Rifles > Bolt-Action

The Mossberg MVP Predator

The MVP Predator's compactness, weight and trigger make it comfortable to carry and a pleasure to shoot.


Last year Mossberg rocked the rifle world with the introduction of its MVP rifle. In case you don't know, the MVP is a bolt-rifle in .223 Rem. that feeds from a detachable box magazine. The kicker is it's not just any magazine; the MVP uses AR 15 magazines. Whether five, 10, 20 or 30 rounders does not matter. If you have a magazine that will work in an AR 15, it will work in a Mossberg MVP.

How big of a deal was this? Huge, as far as I can tell; at my personal blog, posts on the Mossberg MVP have been viewed at more than any others. It all makes perfect sense actually. Anyone who's done any prairie dog hunting or high-volume varmint shooting understands the value of a high-capacity magazine and the most prevalent rifle magazines in the world are magazines for the AR-15.

I liked the MVP from the first time I heard about it. I liked it even more the first time I picked it up and pulled the LBA trigger. After three days in Oregon shooting ground squirrels and rock chucks, the only complaint I had was that I did not own one. I started to rectify that with my check book but after talking with Mossberg representatives I learned that for 2012 Mossberg would be offering a more compact version. I was sworn to secrecy and decided to hold onto that check until the newer MVP was available. Now it is, and I have one.

This more compact MVP is called the Predator and utilizes the same action as the original MVP. There are two main differences; the stock is more of a sporter style and the barrel is shorter. This makes the MVP Predator much more suited to hunting from your feet like most predator hunters do. And, since the stock is thin and trim with a 13-inch length of pull (LOP), it should work moderately well with smaller statured shooters.

To provide some MVP education for those of you who've not had Internet and who've not read a gun magazine in the last year, here's the down and dirty. The MVP's action is based on the Mossberg 4x4 action, which is machined from bar stock. It has been shrunk so the ejection port opening is only 2.16 inches long. The barreled action rests on a polymer bedding block with an integral magazine well that is fitted with a lever-like magazine release at the front. The bedding block fits inside the stock and is held in place by two steel pillars through which the front and rear action screws pass.

To get the bolt to slip between the narrow feed lips on the AR magazine, reliably push cartridges into the chamber and still lock up tight, Mossberg hinged the lower portion of the bolt face so it would drop down and sort of dig a cartridge from the magazine. Mossberg also fitted the MVP with its Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) trigger, which has a center lever that blocks the sear from releasing the striker unless the lever is depressed. It is adjustable for a pull weight of between 2 to 7 pounds, with the trigger on my MVP Predator breaking consistently at 2.5 pounds right out of the box.

An interesting twist with the MVP was chambering it for the 5.56 NATO as opposed to the .223 Rem. What's the difference? Only that the 5.56 NATO chamber has a longer throat than the .223 Rem. The idea was to make the MVP compatible with any .223 Rem. or .5.56 NATO load. In bolt-action rifles this has never really been a problem since the external dimensions of both cartridges are identical. However, 5.56 NATO ammunition is loaded to a higher pressure and the 5.56 NATO chamber in the MVP negates this ever being a safety issue.

How does my MVP Predator shoot? The average for 15, five-shot groups with three different loads, with bullet weights ranging from 43 to 55 grains, was 1.22 inches. The smallest group fired was only slightly larger than a half-inch, while the largest measured 2.27 inches. I'm not apologizing or making excuses but my first day on the range with the MVP Predator was not representative of my best work. It seemed I could put four shots in one ragged hole almost every time. But, like a friend says, "Anybody can shoot four good shots, it's the fifth one that get's you." Regardless, at any distance where the .223 Rem. has enough power to take a coyote, a miss with the MVP Predator will be the shooter’s fault.

For those who can't seem to decide whether to take their AR or a bolt gun predator hunting, the MVP Predator offers a nice compromise. It should be a great calling rifle for bobcat, fox or coyote and in the 38 states that allow .22 calibers for deer hunting, it would be a sweet walking around rifle. I sure wish I'd had one of these back when I was young and prowling the pastures and fields of West Virginia for ground hogs and fox.

The MVP Predator might also have appeal to law enforcement too. Smaller agencies cannot afford a dedicated, high-end sniper rifle or sniper team. Here, the MVP Predator could share magazines with other officers armed with ARs and it’s compact enough to be easily carried in patrol vehicles. Agencies on a budget and looking for a system for a designated marksman or just a bolt-action patrol rifle should take note.

