Sneak Peek: Mossberg MVP/Nikon ProStaff

Sneak Peek: Mossberg MVP/Nikon ProStaff
Mossberg's MVP is a bolt-action .223 that uses standard AR mags.

Picked up the new Mossberg MVP (Mossberg Varmint Predator) yesterday. This rifle will be featured in the November/December of RifleShooter, which goes on sale in early October.

The Mossberg MVP is based on the 4x4 action, and the first iteration is in 5.56/.223. What makes this rifle stand out is the Drop Push bolt, which employs a device I've never seen before: It incorporates a small lever at the 6 o'clock position on the bolt face. This lever dips down and enables the bolt to strip a round from an AR magazine. The lever is held in place with a forged pin, and when the bolt face reaches the feed ramp, the lever simply moves flush with the bolt face — allowing the bolt to move into battery.

It was the first Mossberg I've actually tested for the magazine, so I'd never had a chance to play with the LBA (Lightning Bolt Action) trigger before. I broke out my Lyman digital trigger scale and did 10 reps, the trigger averaging 3.25 pounds, a bit heavier than I wanted. So I turned the rifle over, removed the hefty hex-head action screws and pulled the barreled action out of the stock. As promised, the trigger adjustment was super easy; simply turn a screw in the front of the trigger housing, and in no time I had the LBA breaking at 2.5 pounds.

Next I mounted a Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 onto Weaver-style bases via Burris ZEE steel medium-height rings.

This morning I hauled the rig up to Angeles Range for an initial test. Since I'm still waiting on ammo from Black Hills, Winchester and Federal and had only Hornady on hand, I decided to skip accuracy testing and just get the rifle zeroed and give the scope a workout.

Dry-fired a few times to get used to the trigger, sighted through the bore to get the gun on paper, and shot a group at 25 yards that was, incredibly, just an inch and a half directly below the bullseye. Good enough. At 100 yards my first shot was dead center, so I immediately proceeded to run the Nikon through a box test.

3-shot group center

16 clicks up, 16 left; 3-shot group

32 clicks right; 3-shot group

32 clicks down; 3-shot group

32 clicks left; 3-shot group

16 clicks up, 16 clicks right; 3-shot group at original center

The scope performed perfectly, with the box a perfect square and the last group right on top of the first one, so I set the turrets to zero. Next I went to my top target, fired a group at 4X, then at 6X, then at 8X (the box test was conducted at 12X). No zero shift. In short, the ProStaff's click adjustments and internal construction are spot on.

The rifle itself? Even though I wasn't bearing down to shoot the smallest groups I could, I was impressed with what I got from the Hornady 40-gr. V-Max. I didn't have anything over 0.9 inches, with a couple of half-inchers and one that measured a quarter inch.

The trigger's not a Jewell, but it's darned good. The stock initially gave me pause as I didn't think I would like the way my hand fit into the pistol grip portion. No worries. At the bench it put my hand in a great position, and it was comfortable to boot.

Overall I was very pleased. Next trip will be with a wider selection of ammo, along with some function testing with a bipod. Stay tuned.

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