have to admit, I have been having fun with Mossberg rifles as of late.
First it was the Mossberg 464™ Lever Action Rifle, now it's the Mossberg
4x4™ Bolt Action Rifle. None of these are new introductions as much as
newly revised products and firearms we have not covered in detail in the
past on Real Guns™.
The 4x4 Bolt Action Rifle has been evolving as a product
line at Mossberg since January, 2007. In 2011, the product line was
further expanded and enhanced with additional configurations and a range
of short action, 308 Winchester, length cartridges; 22-250 Remington,
243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington and 308 Winchester. This subject rifle
is chambered for one of my favorite cartridges -
Mossberg offers the 4x4 Bolt Action Rifle in thirteen
different chambers, both standard and magnum cartridges. Stocks are
available in walnut, laminated birch and synthetic, in classic or
sculptured styles. Hardware is carbon steel - matte blued or
Marinecote™ finished. Models are offered with
and without a pre-mounted 3-9x scope. Customer's really do
have a choice; one hundred and six part numbers to define available
This particular model was selected because it is a
combination I like and, after all, isn't that what's really
important? Just kidding. Actually, this model was selected because
there is a tendency for writers to see a value priced firearm and
immediately review it in basic 308 Winchester form, scripted by a
press release. The Mossberg 4x4 Bolt Action Rifle is a really
interesting and innovative firearm, chambered for a cartridge range
that covers everything from woodchucks to brown bear and Mossberg
certainly didn't get to a low price by skimping on workmanship or
selection of quality materials. The gun honestly piqued by interest
so I was glad to have a closer look.
Austrian classic or Danish modern?
I've seen manufacturers do ergonomic weird, but this is
the first time I've seen ergonomic nice. Maybe my view of what looks
good has been altered by the number of times I've hung a skeletonized
TAC stock on an AR type rifle, but I am willing to accept that a stock
needs to be only where face and hands come to rest, with enough
structure to support the hardware. Anything more is just fluff and extra
In this case, not only does the Mossberg's stock have
graceful lines, but it offers excellent geometry and form for shooting
with a scope, and the concave insets makes the sculptured version of the
4x4 weigh a half pound less than the classic version. The pistol grip
surfaces are a combination of laser cut checkering and stippling. Very
clean aesthetics, good functional panel shape.
The stock's forend design is common to both Classic and
Sculptured models, ventilated and, for the most part, barrel floating.
The vents are functional. A range session with the .270 WSM typically
requires either a cooling device to speed the process or oven mitts
converted into shooter's gloves. While I did not time cool down or track
temperature gradients, my two hundred and fifty year old hands suggest
that cool down is approximately twice as fast as a more traditional
forearm arrangement. Checkering is a little light in regard to area
covered and located a bit far forward.
The 4x4's receiver rests in the radiused portions of the
stock's inletting. The stock is glass bedded at the recoil lug and
filled in this models unused aft lug slot. The barrel is under barely
contact pressure at the stock's forend. The threads of the factory
installed swivel stud are visible. All of the inletting surfaces are
cleanly cut and well sealed.
With the exception of the trigger mount pad, the action
is cylindrical, the recoil lug is sandwiched between the barrel lock nut
and the receiver. Sort of a blend of Savage and Remington, but a unique
Bottom metal is fiber filled polymer... and yes, I do
know what I just said. As proven by so many European rifles, with a
multiple thousand dollar price tags, that claim to be the Texas based
disciples of Friedrich Wilhelm Heym, polymer is durable and
reliable. Three screws hold the bottom... stuff in place. The front two
anchor the action, the aft is a wood screw that has the sole mission of
holding down the rear of the trigger guard. The magazine release. just
forward of the magazine, cleanly and consistently works. The magazine
box is staggered type rather than center feed, which allows it to be
removed and loaded, or stuffed full from the top side with the bolt
All 4x4 rifles come fitted with a removable muzzle brake.
In comparison to three other 270 WSM rifle I own, the Mossberg 4x4
recoil was modest and not in the least bit distracting. For those who
wish to remove it to impress their friends and family with their
manliness, Mossberg packs a thread protector that, when installed...
protects the exposed threads. I did not find the report to be
objectionable, but then I wear ear protection whenever I discharge a
The 4x4 is a two lug, push feed firearm. It has a sort of
Sako type extractor with a constant pressure, spring loaded ejector.
Bolt rotation is 90°. The action is slick. No hanging
at full open, or dragging claw extractor binding as is often the case
with Mauser derivative controlled feed actions. The bolt body has a
decorative logo which is helpful for owners that might forget what type
of rifle they purchased. Yes, I am being sarcastic, and petty, but the
brand appears on the magazine, recoil pad and emblazoned in large letter
on the barrel. At some point in time, manufacturers have to accept that
customer who purchase rifles may not want to be walking billboards.
Trigger pull is one screw owner adjustable within a range
of two to seven pounds. The trigger blade, the skeletonized piece that
projects forward when the striker is cocked, prevents the sear from
releasing the striker unless it is fully depressed. An assurance that
the gun won't discharge if jarred, even when the trigger is adjusted to
the lightest level of pull. The Mossberg 4x4 has an excellent trigger;
crisp, no creep, no perceptible overtravel to the point that it
contributes significantly to shooting accuracy. Yes, the little die cut
lightning bolt is pretty nifty.
No, I won't try to tell you that the gun shot these types
of groups all day long, but this is a 100 yard, 0.55" three shot group;
150 grain Nosler Partition at 3,100 fps. I've invested a lot of time
into 270 WSM handloads and it was no problem finding 130, 140 and 150
grain loads that could shoot comfortably inside of an inch. The
cartridge is inherently accurate and the Mossberg is a good steward for
I did most of my shooting from a cradle rest. The barrel
stayed low on discharge and the trigger, as I noted earlier, was just
excellent. Shooting from standing, sitting and kneeing positions was
natural. The Mossberg is a good offhand shooter, balancing just under
the front receiver ring, and it is fast tracking.
If there is anything that was a little uncomfortable for
me it would be the narrow forearm and the checkering pattern that starts
23" from the recoil pad, or about 2" - 3" farther than Winchester or
Remington patterns. The result is that I found myself with my left arm
too far extended for proper support under the rifle. I just shot with my
hand aft of the checkering. This has nothing to do with CG or balance,
just placement of the checkering panels on the forearm.
Final words... at least on this topic
The Mossberg 4x4 Bolt Action Rifle is inexpensive, it is
not cheap. The walnut stock is good quality and finish, the metal parts
finish is equally as good. I have to say the gun is an attractive
system, even though it does not follow my prior ideas of norms and long
guns. The trigger and the gun's accuracy are noteworthy and it is a
hunting rifle without compromise in any substantial way. Nice gun and
one worth looking at first hand.