Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) HS3 Chassis Review: Initial Thoughts

First impressions of the Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) HS3 Chassis system.

I’ve been using Modular Driven Technologies Chassis systems for nearly four years.  Their first model, the TAC21 houses a Remington M700 in an aluminum chassis, adds a detachable magazine, 20 MOA continuous top rail, and allows the end user to add any AR-15/M16 M4 stock and grip.  Their second design, the LSS, is a lower cost alternative to the TAC21.  It adds the a detachable magazine system as well as the ability to use AR-15/M16 M4 stocks.  You can see my reviews of these systems here:

The HS3 is MDT’s latest offering, and I would argue, their best.  I was lucky enough to have a preproduction sample of the HS3 shipped to me on the week of its introduction.  HS3 is an abbreviation for Hunting Sniper 3 (3 since it is the 3rd chassis MDT designed).

HS3 right

HS3 as provided by MDT (above).  The anodized aluminum chassis has polymer skins secured to its sides, a feature not found on the TAC21/TAC21LA or LSS.  Currently, the system will accept Remington 700 short actions, but future models will work with other rifles.  The HS3 accepts AICS, MDT and AICS style magazines.

The chassis is machined into a v-block where the action is held, similar to the LSS and TAC21/TAC21LA.  The lug recess is wide enough to allow the use of an oversized recoil lug.  The trigger area is wide enough to allow use of a Timney 510/517 or Jewel HVR without modification (this is a big plus if you’ve ever had to mill out a chassis to allow an aftermarket trigger to function).

For testing and evaluation of the MDT HS3, I mounted the Remington 700 barreled action that was used in 308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm NATO: Barrel Length versus Velocity (28″ to 16.5″). The barrel is a Shilen unturned blank I cut to 16.25″ in length and tapered to a DRAPA XM3 profile.  This is a custom barreled action, however, any factory Remington 700 short action would drop right in.

The test rifle was built with the following parts from Brownells; a Remington 700 short action receiverShilen .308 1:10 match grade stainless steel unturned barrel blankBadger Maximized scope railSpuhr ISMS scope mount, and a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22X56mm Mil/Mil Scope.

Since the HS3 accepts AR-15/M16 M4 style stocks and grips (it doesn’t need an adapter for a fixed stock like the LSS), I chose a MAGPUL PRS stock and TangoDown BG17 grip.

Assembly is a breeze, simply drop in your barreled action, install a stock and pistol grip and you are on your way. The trigger stays in place and does not need to be removed.


HS3 rifle right

The completed rifle looks great and handles well.  All controls are easily accessible, and the HS3 provides a solid base for the rifle.

HS3 forend

The forearm runs parallel to the barrel.  It is side and has a stud at the front to mount a bipod. The stock is drilled and tapped for a rail system that attaches with spacers.  A night vision mount will also be available.

HS3 right side snowHS3 left

As luck would have it, I got the rifle together in time for a big Nor’Easter.  Taking pictures of a black rifle in white snow isn’t easy!

HS3 right side close

My thoughts on the MDT HS3:

  1. You can shoot it when it is cold.  The plastic skins on the stock are great- if you ever shoot in weather below 20F, you’ll appreciate them.  Plus, the handling characteristics of the rifle are improved.
  2. Great fore end.  I am a fan of its design, I like the low profile, appropriate width and the fact that it is parallel to the barrel.  It is longer then the LSS, but similar in length to most other precision rifle stocks, this puts the bipod where you would expect it to be.  I like the ability to install a hood to mount a forward mounted night vision device and attachment points for accessory rails.
  3. The HS3 is end user adaptable.  You are paying for a stripped chassis, nothing else you don’t want or need.  You can add any stock and grip you want.  These systems won’t become dated as quickly as others which use proprietary stocks and grips, many of which cannot be changed.
  4. Familiar ergonomics.  The use of AR-15/16 M4 stock and grip will provide a familiar feel to many shooters.
  5. Competitive price.  MSRP is expected to be $499.  Set up as shown above, you are looking around $750, that is a lot of chassis for the money.
  6. I liked it.  I am really impressed with it’s quality and simplicity.  I think the HS3 will be the next big chassis system.

As always, I’ll post another review once I have more time in the field with it.

For more information about the HS3, visit MDT’s website.  To purchase the HS3, visit Brownells.


MDT HS3 Review: Part 2 Shooting the MDT HS3 Chassis System