Jeff Cooper was very specific about what a ‘Scout Rifle’ should be: 7.62mm or larger in caliber, 39 inches or less in length, and no more than 6.5 pounds empty with a forward-mounted scope. The new Mossberg MVP is none of this (MVP stands for ‘Mossberg Varmint Predator’) but it does have two very practical features which might make it a big hit in the AR-saturated American market: its 5.56 NATO-friendly chamber and standard AR magazines . . .
Mossberg gets this part of the rifle absolutely right. When I think about the mountains of AR magazines and low-priced 5.56x45mm ammo out there, I have to wonder why anyone would chamber a rifle in ‘.223 Remington only’ and feed it from proprietary magazines these days.
Remington had a great idea they modified their Model 7600 pump-action rifle to accept AR magazines, but they blew it when they chambered it in civilian-only .223 Remington (no surplus ammo for you) and priced it too high. It wasn’t any cheaper than entry-level AR-15s, and let’s face it: who wants to play the slide trombone when they can rock and roll instead?
The MVP is too long and heavy for its chambering to appeal much to the ‘tactical’ crowd, but it’s a natural choice for AR owners interested in longer-range shooting with their stashes of 5.56 ammo and AR magazines. After all, its 24-inch barrel will give 200-250 more fps than an M4′s 14.5-inch tube, and almost 20% more energy at the muzzle. And it might appeal to a whole new SHTF market if Mossberg can trim it by a few inches and a few pounds.