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Robbie
January 31, 2024
12
min read

Take a Look at the 7mm PRC Mossberg Patriot Predator

After several years of testing frustrations, has Adrian actually found a turkey hunting vest that she is going to hunt with more than one season? Could the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest actually be the perfect turkey hunting vest for her?

4.9

The cartridge that rocked the world and revolutionized modern sporting rifles has been announced, and is now in circulation. Well, at least that's what Hornady would want you to think about the new 7mm PRC.

According to Hornady:

It is designed as an efficient, capable, and balanced 7mm magnum cartridge. The 7mm PRC provides several advantages over existing cartridges. It was designed ground up to have inherently accurate chamber geometry, an efficient case shape, and appropriate overall length. These attributes, coupled with a standard 1:8 twist rate, mean the 7mm PRC is perfectly suited to utilize the 21st century, low drag bullets without seating them too deep into the case.

With all the fuss surrounding the possibilities of the new 7mm PRC, we had to take a shot...pun intended!

There are several gun manufacturers that have started producing quality off-the-shelf rifles. Some of them include Ruger, Savage, Christensen, Bergara, and last but not least Mossberg!

And, obviously there are several custom gun makers that will happily chamber you a rifle in this new offering.

Mossberg Patriot Predator resting on the bench during our initial shots

Thankfully, we were able to get one of these "budget-friendly" rifles at the end of deer season so we could do some field testing. And that's exactly what we have been doing!

Within a few days of receiving the Mossberg Patriot Predator, we had it topped with an Athlon Neos 3-9x40 scope. We had thankfully already purchased a couple boxes of Hornady Precision Hunter ammo, so off to the range we went for our first shots with the new 7mm PRC.

After that first trip to the range, we were sighted in on target. And, after using the LabRadar to obtain velocity measurements for the ELD-X bullet, we knew that we could be accurate out to at least 200 yards.

Don't let the budget friendly thought from above fool you into thinking this rifle won't shoot accurately. There's more about the accuracy below.

This review was written without bias and without payment or advertising from Mossberg. We were able to purchase this rifle at a discount but that has no bearing on our review. If we didn't like it, we wouldn't be writing about it! If you find this review helpful, and want to help support our work, please click any of the affiliate links throughout as they help us (at no extra cost to you) – thanks!

Next stop, Doe Patrol!

It was time to put some extra meat in the freezer and see what this new cartridge offering could do.

Robbie setup and ready with the Mossberg Patriot behind the Nukem Hunting Blind

Here are some specs for the Mossberg Patriot Predator: (Caliber dependent)

  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Overall Length: 35.5" - 44.25"
  • Barrel Length: 16.25"-24"
  • Barrel Twist: 1:8 (6.5 CM, 6.5 PRC, 7 PRC); 1:10 (.308, .243 Win); 1:14 (22-250 Rem); 1:24 (450 Bushmaster)
  • Muzzle: Threaded 5/8x24
  • Magazine: Detachable, flush fit magazine. Capacity is dependent upon caliber
  • Barrel Finish: Cerakote® - Patriot Brown; Also available in Matte Blue
  • Available in .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, 6.5 PRC, 7 PRC, 22-250 Rem, 450 Bushmaster
Stock:
Standard hunter style stock on a proven Patriot Chassis
  • Synthetic stock w/options of Strata Camo or Flat Dark Earth
  • Fixed length of pull
  • Proven Patriot Chassis
  • Sling mounts front and back
Bolt and Action:
Oversized bolt handle and fluted bolt on Mossberg Patriot Predator
  • Oversized bolt handle
  • Spiral Fluted bolt
  • Smooth bolt cycle with and without ammo in the magazine
Trigger:
Average trigger pull poundage of 2 lb 1.3 ounces
  • Easily Adjustable Trigger - stated as low as two and as heavy as seven pounds, and can be adjusted by you!
  • Ours was barely over 2 lbs out of the box, we haven't tried adjusting it because we're happy where it is.
  • Barely any take-up and has a crisp break at that 2 lb mark
  • Trigger safety is part of the trigger (a part that Adrian really doesn't like).
  • Based on Adrian's hand positioning on the stock, it's harder for her to reach the trigger than it is for me.
  • Two position safety right behind the bolt knob, easy to reach and work with thumb.
Barrel:
Mossberg fluted barrel to assist with heat dispersion
  • Fluted Barrel with a Patriot Brown Cerakote® finish
  • Comes w/Picatinny rail for optics attachment
  • Barrel has an 11-degree Match Crown
  • Threaded Barrel w/thread protector
  • Differing barrel lengths are caliber dependent

The main difficulty we've found with this rifle has been finding options for ammo.

Since the 7mm PRC caliber was just launched in the past year, there really aren't many factory ammo options for it yet. In fact, when we first started shooting the gun, we only had two. Both were from Hornady, and one was a Match bullet.

Thankfully, the other option is the 175 grain ELD-X bullet.

We've used the same Hornady ELD-X bullet (other calibers) in several hunting scenarios and have been impressed with the results.

Hornady Precision Hunter 175 grain ELD-X

At the time of writing this article, we've been able to find two other 7mm PRC factory loads: Hornady 160 grain CX Outfitter and the Federal Premium loaded with the same 175 grain ELD-X bullet as those Precision Hunters. I've heard that Remington and Weatherby also now have options, but we've yet to come across either of those in a store.

Accuracy:

The tightest group we've shot so far has been a .243 MOA group at 100 yards using a factory loaded Hornady 180 grain ELD-M Match Grade Ammunition. Of course, that's Adrian's group instead of mine. We all know that she usually shoots better than me anyway!

