The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze – Underappreciated Plinker?

    Welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report. In this ongoing series we discuss, explore and review various aspects of the rimfire world. This week we’ll be discussing the new-ish Mossberg Blaze semi-automatic rifle. The Mossberg Blaze was released In early 2015 as a carbine style 22LR rifle. I have owned one for about 4 years and thought I’d share my experiences with the Blaze.

    The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze - Underappreciated Plinker?

    The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze – Underappreciated Plinker?

    The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze – Underappreciated Plinker?

    One of the stark contrasts between the Mossberg Blaze and its main competitor the Ruger 10/22 is the price.  A standard Ruger 10/22 carbine in either a synthetic or wood stock configuration will cost you about $309. Meanwhile, the Mossberg Blaze routinely sells for $170.

    The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze - Underappreciated Plinker?

    I was able to purchase mine from a big box sporting goods store for just a hair under that by taking advantage of a sale. At the time I didn’t think much of the rifle as the 10/22 had always been my metric to go by and I had rarely run into problems with any of the ones I’ve owned.

    I didn’t know at the time that the Mossberg Blaze later had an additional style added to it called the Blaze-47 which came complete with a banana-style magazine and synthetic AK-style furniture.

    Characteristics and First Impressions

    The Mossberg blaze comes standard in black synthetic stock color. However, newer models are available in Moonshine Muddy Girl Camo patterns as well as Kryptek Highlander Camo. Upon picking up the rifle at the store, the first thing I noticed was that it was extremely light. The Blaze weighs in at an unloaded weight of 3.5 pounds. The Ruger 10/22 weighs almost 5 lbs for comparison.

    Almost the entire rifle is made from plastic. As you can see in the picture above, the receiver and barrel are nested inside the plastic shell. Disassembly can be done with just a Phillips head screwdriver. The 16-1/2″ barrel is tapered and has a blued finish that has held up throughout the years without rusting or pitting.

    I was slightly disappointed that the rifle didn’t come with any way to mount an optic. That being said, for $170 I couldn’t really complain. Again, Mossberg has newer models out that have standard Picatinny rails on them for mounting optics.

    Range performance

    The little Mossberg Blaze is so much fun to shoot! The rifle comes with a 10 round magazine but there are also 25 round magazines available as well. The gun has been 100% reliable in the years I have owned it and any malfunctions I have had have been ammunition related.

    Speaking of ammunition the rifle feeds and runs with no problems with the cheapest of ammunition. I have fed probably between 2,000 or 3,000 rounds of various types of cheap bulk 22LR and it will run anything you throw at it.

    Since the rifle is so lightweight, carrying the rifle around with a sling is a breeze and it sits nicely on your back. I could see this rifle even being used as a lightweight pest control gun for around the ranch or farm. I was able to hit a 2″ sized steel plate at about 50 yards with just the iron sights. The iron sights are plastic and only the rear sight is adjustable for elevation. The rear sight is easily adjustable with just a small Phillips-head screwdriver.

    The Rimfire Report: The Mossberg Blaze - Underappreciated Plinker?

    One thing I really appreciate about the blaze is that its magazine functions as a Last Round Bolt Hold Open device. Additionally, the bolt can be locked to the rear by pulling the bolt all the way rearward and then pushing the charging handle into the bolt to hold it in place.

    Disassembly and Cleaning

    The Mossberg Blaze is incredibly easy to disassemble and doesn’t require any special tools or techniques. However, it is a bit tedious. To disassemble the gun all, you’ll need is a small Phillips-head screwdriver, although you’ll probably want to mount it inside a hand drill if possible as there are a total of 16 small screws holding the two halves of the stock together.

    After removing all the screws its usually a good idea to loosing the screw holding the rear sight in place to make removing the two halves easier – the rear sight falls out of place when the halves are removed. Once inside you’ll find that the only metal part of the receiver is the bolt.

    From here, simply pull up on the plastic receiver and make sure to keep your thumb on the front end of the receiver so the bolt doesn’t go flying out. Once disassembled, it is much easier to clean the bolt and inside the plastic receiver. I found that it’s not necessary to clean the trigger group as it remains almost completely sealed off from any sort of debris

    Now have fun putting all sixteen screws back in the rifle.

    Final Thoughts

    Should you buy a Mossberg Blaze? I’m not going to say yes but I’m also not going to say no. For the price the Blaze is offered at it is almost a no-brainer. The rifle is reliable, it’s accurate, easy to use, lightweight, feeds off of dirt-cheap ammo and is extremely inexpensive.

    You won’t go winning any competitions with the Blaze. You can’t expect tiny groups at 100+ yards with those plastic sights and I can’t imagine this thing would take a rough beating too well if you dropped it a few too many times – the plastic feels cheap.

    All that being said I think this gun would be great for a first gun for a young teenager or just someone who wants a dirt-cheap plinking gun.  Thanks again for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report, as always your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

    I’d like to personally extend a big thanks to the people over at the Guardian K9 Rescue Unit as well as Highway to Heel Tennessee. Both work in tandem to prevent dog deaths from kill shelters and help new owners train and develop better bonding their dogs. They graciously allowed me the space to shoot during these strange times. Feel free to check them out!

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