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Best Rifle Chassis and Stock - What The Pros Use

What The Pros Use: Best Rifle Chassis & Stocks

In the precision rifle world, nothing has advanced more over the past 10 years than rifle stocks and chassis! That’s why it’s so interesting to see what the shooters at the very top of the national rankings in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) chose to maximize their odds of getting hits on target at long range.

I recently surveyed the top-ranked shooters in both the PRS to learn what gear they’re running in long-range rifle matches. This data represents 200 of the best precision rifle shooters in the country. This post will focus on what they chose for their rifle stock or chassis. (View other What The Pros Use articles)

Nine years ago, when I surveyed the top PRS shooters, 67% were running Manners, McMillan, or Accuracy International (see the data). Only 1 of those companies has any shooters represented among the pros this year! That’s because the market has been disrupted by innovators like Masterpiece Arms, MDT, and Foundation Stocks, who have released compelling products that are feature-packed and extremely customizable.

Let’s dive into the data!

Rifle Stock vs Chassis

First, let’s take a look at how many of these top PRS competitors are running a stock or chassis. The exact definition of what makes something a chassis or a stock is debatable. I almost went with a very technical definition – but we’ll take the simple view that a chassis is primarily made from metal (like MPA and MDT chassis), and stocks are made from a composite material and look and handle more like traditional rifles (like Foundation and Manners stocks).

Rifle Stock vs Chassis

On the chart above, the various colors represent where a shooter landed in terms of season rank in the PRS. For example, black indicates shooters who finished in the top 10, the darkest blue is people who finished 11-25, and the lighter the blue, the further out they finished in overall standings. The chart legend itemizes the ranks each color represents, but basically, the darker the color, the higher the shooter’s overall ranking.

67% of these top-ranked shooters chose to run a chassis, and 33% chose to run a stock. However, you can see there were shooters in the top 10 using both chassis and stocks. 6 of the top 10 used a chassis, and 4 used a stock.

There has been a trend among the top PRS shooters towards chassis for several years. Before 2015, most of the top shooters were using stocks. By 2018, the PRS top shooters were fairly balanced (54% chassis vs 46% stock, see the data). Today, most are using chassis. Some shooters prefer the feel of a traditional stock, and the stocks still represented in this list are great products that have adapted to offer most of the must-have features you’d expect in a chassis. The decision on chassis vs stock primarily comes down to personal preference, and this article will cover the best options for both sides.

Whether it is a chassis or a stock, there are a couple of must-have features that top PRS shooters all seem to agree on, and every rifle stock and chassis used by the top 200 ranked shooters has:

  1. Ability to fine-tune overall weight and balance point using weights in various places on the rifle. Most shooters want the balance point to be around 4-5” forward of the mag well. (Hear tips from a pro on tuning your rifle balance.)
  2. Ability to adjust and customize the fit of the rifle to the shooter. That basically includes any part of the rifle that comes in contact with the shooter: cheekpiece, butt, grip, etc.
  3. Ability to attach a bipod, plate bag, or other accessory at any point under the forend (typically using an arca rail).

I asked each shooter an advice question on the survey, and here is some that is especially relevant on this topic:

Q: If you had to name one thing that helped you the most in making the transition from finishing mid-pack to one of the top shooters in the country, what would that be?

A: “Whether you use a stock or chassis, make sure it’s properly fit and adjusted to you so you can spot more of your impacts down range.”Thomas Crosson, #81 in 2023 PRS Open Season Rankings

Best Precision Rifle Chassis/Stock

Let’s look at the specific brands of rifle chassis and stocks these top marksmen believed would give them the best odds of getting impacts.

Best Precision Rifle Chassis

Masterpiece Arms (MPA), Foundation Stocks, and MDT are all well ahead of the rest of the pack and combine to represent 79% of these shooters! I’ll give a more thorough breakdown of each brand and the specific models guys were using below.

In my experience, those 3 specific manufacturers (MPA, Foundation, and MDT) are also the ones who are most involved in the Precision Rifle Series. I’ve personally seen the CEOs of all 3 companies compete in pro-level, two-day matches. All 3 of those companies are the title sponsor to one or more national-level, two-day PRS matches each year. They each have first-hand experience in the sport, they get direct and constant feedback and new ideas from shooters that they continually integrate into their products, and they are active and strong supporters of the sport. I’d suspect those things help them develop such compelling products and are at least part of the reason why those 3 represent almost 80% of the top shooters. I couldn’t have said that about all the brands at the top of the list in the past, which is why that observation was noteworthy to me.

