I have been a fan of the Whiskey 3 Chassis from Kinetic Research Group since I was given the opportunity to try the first generation. I used a Gen 3 Whiskey 3 Chassis on my 2014 Precision Rifle Series competition rifle. The Whiskey 3 is an excellent chassis, but the reality is that not every one is in the financial position to be able to afford one.
What if you could reap most of the benefits of the Whiskey 3 Chassis, but at a fraction of the price? This is exactly what KRG delivers with the X-Ray Chassis.The KRG X-Ray Chassis uses the same aluminum “backbone” as the Whiskey 3. However, instead of the finely machined aluminum buttstock and forend, the X-Ray utilizes lightweight, but strong polymer material. The buttstock is extremely rigid and there was no detectable “flex” while shooting.
The X-Ray Chassis is adjustable for length of pull with a spacer system. You can dial in the length of pull between 12.7-15″ with the included spacers. However more length of pull could be added by just adding more spacers. The height of the buttpad can be adjusted before applying the spacers. This gives you a very wide range of adjustment to fit almost any body type. A “bag rider” attachment comes installed on the bottom of the butt, but can be swapped out for one of the included Magpul MOE rail sections.
The X-Ray Chassis utilizes the same adjustable cheek piece as the Whiskey 3 Chassis. The 1″ adjustment range will accommodate a wide range of scope mounting systems. The cheek piece can also be rotated 180* to give the shooter a different contour to better match the structure of their face.
The comb height is adjusted using a thumbscrew on the right side of the stock. This screw cannot be switched to the left side without altering the stock. We did get in some support side shooting and did not find the thumbscrew to cause any problems. If you routinely shoot from the support side and it is a concern, it would be a simple matter to replace the thumbscrew with a standard screw that does not stand proud of the stock.
The forend of the X-Ray chassis is similar to the Whiskey 3 with two notable exceptions. The first being that the X-Ray forend is composed of the same polymer as the grip and buttstock. The second is that the X-Ray forend is slimmer than the W3C. The X-Ray forend still offers a huge number of mounting holes. It accepts the same accessories as the W3C. On our test rig, we attached a polymer Magpul MOE rail and a B&T Industries Atlas PSR bipod.
Since polymer threads and steel screws would not last long, the X-Ray forend does require removal from the “backbone” to install backing nuts for the accessories. This is not an operation that is likely to be performed in the field, and in our opinion it isn’t really a drawback. Changing out accessories does not affect the mating of the action to the backbone and does not seem to alter the weapon’s “zero” in any fashion.
The X-Ray utilizes the same V-Block mounting system as the W3C. In our Remington 700 version, the recoil lug recess accepted the oversized 0.30″ PTG recoil lug with room to spare. The inlet around the trigger was large enough that even the Timney 510/517 trigger fit without modification. The action dropped in and torqued down to 65 in/lbs without any problem. Accuracy was on-par with what the action and barrel were capable of and survived a great amount of punishment without any perceived zero shift.
We did encounter one small issue that may be caused by the end-user. When shooting from barricades I would occasionally dislodge the magazine. I was unable to duplicated this in the shop no matter how hard I banged the rifle around. Since this issue only manifested itself in the cold-weather portion of our testing, I believe my gloved knuckles may have been hitting the magazine release under recoil. If the issue persists I would just switch to the magazine release lever found on the W3C.
The biggest benefit of the X-Ray is that it retains the same ergonomics as the W3C I have grown to love. The grip section and thumb rests feel exactly the same. It doesn’t matter if I grab my .308 with the X-Ray Chassis or the .260 with the W3C. They both operate in exactly the same manner with the same feel.
The MSRP on the Remington 700 S/A version of the X-Ray Chassis is $590. This is an incredible deal compared to the $939 list price for the Whiskey 3 Chassis. This is a great option for the shooter who just can’t afford a W3C or for those who use the W3C on their main rifle and want to setup a “limited” or “practice” rifle for a lower cost.
At this time, the X-Ray is available for the Remington 700 Short and Long Actions and the Tikka T3.
The X-Ray is not just a “cheap” version of the W3C. The X-Ray is almost a pound and a half lighter than the fixed stock version of the W3C. This is exactly the reason we chose the X-Ray Chassis for our .308 to compete in the “Extreme Tough Man” Division of the Mammoth Sniper Challenge. Ounces matter when you are living out of a pack for three days and making timed hikes between stages.
The X-Ray performed very well at the match even after taking a hard spill on the first hike. While sheathed in my Eberlestock Gunslinger II, I fell down the side of an extremely steep berm and landed squarely on my butt. This drove the barrel of the rifle hard into the ground. While the barrel was protected by the scabbard on the Gunslinger, the action took a couple hundred pounds of force jarring it in the chassis. The rifle still performed just as I expected on the first shooting stage. That is the difference between “range gear” and “field gear”. The X-Ray proves it is capable in the field.