The Most Versatile Mossberg isn’t a Shotgun: The MVP Patrol 5.56

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Mossberg ships the MVP with a 10 round mag, but all AR mags fit.

I will be the first one to admit that when I think of Mossberg’s guns, their rifles aren’t the first thing that come to mind. I’m a Mossberg fanboy. One of the three guns I keep close-at-hand is my Mossberg 590A1. It is a classic because it’s bombproof and it works. But rifles? There are so many other names that come to mind.

That’s changed now. The MVP is a solid platform. We reviewed the MVP Patrol a while back, and were pleased with it, but I wasn’t the one pulling the trigger. This time we’re looking at the MVP Patrol in 5.56. The basic nature of this rifle’s design makes it easy to use, and the various chamberings (5.56, and .308) make it a logical choice for preppers. If you’re looking for a compact rifle that shoots inexpensive ammo, and one that is surprisingly capable, you should check out the Mossbergs.

The MVP Patrol

The MVP line is easy enough to understand. All of the guns are bolt action rifles. The materials are typical to rifles of this class: wood and blued steel. Yet Mossberg has taken the concept to the next level by incorporating some common design elements that set the MVP apart. My favorite is the magazine well. The MVP line takes AR-15 mags, or AR-10 mags (depending on the caliber). We’re looking at the Patrol today, which looks more like a scout rifle than the Predator version.

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The Whole rifle comes in at a compact 37.5 inches.

Mossberg includes one 10 round AR mag with the gun, but it will take any mag that will fit in an AR. I tried all of the various brands I have kicking around. Polymer mags are tighter, but they will work. This version of the MVP Patrol has another common AR feature: the flash hider. Another version does away with it, which leaves the barrel just over 16 inches. The stock is rugged. They come in black, green and tan. The texture on them is very aggressive. While there are patterned areas at the forend, the whole stock has the feel of course sand paper. There isn’t a place on the gun that feels slick. It is almost like the wooden stock of the gun has been sprayed with bed-liner.

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To keep the finish from eating your cheek, the MVP comes with a neoprene cover.

This may explain the neoprene sleeve over the buttstock. Without it, getting a good cheek weld would be like snuggling up to 40 grit sandpaper. What makes the rest of the rifle easy to hold makes could be uncomfortable.

Speaking of cheek welds, I’d like to spill some ink in praise of Mossberg’s adaptive use of sights on the Patrol. So many bolt guns ship from the factory with a few holes tapped in the receiver. No irons. No rail. Even AR-15s often ship without irons.

Not the Patrol. It has a large fiber optic front blade that is almost tall enough to extend over the top of a suppressor. And the rear sight, mounted midway down the barrel, is fully adjustable. These aren’t the world’s best iron sights, mainly because the actual size of the front bead is too large for long range target acquisition, but they’re going to do just fine out to 100 yards. And they are there, as a back up, if you should ever need them.

One way that the MVP Patrol is not set up like a scout rifle is the placement of the scope rail. The rail sits proud above the receiver. While this makes hand loading a bit more cumbersome, it doesn’t impede ejection. The rifle kicks out brass consistently. And the rail allows for the immediate use of an infinite variety of optics. No struggling to find matching scope mount bases. Plug and play. Mossberg sells a version that has a scope already mounted, too, for those who want to take that last element out of the equation.

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I like that the rifle is suppressor ready. The closed system should be very quiet.

The rest of the rifle’s design seems to borrow from bolt gun traditions that are well established. Strap points, the angle of the grip, the width of the forend–all of these will feel familiar to most shooters. Even the 13.25 inch length of pull is fairly typical. All of this is intentional, of course. The MVP Patrol is a pedestrian rifle. It is meant to feel familiar. And the rounds it fires, either the 5.56 or the .762 NATO are also common.

Which brings me to the prepping

When I first saw the Mossberg MVP Patrol, I was smitten. The Patrol speaks to that graphic-novel-style prepper inside me. I’ll be honest, for a moment. When we finally experience TEOTWAWKI, I’m likely to kick off pretty fast. I’ll get a sinus infection as soon as I run out of Claritin. That will progress into bronchitis, and pneumonia. Even if I survive, I’m going to be an easy and well prepared target. Who ever finds me will find a nice stash of tools and supplies.

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The rear sight is built like a small Dalek.

But in my imagination, the Patrol will be incredibly useful. As the gun shoots common military calibers, there will never be a shortage of ammo. Even for those who don’t stockpile, there will be 5.56 and .762 to be scrounged up. As these rounds are available now, in massive quantities, they’re easier to stockpile than most American hunting rounds. And they’re arguably just as effective.

