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Tikka T3 Stock Options: The MDT TAC21 Chassis

Posted on July 27, 2014

If you haven’t learned by now, most of us here at Sin City Precision are big fans of the use of a chassis for our stocks. I was particularly interested in Modular Driven Technology’s TAC21 chassis ever since it was released, but never got around to picking one up until recently. I’m not sure what I was waiting for exactly, but I wish I had come around a little sooner! Installation of the chassis may seem a little daunting at first, but once you begin it’s all fairly self explanatory. In case you do get confused, they also provide a step-by-step instruction manual to guide you through it, as well as YouTube videos.  All of the pieces go together extremely well with no slop whatsoever. It feels like everything is one rigid piece.

In the wild

In the wild

The TAC21 chassis certainly lives up to the first word of the company’s name. Modular. You can accessorize this stock just about as much as any AR-15. Grab your favorite AR-15 buttstock and grip to complete the rifle. Or, you can purchase MDT’s new skeletonized buttstock that was specially designed for the TAC21 and LSS. A 20 MOA continuous rail along the top provides plenty of space to mount your optic wherever suits you best, along with any other add-ons you might have. Even with the long Premier Heritage 5-25, I still had enough space to throw some night vision in front of it. Holes to mount additional pieces of picatinny rail line the sides and bottom of the handguard, enabling the use of the Atlas bipod and whatever internet gadget you can find. There are also screw holes to mount a piece of rail on the left side, closer to the center of the stock. This can be useful to those of you running any sort of laser designator in conjunction with your night vision. Having it mounted closer to the center keeps it from becoming even more front-heavy with the night vision already being there, as well as being much easier to reach and manipulate.


Prep For Night Ops

One minor gripe that I do have about the stock pertains only to the Tikka model. To remove the bolt stop retaining pin, you have to remove the trigger guard/magazine well piece and tap/bang the stock to remove the pin by inertia. When we first tried removing it from the stock, it took us way too long. I was about to resort to more drastic measures when it finally came out. Upon further inspection, it appeared that my bolt stop pin had a slight bend to it, making it exponentially more difficult to remove. I tried removing it again with a straight pin and it came out with no trouble. I would like to see some way to remove it by grabbing it with something, but it certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me. For those of you shooting Tikkas, MDT utilizes a steel recoil lug that drops in to secure the action, so there is no need to worry about recoil deforming the aluminum lug that’s found in the plastic factory stocks from Tikka. I particularly like the way the stock was designed in that it drops the bore directly in line with the buttstock. This forces the recoil to come straight back into the shooter’s shoulder and can help with the shooter spotting their own shot, especially if a muzzle brake isn’t being utilized. A lot of it comes down to the proper technique as always, but it’s nice to have all the help we can get. The magazine well provides some protection to the magazine, so those of you that like to load against barricades can do so without worrying about jamming the mag. The tolerances with an Accuracy International 10-round magazine are perfect for my tastes, not too tight that it restricts a fully loaded magazine from seating and dropping free, and not too loose that it rattles around incessantly.

Muzzle blast (2)

Muzzle Flash

The forend also proved to be quite handy in other ways than providing mounting options. I often found myself jamming it through thick bushes and sticks during the Desert Tech Powder Keg match held up at their Training Facility. I could do so with confidence since the barrel was completely protected by the forend encompassing it, keeping the barrel from coming in contact with anything that may slightly alter the harmonics. When loading against a barricade I also like to get as much surface area as I can in contact with it by sliding it into a corner if possible. Again, the forend proves useful in that area. Those of you with fat barrel contours don’t need to worry about if it will clear the stock. The TAC21 chassis will accept barrels as wide as the action, and still have some room to breathe. One of my favorite things about this stock is the end cap assembly that the butt stock attaches to. Fixed or adjustable AR stocks can be installed to it and the way that it’s designed provides a quick and easy detach/attach option. I can remove the entire buttstock and throw it in my pack along with the rest of the rifle, drastically reducing the overall length that protrudes from the top of my pack (I’m not running an Eberlestock pack). A previously unseen benefit of the endcap is that it retains your bolt from completely exiting the action if your bolt stop fails (in the Tikka model anyway, I can’t speak for the other inlets). This happened to me during the 2014 Rifleman’s Round Up competition held in Wyoming. The bolt stop retaining pin had sheared (I run my bolt extremely hard) so the bolt stop had fallen out entirely with nothing holding it in. I only noticed during lunch time halfway through the first day as I was setting my rifle down. I had been shooting most of that morning without a bolt stop and didn’t even notice! The endcap effectively stopped the bolt and I didn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the match. Obviously that’s not what it was designed for and I got a new bolt stop pin installed as soon as possible.

TAC21 5 round group

The V-Shape Bedding Block Works!

Inlets for the TAC21 stock include Tikka, Remington and Savage. Right and left handed options are available as well as short and long action. The stock can be ordered in either a black, or flat dark earth finish and retails for $689.99. I have shot somewhere around 1500 rounds and numerous matches on this stock to date and I look forward to using it in many matches and weekend outings to come.

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