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  4. Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter Review & In-Field Testing: Hands-On With The New 6.5 PRC
Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter Review & In-Field Testing: Hands-On With The New 6.5 PRC preview image
Aug 30 2023
11 min read

Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter Review & In-Field Testing: Hands-On With The New 6.5 PRC

Introduction

Mossberg has been well-known for making firearms for over a hundred years. My first Mossberg experience was a shotgun my brother got decades ago. Since, Mossberg has recently joined the rifle market with several models, and today we are taking a look at one of them: The Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter chambered in 6.5 PRC.

I’ve been around the precision rifle block a few times, so I thought it was time to see what these new Mossberg rifles were all about. The Patriot line of rifles has something for everyone, with too many different models to mention and chambered in almost every popular caliber.

With all these different models, you should be able to find something in your budget. They can be pretty affordable, with models priced as low as $500. Besides being a good buy, they also have a list of features that will get many excited. Features like detachable box magazines and factory-threaded barrels make these rifles popular with the American hunting public.

mossberg patriot lr hunter review
The Patriot LR with a Patriot Valley Arms Muzzle Brake is an excellent combination.

Mossberg Patriot LR Review

Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter For Sale

MOSSBERG PATRIOT
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I was eager to see how the Patriot compared to similar rifles I’d played with in the past. I enjoy rifles of all types, so this one surely fits right in. The Patriot LR model is at the higher end of the Patriot price line, so I expected it to have the best Patriot features.

I opened the box to find the gray synthetic stock under plastic. As I pulled the rifle from its protective bag, I was impressed with the attractive finish. The helically fluted bolt came in its own little baggy, and I quickly installed it, completing the rifle.

I was thrilled that Mossberg had fluted and threaded the barrel from the factory. The fluting helps reduce weight, while the threaded barrel allows you to install various muzzle accouterments, such as recoil-reducing muzzle brakes or suppressors.

I inspected the rifle to see what else there was, such as the blade safety on the trigger, something I’m not a huge fan of, but it’s also not a big deal.

mossberg patriot lr hunter review with hornady match ammo
The rifle all set up and ready to shoot.

The Patriot uses a detachable box magazine made from polymer and allows four 6.5 PRC cartridges to be carried inside. A two-position safety sits on the right side of the bolt-shroud.

Features like these make the Patriot LR suitable for aspiring long-range shooters and hunters. According to Mossberg, with modern manufacturing techniques, shooters will get performance far above the price point of the Patriot LR.

Specifications

Caliber6.5 PRC
Capacity4+1
Barrel Length24 inches
Twist1:8
Trigger LBA Adjustable (2-7 pounds)
Stock Monte Carlo Hunting Stock
Length44.25 inches
Weight7.25 ounces

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Affordably priced
  • Great shooting performance (accurate and reliable)
  • Threaded barrel
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Fluted barrel & bolt
  • Detachable box magazine
  • Includes Picatinny scope base
  • Dual sling studs
Cons
  • Has a slightly “cheaper” look to it
  • The magazine feels kind of cheap

Testing In The Field

To get a good feel for the Patriot, and its intended purpose, I took the rifle and some ammo into the Rocky Mountains nearby. I figured nothing would be a better test for a hunting rifle than to conquer the distances and conditions of the mountains where we hunt big game.

I mounted a Riton 3 Primal 3-18X44 rifle scope via Warne 30mm rings. With the rifle boresighted, I set up a target at a hundred yards, confirmed by my laser rangefinder.

I had only brought one type of ammunition because it was all I could find at the local shop. Shooting the Hornady Match load with 147 ELDM bullets would prove to be a great combination with the Patriot.

After a couple of correcting shots, I shot the first five-shot group at one hundred yards.

The first five-shot group rendered just over 1 MOA, but it also showed that the rifle was undoubtedly capable of even better accuracy.

