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Which Rifle in a MDT XRS Chassis

  • Bergara/Remington 700 action

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Howa 1500

    Votes: 4 18.2%
  • Ruger American

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Savage 110

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Tikka T3x

    Votes: 9 40.9%
  • Weatherby Vanguard

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • CZ 527 (future)

    Votes: 1 4.5%

  • Total voters


Jul 29, 2020
MDT keeps coming out with more options for their XRS chassis for a variety of rifle brands. I’d like one for a .223 bolt action rifle to use for medium range (300-800 yards) target shooting & marksmanship in PRS & benchrest practice. I value accuracy & a smooth bolt action, and am considering a heavy varmint barrel. Please let me know which rifle you’d choose, and why.

To be honest, I’d rather have a rifle chambered in 6mm ARC rather than .223/5.56 as I think it would give more long-range options with similar advantages, but I think that may be a few years away.
Tikka and bergara shoot well out of the box I saw a 6mm bergara here in classified for 750.00 with jewell trigger 650.00 with bergara factory trigger thats a nice rifle the money.
Tikka is going to be the best out of your listed options. I would follow that up with the howa then the bergara.
Tikka. The 24" T3X Varmint in its horrid factory rubber stock is selling (when you can find one) for ~$950. You'll want a picatinny rail; MDT's is excellent at $70. A replacement of the T3x's teeny little nub of a bolt handle is also nice. Happily, the XRS already has an ARCA rail.

Anyway. Here's a photo of my T3X Varmint in MDT LSS-XL chassis and skeleton buttstock with MDT 20MOA rail, MDT ARCA rail, and Anarchy Outdoors bolt handle, fed by 10-round MDT polymer magazine. It ran as slick as any of my customs.

Only downside to the XRS / T3X Varmint rig is the barrel is not threaded. Of course, a brake is not really needed for a .223, and any competent smith can thread if desired - but the cost is a significant percentage of the cost of the rife.

When I made the move from factory rifles to customs, both of my Tikkas sold in a day. They were admirably accurate with factory ammo or handloads. Full disclosure: I had light-strike issues with attendant failures to fire in the .223 Varmint with handloads primed with CCI 450 magnum SRPs. I never had a problem with factory ammo or handloads primed with the thinner, softer CCI 400 primers. The problem turned out to be the firing pin had an almost flat tip; once it was radiused to have a normal rounded profile, I had no more problems with the CCI 450s.
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Tikka T3x Varmint gets my vote. This is my rifle, it's a Tikka T3x Varmint in 223. Bought the barreled action here on the EE, previous owner had the barrel threaded. It's in an MDT ACC chassis, Leupold scope rail (from previous owner), Vortex PST Gen2 5-25x scope, Atlas Bipod, and MDT 10 round magazine. This thing shoots like a laser, highly recomended.

Would like to swap out my bolt handle for something bigger though.
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Reactions: 300rem7
I voted 700 due to the trigger options. Love Tikkas and own 2, but the triggers aren't TT's / Jewell's, etc.
I would go with a Criterion pre-fit 1:7" twist barrel in a Remington action. I'm guessing you are cost-conscious. I don't think you will get a fast enough twist in a factory barrel to run the heavier bullets (75-80 grain) you will want to reach out to 800 yards. I love my Criterion in .223.
FYI Bergara doesn't make a bolt in 223. They don't even offer that bolt face in any caliber.
T3X Varmint, only bad thing about it is doesn't come threaded.