Mossberg has been well-known for making firearms for over a hundred years. My first Mossberg experience was a shotgun my brother got decades ago. Since, Mossberg has recently joined the rifle market with several models, and today we are taking a look at one of them: The Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter chambered in 6.5 PRC.
I’ve been around the precision rifle block a few times, so I thought it was time to see what these new Mossberg rifles were all about. The Patriot line of rifles has something for everyone, with too many different models to mention and chambered in almost every popular caliber.
With all these different models, you should be able to find something in your budget. They can be pretty affordable, with models priced as low as $380. Besides being a good buy, they also have a list of features that will get many excited. Features like detachable box magazines and factory-threaded barrels make these rifles popular with the American hunting public.
Unboxing the Patriot
I was eager to see how the Patriot compared to similar rifles I’d played with in the past. I enjoy rifles of all types, so this one surely fits right in. The Patriot LR model is at the higher end of the Patriot price line, so I expected it to have the best Patriot features.
I opened the box to find the gray synthetic stock under plastic. As I pulled the Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter from its protective bag, I was impressed with the attractive finish. The helically fluted bolt came in its own little baggy, and I quickly installed it, completing the rifle.
I was thrilled that Mossberg had fluted and threaded the barrel from the factory. The fluting helps reduce weight, while the threaded barrel allows you to install various muzzle accouterments, such as recoil-reducing muzzle brakes or suppressors.
I inspected the rifle to see what else there was, such as the blade safety on the trigger, something I’m not a huge fan of, but it’s also not a big deal.
The Patriot uses a detachable box magazine made from polymer and allows four 6.5 PRC cartridgesto be carried inside. A two-position safety sits on the right side of the bolt-shroud.
Features like these make the Patriot LR suitable for aspiring long-range shooters and hunters. According to Mossberg, with modern manufacturing techniques, shooters will get performance far above the price point of the Patriot LR.
|Barrel Length||24 inches|
|Trigger||LBA Adjustable (2-7 pounds)|
|Stock||Monte Carlo Hunting Stock|
PROS & CONS
- Affordably priced
- Great shooting performance (accurate and reliable)
- Threaded barrel
- Adjustable trigger
- Fluted barrel & bolt
- Detachable box magazine
- Includes Picatinny scope base
- Dual sling studs
- Has a slightly “cheaper” look to it
- The magazine feels kind of cheap
TESTING IN THE FIELD
To get a good feel for the Patriot, and its intended purpose, I took the rifle and some ammo into the Rocky Mountains nearby. I figured nothing would be a better test for a hunting rifle than to conquer the distances and conditions of the mountains where we hunt big game.
I had only brought one type of ammunition because it was all I could find at the local shop. Shooting the Hornady Match load with 147 ELDM bullets would prove to be a great combination with the Patriot.
After a couple of correcting shots, I shot the first five-shot group at one hundred yards. The first five-shot group rendered just over 1 MOA, but it also showed that the rifle was undoubtedly capable of even better accuracy.
Much of the testing was done shooting from the prone position at 100 yards. This was for the initial testing, but there was plenty of additional shooting from improvised positions, much like those that hunters would use during their engagements.
Shooting all Day
We spent the afternoon shooting several boxes of ammunition across the sunny canyons where we often hunt deer and elk. Hitting deer vital-sized targets at distances as far as 800 yards proved very doable.
The majority of our shooting was hiking around from one place to another to get shots at different targets from different angles and wind deflections.
Accuracy testing was done with a suppressor installed, as was most of our shooting. I mean, how rude is it to shoot unsuppressed?
We also shot the rifle using a Patriot Valley Arms Jet Blast muzzle brake during our testing. It calmed the rifle down to very modest recoil, as did adding a suppressor. Thank goodness for threaded muzzles!
Shooting the rifle became familiar and comfortable, and it didn’t take long to get used to the trigger safety or the clunk of the bolt closing. The four-round detachable box magazine was effortless to load, though it did feel a little cheap for my taste.
