Bolt-action rifles are pretty similar in look, feel and caliber choices for the most part. So where are the differences? Well, performance is a no-brainer, along with build quality, fit, finish and function. But one of the most overlooked differences is the interface between the rifle and the shooter and the role that it plays in the shooter’s confidence and ability to effectively execute a shot. With bolt-action rifles, the operator is interacting with the trigger, optic, bipod, and bolt handle, and the stock/chassis is the crucial interface between all of these.
A Solid Foundation
I recently had a chance to test the new Model 2020 Waypoint from Springfield Armory, and came away very impressed with it (to see a full review of the Waypoint by Wayne van Zwoll, click here). The rifle is accurate (featuring a .75 MOA guarantee of accuracy), and also light and handy. Combining light weight with precision is a tough nut to crack, and the Waypoint achieves it through the use of carbon fiber — firstly with the optional carbon fiber-jacketed barrel, and secondly with the carbon fiber stock offered on all models.
Springfield worked with AG Composites to develop the rifle’s stock, which is hand-laid and made from 100% carbon fiber. It is pillar bedded and is offered both with and without an adjustable comb. The result is a lightweight yet solid stock.
However, what if you did not prioritize low weight with the Waypoint and wanted to try out something different than the factory carbon fiber stock? How about a chassis system with an optional folding mechanism and tons of adjustability?
The Magpul Option
It’s easy to underestimate how effective a good chassis can be, and there are many brands and models available as of late. There are a few standouts, and in my opinion one of those is the Magpul Pro 700. No, I’m not talking about the Magpul hunter stock that has been available for many years, I mean the precision-shooting focused, highly adjustable and comfortable Pro 700 that’s only been available for a couple of years. This may be one of the most overlooked and best performing chassis available today, and I slipped the Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint barreled action into one to see how it would do.
Springfield did things right by introducing a bolt-action platform that matched the Remington 700 footprint. Instead of creating their own proprietary footprint and receiver dimensions, they left it possible for you to have access to a myriad of available upgrades and accessories. You have the ability to change and modify the Waypoint in many ways because of this. They put the effort into creating an action worthy of performance and performance enhancements, and the Magpul Pro 700 is one such piece.
The Pro 700 is a strong, rigid, aluminum chassis with polymer skins and parts mated seamlessly together. This gives the Pro 700 a solid feel that lacks the cold, harsh feeling associated with some all-aluminum chassis systems.
Magpul, the masters of development and refinement, spent two years developing the 700 Pro. The core is a 6061-T6 aluminum chassis, and it went through many iterations and countless broken parts before they settled on the current design.
The 700 Pro is fully adjustable, and it’s in this adjustability that the chassis really shines. It’s adjustable for comb height (cheek piece) with 1″ of travel. It also has +/- .375 inches fore and aft adjustability. It can also be adjusted for left- or right-sided shooting. The length of pull can be adjusted as well, with over 2″ of travel in this department. The butt is adjustable for height and cant as well.
Many other chassis systems possess this kind of adjustability, but not all have the ability to position the pistol grip. The grip on the Pro 700 has .75-inch of forward and rearward travel. The average shooter will overlook the importance of having the grip in the optimal position, while the experienced shooter understands the advantages of this.
The grip and positioning of the strong (shooting hand) affects shot-to-shot consistency as well as recoil control, even though the rifle may be shouldered and supported by a bipod and rear bag. This feature will help accommodate shooters with different hand sizes and finger lengths, and can make all the difference in trigger manipulation. It also features interchangeable grips — one angled, one straight.
The Magpul Pro 700 further enhances the rifle shooter’s interface with a well-placed thumb shelf. This, with the grip positioning, delivers a relaxed and appropriate grip by the operator. It’s best that the thumb ride on the outside of the grip instead of wrapping the thumb around it, but that’s a discussion for another time.
The 700 Pro comes in folding and fixed versions, and you can choose which side the folder version folds to by reversing the robust folding mechanism, which is an easy step. That said, you may want to choose the side that protects the bolt itself. If you decide later that you want a folding or non-folding stock, you can order a stock adapter from Magpul to set it up to your liking.
The Pro 700 features several attachment points on the forend and, of course, they are M-Lok style. This means you can add weights to the chassis if you’d like a heavier rifle, which is quite common these days, and it’s not a bad addition to the lightweight Waypoint with the carbon fiber barrel that I tested. There is also an M-Lok attachment point on the bottom side of the buttstock for monopods or a bagrider.
The Magpul chassis is set up to accept AICS magazines, which is the standard. In my opinion, Springfield was smart in making sure the Model 2020 used this magazine interface. Other options from Magpul for the Pro 700 include night vision rail, bipod, magazines, pic rail sections of various lengths, and even a full-length RRS Standard Dovetail/Arca rail. This interface makes accessory placement and removal much easier and could come in handy if you’d like to take your Waypoint into a precision rifle-style match that consists of challenging positional and barricade stages.
The Pro 700 is available in FDE, OD green and black, and is available in short- and long-action versions. Prices start at $899.99 for fixed and $999.00 for the folding versions. I found it to be a great addition to the Model 2020 Waypoint, and gave me a whole new way to enjoy using this rifle!
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Products in this article
Magpul Pro 700 Folding Stock
Model 2020 Waypoint Series
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