Gun Review: Mossberg 715T

Overview Pic 1

(This is a reader gun review contest entry, click here for more details.)

By Tim Going

I am walking proof that Mark Morford is an idiot (as if proof was really needed.) I am a young Native American with a college degree, a technical skills job, living solidly in the middle class. I may not have the strong 2A conviction of the OFWG crowd, but I do believe in being a self-supporting and independent citizen. As such, I own and enjoy shooting guns. I may not have quite the collection of firearms that many readers on this site have, but I am solidly in the CNN “arsenal” range. Being a man of moderate income means, everything in my collection shares one key trait; they all cost less than $300 new . . .

In my lifetime I have purchased 12 different firearms, ranging in price from the $109 dollar Mosin Nagant I bought two years ago to the $289 Rossi Wizard .308 I “purchased for myself” then just happened to sell to my dad for a dollar on the day of his anniversary. This brief experience with “cheap” guns has taught a very important lesson. Just because a gun is cheap, does not mean it is bad.

Now, I will be the first to admit that sometimes, a cheap gun is a cheap gun. Don’t even get me started on the SIG Mosquito, my life lesson that when ALL the reviews you read say something is bad, it probably is bad. But if you think that any gun less than $300 is not even worth wasting your time, well I find your lack of faith disturbing. My Mossberg Maverick, GSG 1911-22 (purchased after the review of the gun on TTAG) and my SCCY CPX-1 all stand as testament that a reliable, accurate, and fun gun can be had for less than three bills. However, the biggest proof of this point is my Mossberg 715T.

Overview Pic 2

Before I get into the meat of this review, there are two things you should keep in mind about the 715T:

In Which Our Hero Defends His Purchase
First of all, this is not an AR in .22 LR. If you are looking for a cheaper-to-feed trainer for your tactical drills, sorry, but these are not the droids you are looking for. What you want is the M&P15-22, or the Walther-made Colt M4 OPS. These guns are both offer a much more similar feel to the AR-15. The 715T is essentially a Mossberg 702 Plinkster slapped into a plastic clamshell. Your controls are different, action is different, and the balance and weight make it handle strangely compared to an AR-15. You are much better off comparing this to other .22 semi-automatics.

Secondly, keep in mind that this is a cheap gun. When I purchased mine from my favorite LGS, I got the carry handle model with a 25-rd magazine and a 100-rd box of Mini-Mags for $250 out the door. Not too bad if you ask me, especially since I probably could have sold the ammo on Armslist for half that price at the time.

My experience has shown me to always inspect any gun before purchase, but especially with lower cost guns. The Mossberg was no exception, as the flattop model that I initially looked at had a very pronounced lateral curve in the top rail. Whether this was a result of a missed quality control item, or happened in shipping and handling was unknown, but the shop owner had to send it off for replacement. Internet rumors have listed problems with broken grips and bent barrels, but I cannot vouch for any of these.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

Overview
Overview Pic 3

Out of the box, a quick examination reveals that this is not a museum-quality piece of art. My rifle required some trimming around the sling swivel and the rear sight to remove some leftover plastic tags. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, but then again I am used to cheaper guns so YMMV. Fit and finish were quality, but not precision grade. The pictures below shows that the two clamshell halves match up fairly well, even after multiple disassemblies, with very little gap or misalignment.

Front Receiver Fit

Receiver Pic

The six-position stock is an all-plastic affair, stamped with an ATI logo, and feels…cheap. It has some play to it, but it has shown no sign of cracking or loosening in the year that I have owned it. The finish on the metal components is pretty rugged. I would estimate that I’ve put about 3,500 rounds through this gun and carried it on several squirrel and rabbit hunting trips, as well as hauling it on the back of the four wheeler a few times.

Barrel Pic

It helps that I clean my guns as soon as I return from my adventuring, but being a lower cost gun I’m not exactly easy on them in the field. Impromptu rests, rattling around in a truck bed, and getting dragged around under my house chasing deadly rogue possums have yet to cause any problems.

Disassembled Pic

I will say that that clamshell design is a big drawback when it comes to cleaning. Breaking it down requires removing 13 Phillips screws and two Allen head screws to get a good scrub on, so I find myself more and more just wiping down the barrel and what parts of the action I can get to easily. Being a standard blowback rifle using mostly cheaper grade rimfire ammo, it can get dirty pretty quick, but I’ve never had an issue due to contamination during my range trips. I would suggest spending a few bucks on a good screwdriver set. I tried to use my 9-in-1 Klein the first few times I disassembled and the screws still have scars from the trauma of it all.

