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.
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:
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:
The safety is located so that right-handed shooters can easily actuate it. I do wish it was a three position though:
The scope included with the rifle, shall we say, leaves a lot to be desired in the way of clarity:
Although the muzzle brake is nice and effective:
So enough of that, lets get behind it.
For an accuracy test I gathered up three types of ammunition:
The gun shoulders just like any other bolt action in its class, and it did not feel strange:
And it was time to get to work:
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:
Extraction was nice and uniform:
And I continued shooting the rifle until I went through all 60 rounds, shooting a total of twelve 5-shot groups:
So how did it perform?
Well I got the best groups with the Remington stuff. The best:
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.