If you haven’t noticed Master Piece Arms (MPA) over the last few years, you either don’t follow precision shooting, or you have found a very good hiding place. MPA has been absolutely dominant in the precision shooting world, even deeper than I thought.
MPA manufactures a variety of products, Impressive competition pistols are one thing you’ll find on their website, but their competition chassis and complete competition rifles are certainly more commanding.
The rifle we are reviewing today has a Curtis Custom Axiom rifle-action at its heart. The barrel is one of MPA’s chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor cut at twenty-six inches with a one-in-eight-twist. At the muzzle there is one of MPA’s competition muzzle brakes to help keep the rifle on target so shooters can spot their impacts.
The smooth stroke of the Curtis Action is immediately noticeable, with its three-lug bolt to reduce the bolt lift to a shorter throw. I have become a huge fans of custom actions like this one, the operation aside there is so much to appreciate about them. The robust bolt-stop that doubles as a release, and the very consistent extraction and ejection with very little effort makes them a pure joy to shoot.
The PMR chassis is another work of craftsmanship, with cuts in all the right places to allow customization. Fully adjustable comb and buttstock make it easy to fit to any shooter, and the adjustable vertical pistol grip feels outstanding when you are in the shooting position. Little things like embedded bubble level at the rear of the tang take a lot of work out of shooting well, which seems to be what MPA was after. And it seems that shooters have responded.
Other features like a Trigger Tech Diamond and a built in ARCA rail and QD barricade stops that can be moved to wherever you need them. Various bipod mounting options and an night vision bridge make everything about this rifle desirable.
Before taking the rifle to my mountain hide, I wanted to get it prepared for testing. For that I would need a good scope, and a bipod. My US Optics FDN17X was a perfect match for color, so that made my choice easy. I also grabbed an Atlas bipod on an AREA 419 ARCA clamp and attached it to the ARCA rail.
I grabbed some Hornady match 140 grain and a box of Federal Gold Medal Match 130 grain ammunition, as well as a few other items before heading out.
On the Range
I boresighted the rifle before zeroing it at one hundred yards, and after placing my target I settled in behind the rifle on my shooting mat.
As I loaded the AICS magazine I noticed the adjustment screws on the side of the chassis, this allows the user to customize magazine tension. With a handful of rounds in the rifle, I steadied the reticle on my target and fired the first shot. Like a true match gun, the rifle barely moved as I felt the gust of air move from the muzzle. The brake is extremely effective at reducing recoil, and the rifles impressive weight also helps keep it in place.
I made a couple adjustments to correct the impact, and then fired a quick five-shot group. I was immediately impressed, as I hadn’t even really been trying that hard. But quite literally the first group with the first ammunition I tried was sub-half MOA. I smiled to myself as I know there’s only one kinda rifle that does that; a damn good one.
Just to make sure, I continued shooting a few more groups, including both ammunition types with the same results. I’m not one to waste time and expensive ammunition at one-hundred yards, especially when I have targets all the way out to eight-hundred and twenty yards. The accuracy of this rifle was just outstanding, there are few things more satisfying than watching the bullet impact exactly where you want it to nearly half a mile away.
I kept shooting until I had no more ammo to spend, and I loved every single shot. Everything about this rifle was fantastic, running the bolt from the shooting position was superb. Spent cases went flying clear, and fresh rounds were chambered almost effortlessly. The comfort of the perfect fitting chassis made it even easier to make the hits. The US Optics Foundation 17X made a perfect companion not just because of its color, I was able to move back and forth quickly from one target to another adjusting the power of the scope on the way.
At one point I targeted a six-inch steel disc at four-hundred and thirty yards, and as fast as I could run the bolt and pull the trigger the plate would dance. It was exactly the kind of precision rifle shooting experience everybody should have.
Pros and Cons
I’ll start with the cons this time, because I’m gonna need a lot of space for the pros. This rifle is pretty heavy, but by design it’s supposed to be. The weight keeps it still while shooting, and it wasn’t made for hiking around through the rockies like I normally do so I don’t hold it against the rifle.
The rest of this rifle is obviously the result of years distilling the best features of a competition rifle. From the action to each end of the chassis this rifle is pretty close to perfect for competition shooting. The quick adjustments allow you make the rifle comfortable on the fly, while the forend accessories allow you to steady up the rifle in nearly any condition or obstacle. The ARCA rail built-in to the forend makes it quick and easy to change out bipod and tripod interfaces in seconds, and there’s really not enough room here to go into all the ways you can add weights, stops, and other accessories to the rifle.
The MPA muzzle brake would be a great addition to any rifle where you’re trying to reduce movement. And even little things like a temperature strip on the barrel, the rear bag-rider and the built-in bubble level are greatly appreciated. These and other accessories are made by MPA that will definitely help improve your rifle’s performance, just don’t expect it to make up for poor shooting.
The Curtis action is the jewel of the whole thing, it ran like a lead pump in slow motion and the extremely clean trigger break made it feel even better. And to top it off the whole thing was just sexy as a rifle can be.
I knew I was going to like this rifle from the moment I opened the box, but I didn’t realize just how much. It’s clear that MPA is at the top of the PRS game, because they understand what shooters need and want.
There are so many little games and tricks you can incorporate when shooting competitively, and the PMR seems to have everything you could use to produce the best shooting results in those scenarios.
With all that said, I found it quite astonishing that a brand-new MPA PMR Pro II can be purchased from MPA’s website for only $2,500. That may not be chump change, but in my estimation, it is an excellent price for what you get from these rifles.
If you are interested in a competition rifle, don’t overlook this one.