So, before I get to ahead of myself with this let me first specify this specific chassis and review is strictly from my experience with a Remington 700 .308 SPS Tactical AAC-SD which has a 20” threaded heavy barrel with a twist rate of 1:10. Now that the specific rifle is out-of-the-way we can go on. I chose this particular rifle because while I was attending some of the long-range matches here in Virginia it was one of the most prominent and customizable rifle platforms consistently performing time and time again. Moving on, now that I had selected the proper heart of the beast everything else was left up to the MDT ESS chassis or “Elite Sniper System”. Now with that acronym being stated I personally am NOT a sniper! That right in my opinion is reserved for those that has been through and successfully completed the proper military or law enforcement schools. However, I am a long-range shooting enthusiast!
The passion was rekindled after a long-range session with the Ritter & Stark rifle a few months ago where I got to shoot in excess of 1200M with some friends and fellow writers at Panthera Training Center in West Virginia. My exact set-up for this rifle was the Remington 700 AAC-SD, Vortex Viper HS-T and Vortex scope rings, the Spartan Precision Javelin carbon fiber 6-9” bipod, a 20 MOA MDT scope base, and the complete MDT ESS chassis which I will get into those choices a bit later on. Also I had no additional gunsmithing or fitting whatsoever everything was brand new out of the box it was all assembled by myself at home with a few common Allen keys.
Now to the review. I received the shipping notification from MDT about a week before it got here and was thoroughly excited I would say borderline giddy at best! Upon receiving the notification I proceeded to gather the rest of the build which by all means was rather quickly accumulated about 10 days total because some things had to be mailed and wait times etc. so essentially not including planning it is rather easy to build a precision weapon system in under 2 weeks with this set-up and options I used. Upon arrival of the ESS chassis I was extremely excited because the email shipping notification they had sent me was interactive which allowed me to see where exactly it was. Believe me I was checking daily I am not the most patient of people but it arrived rather quickly.
So I carefully pulled out my knife and cut the external plain cardboard box open and found the ESS outer box and removed it and sat it on my table and opened that one to reveal several smaller boxes. I removed those and opened them individually and every box just left me in awe as I examined the craftsmanship and finish of each piece. Afterwards, I removed the instruction manual from the box and began to look at them considering this is my first experience with any kind of chassis system and to my surprise it was only 6 bolts. I set a timer. From start to finish it was just under 6 minutes: the chassis itself was 2 bolts, and the rail was 3 bolts, and the stock only had 1 bolt. It was the longest to put on for me because it is rather large and the available space was rather tight-fitting with the large Allen key. I did have to wait an additional day for the Spartan Precision Javelin bipod but that was solely because they are based out of the United Kingdom so mail took a tad longer but was completely worth the wait I will get into that also a bit later.
Immediately after everything was completely assembled the next day I got pretty excited and decided to go get a baseline on the rifle. So I stretched out to 100 yards and zeroed my scope after assembly it definitely was a tight grouping to be proud of. So after being satisfied enough for the day I ordered an additional case on Federal premium 168 grain Sierra Match Kings as I had depleted my previous 2 boxes between myself and a friend shooting.
While I was waiting for the ammunition to arrive I went ahead and ordered an anemometer to help better my shot. I was about to stretch the .308 round to a much longer distance at 850 yards which is not the maximum capable distance of the round but was long enough to be thorough and satisfied (it is a longer walk than I thought it would be). I also ordered a custom fitted foam case from Carolina Custom Foam to ensure I had zero movement of anything within the case during transport. Paul did such an amazing job with it I absolutely had to mention it! I highly recommend checking him out for custom cut foam for cases.
Now back to the rifle. I knew that this is going to be a long distance range session so I made sure to be as comfortable as possible to which I have to hand it to MDT. This ESS chassis is among the best I have ever seen. It allowed me within about 4 turns to get my perfect cheek weld and 5 ½ turns for my perfect stock length for me. These options come into play in so many aspects as far as the comfortability of the shooter with the weapon as well as the personal enjoyment of the range session due to the fact that the shooter is comfortable and having a consistent sight picture for consistent shots. I will however mention this in an attempt at full disclosure. I nicknamed this rifle “the pig” due to the fact it is a bit on the heavier side after the installation of the full ESS chassis system. However that is not necessarily a bad thing in any way whatsoever.
Because due to the weight the recoil was barely noticeable I would put the felt recoil a bit less than a 5.56 AR, and with it being a precision weapon system chassis it is safe to say this is meant for competitions and bench shooting rather than carrying around long distances. In preparation of the upcoming long distance range day I did however confirm zero once again. After making the adjustments and let me tell you it is so nice to have the options the ESS chassis provides because after everything is all said and done I was so comfortable to shoot. I was ecstatic. I even stretched it out to 500 yards just for fun and from the shots fired to the ping on the steel plate was pure bliss. The ability to consistently have the same sight picture shot after shot is a must and the ESS chassis flawlessly provided it thanks to the adjustability characteristics of the stock.
Upon the confirmation of a date to shoot in the farmer’s field, I have access to the night prior, in preparation for the next long-range day I had also invited over 2 friends. I asked them to arrive promptly at 10am the next day and bring a few toys of their ow. We were all very excited. So when everyone arrived the next day I loaded everything up into the ATV trailer and we proceeded to the range. When we arrived I took out my rangefinder and stretched it out to 850 yards. I immediately took out the post hole diggers to set the post of the steel silhouette target. I opened my case and shot the breeze with my buddies for a few minutes. After checking out each others precision weapon systems I had so many praises for the rifle between the MDT ESS chassis and the Spartan Precision Javelin bipod, however it was time to run some bolts though.
I kind of changed the subject to actually shooting. Now the options on the rifle performed absolutely flawless. Of course everyone had to shoot the ESS chassis rifle, and it was great (I wrote on the bottom how many turns to set the stock back to my preference). We were ringing steel for about 6 hours straight! I went through my entire case of federal premium ammunition. I also seriously have to give a very high recommendation to Spartan Precision. The Javelin bipod was flawless with us being on a slight cant. It allows you to tilt left or right and lock it in with the legs adjusted to compensate. It felt like the slight hill was not even there. The Spartan Precision Javelin gives me a serious advantage over other bipods because it is on a magnetic base so I can pick up a few more bases and pop it off and use the same bipod for several rifles avoiding a huge cost, as opposed to buying several and lets me put more money in ammunition where it belongs.
There are so many benefits to the MDT ESS chassis that you would have to be crazy to get a stock or chassis from certain other companies and wait 6 months for something that quite possibly is not going to even fit you. The age of waiting for a basic “custom” stock that most likely is not even going to fit you perfectly is long gone in my opinion. This ESS chassis eliminates the need. The adjustability and mitigation of recoil on this chassis system quite literally speaks for itself and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to get out there rather quickly and start shooting. This ESS chassis is easy to install within minutes and easy to use and adjust within seconds and honestly I don’t think any consumer could ask for more within this price range. So if you happen to be looking into getting some long distance range time give this ESS a solid and very thorough look. The ESS from MDT is an absolute masterpiece. It looks amazing as well as performs amazingly as well.
It is very solidly constructed and they absolutely cut no corners with this chassis. Just look at the pictures as they speak for themselves. One last thing before I wrap this up. If you happen to find yourself shooting in some adverse conditions don’t forget to spend a few minutes removing the rifle from the ESS chassis and wiping everything down and oiling the under parts for basic maintenance. It’s super easy and might take a total of 15 or so minutes.
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