Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mossberg 100 ATR, .243 & Bushnell Scopechief 3x9x32

Hello all,

I am a bit behind on the Equipment Review segment of my blog. I apologize for that. Today I am going to review the:

Mossberg 100 ATR, .243

I have this gun topped with a:

Bushnell Scopechief 3x9x32

Gun Review Stars: *** 1/2
Scope Review Stars: ***

The Mossberg 100 ATR is one of the least expensive guns on the market. Coming with a price tag of about $298. What can you expect from the gun? I found the gun pretty accurate and light to carry at only 7 lbs. I bought the Realtree camo pattern with matte black barrel. I used the gun exclusively during the 2006 hunting season.

I have shot 3 deer (all head shots) with instant results at ranges of 15-85 yards. At the firing range I maintained accuracy consistent with a 3 1/2 inch bullseye at 100 yards. These results were sandbag gun rest only without a vise. I find the results to be consistent with my abilities. I feel that I may be able to bring the group closer with a better scope.

I am only giving the gun a 3 1/2 stars due to a poorly manufactured firing pin. I shot about 2 boxes of 20 bullets through the gun and 3 bullets during gun season. That's it... But, this year when I took the gun to the firing range I was unable to fire a bullet. I then recalled that there had been a couple of misfires on range that I had chocked up to bad bullets.

I took the bolt apart to investigate my suspicions of a firing pin assembly problem. Sure enough, the firing pin shaft had broke just before the actual firing pin. I figured that this was a fluke and immediately returned the gun to Academy Sports to be sent out for repair. They were awesome through the process and I felt that I stand behind their products. I shop there regularly and would put them above Bass Pro Shops in pricing if not selection. The guys behind the gun bar in my Madison, Tennessee store are pretty knowledgeable and were extremely helpful through the process.

Mossberg did fix my gun at no charge, but the gun was sent out in July and I didn't receive the gun back until mid November. I feel that this time was undue being that the problem was evident and simply included trading out one part and a 2 minute reassembly. This got me thinking that maybe Mossberg was having a bunch more problems with their guns and I needed to wait in line....

Daniel, a hunting buddy and friend also bought a Mossberg 100 ATR in 30.06. Surprise, surprise he bought the gun this year and had the exact problem occur during this years gun season. He took the gun back to Academy and they traded the gun out after reviewing the situation despite their clear policy to the contrary. I don't write this so that you would expect the exact treatment, but it sure did make a difference for his hunting season.

I personally believe that this gun has great potential, but I can't recommend the gun until they get a better firing pin assembly. They need only spend a couple more cents on quality material to rectify the situation.

I haven't shot more than a box of bullets through my Mossberg since I got it back... so I can't tell you whether they have put a better firing pin assembly or not. I will write an update next year after putting the gun through the paces.

The Bushnell Scopechief 3x9x32 is one of the cheapest scopes on the market. Coming in at about $49.99. I love the fast focus eyepiece. This thing makes finding your target on the fly easy as pie. If you only have about $50 to buy a scope this is certainly reasonable. You will enjoy optics that are better than the $50 price tag. I debated on whether to give this scope 5 stars or not... I decided that I would rate the scope against all scopes that I have used side by side and not consider the price.

I feel that the scope has a bit of travel related to recoil, it is only marginally acceptable for dusk and dawn hunting. Adjusting the scope is anything but a 1/4 MOA turn of the dial. The adjustments are not precise, yet doable with a bit of patience. It's optics, while better then expected for a $50 scope, lacks the clarity of the Nikon Prostaff, which has been reviewed earlier and is a much better choice if you can spare $150. But, if you are on a tight budget... don't be scared. The scope is certainly within a tolerable range for hunting and close (within 100 yards) target shooting. I haven't tried the scope out further so I wont comment on it's distance abilities here.

In summary, if your short on dough and you just gotta get out there... This set up will get you there at a low price. I hope the Mossberg guys get their firing pin deal worked out so that I can give the 100 ATR their otherwise deserved five star rating. They stand behind their product even if it takes them a while to get it done. If you can eek out a few more bucks top this gun with a Nikon Prostaff for an almost perfect combo for only $450.



Kris said...

great review. I can imagine the firing pin issue is a pretty serious problem. I am glad to see manufacturers making more affordable rifles. I know Remington has done the same thing with the 710. Perhaps you loose a bit in quality from the premium rifles, but as you pointed out a couple of times, sometimes you don't have that kind of money to spend.