We couldn't believe our eyes when Adrian shot this group on her first trip to the range with the Mossberg Patriot Predator.

When it comes to factory hunting ammo, there are only a few options. So far, our best groups have been with the 175 grain ELD-X ammo from Hornady.

Initial group with the 175 grain ELD-X ammo we used for deer hunting.

I think you can tell from the pictures above, we've been impressed with the ability to shoot great groups with this Mossberg Patriot with those loads. However, we haven't had the same results with the Hornady Outfitters which is loaded with a 160 grain CX bullet.

Larger groups with the 160 grain CX Hornady Outfitter ammo.

Recoil:

Over the past several years as we continue to shoot more frequently, we've really come to appreciate a threaded barrel. The 5/8x24 thread pattern on the Mossberg Patriot Predator gives you plenty of options for something to cover those threads.

We've had the opportunity to shoot this rifle with and without a muzzle brake as well as with a Gunwerks Six suppressor on the end.

Each of those variations has still proven reliable from an accuracy standpoint.

The tightest three-shot group that Adrian shot (the picture above) was with the Area 419 Hellfire Brake screwed onto the barrel threads. That has probably proven the most comfortable variation to shoot from a recoil standpoint.

Action shot of the recoil dissipation of the Area 419 Hellfire Brake

In fact, with that brake attached, I would say the recoil is equal to or barely more than most of our .308 caliber rifles.

Optics:

Everyone always says that a rifle is only as good as the optic on top of it. Since the Mossberg Patriot Predator is seeming like a great budget rifle, we decided not to break the bank for the optic to go on top. And thankfully, it comes standard with an optics rail already attached. We did take it off, make sure it was clean, and then re-torque the screws just in case.

Athlon Neos w/illuminated BDC 500 reticle

We decided to go with the Athlon Neos 3-9x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Its illuminated BDC 500 IR reticle was designed to deliver a high level of precision at extended targets that can be used with today’s most popular rifle cartridges.

The Athlon Neos weighs in at 17 ounces, has a 1" diameter tube, and has an advertised 3" eye relief. It's also advertised to have:

  • Fully multi-coated lenses that gives you better light transmission bringing optimum brightness and true color across the entire light Spectrum.
  • BDC 500 IR Reticle etched on the Glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability with much higher shock resistance to recoil.
  • Heat treated one-piece tube gives the scope extra strength. A one-piece tube is also better at keeping moisture out, thus keeping your scope fog proof for the life of the product.
  • Nitrogen purging dramatically reduces the moisture inside the tube and helps in maintaining the fog proof and waterproofing of the scope.
  • Aircraft grade aluminum tube that has exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity will protect these world class optics no matter what punishment you throw at it.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Fluted bolt and barrel
  • Flush mount drop magazine
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Oversized bolt knob
  • Suppressor or muzzle brake ready threads
  • Comes with picatinny rail attached for mounting scope
  • Several Predator models come with Cerakote finish
  • Affordable price, differing models/calibers range from $450 up to $550
  • Has been reliable and accurate for us
Cons
  • Depending on who you ask, could get several bad reviews due to accuracy issues - but we haven't experienced this!
  • Trigger safety piece in the middle of trigger (only a con if you don't like it)
  • Plastic feeling magazine
  • No adjustability to length of pull or cheek piece available
  • For Adrian, her hand position needs to be more vertical for a better reach to the trigger

FAQs

Q: What calibers is it available in?

A: There are several different models of the Mossberg Patriot and depending upon the model you choose, several different calibers are available. 6.5 CM; 6.5 PRC; 22-250 Rem; 243 Win; 308 Win; 450 Bushmaster; 7mm PRC

I think it's safe to say, the most common calibers are all included. If you're looking for a specific caliber then I would suggest starting there and then determine a model. If you're looking for a specific model or Cerakote finish, start there and then determine what caliber you want based on the model.

Q: Why does the Mossberg Patriot get bad reviews from other sources?

A: That's a great question! Based on our experience with this rifle so far, there has been nothing to complain about. I will say, though, this is the only Mossberg Patriot we've ever shot.

Q: What factory ammo is available for the 7mm PRC?

A:  At the time of writing this article, we've been able to find 4 different factory ammo offerings and have heard there are two other loads in stores...somewhere. We've found three different loads from Hornady including 160 grain CX Outfitter, 175 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter, and the 180 grain ELD-M Match ammo. Federal has one offering so far that's loaded with the 175 grain ELD-X bullet.

Q: Where can I get one?

A: I would suggest a Google search to help with this one. As far as online retailers go, I've found them in different calibers at Cabela's, Sportman's Warehouse, and even Academy Sports. There's also a good chance that your local gun shop could get one from Mossberg if you're looking for a specific caliber and model.

Should I Buy This Thing?

This will likely come as no surprise to you, but it really just depends on what you're looking for!

If you're looking for a competition rifle that will win every shooting match you enter, this rifle may be capable of winning, but it's probably not going to be your first pick.

But, if you're looking for a hunting rifle that is a really good shooter, you definitely need to check out the Mossberg Patriot Predator. From its Cerakote finished and fluted barrel to the user adjustable trigger, oversized bolt knob, threaded barrel, and included picatinny rail, it's full of great features that really increase the value of this budget friendly rifle.

Robbie was able to take these two does on the first hunt with the Mossberg Patriot Predator in 7mm PRC

Of course, that's not to mention the great groups that we've been shooting with this rifle. We haven't stretched it out past 200 yards yet (except for one doe harvest at the end of the season) but anticipate shooting longer distance with it soon.

Now I'm not saying that buying this rifle can guarantee you a doe harvest, but you'll be one step closer for sure!

Written by
Robbie

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.