September 23, 2010
For those on a budget this year or hunters looking for a no-frills, get-the-job done rifle, Mossberg's Model 100 ATR (All Terrain Rifle) may be just what the doctor ordered--a centerfire with a 3-9X scope aboard for approximately $450. And it's proving popular. I had to wait for months to get one as every Mossberg rifle the company built was headed for local gun shops and gun-hungry consumers.
The Model 100 is available in both short action (.243 Winchester and .308 Winchester) and long action (.270 Winchester and .30-06). Big deal, you say--only four to choose from. But from a manufacturer's standpoint, chambering only four cartridges allows it to drive down its cost per unit and contributes to the 100 ATR's economical price.
The gun is available in wood (.243 and .308 only) and a wide range of synthetic stocks that include camo, faux wood Dura-Wood or plain black finishes. Since I'm traditional, I ordered the Model 100 ATR in walnut. When the gun arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the wood and finish. No, you don't get an AA grade stock, but this one had a pleasing grain pattern of light and dark stripes on the butt.
In terms of physical size, I would call the stock rather full in all dimensions, something I like in a hunting rifle. There's a tastefully executed cheekpiece, and the stock also has a bit of cast-off--something you see only on more costly rifles. The pistol grip has a moderate sweep to it, and being an average male, it fit me well, as did the 13.5-inch length of pull.
The stock comes with a plastic grip cap, sling swivel studs and checkering that included more than ample coverage on both the fore-end and pistol grip. Done in a conservative point pattern, all of the diamonds were sharp; the area included a border and machine cut after the satin smooth finish was applied.
|Accuracy Results | Mossberg 100 ATR|
|.243 Wichester ||Bullet Weight (gr.)||Muzzle Velocity (fps)||Standard Deviation||Avg. Group|
| Hornady V-Max || 58 || 3,619 || 14|| 1.25 |
| Reminton HP|| 80 || 3,136 || 22 || 1.50 |
| Federal Power Shok || 100 || 2,853 || 29 || 2.25 |
The only thing that I think could stand improvement is the recoil pad, which is hard as nails. While not much of a problem with the .243, the .30-06 will certainly give beginners and senior hunters a bit of a kick.
I took the action out of the stock and found that the inletting was top flight. The barrel is free-floated within the stock, and a blind magazine adds rigidity to the system.
I was surprised to find a bolt guide on the right locking lug, which makes for smooth operation. It has a spring extractor and plunger ejector. The bolt body is smooth, finished in the white and has the word "Mossberg" proudly on its flank.
The bolt handle is nondescript, dished out for additional relief around the eyepiece of the scope during cycling and is void of any checkering on the knob. Just aft of the bolt handle is a traditional two-position safety lever. You can operate the bolt when the safety is on.
The stock exhibited nice grain structure and had well-executed checkering and shadow-line cheekpiece. The author didn't care for the recoil pad, though. All Mossberg 100 ATRs now come with the Lightning Bolt Action trigger, a user-adjustable affair that the author got down to a creep-free 2.25 pounds.
The bolt is easily removed by pushing forward on the bolt release located on the left side of the receiver. The firing pin assembly has a rugged bolt shroud, which, by the inclusion of a cast-in wing, protects the bolt stop/lever.
The receiver is nicely done and like the rest of the metalwork is finished in Marinecote--a tough, proprietary finish that, according to Mossberg, provides "ultimate protection" in extreme weather. As mentioned, the ATR has a top-loading blind magazine; it has a four-round capacity.
Beginning this year, all Mossberg ATR rifles come with a user-friendly, fully adjustable trigger called the Lightning Bolt Action. Using a common slot screwdriver, I managed to tweak it down to 2.25 pounds without a hint of slack.
The gun comes with a 22-inch button-rifled barrel that sports a recessed muzzle crown. It is attached to the receiver with a barrel nut, the recoil lug sandwiched in between the receiver and nut.
The combo rifle comes with a 3-9x40 scope mounted on Weaver-style two-piece bases. The scope was loose in its mounting when I received the rifle, the reticle was off to the left by as much as 45 degrees from true vertical, and it needed major bore-sighting. Obviously that's something you want to check before you run out to the range and begin shooting.
ing, the varmint factory load did the best, and with an adjustable trigger, this gun could very well see some action in the north forty this summer. Deer loads in the 80- and 100-grain class did well for an untuned, virtually unfired rifle, so I expect better accuracy from this rifle in the future.
Mossberg designed its first centerfire rifle in 1966, and now it is celebrating 90 years in business. With a more-than-reasonable price tag and a two-year limited warranty, rifles like the Model 100 ATR should keep the company going for another 90.
The 100 ATR has a blind magazine, which creates a more rigid platform and aids accuracy. It has a four-round capacity. The rear of the bolt has a cast-in flange that protects the bolt stop. Most ATRs come with Weaver-style bases. Combo packages ship with scope installed.