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Mossberg Patriot Long-Range Tactical Bolt-Action Centerfire Rifle

The new Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical bolt action is a feature-loaded precision rifle that won't flatten your wallet.

Mossberg Patriot Long-Range Tactical Bolt-Action Centerfire Rifle

Several key characteristics contribute to the overall success of Mossberg’s Patriot LR Tactical: the Patriot action, the MDT stock and the bull-profile barrel. Or as old-timers put it, “lock, stock and barrel.” Let’s take a closer look.

Patriot bolts have a floating, pinned bolt head, so the dual locking lugs find a natural squared-up equilibrium—important for accuracy. It’s a system that provides most of the benefits of hand-lapped locking lugs on a trued-up traditional action, without the cost. Further, the action features Mossberg’s LBA trigger, which is crisp and clean and user adjustable.

A robust M16-type extractor is dovetailed into the right-side locking lug. It reliably yanks fired cases from the chamber. A stout plunger-type ejector heaves them out the ejection port. Thanks to the three o’clock positioning of the extractor, those cases fly straight out the side of the action, rather than angling up and pinging off the scope’s windage adjustment turret, as occurs with so many other actions.

The Mossberg Patriot action with LBA trigger
The heart of the rifle is the Patriot action, which incorporates Mossberg’s excellent LBA trigger. A 20-m.o.a. rail up top provides plenty of elevation for long-range shooting.

The shroud at the rear of the bolt isn’t elegant, but it’s practical, strong and serviceable. And Mossberg got the bolt handle and knob just right. The handle is long enough to provide plenty of leverage, making the action easy to open, and the knob is big and serrated so it provides a fast, easy, nonslip grip.

A two-position safety is located at the right rear of the action—forward to Fire, rearward for Safe. It does not lock the bolt when engaged.

Atop the action is a Picatinny rail with 20 m.o.a. of elevation built in, so your scope won’t run out of internal adjustment when you want to shoot really, really long.

The Patriot is fed with a steel AICS-type magazine. Capacity varies across the three cartridges the LR Tactical is initially chambered for. It’s 10 rounds for the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. According to Mossberg’s website, capacity is seven rounds for the 6.5 PRC version I tested. However, I found that the provided MDT magazine comfortably held and reliably fed nine rounds, which is pretty impressive.

To drop the magazine, just press forward on the long but discreet lever between the magazine and the trigger guard. It’s easy to do with the thumb of the support hand, while pulling on the magazine, or with the tip of the trigger finger.

The stock is a new version by MDT, designed and built for this specific Patriot model. Consistency is ensured by an aluminum V-block bedding system. When the Patriot action bolts are torqued, the action is drawn snugly into the V-block and held free of precision-robbing stress and movement.

Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical cheekpiece
The Patriot LR Tactical’s cheekpiece is adjustable and has a forward-sloping angle. There are two bag-riding surfaces integrated into the toe of the stock.

The stock is built of multiple components. The tan action bed and fore-end are molded as one. The tan buttstock is joined to the front portion by a vertical, aggressively checkered black grip, which is a separate component. The buttstock features a nice rubber recoil pad and four quarter-inch spacers. Use them to adjust length of pull for a personal fit.

When precision is paramount, it’s difficult to overstate how important having a solid, consistent cheek weld is. To help accomplish this, the Patriot LR Tactical’s black comb is another separate component that features an adjustable cheek rest. Loosen the knurled bolt in the right side of the stock, raise or lower the comb until it provides exactly the cheek weld you want, then tighten the bolt.

Also noteworthy is how comfortable and ergonomic the grip is. It’s properly vertical, and it positions the shooting hand torque-free. A broad platform atop it provides a place to rest the thumb.


Up front, the fore-end features a broad barrel channel, with generous free-floating clearance around the barrel. Each side and the flat bottom of the fore-end have multiple M-Lok slots, making it easy to mount accessories and a bipod. Traditional sling swivel studs are located at the fore-end tip and at the toe of the stock.

The barrel is Mossberg’s medium bull profile, which is heavy enough to be useful for long shot strings and to dampen pre-shot rifle movement and post-shot recoil. Barrels are mounted via a barrel/receiver nut, which enables easy precision and minimum headspacing during assembly.

Barrels are 22 inches long for the 6.5 Creedmoor and 24 inches on the 6.5 PRC rifles. A few years ago, that would have been considered short, at least for a long-range tactical rifle. Now, with the burgeoning popularity of suppressors, it’s just right. Accordingly, the muzzle is threaded 5/8x24 for compatibility with popular centerfire suppressors and muzzle brakes. Each rifle comes fitted with a thread protector.

AICS-pattern magazine for the Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical Rifle
The rifle feeds from AICS-pattern magazines. The ergonomic grip is properly vertical for a torque-free grip, and the bolt handle provides plenty of leverage.

