Rifle chassis systems are a great addition for a tactical rifle shooter. No two shooters are exactly alike and a chassis system allows a shooter to easily fit the rifle to their body. A rifle that fits better is more comfortable to shoot. Chassis systems are not without their drawbacks. Most add a good deal of weight to the rifle. This is what first attracted me to the XLR Industries Carbon Chassis.
The XLR Carbon Chassis builds on the design of the XLR Evolution Chassis we reviewed several years ago. The most notable change is the addition of a carbon fiber hand guard replacing the Evolution’s aluminum piece. The carbon hand guard has an octagonal cross-section and is lined with cooling vents. The vents serve a dual purpose. They allow air to circulate around the barrel, but also act as mounting points for picatinny rail sections. Rail sections can be mounted on any of the eight flats around the hand guard tube. The tube has a single sling swivel at the six o’clock position to allow for mounting a Harris type bipod or sling. The stud can be replaced with a picatinny rail if you would rather use a Atlas type QD bipod.
The hand guard is capped on both ends with aluminum fittings. The cooling holes are radiused and no sharp edges are evident. The hand guard is attached to the receiver block with a screw and lug arrangement. This arrangement allows for a strong joint, but still allows the hand guard to be removed without disturbing the receiver. You can remove the tube for maintenance or configuration changes without loosing the rifle’s zero. XLR offers both 12″ and 15.5″ configurations. The 12″ tube felt perfect with our 20″ barrel.
The receiver block is available inleted for Remington 700 short and long actions as well as Savage short actions. The sides of the receiver feature deep lightening cuts. Not only does this remove a considerable amount of weight, it adds a very attractive look.
The XLR Carbon Chassis accepts AICS magazines. Five round magazines seem perfect for the lightweight nature of the system, but ten round magazines will fit without extending below the pistol grip. The magazine release is familiar to most AICS type systems and extends just far enough to be easily disengaged.
XLR didn’t skimp on pistol grips. Just as on the Evolution chassis the Carbon comes with the Ergo Tactical Deluxe grip. This grip has ample palm swells aiding the shooter in getting a consistent hand position. The over molded rubber has a grippy, pebbled texture.
The most functional aspect of the XLR Carbon chassis is the fully adjustable buttstock. Our chassis came equipped with the XLR Tactical buttstock. The Tactical Buttstock option is designed to be ambidextrous and snag free. It has a sweeping bottom with a cutout that makes for a great support hand hold. The comb is height adjustable and comfortable from the left or right side. The entire stock assembly can be canted to one side or the other. I don’t generally recommend doing this if the stock will be shot from the left and right alternately. The buttpad is a comfortable rubber that absorbs recoil nicely. The buttpad height can be adjusted by two screws hidden underneath the pad. The Tactical stock is already drilled and tapped for an optional picatinny rail if you choose to use a monopod with the chassis. A folding hinge option is available.
If none of the XLR buttstock assemblies suit your fancy, the XLR Carbon Chassis will accept standard AR15 buttstocks. Since there is no lower recess in the back of the receiver block, stocks like the A2 or Magpul PRS will not fit without extensive modification. Most adjustable type stocks will fit, but the comb height must be taken into account. A comb riser will definitely be required for most AR type adjustable stocks.
Overall the fit and finish of the XLR Carbon Chassis is excellent. There was a considerable amount of care that went into the design. It would make a great addition for a shooter who wants a light weight, handy rifle that can be adjusted to fit their individual shape.
Weight: 3lbs 12oz (12″ Handguard, no rails)
Total Rifle Weight as Tested: 11lbs 13oz (including optics, bipod and rails)