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Mossberg's Patriot Predator Rifle in the Powerful 7mm PRC: Review

Mossberg's Patriot Predator line of rifles now includes the powerful 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge created by Hornady.

Mossberg's Patriot Predator Rifle in the Powerful 7mm PRC: Review

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Mossberg introduced its Patriot line of push-feed bolt-action hunting rifles in 2015, and since then those rifles have remained best-sellers and have proved that Mossberg can build a bolt gun that’s reliable and accurate. New to the Patriot line is the Predator model chambered in 7mm PRC, and it’s a great all-around gun for hunting everything in North America. The Patriot features a push-feed action with dual locking lugs, a plunger-style ejector and an extractor mounted on the outboard lug. The bolt itself is spiral fluted, which is a nice touch, and it runs smoothly through the raceway. A flush-fit three-round detachable polymer magazine comes standard, and the magazine release is located at the front of the magazine well.

mossberg-patriot-7mm-prc-rifle-02
The Patriot Predator action features a fluted bolt with a Picatinny rail up top for easy optics mounting. The LBA trigger is easy to adjust and breaks cleanly.

Mossberg pairs the action with a 24-inch free-floated, sporter-contour fluted barrel with an 11-degree crown. The barrel is threaded 5/8x24, so it will accept a wide variety of muzzle devices without the need for an adapter. A thread cap is also included to protect the threads. Since the 7mm PRC cartridge was designed to shoot bullets of 175 grains and up, the barrel is threaded 1:8 in order to stabilize those long, heavy bullets. There are two stock color/finish combinations from which to choose. The model I tested was the more austere version with a flat dark earth polymer stock and blued metalwork. It retails for $536. There’s also a more eye-catching version with a Strata camo stock and a Patriot Brown Cerakote finish that goes for $636. Both guns weigh in at around 6.5 pounds unloaded, and both have a Picatinny top rail that’s perfect for mounting optics. Neither gun has iron sights.

The Patriot Predator’s stock features a flat American-style comb and a dense black recoil pad. Length of pull is 13.75 inches. The molded stock includes texturing on the pistol grip and the fore-end and dual sling studs, and the trigger guard is molded into the stock. Like other Patriot bolt guns, the new 7mm PRC Predators incorporate Mossberg’s LBA user-adjustable trigger that ranges from two to seven pounds. The pull on my sample broke at 3.75 pounds on average. The rifle features a two-position rocker-type safety, and the action can be operated with the safety engaged. Mossberg’s Patriot rifles have been in production for almost a decade, and they’ve proved to be very reliable and surprisingly accurate given their modest price. I’ve tested at least a half-dozen of these guns and shot several more. And I’ve hunted with them in Spain, Mexico and several U.S. states. The new 7mm PRC Patriot Predator I tested was the FDE/blued version, and it performed just like all the others, which is to say there weren’t any issues with feeding, extraction or ejection. The 7mm PRC is a long cartridge, and the Mossberg magazine box offered plenty of space when shooting Hornady’s 175-grain ELD-X ammunition.

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The 24-inch barrel is fluted. It flares to a shoulder at the muzzle that enables it to be threaded 5/8x24 to accept popular muzzle devices without an adapter.

Much has been made about the 7mm PRC’s recoil in shooting circles, but my experience is that the 6.5-pound Mossberg was no more uncomfortable to shoot than similar magnums. Recoil is more than with a similar-weight 7mm Rem. Mag. but less than a .300 Win. Mag. in my estimation. If you can shoot either of those rounds comfortably, you’ll have no issues with the Mossberg 7mm PRC. As I mentioned, length of pull is 13.75 inches, which is on par with most other factory bolt guns. I used a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15X, my go-to hunting scope, for testing. Accuracy was good, with the best three-shot group going 1.06 inches at 100 yards with Hornady’s 175-grain ELD-X factory ammunition—the only load I had available at the time of testing. The largest group measured 1.25 inches for an average of 1.17, which is certainly suitable for hunting at practical ranges.

mossberg-patriot-7mm-prc-rifle-04
Accuracy was good, with the average group measuring 1.17 inches with Hornady ELD-X ammo.

The bolt is smooth, but there’s more slop than on some other rifles, and while the fit is not as clean and the thread protector not as well integrated as on most four-figure guns, the Mossberg is certainly a functional rifle that will serve a hunter well. The 7mm PRC produces almost 3,500 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy, and it carries that energy well while bucking the wind at long ranges. I’d have no qualms carrying this rifle on an elk, deer, caribou or moose hunt, and out to practical ranges the Mossberg will perform as well as guns costing much more. In our annual big game rifle roundup for 2023, there were eight new rifles chambered for the 7mm PRC, and the Mossberg Patriot Predator was the only new 7mm PRC rifle that came in under $1,000. It is priced about half of the next highest priced competitor chambered in this round, the Weatherby Model 307 Range, which is profiled elsewhere in this issue. Is this rifle/load combo the best bang for your buck in big game rifles? Quite possibly. You can spend more on an all-purpose hunting gun, but do you need to?

mossberg-patriot-7mm-prc-rifle-05

Mossberg Patriot Predator Specs

  • Type: Bolt-action, centerfire
  • Caliber: 7mm PRC (tested), .22-250, .243, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308, .450 Bushmaster
  • Capacity: 3 rds. 
  • Barrel: 24-in. fluted steel, 1:8-in. twist (tested), threaded 5/8x24
  • Overall Length: 44.5 in. 
  • Weight: 6 lbs., 8 oz. 
  • Stock: Flad dark earth polymer
  • Finish: Matte blue
  • Trigger: LBA adjustable, 3.5 lbs (tested)
  • SIghts: None; Picatinny rail 
  • Price: $536 (Tested)
  • Manufacturer: Mossberg



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