A Data-Driven Approach To Precision Rifles, Optics & Gear
Home / Reviews & Field Tests / First Looks / SHOT Show 2018: MPA Hybrid Chassis
MPA Hybrid Chassis

SHOT Show 2018: MPA Hybrid Chassis

At SHOT Show 2018 MPA unveiled their new Hybrid chassis. The Hybrid is a cross between their bestselling Competition Chassis and their BA Lite Chassis. The most amazing part is MPA was able to produce a full-featured chassis under 3 pounds! While most rifle chassis are close to 5 pounds or more, this new product is now as light as any adjustable stock out there. In fact, it’s so light … the guys at MPA also released optional weights so that you can customize or tune the weight of the chassis for your application. Going on a hunting trip or need to come in under a weight limit in F-Class? Strip it down to under 3 pounds, and it’s in the same weight class as any adjustable stock out there. Going to a precision rifle match or just plinking at the range? Add weights to tune the balance the rifle or just to increase inertia for maximum precision and comfort. You can now adapt the same precision rifle that you’ve spent so much money on and spent time practicing with to all your shooting applications.

In the past, it always felt like if we want all the features and comfort of a chassis … we have to accept a weight penalty. But the new MPA Hybrid Chassis seems to give you all the benefits of a chassis, with far more features than comparable products, without any of the drawbacks. By starting with a very light chassis, you can always add weight to it … but you if you start with a heavy chassis you can never take weight off. That’s why this new configurable, lightweight chassis could be a game changer.

The new Hybrid Chassis was just released for sale today on MPA’s website: View Hybrid Chassis Product Details.

MPA Hybrid Chassis with Weights

How’d They Get <3 Pounds?!

When they designed the Hybrid, they started with their BA Lite Chassis, which weighed in at 2.9 pounds. In comparison, the Competition Chassis weighs 2 more pounds, at 4.9 pounds.

MPA Competition Chassis vs BA Lite

They extended the forend of the BA Lite to be the same length as the Competition chassis, but they didn’t stop there. Since most shooters are familiar with their popular Competition Chassis, maybe it’d be easiest if I simply itemize the differences between the Hybrid chassis and their bestselling Competition chassis:

  • Hybrid uses set screws for cheek riser and length of pull adjustments, instead of thumbwheels
  • Hybrid is very skeletonized. They spent a lot of time trying to remove material everywhere they could without compromising performance. It’s a lot of detailed CNC work, but shaving an ounce here and an ounce there eventually adds up.
  • Hybrid is slightly more narrow than the Competition (1.56” vs 1.68” forend width)
  • Hybrid doesn’t have the “Ryan Castle” magwell cut
  • Hybrid doesn’t come with a night vision bridge in front of the scope
  • Hybrid is ambidextrous (i.e. bolt knob cut on right and left)

Here is a side-by-side feature comparison of all three chassis I’ve mentioned: Competition, BA Lite, and new Hybrid Chassis.

MPA Rifle Chassis Comparison

Here is an intro video on the Hybrid chassis from MPA President and PRS competitor, Phil Cashin:

This cheek riser and length of pull adjustments on the Hybrid chassis are held in place by set screws, instead of the thumbwheel adjustments like on the Competition chassis. That means you need tools to adjust it, but I’m not sure I see that as a big drawback. Honestly, I don’t find myself needing to change my cheek height or LOP in the field much. In fact, the thumbwheel adjustments on the cheek riser are a bit of a pain when you are trying to clean your rifle. It seems to take a long time to spin the wheel all the way so that the cheek riser is at its lowest point and you can fit a bore guide into your action to protect the chamber and bore from damage from your cleaning rod. With set screws it seems like you’d loosen two screws and slide the cheek riser down or remove it completely, which seems like an improvement to me.

