Having caught the suppressor bug, I’ve wanted to check out a bolt-action .308 that’s compact enough to handle the extra length and weight of a silencer, yet still remain portable and handy. That’s what peaked my interest in the Mossberg MVP Patrol.
The MVP Patrol is a 7 ½ pound rifle (not including optic) that, as the name implies, is short, light and handy enough to tote around in a car or pack. The 16 ¼ inch barrel is capped by a standard birdcage flash hider, which means that threading for suppressor attachment is already there. The stock is composite and the forend is thick and sturdy. The Patrol is a hard use rifle, not a svelte and trim hunter model, although there’s no reason it wouldn’t serve as a great field rifle.
The model tested was the 7.62mm NATO and it was stamped accordingly on the barrel. The barrel itself features a 1:10 twist rate and is finished with a matte blueing. The synthetic stock is all business with molded texture in the grip and forend. The rifle is available with your choice of black or tan stocks. Two sling swivel attachments round out the stock itself. End to end, including the flash hider and recoil pad, the rifle measures 37 ½ inches and length of pull is 13 ¼ inches.
The MVP Patrol tested is part of a small family. Mossberg offers the MVP Patrol in .223/5.56mm and .308/7.62mm chambers, and each caliber offering is available as an “iron sights” configuration or with a pre-mounted and bore-sighted 3-9x32mm optic. The version tested was a standard model, but all models include a six-inch Picatinny rail, so adding an optic was easy.
Admittedly, placement and operation of things like safeties and bolt release mechanisms are a personal preference issue. I’m not sure there are hard and fast right and wrong answers. With that said, I really like how the Mossberg MVP Patrol works.
The safety is a lever placed just behind the bolt handle on the right side. It’s topped by knurled knob that you operate with your firing hand thumb. Pull it backward when the bolt is cocked or open and it will move into safe mode. Push forward, exposing a red dot underneath and the rifle is ready to fire. I found I could operate this easily without any change whatsoever to my firing grip – just rotate my thumb over the receiver and push or pull. Operation is very positive so there is no doubt about operating this by feel alone. I really like it.
The bolt release is also about as intuitive as it gets. Just opposite the bolt handle is a small push lever with a textured surface. Hold this down with your support hand thumb while pulling the bolt back and it will glide right out of the receiver. Easy and un-finicky. This came in really handy for brief cleanings while doing accuracy and velocity testing.