Awesomeness is not a word you would think could make it through spell check, but it is actually a word. If there was one product at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, that excelled at awesomeness, it was the modular rifle chassis system from Ashbury Precision Ordnance, or APO. It is called the Saber-FORRST, for Folding Rifle Stock System Tactical. They all don’t seem to fold, going by the catalog, so it is a little confusing. But they sure excel at awesomeness.
At first we thought these were high end custom rifles, but though they do make rifles, the stuff you see in the pictures were made from bare chassis, made by APO, and regular bolt action rifle actions. They can be installed without a gunsmith for most bolt action rifles, and specifically listed on the website, the HS-Precision HTR, McMillan G30, Remington 700, Surgeon 591, Sako TRG-42, Savage 110BA, and even the Weatherby Vanguard. We have spoken to the folkds at APO since this article was first written and they have over 20 rifle actions they are working with, so give them a call. Yes, it also does come in left hand.
Right now they have three models. The Model 1 Tactical which has a folding buttstock (FORSST). The Model 0 which has a fixed stock and is meant for competition and target shooting, and the Hunter model that seems to be a little lighter weight, and does appear to fold. The only one at Media Day was the tactical folder. There are a number of patents listed on their website, and some of their methodologies, how to make an accurate join without bedding, and some of the rail stuff, you won’t find anywhere else. In fact from what we have seen, you won’t find any of this anywhere else. If you are a fan of the bolt action sniper rifle, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
We can no update the pricing with some more info, and their sporting systems start at $1250 MSRP (street a little lower) and go up to stuff like you see in the pictures here at $2,600 MSRP. Elite tools have elite prices, but compared to many of the custom sniper rifles out there that are going for in the neighborhood of $10,000 plus, building your own with an APO Saber modular chassis may be the more affordable option to get what you really want in a package that very few people even know about (well, more know now). I would call them if you are in the market for one, rather than just try to find one for sale online. They appear to be custom made based on your specifications. Download the 4 page PDF catalog from their website to see all the options.
I would like to say that we expect to get one of these chassis in for a full review over the coming year, but because you do have to fit these stocks a little to most actions and the aggressive price point of the APO Saber, I don’t think they are going to give up one of their babies for the review mill. It would be interesting to see just how much work has to go into converting an off the shelf rifle, like a Savage .338 Lapua, into one of these cutting edge sniper tools. I’m sure Savage would send us the gun, so you never know. Our resident US Army Sniper Ben Becker got to shoot these guns on Media Day and he was really impressed. His M24 service rifle was custom fitted to him, so he knows what a good fitting gun feels like, and the APO Saber system really impressed him.
Most of us will add this to the list of toys we either can’t afford or can’t justify spending the money on. If they start having beauty pageants for rifles, you could do a lot worse than walking down the runway with a rifle equipped with an APO Saber chassis system. I’m sure all the tactical stuff on it, and the accuracy and all that is great, but it also makes for a darn nice looking rifle. There are very few of us who can justify such an extravagance, but I am quite sure that some of you reading this will go out and buy one. That is what makes us people who still are reading and writing about SHOT Show almost two weeks later, and what makes us all part of GunsAmerica.