Much of the testing was done shooting from the prone position at 100 yards. This was for the initial testing, but there was plenty of additional shooting from improvised positions, much like those that hunters would use during their engagements.

mossberg patriot lr hunter review with hornady match ammo field test
The 6.5 PRC is an excellent choice for these big Rocky Mountain spaces.

We spent the afternoon shooting several boxes of ammunition across the sunny canyons where we often hunt deer and elk. Hitting deer vital-sized targets at distances as far as 800 yards proved very doable.

The majority of our shooting was hiking around from one place to another to get shots at different targets from different angles and wind deflections.

mossberg patriot lr hunter review with hornady match ammo accuracy testing
Out for a hike with the Patriot LR.

Accuracy testing was done with a suppressor installed, as was most of our shooting. I mean, how rude is it to shoot unsuppressed?

We also shot the rifle using a Patriot Valley Arms Jet Blast muzzle brake during our testing. It calmed the rifle down to very modest recoil, as did adding a suppressor. Thank goodness for threaded muzzles!

Shooting the rifle became familiar and comfortable, and it didn’t take long to get used to the trigger safety or the clunk of the bolt closing. The four-round detachable box magazine was effortless to load, though it did feel a little cheap for my taste.

Running the rifle’s bolt was smooth and easy, but it seemed just a little unrefined and loose. Regardless, it worked flawlessly throughout my testing.

Reliability

I experienced no failures or malfunctions while shooting the Patriot LR.

The simplicity of bolt action rifles means they should work every time. The closest thing to a malfunction we had was when the mag dropped out at one point. It’s likely the magazine simply wasn’t seated fully, so we can chalk it up to shooter error.

mossberg patriot lr hunter magazine 6.5 creedmoor cartridge
The Patriot’s detachable box magazine.

Ammo Used

The only ammunition I had available was the Hornady Match 147 grain ammunition. It performed as well as I had hoped, and I’m not worried about other ammo types. We shoot Hornady around here, and I won’t apologize for it.

mossberg patriot lr hunter with riton 3 primal optic mounted
The Hornady Match ammunition shot fantastic from the rifle.

Accuracy

For a rifle at this price, I think the Patriot shot exceptionally well. I’ve tested far more expensive rifles that didn’t shoot this well. One MOA is acceptable for most rifles.

I think that the Patriot will shoot even better with a small amount of work on the handloading bench. Furthermore, it would probably shoot better still with some cleaning up of the trigger and some work with the stock.

mossberg patriot lr hunter test groupings
A typical five-shot group from the Patriot.

Overall Feel

The rifle felt just fine. I have almost no complaints other than those I’ve mentioned already. For the most part, I think the average American hunter would be more than happy with the rifle.

Features

Threaded Muzzle

It’s about time manufacturers get on this train; Fuddery needs to become extinct. Many people now use suppressors, muzzle brakes, and other devices.

I love seeing rifles come with threaded muzzles. It allows you to customize the rifle to your shooting activities.

The ⅝-24 threads were a perfect fit for my muzzle devices, and they were protected by a knurled thread protector when bare.

mossberg patriot lr hunter threaded muzzle device
The threaded muzzle allows for easy installation of your favorite muzzle devices.

Adjustable Trigger

The Patriot LR’s trigger is adjustable from 2-7 pounds, which is not a bad spread. I prefer the lighter pull weights; it’s an easy crutch for shooting a little better. Even though I’m not a big fan of trigger safeties, this one was no better or worse than any of the others I have used.  I wish manufacturers would quit adding them, though.

mossberg patriot lr hunter trigger close up
If only that trigger safety was removed!

Monte Carlo Stock

The Monte Carlo stock fit me well and didn’t require anything special to shoot comfortably. The stock felt like it didn’t contribute significantly to the rifle’s overall weight, which is nice.

The aluminum bedding pillars are part of what helps the Patriot perform well, mating the action properly to the stock. The addition of double front sling studs was also a nice touch, allowing you to use a Harris bipod without losing your sling placement.

Helically Fluted Bolt

The handsome fluting of the bolt doesn’t just look good, it also provides some benefits while running the bolt. Reduced friction and debris clearing are also potential benefits of the design.