Controls Pic

The gun uses a standard crossbolt safety that isn’t too shabby. It snaps firmly from side to side, without hanging up partway through. The pistol grip is modeled after a standard AR grip, and has a finger ridge that lines up in exactly the right spot for my size nine hands. The plastic, non-removable sights are adjustable for windage and elevation. They work reasonably well once you remove the leftover junk from them.

The gun also sports a bolt hold-open that is activated by pushing the charging handle in when fully retracted. Then a quick pull will allow the bolt to slide forward and chamber a round. It sounds good in theory, but in practice can be a sloppy. The first few times I used it, I found myself accidentally locking the bolt open when trying to chamber a round. Not a big headache for sure, but something to be aware of. The gun also holds open on empty, but since it uses the follower of the magazine as a stop, you still have to manually cycle the action to chamber a fresh round.

Ergonomics
My biggest complaint when I first bought the gun, and one echoed by the wifey, was that the top and bottom rails on the handguard are insanely sharp. We’re talking Kal Skirata three-sided knife sharp for my fellow Mandalorian enthusiasts out there. I don’t have a ton of experience with railed guns, but the three or four models I have shot did a lot less skin damage.

The first range visit left us both with big smiles, but raw left hands. The beauty of the design though, is that it accepts any standard Picatinny rail items you would use with an AR-15, of which there is a plethora. So one 10-minute shopping trip on Amazon, and a two-day wait later, my vertical foregrip was installed and ready to roll. It’s no Magpul, but it locks up tight and makes for an easier-on-the-hands (and eyes, if you ask me) shooting experience. Along with that item was the answer for my second biggest complaint.

As anyone who has ever shot the old fixed carry handle AR rifles will tell you, you have to get a little creative with the optics for the best results. While the 715T sports a short Picatinny rail on top of the handle, getting your head up there to see it is a different story. A stiff neck and diminished accuracy after range trip number one convinced me to drop $10 on a set of cheek pieces from Command Arms. The 1.25” riser snapped in solidly, too solidly…(cue dramatic music). I had to use a screwdriver to pry it off when I needed to move it forward, but at least I didn’t have to worry about it and the stock wobbling.

These two little improvements were not completely necessary, but made the rifle much more comfortable for me to use. The flattop model would eliminate the second problem for those keeping score at home.

The second range trip went a lot smoother, and I had no complaints, just observations. A plastic stock and fake receiver meant most of the weight is forward of the grip. Being a .22, that isn’t a lot, but it doesn’t balance for offhand shooting as well as my Ruger 10/22 or Savage MK II. I guess if there was any recoil to a .22 rifle, this might help reduce muzzle rise, so let’s call this one a feature not a bug. Once I switched from a red-dot to a full scope, the problem was reduced, but it still feels strange compared to other guns.

There are two things I commonly hear when experienced shooters pick the 715T up at the range. The first is, “You’re shooting that thing? You’re braver than I thought.” This is typically before they fire it. The second is, “That magazine release sucks.” This is especially common with those used to the release on an AR.

This gun uses a paddle on the side of the magazine well that can be a bit…sloppy. Okay, that was my personal bias sneaking in. It is downright nasty. Mine has some play too it, offers no tactile feedback, and was stiffer than Dirk Diggler at a Mom’s Demand Action rally. It has loosened a bit with extensive use (insert in appropriate Shannon Watts joke here), but it is far from ideal. Those looking for tactical reloads need not apply. Even now, my magazine changes are like an offensive lineman touchdown: rumblin’, bumblin’, and stumblin’.

Accuracy
25 Yard Bench

While I usually see somewhat diminished accuracy with my lower-priced guns, I can’t say that this is true with the Mossberg 715T. It is a tack driver of a gun. I have found that my gun is a cheap date, and shoots Remington Viper 36-grain most accurately. The target above is ten rounds at 25 yards on a somewhat overcast, but very wet day, using a cheap Centerpoint 3-9X scope and a backpack for a rest, with my golf ball marker for comparison. Stretching its legs out to 50 yards results in:

50 Yard Bench

That’s seven (why seven? Because my target fell and I wasn’t slogging through the mud for you people again) rounds in a respectable, but not fabulous pattern. This is what I would call typical accuracy. I could cherry pick some groups I’ve shot that were better, but this is fairly representative of my average over the past year.

That’s as solid as it gets for me, and while I’ve been using .22’s since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I’m far from an experienced marksmen. Sadly, my wife is a much better shot with this gun than I am, and she put up this impressive 5-shot group at 50 yards on the same day.

50 Yard Bench 2

She just likes to show off sometimes. On days when I feel like slapping on the old red dot and doing some running and gunning, I can put up offhand, somewhat rapid-fire groups from 10 yards that stay within the A-zone of a silhouette target. Its not jaw-dropping, stop-the-presses tack driving, but it offers plenty of practical accuracy as the squirrels I’ve dropped with it will testify. Lets just say for your average shooter, it will shoot as well as you can.

