December 10, 2018
By Stan Trzoniec
Now within a year of being in business for a full century, O.F. Mossberg & Sons seems to be moving ahead without stopping. It all started when Oscar Mossberg immigrated into the United States around 1886. Working for Iver Johnson as a gun supervisor, he moved on to the C.S. Shattuck Arms Co., then to J. Stevens Arms where he designed a four-shot pistol manufactured in the garage behind his house.
He later joined the Marlin-Rockwell company in 1914, and when it went out of business after the war, Mossberg and his two sons ventured out on their own with the introduction of their Brownie pistol.
Over the years, Mossberg has produced hundreds of rifle and shotgun models, encompassing everything from defense, law enforcement, target and sport hunting. The company’s Patriot line of centerfire rifles has steadily grown and today offers dozens of models. The newest is the Patriot Synthetic Cerakote version in six cartridges from 6.5 Creedmoor to .30-06 Springfield.
It’s a handy gun, with the barrel on all calibers 22 inches in length and fluted for a minor weight savings. It tapers to a sporting .625-inch diameter at the muzzle and sports a target crown. The barrel attaches to the receiver with an attractive barrel nut that allows for precise headspacing. There are no iron sights; the receiver is equipped with a two-piece Weaver base. All the components—receiver, barrel and related parts—are Cerakoted in that company’s “stainless steel” color.
The receiver is tubular, with a gas escape hole provided on the left side just above the stock line, and twin stock screws hold the receiver to the stock via the trigger guard.
The bolt has eight flutes to keep dirt and debris out of the action, and twin locking lugs keep everything in line and tight. The forged bolt handle has a ring of checkering on the knob. The push-feed action employs a blade extractor and plunger ejector, and the bolt has a 90-degree throw.
With the gun cocked, the striker is flush with the bolt body, which makes it easy to see and felt. The bolt release is on the left side in front of the winged shroud. A deft downward rocking motion allows the bolt to follow out of the gun.
The safety lever is prominent for ease of use even with gloves. Moving the lever forward to Fire exposes a red dot.
The polymer detachable magazine holds four rounds of standard ammunition. The only thing I would complain about is the magazine follower should be a little lower to allow the bolt to travel without that plastic sound as the last round clears the magazine. Other than that, both the loading of the magazine and its function were perfect with the bolt running smoothly in the receiver.
This Mossberg Patriot, like others in the line, is equipped with the proprietary Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger. The book shows the adjustment range is from two to seven pounds. From the factory, it registered 3.5 pounds, but I could get it down only to three pounds of pull weight without the adjustment screw falling out.
The synthetic stock is well made, with the magazine insert serving as the bedding block for the barreled action. The action is free floating right up to the receiver, and separating the action from the stock requires the removal of twin screws front and aft of the magazine well.
There is simulated stippling in a pleasing pattern on the fore-end and pistol grip, the trigger guard and cheekpiece are molded in, and the pistol grip cap has a molded-in “M.” Blued swing swivel studs are installed, and a one-inch recoil pad complements the butt end of the stock.
For my testing, I used a new Redfield Revolution 2-7x32 scope in Leupold rings. I found the Patriot easy to use and shoot with the popular .243 Win. cartridge—a cartridge always found in my gun rack because it’s a pleasure to shoot and accurate, especially when working with handloads.
My previously mentioned complaint aside, the magazine fed flawlessly, and the gun was easy to top load. The stock fit me perfectly. Groups were right where they should be considering this is new gun and not broken in.
With warmer weather on my mind and woodchucks moving around, my mind turned to the lighter weight bullets. As you can see in the accompanying chart, Hornady’s Custom Lite ammunition produced the best groups, and it also posted the best group of the morning.
This new version of the Mossberg Patriot is certainly going to be a winner. It’s an all-season, all-weather hunting rifle that’s available in a variety of calibers and priced at a level practically anyone can afford.