Gun Review: Mossberg Patriot Night Train

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The Mossberg Patriot series of rifles has been offering hunters rifles at a nice price point for quite a while, and the Patriot Night Train with its included muzzle brake and other impressive features is sure to attract the attention of some shooters looking for an entry-level “tactical” bolt action rifle.

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The included 6-24x50mm scope is nothing to write home about (it is a UTG that I would rather have them leave out in favor of saving a few bucks), but the large bolt handle and soft recoil pad are quite nice.

The bolt is a modified Mauser type, with the massive claw extractor that facilitates controlled-feed eliminated. The nice three position safety is also gone:

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But it’s fluted, so there’s that.

A serious flaw I found in the Patriot was that if you lift the bolt handle it does not cock the rifle (the cocking piece is not drawn back far enough to catch the sear) which is a serious flaw for a cock-on-open rifle. You have to draw the bolt back a bit for the sear to catch the cocking piece. But yes, I am very picky when it comes to selecting a bolt action rifle so many shooters might not notice this.

There is a vent drilled in the event of a rupture as well:

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The safety is located so that right-handed shooters can easily actuate it. I do wish it was a three position though:

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The scope included with the rifle, shall we say, leaves a lot to be desired in the way of clarity:

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Although the muzzle brake is nice and effective:

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So enough of that, lets get behind it.

For an accuracy test I gathered up three types of ammunition:

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The gun shoulders just like any other bolt action in its class, and it did not feel strange:

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And it was time to get to work:

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The trigger is decent, but it has one of those Glock-like spring loaded triggers with the little dingle arm in the center that annoys me.

Regardless, it shot rather well and the muzzle brake combined with the butt pad worked awesomely:

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Extraction was nice and uniform:

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And I continued shooting the rifle until I went through all 60 rounds, shooting a total of twelve 5-shot groups:

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So how did it perform?

Well I got the best groups with the Remington stuff. The best:

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The Remington hung out around 2.2″ or so, while I did the worst with the Federal, which opened up to about 3″ consistently at 100 yards.

As for my final thoughts on the Patriot, at an MSRP of $811.00 I would probably hold off. The scope leaves a lot to be desired, and the fact that the rifle does not cock when you cam the bolt handle all the way open is just sloppy. Push feed can be overlooked as it is more expensive to implement a controlled feed system, but I would be willing to pay more for a rifle that has it as well as a three position safety. While some shooters may find the detachable box magazine attractive, I prefer a hinged floor-plate that cannot be lost in the field that has the added bonus of unloading the rifle when flicked open. Accuracy however was not bad considering I was using pretty run of the mill ammo with a low-end optic. I reckon with some hand loads or match stuff and a nice piece of glass the groups would tighten up considerably. For an entry level rifle however, one could choose a worse offering.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    So I could buy five of these or one new 1911….

  • BattleshipGrey

    Nice write up. Can’t wait ’til ATI gets a hold of it;)

  • Jsim

    The fluting on the bolt is a joke. Dicks has the patriot in stock and the fluting isn’t deep at all its all cosmetic and even then it doesnt look good at all

    • Edeco

      That caught my eye too. It looks cheesy.

      And the name; silly and dramatic. Reminds me of HD motorcycles and adjunct wine. Bob-Seger kind of aesthetic. Blech.

  • wayne Reimer

    did I miss something? What range distance were you getting 2-3in. groups? 100yds? 500yds? If that’s 100yd grouping I’d be pretty unhappy I think

  • NDS

    Nice writeup. $800 for ~2MOA I’d agree to pass.

    • Indeed. That is a pretty steep price for a gun with so many cost cutting measures in place that is not exactly a tack driver.
      For $800, I would probably get a Ruger M77.

      • Some Guy

        Tikkas also come in right around that price point, if not a little cheaper, and I hear nothing but good things about them.

        • Southpaw89

          I bought my Tikka four years ago for six hundred something dollars, and even with a dirt cheap tasco scope on her she’s a nice little tack driver, plus they come in left handed models. As much as I want to support American companies the Tikka seems to be the better deal.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            There is no seems about it. The Tikka CTR is the best value in a tactical rifle. And the Tikka line as a whole has no equal on the market for the price.

    • COL Bull-sigh

      I have a $600 Savage Model 11 in .300 WinMag that shoots that size groups at 300 yards! Mossberg needs to stick with the simple, basic firearms that made them famous. Let the tacticool idiots slap on the $50 Chinese optics crap!

  • derpmaster

    When does the Thunderbird model come out? Or the Mad Dog 20/20 in 338 Lapua?

    • CZFan

      Right!? what the hell is a “Patriot Night Train?” next up ” Old English 800 Presents the Jennings Streetmaster OG 9000 Special Forces Commander Tactical .380 Super Auto Deathdealer”

  • Pedenzo

    My 8″ 300Blk shoots tighter than that…..give me a break…$800 for that POS? No thank you.

