Mossberg has been carving out their own niches in the firearms industry since their beginnings in 1919. Mossberg’s innovations and willingness to take a risk is evident in their most popular firearms.
From the now ubiquitous Shockwave, to the recently introduced MC2c pistol, Mossberg has made their mark by creating firearms loaded with innovative features at an affordable price. Nowhere is this more evident than in their Patriot line of bolt-action rifles.
Along with competitors Ruger and Savage, Mossberg was an early adopter of the fat bolt, synthetic stocked affordably priced big game bolt rifle. Mossberg’s Patriot line was so well received, in fact, that they created a retro version of the Patriot Revere line that features walnut stocks with rosewood accents. A throwback to the blued steel and wood rifles that many of us grew up with.
I recently had the pleasure of running one of Mossberg’s Patriot Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor through its paces. To say I was pleasantly surprised with the look and performance of this rifle is an understatement.
Out of the box, one of the things that first struck me was the light weight of the rifle. At six and a half pounds empty, the Predator seemed to practically float out of the box of its own accord. The synthetic stock and the fluted barrel account for much of the weight reduction.
The 22-inch barrel also helps reduce the weight. The Predator comes in either the Flat Dark Earth with a matte blued barrel or in Strata Camo with a Cerakote Patriot Brown barrel. I have to say, I preferred the contrast of the matte blued barrel against the FDE stock. The barrel is threaded for either a suppressor or a muzzle break. The Predator comes with a Picatinny rail for mounting optics. In this case I mounted a Blackhound Optics long range scope.
On the first trip to the range, I got the scope sighted in and ran the rifle through its paces with a variety of ammunition. This was my first experience with the 6.5 Creedmoor round and though I knew it had a reputation for having less punishing recoil, I couldn’t help but wonder if the recoil would really be easier in spite of the rifle’s light weight.
The ammo used in the review process consisted of two Swift loads, the 130-grain Scirrocco and the 140-grain A-Frame, Federal’s new 130-grain Terminal Ascent and the 143-grain Precision Hunter from Hornady.
As expected, all of the ammo fed and functioned perfectly in the Predator, with no feed issues and no ejection issues. The five-round detachable box magazine is easy to load and locks firmly in place when inserted into the magazine well. The LBA adjustable trigger was smooth and crisp right out of the box. This trigger system is adjustable from two to seven pounds, but I found the factory setting was perfect for me. The bolt worked smoothly, and the oversized bolt handle made it easy to rack the next round in place.
After I got the rifle sighted in and started shooting for groups, I was impressed with the overall accuracy of the Predator. At 100-yards all of the ammo grouped within “minute of game” with one to one and a half-inch groups on average. As with most rifles, the Predator showed a marked preference for ammo, favoring the heavier Swift 140-grain A-Frame and the Hornady 143-grain Precision Hunter rounds. In fact, my best group measured eight tenths of an inch with the Hornady ammo.
Specs for the Predator are pretty standard for this type of rifle.
Mossberg Patriot Predator
|Barrel Type||Fluted, Threaded 5/8″-24 TPI|
|Barrel Finish||Matte Blued|
|Stock Finish||Synthetic (Flat Dark Earth)|
All in all, the Patriot Predator from Mossberg would be a good addition to an all-around hunters’ battery. Its lightweight will make it a handy rifle in the field and the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering is great for hunters who are looking for a rifle with a bit less recoil or as a choice for a big game entry rifle for new and young hunters.–Randy Gibbs