On this year’s survey, I asked the shooters if their stock or chassis was bedded, which was something I’d never asked before, but it seems to be a hot topic among the precision rifle crowd. (What does rifle bedding mean?) Here are the overall results:

Bedding Precision Rifle vs Not Bedding

67% of those nationally-ranked precision rifle shooters said their competition rifle was not bedded. I bet that surprises a few people! That’s another way precision rifles have evolved over the past few years. Back when we were all using traditional stocks, every rifle was bedded! But, with so many of these being chassis and advances in manufacturing precision of both actions and chassis/stocks, that doesn’t seem to be as critical as it once was.

If you’re interested in learning more about how these guys think about bedding, here are a couple of YouTube videos/podcasts where the guys who finished #1 and #2 overall give their thoughts on bedding, along with the owner of MPA, who is obviously an expert in this space and has also been a top 100 PRS competitor himself in the past.

Whether someone beds their chassis or stock or not could vary by manufacturer, so I’ll provide a breakdown of those numbers for each brand below.

Masterpiece Arms Chassis

MPA was the most popular brand represented overall, with 29% of the top 200 ranked PRS shooters. But they also represented a whopping 44% of the top 25, which is 20% more than the next brand within that group. The last time I published the What The Pros Use data was 2019, and MPA was the top choice then (see the data). So they hung on to their title!

Here is a look at the specific MPA chassis models this group of precision riflemen said they were running:

MPA Chassis Comparison
Best Long Range Rifle Chassis from MPA

The MPA Matrix Pro Chassis was by far the most popular at 68%. It is interesting that the two guys in the top 10 using an MPA chassis, #3 Morgun King and #8 Ken Sanoski, both said they used the MPA Matrix chassis and not the Matrix Pro. So I reached out to Ken to ask why he preferred the MPA Matrix chassis over the Matrix Pro, and he said the forend width on the Matrix Pro is a touch wide for his hands. He said he wished he could use it because the wider forend definitely provides more stability, but moving the rifle around during a stage is harder for him because of the width.

MPA released the 2nd generation of the MPA Matrix Pro in January 2024, called the MPA Matrix Pro-II Chassis. It isn’t a huge departure from the original, but it integrates new enhancements based on shooter feedback. Ken Sanoski said the Matrix Pro 2 chassis is the best of both worlds, so that will be what he plans to compete with once he gets it in. You can see the visual comparison below. Learn more about the differences in this YouTube video.

MPA Matrix Pro vs Matrix Pro II Comparison

Okay, now let’s look at how many shooters using an MPA chassis bedded their action:

Is Your MPA Chassis Bedded

You can see this mix based on bedding MPA chassis is more balanced. 26 of the 50 shooters using an MPA chassis did NOT bed their action, but 24 said they did. The guys who DID bed their chassis include both of the top 10 shooters. In fact, all of the guys in the top 20 who were using an MPA chassis said they had bedded their rifles. The first appearance of anyone in the rankings that did NOT bed their MPA chassis appeared at #21 and #22. That could be a coincidence, but it was interesting enough to point out.

The Need-To-Know About MPA Chassis

MPA Innovation Process

MPA says their chassis has been used to capture more wins at both 1 and 2-day matches than any other stock or chassis since the inception of the PRS – and the most AG Cup matches, too! I don’t have data to support or deny that claim, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t true. MPA has been a dominant force in this PRS world since they arrived on the scene around 2014. Several of the guys who work at MPA are very competitive PRS shooters, including the owner, Phil Cashin, who has been in the group of top-ranked shooters in past years. That means they get lots of input from top shooters, but perhaps more importantly, MPA has set a new standard in the firearm industry for rapid prototyping and quick, iterative release cycles. Put that together, and it’s a recipe for innovation!

One very unique thing about the MPA Matrix Pro is that it has more grip-related options than any other brand: 7 different grip sizes/shapes + 3 different thumb rest options + 4 trigger finger support options. How comfortable and repeatable your trigger hand/finger is can play a big factor in how repeatable your precision is from improvised positions – and, frankly, how much you enjoy using a certain chassis or stock. That’s why MPA has taken customizing a chassis to your hand and preference to the extreme!

The MPA chassis offers a ton of other killer features: They were the first to feature an integral arca rail and ushered in the use of arca clamps and connectors into the PRS – which are now on everything! You can add weights inside and outside the chassis to fine-tune the balance of your rifle. There are accessories to widen the forend.