There is one other venue where I see the MVP Predator gaining a following. In the last few years we have seen a variety of new AR-15 cartridges based on the .223 Rem. case. There's the .300 Blackout, the 7.62 X 40 WT and the latest; the screaming hot 25-45 Sharps. All you need to do to convert the MVP Predator to fire one of these cartridges is change the barrel.

For all these reasons, I'd be surprised if the Mossberg MVP Predator does not become one of the best selling bolt-action rifles over the next few years. At least until Mossberg thinks of something cooler to do with the MVP platform. I'm thinking a scout rifle version is the next logical choice.

Manufacturer: O. F. Mossberg & Sons Inc., www.mossberg.com, (203) 230-5300
Model: MVP Predator
Caliber: 5.56 NATO / .223 Rem.
Barrel: 18”, 6 Grooves, 1:9” RH Twist, Button Rifled
Overall Length: 37.25”
Weight: 6 lbs., 7 ozs.
Stock: Laminated hardwood
Sights: None. Drilled and tapped for scope bases (Remington 700)
Action: Bolt-action, repeating.
Finish: Matte blue
Capacity: 5 + 1, Shipped with one five-round magazine. (Will accept any AR 15 magazine.)
Suggested Retail Price: $ 649

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41 Responses to The Mossberg MVP Predator

brant wrote:
February 01, 2014

Mossberg 7.62x39 and ak magazines Just saying.....

Outlawsr wrote:
October 19, 2013

I have both the savage model 11 hog hunter in 223 and I have this mvp I can tell you so. Far I can tell you I have. Not shot my hog hunter maybe 100 rds and I have shot this mvp about 500 rds and have not even thought about breaking the savage out since I got this mossburg. Mvp it's the fun gun I have been waiting for years to show up on the market .

Outlawsr wrote:
October 19, 2013

Howard I think we all know that 223 and 5.56 are not the same but the gun was designed for 5.56 and can shoot 223 with no problems but if it was designed for 223 it would cause damage if you shot 5.56. I have had a Rossi 5.56/223 single shot for years and have shot both maybe 1000 rds of each. With no problems

geok wrote:
July 21, 2013

Love my MVP! Only problem I have had is poor ammo selection. Tulammo with steel cases leaves about every 8th to 10th case stuck in the breech. Dealer says this problem occurs on 'some' semi autos but has never seen it happen on a bolt action. While I stuck two and quit using that ammo. Went to all brass and have had no further problem. In it's defense, the Tulammo is very accurate, it doesn't shoot in my MVP.

RAS wrote:
March 21, 2013

I have the 18.5" mvp with a nikon 6-18 scope on it, with fiocchi 50 gr v-max I am getting 0.9" groups of 3 at 200 yds. Bolt is a little stiffer than my Rem 700, but still manageable. I could probably shoot better groups as one shot seems to stray on me.

Kyle wrote:
March 14, 2013

So can I use any 5.56 round in my mossberg MVP?

Kyle Thorpe wrote:
March 14, 2013

So can I shoot 5.56 out of the MVP?

chris wrote:
February 25, 2013

ya but its a small 223. definitely not designed for taking out any medium to large game.

Terance wrote:
February 16, 2013

Wow, lots of potential with this rifle. But, the extractor in the bolt does look like the weak link. Anyone else have any problems with the extractor, in heavier use conditions?

Gary wrote:
February 07, 2013

Haven't found any negative comments... However, my extractor broke out of the bolt head after about 30 rounds :-(

PatC wrote:
January 30, 2013

Just found out about this today, and it was exactly what I hoped they'd do when the MVP first came out. Never thought I'd find a good walking-around bolt gun with "extended" mags in an affordable caliber. Great alternative to the Ruger Scout.

JayZee wrote:
January 24, 2013

Don't delay get one today and add a Nikon .223 optic for an absolutly accurate long arm

Andy Knote wrote:
January 19, 2013

Just shot the Predator today, working on scope zeroing at 100 yards. It handled 55gr, 77gr, and 80gr (single round load) with no statistical difference- obviously I expect noticeabl drop variance when we get out to 300 yards and beyond, but nothing good data book entries can't track.

johnB223 wrote:
January 08, 2013

Is there any difference between the AR15 mags and the M16 mags?

BigDD wrote:
December 15, 2012

After much research and 30 years of predator hunting. All things considered this rifle can't be beat for what it is. A very good combination of all elements .

