More Details on Desert Tech MDR Revealed at SHOT Show
Matt Korovesis 01.14.14
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.
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.
|Caliber||Barrel length||Rifle length||Weight||Barrel twist|
|.308 Win (MDR)||16″ (40.6cm)||27.12″ (68.9cm)||7.5 lbs||1:10″|
|.223 Rem (MDR-C)||10.5″ (26.7cm)||21.62″ (54.9cm)||7.12 lbs||1:7″|
|.223 Rem (MDR-C)||16″ (40.6cm)||27.12″ (68.9cm)||7.5 lbs||1:7″|
|300 BLK (MDR-C)||10.5″ (26.7cm)||21.62″ (54.9cm)||7.12 lbs||1:8″|
|7.62×39 (MDR)||16″ (40.6cm)||27.12″ (68.9cm)||7.5 lbs||1:9.45″|
|6.8 SPC (MDR-C)||10.5″ (26.7cm)||21.62″ (54.9cm)||7.12 lbs||1:10″|
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
Note added 1-15: This article was edited to include additional pictures and corrected and additional MSRP info.