MPA Hybrid Chassis Adjust Cheek and LOP

The Hybrid has a bolt handle slot cut into the chassis on both sides. This makes it ambidextrous, plus also shaves a little weight. It likely doesn’t add up to much, since the chassis is machined from 6061 Aluminum … but to get to under 3 pounds, you have to shave off an ounce here and an ounce there. Every little bit counts.

MPA Chassis Competition vs Hybrid

You can also see in the photo above that the Hybrid doesn’t have the “Ryan Castle” magwell cut. For those that may not be familiar, that is essentially just when the right side of the magwell is longer than the left side. That feature allows you to insert a 10 round AI magazine from the left side, and then rotate it up and into the magwell without having to lift/disturb the rifle. It also can make it a little easier to load a magazine by feel, without having to look down as you’re doing it. It functions similar to the flared magwells you see on Glock race pistols. The sides of the magwell on the Hybrid (and the BA Lite) are even. Again, it is one of those little things that you can shave off to save a few ounces, and it likely isn’t a huge sacrifice for some shooters.

Below you can see the forend of the Hybrid chassis is full-length, just like the Competition. It also packs in the huge feature set the Competition chassis offers, which essentially gives you maximum flexibility and options for shooting off barricades, bipods, tripods, or improvised rests. No other chassis comes close to the extensibility or accessories the MPA chassis offers, which is why they’re used by far more of the top 100 shooters in the PRS than any other chassis or stock.

MPA Hybrid Chassis Features

Configuring The Chassis With Optional Weights

The non-folding version of the Hybrid chassis weighs under 3 pounds, which is pretty light. In fact, it may be too light for some applications. That’s why MPA is offering optional weights you can use to customize the weight of the chassis for your application. If you’re going to be hiking with your rifle, you might appreciate it being 3 pounds, but if your just plinking out at the range or shooting a competition where the added weight can help you be more steady, then you have the option to add weights. Here is a look at the weights they offer:

MPA Weight Tuning Rear

MPA Weight Tuning Front

The weights can be added in various locations to tune the balance of the rifle. Using a really heavy barrel? Add weights to the butt. Lighter weight barrel with a heavy scope or action? Add weights to the forend. … or add all the weights, and your rifle will be as comfortable as a heavy Cadillac rolling down a freshly paved road! Right now, there is a total of 4.4 pounds you can add to the chassis at different places.

The two weights on the forend simply seat into recesses cut inside the chassis and screw into the sides. On the rear, there are two weights. One of them is a big steel bag-rider. MPA already offered a bag-rider for rear bag recoil management, and this new option simply replaces that with a heavier, bigger, steel version. The other weight option on the rear attaches the same way their monopod accessory would. It isn’t an adjustable monopod, but is simply a heavy, steel weight that is mounted in that same location.

Can these optional weights be added to other MPA Chassis? Phil said the front and rear would work on the Hybrid and Competition chassis, but only the rear weights would work on the BA Lite.

With a lightweight chassis and optional weights, you have the ability to configure the weight to fit whatever application you want.

View Tuning Weight Product Details on MPA Website

Rifle Stock vs. Chassis

Rifle stocks have always had the advantage of being lighter than chassis. Manners Stocks is a leading stock manufacturer, but if you look at Manners Stock Specsyou’ll see even their 100% carbon fiber stocks weigh as much as the Hybrid chassis, at least those with an adjustable cheek. Even their new PRS stocks in the “Elite Carbon Fiber Shell” weigh 3 pounds, and while that does include an adjustable cheek … it does NOT include adjustable length of pull. If you configure that stock to have an adjustable length of pull, you’ll add a few more ounces. Now if you don’t need an adjustable cheek riser or LOP, the Manners Elite Hunter stock can get you down to 1.9 pounds. But, every shooter I’ve talked to who bought a high-end stock that wasn’t adjustable ended up regretting that decision. If you’re using a small hunting scope, maybe it works … but for higher-end optics with a 50 or 56mm objective lens, an adjustable cheek can be important feature. You’ll get the best precision and repeatability out of your rifle if you’re able to adjust how it fits you.

