By Breanne R.
America is a country of tinkerers. Single-minded, often unemployable souls dedicated to producing the kind of high-quality products “the big guys” can’t afford (or be bothered) to create. You’ll find one such outfit in Winder, Georgia (pop. 14,099). Launched in 2011, Accurate Ordnance is a five-man shop building and assembling seriously expensive rifles for serious customers. AO built their $4395 M24-AO, for example, to satisfy a “contracting firm” looking to equip their counterterrorist sniper teams. When OTB Firearms offered me trigger time with AO’s MilSpec Signature Series rifle I quoted their website. “Who doesn’t want a handy, easily transported, lighter-weight, multi-purpose rifle?” What I got was . . .
the Rhonda Rousey of rifles. The MilSpec Signature Series rifle (MSS) boasts a perfectly realized full Kryptek-type camouflage pattern – complete with Accurate Ordnance’s signature Spider Monkey Cerakote finish. It gives the gun a fresh and funky demeanor. At the same time the three minimalist MIL-STD 1913 rails and standard night vision mount signal the inescapable fact that the MSS is all business. Gorgeous, certainly, but you never want be on its bad side.
AO goes all out to make sure the MSS backs up its beauty with ballistic benefits. To start, they built the MSS on a XLR Industries most excellent Element chassis, It’s fashioned from a solid block of 6061 T6 Aluminum – the alloy used for the Pioneer spacecraft’s infamous plaque, pricey bicycles and high-end AR-15s. The MSS’s receiver block and forend are a one-piece design; there’s no weak point.
The MSS’s rear is fitted with XLR’s Tactical Lite Butt Stock. The design offers an adjustable length of pull (12″ – 15.5″), an ambidextrous cheek rest, and a height- and cant-adjustable recoil pad. Weighing-in at just 23 ounces, the Tactical Lite Butt Stock offers QD flush cups on both left and right sides and mono-pod provision. If you can’t find a comfortable shooting position in four minutes, consult your doctor.
AO chose Stiller Precision for the MSS’s action, based on Stiller’s reputation for precise tolerances and stellar durability. Speaking of metallurgy, Stiller hardens the MSS’s 416R stainless action to 41 Rockwell C. It utilizes a modified M16 style extractor and is a two-lug one-piece bolt with a 30 degree coned front. Put it all together (or let Stiller do it) and the bolt knob has a precise, positive feel. The bolt’s small amount of knurling gives shooters a positive grip without compromising comfort.
The MilSpec Signature rifle boasts a Rock Creek match barrel. The Sendero contour barrel made from 416R stainless steel via single-point cut rifling, with a 1:11.27 twist. The one-groove-at-a-time cut rifling process takes ten times as long as button rifling, but puts significantly less stress on the material and delivers superior consistency. Rock Creek hand laps the barrel before and after rifling. It’s finished at 18.5” and threaded 5/8×24 with a custom-knurled thread protector.
The model tested came with a Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44mm with a Tactical Milling Reticle. At 23.6 ounces, the scope adds noticeable weight to the rifle chassis, boosting the rifle’s overall unloaded weight to to 11.73 pounds. The MSS is supposed to be fired from a supported position, so you can’t really knock the rifle for feeling a bit on the heavy side. The scope alone costs $2,749, but ask any long distance shooter — real accuracy costs real money.
Setting-up Accurate Ordnance’s MilSpec Signature Series rifle on a sandbag support, the gun felt perfectly screwed together. Sturdy. The stock’s endlessly adjustable ergonomics and silky smooth action combine to make the MSS a seamless extension of the shooter’s will. No small thanks to the rifle’s Timney trigger that breaks at a mere 2.5 lbs. with OCD-level cleanliness.
I fed the MSS Federal’s 168 grain Sierra Matchking BTHP for the entirety of my test. I spent the day [happily] ringing an 8” gong and a 4” knockdown target out between 100-600 meters], hitting sub MOA every time. (No surprise there: all Accurate Ordnance rifles are guaranteed to shoot 3/8” MOA or better at 100 yards using factory match ammo.) I was hitting steel so consistently it wasn’t a challenge. Fun, yes. Challenging no. I wanted to test the MSS rifle out to 800-1000 meters, but hurricane season put paid to that.
Like so many small, dedicated rifle builders, Accurate Ordnance took the best parts from some of the best manufacturers and, inversely to Dr. Frankenstein, turned out something greater than the sum of its parts.
Accurate Ordnance MilSpec Signature .308 Rifle
Caliber: .308 Winchester(6.5 Creedmoor and other calibers available on request)
Sights: The rifle comes without sights, but it does have the pre-installed rail for scope mounting
Barrel Length: 18.5” w/ 1:11.27 twist
Overall Length: 38.5” (using 13.5” LOP)
Overall weight: 10.25 pounds with an unloaded magazine and no scope
Capacity: 10 Rounds using AICS AW (Arctic Warfare) magazines
MSRP: $3950.00 shipped
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Style * * * * *
The XLR chassis with custom paint and rail systems make this a Rousey-like rifle.
Ergonomics * * * * *
With the MilSpec Signature’s infinitely adjustable stock, even someone of my smaller stature can be perfectly comfortable behind the glass – without compromise. The adjustable trigger was perfect right out of the box.
Reliability * * * * *
Bolt action rifles are nothing if not reliable. This one is, too.
Customize This * * * * *
Ask, pay and ye shall receive! Accurate Ordnance is happy to build you a rifle in your preferred choice calibers, trigger weight, furniture, finish, whatever.
Overall * * * *
I was in love the minute I laid eyes on this platform. Unlike most love stories, this one did not disappoint. At all. Yet? Ever.