I do feel like there was missed an opportunity to make it even better by improving the bolt-knob and finish.

mossberg patriot lr hunter bolt action controls
The fluted bolt of the Patriot LR, notice extractor and ejector details.

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  

No malfunctions were experienced during testing.

Ergonomics (8/10)

It feels just like it looks in the pictures if that makes sense to you. It has a good grip angle, proper cheek-weld, wide front grip area, etc. Nothing out of this world, but everything you need.

Customization (7/10)

Being its own design, it may take a little time for the aftermarket to come up with as many accessories as other rifle models I enjoy. To be fair, the Patriot seems pretty good, just the way it came.

Appearance (8/10)

There was only one thing I would have liked to improve on if given the chance; I would have finished the bolt handle the same as everything else. It looked odd for the whole barreled action to have a satin-like finish, and the bolt handle and knob looked like some other flat finish.

Value (8.5/10)

I think the accuracy and performance of the Mossberg Patriot put it at a solid 8.5. It has good accuracy, comfortable ergos, and almost everything a long-range hunter on a budget would need.

Accessories

Scopes

mossberg patriot lr hunter scoped in
With a good scope, the Patriot LR will be a fantastic long-range hunting rifle

Riton 3 PRIMAL

Riton 3 Primal 3-18X44

The Riton 3 Primal 3-18X44 featured is a good scope and comparable pricewise. But you could run many excellent scopes on this rifle that are also a good value.

US Optics TS12X

US Optics TS12X

I also strongly recommend the US Optics TS12X, which also shares a good magnification range for a hunting rifle. Or, if you need more power, the TS25X would also be a good choice.

Primary Arms GLx 3-18×44

Primary Arms GLx 3-18x44mm

Another great option would be the new Primary Arms GLx 3-18X44.

Harris Engineering Bipod

harris bipod

Most long-range shooters will use a bipod, as they are excellent tools for stabilizing your rifle. I used a Harris model for this review, which worked very nicely, as usual.

Another lightweight option that won’t break the bank is the Magpul bipod, which also connects by a sling stud.

Sling

butler creek neoprene rifle sling

A good sling is always nice to have on a hunting rifle. Call me a sucker, but I would recommend one of the Butler Creek neoprene models for this rifle. They are inexpensive, and the sticky surface keeps the sling from sliding off your shoulder.

Alternatives

Howa Gamepro 2.0

HOWA HOUGE GAMEPRO 2.0 .22-250 REM
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The Howa Gamepro 2.0 is a model 1500 action rifle, also available in 6.5 PRC. It has a comparable price and a well-known history of excellent performance. Many models offer lightweight options.

Ruger American Go Wild  

RUGER AMERICAN
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The Ruger American is another excellent option. It comes in at a higher price point, but not so much as to be out of reach. The American also has a distinguished history of accurate shooting and reliable function. It too, has a great deal of different model options.

Conclusion

I liked the Mossberg Patriot LR more than I thought I would. I was concerned that the accuracy wouldn’t meet my expectations, but the Patriot liberated my mind from such concerns. The Patriot brings some pretty great features at an affordable price, and it looks good enough for people to take pride in.

The Patriot LR would make an excellent entry-level long-range rifle, particularly for hunting. Most hunters would welcome its lightweight and comfortable stock, and with things like a detachable box mag and a threaded muzzle, there is some added value from Mossberg.

The Patriot would be a cost-effective place to start your search if you are looking for a new hunting rifle, particularly for long-range shooting.

Have you shot a Mossberg Patriot? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood photo Jeff Wood is a self-described "Freelance Sharpshooter", with a passion for precision rifle shooting, particularly as it applies to hunting. When not at work, he is likely to be tinkering with the next gun-related project or likely in the nearby mountains, either shooting or fishing with family. Jeff has shared his extensive knowledge of firearms through several well-known platforms, including Guns.com, Gun University, American Firearms, Desert Tech, and ColdBoreMiracle.

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