7 Best Bolt-Action Rifles Under $500

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Mossberg Patriot Laminate Marinecote

We’ve felt for a long time that Mossberg doesn’t get enough attention for the great value they provide in terms of rifles. They’re a bit better known for their shotguns. The Patriot line of rifles tackles that issue head-on, with a high-quality rifle platform that cuts no corners and yet still comes in well under $500.

Each Patriot is equipped with a 22” fluted, free-floated barrel (for greater accuracy), topped off with a crown on the end of the muzzle to protect the rifling. These are just a few of the nice touches which underscore the level of detail that Mossberg put into this entry level rifle. And as we mentioned above, we really like to give kudos to manufacturers that go the extra mile with their value lines.

For starters, the Patriot lineup is very accurate, more than capable of shooting sub 1” (sub 1 MOA) groups at 100 yards. While that’s true with the synthetic stock versions, we went with the Laminate Marinecote because, well, it’s just a better overall package that still comes in under budget.

The protective Marinecote finish looks really cool with the laminated stock and it’s especially handy for deer hunters, who may be out stalking the big one in the drizzling rain. That way, your matte stainless-steel look remains stainless after some rugged field use.

Mossberg has also jumped aboard the detachable box magazine bandwagon, with a nice magazine design that seems to be a tad more popular with shooters than Ruger’s. Truth be told, the advantage of a box magazine is negligible compared to the old drop-free plates, but we do think box mags are a nice and convenient way to store ammo.

Now, let’s get to the most important part: Accuracy. Mossberg has really hit the nail on the head with this rifle’s level of precision. The 22-inch free-floated, fluted barrel isn’t just for looks, it’s highly capable of delivering sub 1” groups at 100 yards, straight out of the box. Largely responsible for this is the very smooth, Lightning Bolt Action Adjustable trigger system. The LBA, for short, is a 2-stage setup, easily adjustable between 2 and 7 pounds.

With ample Weaver style scope bases and an empty weight of about 7.25 pounds, the Patriot Laminate Marinecote is the do-it-all deer rifle that keeps your sporting horizons wide open, available in .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg and .300 Win Mag.

Retail: $450

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