SABER®- FORSST® MRCS: The Anatomy of a True Modular Rifle Chassis System (MRCS)
More than 10 years ago Ashbury set about the development of a modular rifle chassis to enhance the functionality of production and custom bolt action rifles for recreational, tactical, competition and target shooting. Inspiration for the truly modular SABER®-FORSST® platform came from a number of likely and unlikely sources.
Having spent thousands of man-hours shooting international shotgun sports, we saw firsthand how a properly fitted shotgun [shoulder stock] made the difference between success and failure in demanding games like Helice, International Bunker Trap, Box Birds, International Skeet, FITASC and Sporting Clays. On many occasions we noted that good stock makers were highly sought after, perhaps even more so than premium over and under barreled actions themselves.
Products come to market for a variety of reasons, some great and some not so much! Really, how could any experienced outdoorsman be without the ever popular Ron Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman! The SABER Folding Rifle Stock System Tactical (FORSST®) was born from a need by shooters to have the same versatility from a bolt gun, that was available from Modern Sporting Rifles (read AR) and more…APO’s design parameters for the SABER rifle chassis were defined by a broad range of dedicated bolt action rifle users in the following ten specific terms in the context of improvements:
Ashbury’s systematic approach to the development of a truly modular rifle chassis system for small, medium and large caliber rifles led to our company being awarded to date twenty utility and design patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office in Washington DC on the SABER rifle chassis.
SABER modular rifle chassis are manufactured to ISO-9001-2008 specifications by skilled American machinists and craftsmen with aerospace grade aluminum alloys, carbon reinforced composites and pre-preg carbon fiber materials sourced right here in these United States.
Traversing the landscape of materials analysis has been a very interesting journey for Ashbury’s engineering team, as we constantly balance cost vs. performance and manufacturability. This includes our molds and tooling necessary to produce the best possible, American made products, for our customers.
Ergonomic Shoulder Stocks
Ashbury considers the shoulder stock the primary “man-machine” interface between a rifle and the shooter. It therefore must “fit” the shooter, so the shooter can confidently, comfortably, and correctly acquire targets using proper sight alignment, follow through and good marksmanship procedures. Ashbury offers three (3) different, ergonomically adjustable shoulder stocks with both tooled and tool-less adjustments. These include HTA (Hand Tool Adjustable), TASS (Tactically Adjustable Shoulder Stock) and PBA-H (Push Button Adjustable Hybrid). Adjustments include cheek piece height, length of pull, and recoil pad drop. Each shoulder stock uses a premium Limbsaver® recoil pad and comes standard with a Butt Hook, which is interchangeable with an optional rapidly adjustable and very stable field Monopod. In 2016 we’ve also added a retractable, folding Magpul® AR shoulder stock!
Shoulder Stock Joints
The SABER chassis design offers shooters several different shoulder stock joints to include: fixed alloy, stainless steel folding lockable, double locking alloy, and detachable joints. Each mechanism is similar in design, does not change the length of pull when installed, is non-twisting and extremely stable. All shoulder stock joints are interchangeable and can be reconfigured with simple hand tools and just a little mechanical ability. Folding shoulder stocks are getting a lot of attention these days with predator hunters that break their rifles down and stow them in their backpack and practical rifle competitors that use shorter carbine length rifle cases.
Center Chassis Sections
The heart of the SABER modular rifle chassis system is today manufactured in 55+ models for seventeen different production and custom bolt action rifle manufacturers. One of the most notable features of the SABER Center Chassis Section is that no bedding is required to attain optimal accuracy from a bolt action receiver. Since no bedding is used or required, there is no bedding that can break down, require annual maintenance and compromise accuracy. Ashbury’s engineers sought to maximize the surface contact between each precision engineered Center Chassis Section and the corresponding bolt action receiver resulting in solid surface to surface contact. The translation you ask? Better accuracy period!
The “one size fits all” approach is not a characteristic of the SABER MRCS platform, as our primary emphasis is on an engineered precision fit. You can select calibers from .223 to 50BMG with combinations of 5rd and 10rd detachable box magazines all with ambidextrous magazine releases. Right and left hand models are standard. Ashbury’s Center Chassis Sections can be interchanged between different length bolt action receivers, a patented feature unique to the SABER rifle chassis platform.
The Sporter is a traditionally designed open top forend with a free floating barrel channel made for lightweight #0 to medium weight #4 barrel contours becoming increasingly more popular with recreational shooters, varmint and predator hunters.
The Quattro Alloy series is currently manufactured in four versions to include the Standard, Tactical, SuperSport and V-17. There are Picatinny Accessory Rail mounting points at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and Flush Cup sockets on the left and right sides of the forend. New for 2016 is the addition of Magpul M-LOK accessory attachment features!
The Quattro Carbon Fiber series is an ergonomic heat/mirage mitigating design currently manufactured from pre-preg carbon fiber in two variants, the MOD-0 and MOD-1. The MOD-0 has Picatinny Accessory Rail mounting points only at 12 and 6 o’clock forend positions. Whereas the MOD-1 has “co-bore aligned” Picatinny Accessory Rail mounting points at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Both the MOD-0 and MOD-1 have a flush cup socket on the cap of the forend.
The Competition series is geared specifically for F-Class long range rifle competition. In 2015 we introduced the F-TR using a Quattro Alloy variant and in 2016 we’re introducing the newly designed F-Open forend manufactured from billet aerospace grade aluminum.
As the shooter changes rifle shooting sports or competition disciplines he/she can change the SABER MRCS forend to match their selected shooting activity.
A SABER chassis enabled centerfire rifle can easily be shared with shooting partners, parent and youth or even husband and wife due to its easy ergonomic adjustability. One rifle, multiple users each capable on high accuracy downrange engagements, comfortably, confidently and cost effectively. And what if you choose to switch calibers, and or barreled actions you ask? Why yes you can, the SABER platform is 66 2/3% parts compatible!
Time is one of the few things in life we can never recover. So when you are ready to “re-stock” your rifle and you want low to no maintenance, tooled or tool-less ergonomic adjustability to fit nearly any shooter, better long range accuracy, and lower felt recoil, consider that you, with only simple tools can install your barreled action in a SABER chassis in 5 mins to 15 minutes depending on the model!
If you are attending the 2016 SHOT Show visit the Law Enforcement Section and Ashbury’s booth #31407 on level 2, Titian Ball Room and check out the new SABER MRCS-AR (short action) that uses Magpul® AR shoulder stocks, magazine and enhanced octagonal M-LOK® hand-guard. Its rugged, light weight, lower cost and completely compatible with a wide variety of AR parts and all SABER accessories. Now that’s modular!