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Mossberg MVP In Action September 2014
Gerhard Schroeder  

Out of town with me came three rifles chambered in .308 Win. They were the Mossberg MVP, Tikka T3 Light, and Tikka T3 Varmint. I’ll refer to them as MVP, T3, and VT3. Aside from plenty of ammo for each, the only other items were a heavy duty 12” plate Steve had donated to HSC, a Timer and a Range Finder. Since the MVP had a fixed 6x scope, I set the others to 6x also.

First order of business – shooting offhand at the 12-incher 130 yards away. The process went like this: rifles all on a table along with ammo. Pick up the first one, load a round, try to hit the plate, open action and put rifle back on table. Pick up the next rifle. I repeated that until each had fired 7 shots.

Results: MVP and VT3 one miss each, T3 two misses.
Conclusion: Shooting a light rifle offhand accurately is a little more challenging. And what would happen if the target were either smaller or further out yet? Then on to …

Timed Fire
One shot at the 12-incher, now 77 yards away. The process – pick up a rifle, load one round, push the timer button (it had a 3-second delay until it beeped), hold rifle at ready with barrel about 45 degrees up, and upon hearing the beep, shoot the plate quickly.

Results: It seems that my required time for this was about one and a half seconds. If I tried to be faster, I would miss a lot. So, counting only those times which resulted in a hit and averaging the times, the T3 got 1.45 seconds, MVP 1.51 seconds, VT3 1.59.

Conclusion: the extra weight and barrel length of the Varmint slowed her down some, even though it did not feel like that to me when I was shooting. Note that I’m (still) more familiar with T3. Then on to …

4 Required Hits
– On the plate still 77 yards away. Now the magazines were full. Results: First time: VT3 - 9.1 seconds; T3 - 10.2 seconds; MVP - 10.7 seconds. No misses. I had fun!

2nd time: VT3 - 12.1 seconds (1 miss); never got 4 hits with T3 by the time the 5+1 shots were fired; MVP 12.4 seconds (1 miss) (obviously I tried to be too fast).

Conclusion: Much fun! I will certainly do this again. Heavier gun gets me on target more reliably. Tikkas demonstrated that they have a smoother/faster action. Then on to …

8 Required Hits
– To force the Tikkas into a reload. Now the MVP was loaded with 10+1 cartridges, and the Tikkas with 5+1 and a 5-shot mag on the table.

Results: They all (or rather I) required 11 shots to get 8 hits, except with the T3 I only got 6 hits. MVP - 27.8 seconds; VT3 - 29.3 seconds.

Conclusion: Even more fun! As expected, magazine capacity now mattered. And do the math … that was 33 rounds of .308 ammo blasted at a steel plate in about 5 minutes. Good thing that lately certain bullets have not been readily available. Otherwise I could shoot myself into bankruptcy.

The above all happened in about an hour. And no doubt would I do more of it sooner than later. When I go again, the objective will be to not miss, at least miss significantly less. Besides, such shooting was not just to test those three rifles against each other. My deer and elk hunts in 2014 are both in juniper country where game may show only in-between brush and shots need to be quick.

Next Session
During the about two hours between first light and our HSC Patrol Rifle match I was out again, this time with MVP, T3 and my elk gun, a modified Mauser in .375 with 20” barrel. That morning I primarily fired the timed single shots. Practice seems to pay. I hit more often with the MVP (7 of 10, with average time of 1.6 sec) and the .375 (15 of 17, average time 1.8 seconds). T3 was the fastest with 1.2 seconds (1.34 average), but I missed 5 of 10. Even though this cost me ammo I fired more of the “4 Hits required”, where MVP averaged 8.9 sec and T3 9.8 sec. The table below summarizes all the above results:

Event Target Rifles and Scores
all shooting
  MVP T3 VT3
12" @ 130 yds 6 hits of 7 5 hits of 7 6 hits of 7
Timed 12" @ 77 yds 1.51 1.45 1.59
4 req'd hits 12" @ 77 yds 10.7 (4) 10.2 (4) 9.1 (4)
4 req'd hits 12" @ 77 yds 12.4 (5) - (6) 12.1 (5)
8 req'd hits 12" @ 77 yds 27.8 (11) - (11) 29.3 (11)
2nd time out of town
  MVP T3 VT3 375 Dur
Timed 12" @ 77 yds 1.63 1.34 - 1.78
4 req'd hits 12" @ 77 yds 8.9 9.8 - -

Patrol Rifle Match
Bill let us enter and shoot in two categories. So I paid an extra 5 bucks and competed with both an AR (Patrol Rifle) and the MVP (he opened a “non-Scout” class , because the MVP’s scope is positioned over the action, not forward of it). Anyway, MVP turned in 4th best result overall. Meaning, except for 3 ARs, it beat all other semi-autos and the lone Scout bolt action. Draw your own conclusions.

But there were problems! In three early stages I had failures to feed (jammed things up such that I had to remove the MAGPUL magazine to clear the gun). I switched to the factory Mossberg 10-rounder and had no more issues for the rest of the match. I will have to sort this MAGPUL jam business out.

The match layout may have favored the MVP and that fixed 6x scope on it, as all targets were between about 70 and 110 steps out. With less scope power, say 2x, one gets a way better situational view/awareness. But hitting schtuff is easier, for me anyway, with more magnification, including from unsupported shooting positions.

Final comment: I can’t complain about the MVP. Darn good rifle, fun rifle for the money. See you at the range.

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