After reviewing the Made in Canada Chassis and Bipod combo produced by Extreme Tactical out of Manitoba, the good folks at Wolverine Supplies suggested that I take a look at a competitor; the new chassis from Dolphin – I say ‘new’ because while Dolphin’s F-Class chassis has been out for some time, the chassis supplied to me this time is for a repeater and, even better, it takes AICS magazines and everyone knows that I do like AICS mags !
While other actions are supported, my test mule is a Remington R5 in .308 I so asked Wolverine to supply me with the chassis designed to accept the R700 short-action footprint.
For those that do not know, Dolphin is based in the UK and has a strong following amongst F-Class and other shooters both at home and in other parts of the world. Details of Dolphin’s products can be found on their corporate website at: http://www.dolphinguncompany.co.uk/
Wolverine suggested that while I was looking at the Dolphin chassis I should consider also the new Dolphin Trakker II which is apparently an upgrade over the original Trakker which I’d reviewed some years ago.
Though the chassis arrived fully assembled, I took it apart and re-assembled it to make sure all the bits and pieces fit together properly and to look carefully at the machining. I am happy to say that assembly was easy ( of course, I’d done it once before with the identical chassis from Extreme ) and the machining was perfect. I will say though that if you haven’t put one of these together before it can be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and a simple instruction sheet would be helpful. All aluminum with a perfectly even finish this chassis is clearly a quality piece of gear as one would expect from a well-established company with a very good record of making quality products.
As It Arrived:
The chassis allows for LOP and cheek height adjustments but to adjust the LOP one is going to have to break out the Allen wrenches and this isn’t really an ‘in the field’ job.
Adjustable But With Tools:
While the Dolphin Chassis is supplied with a basic AR grip it is easy to install the grip of choice and make it more ‘yours’ but, other than switching out the grip, that’s about it for the ability to customize or personalize your chassis.
I don’t know what prevented my test rifle fitting into the chassis supplied by Extreme but I am pleased that in the case of Dolphin the chassis really did fit as advertised.
My Test Mule:
Cinched down nice and tight, the rifle sat in the Dolphin chassis quite perfectly and the supplied AICS 5 round mag fit tight with no annoying wiggle. An ‘Accurate Mag’ clone and a real AICS ten rounder fit equally well and, as expected, a number of dummy rounds cycled perfectly through all magazines with no binding or other issues.
Mags Fit Perfectly:
The Trakker II bipod that came with the chassis was immediately appealing as it was both nice and light and clearly well-constructed with no machining marks or other evidence of rushed or shoddy workmanship.
Attachment to the Dolphin chassis was easy and accomplished via the supplied Anshutz type rail. When attached the rifle felt very solid and I was easily able to make the usual adjustments.
Ski Pod type feet feel perfect for shooting off relatively flat surfaces. More ideal for F Class than Tactical games of course.
Sitting Amongst Some Tactical-Type Rifles:
In the field the chassis and bipod worked very well. and, in particular I thought the bipod to be so good that it really ought to be one of the ones under consideration for any F-Classer worried about weight ( and, in that game, who isn’t ).
I can’t help but comment that other than the engraving of a name on one of them The Dolphin Chassis and the one produced by Extreme are absolutely identical – a fact that no doubt has been keenly reviewed both sides of the Atlantic.
Pricing for the Dolphin Chassis is approx $950 and the Bipod had a tag on it for $399. These prices seem very reasonable for what is clearly high quality equipment.
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