With the release of the MPA Hybrid Chassis, stocks no longer have a weight advantage. … Plus stocks are not near as configurable or extensible as the MPA chassis. Now I’m not saying you’re an idiot if you buy a stock. Some shooters prefer how they look, feel, or handle. But, it seems like the MPA Hybrid Chassis may have just leveled the playing field when choosing what to go with for most applications.

When talking about weights, it’s easy to get caught up quibbling over a couple ounces. While there are a few applications where ounces count, for practical shooting purposes … most of us wouldn’t notice a difference of 2-5 ounces in overall rifle weight. That is only a 1.5% difference on a 14 pound rifle (relatively light for a fully loaded precision rifle with optics), so we might be overly optimistic to think we have that level of resolution. That’s why I reference weights in pounds, not ounces. Some may be able to tell the difference a 1/2 pound makes, and surely we can all notice a 1 pound difference. I just mention that so that we don’t get caught up in minute differences in ounces or grams. It’s measurable yes, but I’d contend it is “in the noise” for practical purposes. The practical take-away for me is the MPA Hybrid chassis is now in the lightest weight class of any adjustable stock or chassis on the market.

Check out the MPA Hybrid Chassis on MasterpieceArms.com

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

Check Also

Most Popular Precision Rifle Stock and Chassis

Precision Rifle Chassis & Stocks: What The Pros Use

I’ve been really looking forward to this post, because there has been so much advancement ...


  1. I hope this chassis works better than the one I have.
    It refuses to feed from AICS magazines. The bolt drags on every mag I put it if the mag is installed fully against the stop. Oh wait………………….That’s the problem…………………There is no stop in the chassis to keep mags from being over inserted in the chassis like every other gun that’s been made has. Don’t take my word for it. Do a search on Youtube and find the numerous videos explaining the problem.

    I can’t believe what a piece of crap this gun is. For 3900 bucks I expected much better.

    • Sorry you’re having trouble … but that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve been running a MPA Competition chassis for about a year and a half, and I can’t remember ever having magazine issues. I’ve been using mine on actions from Surgeon and Impact Precision, so maybe those actions address the magazine issue you’re referring to. I can say with confidence that there wouldn’t be so many people running it in the PRS if there were widespread issues with seating a magazine. I’m not saying it isn’t happening to you … but just that your issue might not be as widespread as you presented it.

      Honestly, I appreciate you mentioning it. I definitely don’t want to just present one side of this. Have you contacted MPA to see if they had any suggestions?


    • Dr Mr. Unhappy, after reading your comment, I can only wonder why you have not contacted MPA regarding this mag insertion issue. If you had, you would have learned that this was on old issue that was addressed and corrected approx 8 months ago and only on Long Action Chassis. On the bolt drag, again, why not contact MPA? This is a simple solution and can be fixed in about 30 seconds. We have video’s on our website to show this correction. Also, if you paid $3900 for one of our rifles, you significantly overpaid. Our most expensive rifle is $3425 and that is the MSRP. It makes me wonder if you are actually a customer. We pride ourselves on extreme high levels of customer service and if one of our customers had issues with a magazine being over inserted into our chassis, I would know about it. The bolt drag issue could have been answered and corrected by anyone at MPA. If you are a customer, please contact me directly – phil@masterpiecearms.com

      • Boom!

        I’m in innocent bystander who does not have a dog in this fight except to say that that was a magnificent reply.

        To the unhappy customer I hope he gets everything fixed and is very satisfied.

        To Phil, I have to say thank you from one business owner to another for stating the obvious in a nonconfrontational way. I’m not so good at that

      • I thought the same thing, Seth.

      • Love the fact driven response here Phil. I know if I had spent that much money and was not satisfied I’d be calling MPA before going online to discuss the issue. Thanks for jumping on this! Not many Presidents of companies will be this involved. This is why 99.999% of shooters love their MPA products. #truestorybro

  2. Any idea of what the complete chassis weighs? For some reason they list the Lite and Hybrid weights without the recoil pads, which is strange because the chassis is useless without it. Thanks for the awesome coverage!