The MPA Matrix Pro has a clever feature that no other chassis has: If you are on a stage and realize your rear bag isn’t tall enough to reach the butt of the rifle (and it’s happened to all of us), you push a button, and the chassis and the butt extends down a couple of inches so you can reach your bag. So clever! They refer to it as their “Quick Release Bag Rider.”

There are a ton of other accessories for MPA chassis, like dope card holders, attachments for chronographs/radars, brass catchers, two-round holders, and more.

Finally, the Matrix Pro has a very long forend at 16.2” long, which is 2” longer than the Matrix. You can extend it even further with a forend spigot or other rail accessories. I’ve noticed in PRS shooting that longer forends can be useful in a few ways. First, it allows you to put weights further out, which has a more significant impact on the balance of your rifle. A longer forend can also open up more options for getting stable on stages like tractor tires because it could be long enough that you can bridge across the opening in the middle with a bipod and rear bag for a more stable position than you’d be able to get to on one side. You can always bring your bipod closer, but you only have the option to make it further out if you have a longer forend.

Foundation Stocks

Foundation Stocks represented 26% of these top-ranked shooters, just 3% behind MPA! Foundation was the most popular stock or chassis brand among the top 10, with 4 out 10 shooters choosing a Foundation Stock: #4 Austin Orgain, #5 Austin Buschman, #6 Kyle Mccormack, and #9 Chris Kutalek. In fact, if you just look at the most popular stock or chassis among the top 50 shooters – Foundation Stocks had 15 shooters, MPA had 14, and MDT had 10. Among the top 100, Foundation had 26 shooters, and both MPA and MDT had 23.

A friend recently pointed out to me that before the 2023 season, the previous 6 years of PRS Season Champions were all using a Foundation Stock: Austin Bushman in 2022, Austin Orgain in both 2021 and 2020, and Clay Blackketter in 2019, and Matthew Brousseau in 2018 and 2017! That streak ended in 2023, but that was a crazy streak! While Foundation Stocks is one of the newest companies on this list, they’ve really gained traction among the precision rifle crowd over the past few years.

Here are the most popular Foundation Stocks used by these top competitive shooters:

Foundation Stock Model Comparison for PRS
Best Precision Rifle Stock from Foundation

The Foundation Centurion (MC1) represents 60% of these shooters, although there are a couple of more shooters in the top 10 who prefer the Foundation Genesis2 (MG2) model. There are a few differences, but the primary ones are the Centurion has a vertical grip that is very close to the trigger, and it has a bag hook on the butt, whereas the Genesis 2 has a more traditional competition grip at a slight angle, a generous palm swell, and has a straight taper instead of a butt hook.

You might think that because it’s a stock and not a chassis, many people would bed their rifles – but you’d be wrong! Here are the results for how many of these shooters are bedding their Foundation stock:

WOW! 84% of shooters DID NOT bed their Foundation Stock – including all 4 of the guys in the top 10! That’s what happens when you put a precision-machined action in a precision-machined stock that was cut specifically for that model action and bottom metal. No need to bed a Foundation! More on why that’s true below.

In fact, in an interview with two-time PRS champion Austin Orgain, I asked if he bedded his rifle, and his response was, “No. Well, I actually did bed one of my Foundation stocks, and I have another one that is not bedded. I wanted to see if it made a difference – and it didn’t. So I never bothered to bed the other one.” Orgain is at the pinnacle of this sport and is an extraordinarily detailed and competitive person. If he believed it made even a 1% improvement, he’d be doing it. But he doesn’t – so he was one of the guys in the top 10 using a “non-bedded” Foundation stock.

The Need-To-Know About Foundation Stocks

Foundation stocks are very unique because they are machined from a solid block of Micarta, which is a dense composite formed by combining layers of material and resin with intense heat and pressure. Micarta is the same tough material you might see used as the handle on a custom knife. The finish on most Foundation Stocks is reminiscent of traditional wood stocks, but the material is both stable and durable in extreme environments. The material is very homogenous and absent of any voids or air pockets commonly found in composite stocks.

Foundation Stocks Micarta

The exceedingly high compression strength of Micarta and Foundation’s precision manufacturing allows them to build a stock that is customized for a specific action and bottom metal that requires no bedding or pillars. And I’m not saying they cut a stock the same for all “Remington 700 Actions & Clones.” For example, they account for the faceted face of a Lone Peak Fuzion as well the outside diameter difference of a Borden (1.360”) vs. a Bergara (1.355”) vs. an Impact (1.350”). All of those have Rem 700 action footprints with very slight differences that Foundation accounts for. This provides a seating surface between the action and stock that is precise down to 0.005” or less, allowing significantly more surface area contact which was traditionally only found in bedded stocks. Foundation does say that an action must be within +/- 0.002” of their specified diameter for proper seating, which most custom actions hold without an issue.