A big part of this fairly reasonable accuracy comes from the trigger, which is usually a point of weakness on cheap guns. It’s a two-stage affair with a breaking weight of five pounds according to my borrowed-from-work pull gauge. The reset is rather long, but the break feels clean with very little creep.

It should be noted that the top-mounted rail is removable by means of a small nut underneath. Do not expect your gun to hold zero when removing and reinstalling this, though. Your gun may, but mine typically runs from 1” high to 2” low when I put it back on. I could probably clear this problem up using a torque wrench on the nut, but I haven’t tested this out yet to see if it will work. You may think, “Well just don’t take it off and you’ll be fine,” but unfortunately the rail comes off when you disassemble for cleaning. So let’s call that a bug not a feature.

Reliability
I’ve already mentioned that I keep the gun clean, but use it rough. I also put a lot of different ammo through it. With the scarcity of .22 I’m constantly buying small boxes of different rounds to keep the beast fed. The full list of what I have put though it is:

CCI Blazer 40 grain
CCI Mini-mag 40 grain Solid
CCI Mini-mag 36 grain HP
Remington Viper 36 grain segmented HP
Winchester Super-X 36-grain Lead Free
Federal Gold Match 40-grain Solid
Wolf Match Target 40 grain Solid
Federal 36 grain HP
Remington Thunderbolt 40 grain solid
Remington CBee 33 grain Subsonic

It has run almost all of them without issue. It would not run the CBees at all, but that is to be expected with a subsonic round meant for bolt action guns. The Winchester Super-X’s would short stroke the action about twice per magazine, but I’ve had that same problem in my 10/22. I read that this is an issue with this ammo in semi-automatics due to rounds being lead free.

Looking back through my mostly complete range logs (you do keep range log books, don’t you?) I have had about 10 FTF’s on the CCI Blazers. This is by far the most common round I’ve shot through it, so it may just be due to statistical probabilities. Of those ten, I tried shooting half of them through my bolt action, and all but one refused to fire. I have not had any failures to fire or eject in approximately 300 rounds of Mini-Mags, and this is typically what is loaded in the gun when it’s around the house as they work wonders on the possums and raccoons that tend to frequent my wife’s chicken coop. Like any .22 worth its salt, if you do your part and keep it clean, it does its job and shoots.

Magazine Pic

One problem that should be noted though is this; the magazines can be a major cause of reliability issues. Since it is based on the 702 Plinkster, the gun seems to be originally designed to run 10-round magazines, which are also available. However, on the 25-rounders, the area where the metal portion mates up to the fake plastic has caused me some problems.

What kind of problems you ask? Well it is difficult…no, very difficult…no, really difficult to load until you get the hang of it. Rounds one through 10 go in smooth as buttah, but then have a tendency to catch. DO NOT FORCE IT! In case you didn’t catch that I will say again, DO NOT FORCE IT!

Mossberg tosses in a cheap plastic magazine loader that can be a big help, but when it stops at round 11 or 12 it is usually the follower catching. My inordinate amounts of forcing led to some dented shells that caused me three or four failures to feed before I sorted the problem out. A little love tap on the bottom will clear that right up and you can load her to the brim. I have read that some people have problems loading them up to full capacity, but the two 25-round magazines I have load with just firm pressure and a bump on the bottom at about round 20. The two 10-rounder’s are easy peasy.

So Why Shouldn’t I Buy A 10/22?
I’m glad you asked. Allow me to explain in these four concluding points.

1. Imagine being a kid and getting this as your first rifle. How cool would it be to show this off to your friends? Answer: Super Cool. It looks like a military rifle and takes any accessories you could throw at it. It has an adjustable stock so it can grow with you. And it works well, so you can actually use it. As Robert noted in the initial press release back in 2010, these would be the ultimate Christmas gift for a young shooter.

2. It accepts all the “assault rifle” rail-mounted accessories like shoulder thingies that go up and 25-clip per minute magazines. But since it is my understanding that rimfire rifles are not limited to a certain number of features, you can have your California cake and eat it too. If nothing else, you can have a gun that looks the part, and unleash your inner Stickittothemaniosis. And if there is one thing most People of the Gun can agree on, it’s that getting the anti’s undies in a bunch over nothing is worth any price.

