Firearms

Review: Mossberg Patriot Bolt-Action Rifle

rear quartering view of the Mossberg Patriot showing the stock to action fit

My first shotgun and .22 rifle were both Mossberg firearms. “Value for the money” means a lot, and the first firearms I personally owned certainly gave good value for the money. A good quality bolt-action rifle, at a fair price, should be a good seller. Among the most interesting of the modern “affordable” bolt guns is the Mossberg Patriot.

The Patriot features a round-body receiver as often used by Mossberg. The bolt locks up with dual lugs. The magazine is detachable. Mossberg uses an adjustable trigger that offers excellent all-around utility.

Three Mossberg Patriot rifle configurations
The wood stock versions are handsome guns and have a certain retro quality. The synthetic stock version the author tested was a modern, rugged rifle that will take on the outdoors and poor weather.

Mossberg Patriot Features

This isn’t a fancy rifle, but standard fare gets the job done. A close look at the barrel attachment shows a barrel nut that is similar to the cost-saving barrel nut pioneered on the Savage 110 rifle. The rifle features a standard plunger-type ejector and heavy locking lugs.

The bolt handle is easily manipulated. The safety is a standard two-position type. The bolt is attractively spiral turned. This spiral turning is attractive and perhaps offers a positive surface that sends foreign material into the slots and avoids tie-ups. Fluting adorns the barrel. Maybe, it would help cool the barrel a bit, but heating this barrel would take a lot of shooting! The barrel crown is nicely done.

Interestingly enough, the standard synthetic stock is well proportioned — even attractive. The comb is thick and level; drop at the heel equals the drop at the comb. The raised cheekpiece is ideal for most of us. The recoil pad is well designed.

The adjustable trigger is a nice touch on a modestly priced rifle. I originally set the trigger for three pounds during testing and fired off a benchrest. After I became more comfortable with the Mossberg Patriot rifle, I adjusted the trigger down to a crisp 2.5 pounds. For my use, this was an ideal pull weight. The Mossberg system worked well for accurate shooting. I like the Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger and found no drawbacks. The rifle was light enough at 6.5 pounds.

Cropped view of the Mossberg Patriot showing the magazine detached
The Patriot features a detachable 5-round box magazine.

Scope Mounting

I originally used a different rifle scope, but I had an interest in testing the TRUGLO Buckline. I wanted to set up more than one rifle with the same scope. The Buckline is affordable, yet it features a duplex reticle, generous eye relief, and fully coated lenses.

I mounted the Buckline before doing serious benchrest work. The rifle was chambered in .30-06 Springfield. This is among my favorite rifle cartridges. The .30-06 hits hard and responds well to a careful handloader. With proper load practice, you may load the .30-06 to .308 or even .30-30 WCF recoil and energy levels. This makes for pleasant practice. With careful loading, you may produce handloads that tag at the heels of the .300 Winchester Magnum — with greater efficiency and less recoil — while burning less powder.

Test Firing

I set up the MTM Caseguard K-Zone shooting rest. I fired a few rounds of a favorite handload using the Hornady 150-grain SST to sight the rifle in. Once on paper at 25 yards, I settled down at 100 yards for accuracy testing.

I have observed excellent accuracy from the Mossberg Patriot rifle. It seems my experience wasn’t out of the norm. At the Patriot’s price point, you can afford a good scope and plenty of practice ammunition. When firing the rifle, I usually grasped and saved the cartridge case as it was ejected — I handload my ammunition. The ejection port was generous, offering plenty of room for loading and unloading cartridges.

Barrel crown on a rfile
The Mossberg Patriot features a proper barrel crown that increases accuracy.

The stock fit the action well. I think the wrist is a bit thin in many rifles, but the Patriot was ideal. Handling was good, and the rifle — a .30-06 example — was never uncomfortable to fire. The bolt-action was smooth in operation.

At one time, I did not prefer the detachable magazine. However, I have come to like this design better than the en-block type. Most of the loads I have fired have been handloads. These handloads use IMR 3031 powder and the Hornady 150-grain SST.

I had the rifle sighted, in short order, to strike an inch high at 100 yards. The TRUGLO scope was easily adjusted and offered a crisp, clear sight picture with nothing to be desired. Using this handload, the rifle grouped three shots into 1.5 inches at 100 yards.

Cheek swell on the Mossberg Patriot rifle stock
A modest cheek swell makes the stock fit most firing styles well.