I’m unaware of any other stock or chassis that has that same approach. All other stocks or chassis that don’t require bedding make contact with an action using a V block or some kind of radiused surface where only a small portion of the action is in contact and supported by the stock/chassis. This difference is why Foundation says no bedding or gunsmithing is required on their stocks – just screw in a barreled action and go!

One of the most common things you’ll hear people say about Foundation stocks is “how dead they feel.” Recently, I asked two-time PRS Champ Austin Orgain why he ran a Foundation Stock instead of a chassis, and here is what he said:

“I started out in the PRS with a rifle in a Manners stock. I like the feel of a more traditional stock. I did try some chassis. I tried some of the early Masterpiece Arms chassis. I tried an MDT chassis. I’ve tried an XLR chassis. I never liked the way the rifle felt through recoil. It felt like you were shooting a tuning fork to me. There was a lot of vibration and resonance in it. I did like the modularity of a chassis, but then the Foundation came out, and you still had some of the modularity with it by being able to add attachments using that Anschutz rail. The Foundation stocks are made out of a material called micarta, which has a super, super dead feel to it. So you get virtually no vibration when you shoot the rifle. It just has dead recoil, and it’s solid. You don’t get that kind of tuning fork effect out of it like I felt like I would experience in the chassis that I ran.” – Austin Orgain, PRS Champ in 2020 & 2021, #4 in 2023 PRS Open Season Rankings

While the Foundation Stock looks similar to a traditional wood stock, it’s still very extensible. You can add many accessories like a short or full-length arca rail. Foundation stocks feature a full-length Anshutz rail that is recessed into the forend, and it seems that most shooters mount an arca rail to that and then can connect bipods, tripods, plate bags, barricade stops, or other accessories directly to that like you could on a chassis.

Foundation Stock Anschutz Rail

You can also add weights to the forend of a Foundation stock to fine-tune the balance of the rifle or simply add extra weight.

Foundation Stock Brass Weights

At SHOT Show 2024, Foundation Stocks announced their new Samson model, which is clearly targeted at PRS shooters. The Foundation Samson stock is even more tuneable for weight. The trend in the PRS is towards heavier and heavier rifles, with 89% of these top 200 ranked PRS shooters running rifles with an overall weight between 20 and 26 lbs. The new Foundation Samson Stock can be configured to weigh from 8.5 to 11.9 lbs! They joked that you need the strength of Samson to be able to carry it, and the name stuck. 😉

Foundation Samson Stock for PRS

If you want to learn more about the new Foundation Samson stock, check out this video.

A couple of months ago, I published interviews with pro shooters and past PRS Season Champions Austin Orgain and Austin Buschman, where they go into more detail on how they set up their Foundation stock and why they choose to run it – along with exhaustive details about their entire rifle setup:

MDT Chassis

Andy Slade Wins 2023 AG Cup

MDT is the 3rd juggernaut with really big numbers on this list, representing 25% of the PRS top-ranked shooters. MDT was just 1 shooter behind Foundation and 6 behind MPA – so it was very close! The #2 shooter overall, Andy Slade, was using an MDT ACC Elite Chassis. Andy also won $30,000 at the 2023 AG Cup back in December 2023 using his MDT chassis, which is the biggest payout match of the year and always attracts the best of the best (read more about that).

Here are the two MDT Competition Chassis that these top-ranked PRS shooters were using:

MDT Chassis Comparison
Best MDT Chassis Comparison

91% were using MDT’s flagship competition chassis, the MDT ACC Elite Chassis and 9% were using the MDT ACC Premier Chassis. Both chassis feature a lot of options.

So how many running an MDT chassis decided to bed their rifle?

Is Your MDT Chassis Bedded - What The Pros Use

66% of the top-ranked PRS shooters did NOT bed their MDT chassis. That includes Andy Slade, who got 2nd overall, along with 2 more shooters in the top 25. Here is a link to a podcast/video where Andy shares his view on bedding his MDT rifles: #2 Andy Slade on The Winner’s Circle Season 1, Episode 13 @ 43 min

The Need-To-Know About MDT Chassis

I talked about MPA’s innovation, but MDT is now right there with them. MDT has been expanding into the PRS world more aggressively than any other company – with their chassis and many other products, like the MDT CkyePod bipod, MDT magazines, MDT Send iT electronic level, etc. The last time I did my What The Pros Use survey was at the end of the 2018 season, and only 2% of shooters were using an MDT chassis. Two years before that, none of the top shooters were using MDT! Today, they are very close to a three-way tie for 1st! That is impressive!

