Chassis choice

JEBruns

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Joined
Oct 13, 2021
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791
Location
NW Arkansas
Going to get a chassis for my new Tikka Super Varmint (.223). My other Tikka (tac a1) came with a chassis from the factory, and I like that one. But this is the first I've researched chassis, so lots to learn. Been looking at the common ones (MDT, XLR, etc). I was kind of surprised that many of the higher end ones are ala carte, in that you by the chassis and buttstock separately. Some, like the MDT Oryx, are complete.

So I'm not shooting competition and most likely never will. I just shoot for fun and the public range I use is max 100 yards. I'm trying to get into a local club that has out to 300 yards, but I'll likely never shoot over that. No hunting with it either. So I really don't think I need a high end setup. But I'd really like to get a folding stock. Not mandatory, but would be very nice to have. I'm initially leaning toward the Oryx as it's half (or much less than half) of the price of the next steps up. But there is no folding option there. Seems like a solid chassis otherwise.

So am I missing some more non-pro budget options out there? I can spend as much as needed, if I'm convinced there is bang for the buck. But I don't want to overspend just to get a folding stock. Seems like what I'm really gaining by spending more is a more adjustable butt pad and easier adjusting cheek rest. But I've never moved the cheek rest on my Tikka Tac after getting it set, and have been happy with it's fixed butt pad height.
 
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Thanks. I had not heard of them, but I do like what I see. You are right that sourcing them here in the States may be an issue. I have sent them an email.
 
Based on reviews, I ordered one for a Howa mini action in 6mm ARC. The barreled action action is supposed to arrive at my FFL tomorrow, and the chassis is scheduled for delivery on Tuesday. Not sure when the scope base will get here. Hopefully in time for me to assemble everything this weekend.
 
Thanks again. Just called them. Unfortunately, they do not import the SC chassis for anything buy Howa and Remington. No email response from SC yet.
 
Oryx is garbage for shooting off of a bench.

Adjustable comb and buttstocks are really to adapt between multiple shooters, or to perfectly adapt to ONE shooter - then set it and forget it. Show me someone adjusting their comb height for different shooting positions and I'll show you someone who has poor technique and terrible head position on their rifle...

For what you're wanting to do, a chassis wouldn't be my answer. But among chassis I've owned and handled, the MDT ACC or the MPA Matrix are the two I'd prefer - acknowledging the Matrix is almost just an aluminum stock...
 
Oryx is garbage for shooting off of a bench.

Adjustable comb and buttstocks are really to adapt between multiple shooters, or to perfectly adapt to ONE shooter - then set it and forget it. Show me someone adjusting their comb height for different shooting positions and I'll show you someone who has poor technique and terrible head position on their rifle...

For what you're wanting to do, a chassis wouldn't be my answer. But among chassis I've owned and handled, the MDT ACC or the MPA Matrix are the two I'd prefer - acknowledging the Matrix is almost just an aluminum stock...

What do you like instead of chassis?
 
What do you like instead of chassis?

Usually I shoot my best when I just hold the barreled action in my hands.



Stocks. I prefer stocks. Stocks dominate every competitive precision shooting format for a reason. Chassis’ have some part of the play in PRS, but nowhere else where true precision counts - BR, F-class, ELR. Stocks own the game.
 
Oryx is garbage for shooting off of a bench.
Why is that? Just trying to learn.
Adjustable comb and buttstocks are really to adapt between multiple shooters, or to perfectly adapt to ONE shooter - then set it and forget it. Show me someone adjusting their comb height for different shooting positions and I'll show you someone who has poor technique and terrible head position on their rifle...

For what you're wanting to do, a chassis wouldn't be my answer. But among chassis I've owned and handled, the MDT ACC or the MPA Matrix are the two I'd prefer - acknowledging the Matrix is almost just an aluminum stock...
Thanks.
 
I've been spending a lot of time researching chassis. Can be a confusing subject, so I've learned a lot. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I do appreciate the input.
 
Why is that? Just trying to learn.

I'm not a fan, and I've watched too many new shooters come to matches with the Oryx and fight continuously with position behind the rifle. The Oryx is kind of like driving a 2x4… it’s narrow and relatively short in the forend, so it’s less stable on bags or front rest than a proper option and really begs for some kind of bag rider out front (not to mention, most chassis' on the market have integral arca rails which is missing from the Oryx). The buttstock begs for a bag rider - it's too short in the footprint. Newer editions of the buttstock have an mlok slot for an aftermarket rider, but it's not the most elegant solution, and adds cost to what was supposed to be a low cost chassis. The barreled action stands a mile out of the chassis as well, so we're standing the buttstock higher than it should be and trying to wedge ourselves down behind them. It's not the only chassis with these issues, but it has all of them, and a lot of folks get lured into frustration by a low price. $250 for a Boyd's Pro-Varmint and $100 for bedding and pillar blocking will drive better on the bench, for $100 less than the Oryx.
 
