Mossberg’s Patriot Cerakote Rifle: Clever Coating

A durable new finish option on Mossberg’s affordable Patriot adds performance to its value

Mossberg Patriot Cerakote
The Mossberg Patriot Cerakote comes with a weatherproof exterior finish.Brad Fitzpatrick

My first experience with Mossberg's Patriot Cerakote rifle came as the result of a mistake by an airline company. I arrived in Valencia, Spain, for an ibex hunt, but found that my rifle was tied up in Paris. Luckily for me, Tony Caggiano of World Slam Adventures, who had organized the hunt, tagged out on the first day, giving me the opportunity to use his rifle, which happened to be a Mossberg Patriot Cerakote in 6.5 Creedmoor. Mossberg launched the budget-friendly Patriot in 2015, and since then the company has continued to expand the line, adding the Revere wood-stocked model last year and the Cerakote version for 2018.

Like all Mossberg Patriots, the Cerakote model features a push-feed action and dual-locking lugs on the front of the spiral-fluted bolt. These guns also have two-position rocker-type safeties that can be loaded and unloaded with the safety engaged, and Mossberg’s Lightning Bolt Action (LBA) bladed trigger. The LBA trigger is screw-adjustable from 2 to 7 pounds and comes set near the factory minimum for a crisp, precise break. Detachable, lightweight polymer box magazines allow for fast and easy reloads, and the durable synthetic stock comes with textured grip surfaces on the forearm. The magazine well features an integrated block insert for bedding and the barrel is free-floated for maximum accuracy. Patriot rifles come equipped with sturdy Weaver-style bases that make mounting an optic on these rifles simple and secure. The Cerakote version’s action and fluted, crowned sporter barrel have a durable H-Series ceramic dark pewter metallic finish that makes the rifle virtually impervious to the elements. The Patriot Cerakote is available in six calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and .30/06.

The rifle that I tested in 6.5 Creedmoor weighed 6.5 pounds, which made it suitable for all-day carry in the mountains. Caggiano had zeroed the rifle using Nosler’s 140-grain Ballistic Tip load, and when I went to the range I found that the rifle was capable of producing groups around 1 inch at 100 yards. Sighted in roughly 2 inches high at that distance, the rifle was now zeroed for 200 yards—perfect for the conditions in Spain.

My opportunity at an ibex billy came on the second day of the hunt. After spending most of the morning glassing immature ibex across a wide canyon, guide Vicente Gil decided that we should move to higher ground and continue working our way around the face of the ridge in an effort to find a better billy. We picked our way across the face of the mountain, eventually reaching the crest, and glassed the adjacent valley. As we reached the top, Gil dropped down below the lip of the rim and motioned me forward. Across the narrow canyon we saw a mature ibex with tall, sweeping horns. Gil ordered me to get in position for a shot. A crumbled pile of limestone boulders offered me the cover I needed, and the flat surface provided a solid rest for the rifle. The billy was standing near a lone tree on the opposite ridge 200 yards away, which should have made for an easy shot, but I had to contend with a very heavy crosswind. Holding just ahead of the billy’s shoulder, I pressed the LBA trigger. When I fired, the ibex rose up on his hind legs and turned, running across the empty slope toward the top of the ridge. There was no way to be certain what type of terrain we’d encounter if the billy crossed out of sight, and I didn’t want to risk losing the animal in the steep limestone cliffs. I fired another shot that slowed the ibex, and an insurance shot anchored the animal before it could cross the ridgetop.

Even though my experience with the Patriot Cerakote was limited, I was impressed with the rifle’s performance, especially for a bolt-action rifle that has an SRP of $440. The use of lightweight materials helps keep weight to a manageable level, and the light, crisp LBA trigger is excellent. For those who want an accurate, versatile, affordable hunting rifle that thrives in any weather, this is a solid option.