3. It’s actually a pretty good semi-automatic .22 in its own right. The 702 Plinkster has been a popular gun for a while, though far from a pretty sight. I get it, it’s no Ruger 10/22 with its classic lines and timeless charm. If my house was on fire, I would probably save the Ruger first to be honest. Still, its accuracy speaks for itself and with its adaptability it can be used for everything from hunting varmints to a home defense rifle for the recoil adverse. Mine has turned into my wife’s bedside gun. I know that a .22 is far from the ideal weapon for stopping an intruder, but with 25 rounds on tap in a gun she is familiar with, shoots well, and won’t blow her ear drums out? Well, there are far worse options out there. Plus, most of the intruders she has to deal with are of the egg-stealing, four-legged variety so it works well. Sure, you could trick out a Ruger with aftermarket stocks, mags, and accessories. Or you could get a S&W or Colt made AR .22. But then you’re just paying more for something that the Mossberg does well enough already.

4. Lastly, the fun factor cannot be overstated on this gun. I have used it to break in over a dozen new shooters, and this is the gun they keep wanting to shoot. With a red dot, you get an easy-to-use gun that will hit what you’re aiming at. All for less than $300. A friend who had never owned a gun before went out and bought one of the flattop models because he enjoyed it so much. That should be considered a victory unto itself.

Not all cheap guns are created equal. See: Mosquito, SIG. But as manufacturing techniques improve, and costs of durable materials like plastics decrease, some quality weapons can be produced for a low cost. Remember, that plastic isn’t always bad, as GLOCK users and Denise Richards fans will tell you. If you can look past their little quirks, you can rewarded with a good little gun like the Mossberg 715T for not a lot of money. And for anyone who sees it as a gimmick or market fad riding on the coattails of the surge in AR popularity, it should be noted that they have been selling these guns pretty well for four years now. Read into that what you will.

Specifications: Mossberg 715T Carry Handle w/Adjustable Stock

Caliber: .22 LR
Barrel Length: 18”
Weight: 5.3 lbs
Sights: A-2 Style Plastic with adjustable rear
Length of Pull: 10.5-14.25”
Capacity: 10 or 25 round magazines
Cost: $309 MSRP (Typically seen in the wild for $229-289 depending on the area)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style: * * * *
I like the look, and as this is my review, so it gets a solid grade. You’ll never mistake it for a Wilson Combat or a LaRue, but it looks good with minimal flaws in construction.

Ergonomics: * * *
You can mount a lot of accessories on those rails and the adjustable stock means it can adapt to a wide range of shooters. But that mag release….

Accuracy: * * * 1/2
The targets don’t lie, I can consistently shoot with this gun as well as I can with any .22 I own. I doubt you’ll be entering any Olympic smallbore contests with it, but I figure it will hold its own with any of the other “tactical .22s” you’ll see.

Reliability: * * * * 1/2
Roughly 3,500 rounds down the tube with nary a breakage in sight. Find an ammo that suits your gun, learn to load the magazines right and it is as close to reliable as a .22 can be.

Overall: * * * *
I like this gun. Other people like this gun. Mossberg has sold a lot of these guns. But I just can’t get it above four stars due to that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mag release and the extra hassle of the clamshell for disassembly. In its price range though, it gives you a level of customization that is top notch.

 

comments

  1. avatar NEOWA says:

    Excellent review and read. Even had and answermy kneejerk smartass “wth didn’t you just buy a 10/22” line before I typed it.

    Sign him up Robert. Throw some tradegoods at him.

    1. avatar SentMKG says:

      Agreed!

  2. avatar John L. says:

    Nice review.

    To me, cheap and inexpensive are two different things. Cheap is somewhere along the “quality” axis and inexpensive is somewhere on the “price” axis.

    So if I read you right, you’re saying the Mossy is an inexpensive but high-quality firearm.

    (By the same token, the $6000 Cabot reviewed a little while ago would be expensive but cheap, if not shoddy, in terms of reliability … going only by the review, I’ve never owned one.)

    1. avatar Tim Going says:

      That is exactly what I’m saying. I think at a certain point, your paying for name brand and looks more than any mechanical difference. Well, in this case, looks and a properly functioning magazine release, but still.

  3. avatar Dave Madsen says:

    Good review, but for me, because of the way it disassembles for cleaning (and that the rear sight is affected during disassembly) I will be passing on this one.

    Glad the gun works for you.

    1. avatar WRH says:

      This was my second gun. I sold it a month later, before I could do any damage to the clam shells while assembling it after a good scrub. It never failed to function, but I modified the follower so that it would load easily.

  4. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    I own the 702, and it’s blast to shoot. Just like he said, accurate and reliable.

  5. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    Great review, and in glad to see someone pointing out that “inexpensive” doesn’t necessarily mean “crap”. Also loved the Skirata reference. Those are some shockingly good books that far too few people have read. For anyone interested, it’s a five book series called Star Wars: Republic Commando. Yeah, I know, but they are far more military novels than they are Star Wars ones, and the character development is nothing less than stunningly good.