  • SJR

    Street price is around $600 – OTD. Just picked one up last night – have not got out to shoot yet.

    What do you expect for $600? Sub MOA? The scope is a Leapers. Junk for many people, but just fine for beginning long distance shooting. Your opinion of the trigger is just that…..an opinion. Same as the 3 position safety. Your opinion. At this point in time, after dry firing and just spending some time with it in the shop, none of your gripes come into play for me. And the cocking issue – another non issue, except for you, I guess.

    I personally like reviews that just post facts – leave your opinions out of it.

    • Shooting stuff and giving my opinion on it is literally my job.

      I found this product lacking in many areas (including performance) and judged it accordingly.

      • ozzallos .

        Basing your opinion off of MSRP which is well known to be wildly unrealistic doesn’t exactly strike anybody as expert, frankly.

      • Toxie

        To be fair, your going to have to use ammunition KNOWN for accuracy to test for accuracy, as throwing core lokts and American eagle red box down range and calling the performance lacking is. . . ignorant. Use some match rounds if you want to make claims about the accuracy that anyone who isn’t a total noob can take seriously.

      • Yimmy

        You did fine. Owners of this rifle will always find some excuse to defend why they pissed away $600-800 on a gimmicky piece of junk just so they can still feel like somewhat of a man.

        • Seems that way.
          I will never understand the need to emotionally justify retroactive firearm purchases. Cognitive dissonance is a funny thing.

          • SJR

            Take some advise from Toxie……..use some match rounds – not the crap from Walmart or your LGS.

          • SJR

            Your review is severely lacking in FACTS – you look like you just graduated from high school – how many years do you really have behind a weapon? And I am not talking about reading about them in your history class.

            There are numerous reviews that are the exact opposite of yours……come down off your pedastal and take a look.

        • SJR

          You are a Dbag, for sure.

    • Rusty S.

      Sorry, I had to, it was just too appropriate.

    • janklow

      “Your opinion of the trigger is just that…..an opinion. Same as the 3 position safety. Your opinion.”

      …do you understand how this whole review thing actually works?
      i’m glad you like the rifle you’ve got, but can i not dismiss everything you’re saying with your own argument?

    • Paul White

      I do n’t need sub MOA accuracy but having 2.5″ or so be the mechanical limit of the gun? Even for a 600 dollar gun, in this day and age, that’s inexcusable

    • Yimmy

      Savage axis II comes with a decent weaver scope and adjustable accutrigger for less than $400. Face it you got ripped off bad.. like real bad… like don’t ever tell people in real life that you got had or people will line up at your door looking to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

  • TankGuy

    What caliber/loads was that thing? My Savage M10 shoots sub-one inch groups all day at 100 yards, and literally cost a couple hundred less. I like the brake, but that can be added after market…

    • Southpaw89

      Appears to be .308 judging by the ammo boxes.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    That height over bore, UTG scope, 2MOA…

    Joke Gun is hilarious!

  • George Griffin

    Almost bought this rifle but after some research I bought a Howa 1500 with Kryptek Typhon camo and Nikko scope OTD price $756. The scope is not great but ok for prairie dogs, sub MOA at 100yds and just over 2″ at 200 so I couldn’t be happier. I think the full camo dip makes it shoot better.(sarcasm)

  • Conan

    I’ve got three Weatherby vanguard rifles that consistently shoot under .75″. I paid 600 for the bbl and 500 for the others.

    Definitely a much better “entry level” rifle. Just missing the brake.

  • Yimmy

    What a gimmicky piece of over priced junk. This is entry level? I’d rather spend half that and get a Savage axis ii w a decent weaver and shoot groups half the size…..

    Thanks though for taking the time and giving us the straight scoop on it.

  • A.WChuck

    I agree with others, you should try at least a few rounds of 168 grain target rounds. My Savage 10FP responded *very* well to heavier, better ammo.

  • Sua Sponte

    Picked up this rifle two months ago and love it. Again, to each his own and if you find a platform you enjoy and work well with, who’s to say otherwise. I am not a novice nor an expert. Not uber happy with the scope, but it gets the job done, and as I progress, will definitely be upgrading. As far as the MSRP, it’s just that, I picked mine up for $611.00. Some like it, some don’t, that’s what’s great about choice and I have to say that I’ve been very pleased with it overall. There are lots of other platforms out there I have been researching and contemplating, maybe once I get fairly proficient on this one I’ll move on to those. The thing with expectations is that everyone has their own and when they don’t quite meet that, the product is considered junk. Were companies capable of making something that everyone liked/loved…..I do appreciate the writers comments and insight, will definitely give me things to consider the next time I’m out on the range or looking into a new purchase..