Editor's note: Brian McCombie recently put the following gear to work on a caribou hunt in Newfoundland. Catch up on his story here.
I’d read many good things about the Mossberg Patriot rifle, and they all proved to be true. For about $550, hunters get a very accurate, walnut-stocked rifle (available in many standard hunting calibers) with a detachable box magazine and a precise, user-adjustable Lightning Bolt Action trigger.
The Patriot is a twin-lug, push-feed bolt-action. The bolt has a spring-loaded plunger ejector, and the extractor is centered within the bolt’s bottom locking lug. The magazine is polymer. It weighs only 2 ounces and holds five standard cartridges (less in magnum chamberings). The barrel is button-rifled, fluted and measures 22 inches long. Although the grip and fore-end are stippled instead of checkered, the stock design is classic with a straight butt. The gun comes with Weaver-style scope bases, but no sights. My rifle was chambered in .300 Win. Mag., just in case I needed a little extra range.
I topped the Patriot with a Bushnell 4500 Elite 2.5X-10X-40mm scope. The glass was edge-to-edge clear and transferred light well, even at dusk, while the DOA 600 reticle provided a series of rangefinding hash marks below the center crosshair.
At the range, I drilled 1-inch and better groups at 100 yards with Hornady Superformance ammunition. In the field, the polymer-tipped, 180-grain SST bullet hit like a freight train, based on the smashed bone and thoroughly ventilated lungs I saw when my guide field-dressed my 400-pound stag.
The Patriot is a solid hunting rig. And yes, I liked the rifle so much I bought it, and an extra synthetic stock for hunts in really lousy conditions. This is a gun I will use for many years to come.