For those who hunt whitetail, or hogs, the .223 is a good choice. In bear country, or for moose, or elk, I’d stick with the .762. Either way, prepping or hunting, or both, this rifle is a winner. The compact length of 37 inches means it is easy to carry. It slings over your shoulder well, and doesn’t stick up so far that it is going to catch in brush. And it doesn’t weigh much, only 7 pounds.

And it is a bolt action that breaks down easily. This rifle couldn’t be any easier to clean and maintain. There’s no gas tube to foul. There are no retaining pins to lose. In a world driven by high-tech guns with tolerances down to the thousandth of an inch, the Mossberg MVP feels refreshingly old fashioned. Sometimes I take apart a rifle and I know I’d never be able to fix a serious problem. But the MVP is more like raising the hood on an old Ford, back before cars had computers. You can see how the engine works, and you could probably fix it with an old coke can, a hammer, and half a roll of duct tape.

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These five shots were made from 100 yards, and were shot for point of impact, not group width. That orange dot is only 1 inch wide.

Shooting the MVP

Have I given the impression that I’m really impressed with this gun yet? If not, it is coming. When Mossberg sent me this gun to review, I liked the fundamentals, but had no inflated expectations for its performance. It is a tool. I thought of the MVP as a hammer for a nail. As we’d already reviewed the Predator version, with its longer barrel and more comfortable stock configuration, I didn’t feel any real rush to get the Patrol out on the range. I’d shot guns like this before, and their performance was always barely acceptable. It seemed like the point of some guns like this was their utilitarian potential, and not their actual performance.

Apologies to Mossberg. I was wrong. This gun shoots incredibly well. The 16.5 inch barrel has a bit of heft. It isn’t a full bull barrel, but it isn’t a tapered barrel, either. As such it doesn’t heat up as fast as most bolt guns. And it isn’t half as prone to barrel whip.

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From 300 yards, aimed at the 7. It would have been an impressive group had it not been for the flier.

We sighted the gun in at 50 yards, and then took it out to 100 and 300 yards. At 50, this gun is shooting right at 1 MOA. And this tight group width holds at 100 and 300 yards, too. And we were using some dusty, old 5.56. The results you see pictured were from regular 55 grain FMJ. Still, even with the tarnished brass, this rifle spit out the lead and kicked out the empties.

And accuracy was outstanding. The 100 yard group pictured above wasn’t shot for MOA group width, but for point of aim accuracy. I’d stuck that pasty dot on an almost clean yellow silhouette that someone had left at the range. I figured I could get close to the dot, close enough to see holes in the yellow paper. I was using a Nikon P223 scope. I missed consistently low with three rounds, then threaded the needle with the last two.

Moving out to 300 yards (pictured left), the rounds spread out a bit, but the accuracy was still lethal. I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a whitetail at 300 yards with this gun, even with a .223.

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Mossberg ships the MVP with a 10 round mag, but all AR mags fit.

What more do you want?

The price, probably. That’s a deciding factor for most of us. The MVP Patrol isn’t cheap. The MSRP for this version is $726, though they are available for less than that. Still, the rifle will cost about as much as an entry level AR.

Yet think about what you get. You sacrifice the rapid fire speed of the AR platform. And you get rid of all of the AR’s headaches, too. And you can hunt with this rifle wherever you can hunt with .223. And, if you need a rifle for the back of the truck, or the cabin, or the plane, or whatever, here it is. Pack it up and set it aside for later, or pop on a strap and carry it every weekend in the fall. Either way. The MVP will be there, ready to roll.

I’d never suggest that this rifle replace your AR. Far from it. But it does make a great companion piece.

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From 50 yards, aimed at the 8. Not a bad group for such a short barrel.

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The rear sight can be adjusted to match several shooting styles.

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The front sight is very easy to pick up in low light, and a beacon in the full sun.

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The rear sight sits out of the way, but it will be there if you should need it.

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Mossberg has two safety features built in. The trigger safety you see here is backed up by a traditional tang safety.

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The stock is wooden, though you wouldn’t know it by the feel. It has a course, almost plastic feel.

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The rail makes the chamber appear cramped, but brass ejects like it should.

