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JP MR-19 Review: Totaly Tubular

John Paul of JP Enterprises makes no bones about it. Within two seconds of our interview about the origins of the company’s JP MR-19 rifle, J.P. spits fire about traditional, drop-comb bolt gun ergonomics.

“Gas gun ergonomics are far superior to drop-comb bolt gun ergonomics,” he says. He’s talking about the trouble he had almost 20 years ago finding a rifle setup that’d work well in endurance-based, team sniper competition. That was his obsession at the time. He means events in the early 2000s that were the forerunners of events current comps like Competition Dynamic’s Sniper Adventure Challenge and G3 Dynamic’s Mammoth Sniper Challenge. He was looking for something light, rigid, and most of all, ergonomic.

JP MR-19 front

We pulled the Leupold Mark 8 and Spuhr mount off our 6.5 Creedmoor gas gun, and it mated right up to the JP MR-19 without any ergonomic adjustment.

At the time, the Accuracy International Chassis System was the only game in town for the 700, J.P. laments.

“Ergonomically, I couldn’t stand it,” he says. “I was coming from a 3-gun background to begin with. I don’t care what I did to adjust that stock, I couldn’t get comfortable with it.” This desire to bring gas gun ergonomics to his bolt guns was the impetus for his company’s first chassis system.

The original JP chassis was the AMCS. The JP Enterprises Advanced Modular Chassis System was released in 2006. With its AR-style pistol grip and adjustable comb, it was among the first bolt gun chassis to incorporate gas gun ergonomics. J.P. wanted to get the AMCS concept to market, so he says he didn’t tackle the engineering problems associated with making his own adjustable stock when Magpul’s PRS stock would do just fine. The chassis gained a following and, as it aged gracefully, long-range precision shooting enjoyed a renascence beginning around 2010. Long-range precision competition bloomed into what J.P. calls the PRS movement as the Precision Rifle Series hit its stride around 2015.

JP MR-19 disassembled

Two things to note. First, the Thermal Dissipator on the JP Supermatch barrel. Second, the Deadline action’s bolt pops apart without tools for maintenance and caliber swaps with optional bolt heads available from Ultimatum Precision.

“People were heavily into monolithic chassis systems, and we knew we had to revisit the AMCS design.” He wanted to update the buttstock and reduce some weight back there and, also, JP says, Magpul redesigned its PRS stock so that it was no longer compatible with JP’s butt interface. The hinge system and forend also deserved overhauls. The effort to update the AMCS resulted in JP’s APAC, the Advanced Precision Ambidextrous Chassis, which is the heart of the JP MR-19 rifle.

THE CHASSIS IS THE THING

Looking at the JP MR-19, it’s apparent JP’s effort was to select components that worked well with the APAC. After all, the APAC is the meat on the bone, here. APAC distinguishes itself from its competitors in a few ways. The tubular handguard is a JP hallmark and a massive, eight-screw interface for the tube, plus another 10 for the 15-inch ARCA rail that runs from the magwell to just shy of the handguard’s end.

JP MR-19 Chassis

A dovetail interface and eight bolts secure the MR-19’s APAC handguard to the chassis body. It’s not going anywhere.

The 2-inch aluminum tube does a couple of things on the MR-19. First, it provides a bomber freefloat handguard that’ll double as a pull-up bar, and second, it covers JP’s signature Thermal Dissipator system. That’s the big heatsink-looking thing that’s mounted on JP’s Supermatch barrel. These are Proof Research-made barrels that are custom contoured to a svelte, 0.75-inch under the handguard with the remaining 10-inch bellend measuring 0.878 around. The Dissipator is installed with thermal transfer paste that conducts heat from the surface of the barrel to the aluminum fins. According to J.P., the system serves three purposes. It adds rigidity to the barrel, attenuates harmonics, and modulates the temperature of the barrel. We don’t have the M.I.T. engineering background that allows us to understand how or why this works, but we do have a 0.16 MOA, five-shot group that says it does work.

The JP MR-19 handguard has a notch up top to accommodate Ultimatum Precision’s tri-lug Deadline action. The action features an extended, 20-MOA scope base. As we’re seeing in PRS matches, a recent trend is for taller optics and shorter length-of-pull. The shorter the L.O.P., the further forward you’re going to want to mount your scope, so that extra inch of scope base up front dovetails perfectly with J.P.’s mission to provide the MR-19 owner modern, gas gun-like ergonomics.

J.P. strove to reduce weight on the new chassis any place he could without sacrificing reliability and accuracy. “I personally disagree with this whole approach of making rifles so heavy. In fact, I think they really ought to step up and say, ‘Hey, if you want a 30-pound rifle, then shoot benchrest.’”

While J.P.s vision for the APAC was to make a lightweight chassis for guys who ruck with their rifles, the company does sell bolt-on weights that screw into the handguard to add a few pounds for the gone-in-90-seconds crowd.

action

The Ultimatum Precision Deadline action overcomes the traditional disadvantage of tri-lug, 60-degree bolts with a novel half-cock-on-open, half-cock-on-close mechanism.

The magwell serves as an effective barricade stop and accepts AI pattern mags. Since the Deadline action’s got an oversized, 7/8-inch bolt body, JP had to lower the mag catch to make it work with standard mags. JP MR-19 owners who want to run the MR-19’s APAC with another action will need to get a stock mag catch from JP. Continuing toward the rear, the trigger guard is tapped for a Pic rail, not sure why, but someone will come up with a use … JP thoughtfully provides a TriggerTech Diamond, single-stage trigger with a straight bow. We measured a crisp 1.25-pound trigger break and left it as is, noting we could adjust the trigger weight using a hex wrench to turn the detent-bearing screw without taking the action out of the chassis.

