First Impressions: MasterPiece Arms 308BA Bolt Action Rifle

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When MasterPiece Arms announced that they were making a precision bolt action rifle, I was skeptical. The company is best known for their MAC-10 clone handguns and carbines, and making the jump from short range pistol caliber guns to long range precision rigs isn’t something that every company can pull off. I brought that skepticism with me when I visited their factory in Georgia a few weeks back, but as soon as I actually put some rounds downrange with the gun it disappeared almost as fast as the bullet . . .

While the gun is basically a Remington 700, most of the gun is made in-house at MPA. The stock is fabricated on their CNC machines, the barrel is drilled and hand lapped in their barrel shop, and the gun is assembled right there on the factory floor. There are a few things that aren’t MPA originals, such as the magazines and the action (it’s a precision-made Stillers TAC action), but what’s interesting to see is that parts of their other guns have contributed to the newest addition to the catalog. For example, the magazine catch from the MPAR rifle is re-used here in the swivel for the rear monopod.

The fit and finish on the gun is excellent. The finish on the metal is satin smooth, and there’s nary a rough seam to ruin the sleek look of the gun. The rifle is as adjustable as I’d like on a hunting gun, with a movable cheek rest and butt plate. There’s talk of making a folding stock in addition to the fixed one (the end section is bolted in place and can be changed by the end user), but as-is it feels delightful.

The gun comes with a 1/2 MoA guarantee, and even from a pretty terrible shooting position . . .

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…it meets that spec. That was a one-hole five…I take full responsibility for that flier high and right, BTW.

I’ll have a full review as soon as we get one in our hands here at TTAG HQ, but until then things look promising. Stay tuned.

comments

  1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    What effect does that adjustable 45 degree weight have? I understand the cheek weld and the should adjustments.

    1. avatar Ty says:

      …the monopod?

      1. avatar Jay Williams says:

        Yes. The shoulder thingie that goes down.

      2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

        So it’s a rear support?

        1. avatar Jay Williams says:

          Yup. Adjustable mono pod. Takes the place of a bean bag or sand bag on the rear. Just swivel it down to put it in use, then tuck it up to get it out of the way when you’re done with it.

    2. Actually….high quality precision rifles are, once sighted in roughly on the target, “finely tuned” by using a bag on the butt stock, that’s all the adjusting that should be done. The rest of your body, when you are prone, is used merely to rest the rifle against and you should not “grip” the rifle with your shooting hand at all, but just using your trigger finger to gently squeeze the trigger.

      A rear support bag is very important for highly precise shots.

      That’s why a “monopod” is tactical ninja more than anything else.

  2. avatar Jim R says:

    Definitely looks the part.

  3. avatar Gunr says:

    I wonder what this rifle could do with carefully loaded hand loads?

  4. avatar Hal says:

    THAT is a handsome gun.

  5. avatar Tim says:

    What other calibers do they plan to offer? Any long actions in the works?

  6. avatar Steve Truffer says:

    Looks like a precision monster. Definitely could use a folder on a rifle of that length.

  7. avatar Josh in Missouri says:

    Gotta love bolt action.

  8. avatar Accur81 says:

    Good Lord, Federal Gold Match to shoot tight groups?! It’s about time. I look forward to the full review. Carry on, sir.

  9. avatar William Burke says:

    The first thing I always do (well, mostly I just delete these without looking) is look for a price tag.

    And I never find one.

    1. avatar Paladin says:

      If you have to ask…

  10. avatar joleme says:

    I shudder to think how much this will end up costing.

    Edited:
    assuming this is the same…. from their website.
    https://masterpiecearms.com/proddetail.php?prod=MPA308BA&cat=23

    MSRP: $2999

    Thats about $2000 higher than I’d ever care to spend since I’m just a casual when it comes to target practice. I bet it would nice nice to shoot though.

    1. avatar Shaky Dave says:

      This rifle (without benefit of a full review, but that was a tight group) looks to be a competitor for the Accuracy Internationals, CheyTacs, and GA Precisions at about half the price, though.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      I recently picked up a Savage model 10 law enforcement carbine in .223, 20″ Barrel. Street price around $800, without sights. After buying this, I couldn’t afford to put an expensive scope on it, so settled for a mid-range priced 18X scope. The gun has shot very well, about 40% of my groups are under 1/2″, and as load development continues, and with a decent trigger, I hope to get that up to 70% or better.
      My point is: You don’t have to spend big bucks to get a tack driver.

  11. avatar Shaky Dave says:

    The Savage is an underappreciated piece, for sure.

  12. avatar jimmyjames says:

    Sig SSG 3000 Patrol rifle for less than $1500 is a contender in the 1/2MOA accuracy sweepstakes.

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