Chassis’ have some part of the play in PRS, but nowhere else where true precision counts - BR, F-class, ELR. Stocks own the game.

Curious why this is. Why aren't chassis preferred in true precision games, and why are they yet so popular in PRS? It can't be as simple as they don't need bedding? Easier to hang PRS gizmos on them? I'm guessing there must also be an accuracy effect as well, but what's the basis of the difference - why would a stock be more accurate?
 
why are they yet so popular in PRS?

Weight. We can slap weights onto a chassis WAY easier than into stocks, and we can take it back off easier too. We can put more weight in more places on a chassis without using tools or epoxy, just bolt on weights where we need them. And chassis' still don't dominate the PRS - they have a following, but they're not the majority yet, and (according to one stats hound I know) they make up less than 1/3 of the pro series podium finishes.

PRS is also shooting ~50% positional, so we have different adaptability needs which dictate different balance in our rifles and allow different steerage. A PRS rifle takes far less penalty for standing up tall from the ground/bench as does an F-Class or BR rifle.

AND PRS isn't a "true precision game" - it's a "true accuracy game" ONLY. We can't really have one without the other in most cases, but it's also true to acknowledge that a 1MOA rifle could win any PRS match in the country, and I'd hazard to bet that every PRS match ever fired has been won by a rifle which wouldn't place at any second or first tier BR or F-Class match fired in the last decade.

Why are stocks more precise for true precision games like F-class or BR? I can't say - but I can observe that you almost never see a chassis at these events, and never see them winning, and never see them setting records, and I'm confident that this isn't happening only for the fact those shooters have never seen or tried a chassis.

(Side note on bedding: Manners and Foundation stocks are extremely popular in PRS, by far the most common stocks you'll see at matches, and the Manners stocks offer the Mini-chassis option which doesn't need bedding, and the Foundation stocks don't need bedding. But almost any of us shooting can either bed our actions or we're not too cheap to have our stocks bedded by our gun builders, and some folks do even bed their chassis' too. So I wouldn't say that I think bedding vs. drop-in inletting is really a factor for most PRS shooters - folks would shoot what they think helps them win, whether it needs bedding or not).
 
Weight. We can slap weights onto a chassis WAY easier than into stocks, and we can take it back off easier too. We can put more weight in more places on a chassis without using tools or epoxy, just bolt on weights where we need them.

PRS is also shooting ~50% positional, so we have different adaptability needs which dictate different balance in our rifles and allow different steerage. A PRS rifle takes far less penalty for standing up tall from the ground/bench as does an F-Class or BR rifle

I'm not clear on your 2nd paragraph...chassis/heavy/PRS rifles are designed for max adaptability for different shooting positions except standing? They accept the inherent tradeoff? If so, it's the weight that's the issue while standing, or the chassis vs stock? From what I've gleaned elsewhere on the interweb PRS rifles are generally in the 18lb range, about the same as my service rifle, which is also required to shoot standing (of course, a plywood-like shooting jacket helps ;) )
 
I'm not clear on your 2nd paragraph...chassis/heavy/PRS rifles are designed for max adaptability for different shooting positions except standing? They accept the inherent tradeoff? If so, it's the weight that's the issue while standing, or the chassis vs stock? From what I've gleaned elsewhere on the interweb PRS rifles are generally in the 18lb range, about the same as my service rifle, which is also required to shoot standing (of course, a plywood-like shooting jacket helps ;) )

Not standing as a shooting position, but rather the rifle standing up high over the bench/ground - the physical profile of the rifle itself and subsequently how high it has to be above the ground. In general, chassis rifles will be taller on bags/rest/bipod, and in general, being higher from your ultimate support means less stability (kind of inherent geometry, the taller we get, the wider the footprint must be to promote the same stability). Since half of PRS shots aren't taken from front and rear support (prone or mod-prone), the standing height of the rifle above the deck is less penalty than it is for other precision games.

