Really Practical Stuff!

Some other features are real upgrades such as the detachable, staggered-round magazine. It doesn’t hold or feed rounds any better than the ATR’s blind magazine but allows a hunter to unload their rifle without difficulty and to more easily clear cartridge misfeeds.

Unlike the detachable magazines on many other current rifles, the Patriot can be loaded from the top with the magazine still in the action, a desirable feature in the field. The release tab is recessed so it can’t be inadvertently released by Mother Nature’s many fingers, unlike the long levers jutting well below the stock on “tactical” hunting rifles.

The “Lightning Bolt” trigger broke cleanly at 3+ lbs., but I like ’em a little lighter in relatively light rifles so I removed the stock and adjusted the pull down to 2.5 lbs. The change is easily accomplished with a screw on the front of the trigger housing.

At the range the rifle didn’t shoot very well, so I performed my standard “bedding” test on the free-floated barrel, grabbing both the tip of the forend and barrel in my right hand and squeezing. The forend easily touched the barrel, meaning the barrel wasn’t really free-floated.

Slightly deepening the barrel channel inside the forend tip with a round rasp solved the problem, the rifle now grouping three shots under an inch with Hunting Shack factory ammo loaded with 165-gr. Sierra GameKings, and handloads using Federal’s 165-gr. Tipped Trophy Bonded bullets. Once dialed-in, the rifle proved capable of consistently hitting an 8" gong at 600 yards.