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The bolt is riding close on top of the next round, and picks up some of the brass.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Hair October 14, 2017, 11:52 pm

    A) Why review this bolt gun in 5.56 caliber when the full auto costs the same and has the same accuracy? Very Shortsighted. Nobody is going to buy this gun in 5.56 for prepping
    B) As a 308 alternative to the full auto is where this rifle will shine. Why? Because it costs half as much as a semi auto 308 that’s why and has better accuracy(maybe, you didn’t review it in 308 duh!)

    Sorry to be so hard on the author of this article but you think with the end in mind before you start ANYTHING and that includes a gun review.

    • Tom November 2, 2017, 11:28 pm

      I don’t know, there always seems to be someone else looking at the MVP Patrol when I go to the gun shop. I own ARs in 5.56 and 7.62 and the author is right about the Patrol being a fun gun to shoot. The semi autos are more susceptible to fouling or just poor ammo quality, the bolt gun is impervious to these things almost. I like to think I am prepared for anything and this rifle fills the bill for what I think I need. If you check around you can find AR-15s for less than $500, Palmetto State seems to always have one model or the other for around $500 and some type of AR-10 for $750 or less. So the MVP Patrol is right between the cost of the semi autos. The only thing I wish they had done was keep the peep sight on the Patrol like the Scout.

  • Dom December 21, 2015, 7:15 pm

    I just brought one home; have not had the chance to fire it yet, but I have had time to deal with Customer Service.

    The rifle appears to be everything the article stated, and just about everything I expected; it was however, missing the rear sight, but 3 minutes on the phone with Mossberg C/S, and a new rear sight assembly is on the way, free of charge.

    The threaded muzzle offers a very-good number of options; the rifle I bought came with a standard AR suppressor.

    I bought the .223/5.56 version; the bolt rides smooth and straight, and the adjustable trigger is clean and crisp; my grandchildren are going to love shooting/hunting with this rifle, and for less than $525.00, I will too.

    Thanks Mossberg!

  • Anthony G. February 22, 2015, 5:28 pm

    I have purchased the mossberg mvp .223/5.56 I was very impressed by the grouping of the gun at 200 yards. Incredible gun. However, I am not impressed on the bolt. It jams up feeding the next round in. I have to wiggle the bolt and pull back on it about 1/8 of an inch to be able to get it to feed in the rest of the way properly. Any body have suggestions on how to solve this? I’m using the original mag that came with the gun. Should I play with different mags to see if that’s my problem? Thanks.

    • John March 14, 2015, 9:25 am

      I have the MVP in 5.56 with PMags (the plastic ones, all 10 rounds because NYS prohibits anything greater), at any rate, the PMags and the metal Mossberg mag all load fine, although I have not yet, chambered it hard and fast for speed shooting.
      I’m waiting for Weaver see-thru sights to mount a scope, since I upgraded the iron sights to Williams Fire sights.
      J

    • John March 14, 2015, 9:25 am

      I have the MVP in 5.56 with PMags (the plastic ones, all 10 rounds because NYS prohibits anything greater), at any rate, the PMags and the metal Mossberg mag all load fine, although I have not yet, chambered it hard and fast for speed shooting.
      I’m waiting for Weaver see-thru sights to mount a scope, since I upgraded the iron sights to Williams Fire sights.
      J

    • Doug May 14, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Try magpul 20 rounders. Also, try blasting some remoil in the area of the bolt that strips the next round. Wet up the entire action with CLP. Shoot a couple hundred rounds and see if things don’t smooth out.

  • Heartland Patriot February 1, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I don’t think the rifle comes with that neoprene sleeve. Was the rifle sent from Mossberg that way?

  • Jeffrey December 29, 2014, 2:28 pm

    I have a Patrol & a Varmint (both in 5.56/.223) and they both flat out shoot. The Patrol is a little finicky with magazines.

  • epwrangler November 5, 2014, 7:16 am

    It Gets Tiresome Reading The put downs by the snob crowd. Every forum seems to have them. I own an mvp 762 and am very happy with it. None of the BS critics seem to have it right. These are amazing rifles for the price.

    one other gun I would love is a Ruger American with irons and a 10 round mag on an 18 inch barrel. What a package that would be.

    • Hair October 14, 2017, 11:55 pm

      Mossberg should offer the MVP with an 18″ barrel for the 308 version. The thunder ranch version doesn’t have a threaded barrel n 308 and I think that’s a big loss on the mossberg side.

  • epwrangler November 5, 2014, 7:15 am

    It Gets Tiresome Reading The put downs by the snob crowd. Every forum seems to have them. I own an mvp 762 and am very happy with it. None of the BS critics seem to have it right. These are amazing rifles for the price.

    one other gun I would love is a Ruger American with irons and a 10 round mag on an 18 inch barrel. What a package that would be.