Knowing what I know about the components of our rifles, and what I know about the successful shooters in the PRS, I will tell you - without question - an 18lb rifle in PRS use has made critical mistakes. It's underweight, and I'd bet heavily that it's poorly balanced. Mine are 20lbs, and are some of the lighter rifles on the line at Pro series matches (I use a lighter barrel and lighter stock than most - which isn't good for me). I lifted every single rifle at the PRS Finale last year, and I will say, the HEAVIEST rifles there, with the exception of ONE rifle, were all chassis rifles - all of which had stacked weights inside and out on the chassis'. The ONE exception was an "oklahoma rifle" owned by a good friend of mine which was the only stocked rifle even close to the weight of the heavy chassis rifles I handled - and his rifle is 27lbs. Certainly, a lot of new shooters buy underweight rifles, so regional matches will often see a lot of lighter rifles, but experienced shooters going after points are weighting their rifles up over 20lbs, especially the guys who have re-adopted the heavier 6.5 or 25 bullets for greater impact indication in the last couple of seasons.
 
In general, chassis rifles will be taller on bags/rest/bipod, and in general, being higher from your ultimate support means less stability (kind of inherent geometry, the taller we get, the wider the footprint must be to promote the same stability). Since half of PRS shots aren't taken from front and rear support (prone or mod-prone), the standing height of the rifle above the deck is less penalty than it is for other precision games.

Knowing what I know about the components of our rifles, and what I know about the successful shooters in the PRS, I will tell you - without question - an 18lb rifle in PRS use has made critical mistakes. It's underweight, and I'd bet heavily that it's poorly balanced. Mine are 20lbs, and are some of the lighter rifles on the line at Pro series matches (I use a lighter barrel and lighter stock than most - which isn't good for me). I lifted every single rifle at the PRS Finale last year, and I will say, the HEAVIEST rifles there, with the exception of ONE rifle, were all chassis rifles - all of which had stacked weights inside and out on the chassis'.

Thanks. So...chassis make it easier to make a heavy rifle, which is good for PRS. The tradeoff is a bit less stability & fine precision, but given the event structures & rules, some feel the tradeoff is worth it in PRS events, whereas it'd be an outright disadvantage in more precision-based events. Did I get it right?
 
Thanks. So...chassis make it easier to make a heavy rifle, which is good for PRS. The tradeoff is a bit less stability & fine precision, but given the event structures & rules, some feel the tradeoff is worth it in PRS events, whereas it'd be an outright disadvantage in more precision-based events. Did I get it right?

In a nutshell, yup.
 
Well, after MUCH research and debate, I decided to step into the chassis game at a bit higher level than the Oryx. I ordered a KRG Whiskey-3 with some accessories yesterday.

I was walking down the aisle with an MDT ACC premier, but then found out MDT had introduced a Gen2 Premier at Shot Show. Really muddied the water there, IMO. It's a more robust forearm, but shorter, and a much cheaper buttstock. The price dropped from $1299 to $999 too, but a Tikka version won't show up until maybe late this year. I could have moved up the $1599 ACC Elite, but they are 3 months out.

I also looked hard at Master Piece Arms BA Comp and Matrix. But again with the generation thing. The newest gen version of both of those chassis (ESR and Pro II) are not available for the Tikka. I didn't like that they paint their chassis either. I prefer anodized or cerakoted.

The Whiskey-3 kept popping up. Reviews are consistently great, even from folks that have "owned them all". Looking forward to testing it out next week. Price, even with several accessories, was under the price of the ACC Premier. But to be fair, the basic W3 is a little more stripped than some of the other chassis. Like no Arca rail, no bag rider. So those are some of the accessories I ordered.

I appreciate all the input to this thread.
 
@JEBruns - MPA does offer both cerakote and anodizing for their chassis’.

The KRG Whiskey just doesn’t seem to get much play with PRS shooters. MPA & MDT dominate the market with KRG and XLR really falling to the wayside. I think that paradigm of “lower priced for less features” you noted is to their detriment. And they don’t seem to be advancing towards expected targets as they update. It’s kinda strange.
 
@JEBruns - MPA does offer both cerakote and anodizing for their chassis’.
Thanks. I did see some other options for colors, but I didn't dig into it since they didn't have any options for Tikka owners in their current gen BA Comp or Matrix products.
The KRG Whiskey just doesn’t seem to get much play with PRS shooters. MPA & MDT dominate the market with KRG and XLR really falling to the wayside. I think that paradigm of “lower priced for less features” you noted is to their detriment. And they don’t seem to be advancing towards expected targets as they update. It’s kinda strange.
Yeah, the only negative stuff I could find about the W3 was being 'nickeled and dimed' for all the add on stuff. I didn't really get that though after doing the pricing myself on pretty much apples to apples models. But I agree, it may be smarter of KRG to make some of those extra standard and increase their price point a bit. They could still be below the Gen 1 ACC Premier or Matrix.
 
Just to close the loop, here is the Howa Mini 6mm ARC in the Southern Cross chassis. Haven't shot it yet.

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