    1. avatar Tim Going says:

      The Republic Commando series is one of my favorite in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I think I’ve read the series 5 times or so. It’s nice to see the non-force using side of the universe once in awhile.

    2. avatar notalima says:

      Seconded!

      KT did them right. Made them more than the previous ‘paper’ villains they had been made out to be, and made for a warm spot in my heart.

      Too bad they are now double non-canon.

      And that magazine looks like a breakage waiting to happen. I know there is a lot of ‘wasted’ polymer on my 15-22 mags, but I’d be afraid of snapping the skinny neck of the magazine pictured.

      1. avatar PerplexedPistolero says:

        Excellent review, well thought-out and an entertaining style. And the Skirata reference makes it even better.

  6. avatar Jim says:

    One of the most enjoyable reviews on this site.

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    That was a really fun read!
    Good review!

  8. avatar notalima says:

    CNN “arsenal” range

    You own a pellet gun, a musket, and a tilt barrel .22LR pistol?

    That’s what constitutes and ‘arsenal’ for CNN.

    For MSNBC it is one gun (or any kind) and a handful of bullets. (matching caliber not necessary) 😀

  9. avatar ARluv says:

    Hate the gun…but love the review….makes me want to go out and buy one right away! Well…maybe not…but the review was good!

  10. avatar Avid Reader says:

    Great review. Looking forward to more from this writer.

  11. avatar TravisP says:

    I will say the model I picked up with a flash top, and M4 style flash hider has a lot more style, it’s a shame I don’t see the flat top model often.

  12. avatar The_economist says:

    This was one of the best gun reviews I have read in a while. I got a feel for the ownership experience as well as an idea of its capabilities. Great writing.

  13. avatar Spectre_USA says:

    This gentleman has definitely read an an article or three hereabouts.

    I’m screwed.

    Good job, Mr. Going. I am still glad to have bought my S&W M&P 15-22 when I was checking
    out the ol’ Tac-22’s a few years back, though this looks like a fine choice.

  14. avatar Rich R. says:

    Holy cow, who knew I wasn’t the only Star Wars geek reading TTAG? I like this place even better now (if that was even possible…)

    1. avatar Tim Going says:

      I think you would be surprised by the number of Star Wars geeks hereabout…. Oya ner vod.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    Great review. Loved the reference to TTAG’s own Dirk Diggler (I LOLed).

    Except for the part where it’s all tacticool looking, this gun (and your review) remind me of my trusty little Marlin Model 60. Cheap, but in the best way possible. Like John L. said, “inexpensive” would be a better word. A lot of bang for your buck. I’ll still back my Model 60 against any budget-model semiauto .22 for accuracy (though I make no claims about my own marksmanship), and I love its classic looks, but the Mossberg 715t has a cool factor the Marlin can’t match.

  16. avatar Tim Going says:

    One note, the last two target pictures need to be reversed. The top target is my wife’s and the bottom target is mine.

  17. avatar Drew says:

    Well typed review and fun to read but I scrolled the the very bottom and saw 4 out of 5 stars and said WTF.

    If this gets 4/5 then I would hate to see any firearm with a lower rating. The way the mags change alone makes this rifle terrible. Then factor in disassembly and its general cheap feeling and you are almost negative stars. When I worked for a gun shop I was embarrassed to sell the gun. Its terrible looks were only surpassed by its insane mag design and abundance of molded plastic.

    The 602 is a fine rifle for its price, all the plastic junk you get with this rifle is not worth the extra $150 you paid for it. A Rem 597 is by far a better rifle or save a few extra and get a 10/22. Teach your kid responsibility and have him mow yards to buy an “AR” conversion kit for it if you simply must have the look.

    Loved the cracker

    1. avatar PW in KY says:

      I agree that I didn’t think it was worth that many stars. In my mind, I judge all things the same, so I would place a reliable gun that ran well, like an FNX 45, around 4-5 stars, and a fun but cheap/imperfect gun like this at around 2-3 stars.

      For him though, maybe this is 4 stars against a somewhat lower expectation. Personally I’d be surprised to see any .22 semiauto run well after watching my friend struggle with his S&W M&P .22. We’ve tried 3 or 4 different types of .22 and the thing seems to choke every mag at least once.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        By now everyone should have learned one simple lesson when it comes to .22 LR ammo in a semi-auto.

        Use CCI Mini-Mag. They work.

        (their “tactical” ammo also works, but then as I understand it’s basically just rebranded mini-mags)

  18. avatar freezercharlie says:

    Excellent! The inexpensive gun reviews are great.

  19. avatar 5Spot says:

    Definitely one minute of ritz cracker!

  20. avatar Jake State Farm says:

    +1 on the Star Wars reference…. references like that really help the audience feel in touch with the author.

  21. avatar lolinski says:

    Do people really use those rails mounted on carry handles?

