Reviews JAE-700 G4 Chassis: The King Is Back [Hands-On Review] David Lane December 1, 2022 Join the Conversation LONG TIME MISSING, BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN, THE JAE-700 GEN 4 IS HERE J. Allen Enterprises isn’t a chassis name you’ve seen in the last few years, but for over a decade, they were one of the hottest names in fancy rifle chassis. First for the M1A and then for Remington 700 pattern rifles, these were some of the coolest chassis on the market. Gone for a while now, they’re back and being made by another huge name in the industry – MDT. Does the Gen 4 live up to the history and hype? Are they worth your hard earned money? Let’s find out! YOU MAY HAVE HEARD… If you’ve been around the precision rifle world for a while, it’s almost positive that you’ve at least heard of J. Allen Enterprises or JAE, but chances are equally good you’ve never seen one. J. Allen started designing chassis back in 2003, by 2005, the company launched the first product – the JAE-100 M14 chassis. JAE-100 Gen 2 for the M1A In 2012 they released the JAE-700 for Remington 700 platform rifles and clones that use the same footprint. Sadly, in 2019 JAE closed its doors. Before closing, JAE built a big reputation as a sort of boutique chassis. Expensive, even by standards of long range chassis, but with a level of care and attention to detail that wasn’t found in other options. They weren’t the biggest name in the game, but they had a solid place in NRL and PRS and had a cult-like following. According to PrecisionRifleBlog, in 2019, 8% of the top shooters used a J. Allen chassis, putting them at 5th most used and higher than Accuracy International or KRG. JAE-700 Gen 3, image via PRB. But that was 3 years ago, and the chassis game has changed a good bit since then. With being off the market for so long, JAE is a rare sight these days. MDT AND JAE Not long after J. Allen stopped selling chassis, the manufacturing was bought by MDT. MDT is a huge name in the chassis world, with a wide range of designs under its brand or under brands they own, like Oryx. Since then, MDT has been tooling up and getting ready to release the 4th generation of the JAE. A pandemic and supply-chain apocalypse later, the JAE is once again being sold and shipping to adoring fans. I’ve had the chance to review several MDT chassis before, and they were good enough to hook me up with this JAE Gen 4 also. They even custom-painted it for me. Right now, the only color available from the factory is black – but more colors are coming soon. Mine is green because green is the best color. More on this later! SPECS Fits: REM700 Short Action & most Custom Actions that are manufactured with the same blueprint as the REM700 Short ActionDimensions (approx): Overall length w/ 2 Butt Pad Spacers 2.00″ x 33.50″ LOP: 13.50″ Weight (approx): 6.50 lbsMaterial: 6061-T6 Aluminum w/ Mil-spec Type III Hard Anodize on Full Length Skeleton with Polymer Side PanelsWhat's Included: JAE-700 G4 CHASSIS ships standard with:Full-Length Aluminum Skeleton Bolt-On Polymer Side Panels that can be changed out for different colors (Extra Side Panels in various colors will be sold separately in the future)Rubber Inserts in between Aluminum Skeleton and Side Panels to cut down on felt recoilAdjustable Cheek Rest w/ Thumbwheel, QD Lever, & locking Brake Wheel (& Rubber Overmolding)Rubber Butt Pad for comfort and reduced felt recoilAngled Rubber Grip for a traditional feelVertical Rubber Grip to get closer to the triggerPalm Rest for Angled Grip – Becomes adjustable when used with Palm Rest Spacers (Sold Separately)Palm Rest for Vertical Grip – Becomes adjustable when used with Palm Rest Spacers (Sold Separately)Built-In Adjustable Magwell – Adjust for fit of magazine by moving Front Collet fore and aft and Adjust for feed by moving vertical sear in mag release M-LOK Bottom Flush Rail M-LOK Side Rail Adapters 3 Mounting Points on each side of Chassis to connect Quick Release Sling SwivelsM-LOK Bipod Adapter to attach Harris / Harris Style Bipod2 Butt Spacers FEATURES AND ACCESSORIES Most chassis on the market right now are very “tactical” feeling, they conform to a fairly common look and can be kind of harsh. JAE goes the other direction by making their chassis look and feel as much like a traditional stock as possible while still giving you all of the features of a chassis. The base JAE has a lot to love: Adjustable cheek restQD cheek rest for easy bolt removalFully adjustable magazine well and magazine catchMultiple hard points for slingsMultiple mounting points for MLOK along the side of the chassisInterchangeable gripAdjustable palm length Two accessories I strongly recommend are the ARCA rail and bag rider. Even if you’re not invested in ARCA rail accessories yet, like a bipod, if you’re looking to shoot anything like PRS or NRL, you really should make the move. M-LOK for side mounting anything The bottom ARCA rail comes in 2 flavors, +2 inches, and +6 inches. Both rails mount to the bottom of the forend and then extend past it, thus +2 or +6. The total lengths for each are 13.6 inches for the +2 and 17.25 inches for the +6. I’m using the +6 inches since I want as much rail space as possible at all times. Getting your bipod way out there provides a huge boost in stability. If you’re using a rear bag, you’ll want a bag rider. Something you don’t normally see with bag riders is adjustability. JAE’s can adjust in multiple directions, while I didn’t see the need to tweak mine, it’s nice to have the option. Finally, the JAE is very easy to paint or color as you see fit. Mine is painted green, but everything you see that is green is actually a kind of skin that goes on top of the chassis. It is removable and easy to paint or Cerakote as you'd like. While more colors will be offered from JAE in the future, it's super easy to take off your current set of panels, paint them, and put them back on. RANGE TIME I have two main rifles that