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Who would have thought! Mossberg makes a rifle?

Since the beginning of time, one name that is always mentioned when a discussion about shotguns comes up is Mossberg. Mossberg has been making very functional, dependable and reasonably priced shotguns since the 1940s.

I have owned several Mossberg shotguns over the years, and I have a couple in the safe, as well as one next to my bed. I have put countless rounds through Mossberg shotguns in my day and have harvested many a bird and squirrel with these guns.

But a Mossberg rifle? What is that?

Mossberg makes shotguns – and does a darn fine job of it. After several years of seeing advertisements, I began to wonder, “What’s up with Mossberg rifles,” and finally just had to try one out for myself.

Because the ongoing ammo shortage is also affecting me, I elected to try one in .270 caliber, as I had plenty of factory .270 Winchester ammo on hand. I went to Mossberg’s website to see which .270 I wanted and found a neat-looking model called the 4x4.

Based on the name, I wondered if it meant this rifle could go anywhere under any conditions – like a 4x4 truck? I couldn’t imagine why not, as the model I chose had a synthetic stock and the metal was treated with a non-reflective substance that looked like it could handle any condition without showing any wear. When my Mossberg 4x4 .270 Winchester rifle arrived and I unboxed it, the first thing that hit me was how easily it handled with the textured stock. So many times I have handled long guns that wanted to slip from my hands unless I had a gorilla grip on them. But this rifle is very easy to handle without any fear of it slipping from your hands.

Next, my eyes went right to the LBA “Lightning Bolt” adjustable trigger. I am a believer that a very accurate rifle with a very long, “creepy” trigger will make that rifle not so accurate. I wanted to see just how this adjustable trigger worked and what kind of pull and creep it had. Well, without much effort at all, I was able to adjust the trigger to what I would call a superb trigger pull with no creep. I was impressed!

I have shot rifles that cost upwards of 10 times what this rifle cost with triggers that made them terrible shooters. Mossberg has outdone themselves with the trigger on this rifle.

Next I went over the barrel. I am a believer that, with the exception of a small number of rifles, one way to achieve great accuracy is to free-float the barrel. I was able to run two thick pieces of paper between the barrel and stock, all the way to the receiver. I had a free-floated barrel.

Next on my list were the sights. There are no sights on this model, as it comes with Weaver scope bases and is designed to have a scope mounted to it. I am at a point in my life that I need glass on anything I want to shoot accurately past 50 yards, so no sights worked for me. I usually end up taking the sights off my hunting rifles if they come with them, so this was one less thing for me to do.

Then I noticed the recessed target crown – another nice feature on this rifle. I like a rifle with a target crown for two reasons. The target crown protects the end of the barrel from getting nicked while I am beating it around in my truck and stands, and the target crown seems to add a degree of accuracy, as it allows the gases to escape the end of the barrel in a way that stabilizes the bullet (or at least that is what I have read). The barrel is fluted, which does look neat. There are many discussions on the Internet about barrel fluting, but I believe the only thing fluting does is change the appearance of a rifle.

The coating on the metal is more than just a dull-finish bluing. The finish looks to me to be a coating that could withstand a lot of harsh weather and knocking around without sustaining damage. It is a non-reflective coating that makes it a good “stand” rifle. You for sure do not want to be in a stand and have the sun reflect off the barrel just as your quarry steps out of the cover.

Moving down to the magazine, which on this rifle is a detachable 4-shot, I found it is made of the same synthetic material as the stock. When inserted into the magazine well, it has a snug fit with no rattling. The release for the magazine is recessed, so there is no chance of hitting it on something as you trek through the woods and having your magazine fall out to be forever lost.

The neat-looking fluted bolt worked flawlessly, locked up tight and ejected a fired round up and away from the shooter. This rifle has a two-position lever safety that is large enough to work with a gloved hand. The firing pin assembly that passes through the bolt is an indicator as to whether the rifle is cocked or not.