  22. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Terrific review. Welcome to the honorary OFWG club. I doubt I’ll ever buy this but I find it interesting you liked it. I looked at this at Cabelas and more than one of the counter guys said no get better as it’s a jamamatic. Whatever -they also hate Taurus and I’ve had 4 that ran perfectly. And they were all OFWG LOL…

  23. I don’t get the conclusion.

    This thing is clearly inferior at the price point. It shoots OK, but the field strip is horrific, the magazine situation is ugly as sin, the ergos are nothing to write home about, the clamshell design looks tacky and non-durable, and the optics mounting options are terrible. Collapsing stock? Rail accessories? It’s a .22lr for G-d’s sake, and like you said, the M&P 15-22 does all of that SO much better.

    Yet, we’re told it’s better than the 10/22. This is the same 10/22 that I can field strip by removing two screws, has easily available reliable 25rd mags, has simple intuitive controls, and has furniture that doesn’t look like it was made at Toys-R-Us. Oh, and the scope rail is actually at a sane height and usable. And, there’s a robust after-market for it. But, hey, it’s doesn’t look like a black rifle, so apparently, there’s no “fun factor”.

    I am the king of evil black rifles. I like them tactical as they come. But the author’s conclusions are otherworldly to me, and read like some kind of post-facto justification for buying an inferior gun to his existing 10/22. Sorry if that’s harsh, but TTAG claims they don’t do “gun mag reviews”, and this is barely better than one of those.

    1. avatar Tim Going says:

      I wouldn’t say its better than a 10/22. In fact, I said in the article I would take my 10/22 over it. But it is fun, and adjustable for a wide range of users. And you can’t get a 10/22 with the tactical accessories or a SW for the price, at least in my area. So as an alternative, or another option if your tired of the normal 10/22, then this is a viable option.

      Thank you for the feedback too!

      1. FWIW, I think you’re a pretty good writer. I probably should have mentioned that. And it takes balls to go write on TTAG and face assholes like myself. So, you’re a good guy in my book.

        But don’t be afraid to slam a gun, even if it’s one you own. In the end, these reviews are a public service, and TTAG’s function should be providing the unflinching truth.

        1. avatar Tim Going says:

          Hey no problem. A well though out critique is great to hear. I’ve read comments on enough of the gun reviews here to expect a hundred enraged responses telling me I’m a “fascist neo-Nazi communist” because I like a gun that’s not a “GLOCK brand Ruger” or something to that effect. This is my first time ever having something submitted so its nice to see a generally pleasant response to the review, and to get some honest and constructive criticism.

          I would slam this gun if I though it needed to be though. But it checks off a lot of my boxes. If I can write another review, I may do my Sig Mosquito. You wanna see me slam a bad gun? I’ll straight up release the Kraken on that bad boy.

  24. avatar JimmyDelta says:

    A terrible design for a gun (AR “aesthetics” without the compensating benefit of the control ergonomics) and not one I’d consider at $100, let alone $300. I did enjoy your review, however, and I wish you good Fortune so I can benefit by reading your future reviews of better firearms.

  25. avatar dwb says:

    That was an excellent review. I am not even in the market for another .22, but found myself reading the whole thing.

    +10 on the good use of 3 sided knife reference.

  26. avatar Ralph says:

    Nice review, Tim! Don’t be a stranger.

  27. avatar Jeff says:

    Why would you ever buy this thing in the first place?

    Yes, I read the review. Question still stands.

  28. avatar Chris says:

    Good review. I swear by my 10/22. Shooting 22 does get old, so having a cheap alternative to spice things up is good.

    1. avatar Tim Going says:

      That is a very good point. You can only plink away with a 10/22 or with a bolt action .22 for so long before it gets dull. But times are tough, and .22 ammo is still far and away cheaper than most ammo. So its nice to have a gun that doesn’t require a huge investment that can still let you have fun in new ways.

  29. avatar JL says:

    Wow, fun review that wasn’t about some Wilson Combat or other high end firearm I can’t afford. Great going! Now review some affordable items that aren’t a pain in the ass to use and take care of. Maybe go to Big 5 and start looking at some of the affordable pieces they carry. Get Robert to send you 5 bills and have that be your budget. Counting AMMO:)

    Robert, seriously, I was getting so turned off by all the reviews of weapons that would require my wife approving the purchase and some serious budgeting that this sort of thing is a welcomed change. And I might actually start clicking on some of the advertisements that fund the site.

  30. avatar Agent00J says:

    This was one of, if not the most entertaining user submitted reviews I’ve read. He gets my vote FWIW.

  31. avatar jwm says:

    Mosin Nagant. Sigma. Various Taurus revolvers. Mossberg shotguns. H&R shotguns. Makarov…….Under 300 bucks buys a lot of gun. Never been ashamed to own or use any of them.

