About a month ago I saw a deal that was going to be very difficult for me to pass up. The package was quite enticing and was going for a great price. It was a Mossberg Patriot with a walnut stock accompanied by a Vortex Crossfire II 3x9x40 scope. They offered multiple calibers such as .243 win, .270 win, .308 win, .30-06 sprg and of course .300 win mag. Being an avid deer hunter for a long time, my interest was peaked. Could it be? A solid, name brand rifle with a great scope as a package deal for $499? I had to investigate further.
I dug into review after review online and honestly, I had a hard time finding many negatives. Of course, you’ll always have people with something negative to say, but they were few and far between with this rifle. After doing my research my mind was made up, I was going to buy one. The next weekend I did just that. After debating on what caliber I would go with, I finally decided on .30-06. That’s the caliber that I normally hunt with and would be more cost effective to shoot considering I already had quite a bit of ammunition for my other .30-06.
Out of the box the rifle seemed to be very solid. There were no imperfections or dings in the stock. Everything fit together very tight and flush. Even the scope seemed to be mounted tight and didn’t have any slop or wiggle to it. I was very impressed to say the least. The only complaint I would say that I had out of the box is that the bolt was bone dry and very stiff. Once I lubed the bolt it remedied that issue very quickly. I bore sighted the scope and put the rifle away until the next time I could get to my farm to put some rounds down range with it.
Aesthetically the rifle is very pleasing. Now I know there are many of you who say “forget the looks, I want function”. But if we can have a nice looking gun with great functionality, why wouldn’t we want that? Coming in at 42.75 inches long and 8lbs unloaded it was not going to be burdensome to carry or get through thick brush with. That fact alone is very important to me because I love to stalk while I hunt and those specs will absolutely help with that. The detachable 5 round box magazine fits flush with the stock giving the body of the rifle an overall smooth looking finish. The one other thing I was impressed with was the bolt appearance, having an almost fluted look, was very appealing to me.
I finally was able to get out to the farm to shoot it this past weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. Out of the box it was shooting 3 inches high at 100 yards. With some quick adjustments of the scope I was quite surprised to see sub-MOA accuracy out of the rifle. I, by no means, was using a match grade ammunition either. I was using 150gr Winchester deer season xp extreme point rounds. To see an under $500 rifle shoot sub-MOA with off the shelf mid grade ammunition was a nice surprise to say the least.
The Vortex scope complimented the rifle very well and was easy to adjust. The glass on the scope is crystal clear and the BDC hash marks are well defined on the reticle.
The shootability of the rifle is very good. The recoil is very manageable and has an overall very smooth trigger pull. The trigger on the rifle is very crisp and there is no guesswork on the break point. I would have to say it is one of my favorite triggers that I have felt on a bolt action rifle, especially for the price. The only complaint that I could see with the shootability of the rifle is that when ejecting a round the bolt seemed to hang up a little before becoming seated fully back to load another cartridge. It does not feel defective by any means but will probably take me a little getting used to. Overall shooting this rifle was a pleasure.
If you’re asking me to compare this rifle to a high end McMillan or Weatherby, I can’t do it. That would be comparing apples to oranges. But if your asking me to put this up against an entry Savage or Remington, I would put this rifle in the top of that category. This gun really sets the standard for entry level hunting rifles in my opinion. Besides the minor glitches I had with the rifle it is overall very solid and a great choice for anyone looking for a nice, reasonably priced rifle. I have yet to shoot it over 100 yards but I have a gut inclination that it would not disappoint out to three or four hundred yards.