The trigger guard is a molded part of the stock and is plenty big enough to accommodate a gloved finger (even a big, fat finger in a big glove). While checking out this feature I once again couldn’t help but notice the crisp, clean pull on this rifle’s exceptional trigger.

The fore grip and pistol grip on the stock are slightly stippled to add to the non-slip surface, making it a nice addition to the weather-proof synthetic stock. As I moved farther down the stock, I came to a nice, thick, soft, rubbery recoil pad designed to take the thump out of the rifle’s recoil.

One more feature I noticed before heading to the range were the sling attachments molded into the stock. They are not like the round, drilled-into-the-wood ones we are all used to, but are instead angled from the stock to incorporate your sling. I think you will like them.

Once at the range, I sat down at the 100-yard target. I had used my BSA bore-sighting tool before I left the house and found that it seemed to work well, as my first shot was only 3 inches off the point of aim.

Now that I was on the “X” with the first of my factory loads, I decided to see how the next 20 rounds would end up. After 20 rounds of Federal Fusion 130-grain boat tail, I was darn impressed.

I was really expecting this rifle to shoot 3- to 4-inch groups with the ammo it liked the best, while the others would be in 4- to 5-inch groups. But this first set of groups (5 groups of 4 rounds each) shot an average of 1.6 inches at 100 yards with a 5 to 6 mph crosswind.

I cleaned the barrel and set up for the next 20 rounds. My next box of ammo was Winchester Super-X 150-grain Power-Point. The results were 1.7 inches at 100 yards from a Caldwell Lead Sled rest.

After each 20 rounds, I cleaned the barrel and let it cool off for about 15 minutes. I brought a few .22 rifles with me that day, so I had plenty to keep me occupied while waiting for the barrel to cool.

My next two boxes (Barnes Vortex 130-grain and Nosler Trophy Grade 130-grain Accubond) did not fare as well as the first two, producing groups in the 2- to 2.8-inch size.

Next was all of the Hornady ammo I had been stockpiling. I shot Hornady American Whitetail 130-grain Interlock, Hornady Superformance 130-grain SST, Hornady Custom 130-grain SST, Hornady Superformance 140-grain SST Interlock, Hornady Custom 130-grain Interlock Spire Point, Hornady Custom 140-grain Interlock Spire Point and Hornady Custom 150-grain Interlock Spire Point.

I found that all of these would be acceptable hunting loads out to 200 yards, with groups ranging from 0.5 inches to 1.2 inches. (See chart for results of each). I then shot Remington Core-Lokt and some of their much more expensive flavors, along with some medium- to high-end price range Federal, Winchester and some Privi Partizan.

With the exception of only a few of these, they all shot better than I thought this rifle would be able to shoot. See, I had the mindset that the name Mossberg meant shotguns. Point the gun at the target, pull the trigger, and a bunch of pellets cover a target. But, I was wrong. The name Mossberg also means a very accurate, inexpensive, quality rifle.

Now that I had put a pile of bullets through the rifle from a rest, I wanted to see how it did from a standing position and from a bench with just a bag to lay the fore end on.

My first few rounds were from a standing position. The “thump” produced by both 130-grain and high-power 150-grain bullets was not bad. The big, soft rubber pad absorbed most of the felt recoil.

I then moved back to the bench with only a bag to rest the fore end on. With the exception of my groups tightening up from the standing position, the rifle shot great.

My overall opinion of this rifle is, “Why haven’t I had one before?” The price is right, it is very accurate, it is weatherproof, it is durable, looks neat and is made in the USA! I was impressed with the overall looks and performance of this Mossberg 4x4 bolt-action rifle. Mossberg has several other types of rifles that I will now have to try.

Maybe my next one will be the 464 SPX .30-30 lever action?

• Caliber .270 WIN

• Capacity 5

• Barrel 24 Fluted

• Sights Weaver Style Bases

• Scope None

• Twist 1:10

• Length Of Pull 13.25”

• Finish Matte Blue

• Stock: Synthetic (Black) Classic Style

• Weight 6.75 lb

• Overall Length 46.5”

If all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings. Shoot Straight, Shoot Safe!

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Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”