Rifle Chassis Basic Overview

When it comes to selecting a rifle chassis, there are various important considerations that one should keep in mind. With a wide range of options available to choose from, the chassis can make a significant impact on your shooting experience. 


The first consideration to make when purchasing a rifle chassis is the compatibility with the rifle you plan to use it with. Not all rifle chassis are created equal, and it is important to ensure that the one you choose is specifically designed to fit your rifle’s make and model.

Another key factor to consider is how customizable the rifle chassis is. Customization options include adjustable buttstocks, rail systems, pistol grips, and other features that allow you to tailor the rifle to fit your specific needs and requirements.

Additionally, the rifle chassis should be a good fit for your body and shooting style. It should be designed to offer good ergonomics, including an adjustable cheek piece and length of pull to ensure that the rifle fits you properly. Consider your body size and contours, and how the chassis will fit your hand.

Masterpiece Arms (MPA) chassis system, compatible with a wide variety of action types.
Masterpiece Arms (MPA) chassis system, compatible with a wide variety of action types. (Photo credit: MPA)


Make sure the action you are considering is compatible with your rifle chassis. Some chassis may require specific types of actions, such as those with a particular magazine style or length. Different types of actions have their strengths and weaknesses, so choose one that fits your intended use and shooting preferences. Look for actions made of high-quality materials and constructed well to ensure durability and consistency in performance. Stainless steel and high-quality alloys are often preferred for actions, as they resist rust and other forms of corrosion.


When selecting a rifle chassis there are several rail system considerations that you should make. Check to see if the rifle chassis has a rail system in place that will allow you to add accessories, or a modular rail system will allow for more customization. Ensure that the rail system is compatible with your rifle’s action and barrel. Consider the length and whether you plan on mounting several accessories. You may require a longer rail system. Determine the material of the rail system, popular options include aluminum and steel, which offer durability and strength.

Arca accessories
Showing the many accessories that Arca rails provide. (Photo credit: KRG)

Chassis Weight

Weight plays a critical role in shooting, and it is essential to select a rifle chassis that is ergonomic and comfortable for long shooting sessions. Depending on the intended use, a tactical or match shooting scenarios or general enthusiasts, a lightweight or heavy rifle chassis may be preferred. Lightweight chassis are preferable amongst hunters due to long-distance carrying. Whereas heavyweight chassis are optimal for competition shooters to mitigate the most recoil possible. These considerations should be made when factoring the weight of the chassis, as it will impact the overall balance of the rifle. Make sure that the weight is manageable and comfortable for you.

Not All the Same

You will want to consider the material from which the chassis is made. Rifle chassis can be made from a range of materials such as aluminum, steel, carbon fiber, or titanium each with different weights, durability, and properties. Additionally, each material has its own advantages, and the cost of the rifle will depend largely on the material. It is important to choose a material that will provide both durability and consistency for optimal performance.

Another mentionable consideration is rigidity. Accuracy is the principal factor and rifles with more rigid chassis tend to offer superior accuracy over other similar rifles. The rigidity offered with the rifle chassis will help to reduce any unwanted movement and ultimately improve accuracy.

Don’t Break the Bank

Finally, the cost of the chassis is another important consideration. Set a budget and look for a chassis that fits your requirements, you will want to find a balance between the features and the budget you have available. When buying a rifle chassis, the above considerations, compatibility, weight, material, customization, accuracy, and price are all essential to make an informed choice. Be sure to evaluate each of these factors before deciding, and always purchase the best available option that meets your budgetary limitations.

Sidewinder Concepts offers modernized firearms training and instruction across various disciplines. Unparalleled course designs offer a multifaceted approach to encompass beginner or first-time firearms owners to advanced tacticians and competitive shooters. Sidewinder Concepts embodiment of excellence in providing quality instruction and information allows course members to become proficient with their firearms. As firearms owners, discipline and responsibility are essential demonstrations of integrity for our community.

As a former US Army Sniper, Adrian utilizes nearly a decade of training with the Reconnaissance and Sniper community into developing and formulating instructional training programs. His dedication to the craft and passion is apparent throughout his courses. Adrian specializes in program development for law enforcement, military units and competition enthusiasts. When he's not training, he enjoys competitive shooting.

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