INTERVIEW BY GARN KENNEDY • PHOTOS BY AMERICAN BUILT ARMS COMPANY
[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]T[/su_dropcap]he American Built Arms Company was started in 2010 by Jason Combs, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and the Maryland National Guard. As a longtime outdoor enthusiast, Combs has been around ﬁrearms and other hunting tools his whole life. After the economy went belly-up in 2008, he took his innovative AR-15 hand guard design idea and his life savings, and launched A*B Arms.
Over the next year and a half, the company continued to design and launch a few other AR-15, AK-47 and IWI Tavor parts and accessories. Soon, a large, high-end AR manufacturer approached them to produce quality, Swissmachined bolt assemblies, and this additional work helped A*B Arms move forward with increased name recognition and product sales.
When the AR-15 market went soft in 2014, A*B Arms saw the opportunity to shift gears and move back into the hunting and long-range shooting arena. The company designed and launched the MOD*X Modular Riﬂe System, a lightweight, aluminum chassis system for the Remington Model 700 Short Action.
Within a few months, they had sold more than 500 units to a variety of distributors, law enforcement agencies and hunting enthusiasts. Feedback was positive overall, but various Marine Corps snipers, SWAT team members and competitive long-range shooters shared some excellent advice regarding a few small, important changes that they wanted to see to improve the MOD*X. Combs listened to their feedback and launched the MOD*X GEN III. Today, A*B Arms is designing chassis systems for riﬂes beyond the Remington Model 700.
American Shooting Journal What are the typical signs that a person should upgrade their riﬂe to your MOD-X Chassis system?
American Built Arms Bolt-action enthusiasts are looking for two main things when evaluating an upgrade of their factory installed stock to our MOD*X GEN III chassis. The ﬁrst is to reduce weight, and the second is to give the riﬂe an improved tactical look and feel. Some states don’t allow hunting with an AR-15 and the MOD*X GEN III gives the user a riﬂe that looks like one. Some folks tell us that they “found” their grandpop’s old Model 700 with a beat-up, old stock and wanted to bring it into the 21st century.
ASJ Does this process require a gunsmith or anything different to change over to Chassis system?
ABA The beauty of the MOD*X GEN III Modular Riﬂe System is that you can remove your barreled action from your existing stock and assemble it into the MOD*X GEN III within 10 to 15 minutes. No special tools are needed. Just your standard hex screwdrivers and some Loctite. No gunsmithing is required.
ASJ All things being equal, is there a signiﬁcant shot group size reduction after transitioning to one of your MOD-X Chassis systems?
ABA Sure, all things being equal, the MOD*X GEN III will reduce your groupings substantially. That’s due to the fact that the chassis “envelops” the barreled action in a tight grip. No more potential slop often found in some bedded stocks.
ASJ Have only competition shooters made the changeover, or have you heard from hunters as well?
ABA Hunters are huge fans because of the weight reduction and the ability to add tactical accessories to the KeyMod rails, such as lights and night scopes, etc. Not to mention, with the side-folding variant, you can put your riﬂe into a carbine bag for easy transport.
ASJ Can you keep the same barrel and hardware when switching over?
ABA The MOD*X GEN III works with the Remington Model 700 short-barreled actions. Remington owners have built .223, .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor barreled actions into the MOD*X GEN III. A*B Arms provides all the hardware to make the switch from the stock to the chassis, as well as an easy-to-read assembly manual.
For more information, visit abarms.com.