This is TFB’s review of the Spuhr SICS chassis (Spuhr Ideal Chassis System), or “6” for short. This high-end chassis was invented, designed and produced by Spuhr in Sweden. Having followed the project somewhat before its introduction, I know that the development progressed over a long period of time, and there were huge investments made to realize this project. Apart from the pistol grip, the cheek rest and the recoil pad, everything is machined from aircraft aluminum.
Spuhr @ TFB:
As most projects do, mine started with unboxing a package.
Here’s what’s inside. Let the evaluation and modifications begin!
Thanks to a custom-made Cerakote (by iKote), this is how I started out before bedding the chassis.
SPUHR SICS Features
The Chassis Body
Precision-machined out of a single billet of 7075 T651 aluminum alloy, this is the main part of the chassis, designed to be the best host for your rifle. The magazine pattern is AICS. I’ve used both Magpul and MDT steel/polymer magazines and had zero malfunctions (6.5 Creedmoor, 6XC). There’s a third QD sling cup at the rear left side of the chassis.
The 16” standard forend comes with Spuhr Interfaces all along the top, sides, and bottom. There are QD sling swivels and a long ARCA Swiss rail. There are other lengths of forends if needed. Coming back to the Spuhr Interface, this will allow the use of other Spuhr ISMS scope mount accessories to be moved from the scope mount to the chassis, and vice versa.
Once you get the hang of that, you’re going to like it. Attaching either the Spuhr bubble level or MDT’s Send It electronic level.
The Folding Stock Frame
The folding stock is attached to the body of the chassis with a hinge with an M8 hinge bolt and brass bushings. The hinge comes adjusted for smooth and silent movement, without any rattle or shake. The movement is adjustable.
Below: Collapsed stock, seen from below. In the folded position, the stock frame locks into the side of the chassis and the bolt handle can’t move. Note: due to local legislation, it’s possible to order the chassis with a non-folding stock.
You’ll find some of the other features mentioned as you read on, like the adjustable Length Of Pull.
The magwell goes a lot longer than “needed”, to increase the overall strength and help the recoil lug of the Tikka T3x (hidden, for obvious reasons) to stay in place. Also, you can use the body as a barricade stop with confidence. That’s a Schmidt & Bender 3-27×56 PMII riflescope.
Using the Spuhr SICS
I have now used the Spuhr SICS chassis on a variety of rifles, both my own and my friend’s, over a fairly long period of time (a lot more than “one go”). I’ve spoken to a bunch of users here and there, to avoid self-bias and also to discover and discuss new input.
When we weigh it all together, the conclusion is that the SICS chassis has a really good fit and finish. The construction is very rigid, especially in the mid-section. The balance is excellent, and if it isn’t you can add weights either inside or outside the chassis.
The adjustability and modularity are great, and especially the patented, quick-adjustable Length of Pull (LOP) for the stock has to be mentioned. This allows the shooter to instantly adjust the LOP when shifting from one shooting position to another.
If accuracy is important to you, both Spuhr and myself recommend that you bed your system. It does take a few hours, but I’d rather do it than live in uncertainty. Below are two images from the process.
Did I mention that the fit and finish are really great? This goes for the internals as well, where your donor rifle will fit. Take a look at each perfect detail in these pictures.
QD sling swivels. There are no sharp edges, not even the Picatinny rails. This is not the type of machining and quality you can order from Wish.
I’m hoping I followed Spuhr’s recommendations on how to mount the riflescope to the Picatinny, using grease.
Here shown with the Schmidt & Bender 3-27×56 PM II and ASE Utra suppressor.
The Tikka T3x TAC A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor is now SICSier than ever.
Let’s try to mount a thermal, the Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XG50 (Long Range) Thermal Riflescope, if you want to turn the system into a hunting rig.
The internal Laser Range Finder and ballistic app give you a lot of comfort when shooting a thermal in the dark, as it can be quite difficult to estimate the range.
The color of this custom Cerakote (Snigel Design Grey) will alter quite a bit depending on the exposure.
If you’re used to a thumb support that’s closer to the trigger, you might miss that feature. However, getting used to the center thumb grip is pretty easy.
The pistol grip is adjustable, and slides if you release a couple of screws. Swap the grip to any AR-style grip if you like.
There’s a lot of cool design and engineering going on in this chassis.
Here’s a backpack with the Snigel Grey fabric.
I absolutely love the Snigel Design 15-20L All pack (right), and their A4 Admin Case for keeping notes and other important stuff.
The Short Action versions for Remington 700 and Tikka T3x are 685 mm/27.0” folded and 975 mm/38.4” fully extended. The Remington 700 SA version weighs 2.37 kg/5.22 lb and the Tikka T3x SA version weighs 2.43 kg/5.35 lb.
I read a few complaints about the magazine release being too stiff, and played around with mine a bit to see if I could replicate the problem – I could not. It could be down to someone’s magazine?
Note the rigid design of the collapsible stock.
Below: This is a TikkaT3x UPR with a Zero Compromise ZCO840, plus an Aimpoint ACRO on top. Note the additional external weights at the front, to balance the rifle for PRS. This rifle is extremely accurate as well. Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor.
Tikka T3x (TAC A1) with a Schmidt & Bender 5-45×56 PM II High Power riflescope. MDT Ckye-bipod. Note the MDT magazine, which works really well.
The brand new Schmidt & Bender 6-35×56 PMII mounted on the .22LR Rim-X with Bartlein barrel. Rimfire at its greatest!