  32. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Good review on an interesting gun. My favorite part is how you used crackers instead of quarters or something like that to show you’re grouping. As the cracker started getting bites out of it, my stomach became even more sore from laughing.

  33. avatar Dan A says:

    “Or you could get a S&W or Colt made AR .22. But then you’re just paying more for something that the Mossberg does well enough already.”

    Yeah, no. The other two can be field stripped without tools. They have safeties, charging handles, and magazine releases (and bolt catches for the S&W) in the same places as you’d find them on an AR-15. They accept more AR accessories to include pistol grips, buttstocks, and triggers (S&W). They have better quality magazines. And as far as at least the S&W goes (haven’t shot the Umarex), it’s a better quality rifle period. The Mossberg hardly does anything “well enough” except look kind of like an AR-15, though only at a distance.

  34. avatar Home Defender says:

    My 702 plinkster rides in the clamshell of a boneyard airsoft G36. I wish I knew how to post a pic. total cost was less than $130 and looks badazz with the 25 round 702 magazine (NOT the 25 rnd for the 715T). Better overall deal in my biased opinion considering it is the same firearm and “guts”

  35. avatar The Original Brad says:

    Meh, I bought a 715T a few years ago for a surprise Christmas gift for my boys (who already have a 10/22 and Marlin 995 respectively) as a nifty range toy to plink with, something different but still in the .22lr family. I sold it fairly quickly – my boys did not object to the sale either. We all agreed that magazine problems were just too frustrating. There’s a few “fixes” online to alleviate the worst of the feeding problems but IMHO, the entire package was simply too cheaply made and too frustrating to operate. I could never find additional 25rd mags and 702 magazines are expensive all but non-existant. Accuracy was fine but the pop, pop, click routine got old fast. Even with the magazine fixes and lots of lube, two or three jams per magazine were commonplace.

    I filed this rifle under the catagory of save your money and buy a 10/22. For that matter 702’s are listed on Cabelas starting from $159 to $199. The plastic clamshell just needlessly complicates the experience for the sake of appearances.

    Excellent review though – easy to read and fun. Well done.

  36. avatar int19h says:

    If I understand your argument correctly, it basically boils down to “I want a tacticool .22, but for less than what M&P 15-22 would cost me”. In which case I have to ask: why not Kel-Tec SU-22? Granted, it’s not a (really poor) AR lookalike, but it has rails, so you can easily mount scopes, red dots, foregrips, lasers etc on it for all that tacticoolness. It takes the same BDM magazines as M&P 15-22 and CMMG AR conversion, which are cheap and abundant, and you can get 10-, 15- or 25-rounders and 50-round drums. And it has a threaded barrel for suppressors (or flash hiders / compensators, for those tacticool purposes again). And it has a folding stock. And it weighs a pound less.

    And you can buy it for around $300.

  37. avatar ggrimes2 says:

    Wow an honest, straightforward and useful review.
    I understand different strokes for different folks. I have a ruger 10/22 and its not
    my favorite rifle I just have one ’cause everyone else does.
    The Mossberg basic action is proven and has a long history of making folks happy with great reliability and reasonable accuracy.
    Not impressed with Ke-Tec’s quality control. The Smith/Walther is overpriced, overrated and oversold I own a Walther G-22 which was not cheap and remains a disappointment after much work and trials. The Smith/Walther are all based on the same flawed and cheap action.
    If I was in the market for an inexpensive .22 I’d have to think about one of these.
    Great writeup.

    1. avatar The Original Brad says:

      @ggrimes2 – before you make a frustrating mistake and buy a 715T, check the interwebs and look for used 10/22’s. I got mine for $100 from a guy just down the street. He even mounted a scope, gave me all his left over .22lr ammo and two extra 10rd rotary magazines. That was 5 years ago granted, but the deals are out there.

      I say frustrating mistake beause the rifle reviewed in this article will need some tweaking. It is NOT an out of the box shooter. You will have to modify, at the very least, the magazine before you get any enjoyment out of it. My used 10/22 never fails. The rotary mags are easy to load, and have never failed. My sons have fired thousands of out of them and the only FTF is from bad rounds.

      Like I said above, I bought one, futzed with it, got it working, dealt with it’s finicky feeding and poor ergonomics, then got rid of it. There’s just so much better out there for the same if not less money.

  38. avatar Ted Medmann says:

    I just ordered one of these Mossberg 715T’s yesterday at a sale price of $159.99 which is a killer price. I wanted something a little more exciting looking than my Boring Marlin 795. At that price I could not pass this up. Look, this is a .22LR rifle based on the Marlin 70 action which is based on the Marlin 60 action which is very reliable. If you want the M&P ,22LR then go buy that at 3X as much. $160 for a tactical .22LR with a 25-round mag & picatinny rails included? I will take it. What is all this BS whining about talking the clam shells apart? Just clean it without taking the halves apart, I doubt I ever will pull the halves apart.

