The Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ was the cheapest new gun that I had ever seen.
My interest was piqued, and I decided to pick one up. When I bought mine a couple years ago, there weren’t more than a few reviews online for me to look at as I was making my decision. I didn’t see any alarmingly bad reviews so I figured that it would be an alright purchase.
The Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ is not a “Mossberg” but is imported by Mossberg, hence the branding of “Mossberg International” stamped on the receiver. This gun is made in Brazil and exported to a number of countries under a different name. It is a bare bones gun with nothing fancy about it.
I think the easiest way for me to convey my thoughts about this gun is a list of pros and cons.
- Some cheaply finished parts.
- The Stock. Please don’t be mistaken; the stock is rigid and strong. My issue lies in the fact that the plastic is kind of slippery and the butt end of the stock is hollowed out. This, of course, makes the gun very light. (4lbs or less) On the other hand, you can hear the echo in the hollowed out stock if you knock it against anything or tap on it. (The butt plate is removable so you could put something back there as a weight if so desired.)
- The Receiver. Upon removing the trigger group and bolt, you are likely to see what I am talking about. The finish inside the receiver of my Plinkster is rough to the touch, and whoever applied the finish seems to have missed a couple spots where the metal shows through as silver rather than black.
- The Trigger group. The polymer housing isn’t a huge problem except for that the bolt seems to ride directly on the polymer rather than on metal rails. (There is a metal rail that goes through the middle of the bolt, but some contact between the bolt and polymer of the trigger group is evident.) The polymer is kind of soft which makes it more difficult to clean and has led to a greater amount of wear. The hammer as well has been left pretty rough. As far as I can tell, not much polishing was done in the factory.
- Disassembly is a pain. Punch two pins, start wiggling the trigger group to pull it out, when it is halfway out, pull the bolt back part way and try to get the charging handle out. Then be careful to let the bolt out easy and pull it out in a forward rather than downward motion to avoid bending the main spring. A small plastic piece will also come out along with the main spring and rod.
- Assembly is also a pain. It’s the same process in reverse. I pretty well have it down now, but the first few times I reassembled the rifle, it took me a few tries to get everything working right.
- It works
- At the end of the day, I can’t be too harsh on the Plinkster for its shortcomings due to the fact that the most important aspect, its functionality, is superb. It runs quite well and can go several hundred rounds between cleanings. It has cycled all ammo well from day one. There was only one exception to this; I found some very old 22 ammo that wouldn’t cycle due to it being coated with something that prevented the rounds from ejecting properly. I have fired almost every off the shelf .22 load, including subsonic, match grade, and target grade loads, without a hitch.
- Scope Mount
- The gun comes with a 3/8″ scope mount. I haven’t mounted a scope yet and therefore cannot comment further.
- It’s light
- The weight of the Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ can be perceived as a pro or a con, but overall is a pro in my book. While it lends itself to a cheap feel, a light gun can be a good thing depending on what you want to use it for. It shoulders nicely and is an adult sized rimfire rifle.
- Rapid fire
- Shooting the Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ fast is no problem.
- The gun shoots more accurately than I can. I haven’t done any scientific grouping measurements, but I have never noticed a problem.
- The Sights
- My Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™, being a few years old, came with standard notch and post sights. The rear sight can be folded down and the front sight is hooded. They are easy to see, precise and adjustable. I keep the gun in a $10 soft case and have never had the sights get bumped out of alignment. Newer models appear to be available with fiber optic front and rear sights.
- The 25 Round Magazine
- The fact that you can get a 25 round magazine is an important point to mention. It feeds rounds without any issue but loading it can be slightly difficult. You will be able to get all the rounds in there, but I have found that an extra amount of pressure is needed to get over a hump of some sort at the 12th or 13th round, and after that, using the loading tool that comes with the gun or magazine becomes increasingly necessary.
I recommend the Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ if you are looking for a cheap, reliable .22 rifle. That’s all this gun is.
This is a fun rimfire rifle that you can pick up for cheap and not have to worry about whether or not it’ll do its job. There’s not much more to it. It isn’t nearly as customizable as a Ruger 10/22, but there are a few emerging aftermarket accessories.
The 702 Plinkster™ has yet to let me down.
Its shortcomings didn’t come as much of a surprise given the price point and are quickly forgotten once the shooting begins.
As an example of this, my brother decided to shoot the Mossberg® 702 Plinkster™ at a Steel Challenge Competition and held his own against the other competitors who were using $1200 match-grade, optic-outfitted super 10/22s.
The bottom line is if you order this gun with realistic expectations of its capabilities as a fun, reliable, no-frills gun, then you will not be disappointed.
If you order this gun with the expectation that it will perform with and provide the same experience as a higher dollar .22 rifle, chances are you will be disappointed and wishing you had spent an extra couple hundred bucks for a more refined gun.