firearms are held together with a bunch of screws, which seems like entry-level Airsoft quality to me. At least in the case of Kel-Tecs it doesn’t really affect anything practical; they’re designed to disassemble conventionally, with pins, etc., so there’s no reason to remove their screws for routine maintenance.

    Did I read this article correctly, that you have to remove 16 screws (!) for a field-strip?! I thought the Mossberg sounded fantastic up until that point.

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