Mossberg 100 ATR .243 Review

Sean @ Everything Hunting has written a review on the Mossberg 100 ATR:

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The Mossberg 100 ATR is one of the least expensive guns on the market. Coming with a price tag of about $298. What can you expect from the gun? I found the gun pretty accurate and light to carry at only 7 lbs. I bought the Realtree camo pattern with matte black barrel. I used the gun exclusively during the 2006 hunting season.

I have shot 3 deer (all head shots) with instant results at ranges of 15-85 yards. At the firing range I maintained accuracy consistent with a 3 1/2 inch bullseye at 100 yards. These results were sandbag gun rest only without a vise. I find the results to be consistent with my abilities. I feel that I may be able to bring the group closer with a better scope.

More here.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • matt

    Have you done a blog that I could compare this rifle with a Mossberg Marlin .270?, or could you do one?

  • Hank

    You aint got a dang clue what you’re talking about!!!!! you don’t shoot a deer in the head!!!!

  • Dave

    Dude, Hank is right. What kind of retard is writing this crap. All head shots? Is that really something to brag about?

  • Jon

    Shooting deer in the head gives you the minimum amount of meat damage. And therefore shooting deer in the head actually makes a lot of sense……unless you like picking out bullet fragments out of your meat.

  • Marlon

    Headshots are the very best!
    As Jon said no meat damage.
    And I have yet to have one run off and die somewhere else.
    And as to bragging, head shots require a smaller target hit area.

  • I just ordered the Mossberg 100 ATR in .308 caliber. I am very excited about trying it out. I will be hunting coyote and hogs in the off seasons and then come fall I will test in on antelope and deer. I never shoot them in the head. I always go for the shouder / lung area.

  • tom

    Im not exactly an authority on deer hunting, but if you shoot them in the head, you have less meat damage. shooting them in the neck/lungs/heart will result in a better trophy head, if thats you want.

    • tom, shooting in the head is a bad idea. The skull is a very small area and hard to hit. Also, the skull is hard and bullets have been known to be deflected and/or travel along its contours.

  • Cowboy

    3 1/2″ Group is terrible I just finished packing up my Mossberg 100 ATR .243 to ship it back for service this rifle is a piece of crap. I also have a ATR 100 in 30-06 Caliber that shoots a 1/2″ to 1″ group so apparently something is wrong with the .243.

  • jason

    I have the 100 ATR in 270 win. I have been able to hold 1-1.5 MOA at 850 yards with this rifle. I have formal training in well you could say “long distance target practice” from uncle sam, but there is no reason why any Lay-person can not accomplish the same. It’s a cheap gun, that is low price not quality, so spend some money on a good scope and it will do you great. As for the moron that shoots deer in the head, thats not the best idea you may have been lucky so far but honestly the proper way is a heart shot and there will be little or no meat damage people were not talking about taking it down with 00 buck seriously.

  • Cowboy

    I have a little bit of Uncle Sam’s training Myself. I sent this .243 back to Mossberg twice, once for a broken ejector and the other time for chambering prolems they sent me a new gun. I put a decent scope on it and it shoots a 3/4″ Group at a Hundred. I haven’t had a chance to get to our clubs 500 Yard Range yet I’ll let y’all know when I do.

  • steve

    I haven’t bought, shot, or even held one of these rifles yet, but I’m considering it. I’ve read your posts. Regardless of whether a deer gets shot in the head or not, does the gun perform well enough to place THAT shot? I’m not a member of the uncle sam’s club, but I am 10 yr. law enforcement and a very avid shooter and reloader. I’ve found that even some of the worst rifles rated, such as the NEF’s, did in fact shoot poorly. However with some time and DEFINATELY good optics, a pet load was developed and these rifles have out-shot (5 shots in a dime at 200yrds.) some of the better shooters I know with quality name brand rifles. They still remain to be some of my favorite rifles today. My only concern is that the rifle is good enough to work with. Is the rifle accuracy workable? I don’t care about ethical or non-ethical shots placed on deer. So, if anyone has anything to add that may help me make my mind up about buying this particular rifle, please, do tell.

  • I am picking one of these up Thursday.

    For the price, you won’t find a better deal, on a starter rifle. The Remington 770 in 30-06 felt like crap. The bolt was getting stuck on the safety for christ’s sake.

    It is lightweight, comfortable, and low priced.

    IMHO, I love it.

    Buying it in 30-06. Ill let you all know when I bag my first buck.

