It isn’t often I see something new that genuinely blows my socks off, but this you are going to love. Some time back I was in the Northwest, shooting with a friend. He competes frequently with precision rifles, and therefore always has some new cool stuff. Out of the bag came a chassis system I had never seen before, the XYLO from the American Rifle Company.
Now at first, I’ll be honest, I thought the XYLO looked kind of….. ugly. And you may be forgiven for thinking the same. It looks unlike anything else on the market, and that can be a shock to our systems. It does grow on you though, and I find it now to be aesthetically beautiful. To me, it is like a steampunk cowboy bolt action, which I don’t dislike at all. But the looks aren’t the point. The moment I put my hands on it, I absolutely knew I had to have one.
This isn’t some passing impulse purchase, or thing I wanted because I shot really well that day. I mean it literally haunted my dreams for months. As a big hat tip to their design team, it is hard to get over because it feels so…perfect. I have never liked a chassis or stock system more, and that is quite a feat. And that is true without even having a side folding option.
Starting from the front, we have what I consider an ideal length fore-end. At 13 and 3/4 inches from tip to the magazine, it offers enough real estate to get your bipod out there, or brace off an obstacle. Without being so long as to add unnecessary weight out front. It balances perfectly in the hand as is and has an optional extension for the rail part only. Machined right into the forearm is full-length Arca-Swiss and Anschutz rail, and done so in a very unobtrusive way.
The magazine well is flared for easy reloads and features the best magazine latch I have seen to date. It supports the rear of the magazine, preventing it from rotating up, and makes even plastic magazines lock up like a bank vault. I tested the chassis on two guns, and it actually improved the reliability of my B-14R. The way it locks up the magazine, and with exacting tolerances in the mag well, made for enhanced feeding in rimfire. Which I will tell you was worth the price alone.
Oh that grip!
The walnut grip is one of the oddest looking you will ever see on an otherwise space-age chassis. But they are not incorrect in their sales brochure when they say “you’ll understand when you feel it.” It reminds me somewhat of the wooden grips on older K Frame S&W revolvers, and somewhat of an M-14. With, obviously, PRS-driven geometry. It is absolutely amazing in the hand, of a size and shape that truly is stunning. And the feel of walnut does take you to a mentally different place when rifle shooting. Meticulously crafted to feel like it was grown into the chassis, this is a perfect detail that separates the XYLO from others in the class.
The buttstock is also incredibly well thought out. It has a length of pull range from 12.75 to 15.75 inches, with 2 inches of that accessible from an ingenious locking lever. This isn’t some recycled AR-15 part, it’s unlike anything else. Pulling on the center of the buttstock, what looks like a support pillar, deploys the stock from a closed position. The 2-inch segment of quick-adjust works in ¼ inch increments, guaranteed to get you the perfect length of pull.
The cheekpiece is inarguably the most comfortable I have ever used and has a true tool-less adjustment. A large knurled knob on the front side provides positive control. Unlike other height adjustments that rely on friction, the XYLO is geared. It actually has tiny machined cogs that lock up a precise height adjustment, and hold it steady.
More? Yes, there is actually more. Just forward of the mag well is an integrated bubble level, that can deploy left or right. It is far enough forward and precisely placed to be able to see from the bottom of your field of vision when you are in the scope. I have found this to be much easier to use than scope-mounted levels, and I am now quite a fan.
The XYLO also comes with a lug clamp, as opposed to just a cut in the stock for the recoil lug. I will confess I have never seen this before, but I like it. (A normal Remington 700 lug will require the .250 clamp.) This clamp basically grips onto the recoil lug from the bottom side of the chassis, with a torque value. The XYLO can also be used without it if you prefer. But I will say it did actually tighten up the groups on my Bergarra.
How about tolerances? I would have to say this is one of the best-machined pieces of equipment I have ever laid eyes on. Made from one piece of 7075 aluminum, you can feel the quality of the build. And that isn’t just subjective. As I mentioned, I used this chassis on two guns during testing. My Springfield Armory Waypoint, which has exacting tolerances as well, went in like it was made for it. My Bergara, with perhaps less exacting tolerances, needed some love. In fact, I had to apply a bit of left/right torque to the receiver ( by hand, savages) to get the action screws to line up. This tells me that the screw holes in my Bergara are off maybe 1/1000th or so off center. And since my Bergara has been in MANY other stocks and chassis before this and I never noticed, I think that says a lot for the perfection American Rifle Company puts out the door.
American Rifle Company is a relatively new player in the field, but these mad lads have come out swinging. Quite obviously created by shooters for shooters, they are changing the game. If you are a gun guy, this 17-minute video of them building one of their full rifles, from parts, at the range is time well spent. They have an attitude you can’t help but love and are building products that are inspired. If you have a Rem 700 pattern anything, the XYLO is money well spent to house it. And later on in the year, we will be taking a look at American Rifle Company’s Nucleus bolt action.
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I want to ask you a question, what are your thaughts,no lug bbl.flat lug bbl. the new v lug bbl from Christian arms,is this the future, in all guns?