Evaluating some laser rangefinders. Schmidt & Bender 5-20×52 PMII Ultra Short. B&T Atlas bipod and Magpul AICS magazine (Cerakoted).
Spuhr chassis with a suppressed Tikka T3x action. Pulsar Thermal Riflescope, Thermion 2 LRF XG50.
Spuhr SICS Rimfire Edition
In search for perfection, we took a .22LR Rim-X / Bartlein custom rifle and shot over 20 batches of different Lapua ammunition to find which one was the most accurate. This is how biathlon champions, and similar athletes, do it! I don’t think anyone is ever going to ski with this rifle, but let’s do it anyway.
We used the new Schmidt & Bender 6-35×56 PMII riflescope for testing at 50 meters.
There wasn’t a fixture for ARCA rails, so we had to do the work manually, with a bipod and a support bag.
We shot well over 20 batches (each “batch” is 10 rounds) to find the best ammunition for this rifle and chassis. We ended up with Lapua Midas .22LR and bought 5000 pcs for the next PRS Rimfire World Championship. It’s easy to fall in love with this setup, but perhaps not as much with the investment required.
The group size (edge to edge) was 14.57mm, 10 rounds at 50 meters indoors. See the ammunition test report below. Using a fixture to shoot, instead of doing it manually, would decrease this even further. Probably in the region of around 12mm.
Many thanks to Karl Olsson Shooting Sports for all the help.
The setup and ammunition work really well outdoors as well (here with ZCO840 optic). Apart from the compulsory 100-meter zeroing, we also hit 30, 15 and 10 cm circular steel at 314 meters. I’d be lying if I said we hit the steel all of the time, but the 30 cm steel felt pretty comfortable. A nice way of trueing the ballistics.
Spuhr SICS rimfire edition. Rem 700 action, so everything is the same as with a normal Small Action.
Quick-Adjustable length of Pull
Here’s to show how the Spuhr SICS chassis works with the Quick-Adjustable Lenght Of Pull so that an optimal eye-relief can be obtained as you move between shooting positions. The Recoil Pad position (height) can also be adjusted, but I forgot to show it in these images.
Below: Maximum extension.
Below: Just release the catch and adjust the length of pull.
Below: There are also different bag riders. The top one is stock. The black one is an optional SICS Adjustable Bag Rider (€210). The top recoil pad is stock, and the bottom one is 3D printed (Replacement Butt Pad). If you look closely, you’ll notice that the cheekpieces are different as well. The top one is stock, bottom one is the replacement cheekpiece.
You can download all of these 3D printed designs for free from the Spuhr 3D printing page.
The pistol grip comes with the chassis and is, to my surprise, also made by Spuhr and not OEM. So far I have not felt the need to change it.
The height of the cheek rest is adjustable, and there’s at least one version more if you want to change.
Below: This is a Rem 700 BAT Machine action, with a Bartlein 6XC barrel. The optic is Zero Compromise ZCO840, with an Aimpoint ACRO on top. This rifle is extremely accurate, it’s just silly.
Below: This is a Tikka T3x UPR (Ultimate Precision Rifle) in 6.5 Creedmoor, with a Zero Compromise ZCO840. The SICS chassis is a lot better than the UPR. Note the additional external weights at the front, to balance the rifle for PRS.
The recoil mitigation in the SICS chassis is really good regardless of the actions.
The accuracy with Sellier & Bellot‘s 6.5 Creedmoor FMJ at 300 meters is normally good enough for most people, but it seems to have its limits further out. That’s five rounds within about 3 centimeters (1.2″). Considering the price per round, this is a dream to shoot.
Price and availability
Mile High Shooting in the USA charges $1,895 for a SICS chassis. The Spuhr webshop wants €1,695 (+VAT, which will differ depending on your location). There are a lot of versions available, including FDE color. Check the websites for the latest and most accurate information.
I only started using it recently, so it doesn’t show in any of the images but the SICS ARCA Rail Grabber is worth mentioning and adding to the cart. It will allow your bipod/tripod/whatever to attach to your ARCA rail, and to move it along with just a press from your hand or fingers. Note that it will not lock onto other brands of ARCA-Swiss forends/plates unless they have a special design.
Apart from that ARCA grabber, or possibly also the adjustable bag rider, everything you need is included in the original package.
If you scrolled all the way down here to read the conclusion, you better check out this video as well.
Coming to a conclusion
It’s hard to come to a conclusion without repeating everything over again. By now you have probably figured that this is not an entry-level chassis. Instead, the Spuhr SICS wants to take a place at the top of the food chain, and that is always going to take a big bite out of your savings. I think first of all the “6” looks really good, and good looks are not to be underestimated. Luckily, it also delivers from fit and finish to overall performance, with almost endless possibilities to customize your setup.
The design is very solid. There’s no moving between the parts or any sort of rattling to make you feel insecure when you take the shot. If you know how solid and dependable the Spuhr mounts are, well then you get the idea.
I already have the 3D printed part, and I’m going to change the so-called “Limbsaver Airtech recoil pad“, as I think it’s more suited for a shotgun. Perhaps it’s needed if you run larger calibers, which I rarely do.
Getting used to adjusting the Length Of Pull during a course of fire may take a little while to get used to, but once you see (and feel) the benefits, you’re probably ending up doing it as well. Why not have a friend watch and coach you, or video yourself during a course of fire? Why would you spend a fortune on a shooting rig, and not be able to change one of the most important details: the eye-relief?
Wherever you look, it shows that quality has been a priority and I’m confident that you won’t be disappointed if you choose to buy one.
All in all: If you miss, it’s going to be hard to blame this chassis.
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