Bob wrote:
November 24, 2012

Why are so many people dogging the 1:9 twist? That twist will shoot the most common bullet for predators, the 55 grain, which this gun is made for predators as note in the name. And 50 year old bullets? .223 used to come with 1:12 twist rates which a lot of varmint guns still do and they shoot better than most guns. Twist is relative to what you are doing and this gun is made for predators and the 1:9 is the best rate for that.

Gary Condon wrote:
November 20, 2012

I purchased a MVP at Camp Perry this summer for prarie dog hunting. It is a great rifle but the 1:9 twist requires heaver bullets than I like to shoot. I have worked up a load with 68g soft points and 23.5g of H335 powder. It will easily shoot 1/2' groups with a Leupold VXIII 6x18 scope. Love the mag, I can load up 10-20 or 30 rounds.

Bob wrote:
November 19, 2012

Just shot predator excellent trigger. Two different hand loads. 50.gr vmax,. 830. 55gr ballistic tips.. 860. Great potential for coyotes

bobfrommosinee wrote:
November 17, 2012

Now who are the uninformed who consider the 1/9 twist for light bullets. The 1/9 twist will reliably stabilize bullets from 55 to 80 gr. with no problems. The problem with the 1/7 and 1/8 is lethality on target as they do not have the velocity to explosively dump the energy into the target. The original 5.56 was a 1/14, It was extremely, lethal in the warm weather in Vietnam, But in the arctic conditions of Alaska it would not stabilize the 55 gr. bullet due to the density of the air. The military changed the twist rate to 1/12 which cured the problem, but turned the M-16 into a 250 meter gun. The only reason the military chose the 1/7 twist when it up graded the M-16 and M-4 was to stabilize and match the trajectory of the Tracer Rounds fired from those platforms when used as markers and in the M-249. Other than that the 1/9 will reliable stabilize any of the common boat tail ammunition on the market.

Brenton owens wrote:
October 04, 2012

I shot the rifle a little over a week ago. I was not impressed at all. mossberg is not the way to go. I now shoot a tikka t3 super varmint in the 223 Cal. Im drilling targets at 400 plus in a half dollar size grouping. I use the 75gr hornady taps. My gun.has a 1 and 9 barrel twist. My opinion, tikka is leading.the way for a varminy rifle under a 1000 dollars. Just my opinion

Marjon wrote:
September 17, 2012

I have a Savage Stevens bolt gun with 1:9 twist. It shoots 69 grain sierra bullets just fine. It may shoot some brands in the 70-77 grain range. I would assume the mossberg would do much better than a 55 gr. bullet.

Gman wrote:
September 15, 2012

Will Mossberg make it in a .308 version and give Ruger a run for their money to their Scout Rifle? If they would keep the same price as the 5.56, I would snatch one up in a second. Mossberg is criticized by some of my circle of shooting buds. Ruger has a good reputation and I own many in handguns and rifles. I just can't seem to let go of approx. $900 for a .308 though it looks pretty cool. The $600 price tag is more palatable. MOSSBERG MAKE A .308 VERSION! Please!

brutefoe wrote:
September 14, 2012

just right, perfect companion to my m-4 carbine. built to match my already owned collection of ammo, and accesories, now if only synthetic stock, carr tube and AR grip perfect for me and my growing son

Donald H. Conner wrote:
September 14, 2012

I suppose I'll have to break down and buy one. When I put my Beta C-mag in it, my arm will probably freeze up before I empty the magazine. But what a way to go!! I'm not certain the Wylde chamber is the best choice though. When I talked with him several years ago he stated that the 5.56 chamber was a better choice for all but benchrest and competition shooting. However, that may no longer be true. Comments on that? Now the maker of the "Hog Rifle" needs to follow ssuit, like a good pinochle player, and make the magazine well capable of accepting M14 magazines. And, did I see Beta has a 100 round double drum for the M1A?? The Surefire long sticks would be nice too, wouldn't they? Long Ranger, you drove the tack home with a 20# sledgehammer. Maybe Gieslee(sp?) will make that trigger up. Have one in my AR and it's so slick---like oil on ice. And the twist---you got that sledgehammer out again, didn't you? Great thinking there; wish I could claim credit for it, but my hat is off to you---you covered the two most critical areas of errors committd by the manufacturer. Of course, if you're really serious, Kreiger or Bartlein or Pac-Nor Shilen--any of the top barrel makers can turn one to your specs, leave the throat .05" short, and your man can finish it up. I know--more shekels. But then, when I can't buy what I want, I pony up. Might as well have it the way you want it as settle for less. What the hell, you can't take it with you, and there is a modicum of pride in saying "I had it made this way because....". Now, we gotta put a 600 yard scope on this. Let's hear some ideas on this. Tommy, if you want black, buy a gallon of Imron black,2-3 coats, and lightly wet sand with 600 wet or dry each coat. Then use some of the sray-on Krylon abrasive paint on the forend and pistol grip. I'll bet you'll like it. Respectfully Donald H. Conner

Bob Bolino wrote:
September 14, 2012

The story dose not give yardage on testing/ Or is it to be a giving 100.