    By the way, just FYI, it will be a lung shot. LOL

  • Paul

    I just got back from Iraq (Nov. 4, ’09) in time for gun season here in Texas. On a whim, I bought one of these rifles from Academy Sports and Outdoors for my 14yoa son. I was tired of him banging around my “good” rifles with nice wood stocks, and 14 is past the age of having his “own” deer rifle in our family. So…it was on sale. $299. That included a scope, the rings and the rifle. For the price, it seemed like a good deal. The action was smooth, the scope had a clear sight picture, the new trigger is great, and a synthetic stock and matte finish on the barrel make it hard for even the most determined 14yoa slack jawed goober to mess up. I got the .270 because I wanted my boy to have a rifle that he can use as long as he hunts. He’s a man sized boy, so recoil isn’t an issue. I got the rifle bore sited at the store. The guys were very helpful. I’ve never had any problems with customer service at Academy. We each took a couple of shots from 50yds at deer camp and had 1.5 inch groups with cheap Walmart ammo. Eventually we’ll get some hand loads from my Dad and we’ll put some good rings on it. Out of the box is just fine for this first season. Thanks Mossberg and Academy. This is already a good welcome back for me and the youngun…He’s really not that slack jawed…just a goober!

  • Scott

    I have been shooting one of these for 3 years now and it was one of the first ones out with black synthetic stock in 30-06. Mine would not group well when I first got it due to stringing when the barrel heated up. The first and second shot were fine but after that it wouldn’t shoot in your hat. I sent the barrel and action to CryoPro ($40 plus shiping) to have it stress relieved and it was an amazing improvement. Now it shoots 3/4″ groups day in and day out with anything I put through it. I have a knock off Leupold mark 4 M1 scope from china and it was the best $60 I ever spent. I have owned the real mark 4 and this scope is just as accurate and although the optics are not nearly as good it has accounted for over a dozen 1 shot kills on Antelope, Deer and Elk out to 300 yards. My trigger was terrible when I got it (7 lbs) but I understand that the newer ones are better. The trigger was actually fine but a lawyer must have adjusted mine at the factory. I took off the lock nuts on the headless trigger adjusting screws and heated up the screws to release the locktite and replaced them with 10-32 allen set screw the same length. I was able to get the trigger down to a safe 2 1/2 pounds and no more creep! I have under $400 in the whole rig and it out shoots my custom $2000 700 remington in 7mm STW! I bought it as a beater truck gun that I didn’t have to worry about but now I wouldn’t trade it for anything! As for the guy head shooting deer I have to say I have done it too. I am a meat hunter and when you know your gun and your range (under 100 yards)and have a steady shooting position I believe it is OK too. I prefer a high neck shot when the ranges are short but it depends on the shot angle. Anything past 150 yards and you had better be shooting for the boiler room of the heart and lungs. I am mainly a muzzle loading squirrel hunter so head shots are a must and when a deer makes a big mistake and comes too close the only shot I can rely on with my .32 is a head shot. I have never had to track a deer yet…they just lay down and don’t get up:-)

  • craighucka

    I personally love my mossberg 100 atr 30-06. It is very accurate and for the price you can’t beat it.

  • Pittdawg68

    I’m very interested in picking up one of these guns as well. Im not sure which caliber I want to get, I’d like to get something smaller because I already have a .30-06 I hand load for and I would like to find something smaller that I could load lighter for varmints or load heavier for deer if I choose to. One of the things that interested me in this rifle is the price but also I believe I saw somewhere that they have a Winchester action on them and I love my Model 70. Anyone know anything about this or have good insight to provide on the rifle? Thanks.

  • Texas_Jay

    Well I’ll give you the best information from my opinion. The .270 ATR by Mossberg is a very cheaply made gun. These things are kind of a hit and miss relapse of bad material. I wont lie I went to Academy to buy the newest version of the ATR and the firing pin mis fired 3 seperate occassions. Leaving me to return the item to Mossberg 3X’s. Now the booger fires like a .50 Barrett. If you can afford it try and resort to a Remington .270 awesome gun! A note about the head shots feud. If you use a 270 bullet for head shots your taking the vital shot to another level. Unless you dont hunt for trophy reasons. The 270 is equiv, to 7x a 22 long rifle. If it were me on a head shot use the 243 for the reason of keeping both meat and mount unless you just perfer a european mount anyway. In texas though we never do head shots casue our deer usually weigh out to about 150lbs after cleaning so we always use 30-06 for a quick put down. Most the deer early season here usually play out at a 12 pt scale anyway so we strictly use behind front leg kill becasue the bullet goes strait out the other side. Ok sorry for beatin a dead horse!

  • Billy

    I have had this rifle in the .243 version for 2 years now and I love it. It’s perfect for deer hunting. At 100 yards I can hit a coke can 4 out of 4 times. The scope it comes with is ok. I recomend this for kids because it has such a low recoil.

