SHOT Show 2016: Testing out Desert Tech's bullpup, the MDR

Like Desert Tech's other models, the MDR can do caliber conversions with a minimum amount of tools

I was walking by the Desert Tech booth at SHOT when I noticed that one of their guns on display was not a bolt gun. It was a semi. I had to stop. I am quite familiar with the Stealth Recon Scout models, having sent rounds downrange with their 7.62. The SRS-A1 is one of my favorite tactical rifles because of the bullpup configuration, which puts a full-size rifle into a carbine platform by putting the bolt and trigger mechanism closer to the shoulder. They’ve done the same thing with the MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle), only this is bullpup AR-15. 

I can’t tell you all of the things that came to mind when I saw this carbine. For starters, this type of platform is perfect for the officer equipped with an external vest. 

Like Desert Tech’s other models, the MDR can do caliber conversions with a minimum amount of tools. At this time, the available calibers are 5.56, 7.6 2X 51 and .300 BLK. Let’s put this into perspective: this is a 16 inch barrel carbine with a 26 inch OAL that switches calibers. If the shooter is wrong handed, one can even reconfigure the ejection port so even lefties can work. 

The MDR has a non-reciprocating ambi charging handle that is easy to work. It has an ambi magazine release and the bolt catch is behind the mag well. This will create an entirely new manual of arms. If the bolt catch is behind the mag well, mag changes can include a quick bump to the bolt catch without repositioning the hand. It’s faster and there is more economy of motion. 

The MSRP for the 5.56 is $1999. The MSRP for the 7.62 is $2245. Not bad for a gun that is capable of caliber conversion.

About the author

Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.

Contact Lindsey Bertomen

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