MDT Chassis Review

For those not familiar with the chassis concept, it's simply the replacement of a rifle's stock with an aluminum skeleton/frame, onto which all manner of specialized parts can then be attached.

The Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) system is configured specifically to accept AR-15 buttstocks and pistol grips, thus making a bolt-action rifle feel AR-like. Notably, this also transforms the rifle to allow the use of Accuracy International pattern 10-round magazines.

A recent post detailed my success in killing coyotes with a .223 caliber Remington 700 set into a MDT chassis system. By now, I've had time to work with that unit a little more, and I feel comfortable enough to pass judgment and make some recommendations.

The rifle I've been using and which is pictured here, is their lightweight chassis (called the LSS), and it’s equipped with MDT's own buttstock and magazine, with the pistol grip being a comfy unit from Hogue. In the configuration I've been testing, this is very much a precision rifle. The buttstock is adjustable for length-of-pull, cheek-piece height, butt-plate height and for cant. With a 26-inch heavy barrel and a big Leupold 8.5-25X on top, the gun is really too heavy for a walking-around rifle. However, as a coyote sniping or ambushing tool, it's perfect. It's easy to hold this gun solidly on a nervous coyote's chest, and so far I haven't missed a song dog with it (nine and counting).

The barrelled action is an unmodified 700 XCR Tactical that has always shot close to half-inch groups at 100 yards. Dropping it into this chassis required only a minor scope adjustment to zero the gun, and the accuracy was unchanged. The conversion was as easy as pulling the two bolts that secure the barreled action to the original stock and then re-bolting it into the LSS chassis. Attaching the buttstock and pistol grip was just as simple.

I find the gun works most effectively with some kind of front rest system, such as a sandbag or bipod, because there isn't much fore-stock to grab on the LSS chassis. This is likely done to keep weight down, and considering the rifle's intended purpose, it's a reasonable trade-off. The enlarged trigger guard is great for winter hunting because there's plenty of room for heavy gloves, with both the magazine catch and safety easily manipulated while wearing those gloves. However, because the rifle feels so AR-like, it's easy to be disappointed at the lack of a safety in the traditional AR position. The Remington safety remains where it's always been.

My long-term plans are to lighten the rig by putting a slim-barreled Remington 700 in .223 on this chassis and a lighter scope in the 3-9X range. Then, with an AR-carbine-style collapsible stock in place, it'll not only be lighter, but suitable for junior or small-stature shooters as well, both of which usually shoot a rifle best when it's equipped with some kind of front support anyway.

The skeleton rifle stock that's on this gun now, will find a new home on an MDT TAC-21 chassis, their full-size heavy-metal system. Combined, it all serves to demonstrate the versatility of the modular chassis system as executed by MDT.

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