Just started long range. I have a stock Howa HCR in 308. It is a factory chassis rifle. My question is if I swapped out the chassis with a, let's say, a MDT ESS chassis would the rifle be more accurate? If so, by how much?
What makes the MDT a better chassis than the one your Howa came in? If your concerned that you're not getting the most accuracy out of your rifle, maybe start looking elsewhere. I have an HCR and it is more accurate than I could be. The only way I could see an MDT as being better was if the one you have came defective from factory which causes your BA not to mate perfectly. I seriously doubt that's the case tho not impossible!
I agree with above statements. I will add that some folks are not as comfortable on a chassis as on a more traditional stock. That is the case for me. When I started with a chassis, my groups were ab 1”, but a more experienced friend shot my rifle and was under 1/2. I adjusted many times, many things. Small improvements but nothing major. I shot his rifle (manners stocked) and was immediately under 1/2. Switched mine to a Manners - much better results.
All that was to say the system was very capable, as evidenced by a friends ability to shoot it very well. I was not comfortable. Try adjusting or shooting someone else’s system - that will identify pretty quickly whether it is a stock/chassis problem or an experience problem. Comfort made a big difference when I was starting.
If a rifle is already in a chassis properly, a new chassis will not affect the accuracy. Changing the ergonomics of the gun and the comfort level of it may help ‘you’ be more accurate.
Is the rifle comfortable to you as it is? Cheek weld comfortable, length of pull, scope distance good?
These will all factor into ‘accuracy’ of the shooter.