Accuracy is everything in my world. A gun isn’t good if it can’t hit the target. One of the ways to improve the accuracy of your rifle is to change the chassis, since the usual stock that comes with most bolt action rifles is terrible in every way. For a good chassis, you would normally expect to pay a ton of money — Dual Strike demands north of $2,000 for their chassis system. But MDT is a company constantly improving their chassis for the budget minded shooter, and the latest incarnation is the HS3.
The last chassis I reviewed from MDT was their LSS chassis, and I thought it was just about perfect. The sleek and sexy lines definitely did it for me aesthetically speaking, but I could see where people might want something more. The forend was a little short, so the rifle’s stance becomes a touch small and unstable. The stock adapter doesn’t have the hole for a locking plate, so stocks like the Magpul PRS were right out. And the all metal construction means that it can get a little warm in the Texas heat. The HS3 fixes all of those minor imperfections, and does it with style.
Starting out front, the forend of the stock has been extended to provide a wider stance for the gun. The further out you can put the bipod, the more stable the rifle will be — which is a good thing for precision shooting. But while the stock is longer, it isn’t all that heavier. The LSS is 1.8 pounds, and this HS3 is only 2 pounds. That doesn’t include the bipod or the rear attachment, though.
The stock has another feature as well: a rubber coating. Not only does it provide a great gripping surface even when wet or muddy, but rubber doesn’t get very hot. So even when you’re sitting on the rifle line in the Texas sun your gun will still be cool enough to pick up and move around. It’s a nice feature for those living where the sun don’t don’t shine.
As with all of the other MDT chassis, they give you the option to add standard AR-15 furniture to suit your personal tastes. Some people might see this as a way of “cheaping out,” asking the end user to spend more money to complete the gun, but personally I’m a huge fan of end user customization. The ability for the shooter to pick and choose what suits them best is ideal, and having the chassis use standard AR-15 furniture means that they can swap those same parts at a whim.
Out front, there are screw holes spaced for Magpul L3 and L5 Picatinny rail sections along the side of the chassis. So if you want to add a flashlight or a coffee maker to your rifle, you can absolutely do that. However there doesn’t seem to be any way to attach a bridge to the chassis like there is on the LSS for night vision and other secondary optics.
The chassis also has all of the same features you’ve come to know and expect from MDT: aluminum trigger guard, AICS magazine compatibility, and an aluminum bedding block precision machined for your rifle.
Out on the range, the chassis works. I’m getting sub-MoA groups out of my $600 Remington 700 AAC-SD, which wasn’t possible with the stock stock. I’m happy with the performance increase, and to me its completely worth the money. I like the way it feels, and I love the way it looks. The ability to use a good fixed stock is definitely an improvement. I’m probably going to go back to the LSS for regular use simply because I prefer my guns as slick as possible, but I might have to keep this chassis for those days when I need something with a little more stability and solid construction.
Specifications: MDT HS3 Rifle Chassis for Remington 700 Rifles
Price: $499 (short action) / $549 (long action)
Also Available: Tikka T3 short and long
Weight: 2.0 lbs.
Ratings (out of five):
Feel & Function * * * * *
The use of AR-15 parts allows the end user to configure their rifle to their own preferences.
Ease of Use * * * * *
Drop straight in, strap on a stock, and you are good to go. Five minute job, tops.
Overall * * * * *
Solid construction, good quality parts, and easy to use. Very stable, and not a single wiggle to be seen. For the price, I don’t think it can be beat.
Good looking rig, that.
i got the MDT LSS off your review and I have loved it ever since.
Thanks for the review Nick. It looks pretty cool. I’ve been eyeing up the LSS for a while but haven’t pulled the trigger yet (so to speak) because I heard it couldn’t easily accommodate an aftermarket trigger such as a Timney or Jewel, etc. Do you know, is that also the case with the HS3? (and/or am I mistaken that the LSS won’t easily accommodate an after market trigger like Timney/Jewel in the first place?)
Nevermind. I found it. The answer is YES! Woo hoo, I think I might have found my chassis
“The trigger area is wide enough to allow use of a Timney 510/517 or Jewel HVR without modification (this is a big plus if you’ve ever had to mill out a chassis to allow an aftermarket trigger to function)”
What’s wrong with a bedded wood stock? Or bedded laminated stock?
… It doesn’t look like something from call of duty.
Nothing. This just gives you different options for customization. If there’s a particular stock you like, you can use that. If there’s a grip you prefer, install it. If you don’t care about those things, then these kinds of products aren’t for you.
Those look great on a rifle with a beautiful deep bluing, but they might clash a bit if the barrel and action are cerakoted or parkerized with a flat finish (say in desert tan).
Ergonomics, customization, and better accuracy with the V-block bedding.
This pretty much corrects most if not all of my complaints about the LSS… Good review
You can use the night vision “hood” for the LSS on the HS3. I have one on my Rem700/HS3 setup. There are cuts in the removable side panels to accommodate the hood.
I am really looking forward to reviews of the new magpul stock. If it can perform in the accuracy department it will dominate everyone on price.
…Although Magpuls looks a little too much like that Archangel stock which I find quite ugly…We’ll see I suppose.
Hmmm, looks cool. If I keep having problems with my 700 LTR box mag it might be time for an upgrade.
Savage version? Not everyone wants to shoot a Remington based rifle…
Coming soon to a liberal news outlet near you:
“Tonights story: the threat posed by bolt-action assault weapons”
Have one and Love It !!!
And now, the best of the two worlds : MDT LSS-XL, with long forend and stock adapter WITH the hole for a locking plate (or Law Tactical folding device).
I’ve ordered one for my Tikka T3… and will receive it in a few days !
I have the HS3 and MDT’s own Skeleton V3 buttstock. I would not recommend this chassis because their own buttstock does not fit correctly in the chassis. The buttstock would twist/rock within the socket of the HS3 chassis. I don’t know hot the Magpul buttstock fits. Does it twist the way mine does?
Also the buttpad also rocks back and forth a little bit. I have to crank down hard on all the screws and put a lot of stress on the thing to lock all the bits into place but they eventually get loose again.
The Skeleton Rifle Stock is not designed for the HS3 chassis. I do not think it is fair to discount the chassis because a buttstock that is not designed for it does not work well for it.
The Skeleton Rifle Stock was designed for the TAC21.
For the HS3, use a Magpul PRS, or use the Skeleton Rifle Stock LIGHT which is much better suited for it, and certainly will not move at all!
Hmm. Just ordered the HS3 + Skeleton V3 Buttstock for my Savage 11 Trophy Hunter in .308. Will see how it all comes together and report back here.