O.F. Mossberg & Sons has built a solid reputation on affordable and dependable firearms. As a friend once told me, a Mossberg may not be the most elegant gun in the woods, but it will always work. With the introduction of the 100ATR (All Terrain Rifle), Mossberg has really ratcheted up the pressure on the competition again with a centerfire rifle that is affordable and has many of the features found in more expensive rifles. In talking with local dealers, they are hearing very good feedback from their customers who have purchased a 100ATR.
The Mossberg 100ATR for this review, chambered in .243 Winchester, has a black synthetic stock, black matte barrel/receiver and scope package. The 100ATR is available in 5 different popular calibers, 2 different barrel finishes, 4 different stocks finishes, with or without a scope, bantam and super-bantam youth model (also with or without scope). Mossberg offers the 100ATR in 8 versions and a total of 44 different combinations
The barrel is threaded into the receiver and then secured with a lock nut. This gives the most control over adjusting head clearance to the tightest tolerances and creates a solid, rigid connection between the two. The result is maximized accuracy.
On the test rifle, the barrel is free floating and fluted 9 " from end of forearm to 1" from end of barrel. Both of these features are major factors in building an accurate rifle. All barrels for the 100ATR are free floating, and most are fluted (exception being the 5 models with sights)
Another enhancement for accuracy is the recessed muzzle crown of approximately 1/16" to protect the bore opening at the muzzle. A recessed muzzle crown maximizes accuracy by protecting the edge where the bore meets the end of the muzzle from nicks and scratches.
Worth Noting With the scope, the 100ATR tested only weighted 7.46 pounds that made it the lightest of the four rifles. A rifle's weight becomes big factor to any hunter at the end of a long day of hunting, and lighter is better. This is especially true for youths. The test rifle came equipped with a Bariska 3-9x40, mounted and bore sighted. While this scope is functional, I found the clarity to be as expected in a scope that probably sells for around $50. Even though this scope is more of an entry level model, it does come with a limited lifetime warranty. Of the four rifles in this review, the Mossberg 100ATR is the only one available with a real wood stock.
The light weight of the rifle would make for some stiffer recoil in .308 Win and .30-06 as compared to the other calibers. A 1" thick rubber recoil pad is installed to soften the recoil.
The stock is checkered at the forearm and handgrip areas. The rest of the stock is smooth with a slightly raised cheek piece. For synthetic stocks, the sling mounts are holes integrated into the stock design; sling mount studs are used for 100ATR's with a wood stock.
The 100ATR features the Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) Adjustable Trigger System. . The LBA trigger prevents the rifle from accidentally firing if dropped. The trigger pull on the test rifle was right at 2 lb. 8 oz. There was no travel and no creep with this trigger system. The manual states the trigger can adjust from 2 lbs to 7 lbs.
The bolt has 2 locking lugs and slides smoothly. Bolts for short and long action cartridges are the same style, but different lengths. The bolt release is on the left side of the receiver. Pressing down on the release allows the bolt to be removed; reinstalling the bolt does not require pressing the release.
The safety, a round knurled thumb release, is behind the bolt handle and to the right of the receiver. Moving the safety forward and backward, it is a little stiff and comes of and on safety with a dull click. The fire position is indicated with a red dot under the thumb release.
To empty the magazine of cartridges, the bolt has to be worked back and forth. A trap door for unloading would be nice and would set the 100ATR apart from other entry level bolt action rifles with an internal box magazine.
The two-piece, weaver style scope mount is another indicator that Mossberg is looking at details from the hunter's point of view. With the internal magazine loaded through the ejection port, a two piece mounts allows more clearance than a one-piece mount.
With the scope, the 100ATR tested only weighted 7.46 pounds that made it the lightest of the four rifles. A rifle's weight becomes a big factor to any hunter at the end of a long day of hunting, and lighter is better. This is especially true for youths.
The test rifle came equipped with a Bariska 3-9x40, mounted and bore sighted. While this scope is functional, I found the clarity to be as expected in a scope that probably sells for around $50. Even though this scope is more of an entry level model, it does come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Of the four rifles in this review, the Mossberg 100ATR is the only one available with a real wood stock.
At the Range: Before firing the first shot, the first check was to see how the factory 'bore sighting' looked and matched up with my Bushnell bore sighter; it was only about one grid off. Starting at 75 yards, some adjustments were made to the windage and elevation to get it closer for 100 yard shooting. With the help of two friends, we shot a variety of ammunition and came to one common conclusionthis rifle shoots really well. One of the best 3-shot groups at 75 yards while zeroing in the rifle measured about .4" with Winchester's 95 gr. XP3.
CONCLUSION: For an entry level rifle, it's really hard to find any faults with the Mossberg 100ATR. It shoots really well; it has a good trigger; it has many of the features found in more expensive rifles; it has 8 versions from which to choose; it's very reasonably priced. Getting this rifle without a scope and mounting a better scope, like the Bushnell Trophy XLT, would make this rifle hard to beat even by ones costing several hundred dollars more.