I’m going to write a bit about the first impressions I’ve had playing with the new XLR Industries Envy Chassis. I want to stress from the get go, this is not a full blown review. You can expect that in around another month. I’m going to be attending the Butch’s NMLRS match as part of the National Rifle League’s 2017 season at the end of September. I’m going to get some photos and finish up the review after I’ve had a chance to run the chassis hard in a competitive setting. It will let me get a feel for other things that are hard to put a finger on till you attempt it. Things like how the chassis does on various obstacles and positional shooting stages.
Envy Chassis Impressions
So the first thing that strikes me when I open an XLR Industries box for the first time is how well it’s packaged. I’m not going to write a ton about that other than to say it’s nice when you invest your money in their product, it’s packed well. The next thing that hit me was the usual machining precision that’s typical of XLR Industries products. The Envy Chassis is no exception to that rule. It’s beautifully machined and anodized. So other than being packaged well and machined to exceptional tolerances, what else struck me in the first week or two playing around with it?
The bubble level scallop is very nice and easy to see when glancing down to check if the rifle is canted. The bubble itself is also wider than your typical bubble and the left and right limits are only slightly wider. So it’s very easy to see and assess whether the rifle is canted. I like that. The next awesome update was the addition of the ARCA/Swiss rail they machined under the handguard. They made that addition last minute and with no extra charge. It’s rock solid steady on my Really Right Stuff tripod. Love everything about that feature.
More Envy Chassis Features
They have multiple QD attachment points for slings machined right into the stock in different spots. Why am I bringing that up? One thing that can drive up the weight on a chassis is accessories. When a stock comes ready for attaching rails and accessories but doesn’t have the essentials, that’s an issue. So while a nice super light chassis sounds good is it still light after you add rails and QD points? The Envy Chassis came to within 2 ounces of my XLR Carbon with rails and QD points mounted on the Carbon chassis. The XLR Carbon has no aluminum forward of the recoil lug, it’s all carbon fiber and polymer. XLR Industries got the weight on the Envy down almost as low and it’s a full aluminum chassis!
The magwell and mag release are great! I like the angles and the knurling on the magwell of the Envy. It makes it very easy to push the rifle forward against the magwell when doing a positional shot. The mag release can be pushed from either side of the trigger guard or the bottom. The rail machined into the bottom of the handguard is pretty long. Longer than you need for a bipod, but remember…this is a competition stock. Sometimes you have to shoot from a narrow obstacle front to back. Having rail space to move the bipod way back and shorten up the wheelbase of the stock is a handy capability!
There are threaded holes on the sides of the handguard towards the nose of the chassis. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be for a night vision rail yet to be released. They did the same with the Element chassis, a night vision mount was released later. Is that something you need on a competition stock? Maybe is my answer. While side matches with night vision equipment are pretty rare, it does happen. Clubs will sometimes have night shoots. Some companies will do demo shoots from time to time and allow you to try the equipment on your rifle. I like options. The more options a company offers the better the product can be customized to an individual shooter.
Just because you or I don’t need a night vision mount doesn’t make it a bad idea to have a mount available. I personally would probably pick one up just to have it on the shelf for one of those scenarios above. It’s easy enough to add or remove if you don’t need it. I’ll confirm the purpose of those threaded holes prior to the review publishing. I’m really looking forward to getting some practice done ahead of the match. I’m super eager to really run this thing hard on obstacles and weird positions in a competition setting. When time and pressure are added to the mix it really highlights what works well and what doesn’t. I’m going to use those observations and experiences to add some real “field review” elements to the review of the Envy Chassis! Stay tuned for the full write up!