Saturday, February 14, 2015

KRG Kinetic Research Group Whiskey 3 Remington 700 Chassis Review

KRG Kinetic Research Group Whiskey 3 Remington 700 Chassis Review


Everything seems to snowball for me and this is what happened when I started looking at Remington 700 Short Action Chassis Systems, so you can now expect a string of reviews featuring and reviewing all the various Remington 700 aftermarket chassis I have amassed for testing. including this awesome KRG Whiskey 3 billet chassis. My hope is to work through all the reviews and then deliver a final buyers guide with all my condensed finding and perspective on pros and cons of each chassis.



The main question everyone will ask is why go to the trouble and expense to move from a factory stock to a billet chassis system like this KDT Whiskey 3 or a premium target stock? The answer is usually consistency and improved accuracy due to a platform which is not affected by weather and humidity, and provides the same positive and precision grip/bedding on the action from shot to shot. These higher end chassis also free-floats the barrel for the best possible accuracy from your Remington 700 barreled action and in most cases feature positive mechanical bedding which further increases accuracy and negate the need for the mess of resin or epoxy bedding the action.

Some of these stocks including this KRG stock also deliver integrated AICS style box magazine compatibility which saves you around $200 for a “bottom metal” magazine adapter for your factory stock. Yet another benefit of these chassis are that they are typically ergonomically and stability optimized for prone or benchrest shooting positions which deliver more long term shooting comfort behind the gun over long periods of laying or sitting down. 

Most people find there is world of difference in comfort and fit when they get behind one of these chassis. If you want the best accuracy possible from your Remington 700 Action and additional features, then it makes sense to look at one of these chassis systems. Of course the obvious point I should make is that these target and sniper chassis usually pretty heavy and are not really for field rifles that you are going to lug around for miles or use for a brush/walking stalk hunt. The purpose built chassis are designed for the most part to be supported with a bipod or sand bags and deliver the stability to increase long-range precision.



When I brought up buyers guide concept I was working on to KRG, they immediately wanted to send a test chassis to show me first hand why their chassis are extremely popular with the military and LEO sniper teams. The Whiskey 3 chassis was one of the front runners of billet Remington 700 chassis systems which delivered everything the professional sniper could ask for from a performance and adjustability perspective. The Whiskey 3 chassis is so well regarded and popular that I highly doubt that KRG needs the press of this article. With the Whiskey 3, shooters get a drop in stock replacement which delivers everything the professional and amateur shooter could ever want in a sniper stock with literally every aspect of the stock is adjustable.  



FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
In my case I have the Remington SPS Tactical .308 Short Action rifle which featured a Hogue stock from the factory. Its a good entry level stock, however the SPS can certainly benefit from a more rigid, less flexi, and more adaptable stock. Installation is as simple as removing two screws and reattaching the KRG Whiskey 3 chassis to your barreled action with the included screws. No need to remove anything other than the bolt to install this chassis.


I had already installed the KRG Bolt Lift which provided an oversized bolt handle that is simple and easy to install. Simply slip the clam shells over your existing bolt handle. If you think this quality of the Bolt Lift may appear to be similar to Magpul style design, you might be surprised to learn that that KRG was founded by a few Magpul designers as well as active duty Army special forces soldiers. There were not just a bunch of CAD nerds sitting around designing products. These folks knew what worked and what didn't and knew how to design products that fit that need.



Most people want to move away from the reliable but limiting hinged floorplate magazine in favor of a AICS box feed magazine. The KRG Whiskey 3 Chassis features an integrated magazine well and latch which supports all AICS .223/.308 style magazines such as those made from AICS, Ruger Gunsite (steel only), Magpul’s AICS PMag, Alpha Double Stack (the shortest overall magazine), and MDTTAC mags. Feeding is the same as with the factory floor plate magazine, but now you have the ability to just do a quick mag swap when you want to clear the gun or need more ammo. KRG made mag swaps ever better by adding an extended magazine release which is accessible and operable by both hands.


The Whiskey 3 (KRG abbreviates as W3G) is available for the Tikka T3, Remington 700 (short & long action), Surgeon, Howa, AI, as well as other rifles. The solid billet chassis is not light, however it is perfectly suited for sniper and precision shooting platforms.  The W3G chassis features a precision "V" bedding system which prevents the need to use messy resin bedding and tool-less length of pull and check height adjustments in the field. Bolt your Remington SPS 700 action into the chassis and according the KRG, your action is as good as any bedding job with resin.


KRG offers both a folder and fixed stock version. I choose the folding stock version to showcase how small and compact a package this Remington SPS .308 package could be. Of note the folder mechanism is very strong and locks up tight for zero wiggle. From a storage and transportation perspective a folding stock greatly reduces the overall stowed size of a sniper platform which likely already has a very long barrel. One you start using this feature it is hard to think why you would not want a side folding option.  The stock does lock both open and closed. KRG does offer this folder option as an add on accessory, so if you do buy the fixed chassis version, you can convert it later to the folding version.


KRG joked with me that the chassis is available in any color I wanted as long as that color was black. The KRG W3G chassis is hard anodized, however KRG indicated that most buyers customized colors as needed with either professional ceracoat finishes or in the military that usually means just rattle can finishes. Whether you choose to get custom or not, the black finish is perfection out of the box.


The features I liked most about the Whiskey 3 Chassis were its adjustability and brutish durability. Where some of the billet chassis systems are light, the W3G is heavy and tough. 