Next, I moved to factory ammunition. I used the Hornady 150-grain Interlock American Whitetail loading. This is the ideal hunting load — for all but the largest — deer-sized game.

Settling into a careful rhythm, I was able to register an excellent 1.45 inches at 100 yards. I also used the Hornady Superformance, and I have fired handloads with the 168-grain Hornady bullets. Accuracy has been good.

I found the rifle comfortable to fire. However, .30-06 recoil adds up after a long firing session. Recoil was there, but so was accuracy. At this point, I could easily see how a shooter might sight the rifle in and retire the piece until hunting season. I left the rifle sighted for 150-grain loads, and the 150-grain Interbond load will be the choice for hunting.

Plastic ammunition box with .30-06 rifle cartridge handloads
For handloads used in testing, the author selected the Hornady 150-grain SST bullet over IMR 3031 powder.

I fired the rifle in offhand fire at 50 and 100 yards. I have worked up a practice load that is sensibly below factory standards with the Hornady 150-grain JSP and enough 4064 for meaningful practice. Results were good in offhand fire.

The Mossberg Patriot is accurate, reliable, smooth in operation, and offers good performance at a fair price. The .30-06 cartridge offers enough power for anything on the North American continent. This is a great combination.

Rugged, reasonably priced, and proven performer… What else could you ask for in a hunting rifle? Share your opinion of the Mossberg Patriot in comment section.

  • Mossberg Patriot rifle .30-06 right profile
  • Underside of the Mossberg Patriot stock forend showing the pebbled texture
  • rear quartering view of the Mossberg Patriot showing the stock to action fit
  • Fluted rifle bolt on the Mossberg Patriot
  • Close up of the safety on the Mossberg Patriot
  • Cropped view of the Mossberg Patriot showing the magazine detached
  • Plastic ammunition box with .30-06 rifle cartridge handloads
  • Three Mossberg Patriot rifle configurations
  • Cheek swell on the Mossberg Patriot rifle stock
  • Barrel crown on a rfile

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
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
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 (4)

  1. Last fall I was trolling thru our small town’s one and only pawn shop, when I spied a Mossberg Patriot. I wasn’t too excited until I looked at the caliber, it was 7mm-08, one of my favorites. It had the Cerakote finish and in about 90% condition. The clincher was it had a 3x9x40 Simmons 8pt. scope already mounted, you know its one of those fancy high tech super expensive scopes that the pink pantie wearing long range shooters buy to put on their super bang, bang rifles to kill a mule deer at 875 yds, then show off and brag on social media how their more bad ass than a Marine Corp sniper. After pleading my case that I was just a poor old Army veteran and retired the shop owner let me out the door for the princely sum of $300, he even threw in a Wal-Mart style gun case. I promptly went home and loaded some ammo using Hornady 139gr. sst bullets and H414 powder. At my gun club range I shot five 3 shot groups, they went from .75 to just under 1.5 in. Yup, the old Mossberg got my vote….best $300 I ever spent.

  2. I bought one of the Mossberg Patriot rifles chambered in 350 Legend, Syn stock with scope included.

    I loved the trigger, the mag, and the smoothness of the bolt. I hated the total lack of accuracy at the range. With factory ammo or the best handloads you were lucky to get 8″-12″ 100yd groups!

    I tried new/better scopes with no luck. I even ordered a custom laminated stock. The new stock was able to get the groups down to 4″-6″ at 100 yds.

    Mossberg better go back to the drawing board on this one because it is a total fail.

  3. When my daughter was ready to “graduate” from our 10/22 I picked up a Youth Patriot in .243win. Adjustable LOP, trigger, excellent usability, & accurate enough for any reasonable distance shot.
    All these years later she still loves it.

  4. Being Left Eye Dominant, standard bolt action rifles are a NO-GO item, not so much that the bolt is on the wrong side, as that part actually is better for a Lefty who has had tactical training keeping the dominant hand on the control position, and working the bolt with the off-hand, but rather when working the bolt on a right hand rifle, left handed, it tends to try to remove the top portion of the Left Hand. Also the safeties on these type rifles tend to be VERY awkward for a lefty, and anything SAFETY should NEVER be awkward. Best thing in bolt action rifles to happen to a Lefty is the frame, or AR style, bolt actions, with the safety usually being in the familiar AR location, and ambidextrous too. Keeping the dominant hand on the control position, working the bolt with the off-hand is pure pleasure, especially when using a Bipod. I am surprised more RIGHT-HANDED people are not requesting Frame/AR style LEFT hand rifles to enjoy the same.

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