M wrote:
September 14, 2012

I WANT an MVP Predator, 300 AAC Blackout, 16 1/2" to 18 1/2" barrel, 1 turn in 8" twist, with a threaded muzzle. Texas just made hunting all game legal with suppressors, this would be perfect!

Inocencio Santino Santillan C. wrote:
September 14, 2012

Well dear friends., I wass had nice 22 LR Caliber, bero de comunist reovolution hiere in Peru, both after the terrorism, give us a violence and now is tobe a problem to used hunter arms. And I wass to be Not Resident Member from NRA it wass to be great. a perubia friend.

Wesley wrote:
September 14, 2012

I think the next move should be more calibers. Like 6.5 Grendel and make the barrel threaded for suppressors for the states that you are allowed to use them.

James Campbell wrote:
September 14, 2012

ABSOLUTELY GENIUS!!! LOVE IT, GOTTA HAVE ONE!!! When will they be stocked on the shelves, I've got to have one ASAP!!!!!

Long Ranger wrote:
September 14, 2012

I dont understand why people make these great modern rifles but barrel them for bullets made 50 years ago. Dont they know a 1 in 7 twist barrel will shoot 80 grain bullets with MOA accuracy out to 600 yards and beyond. Yes this is a great caliber and a great rifle and cudos for the magazine idea but why stop there? And while we're at it how about a two stage trigger so its light but still safe. As Nike used to put in their ads 'Just do it!'

TommySawyer wrote:
September 13, 2012

Why don't they have it in Black?

Robert ando wrote:
September 13, 2012

why not a champ from the start? Stainless, with a Wilde chamber and 1:7 twist? Trying to emulate the 6mm Rem.? Marketing mishap !!!

Robert ando wrote:
September 13, 2012

1:9 ??? I consider it if it were 1:7 or even 1:8 twist. why limit it to light for caliber bullets? "Leaves out heavy Berger bullets! Dumb - like the 6mm Rem.

Robert ando wrote:
September 13, 2012

1:9 ??? I consider it if it were 1:7 or even 1:8 twist. why limit it to light for caliber bullets? "Leaves out heavy Berger bullets! Dumb - like the 6mm Rem.

jimmyjet wrote:
September 13, 2012

It appears that you were unable to find a larger scope for the Predator.

Howard wrote:
September 13, 2012

As a gunsmith, I can tell you the 5.56 NATO round is not the same as a .223 Remington. The NATO round is .010" longer before it is fired, so if it is fired in a .223 chamber, you will get overpressure because the bullet is double crimped into the round. They are loaded to the same maximum chamber pressure of 60,000 PSI. With the powerful camming action of the bolt being closed on a 5.56 NATO round, the crimp will be forced harder into the bullet cannelure than the initial heavy crimp designed for automatic fire. If anyone doubts me, do your own chamber casting and measure it yourself. I have done over 50 castings of both and have found the .010" longer neck in every casting of 5.56x45mm NATO compared to .223 Remington. I have also had to "repair" rifles that were designed for the .223 Remington that had surplus ammo fired in them. 99% of them jam from excess pressure because of case design. In each case the repair had the added value of not using military ammo in a civilian chamber. As an aside, until a few years ago the only rifles chambered in 5.56mm NATO were ARs and the Mini 14.

Jamie in ND wrote:
September 13, 2012

When they come out with a stainless steel model I may buy one.

VaFish wrote:
September 13, 2012

Why a 1:9 twist? Why not a 1:7 to take advantage of the heavier .223 bullets available?

J wrote:
September 13, 2012

Nice rifle and review. Are there any 223 (or 556) bolt guns in 1:7 twist? If the MVP could shoot 77 grain HPBT bullets, I'd definitely get one.

J wrote:
September 13, 2012

Nice rifle and review. Are there any 223 (or 556) bolt guns in 1:7 twist? If the MVP could shoot 77 grain HPBT bullets, I'd definitely get one.

Mack Missiletoe wrote:
September 12, 2012

Nice, considering it for my next rifle. I need a .223 bolt rifle and this would be useful, especially if iron sights were fitted!