One of the great things about both MDT chassis is they have a very long forend compared to most other brands, which can open up more options for getting stable on stages like tractor tires because it’s long enough that you can bridge over the opening in the middle for a more stable position than you’d be able to get to one side. The MDT Premier is 18 inches long forward of the magwell, and the MDT Elite forend is 19 inches long (shown below). That is almost 3” longer than the forend on the MPA Matrix Pro, which seems significant.

MDT ACC Elite Chassis Forend Length
MDT Rubber Dampeners

One of the most compelling factors about the MDT chassis is the crazy number of accessories you can use to customize the chassis not just to fit you but to cater to your personal shooting style. I can’t possibly list them all, but they have the common things like weight kits to fine-tune the balance of your rifle – but then they have unique things like rubber dampeners that pop into the voids in the buttstock and act similar to vibration dampeners on a bow. Earlier, I shared how Austin Orgain hated the way a chassis rifle felt through recoil: “It felt like you were shooting a tuning fork to me. There was a lot of vibration and resonance in it.” Well, that is what MDT is attempting to mitigate with these rubber dampeners.

Keith Baker is one of the most experienced shooters in the PRS, with more lifetime PRS points than any other shooter! (See the PRS lifetime rankings.) MDT teamed up with Keith to create something they call MDT Baker Wings, which looks pretty useful and innovative. It’s easier to watch 30 seconds of the video below than try to explain it with words or photos:

There are a ton of other MDT accessories to customize your rifle, like different grips, bag riders, and thumbrests – and MDT adds more all the time. Their grips are also compatible with any AR-15 style grip, which opens up options from countless other manufacturers.

XLR Chassis

XLR was the 4th most popular chassis or stock among these top competitors, representing 9% total – but that included two of the top 10 shooters: #1 Kahl Harmon and #7 Jeff Guerry! So it’s clearly as capable in terms of performance as any other product. XLR has also been on the list of brands for the What The Pros Use since I first published that data after the 2012 PRS Season (view 2012 data).

Below is a photo of 2023 PRS Season Champion Kahl Harmon in action with his XLR chassis! Kahl is a member of the US Army Marksmanship Unit. (Learn more about Kahl and his rifle.)

Kahl Harmon with XLR Envy Pro Rifle Chassis

Of the 15 shooters who said they use an XLR chassis, all of them said they were using the XLR Envy Pro chassis – except for one shooter ranked 190th who said, “It’s just the XLR buttstock.” Here’s a look at the XLR Envy Pro chassis:

XLR Envy Pro Chassis

The XLR Envy Pro Chassis has many of the same features as other chassis designed for competitions, and they even bundle many of the accessories conveniently in a PRS Competition Kit.

PRS Competition Accessory Kit for Chassis

Of the 15 shooters, 5 said they DO bed their chassis, including both Kahl Harmon and Jeff Guerry in the top 10. Here is a link to a podcast where Kahl shares his thoughts on why he beds his XLR chassis: #1 Kahl Harmon on The Winner’s Circle Season 1, Episode 26 @ 41 min.

Manners Stocks

7% of the top 200 ranked shooters in the PRS were using a Manners Stock. However, no shooters in the top 25 were using it, and there were only 2 in the top 50.

Manners is the longest-running stock manufacturer on this list. I remember listing them as one of the stocks used by the top PRS shooters after the PRS’s inaugural year in 2012. That was the first time we collected and published the What The Pros Use data (view 2012 data). Precision rifle shooting has evolved dramatically since 2012, but Manners has continued to adapt and evolve with it – unlike McMillan and most other traditional stock manufacturers. The first Manners stocks were made for rifle competitions, so it’s no surprise they’re still being used by serious competitors.

All 12 of the shooters who said they were using a Manners Stock said they were specifically using the Manners PRS-TCS model stock, which stands for “Tunable Competition Stock.”

Manners PRS-TCS Stock (Tunable Competition Stock)

Manners says their PRS-TCS stock “was designed from the ground up with the ultimate goal of creating a fully weight-tunable stock to achieve the perfect balanced competition rifle. The PRS-TCS comes standard with many out-of-the-box options not found on other stocks.” Those features include a weight-tunable arca rail system where you can add up to 2.1 lbs to the front of the rifle and an adjustable butt plate that is also weight-tunable by adding up to 1.6 lbs to the very rear of the rifle.

