Mossberg Rifles Are Not Cheap

A few years back I wrote in another publication about a bear hunt where I used a Mossberg rifle topped with a Swarovski scope. In the comments section, I got a wisecrack from an Internet expert about putting a $1,000 scope on a $100 rifle. The perception was that because many Mossberg shotguns are affordable, that their rifles were cheap. Well, I’m here to set the record straight—they’re not. In fact, their full-featured MVP LC has a suggested retail of almost $2,000.

Mossberg Patriot Walnut

Mossberg Patriot Walnut

That’s a bit above my pay grade, but Mossberg has other more affordable rifles and I recently had the opportunity to give a Mossberg Patriot rifle in .25-’06 a thorough workout during a Gunsite Hunter Prep course. With a suggested retail price of $499, it’s more of a lunch bucket price, but it’s well made and full featured.

The course had us firing 300 rounds over three days. While that’s not much for a carbine or pistol course, it’s a lot for a hunting course and I suggest if you ever take one, you use a lighter-recoiling rifle and not your super magnum or you’ll definitely be flinching by the end of the first morning.

Features I liked begin with the walnut stock. Usually I’m a synthetic kind of guy because my guns are tools, but Mossberg puts nice wood on these guns that are a huge step up from the “walnut finished hardwood” on other guns in this price range. Other nice cosmetic features include the fluted barrel and bolt. The barrel is lighter while retaining stiffness and the bolt just looks cool.

Gunstie instructor Il Ling New covered everything from the basic “keep your finger off the trigger” to live firing with a charging bear target.

Gunsite instructor Il Ling New covered everything from the basic “keep your finger off the trigger” to live firing with a charging bear target.

Feature-wise, I liked the detachable box magazine that can also be top-loaded while it’s in the gun. Gunsite’s Hunter Prep course has several scenarios meant to challenge your ammunition discipline, and if you’re not keeping topped off, you’re going to go empty. The course of fire is not meant to be realistic unless you’re being overwhelmed by a hoard of zombies, but it does give you a lot of great practice quickly loading and reloading to the point it becomes second nature.

You get a lot of accuracy for little money with Mossberg rifles.

You get a lot of accuracy for little money with Mossberg rifles.

Mechanically, these guns have robust plunger ejectors and adjustable Lightning Bolt Action triggers that anyone who can turn a screw can tune to between 2 and 7 pounds pull and still be safe. The safety is in the right place on these guns, and as for accuracy, I was regularly making kill shots out to 400 yards. The guns held up great in the hot, dusty desert conditions even though we didn’t clean them the entire time, with the only malfunction being when one gun developed sluggish ejection from dust accumulating around the ejector, and cleaning corrected that.

Mossberg’s Patriot is a good-looking centerfire rifle with classic American lines.

Mossberg’s Patriot is a good-looking centerfire rifle with classic American lines.

Bottom line, you get a hell of a lot of rifle for the money from Mossberg. They may be affordable, but they aren’t cheap.


Scott Mayer

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Scott Mayer

Scott Mayer

Writer at John1911
Mayer began his outdoor industry career in 1993 on the NRA Technical Staff where he became American Rifleman magazine first Shooting Editor. Mayer left NRA and entered the business end of publishing in 2003 as Advertising Account Executive for Safari Club International SAFARI Magazine and Safari Times newspaper. In 2006, Mayer was named Publisher of Shooting Times magazine where he was also tasked with launching and leading Personal Defense TV, the first television show of its kind.

In 2008, Mayer returned to the editorial side of publishing, this time in the digital field, as Editorial Director for Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns and Rifleshooter online magazines. After a brief stint in 2011 as the Digital Media Director for an ABC TV affiliate, Mayer returned to the outdoors industry and Safari Club International where he is currently Assistant Publisher and Multi-Media Communications Editor.
Scott Mayer

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  • Mikial

    Never owned a Mossberg rifle, although I’ve known a couple of people who loved theirs. As for their shotguns, I’ve been hunting with the same Mossberg 500 Hunting Model for several decades now. I’ve lost track of the number of pheasant, rabbits and doves I’ve taken with it without a single problem. So, inexpensive . . . affordable, absolutely. Cheap? Never.

    So I have no doubt they build a great rifle as well.

  • Brennen Munro

    Unfortunately, people are so full of what they “think they know”, that they have created categories of worth that have no relation to reality. Mossberg as a business would not still be in existence if they produced cheap junk. Even though the inexpensive Mossberg 500 is just that, inexpensive, it is far from being cheap. I have had this conversation with folks who just refused believe that the world could be any different from the world that they think they know! Thank you for sharing your experience with Gunsite’s Hunter Prep class.

    • Conner

      Brennen you just took the words out of my mouth. Mossberg has been around forever. Mossberg is not a “cheap” firearm. As a gunsmith I tend to think some other companies simply over charge for what you get. I have just bought a .243 Patriot combo. Came with a Vortex scope and a walnut stock. I could not be happier. The last rifle I worked on that had a fluted barrel cost the owner $1700. The trigger system is perfect. Mine came out of the box puling at 3 lbs. I have to tell you, a friends neighbor passed away some time back and had an old model 800 .308. It was rough but I bought it for practically nothing. While refurbishing it I found the quality of this rifle to be amazing. It is easily one of my favorite rifles, and I have been blessed with a very extensive collection. Remember when Taurus put all those custom features into one of their 1911 models and sold it for under $600? Taurus is also an inexpensive firearm, but with a lifetime warranty no matter who owns the gun how can anyone complain?

  • MidwayBill

    Over 40 years ago my Dad had purchased a Mossberg 800 in 243 Winchester. He had paid a bargain price for it at a local drug store in Billings, MT. I used it for hunting everything from Antelope to prairie dogs to Mule Deer, and it was accurate. My oldest brother somehow took possession of it when I was away in the military, and sold it. Some years later I bought a brand new Sako 243, (for much more than the Mossberg had cost) and I was never impressed with it. The Mossberg would shoot just about any ammunition accurately, be it handloads or factory, whereas the Sako was fair to downright poor, and it took a lot of handloading and a glass bed job to get it to shoot mediocre. I was pleased to see that Mossberg is back in the business of rifles, and I anticipate buying one in the future.

    • Bill, a Mossberg rifle that shoots 243 lights out would be freezes’ dream gun. Thanks for stopping by.