A year ago I used a Mossberg Patriot on a brown bear hunt. I was impressed with how economical it was and yet still very functional. I don’t need to tell you how unforgiving Alaska weather can be. One night we had 80- to 90-mph winds and half of the week it was raining pretty hard.
We’d head upstream to hunt every morning before daylight and my rifle rode leaning against the seat of the jonboat with a few inches of water sloshing around the floor boards. My hunting rifles don’t have an easy life.
So when I had a series of Texas hog and varmint hunts lined up in January and February, it was decided for me to test the Mossberg Patriot Revere.
Originally, I wanted it chambered in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor, but they were in such demand that they were unavailable, so I went with the old tried-and-true .30-06.
My first deer rifle, which I bought with my paper route earnings in sixth or seventh grade, was a .30-06. That’s what my dad hunted with, so of course that’s what I had to have. They’re still one of the most versatile calibers on the market to this day. You can buy factory ammo from 55 grains all the way up to 220 grains. Some modern writers try to discount the validity of the ol’ .30-06.
I don’t diss on other writers, but I’d have to say they need a few more years under their belt before they earn the right to criticize it.
MAYBE IT’S JUST PERSONAL taste, but the Revere has a beautiful walnut stock that is 100 times more attractive than a black plastic one. When I opened the box and saw the stock, I was impressed with its looks. To me, it’s a beautiful rifle at a great price.
It doesn’t hurt to be a little vain, does it? I also like that it has a detachable
clip. That way you can carry a couple of extra clips, which is really nice when you’re hunting dangerous game. That way you aren’t digging for loose shells out of an overstuffed pocket when it’s panic in the disco.
While at the 2018 SHOT Show I discovered a new optic company named Riton USA. In talking to them, one thing led to another and I ended up putting their RT-S MOD 5 4-16×50 on the Revere. I used the Sightmark Laser Bore Sight to bore sight it and
was ready to see how it shot.
At first, I wasn’t getting as good of groups as I wanted. I talked to a long-range shooting instructor who I know. He checked some of the obvious “might be” causes and all he noticed was a loose action bolt and tightened that.
Then I took it home and threw it on my Otis Range Box. Sometimes if you properly clean a gun it will shoot better, so I used some Otis gun cleaning gear and cleaned it until a rag came out white.
I’D ALREADY TESTED OUT FIVE variations of ammo from a company that I usually get good groups with. For some reason, though, they wouldn’t
group in this rifle, so I grabbed a variety of different weight bullets of Nosler ammo to see if I could tighten the groups. I went back out to shoot and here’s the Nosler ammo I tested and the best three shot groups that I got:
125-grain boattail 1¼ inch
168-grain E-Tip 1½ inch
180-grain AccuBond 1 1/8 inch
I was shooting off a stable table with sand bags but it was out on the prairie,
which means there’s always a 5- to 10-mph wind even on the best of days, so it might be possible to get even better groups under optimum conditions.
Any time you conduct a test, you always make one tweak and then retest.
If you make more than one tweak/adjustment, then you don’t know which one resulted in the positive change, and as mentioned above, I did two adjustments between shootings. I both tightened the action bolt and gave the barrel a thorough cleaning.
I’m going to attribute the favorable tightening of the groups to cleaning the barrel because after shooting for awhile, the groups widened out, which tells me for this rifle to be peaked out I need to clean it every 15 to 20 shots.
You may say that a warm barrel was affecting it, but the temps were in the high 50s so I believe it cooled off adequately between groups.
So after finding the right ammo, I’m going to give the Mossberg Patriot Revere two thumbs up. For a factory rifle, a 11/8-inch group is excellent.
Story & photos by Tom Claycomb III