The new Mossberg Patriot LR Hunter is one of the growing number of hybrid long-range/sporting rifles that have become so popular among hunters in recent years. It’s based on the company’s popular push-feed Patriot action, which features dual locking lugs and spiral fluted bolt body and comes with either a 22- or 24-inch fluted sporter contour barrel with a threaded muzzle and end cap. But what really sets this LR Hunter apart from other Patriot rifles is the addition of a new aluminum pillar bedded stock with a wooden core and Spider Grey polymer exterior.
The exterior of the stock features micro texturing that provides added grip and eye appeal. The stock has a deep, well-contoured pistol grip that’s comfortable to shoot from a variety of positions, and a raised Monte Carlo comb that properly aligns the shooter’s eye with the optic. The forearm of the stock is widened and has a flat base so it’s easy to shoot off bags, and dual sling studs make mounting a sling and bipod quick and simple. Other key features include a top Picatinny rail for fast and secure optics mounting, a two position rocker-type safety, a detachable polymer box magazine and Mossberg’s patented LBA bladed trigger that is user adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds.
Despite having the look and feel of a target gun the Patriot LR Hunter isn’t cumbersome. Depending upon caliber, the rifle weighs between 6½ and 7 pounds, so it’s suitable for a wide range of hunting situations. There are currently four caliber options including .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and .300 Win. Mag. The 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. versions hold five rounds in the magazine, the 6.5 PRC holds four rounds, and the .300 Win. Mag. version holds three rounds.
I tested the Patriot Hunter LR in the field last December and was extremely impressed with the performance. The version I tested was chambered in 6.5 PRC, and groups sizes measured around .8 inches at 100 yards using Hornady’s 143-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter load. What’s more, the new stock design is very versatile and allows you to shoot this gun comfortably from a variety of positions.
It’s also easy to top-load this rifle. Especially impressive is the fact that the Patriot LR Hunter offers all of this at a reasonable price point. The MSRP for this rifle is $721, and street prices will likely be under $700. Considering the accuracy potential and the features found on this gun, the Mossberg is capable of competing with rifles costing much more.
For more information, visit mossberg.com.