Mossberg Varmint Predator Light Chassis. Mossberg is not just famous for their robust and reliable shotguns: here is an interesting bolt action rifle .308 Winchester caliber or .223 Remington
The Mossberg catalog is rich of of shotguns and rifles for self-defense, hunting, and recreational use. Among the rifles, the Mossberg MVP LC (Mossberg Varmint Predator Light Chassis) which mates the sturdy and accurate Mossberg action to an MDT LSS (Modular Driven Technologies Light Sniper System) stock milled out of 6061-T6 billet in a resilient Cerakote finish.
The Mossberg MVP LC rifle comes with a Magpul CTR collapsible stock and a Magpul MOE hand grip. Magpul as well are the magzines: depending on caliber, the SS chassis accepts .223/AR-15 or .308/AR-10 style magazines.
All this gives the Mossberg MVP LC a very familiar feel for those accustomed shooting the AR-15 family of rifles.
The receiver is topped by a short length of Picatinny rail. The rifle doesn’t have iron sights as it is meant to be shot using a scope.
Several mounting points allow for Magpul style L5 or L3 MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails on the bottom of the forend up to 6,5” in length and the mounting of a bipod.
The 18,5” barrel is of a heavy profile, lightened with fluting in its forward half to reduce weight without renouncing the rigidity necessary for accurate shooting. This gives the rifle a better balance (even if it’s meant to be shot from a rest or bipod and remains seriously nose-heavy).
On the barrel muzzle, we find a nice three port muzzle brake: its tapered section and locking lugs betray it for a SilencerCo Saker Trifecta muzzle brake, which allows the user to install a quick detach SilencerCo Saker sound suppressor (where legal).
The bolt has been subjected to a similar lightening treatment, with the spiral fluting so common in these days on varmint or sniper rifles, its purpose being of weight reduction, minimizing bolt to receiver contact for a smoother action and trapping debris or dirt that could hinder bolt operation.
The bolt disassembly for cleaning is extremely simple: extend collapsible buttstock (otherwise it will interfere with the bolt hindering its removal), open bolt, push the bolt disassembly button on the left of the action and extract bolt from the receiver.
An oversize bolt handle helps in operating the action . Looking at the manual controls, right behind the bolt handle we find the manual safety swtich, in Remington 700 style, while the magazine release button is an AR-15 style one, placed on the right side of the receiver, behind the magazine housing.
Concerning the manual controls we have to make some considerations.
The rifle has a Magpul stock and MOE pistol hand grip, what makes it ergonomically familiar to anyone used to the AR-15 platform, and in fact also the magazine release button follows this same logic. But for what concerns the manual safety swtich, it has been placed right behind the bolt handle - at its right, traditionally like in mostly any modern bolt-action rifle: but the pistol hand grip does not allow to reach and easily activate it while maintaining a fire/shooting asset.
All in all, a nice looking little gun, compact, well made, with a reasonably good finish, well-polished in all working surfaces while some recesses (such as the bolt spiral grooving) are left with some tool marks.
This, I believe, not to overburden the price tag with machining that would be time consuming and not essential to the gun operation.
Trigger release is crisp like the proverbial glass-rod breaking. The rifle sports Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger, adjustable from 3 to 7 pounds, that can be mistaken for the Savage AccuTrigger, as it has a similar blade protruding from the trigger.
But in the Mossberg LBA trigger the blade is shorter, so the take up in trigger slack is also shorter (faster), while maintaining the hybrid single/dual stage function.
To mount a bipod or adjust trigger pull, you need to take down the action from the stock, something that may make most shooters (including me) cringe.
But fear not, my readers: long gone are the ancient times of the sorcery of action bedding and fitting, with torque wrenches and painstaking research in ancient grimoires for torque values and tightening order of action screws.
This is a modern rifle: the perfect coupling between action and stock is insured by the accurate machining of both and proper geometry of the stock and action inner surfaces. Mossberg recommends hand tightening until the screws feel adequately set.
Only a little word of advice to those living in the Old Continent: the hex screws used to secure the action to the stock are imperial, so you need a set of hex bits in inches, rather than mm. It’s anyway a good idea not to be caught without one on the range.
The rifle we tested didn’t have a scope mounted so, since we had one at hand and wanted to treat us to a treat, we put on the Mossberg MVP a Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56 scope (which costs more than the rifle).
We tested the Mossberg MVP rifle from a rest, with Fiocchi Exacta Rifle Match 180 grs, Fiocchi FMJ 147 grs and GECO 170 grs ammunition. Best results were achieved with the Fiocchi Exacta Rifle Match cartridges.
Bolt operation is smooth, cartridges feed flawlessly from the AR-10 magazine and ejected cases land to the right and back of the shooter. When the magazine is empty, the bolt is locked in the open position.
After a sharp trigger release, the Trifecta muzzle break does its job amazingly, converting most of the recoil energy in a gut-shaking blast directed sideways and backwards. The short barrel has its own responsibilities in this.
Let’s suffice to say that if you are shooting next bench to this rifle, or are just an innocent bystander, you definitely wish the shooter was mounting the Saker suppressor.
The only problem we found is that the pistol grip can interfere with your weak arm forearm when shooting from the bench, but this may be due to the shooting position assumed both by another shooter and me. Other testers, including one with long experience with sniper rifles, didn’t feel this was a problem at all.
Overall, a very interesting, accurate gun at a very competitive price, packing a host of features that only a few years ago, would have commanded a far steeper price tag, all in a very practical assembly easy to use, customize and maintain, and very good for anyone willing to start precision long range shooting without spending too much.
In conclusion, what we have here is a rifle with all what is needed, and with quality finishes and accessories, with characteristics that make it flexible to any sport or professional use, and very pleasant to shoot.
Mossberg MVP LC - Specifications
MVP LC - Mossberg Varmint Predator Light Chassis
.308 Winchester or .223 Remington
Mossberg Lightning Bolt Action (LBA)
Manual on the trigger action
Fluted, blued, with SilencerCo Saker Trifecta muzzle brake
18,5"/47 cm long, with 1:10" rifling twist
None - intended for riflescope use only
37,75" / 95,9 cm
8,5 lbs / 3,8 kg
Blued barrel; MDT LSS Light Chassis aluminum stock with Cerakote Desert Tan finish; Magpul CTR folding stock
Please check your local dealer, depending on country