Magpul’s MIAD grip comes stock and can be swapped with most other AR grips. We did note the lack of a thumb shelf, a bummer for those of us who like to use a cupped, thumb-right grip. J.P.’s proud of the APAC’s hinge, calling it “bank-vault tight.” We can’t argue with that assessment. J.P. says the hinge is cleverly designed such that the locking mechanism accounts for wear with camming surfaces that mate as they wear, preventing the joint from wobbling, likely for the life of the rifle.

Lastly, we have to point out the little numbers on the side of the chassis that signifies an affirming attitude of team play in the normally cutthroat gun industry. JP is licensing Scott McCree’s patented chassis-mounted cant indicator as indicated by the presence of McCree’s patent number marked above the grip.

ACTION

J.P. figured a two-lug, 700 clone action was too pedestrian to bear the JP Enterprises brand. So, the company first set out to make its own action. It was a straight-pull design with inspiration taken from the K31 Swiss action. But J.P. says once Adam Burt, the company’s general manager, showed him his own Deadline action, he decided to expedite the process and use it.

JP MR-19 trigger and bolt

The MR-19’s AR-like ergos are on display, along with the TriggerTech Diamond, and a nod to Scott McCree and his patented, integrated bubble level.

The Deadline’s 60-degree bolt throw uses a half-cock-on-open and half-cock-on-close mechanism that reduces the notoriously stiff cocking resistance usually found on tri-lug actions to that of a slightly heavy two-lug action. The oversize bolt body lends an air of authority to bolt operation, which is slick, smooth, and speedy. The Deadline’s bolt feels less bindy than other actions. We surmise the bolt feels the way it does because it doesn’t run in lug raceways. Instead, the whole outer diameter of the bolt glides along in broad contact with the action’s inner diameter. In place of lugways, the bolt is guided by a keyway that the bolt stop runs in. This arrangement means the bolt is far less susceptible to binding when it’s run off-axis.

The Deadline merits its own article, and we’re working on one, but we’ll list a few more highlights of the Canadian-made action before we step away and head for the range. The bolt comes apart for maintenance without tools; a floating bolt head is swappable for use with other calibers; the action uses Savage small shank threads and a barrel nut for DIY barrel swaps; there’s a massive, integral recoil lug; and the scope base is He-Manned in place with six bolts and a couple of dowels that make the optic interface immune to recoil.

ART THAT SHOOTS

With the gun thoroughly dissected, we took the 6.5 Creedmoor JP MR-19 to the range and filled in the barrel with a couple hundred rounds of 140-grain Hornady American Gunner before running five, five-round group tests with three types of ammo. Conditions were calm, the light was good, and we did a 10-minute Headspace mediation before starting the grouping ritual.

art that shoots

The first five-rounds from the gun printed a 0.16 MOA group. We couldn’t repeat that feat, but the rest of the groups prove the rifle is capable with any ammo, though it really liked the 140-grain Hornady ELD-M. Turns out, that’s the round JP used in the gun’s development. Go figure.

arca swiss rail

We put approximately 400 rounds through the JP MR-19 with no malfunctions running a combo of PMAG, AI, and MDT AICS pattern mags.

JP MR-19 table

FEEL

The rifle balances naturally just ahead of the magwell, so it worked well from barricade bags on all manner of competition shooting props. The tubular handguard gave us access to the entire barrel when we wanted to squeeze the forend against a prop.

Running the bolt feels like a combination of an AI and a Defiance, but smoother. Turning up the speed, the bolt resisted our attempts to bind it up.

JP MR-19

The MR-19’s reversible hinge feels as rigid as a fixed stock when deployed.

The recoil was very manageable thanks to JP’s two-chamber brake, which we’ll unscrew and toss into the flames of Mordor and replace with a silencer, or something less aggressive. That thing is a bell ringer. Maybe we were overly sensitive to it since we’d been running precision rimfire for a couple of months prior, but eff that brake.

MAG OUT/BOLT BACK

At first, we weren’t fond of the JP MR-19’s tubular forend, and we were expecting its tri-lug action to feel like a wrist-strengthening fitness machine. But, with several weekends and a mock match on the rifle, it became clear J.P. was onto something with his penchant for gas gun ergos, his cryo-treated, Thermal Dissipator-equipped, thin contour barrel, and his choice of the feature-rich and reliable Ultimatum Deadline action.

If you (or your agency) is looking for a scalable precision rifle that’ll put bullets exactly where you want them right out of the box, check out the JP MR-19. This is one gun that'll leave no doubt in your mind what, or more likely who’s to blame for your fliers. 


JP MR-19

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor (Also available in 6 CM, 308 WIN)
Overall Length: 45 inches (36.5 folded)
Weight Unloaded: 11.6 pounds
Barrel length: 26 inches
Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
MSRP: $4,999
URL: JPRifles.com

FEATURED ACCESSORIES:

JP Black Teflon Barrel Finish and Blended Muzzle Treatment: $150
Leupold Mark 8 3.5-25×56, Illuminated: $5,590
Spuhr SP-5602 Scope Mount: $410
Nikon P-Tactical SPUR: $210
Thunder Beast Arms Corporation Bipod: $395

Price as Featured: $11,754

[Editor's Note: This Article first appeared in RECOIL #47.]


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