  39. avatar Tim Going says:

    Well I got lucky on this article last time…Maybe lightning strikes the same spot twice….

  40. avatar Ted Medmann says:

    I finally got around to taking the Mossberg 715T out to the range & put it through it’s paces. Granted I used mostly CCI Mini Mag but I really did not have much of a problem with this rifle, most all the rounds I fired went through the rifle great. Sure I had a few FTE’s but no more than any of my other .22LR rifles & I have 4 others.
    I had no problem with the 25-Round magazine. The rifle worked actually better than I anticipated it would based on all the crap reviews I have been seeing. I give it a thumbs up!

  41. avatar Gerald Scott says:

    I plan to buy one of these in the near future, knowing full well what it is, and what it isn’t. It is a plinker, and that is exactly what I intend to use it for. I have both a 1022 and a Marlin bolt action .22 with a 7 round magazine. Both have high dollar scopes on them. I do not intend to put a scope on this one. I also have a Bushmaster AR-15. It’s for sale. Why? I can’t afford to shoot it. I’m the type that likes to go out and blow off 500 rounds during a trip to the desert. So why not buy the S&W version? In a word, price. I take good care of my guns, and don’t want to get them scratched up. This is one that you wouldn’t have to be so careful with, and then there is that 25 round magazine, and pseudo AR-15 look. Guns like this do have a purpose.

  42. avatar Jon says:

    The author read those statistics completely wrong. The study shows percentage of people of each race who own a gun, NOT percentage of total gun owners by race.

    Pretty sad to lead out an article with such an embarrassing mistake and then dedicated a paragraph to it.

    1. avatar Jon says:

      P.S. I posted this on the actual article linked at the top and it somehow got posted here too. Oh well.

  43. avatar Dave says:

    This review was great. I saw this rifle at Rural King for $175 but was hesitant to buy it. I have racoon problems and have to get more serious after trying to scare them off with my 38 revolver. The information in this review and the writing style were great and for the price I decided to go ahead and buy this model. Found out the vermin will not scare off, the review seems to indicate this is a good rifle for my purpose, and as I am on Social Security I can not afford any of the higher-priced brands. Next move is to find that You Tube Video and see how to disassemble and clean this rifle before putting it through its paces. Thanks again for the great article.

  44. avatar Sailor says:

    Just bought one yesterday and for the money its a great weapon . I broke it in when I got home started with 2 single shots then said what the heck i let go as fast as I could pull the trigger within less than a minute my mag was empty.reloaded with 25 more rounds and proceeded to do it again. Once you get the hang of loading the mag its no harder than other magazines. This rifle has a nice tactical look, can add accessories ,and mossberg reliability. I will get many years of use from this one.

  45. avatar Hank says:

    I purchased my 715T a few months back on the web,paid 189.00 for the Flat Top model with a 25 rd. mag. I bought an extra 25 rd. mag because I know how quick and easy it is to empty them. I was looking for something inexpensive,lightweight and easy to handle for my wife and kids. I went to the range tonight with it for the first time. I experienced the same issue with filling the mags,it was a booger past rd.10 after a little banging and tapping it was manageable. I put the first 10 rds. down range with no issues after that i had constant hang ups about 1 in every 10 rds. I was using the Remington Golden Bullet 40 gr.1255 FPS. I am glad i went alone because I would have been totally frustrated if I had to deal with this with my kids. I made the mistake of buying 500rds. of this crap and needed 10 handi wipes just to clean my hands when I was done. I hope to find something I can put through this and have more fun with it. When it did fire it was true and accurate,release on the mag is atrocious but I knew about it before hand,the sights were good and surprisingly I dialed it in rather quickly. I will not rate this purchase until I can find more friendly ammo. I think it will be fun when I get that figured out.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Here’s an update, I took the 715T apart and gave it a good going over and cleaning, I also threw the ammo in a drawer and tried some Winchester 1280fps that I found, problem solved 300rds. and not a single jam or misfire of any kind. I actually had quite a bit of fun with it and can say it was very accurate at 50 yards with old eyes and good lighting ! Hank

  46. avatar Hank says:

    Okay another issue I have just found out, I have read that 22LR subsonic only for this rifle. Can anyone tell me if I can damage this rifle by using the Winchester 1280 FPS 36 GR ammo ? I still have a couple hundred rds. and it operated flawlessly but I do not want to destroy it.

  47. avatar Hector Frank Franceschini says:

    Junk.

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