April 18, 2019
By Eric Conn
O.F. Mossberg & Sons has long been known for its budget-friendly entries from shotguns and bolt-action rifles to AR-15s. As the originator of the Model 500 pump shotgun back in the 1960s, the family-owned company has built a reputation on rugged performance and unfailing reliability, all at remarkably low cost to the consumer. But as Mossberg proved recently, it also knows a thing or two about the high-end world of competition shooting.
The company introduced its Modern Mossberg Rifle (MMR) Pro in 2018 as the newest upgrade to the MMR line of AR rifles. The Pro models offer 3-Gun and competitive shooters a feature-rich model to their flagship AR family. Loaded with features like a JM Pro Match drop-in trigger, stainless steel barrel and SilencerCO ASR muzzlebrake, the MMR Pro carries a reasonable MSRP of $1,393, making it an affordable option for those new to the competitive shooting scene. Originally chambered in 5.56/.223 Remington, the MMR Pro is now available in .224 Valkyrie.
According to Linda Powell, Mossberg’s director of communications, the MMR Pro project came about as the company tuned its ear to the needs and wants of the growing 3-Gun crowd.
“The MMR Pro is a full-featured AR built for a competitive edge,” Powell said. “We listened to 3-Gun shooters and added the most desired features.”
Key Building Blocks
The MMR Pro shares many of the same key building blocks as the original MMR Carbine, including 7075 T6 aluminum upper and lower receivers with a proprietary, slim-profile 15-inch Mossberg handguard with M-LOK attachment points. The six-position Mossberg buttstock and Magpul MOE grip are also the same.
The major upgrades on the MMR Pro begin with the 18-inch AISI 416 stainless steel barrel that is extremely corrosion resistant. The SilencerCo ASR muzzlebrake is compatible with the ASR suppressor mounting system and offers one-handed removal and installation of the suppressor, making the MMR Pro ideal for shooters looking to add suppression to their rifle. The three-port device effectively limits muzzle rise and felt recoil, which is already reduced with its direct-impingement system and mild 5.56mm chambering.
One of the best features on the MMR Pro is the JM Pro Match drop-in trigger, which was designed in collaboration with champion competition shooter, Jerry Miculek. His trigger finger could be one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Engineered with 4 pounds of pull, the JM Pro trigger has a creep-free break and is adjustable for overtravel, giving shooters consistent accuracy and feel. Not only is it a huge upgrade over a Mil-Spec AR trigger, it holds its own among many high-dollar aftermarket drop-ins. As Miculek has demonstrated time and again, a consistent trigger makes a world of difference in competition, something 3-Gun enthusiasts will appreciate about the MMR Pro. Since the stock trigger is one of the first things to go when gearing a rifle up for competition, Mossberg designers dedicated a lot of attention to this area.
“When designing the MMR Pro with competitive shooters in mind, we knew that the trigger was critical because fractions of a second mean the difference between winning and second place,” Powell said. “Jerry knows triggers, and his input was key to the design features and feel of the JM Pro Trigger.“
Powell went on to note that the adjustable, precision-machined trigger has been so well received that the company has incorporated the JM Pro triggers into their line of MMR Tactical rifles and as an after-market accessory.
Along with an upgraded trigger, Mossberg also went with the ambidextrous AXTS Raptor charging handle. Shooters will find the larger handle makes for faster and smoother operation from either side of the rifle. Each side of the handle pivots with rearward pressure and is designed for strong- or support-side operation, either with the palm or fingers. While the charging handle offers ambidextrous controls, the mag release, safety and bolt release remain right-hand-only.
The MMR Pro doesn’t come with flip-up sights because most competition shooters will opt for one of many optic setups, including a scope and/or red-dot combo. For this review, I attached a Vortex StrikeFire II red-dot sight, featuring a 30mm aluminum alloy chassis with 10 adjustable red- and green-dot options. It’s ideal for the budget-conscious 3-Gunner with an MSRP of $239.
The sight offers 100 MOA of elevation and windage adjustment, weighs just 7.2 ounces and has 1X magnification. The sight features a 12-hour automatic shutoff with approximately 300 hours of use on the highest setting and roughly 6,000 hours at the minimum. The StrikeFire II and MMR Pro were tested against steel plates at close range and on targets at 100 yards for accuracy. Overall, the combination of rifle and sight made for fast target acquisition, rapid follow up shots and is ideal for competition at close to moderate ranges. While a higher-magnification scope would obviously present the shooter with greater accuracy at longer distances, the StrikeFire II demonstrates a satisfactory level of accuracy in a setup likely to be used in many competition scenarios.
Accuracy data was collected from five, five-shot groups at 100 yards from a shooting bench and sandbag rest. Black Hills 50-grain Optimized TSX water-resistant load, which is ideal for home defense and law-enforcement use, produced an average velocity of 3,130 feet per second (fps), with an impressive best group of 1.07 inches and an average group score of 1.72 inches. Federal Premium’s American Eagle 75-grain TMJ, which is a very cost-effective practice round for competitive shooters and weekend warriors, averaged 2.12 inches during our testing. And finally, Federal Premium’s 62-grain Fusion MSR, which is ideal for hunting, delivered an average group of 1.91 inches, with a best group of 1.31 inches. As the wide variety of ammunition tested demonstrates, the MMR Pro is fully capable of pulling triple duty as a competition, defense or hunting rifle. There were zero feeding issues.
The MMR Pro is billed as a feature-rich AR for the cost-conscious competitor, and it certainly is that. But because of the long list of features, including a stellar trigger, it’s also an all-around great AR for the coyote, deer or hog hunter, as well as the person looking to up their home-defense game. Regardless of how you use it, the MMR Pro truly lives up to the Mossberg promise of tremendous value delivered at an affordable price.
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