Mossberg LRT Rifle

An Affordable Long Range Tactical Iron

Mossberg’s Long Range Tactical rifle with a Crimson Trace Hardline
scope makes precision shooting affordable. It’s an excellent choice for
those interested in exploring PRS-type competition. Inset, two of Jeremy’s
100-yard zeroing groups, before and after adjusting windage — that’ll do!

Roy Huntington describes the inherent, primal wonder of a firearm as its ability to “smite from a distance.” This sense of awe only increases with the distance from which the smitation is issued, which explains much of the incredible popularity currently enjoyed by precision shooting. Unfortunately, not only is it incredibly cool, precision shooting is generally expensive — but not always.

The Crimson Trace 4-16x Hardline scope is mounted in Wheeler
mounts with an anti-cant level incorporated. While most precision
shooters prefer a first focal plane (FFP) scope, this second plane
scope performed flawlessly.

Reach Out For Less

When Mossberg created the Long Range Tactical precision version of its popular Patriot bolt action, it’s unsurprising to find it carries a very reasonable street price of around $900. Mossberg has long been known for affordability — there are reasons the company’s history is told in a book titled More Gun For The Money.

At least 11 million of those reasons are the Model 500, the company’s mainstay for as long as I’ve been paying attention. It’s not just shotguns, though. The last several years have also shown Mossberg to be remarkably adaptive, including a successful handgun introduction and incorporating industry feedback into their product line.

The feedback piece, in and of itself, is not unusual. What is unusual is the degree of responsiveness. Prior to the public debut of the LRT, I attended an invitation-only event at Gunsite Academy near Paulden, Ariz. The class included a broad range of industry pros and we were each issued an early/preproduction LRT in 6.5 PRC, provided with expert instruction in its use, and then asked to give detailed feedback. Factory engineers were present to answer questions and listen directly to suggestions, so the event was one long conversation rather than a group of shooters speaking into the ether as sometimes happens. The final version of the rifle includes the suggested changes.

In addition to 6.5 PRC — reportedly the best-performing caliber Mossberg made at the time of the launch — the LRT comes in 6.5 Creedmoor and the standby .308. This wasn’t by accident: Mossberg chose the 24″ length of the free-floated barrel after consulting with Hornady, which developed both the 6.5 Creedmoor and stouter 6.5 PRC. Supersonic out past 1,300 yards, the PRC runs some 200–300 fps faster than Creedmoor, giving it a significantly flatter trajectory and a serious advantage in long-range shooting.

The LRT’s Patriot action takes AICS-pattern magazines holding 10 rounds of .308 and 6.5 Creed, 7 of the PRC. The mags mount in an over-molded MDT stock with aluminum V-block bedding. Both comb height and length-of-pull are adjustable, the comb with a knurled thumbscrew and length of pull with spacers. Advertised as adjustable between 2 and 7 lbs., my trigger is a crisp 1 lb., 9.5 oz. and you’ll not find me changing it.

Helpfully, each rifle was equipped with the components needed to shoot at distance: a bipod from Magpul, carry sling and a Crimson Trace Hardline 4-16×42 scope featuring MOA adjustment and parallax knob. It also has a second-focal plane reticle, which means the reticle appears the same size no matter the magnification at which the scope is set. Most precision shooters prefer a first focal plane scope but the scope provided was more adequate and will stay on the rifle.

Not Bad For A Novice

From the first shots at Gunsite, results were impressive. As a shooter who’s long-range-curious and only nominally competent at it, I was quite pleased to put shots in the half-inch at 100 yards while shooting prone from a bipod and bag borrowed from instructor Aimee Grant. Once a whiteboard full of calculations was tapped into a Kestrel ballistic computer, my relay of shooters headed through the dry brush up to the long range pad to stretch the rifle out.

I dutifully input the number of clicks to adjust for bullet drop at 400 yards and began making gratifying one-shot hits until wind pushed me off target. For those who are newish at this — like me — once you send it, there’s a momentary pause, the steel erupts with what looks like a cloud of dust, and a low thud wafts back to you. Miss, and there’s a small, disappointing puff of dirt elsewhere.

After receiving a wind call from an instructor (you dial for elevation but hold for wind, I was told), I was back on steel and went four-for-four at 600 yards.

After the event, the rifles went back to Mossberg for further development based on our input and came back to us updated. On my home range, the LRT does everything it did on the sacred soil of Gunsite. Either from the bipod, or, better yet, with the Rifle Master front rest from Ransom International, I can bang out workmanlike MOA groups ad nauseum with enough 1/2″ groups and touching bullet holes to remind me exactly how far I have to go as a shooter. Fortunately, the price of the LRT leaves room for a practice ammo budget!

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