    • Great question, Spencer. I looked at my chassis and it looks like they’re using a Pachmayr Decelerator Pad, which I’ve heard people say weighs a few ounces. I’ve passed the question on to Phil, so maybe he’ll chime in with the answer.


      • Spencer, that is a good question. The reason why we don’t list the weight with the recoil pad is due to the 4 different versions of recoil pads that are available for our chassis. (1″, 0.625″,0.400″ and 0.250″ non adjustable). Also, we have had some customers that want to use no recoil pad due to weight reduction goals and the application the rifle is used.

      • Thanks, Phil. I measured the one on my MPA chassis earlier, and I think it must be the 0.625″ option you mentioned. Is that the default recoil pad you guys install on the Competition and Hybrid chassis? Any idea what it weighs? I’d guess somewhere in the range of 4-7 ounces, but I’m not sure.


  3. Cal:

    What you say about inertia is certainly true given Newton’s law relating force, mass, acceleration, a=F/m, so less acceleration for a given force with greater mass. However, I would add there is a trade-off. To hold heavier mass steady you need greater muscle power. Lift those weights.

    I hypothesize that the resistance to rotation is more relevant for accuracy than resistance to translation. The resistance of a object to rotation is its moment of inertia. The moment of inertia depends not only on the mass but where the mass is located. What people call balance is related to the moment of inertia. Bad news is that the moment of inertia is a second rank symmetric tensor requiring six numbers for its specification in the general case whereas mass only requires one. Good news is only one component of moment of inertia is really important, that in longitudinal direction, buttpad to muzzle, about the hold point. Being able to add/subtract weights at different locations you can tune both the weight and the longitudinal moment of inertia about your hold point.

    The MPA Custom Shop offers rifles with an accuracy guarantee of 3/8 MOA if caliber is 6.5mm or smaller. Do you know the MPA procedure for determining accuracy? I hope it is not a 3 shot group.


    • Great points, Rick. It reminds me of something Harold Vaughn said in his book Rifle Accuracy Facts. He was testing how barrel mass correlates to precision, and said this “One of the biggest improvements with a heavy barrel is that it is easier to shoot accurately, because it doesn’t move around as much as a result of its increased inertia.”

      In my barrel research I contributed to Bryan Litz’s last book, Modern Advancements of Long Range Shooting Volume 2, here is how I summarized this idea:

      A few years ago, I was talking about barrels with Wade Stuteville, Overall Champion of the 2012 Precision Rifle Series, and I remember a profound statement from that conversation. Wade explained, “I don’t think it’s that heavy barrels necessarily shoot better, as much as I shoot better with a heavy barrel.” He felt the increased weight and balance of a rifle with a heavy barrel helped him be steadier and made it easier for him to stay on target. That seems to corroborate Vaughn’s point here.

      So I agree with you that this new weight system gives you even more flexibility to tune and even optimize the inertial effects as they relate to increasing the probability of getting rounds on target.

      Honestly, I’m not sure about the details of the MPA precision guarantee. I agree that 3 shots is not statically significant. If it were me, I’d probably do the aggregate of a few 5 shot groups, like I think they do in benchrest competitions. Here’s an interesting paper that always comes to my mind when talking about the number of shots that should be in a group: Statistics, Shooting and the Myth of the Three Shot Group. One of the things I love about his paper is his final conclusion:

      Final conclusion: Grandpa was right. What counts is hitting the target. Realistic target engagement > punching paper at 100 10 shots at a time > punching paper at 100 3 shots at a time > sitting in my office writing about statistics.

      Love it! 😉


  4. Cal!

    I’m waiting to hear about what suppresors the pro’s are using. Are you going to do the run down of their gear this year?

    Is everyone still gravitating to the Tbac?