I shoot for fun and competition. Normally, my centerfire rifle sits in an MPA hybrid Comp chassis, and my rimfire rifle lives in an MDT ACC chassis. But for this review, I wanted to try both of them in the JAE. This took a bit of switching back and forth, but the JAE isn’t hard to switch and adjust as long as you have the right tools. For me, that means my set of FixIt sticks and an extended action bit. Through the power of photoshop, here are both setups side-by-side Centerfire I thought going from an MDT ACC chassis to the JAE would be more of a shock, but it actually moved over very smoothly. While I use several MDT weights to adjust the balance of my MDT chassis, the JAE didn’t really require any modifications. If I felt like being really picky, I could put a few ounces on the forend – but this wasn’t enough for me to bother with. What did have a small learning curve was all of the adjustment points on the JAE. From the magazine well to changing out the grip to getting my ARCA rail on it (pro tip for the ARCA rail install, they hide a screw under the sling stud!). All of these options and adjustments are two things – a little intimidating and very nice. JAE has a solid owner’s manual and several videos on its YouTube page if you get lost. Between those and not rushing yourself, and by the end, you will have a rifle that is beautifully set up exactly for your needs. This isn’t the fastest chassis to get ready, but it does offer a finer level of adjustment than almost anything else I’ve shot with. Once on the range, everything fell into place. The ultra-long ARCA forend is great for setting up with a bipod. Throwing on my MDT Ckye-Pod I got zeroed in and started laying down groups immediately. My Terminus Zeus is a solid 1/2 MOA rifle when in its normal MPA chassis, and I’m very happy to say that it’s still a 1/2 MOA rifle in the JAE. My POI shifted a little after installing the barreled action, but that is entirely expected. Something that stood out to me was how well recoil was handled in this JAE. Normally, my Zeus is about 18 pounds in the MPA chassis. Sitting in the JAE, it sits at about 20 pounds since the JAE is slightly heavier. 2 pounds of weight will eat a little recoil, but between the weight and the super squishy buttpad on the JAE, felt recoil was down significantly. For the uninitiated, a recoil reduction might not sound very important. But experienced precision shooters understand that recoil is the devil. Any reduction in recoil that can be achieved is absolutely worth it. Getting dynamic with the JAE and running drills felt good, they felt smooth and consistent. The huge forend is crazy long and rock solid. Zero flex, zero deflection. Putting rounds on target is not only easy, it is silly easy. Something I always get for my chassis, if possible, is a folding stock. Simply because it makes it so much easier to take the bolt out for cleaning, bore scoping, bore sighting, or just transport. The JAE doesn’t have a folding stock, but it does have a QD cheek rest that accomplishes the goal of giving me easy access to my bolt. Flip the lever, pull it off. And when it’s locked down, it’s absolutely rock solid. RIFLE SPECS: Terminus Zeus Action w/ Bartlin 24” 6.5 Creedmoor MTU Profile BarrelJAE-700 G4 Chassis w/ ARCA rail and bag riderBushnell Elite Tactical XRS3 6-36x56mm Scope w/ Seekins Scope RingsKestrel Ballistics HUDMKM Bubble LevelUltradyne Apollo LR Rimfire As expected, getting my RimX into the chassis was faster and easier than my first time through, as were all of the other adjustments. Good thing too since I was in a rush to get ready for a match a few days later. I won’t bore you with all of the details, but the highlight is in shooting NRL22 for years, I shot a personal best score with the JAE. Shout out to the Northern Colorado Rod & Gun Club, they run a great NRL22 match! The October 2022 course of fire for NRL22 wasn’t the hardest I’ve shot, but it was a solid mix of prone and positional shooting that threw me most of the hardship that I was looking for in testing out the JAE chassis. Plus, a couple of bonus stages that the club I shot at helped increase the difficulty significantly. From prone off a bipod to off of multi-layered cinder blocks with a bag to rolling dice and shooting off of pegs, everything felt right. It felt locked in and on target. If you’ve never shot with a really good chassis, you might not know the feeling I’m talking about, but if you have, then you know it. When everything just works. No matter what kind of weird position I was in, no matter if it was off concrete or a shooting mat or on my knees, every shot felt in the zone. Magic floating rifle. RIFLE SPECS: Zermatt Arms RimX Action w/ Proof Research 20” Competition Stainless Steel BarrelJAE-700 G4 Chassis w/ ARCA rail and bag riderBushnell Match Pro or Athlon Cronus BTR w/ Wheeler Scope RingsKestrel Ballistics HUDMKM Bubble Level RECOMMENDED? Hell yes. The JAE G4 is a great chassis in every respect, it’s easy to use, feels wonderful, and can really help put down rounds on target. The only real downside I’ve found is the price. The base chassis is $2,000, but with the ARCA rail and bag rider it’s a cool $2,300. For comparison, my fully accessorized MDT ACC was about $1,800 – and that includes a folding stock and Cerakote. JAE is, as they always were, a more boutique chassis. All of the machining is next level, all of it is pushed beyond was in strictly necessary, and all of it is beautiful. This is as much a showroom piece as it is a workhorse chassis. This is, without a doubt, a beautiful chassis. If aged cigars and top shelf liquors are your other hobbies, you might appreciate something like the JAE and the artisan feel it brings. Explore RECOILweb:Panteao Subscriber Appreciation SaleConcealed Carry is Not a Right: Peruta v San DiegoUncovered: New ProductsTake a bead on Bushnell Outdoor Products' new TRS-32 NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.