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Building the Ultimate Field Rifle

Guest Post by Lowell Strauss, contributor.

I felt a light breeze on my left cheek—7km/hr from the west. The target, a white 10-inch gong, shone in the sun 600 yards down range. After 2 days of training, I was confident in my setup. Using match grade ammo, my rifle was capable of sub ¾-MOA accuracy. I had already collected and verified its ballistic data (.308 Win) so I knew how many clicks to dial the turret for a center mass hit. I leaned against the butt-pad remembering that a little forward pressure on the bipod keeps the rifle from shifting during recoil. A few deep breaths. Pause. Fire. First round hit!

I let out a sigh of relief, since I hadn’t wanted to miss. This was the last day of a precision rifle course and we were having  a friendly competition to test what we had learned. Even under the stress, with the aid of my spotter, scoring a hit made me smile. It’s always so satisfying to hear the ring of steel.

I made that hit because I had confidence in my rifle and the MDT HS3 chassis system—a lightweight replacement stock that balances long range precision with practical field features.

Hybrid Design

An ideal field rifle is light, accurate, ergonomic, and weatherproof. As with many things in life there are trade offs—gains in one area mean losses in another.

Weight

A light rifle is easier to carry. Any time you shed pounds from your back, your feet will thank you. Choosing a slimmer barrel profile or a shorter barrel reduces weight. You need to determine how far you take these size reductions—tough choices!

Upgrading a heavy stock to a chassis system is the easiest way to reduce weight without affecting performance. Made from 6061 aluminum alloy, the HS3 chassis system is strong, light, and rigid. The HS3 chassis also accommodates lighter precision components and accessories such as grips and butt stocks.

Accuracy

Many factors contribute to a rifle’s accuracy. A properly bedded action—one that supports the action and recoil lug—ensures top accuracy and repeatability. The best stocks maintain this contact regardless of weather conditions. Wood stocks can swell or shrink with humidity changing the action-to-stock contact and the amount of torque on the action screws—both factors unpredictably change the point of impact.

Synthetic stocks have their own problems. Lower quality synthetics flex under recoil. Shot-to-shot consistency is unpredictable and accuracy suffers.

Aluminum chassis solve these problems. Aluminum chassis are impervious to water and are much more rigid than synthetic so they don’t flex under recoil. They support the action on a v-shaped bed. Generous clearance on the forend ensures the barrels are free-floated.

Ergonomics

To shoot better a rifle needs to fit the shooter. A well designed rifle chassis system, like the MDT HS3, provides easy access to the magazine release, safety, and accessories. These are subtle things but they make a big difference. Length of pull is easy to change using an adjustable butt-stock—shorter when wearing a heavy jacket or a tactical vest or longer when shooting in a t-shirt. An adjustable comb moves up and down as well as side to fine-tune cheek position for the best sight picture. Ideally, we want our eye centered behind the riflescope to align with the crosshair. Consistency is the key to accurate shooting.    

Weatherproof

We’ve already explored the importance of waterproof stock for accuracy but a field gun needs to be easy to hold in the wet or the cold. Polymer side panels on the HS3 add a grippy surface preventing wet hands from slipping. And polymer is a great insulator. Bare skin won’t freeze on the aluminum chassis in sub-zero temps!

The MDT HS3 side panels let you customize the rifle’s color. Buy extra colors to match your gear and operational environment or paint the panels in your choice of camo or custom color.

 

Personalizing a rifle is a rewarding experience. And picking the options to suit your style is half the fun. Starting with a drop-in chassis and you’ll have a rock-solid platform to build an accurate rifle.

So whether you’re a hunter, sniper, or competition shooter the foundation of good shooting starts with a rifle system you can trust…in all conditions.  


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