9 of the 12 shooters using a Manners Stock said their rifle was NOT bedded, meaning only 3 shooters did bed their Manners stock. That might sound funny for a more traditional composite stock, but the Manners PRS-TCS stock comes standard with their MCS-DBM Mini Chassis. That is a V-block chassis inside the stock that allows you to simply screw in a barreled action like you would in a chassis.

Manners Mini Chassis

KRG Chassis

Only 2% of the top shooters surveyed were using a KRG chassis, but that included Nick Gadarzi, who finished 10th in the 2023 Open Season Rankings. So, despite its lower popularity, it’s still clearly capable of performing at the highest levels.

KRG is the last brand that has also been around since my first installment of “What The Pros Use” after the 2012 PRS Season (view 2012 data), and they’ve adapted and innovated along the way.

All four of the shooters said they were using the KRG C-4 Chassis, which was released in 2022.

KRG C4 Chassis C-4 Precision Rifle Chassis

The KRG C-4 chassis features many adjustments for the fit and function of the buttstock (all toolless), plus the chassis has adjustments to fine-tune the height and tension for your magazine. Being able to fine-tune the height and tension of your magazine can be a big deal in the PRS and can help your rifle to feed reliably, even with some tension on the magazine from a shooting bag or prop. The KRG C-4 chassis also features a longer, 16.75” forend – which can make it easier to add weights to balance the rifle, but also give you more options for how to get stable on some stages (like tractor tires).

The KRG C4 Chassis also features a unique barrel shroud that you can customize to the clearance you need for your optics (with or without a sunshade). KRG offers a number of accessories for this chassis, like weights, and they give you a few options for grips and cheekpieces.

3 of the 4 KRG chassis represented among these shooters were bedded – including Nick Gadarzi’s at #10.

Other Rifle Stocks/Chassis with 1 Shooter Among Top 200

The 6 brands of precision rifle stocks and chassis that I covered above represent 97% of the 200 top-ranked PRS shooters. However, there were a few additional brands represented – although they only had 1 shooter each.

Comparison To Data for All PRS Members

On the PRS website, each member has an opportunity to specify their favorite gear on their profile. It is optional, but around 43% of the 3,700 PRS profiles had something specified under “Stock” back in July 2023 when the PRS Director, Ken Wheeler, shared the data with me. I thought it’d be interesting to see what the masses were using compared to what these shooters at the very top were using. I also wanted to see this because it represents over 1,500 shooters, which is a huge sample size.

Disclaimer: I want to preface this with something Ken and I talked about. We know many shooters don’t keep this stuff updated. They may initially enter everything when they first sign up, but 2-3 years later, they may be running different gear, and they never updated their profile. Active members have the ability to update their “favorite gear” list at any time, but we know some of that data is likely stale and should be taken with a grain of salt. With that said, here is it:

Best PRS Stock

What is very interesting to me is that the top 3 for the pros are also the top 3 across all PRS member profiles, and the top 6 were still the top 6. Those 6 brands represented 97% of the top 200 ranked shooters in the PRS, and those same 6 brands represented 95% of all PRS member profiles! While the market share for any one brand or exact order can vary among the different groups, I’m surprised by how closely they align overall.

Coming Up!

If you enjoyed this content, there is more to come! Over the next few months, I’ll be publishing a ton of data on what the top precision rifle shooters are using.

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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.

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  1. This is yet another great contribution to the LR community. As an older shooter who’s not going to be winning any trophies, I’ve been thinking about the Bergara Premier Pro in 6.5 CM. I think the MPA chassis that it comes in is the lower end of the line. I would love to hear your thoughts about the choice and of course the thoughts of the community. I’m trying to modernize but be realistic about not really needing a full on custom build.

    • Hey, Ted. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the encouragement, and knowing that you enjoyed the content. I sure enjoy learning and talking about this stuff. I can get pretty excited about it! 😉

      I actually hadn’t seen that Bergara rifle in the MPA chassis before you mentioned it, but I do think Bergara makes an outstanding rifle for the money. A close friend of mine bought a Bergara HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor and I took him to the range to help him get it all setup and true his ballistics out to 1000 yards. He was using factory Hornady Match ammo, and printed a 3-shot group that was around 4″ at 1000 yards. I was shocked! My buddy asked, “Is that good?” Ha! Now, I know some of that was just luck or small sample size. I’d bet $100 if we went and did it again, the group would be bigger … but even double or triple that size is still awesome at 1000 yards! Obviously that rifle was capable. Maybe it was a lucky draw from the factory, but it was impressive.

