I was in the market for something a bit more “upscale” when this rifle caught my eye. As in a nice Remington 700 .308 with high end glass. Well, that all changed after I worked the bolt and tested the trigger pull on the Mossberg ATR. As in All Terrain Rifle.
This particular ATR is the Night Train .308, which comes with a Barska 4-16X50mm scope and a bipod. All of this for an MSRP 0f $615.00, however I paid $460.00 at the gun show.
The ATR has a lot going for it. Fluted free float 22″ barrel, recessed crown, very smooth bolt, synthetic stock, adjustable LBA (Lightning Bolt Action) trigger, factory installed scope and bipod. The trigger is adjustable down to two pounds, mine came out of the box set at three pounds. The trigger pull is very crisp, with little take up. There is a small protrusion on the face of the trigger with a lightning bolt cutout. The blade blocks the sear until it’s depressed. Feels a bit like a two stage trigger, however it is only a single stage setup.
The safety is similar to the Remington 700, just a flick of your thumb and it doesn’t foul your point of aim. The magazine is an internal 4+1, with no floor plate. This requires the shooter to cycle the action to unload the rifle. Would be nice to have a floor plate to drop the rounds though.
The bolt is very smooth and has a more curved profile than the 700. It has a recessed face and a plunger ejector. There is a little bit of wobble to it, nothing out of the ordinary.There is a sizable gas shoulder that blends well with the receiver.
As for the stock, nothing fancy to report here. Your typical black synthetic affair with checkering in the usual areas and a rubber buttpad. Perceived recoil was a little sharper than that of the 700. It seemed flimsy at first, however it should holdup fine for what this rifle is intended to be. The same cannot be said of the bipod. In my opinion it was the worst part on the rifle, low grade plastic. Took it off and dropped it in the recycling bin. Plan to replace it with a Harris in the near future.
All of this sounds fine, but how does it shoot? Quick answer, much better than I expected. As in a three shot group of 7/8″ at 50 yards with Atomic ammo’s 168 gr match rounds. In fairness, the group could have been tighter, there was a little heckling involved. Two of the shots were touching, the third was probably pulled. Several other rounds were tested with varying degrees of accuracy. Those will be posted later in the upcoming .308 ammo article. We had planned to test it out to 200 yards, however Mother Nature had other plans. As in she dropped quite a bit of rain on us. I’ll add the 200 yard data soon. Chris Ward and Dwaine Upperman from War Angel Arms were on hand to help with the test. Chris is a competitive long range shooter, he has shot matches out to 1000 yards. He’s just the guy to sight it in and pull the trigger. He fired three rounds, ran a boresnake and allowed the rifle to cool off before the next run.
He was very impressed with everything about the rifle. The bolt, the trigger and the accuracy. We all had our reservations about the Barska scope. They were put to rest quickly. The scope tracked fine with every click of the turret and held zero. The scope rings had to be retightened once, nothing a little loctite can’t fix.
Until we can stretch it out to 200 yards or better I have to limit my review here. The ATR performed better than expected, chris may buy one in the near future. The Night Train package deal may not be the best way to go however. If I were to go back, I would buy the base model and save my money for a better scope and bipod. To be clear, the Barska 4-16X50mm performed well. I have my doubts about it’s ability to hold zero, time will tell. I’ll update this article when we have more data.
If you’re in the market for a budget bolt gun, the Mossberg is worth a look. It fills a price point and does everything you expect it to. Seems well built and should hold up just fine. My Personal opinion, this is a solid platform that will do it’s job. Would be great for a truck gun or something to strap on your ATV. If it gets damaged in the process, you haven’t lost too much of an investment.
22″ fluted free float barrel with recessed crown
1:10 twist rate
Length of pull 13.25″
Weight 8.5 lb
Overall length 42″
Magazine capacity 4+1 internal, no floorplate
Tom Foster Theslidestop.com
Chris Ward Technical assistance
Dwain Upperman Technical assistance
David Funderburk Editor
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