  • Gary

    I’ve been deer hunting since the early 70’s and have killed countless
    deer and consider myself somewhat of an authority on the subject, and
    neither I, nor my firends, nor any professional gun writers that I know of,
    have ever shot a deer in the head intentionally, so I’m not sure about some of the clowns posting on this board. You either shoot it in the neck,
    (and that was when I was young and my eyes very good) or you do like
    most respected, experienced hunters–shoot it through the heart/lung
    area. With the right caliber (and most guys overgun ) and a well aimed
    shot you have VERY LITTLE meat damage, and I’ve never heard of anyone picking lead fragments out of their meat. As for the rifle, after reading the
    reivews (and acutally using Marlins) I would opt for the Marlin XS7, as it
    is better made and more reliable, so it would appear.

  • Hi,

    I am trying to decide which youth model deer rifle to buy my grandson for his 9th birthday. I looked at a nice looking mossberg ATR 243 at Dicks sporting goods but also am looking at the H&R (NEF) handi-rifle, the stevens and the Marlin. I got to say the Mossberg rifle I looked at looks nice with hardwood stock and scope for under 300 dollars and to be on sale soon for 250.

    As to shooting deer in the head, I have hunted a long time I never shot a deer in the head however recently I have on shots under a 100 yrds, shot them in the neck and it’s extreamly effective. They don’t even take a step, they are down and out. Aim for the center of the lower part of the neck as there is less potential movement there. You best know your rifle well though, target practice and be confident in your shot. It’s best to have a good rest also otherwise like someone else said go for the boiler room.

  • Marie

    Hi, I have the maverick 243 gun sitting in front of me, loaded in a case ready to try out in the woods tomorrow. I have neck injuries and quit hunting for several years due to weight and recoil. After trying out crossbows this year and finding I’m able to carry their weight, My husband and his friend, plus many others insist this is a gun I can use. I’m small and this youth version fits me so far. I will probably change the scope next season if it works ok for me. I have read all the comments and I too prefer a head shot unless it has a nice rack that I wish to keep. The recoil is my biggest concern, but after reading the comments , I feel better about it now. I will be in the 100yd range and under due to the area I have chosen to hunt in.
    Thanks for the comments, they helped make me feel better about having chosen this model 🙂

  • Nate

    Dave, Hank have something to tell ya head shots are the way to go. “Head is dead” My buddy just shot a blacktail in the head at 618 yards with his 270 Ruger m77 shooting factory nosler partions 150 grains. What a hell of a gun driveing tacks at a hundred every shot.

  • i have droped a pig and also killed my first 6 point buck. i blew up a rabbit. now i am bying a new scope for it so i can hunt pigs at night. i love my gun

  • Tont

    I just bought the mossburg .243 combo with 3x9x40 scope sighted it for a 100 yards for right now (going out to 150 ) and with 4shots 4 times we held a 1inch pattern with 100grain bullet and it was friggin cold that day but no wind so even with the freezing cold shakes I think the gun holds its own want to shoot it with 55 or 85 grains for coyote. so far im not disappointed with it for a inexpensive gon .

  • pawpawtom

    I have atr in a 243 I will sell.have shot it up to 300 yds with consistency. Let me know if your interested.

  • jR RHEA

    Bought Mossberg 100 ATR in Oct. 2011. Literally the worst gun I have ever purchased. Here is what I got:

    1) barrel heats-up after one or two shots, so much that the subsequent shots are off the bullseye by 6 inches plus….wish I was kidding, missed a nice buck
    2) shot new winchester and remington ammo a total of about 34 times, 2 times the gun failed to make the primer fire the gunpowder
    3) magazine often does not feed shells into the chamber

    Bought it in San Diego at Discount Gun Brokers who supposidely have a 30 day return policy; @ day 29 I tried to return it and they said NO.

    • Coomese

      6 inches plus?? I doubt that is only due to barrel heat. Sounds like your flinching. Also if the barrel heat is your problem staying on target then you missed that deer. Your barrel is cold when you hunt.

  • Jenny

    Do I have to use .243 ammo for my rifle or can I use .30-30?

  • john j. rambo

    i love my 100atr in .30-06 cal. i have taken 1 doe with it and am impressed. no problems so far. ready to use it on a big buck.

  • Dave

    I bought an ATR 243 for my son to hunt with. I have been trying to find a shell that shoots most accurate. Has anyone found one to be more productive with the 243. I have shot the Winchester Super X 243 in 100 grain and also some reloads a friend of mine did with 100 grain. So far I am disappointed with the results. Looking for some input on some shells to try that may be more consistent.