One very important feature is that all the typical field tuned adjustments for cheek rest height and length of pull are all tool-less adjustments. The buttstock adjustment relies on a cams which lock into the stock posts into a position regardless of recoil forces instead of the adjustment relying on a friction lock. Buttstock vertical position can be adjusted and fore-aft cheek rest positioning can be adjusted as well. The nearly perfectly vertical pistol grip delivers much more recoil control for the shooter.

I have images of KRG testing the chassis by dragging it behind a truck. Even though the design is extremely solid, the design has a ton of ergonomic thought which follows the legendary Sako TRG stock which has been noted to be one of the most ergonomic sniper stocks ever produced. Several notable sources say that stock design had  input from orthopedic surgeons to improve ergonomics. The Whiskey 3 follows the uber comfy TRG ergonomics. The KRG Whiskey 3 is amazingly comfortable to shoot behind with ergonomics that are superior to chassis systems which rely on AR15 stocks. The W3G is obviously amazingly well tuned with a design which has been tuned over several version and with the tuning comes long term shooting comfort that few chassis have yet to deliver to the shooter.

Some of the Remington 700 "sniper" chassis have enclosed handguards, however the Whiskey 3 is a open top chassis design which means that there is no potential need to swap out rings or scope bases for clearance of the handguard. I like this a lot based on the headaches I have had with other chassis systems in the review process. Just drop in your barreled action with your optics still mounted, tighten down the screws and you can hit the range.



The lower forend of the W3G offers a variety of screw attachment point for accessories, lasers, range finders, IR and other accessories as required. If you have a need for a rail or mount, chances are KRG has you covered with optional accessories.


Of note the KRG Whiskey 3 chassis did move the needle when it comes to accuracy. The accuracy improvement was the same as any of the other chassis I am currently testing which equated to about a 15% improvement in my accuracy over the factory Hogue stock. This basically pushed my best .65”ish groups to just over .5” and my more typical .8”-.9” groups down to the .7”-.75” mark. Not transformational, however it is an improvement. I can only speculate based on my experience, but this stock in combination with a match trigger upgrade could increase accuracy by as much as 30% depending on your trigger. I did notice due to the comfort of the KRG when shooting, I could shoot longer and maintain my groups longer than with many other chassis systems I have tested.  


My one complaint on this chassis is the shear number of screws. There are screws everywhere on this chassis. KRG noted that they locktite the screws, however in the field simpler is better and I would certainly pack the appropriate allen wrenches to tighten anything which might come loose. Although weight is not necessarily a bad thing in a sniper chassis, the KRG is one of the heaviest chassis I have tested so far, so if you do plan on lugging your rig for miles and miles on foot, you may want to consider a lighter chassis.


THIS BUILD
Remington 700 SPS Tactical barreled action, xTreme Hardcore Level Scope Based and Rings, Lucid 4-16x44 Crossover Optic.



FINAL THOUGHTS
Though I really love what my $700 Remington 700 SPS can deliver from an accuracy perspective, this KRG Whiskey 3 chassis deserves a higher end barreled action such as those from GA precision, PWS, Shilen or others. My intent is to use this chassis for a very high end build and will keep you posted as to where this amazing chassis lands. PWS for example is using the Whiskey 3 as its stock on their top tier precision 308 rifle.


Although I am only about half way through my testing of all the Remington 700 Chassis, I keep going back to this KRG model. Once you lay down behind the W3G and start shooting, there is a huge difference ergonomically between this chassis and and those relying on AR15 furniture. The features, flexibility, and the comfort are definitely some of the reasons why the W3G chassis is being chosen over and over by professional precision shooters.


SPECS
The Whiskey-3 Chassis (W3C) (Generation III Chassis) is a highly functional, feature laden stock for the Tikka T3, Remington 700, and other rifles. The W3C combines precise aluminum "V" bedding with tool-less adjustments, (length-of-pull and cheek piece height), durability and excellent ergonomics. Right out of the box it allows the use of AICS style magazines in your rifle without any special bottom metal. Numerous types of accessories can be added to the many attachment points, including handstops, sling mounts, rails, bipods, monopods, and more. Our modular grip panels allow the shooter to tailor the fit of the stock to his/her hand which, combined with the other adjustments, yield a stock set up exactly as it needs to be for that particular shooter.
Available Models
The W3C (Gen 4) is available as of July 2013 in fixed and folding stock versions for the following rifles:
Tikka T3 (non-magnum length calibers).
Remington 700 short and long action.
Badger M2008 short action (uses AICS or AI AW magazines).
Sako M995 (AICS CIP length magazines).

The W3C (Gen 4) is planned to be or possibly will be offered for these rifles in the future:
Sako Quad (limited production).
AI AE.
Badger M2008 long action (AICS CIP length magazines).
others as they come up.

The W3C (all gens) cannot, unfortunately, be made to fit these rifles:
Tikka T3 in long action calibers (there is currently no magazine which will work as the AICS magnum magazines will not work with the T3).
Tikka 595/695.
Sako 75/85.
Surgeon XL action.
Howa 1500.
AI AE.
Price:
Fixed $939
Folding $1299


SOURCES
KRG Kinetic Research Group - www.kineticresearchgroup.com


Other Products Featured
xTreme Hardcore Gear - http://xtremehardcoregear.com/

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