Mossberg MVP

Mossberg MVP
Unveiled at the 2011 NRA Convention, the MVP caught lots of attention by having the fairly unique ability to feed from AR-15 magazines in a bolt-action rifle. Later that year it was shown at another event, with the new Surefire 100 round magazine hanging from its action, showing it could fit just about any AR-15 magazine one could jam in it. Designed with varmint hunting in mind, it has a long, heavy barrel, and a benchrest style stock. Here at TFB, we’ve been blessed by Mossberg with one to review.
Specifications
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (will also fire .223 Remington)
Watch the VIDEO

Action: Bolt Action
Finish: Matte Blue
Stock: Grey-Laminate benchrest style
Magazine Capacity:10+1 (factory magazine)
Length: 24″ (60.96 cm) fluted varmint profile
Twist Rate: 1:9
Overall Length: 43″ (1.09 m)
Weight: 7.5lbs (3.4 kg) without scope
The rifle itself is moderately heavy, but not absurdly so. With an accompanying piece of glass and a bipod, it weighs in at about 10lbs, which may be a bit heavy to carry around all day in the woods hunting, but is perfectly fine for a varminter to set up on a bench or the ground and cull his or her local prairie dog problem. It comes with one 10 round factory magazine and a gun lock. The combo package also includes a 4-15×50 Barska scope, and a bipod. For this review, I am using a Redfield Revolution 3-9×50 scope, and a Winchester branded bipod.
The stock is a beefy, grey laminate, benchrest style stock. It has a palm swell for right-handed shooters; so unfortunately, southpaws may feel a bit left in the cold. Although the weapon can still be used by lefties, it is much harder to maintain a firm grip on the rifle. The stock has a very high comb, which when paired with a scope, offers a superb cheekweld. The pistol grip and forend are stippled to ensure a positive grip. The barrel easily floats free in an ample channel in the forend, and the action is mated to the stock via two aluminum pillars.
The action of the MVP is truly its defining characteristic. The bolt is a 2 lug design, with a small claw extractor, and a spring loaded ejector. It deviates from a standard design at this point to enable feeding from AR-15 magazine. A small arm on the bottom of the bolt face is pushed down by a spring to push the next round out of the magazine.  The arm is pushed back flush with the bolt when the bolt is in battery, or fully opened, to clear the feeding ramp and the receiver, respectively. The arm at first seemed a bit fiddly and small for its purpose, especially considering durability over the long term. However, upon further inspection, the part is quite sturdy, despite its size, and is necessary due to how low in the receiver the magazine sits compared to the bolt. Atop to the receiver, affixed by two allen screws each, a pair of weaver scope bases sit, ready for the scope of the owner’s choice.
The magazine well is quite spacious, and fit any AR magazine I put in it, including Magpul PMAGs, Lancer AWMs, and Mil-Spec aluminum magazines. Best results in feeding came from metal lipped mags, as the polymer lipped mags sat a bit lower in the well, and the bolt tended to ride over the rounds if the magazine was not firmly seated. The magazine release sits in front of the magazine, and is large enough to be easily used.
The trigger is Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt Action, similar in operation to the Savage AccuTrigger. A small blade sits inside the trigger proper, and acts as a safety. During the trigger pull, the blade is depressed easily, until it is flush with the trigger face. At that point, no further movement happens until the trigger breaks, cleanly, at about 3-4 pounds with about 1/8th inch of overtravel.
The barrel is a 24 inch long fluted varmint-profile, about 3/4 inch in diameter, and fluted from the point where it leaves the stock to just before the muzzle, to reduce weight and dissipate heat faster. It is chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO, which means it will also fire .223 Remington safely. The crown is angled inward to protect the end of the rifling from dings and dents. The rifling makes 1 twist in 9 inches, stabilizing a wide range of bullet weights, most optimally the 60-69 grain range, but will stabilize 50-69 grain and 70-77 grain bullets adequately.
Mossberg caught some flak about using 1:9, however I can see their reasoning. When using an AR magazine, you are limited in overall length to the magazine’s internal length, which only allows for up to 77 grain bullets, and those are even pushed fairly deep into the case to make magazine length. With no need to stabilize bullets heavier than that, a slower rate can be used to stabilize a wider range of lighter bullets, down to the upper range of lightweight varminting bullets, and most notably, 55 grain bullets, which are the most popular .223 loading.
Range Time
Shooting the MVP was quite fun, its recoil is very light, especially when shooting from a bipod. The minute recoil is further soaked up by a soft rubber butt pad, making the rifle enjoyable to shoot all day without discomfort. The rifle shot as accurately as I could shoot it, and I feel that if paired with a superior shooter, or a solid rest, more accuracy could be coaxed from it than what I could manage. Sadly, the range I shoot at has a limit of 3 loaded rounds in a rifle at a time, so I had to settle for that in the video. Feeding it in a more domestic setting with a full magazine resulted in no stoppages throughout the magazine.
Groups were good, but not spectacular, however I am more willing to attribute it to my poor shooting than to the rifle. Other reviews have shot this rifle to sub-minute groups, and I am more willing to trust their ability than mine. (I really am a rather poor rifle shot, but I am improving). Ammo provided by Guns For Sale for this review was American Eagle 62 grain M855 5.56×45, and Federal Fusion 62 grain soft point .223 Remington, optimized for deer hunting.

 

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