Desert Tech Begins Production of MDR, Plans Q2 Release


Desert Tech announced yesterday that they’ve begun production of their highly-anticipated semiautomatic bullpup, the MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle), and have started accepting pre-orders. The Utah-based precision rifle manufacturer is planning on having the first units shipped to premier dealers and select individuals in the second quarter of 2016.

The MDR will initially be offered solely in 5.56x45mm and .308 rifle configurations in black and flat dark earth. The MSRP for 5.56 models will be $1,999, whereas the .308s will retail for $2,249. The 5.56 models will feed from STANAG AR-15 magazines and the .308s from SR-25-pattern mags.

Desert Tech hopes to have the MDR in the hands of a larger number of dealers by the third and fourth quarters of the year. Shorter barrels and caliber conversion kits may come later this year, but that’s still somewhat up in the air.

A black MDR in .308.
A black MDR in .308.

There were a few external changes evident in the guns available on the SHOT 2016 show floor compared to those of years past. The ejection chute appears to be slimmer and features a different dust cover. The chute can be swapped to the left-hand side of the receiver in minutes using tabs at the rear. In the event of a serious malfunction, an operator can also simply rip the chute off to access the ejection area and clear any stoppages. The gun will still function with the chute removed. The handguard is now confirmed to feature M-LOK attachment points and improved texturing for a more solid grip.

Internally, the short-stroke piston action has been refined and streamlined. The two-stage trigger breaks around 6.5 pounds and lacks the mushiness, takeup, and overlong reset normally associated with bullpup bang switches.

A non-reciprocating charging handle operated by arms on the right and left side of the receiver is located right above the pistol grip. Cutouts at the rear of the handle’s slots allow a user to lock it back and slap it forward, a la Heckler & Koch roller-delayed blowback guns.

The ejection chute on the MDR. It can be quickly removed for swapping or malfunction clearing using the tabs at the rear.
The ejection chute on the MDR. It can be quickly removed for swapping or malfunction clearing using the tabs at the rear.

The fire controls remain fully ambidextrous. A magazine release is located above and forward of the pistol grip, just like on an AR-15. There is an additional release located just forward of the magazine well in a position similar to that of a Tavor SAR. An ambidextrous fire selector is right above the pistol grip.

Initial rifle variants will have 16-inch barrels and have an overall length of 26 inches. They’ll weigh right around 7.5 pounds unloaded.

Overall, the MDR still looks like it’s going to be an incredibly impressive entry in the bullpup world. Desert Tech isn’t going to let it out of the gate until it’s absolutely perfect, so I’m willing to bet it’s going to make quite the impact.

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