Big Workhorse Bang for Your Hunting & Shooting Buck!
Where has the time gone? When I look back over my life, I see a series of mountains and valleys, each navigated, some carelessly, yet none left without my footprints… and occasional claw marks – I’ve never been a quitter. For most of us blue-collared patriots, a buck is often still hard to come by. While it would be nice to lock and load a new Seekins 6.5 Creedmoor, not every red, white and blue blooded patriot can step into one anytime soon. Fortunately, there are some great high-value alternatives for shooting and hunting enthusiasts. One of them is the amazing, high-performance, low-cost Mossberg MMR and Firefield riflescope and laser combo I put together recently.
As I sat to piece together my new Mossberg MMR AR-15 and Firefield optics I was reminded of my younger days as a Marine long ago. With a salary of just $620 per month and net paychecks every two weeks of just over $200, every dollar mattered. At the end of my eight-year Marine Corps service, as a sergeant, I still only grossed approximately $1,200 monthly before taxes. To be honest, like most hardworking Americans, every dollar I’ve ever made has been hard-fought and important – I’ve never been accused of having too much money although, like Joe Diffie once crooned, “I’d like to have a problem like that.”
Mossberg’s New MMR Carbine: 31 Bangs for your Buck… and More!
Until the skies open up shower me with greenbacks, I continue to rely on my Marine Corps way – to do the most with the least. That said, the new Mossberg MMR Carbine, chambered in 5.56/.223 with the Firefield riflescope I selected, fit a blue-collared budget perfectly without compromising great quality, reliability and repeatable shootability.
While Mossberg’s MMR Carbine, complete with a combat proven direct-impingement gas system with reliable and trouble-free repeatability, reminded me of the trusty M16-A2 service rifle I called my own, it certainly had its differences, too. First, the obvious, this is a gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle – one trigger pull, one shot. For any gun-control fanatics in need of an education this is the same shooting dynamic as the Marlin .22-caliber I received on my 10th birthday. Just food for thought…
Second, the Mossberg MMR AR-15 boasts precision machined handguards with Magpul’s M-LOK attachment system. Have no fear. If you’re not a fan of the Magpul design, simply use rail components to attach standard weaver or picatinny rail-mounted accessories – certainly not a deal breaker by any stretch; in fact, I happen to like Magpul’s offering just as much as I do standard rail or keymod systems.
Finally, in terms of aesthetic differences, the MMR Carbine measures 35.75”, weighs in at a lightweight, easy-to-carry 6.75 lbs., and features six-position adjustable stock, resulting in a length-of-pull range between 10.5” – 14.5”, perfect for shooters of all shapes and sizes. Since the introduction of adjustable stocks to AR systems, I’ve been sold (some young Call of Duty gamers may not realize there was a time when AR-15s, and indeed M16s came with solid stocks). I will never own another own AR-platform rifle without such customizing adjustability.
Other notable features of Mossberg’s reborn MMR AR-15 include a 16.25” free-floating, button-rifled, anodized phosphate finished, carbon steel barrel with 1:9 twist and A2-style flash suppressor, MOE pistol grip, comfortable single-stage trigger and MOE trigger guard and a full-length flat-top rail, perfect for the included adjustable sights or your favorite optics – in my case, I mounted a Firefield Riflescope and green-laser combo.
As for shooting, the single-stage trigger wasn’t as crisp as I like, nor as light. The pull is reminiscent of heavier mil-spec triggers in the 5-6 lb. range. I would (and will) change it out for either a CMC or Timney trigger in the 3 lb. range. Still, the trigger wasn’t bad at all; in fact, for the cost of this AR-15, the trigger is quite acceptable. As you will note in the image from my zeroing session, the trigger did little to hamper my efforts and I suspect for close- to mid-range shooting I would still be dead on; this rifle’s repeatable accuracy is impressive to say the least. I imagine a little time and a better trigger assembly could really improve accuracy and grouping even out past 500 yards – quite a compliment for value-focused modern sporting rifle. The Mossberg MMR Carbine has a MSRP of $910.
Adding the Firefield 2.5-10×40 Green Laser Riflescope for a Deadly Combination
I topped the Mossberg MMR Carbine with my Firefield 2.5-10×40 Riflescope, complete with a built-in green laser. Firefield’s laser focus on high value designed to enhance the outdoor experiences of shooting and hunting enthusiasts made it the perfect addition to this budget-minded setup. After all, the focus of my effort was to create the perfect AR shooting and hunting setup for new or novice shooters, as well as for those truly looking for bang for their hard-fought bucks.
The IPX4 weather resistant Firefield 2.5-10×40 Green Laser Riflescope (FF13014), for its MSRP of $155.99, delivers amazing clarity and light gathering quality through fully multi-coated glass in both daylight and lowlight environments. Whether at 2.5x or 10x, the image was exceedingly clear. The Firefield 2.5-10×40 riflescope performed flawlessly, culminating in a high-volume group of 1.5” at 100 yards after initial zeroing. All of these shots were taken with reticle variations of green and red illumination, no illuminated reticle and finally, with the 5mW green laser and no reticle illumination.
Shooting with all reticle options resulted in repeatable shot placement, especially since windage and elevation adjustments for both the reticle and laser are super simple. I can see this optic working well for recreational or competitive shooting, even at longer distances; however, for mid-range precision shooting on a budget, I might be inclined to shift gears and use a Firefield 1-6×24 First-Focal-Plane Riflescope, complete with a red/green illuminated mil-dot reticle – considering precision shooting, I am a huge fan of first-focal-plane optics but they usually cost quite a bit more than second-focal-plane scopes.
For a low-cost AR-platform MSR, the Mossberg MMR Carbine is tough to beat. I have owned and/or fired quite an array of AR sporting rifles and Mossberg’s reborn MMR Carbine has plenty to please the eyes and itchy trigger fingers of shooters and hunters at all experience levels; however, the real target here is an exceptional rifle and quality optic for new or novice shooters, or those on a budget. The setup I present here, the Mossberg MMR Carbine and Firefield 2.5-10×40 Green Laser Riflescope, just might be the perfect combination to more than satisfy those demanding blue-collared requirements.
Heck, even for this seasoned shooting and hunting veteran, the thought of beating a rifle to pieces through the rough rigors of hardcore hog hunting through central Texas marshes and mesquite thickets while still relying on it to bring home the bacon, still leaves me seriously considering this setup – it’s a workhorse… and incredibly affordable. While the MMR Carbine retails for $910 and the Firefield Green Laser Riflescope for $155.99, quick internet searches turned up sale prices beginning at roughly $700 and $120, respectively; the 1-6×24 FFP scope was found as low as $132. So, in effect, a determined shopper could have the same setup for less than $850, roughly the cost of most plain-Jane entry level ARs. While I would have appreciated a crisper, lighter trigger, dust cover and forward assist on Mossberg’s MMR Carbine, it definitely doesn’t feel or shoot like a plain-Jane rifle. For what it is, I LOVE IT!
Even better, for budget minded folks searching for exceptional value and a chance at adrenaline-charged nighttime hog hunting with digital night vision, I would suggest the Sightmark Photon XT 4.6x42S Digital Night Vision Riflescope. I have used this night vision scope out to 100 yards with little to no light, especially using onboard adjustable IR lighting. I am certain additional IR lighting could easily double this range. At a MSRP of $599.99, it is hard to beat… but it gets better! A quick search turned up the Photon XT 4.6×42 for $490, including free shipping! Coupled with the Mossberg MMR Carbine, you could have quite an effective hog hunting rifle, day or night, for around $1,200. Now THAT is a lot of BANG (and maybe bacon) for your hard-earned BUCK!