January 11, 2023
Q: I read Steve Gash’s Quick Shot on the Mossberg MVP Patrol bolt-action carbine chambered in .300 Blackout in the March issue. I like the look of the little rifle and would love to see the results of shooting some handloads in it. Does Steve have any .300 BLK handload data for the MVP?
Andy Nottingham via email
A: As my faithful readers know, I almost always test some handloads in every new rifle I review. I did that for the Mossberg MVP Patrol in .300 BLK, but there wasn’t sufficient space in the March issue to list them, so Editor in Chief Joel Hutchcroft decided to show only the results of firing the factory-loaded ammo in my initial report, but the results of testing nine handloads are listed in the chart accompanying this answer. And I have to say the handloads results were as impressive as those for the factory-loaded ammo.
Most of the charges shown in the chart are very heavily compressed. That’s because bullets for the .300 BLK are typically long and the case is short, so powder space is limited. In my experience, for .300 BLK handloads, the denser the powder, the better. CFE BLK, Lil’Gun, Power Pro 300MP, and Accurate 1680 were the most compatible for my handloads.
The results listed are for shooting the MVP Patrol with a Trijicon AccuPower 1-8X riflescope installed and set on 6X. I fired three, five-shot groups with each handload in the carbine from a bench using a Caldwell Lead Sled at a distance of 50 yards. The overall average accuracy for the handloads was 0.98 inch, with the smallest group average being 0.61 inch and the largest being 1.61 inches.
One thing I noticed over the course of shooting many different loads is that not many hit even close to the same point of impact. In fact, most would qualify for their own ZIP code. I had to put up a large piece of plain white paper, put a bullseye target in the middle, fire a shot and hope that it was somewhere on the paper. Sometimes it wasn’t. This was a function of the loads, not the rifle or the optic. The group sizes were just fine, so the moral is test all you want, pick a load, and then fine-tune the sight-in.