Running the rifle’s bolt was smooth and easy, but it seemed just a little unrefined and loose. Regardless, it worked flawlessly throughout my testing.
I experienced no failures or malfunctions while shooting the Patriot LR.
The simplicity of bolt action rifles means they should work every time. The closest thing to a malfunction we had was when the mag dropped out at one point. It’s likely the magazine simply wasn’t seated fully, so we can chalk it up to shooter error.
The only ammunition I had available was the Hornady Match 147 grain ammunition. It performed as well as I had hoped, and I’m not worried about other ammo types. We shoot Hornady around here, and I won’t apologize for it.
For a rifle at this price, I think the Patriot shot exceptionally well. I’ve tested far more expensive rifles that didn’t shoot this well. One MOA is acceptable for most rifles.
I think that the Patriot will shoot even better with a small amount of work on the handloading bench. Furthermore, it would probably shoot better still with some cleaning up of the trigger and some work with the stock.
The rifle felt just fine. I have almost no complaints other than those I’ve mentioned already. For the most part, I think the average American hunter would be more than happy with the rifle.
It’s about time manufacturers get on this train; Fuddery needs to become extinct. Many people now use suppressors, muzzle brakes, and other devices.
I love seeing rifles come with threaded muzzles. It allows you to customize the rifle to your shooting activities.
The ⅝-24 threads were a perfect fit for my muzzle devices, and they were protected by a knurled thread protector when bare.
The Patriot LR’s trigger is adjustable from 2-7 pounds, which is not a bad spread. I prefer the lighter pull weights; it’s an easy crutch for shooting a little better. Even though I’m not a big fan of trigger safeties, this one was no better or worse than any of the others I have used. I wish manufacturers would quit adding them, though.
MONTE CARLO STOCK
The Monte Carlo stock fit me well and didn’t require anything special to shoot comfortably. The stock felt like it didn’t contribute significantly to the rifle’s overall weight, which is nice.
The aluminum bedding pillars are part of what helps the Patriot perform well, mating the action properly to the stock. The addition of double front sling studs was also a nice touch, allowing you to use a Harris bipod without losing your slingplacement.
HELICALLY FLUTED BOLT
The handsome fluting of the bolt doesn’t just look good, it also provides some benefits while running the bolt. Reduced friction and debris clearing are also potential benefits of the design.
I do feel like there was missed an opportunity to make it even better by improving the bolt-knob and finish.
Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter Report CARD
No malfunctions were experienced during testing.
It feels just like it looks in the pictures if that makes sense to you. It has a good grip angle, proper cheek-weld, wide front grip area, etc. Nothing out of this world, but everything you need.
Being its own design, it may take a little time for the aftermarket to come up with as many accessories as other rifle models I enjoy. To be fair, the Patriot seems pretty good, just the way it came.
There was only one thing I would have liked to improve on if given the chance; I would have finished the bolt handle the same as everything else. It looked odd for the whole barreled action to have a satin-like finish, and the bolt handle and knob looked like some other flat finish.
I think the accuracy and performance of the Mossberg Patriot put it at a solid 8.5. It has good accuracy, comfortable ergos, and almost everything a long-range hunter on a budget would need.
Conclusion on the Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter
I liked the Mossberg PatriotLR more than I thought I would. I was concerned that the accuracy wouldn’t meet my expectations, but the Patriot liberated my mind from such concerns. The Patriot brings some pretty great features at an affordable price, and it looks good enough for people to take pride in.
The Patriot LR would make an excellent entry-level long-range rifle, particularly for hunting. Most hunters would welcome its lightweight and comfortable stock, and with things like a detachable box mag and a threaded muzzle, there is some added value from Mossberg.
The Patriot would be a cost-effective place to start your search if you are looking for a new hunting rifle, particularly for long-range shooting.