    • Hey, Seth. Someone else collected the data for the PRS survey this year, but unfortunately they didn’t ask about suppressors. The majority of competitors run muzzle brakes instead of suppressors, but among those running suppressors I’d suspect that the most popular were TBAC and SilencerCo.

      I personally own a few TBAC suppressors for my precision rifles, and I think they’re the best in the industry. I have an Ultra-7 in 6.5mm, an Ultra-9 in 30 caliber, and a 338 Ultra. I just got the 338 Ultra in last month, so I’m still buying TBAC. I use the Ultra-7 most frequently for my match rifles and my AR-15’s. I use the Ultra-9 on my 7mm Rem Mag for hunting. I use the 338 Ultra on my 300 Norma and 338 Lapua, and it makes those a lot more fun to shoot. A brake tames the recoil on those big magnums, but the concussion is killer. I think the suppressor makes those big magnums more pleasant to shoot. I also own a SilencerCo Sparrow for my 22 rifles and pistol, so I’m not a total TBAC fan-boy. I just think the TBAC design represents the cutting edge and premium quality, and doesn’t leave anything to be desired when it comes to precision rifles. Outside of precision rifles, the guys at TBAC might not be the best choice. When it comes to pistols, full-autos, or rimfire … I don’t know who the best is. But precision bolt-action rifles are TBAC’s primary focus.

      Hope this helps!


      • Exactly what I wanted your opinion on. Thank you

      • Cal
        Interesting thoughts on the TBAC’s. Quick question, trust or individual? I am researching and not sure which is best. Always enjoy your writings and missed them during your time off. Thanks for the SHOT updates.

      • You bet, Lynn. I’ll preface this by saying I’m not an attorney, so all I can do is share my experience. I originally started off buying a suppressor as an individual, then I moved to a trust. Today all my suppressors are in a trust, which used to be much more convenient. But the laws have changed, and that eroded some of the benefit of a trust … at least in terms of reducing the pain and paperwork it takes to get one. I got my last suppressor after all the new laws were in effect, and it was ridiculous how much paper it required. I had to get fingerprints done for me and everyone else in the trust, which is a pain. I actually got a couple sets of each person so that I have spares ready to send in when I’m ready for my next stamp. Long-term, it seems like trusts are a more robust way to manage them. For example, my family doesn’t have to turn all my suppressors over to the government within a certain time frame after my death. But outside of that, I’m not sure there are many practical advantages from my perspective.

        Glad you’re liking the SHOT updates. I’ve got 1 or 2 more planned, so stay tuned!


  5. I have a competition folder MPA chassis on order. It will hold a Bighorn action and Bartlein barrel. I have had nothing but great customer service from Al and, when he is not there, Lisa covers for him. I am very excited to get both pieces assembled and shipped to me. After doing all my research there was no question I wanted an MPA chassis for my first precision gun.

    • I bet you love it! That sounds like a nice setup. I’ve personally tried all kinds of stocks and chassis on my rifles, and both my match rifles are in MPA chassis right now. A lot of that comes down to personal preference, because I’ve been beat by shooters running just about every stock or chassis out there too! But I feel like the MPA chassis helps me get more rounds on target than I would with any other setup, especially off barricades. I’m not sponsored by anyone (on purpose) and I don’t take free products from manufacturers … so if I didn’t have confidence in it or thought there was something even slightly better out there, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it. I really enjoy using it, and have more confidence in myself when I’m shooting with it. That alone goes a long way!

      Best of luck to you,

  6. Ambidextrous bolt cutout ….. Legend.

  7. Great! Are “These” Platform Specific, or will they Fit Anything? I have a 98K Mauser, that’s currently having Stock Issues…

    • Great question. I don’t think these will work with a 98k Mauser. On their website it says the chassis are available “for the Remington 700 Short and Long, Savage and Howa Short or Long Actions, Badger M2013, Mausingfield, Surgeon, Stillers, Surgeon and many others. New inlets are being added frequently.” I’d suggest you contact them directly for specific questions like that.