  • Dusty Smith September 29, 2014, 7:13 am

    I just purchased one in 5.56. Was at the range to renew my CHCL and took this with me for after the class. Somebody had left targets at the 100 yd. mark. No scope or bags , just sitting and I hit with all 10 shots. Don’t know the precise mark , but I could tell by where they hit on the hill behind target. Fantastic little rifle. Plan on getting 7.62 next !

  • Brian Meyette September 2, 2014, 10:20 am

    It may be a good rifle, but I sure hope a buyer doesn’t need any sort of customer service from Mossberg. I’ve been trying for weeks to contact their customer service by phone and email about an issue with one of their shotguns.

  • Phil Morgan September 1, 2014, 9:38 pm

    The gun is accurate. The trigger is not very adjustable and the feed mechanism often hangs up on the next round. I will probably send mine in to get these factors fixed.

  • Duray September 1, 2014, 3:16 pm

    “Not a bad group for such a short barrel.”
    PLEASE stop perpetuating the myth that accuracy is a function of barrel length.

    • Brad October 10, 2015, 3:30 pm

      Velocity is a huge contributor to accuracy, and the greater the barrel length, the greater the velocity. Ergo, accuracy IS a function of barrel length, at least in part.

      • Phil November 15, 2015, 11:49 pm

        Duray is correct. Velocity by itself has nothing to do with accuracy. CONSISTENCY in velocity certainly does, but there is absolutely nothing about a bullet travelling 3000 fps that makes it more accurate than the same bullet travelling 2000 fps. I only hope you are being sarcastic, Brad.

        As an aside, not only does a shorter barrel not give up any accuracy over a longer barrel, a shorter barrel of otherwise the same dimensions should provide BETTER accuracy, as it is inherently a stiffer barrel.

  • samsurd2 September 1, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Is the MVP chambered for 5.56, .223 or will it handle both calibers (like a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle)?

  • samsurd2 September 1, 2014, 12:21 pm

    Is the MVP chambered for 5.56, .223 or will it handle both calibers (like a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle)?

    • Administrator September 1, 2014, 12:22 pm

      both

    • kyle December 9, 2015, 3:05 pm

      if it is stamped 5.56 it most definitely can shoot .223.

      if it is stamped .223 i would not shoot 5.56…unless its a mini 14 ranch…which says it’s .223 but you CAN shoot 5.56.
      but dont take my word…do your own homework!

  • Steven September 1, 2014, 11:59 am

    Kind of lame, really. If you have an ugly stock, why not the superior and weatherproof synthetic?
    The glow sights are inefficient. The scope rail should be forward. The appropriate scopes are not hard to find.
    Kudos on the mag well, that’s a good idea.

    • Devin November 5, 2016, 11:54 pm

      They do have an MVP Scout available now with a forward rail (it’s extended, actually, as it still sits over the action at the rear) but it is only chambered in 7.62 NATO. It also has a ghost ring rear sight that is at the back of the rail instead of forward of it in the Patrol.

  • Ralph Edwards September 1, 2014, 10:29 am

    I fell in love with the MVP when it first came out. I literally searched everywhere for one during its first 6 months of production. When I finally got it I loved it even more. The only problems I had with the gun were the sloppiness of the bolt when it was pulled back and the pickup point for the next round. The bolt basically flopped around. I have an old POS Mauser that’s not even that floppy. And the round catch at the bottom of the lug felt so gimmicky that I thought it might pop off.
    In all… This gun was like that super hot chic you always wanted, only to find out that she had a std.
    I got rid of it after 2 months.

    • Surpreme Comander September 4, 2015, 11:19 pm

      Sorry for your loss. After 800 rounds of 5.56 it has yet to cause me a problem. It has made me more of a bolt action fan than a simi auto fan . I have simi auto I am well pleased with but my collection has know turned to bolt action all due to the Mossberg MVP Patrol. Might be adding the Mossberg Pariout .308 next. Happy Shooting and as always be safe above all else.

  • Mike Robinson September 1, 2014, 10:02 am

    David, thanks for the MVP article. The M on the forestock stands for Mike. I’ll run right out and get one. Be sure to have someone proof read your stuff before you publish. It will improve readability.

  • Joe September 1, 2014, 8:21 am

    Very good article. Someone, though, didn’t catch the “.762” caliber mistake. Shouldn’t it be 7.62 like 5.56?
    I’m a little picky like that. 😉

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