As with any precision rifle, the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Before heading to the range, I pulled a tried-and-trusted scope from my go-to PRS competition rifle and mounted it on the Mossberg. It’s a Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS II 4.5-30x50mm, and it mounted easily on the gun’s 20-m.o.a. rail.

For a front rest, I installed a short section of Picatinny rail into the forward-most M-Lok slot in the bottom of the fore-end in order to mount a bipod.

Gathering up four factory 6.5 PRC loads, I headed to the range. It was a bright but frigid March day in Idaho—15 degrees but with no wind. Deploying the bipod on the shooting bench, I rested the toe of the stock in a bunny-ear sandbag and bore-sighted the scope. It was gratifyingly close, and minimal adjustments brought point of impact right to point of aim—a testament to the parallel machining and optic rail alignment on the Patriot action.

Because any rifle wearing a bull-profile barrel and the designation “tactical” should shoot long shot strings without accuracy degrading, I tested the Patriot LR Tactical by firing three consecutive three-shot groups without allowing the barrel to cool between groups. Before moving to the next ammo type, I allowed the rifle to cool completely. It was a short wait, what with the winter cold.

Impressively, two of the four factory loads I tested averaged less than one m.o.a.. Even better, the other two were excellent as well, both averaging about 1.1 m.o.a. Point of impact did not shift, and accuracy did not degrade as the barrel heated.

It’s worth noting that armchair experts have made “half m.o.a.” a far more common phrase than it should be. An honest half-m.o.a. rifle is a rare thing indeed, and it generally requires some handload tuning to achieve. In the production-rifle realm, a solid one-m.o.a.rifle is admirable.

It was during these nine-shot strings that I discovered the magazine would hold nine rounds. As soon as I figured this out, I went to running each test with all nine cartridges aboard in order to evaluate reliability. Cartridges fed smoothly, and the rifle was 100 percent malfunction free.

M-Lok slots on the Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical Rifle
M-Lok slots run down both sides and the bottom of the square fore-end, making it easy to mount a bipod and other accessories.

That’s rarer than most folks realize, particularly considering the short, fat 6.5 PRC cartridges and the fact that this is an honest-to-goodness, off-the-shelf, production-grade rifle. High-capacity magazines and short magnum cartridges often don’t get along hiccup-free. Even with custom rifles, competition shooters often have to tune the feed lips of their magazines in order to achieve perfect reliability.

As for the LBA trigger…oh my. As it arrived from the factory, it was a beautifully crisp two pounds. Were I shooting PRS competitions with it, I might consider adjusting it lighter to enable tripping accurate timed shots on swingers, but for NRL Hunter or practical/tactical shooting, it’s absolutely perfect.

The ergonomics of the Patriot LR Tactical are excellent. Off the bench and in field positions alike, it’s comfortable and stable. Recoil was mild, even though I tested the rifle without a muzzle brake or suppressor. That’s thanks in large part to the design of the stock.

Although the rifle is too heavy for the sort of backcountry hunting I gravitate to, it would serve yeoman’s duty from a box blind or a hide overlooking a beanfield or Texas sendero. Due to the precision-oriented nature of the stock, the LR Tactical doesn’t exactly leap to the shoulder like a British side-by-side shotgun, but it carries comfortably in the hand thanks to a good balance point just forward of the action.

Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical Accuracy Results

Of the three cartridges introduced in the LR Tactical, I’d pick the 6.5 Creedmoor if long-range target shooting, competition and hunting—out to say 450 yards—were my primary focus. I’d pick the .308 Win. version if high-volume practice with readily available, inexpensive ammo was a priority—and if I wanted a bit more authority on game inside 400 yards. For extreme-range work and for serious hunting, the 6.5 PRC gets the nod.

With the level of performance this Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical rifle provides, it joins the ranks of just a few high-performance precision rifles that don’t break the bank. These are an admirable breed and didn’t even exist a decade ago. The Patriot LR Tactical offers useful precision, perfect reliability, high magazine capacity and good ergonomics, and is chambered in three outstanding cartridges. What’s not to like?

Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical Specifications

  • Type: Bolt-action centerfire
  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC (tested), .308 Win.
  • Capacity: 7-round MDT magazine included
  • Barrel: 24 in., medium bull profile, 1:8 twist; threaded 5/8x24
  • Overall Length: 44.25 in.
  • Weight: 9 lbs., 6 oz.
  • Stock: MDT adjustable composite
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Trigger: LBA (Lightning Bolt Action) adjustable; 2 lb. pull (measured, as received)
  • Safety: Two-position
  • Sights: None; Picatinny rail
  • Price: $1,085
  • Manufacturer: Mossberg,

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