Mossberg Patriot Bolt-Action Rifle .270 Winchester

Here's what Mossberg has to say. The Patriot series is based on Mossberg’s proven twin-lug, push-feed machined-steel action which is fed from a lightweight polymer, flush box magazine with 5-round total capacity (4-round capacity for 300 Win Mag chambering). The button-rifled, standard contour, free-floating 22-inch barrels are constructed of carbon steel and feature straight-edge fluting and recessed crowns. 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 2 to 7 pounds. Other standard features include distinctive, 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 MSRP of $426.

This is a part of a continuing series of affordable rifles I've been covering from the Savage Axis, Savage 110, various Weatherby Vanguard models, the Browning AB3, the Ruger American, and now this Mossberg Patriot. The Mossberg Patriot is bargain-priced, to say the very least, sold as low as $275 or so street price for the black synthetic version. They can currently be had in “deer rifle in a box” configuration with a mounted Vortex scope for something like $425.

The tested Mossberg Patriot is a lightweight rifle: it weighs 6 lbs. 11 oz. out of the box, unscoped, with the detachable box magazine inserted and the pre-installed Weaver-style bases. Mossberg did a fabulous job with the trigger, user-adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds, it breaks crisply and cleanly at 3 lbs. on the nose as supplied. The fluted bolt is exceptionally smooth, the barrel is partially fluted as well, and the factory recoil pad is better than average as well.

There are some compromises made to keep the price down. The trigger guard is plastic, 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.

I've spent a lot of time testing bolt-action rifles in general, 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 non-AccuTrigger models are heavy-triggered. Nevertheless, they are very high in the 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 both at a 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 3-9 x 42 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: 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, everything was blowing around. The 100 yard target was bouncing, chairs, bags, and tripods were blowing over: hardly the type of day to expect any bughole accuracy. 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 an outstandingly good trigger, the bolt is super smooth, it feeds rounds very smoothly and reliably, and ejection is very good as well. It is also remarkably soft-shooting, better-looking than either the Savage Axis or the Ruger American, and the basic black Patriot currently sells for a stunning $320 street price... sometimes, a few dollars less. I'm very impressed and you will be as well. The Mossberg Patriot is currently the best entry-level priced center-fire on the market. Congratulations to Mossberg on this surprisingly satisfying home run of value.

Copyright 2015 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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