      Ted, that MPA BA Competition chassis is an older design (from around 2014/2015) – but it’s the same EXACT chassis that I’m still using right now in PRS matches. I still have two identical match rifles that are both in MPA BA Competition chassis (my original article on those twin rifles, although they are now chambered in 6 Dasher). Mine are even that same color as the Bergara has! I love those chassis. And I’m not the only one still using it. I think Dave Preston (a past PRS Champion and still a top 25 competitor) has his match rifle in a MPA BA Competition chassis. You still see a lot of them at matches. I’ve gotten behind the MPA Matrix Pro and I didn’t love the grip and feel as much as my BA Comp. It’s not a money thing either. If I liked the Matrix Pro or another chassis even just 3% better than the BA Comp, I’d buy it. I shoot my rifles all the time, and I also like trying new products – but I am just so happy with the chassis. Now, MPA has released the EVG grip on the Matrix Pro that should feel just like the grip on my BA Comp, so I am about to try the Matrix Pro-II. I actually think I’m about to try the Matrix Pro II, a Foundation Centurion, and a MDT ACC Elite and then write up a head-to-head comparison of all 3. I haven’t fully committed to that yet, but I am thinking about it.

      All that to say that I don’t think you’re giving up a thing with that BA Competition chassis. I literally competed in a national-level match with mine 2 weeks ago, and I’m going to another one with them next month. If I do switch, I’d wait until the summer when I had a couple of months without big matches so I could get used to shooting it before it went to the big show.

      Now, one thing I’d suggest you might also consider is MPA’s offering of a very similar rifle … but it could be a little more of a value than the Bergara. They have a production rifle called the MPA BA PMR Pro Rifle II that looks to be the same exact price, and I’d bet it might have a better barrel and action than that Bergara. It’s the same exact chassis. The MPA rifle comes with a 1/2 MOA gauarantee, which also would make me feel warm and fuzzy. You can know for certain it’s going to shoot great or they’ll make it right. I’m not sure if Bergara comes with any such gaurantee, but I’d be surprised if it was 1/2 MOA if they did.

      I’m not sure any other manufacturer could compete with the value MPA or Bergara could offer for that particular rifle, because both of those guys make their own barrels in-house, which helps keep the cost down. Bergara does way more production than MPA, which helps Bergara get to a lower cost … but MPA makes that chassis in-house, which is probably how they can get down to the same price. So if it were me, I’d probably lean towards the MPA rifle, which would also give you more options in terms of calibers and cartridges to shoot. The 6.5 Creedmoor might still be the right choice (and I’d bet it is), but that’s just something worth mentioning too. So it definitely seems like you’re on the right track. I don’t think you’d regret buying from either, but I bet you might be slightly more happy with the MPA long-term.


  2. Cal

    Thanks for your super detailed and thoughtful reply! I will definitely look at the MPA rifle.

    As far as 6.5 CM I am headed that direction now because of commercial cartridge availability. My home does not work for hand loading which I did when I was younger. I know there are other cartridges that people are liking a lot and winning with now. Would love to hear your thoughts on which you would recommend keeping in mind my need to by COTS.

    Thank you again for the labor of love that the PRB obviously is. I’m pretty sure I speak for the entire community when I say that.

    Much respect

    • Hey, Ted. There are plenty of people competing with the 6.5 Creedmoor. And I honestly almost never recommend someone get into reloading unless you are hardcore into this sport. Match grade factory ammo is so good these days that you’d have to drop $3,000-4,000 on reloading equipment to top it – and that is before buying any brass, powder, or bullets!

      I’d go either 6.5 Creedmoor or 6mm Creedmoor. Either are great options. I honestly shot 6mm Creedmoor for about 5 years up until early last year and I switched over to a 6 Dasher. I did it so that I could shoot factory ammo for practice and not have to load my practice ammo. It definitely helped me practice more than I would have otherwise. I even shot a couple of local club matches with Berger factory 6 Creedmoor ammo, and I don’t think I missed a single shot because of the ammo. Berger ammo is amazing!

