A Desert Tech employee shows off the .308 MDR.
A Desert Tech employee shows off the .308 MDR.

Desert Tech revealed more information to the public about their forthcoming bullpup MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle) at a SHOT Show press conference earlier today. The Utah-based company, which is well-known for its bullpup bolt-action firearms and was formerly named Desert Tactical Arms, featured the gun alongside their new R7S Remington 700 stock chassis and previously-released rifles.

A smiling Desert Tech employee holds up the .223 MDR-C for display.
A smiling Desert Tech employee holds up the .223 MDR-C for display.

Details about the exciting new bullpup were delivered by Desert Tech owner Nicholas Young to an engaged audience. The MDR is a multi-caliber, ambidextrous firearm that uses a short-stroke gas piston system and is planned to be released in mid-2015. Two primary variants will be offered: the 10.5-inch-barreled MDR-C and the 16-inch-barreled MDR. The first calibers available will be .223 Remington and .308 Winchester, with versions or conversion kits in 300 BLK, 7.62×39, and 6.8 SPC coming afterward. Technical specs from the company’s product catalog are detailed below.

CaliberBarrel lengthRifle lengthWeightBarrel twist
.308 Win (MDR)16″ (40.6cm)27.12″ (68.9cm)7.5 lbs1:10″
.223 Rem (MDR-C)10.5″ (26.7cm)21.62″ (54.9cm)7.12 lbs1:7″
.223 Rem (MDR-C)16″ (40.6cm)27.12″ (68.9cm)7.5 lbs1:7″
300 BLK (MDR-C)10.5″ (26.7cm)21.62″ (54.9cm)7.12 lbs1:8″
7.62×39 (MDR)16″ (40.6cm)27.12″ (68.9cm)7.5 lbs1:9.45″
6.8 SPC (MDR-C)10.5″ (26.7cm)21.62″ (54.9cm)7.12 lbs1:10″
A right-side view of the MDR.
A right-side view of the MDR.
A left-side view of the MDR.
A left-side view of the MDR.

The MDR can be quickly converted between calibers and barrel lengths without losing zero. The triggers in the pre-production models available to the press broke around 2.5 to three pounds, astonishingly light for bullpups (let alone any other modern centerfire rifle—Young indicated that the final production models will likely have heavier triggers).

A right-side view of the MDR-C.
A right-side view of the MDR-C.
A left-side view of the MDR-C.
A left-side view of the MDR-C.

The firearm uses a unique ejection system located at the rear of the receiver above the magazine well, which tosses spent casings forward and to the right through a short chute. Young stressed that the system should not cause issues for left-handed shooters. To inspect the chamber or clear a malfunction, the flap that contains the ejection chute can be flipped down. The .308 version will feed from SR-25-compatible mags, while the .223 will make use of standard STANAG magazines. Empty Gen 3 PMAGs were loaded into each of the models displayed at the press conference, which inserted smoothly and locked up tight.

A close-up of the MDR's right side. The ejection flap-chute can be seen on the left.
A close-up of the MDR’s right side. The selector switch is above the pistol grip and the mag release is above the trigger. The ejection flap-chute can be seen on the left.

The selector switch is located above the pistol grip in a manner similar to AR-platform guns, with the bolt release located behind the magazine itself, near where the Tavor’s bolt release is located. An ambidextrous mag release is housed above the trigger, again similar to an AR. Both variants sport top-mounted Picatinny rails and hanguard-mounted accessory rails, and the final versions will have backup iron sights.

OutdoorHub's Eddie Pierz with the MDR.
OutdoorHub’s Eddie Pierz with the MDR.

A non-reciprocating charging handle was mounted to the left side of the gun’s receiver. The handle can be flipped from one side to the other after field-stripping the rifle (special thanks to Max from Guns.com, who was conveniently seated across from me in the press room, for clearing this up for me).

More evidence that bullpups make you smile. OutdoorHub's Eddie Pierz with the MDR-C. Beard for scale.
More evidence that bullpups make you smile. OutdoorHub’s Eddie Pierz with the MDR-C. Beard for scale.

The anticipated price tag for the MDR-C is $2,150 and $2,450 for the MDR. Conversion kits will reportedly cost around $700 to $800. Desert Tech’s reputation for producing high-quality firearms and a host of features that seem to make the MDR the most user-friendly and adaptable bullpup around will make it tough for many shooters to resist.

A .308 MDR with FDE furniture and an EOTech on the top rail. The backup iron sights are also deployed.
A .308 MDR with FDE furniture and an EOTech on the top rail. The backup iron sights are also deployed.

Note added 1-15: This article was edited to include additional pictures and corrected and additional MSRP info.

Images by Eddie Pierz and Matt Korovesis

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4 thoughts on “More Details on Desert Tech MDR Revealed at SHOT Show

  1. Needs more modern & effective calibers, than just commercially profitable. To accentuate the innovative & cutting edge quality to this rifle, rounds such as 7mm-08, 6.5 Creedmoor, Grendel could only make it stand out even more so. Think about it, from a marketing standpoint, having so many calibers is great but then having modern versatile rounds as those mentioned would make the MDR amazing! A small arms expert is on record that a truly ideal assault rifle is a modern bullpup that uses a round in the 6.5 – 7mm caliber has long range capability but is controllable on full auto. At the same time using an 18″ barrel. Desert Tech make it the best it can be!

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