Great White Hunter said...

My son owns the Remington 710 in .243. It's really a sweet gun, and designed perfectly for a youngster. I've carried it in the mountains when I was expecting to climb a lot and wanted a lighter gun than my Model 700 (.270) He finally fired it for the first time the other day at the range. He's just 11, so it was a big step for him to come up to the big gun. I'm not much of a technician, but the gun has performed really well, without a single misfire, for a couple of years now.

Sean said...

Great White Hunter,

Thanks for the post. It is exciting to see our offspring enter into a world that we love so much. Your little buddy took a huge step going to the range and firing his gun.

I pray that you two will be made closer in the process.

God Bless,

Sean said...


Thanks for your comment. I am also glad to see gun companies making offerings to the little guy.

It is about time that they realize that we are not all made of money. The average hunter can't afford a $1000 gun or a $1000 scope.

Mossberg is doing what it can... I expect that there will be more offering from this company in the rifle world. Let's wait and see.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your comments on the rifle firing pin problem. I have had the same problem with my ATR 100. It missfired while shooting at a nice buck this past season. I was not a happy hunter. Mossberg wants me to send it back, but they do not provide RMA numbers. It was purchased through walmart and they do not handle returns to manufacturers any longer.

Anonymous said...

I just received my ATR 100 back from Mossberg. No explaination as to what was wrong or what they did to repair it. So I went out this afternoon and fired 4 rounds. On the 4th round it misfired. The saga continues.

Sean said...


Sounds like they are not to be trusted until the firing pin issue is resolved.

The Remington 710 is a weapon that may be a better choice until Mossberg corrects there firing pin issue. No telling when that will be.

If a guy had $530 they might consider the Savage 110. While I don't own one the positive reviews abound.

I personally prefer my Rugar M77 Hawkeye in .308. It costs somewhere between $650- 700, but in my opinion it is tops.

God Bless,

FT Trailer Mfg. said...

I have also had problems with my ATR 100 270 Camo. The firing pin sheared off after only a few shots. Also had terrible time with customer service from Mossberg. Problem started over a year ago and still have a useless gun. Thanks Mossberg! Brian Tharp, brian@fischertharp.com

Larry said...

I own the 100 ATR 30/06. I have had it two seasons. I have shot 2 bucks and 6 hogs. after on of the deer the retractor broke and I could not withdraw the shell. Gander Mtn sent it in and Mossberg repaired it and sent it back under warranty. I took it to the range and shot 8 shells and it misfired once. later I shot at a deer and it misfired, cost me a buck. I guess I will be sending it back again. I am not happy.

zach said...

i have a mossberg 100 atr that is a 270 i bought about four months ago. i have shot more than four boxes of 20 rounds throught it and it still fires great.

Anonymous said...

I bought one in .243 and fired about 4 boxes of 20 through it, at the range and hunting combined. Also dry fired it many times expecting something to break.. nope ! It holds a 2 inch group at 150 yards. Using a 'Center-point' 4x16x42mm illuminated scope on the top. Good enough for hunting Whitetails and Coyotes !
December 2010

Anonymous said...

I bought an ATR in 270 a month ago. Sionce then I have put about 100 rounds through it with no problems. Mie has the lightenign trigger and the flutted barrel. I like it pretty well so far. Wrangler

sean.porter09 said...

Glad you guys are having good luck with it. Maybe Mossberg has noted the inherent problem in the firing pin and as Larry pointed out: the retracter/extracter issues.

Maybe I will buy another one. Accuracy on these guns is certainly not the issue.


Anonymous said...

I have a ATR in 30-06, I have no idea what the round count is but I know I am well into the hundreds. I fired 40 rounds the first time I took it to the range(shoulder was not happy with that) I have fired both retail and my own custom (sometimes hot) rounds with out ever a hickup. Took my first deer with it and many a clay pigeon have fallen to this rifle. The front sling mount did break after a 8 mile hike though some nasty brush and the sling snagged. But was a easy fix. I Have had this rifle for about 3 years so far and its going strong.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if its a problem or a problem round but at the range I had one round that wouldn't chamber. Visually it looks same as the others but haven't put a caliper on it to measure. Sure hope it doesn't happen when I need it.

Anonymous said...

This is a really awesome blog
I like this blog very much
If you are a Hunter or a Soldier
Then this blog is for you , It will help you to find out best rifle scope for your rifle
you can see my site for more info:
Visit here