      The 6mm Creedmoor has a little better ballistics and less recoil, but the barrel life is only around 1200 rounds of accurate barrel life. The 6.5 Creedmoor has a little more recoil but it carries more energy which makes it easier to spot your impacts and make corrections, and the accurate barrel life of a 6.5 CM is typically around twice what a 6 CM is. I find myself recommending 6.5 Creedmoor to more of my friends than anything, but it’s usually because they also want to hunt with the rifle. If you are only going to be using it for plinking or shooting matches, I’d lean towards the 6mm Creedmoor. If you couldn’t swing buying a new barrel for $800-1000 every 1200 rounds or you’re ever going to use it hunting, then I’d lean towards the 6.5 Creedmoor.

      You can rest in knowing that neither is the wrong choice! Either way, I’d suggest laying in a big supply of that Berger ammo once you buy the rifle. Don’t buy a few boxes at a time. Having a bunch of ammo that is all the same lot is the only way to have confidence in factory ammo. Every time you switch lots you need to start all over in terms of truing your ballistics to match your actual impacts in the field.

      Best of luck to you!

  3. One thing I would like to see is a test of the True Velocity “plastic ammo” that is out. I got a few boxes and shot it and it was OK…..this of course was no kind of rigous scientific test. Also I am extreamly jealous of your new range…..I suppose I do have the ability to test in weather extremes…..looking on bright side!…..once again I thank you for all your work…..I shall donate a few buckskins……

    • Thanks, Pierre. That would be interesting. I saw that stuff at SHOT Show in 2022, but I’ve still yet to see any of it in person. I wasn’t sure if it was actually on the market yet or not. I just did a quick Google and it looks like they plan to release it in 6.5 Creedmoor, but I don’t see anywhere you could buy a box of it right now. Is it available?

      I initially heard rumors of some big contract with the military, so I wasn’t sure how much time they’d put into developing product to sell to civilians. I also heard a couple of the top shooters might be sponsored by them or something, but I never asked those guys directly. I figured we’d see those guys start using it at some point if there was any truth to it, and I don’t think we have. I can say for sure none of these top 200 shooters listed “True Velocity” as their brass! 😉

      That is one of those things that could be a fad or at least a niche product that doesn’t apply to this – or it could become the new way we are all doing it 5 years from now. Who knows. I’d love to get my hands on some and try it for myself! I appreciate the suggestion!



  4. Are still doing product reviews/comparisons/testing, such as FFP riflescopes?

    • I plan to publish a What The Pros Use article sometime in the near future on the optics that these top 200 ranked shooters were using, but I don’t have any additional reviews or tests plans at this point related to scopes.


  5. Cal,
    Love the content!! I believe Matt Brousseau won with a Foundation in 2017 and 2018 as well. Thanks Cal!

    • Thanks, Ryan. I think you are right! I actually have the What The Pros Use data for the 2018 season, and went back and looked … and sure enough he was! I’ll update the article to include that. That’s even more nuts, isn’t it?!


  6. Its quite impressive how foundation stocks persist even with a relatively conservative design, as you can imagine chassis outsell them many times over and i can only speculate how many ‘sponsored’ chassis vs stocks in top 10 and top 25. Besides companies like MPA offer of the shelf semi-custom rifles while MDT is used in one form or another by most of the big bolt action manufacturers

    • I agree, Mr. T! That’s very observant. It doesn’t have some of the niche accessories some chassis has, but it does have all the must-have options. It’s simpler, which some guys prefer and everyone talks about how the recoil feels different. Here’s what Austin Buschman (2022 PRS Champ & World Champ) told me about it: “I like the way it looks and feels, and I like the simplicity of it. I don’t want to attach a bunch of stuff to a chassis. This stock has everything I want and nothing else. I like the density of the material and how its homogeneous (i.e., uniform structure and composition throughout). The balance is just about perfect for the barrel contour I run. I don’t know of a single thing I’d add to it or take away from it. It’s exactly what I want in a rifle stock.”

      Sounds like he doesn’t feel like he’s missing anything, even though it is a more conservative design.

      Thanks for the comments. Very astute!


  7. I notice that no one is using any McMillan stocks, is there a reason for this?

    • Hey, Jay. There used to be a TON of guys running McMillans, but these top shooters have really started to value a stock/chassis that you can add weight to and tune the balance point. We’ve learned that the balance point of the rifle is critical to getting hits consistently off barricades, and helps the rifle recoil come more straight back so you can spot your shots more easily. Having a full length rail under the forend is also a must-have feature that every single one of the stocks and chassis on this list have … but McMillans don’t.

      McMillan simply never adapted to that trend like Foundation and Manners stocks both did, so they got left behind in the PRS.

      Nothing against McMillan. I still own one, and have some nostalgia about them. I just wouldn’t ever run it in a PRS match over any of these.