Desert Tech MDR

MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle) once again proves the engineering mastery of Desert Tech designers, and now offers fans of the company a more tactical bull-pup rifle in (2) very popular calibers, with more in the plans for the future. The MDR is fully staged to make a huge run on the “black rifle” market, and could become a game changer.

Though the technological advancements come with a higher price, the MDR should become a serious competitor to AR-15 rifles for bull-pup fans. The bull-pup design not only offers a significantly shorter rifle, without crossing any NFA (National Firearms Act) barriers, the design also moves all of the heavy action components (and weighted magazine) to the rear of the rifle. This weight transfer allows the shooter to shoulder the rifle much more easily than traditional rifles, and can improve accuracy and follow-up shots as the shooter doesn’t have to fight gravity as hard.

Desert Tech is no stranger in bull-pup designs, having specialized in the inverted action design since their inception in 2007. Starting with their HTI, SRS-A1, and SRS-A1 Covert long-range bolt-action bull-pup rifles, Desert Tech went beyond what other bull-pup rifle manufacturers had accomplished.

Desert Tech

Desert Tech was able to combine the short dimensions of a bull-pup with amazing long-range accuracy. Though not the first bull-up sniper rifle (think DSR-1 and a few others), the Desert Tech bull-pup rifles were much shorter than previous entries. Despite their short stature, the Desert Tech bull-pup rifles proved themselves very quickly, and gained popularity for their amazing long-range accuracy. A sniper on my SWAT Team was able to test a Desert Tech sniper rifle at a long-range shooting course he attended and came back with very positive reviews.

Desert Tech MDR

The MDR was specifically designed to provide military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters one of the most adaptable and portable auto-loading rifles in the world. The MDR has completely ambidextrous controls with no modification, is fully modular for personalized set-up, and comes with several popular caliber options. Initially the MDR will only be offered in the most popular military/LE calibers – 5.56mm and .308 Win., and the new .300 BLK (as a conversion kit, available later this summer), but there are plans for more calibers in the future.

The Desert Tech engineers have made the MDR fairly lightweight, with one of the most compact, ergonomic and very nicely balanced tactical rifle options on the market. With a polymer chassis, the MDR balances at the rear of the pistol grip. At 26.0 inches the MDR is nearly a foot shorter than most common AR-15’s even with their stocks fully collapsed. Providing rifle-caliber performance at the size of a sub-machine gun like the famous HK MP-5, the MDR is full of potential. There is a low-profile cheek weld piece on the stock that provides a comfortable rest and assists in shot alignment.

The MDR is really exciting to me, and I’m sure there will be many SWAT teams that will begin to consider the MDR as a primary entry rifle. The MDR could even be incorporated into a patrol rifle (though a bit expensive for mass issue), that would fit easier in patrol cars and provide patrol officers a much easier rifle to shoulder and move with. Civilian shooters will likely be all over the MDR, providing them an SBR sized rifle without all of the BATFE paperwork.

The MDR is designed to allow quick caliber and barrel length changes, and the patent-pending sighting system allows barrels to keep their zero point without the need to compensate for impact shift. That becomes a huge factor if the shooter wants or needs to change out barrels. The original calibers of 5.56mm and .308 Win. will be supplemented by .300 BLK this summer, and potentially 2-3 more popular calibers in the future.

The MDR fully ambidextrous controls allow left-handed shooters or “off-hand” shooting to be done with ease and no awkward holds or movements. The controls are also designed and positioned to be intuitive to the shooter in what Desert Tech claims to be a “new standard in speed and precision”.

The MDR trigger is longer than most triggers and takes a unique curvature that is somewhere between common AR-15 curved triggers and straight triggers. The trigger is a 2-stage trigger that breaks smoothly and enhances the overall accuracy control of the MDR. The trigger guard is enlarged in both length and height allowing plenty of room and ease for gloved shooting situations.

There are two magazine release options. There is an enlarged textured square button release just above and forward of the trigger group, that is easily found and manipulated. There is also a release lever at the rear of the stock, just behind the magazine well. A secondary charging option is an ambidextrous lever at the front of the magazine well. This option is particularly fast when loading or changing magazines.

The safety selector switch sits on an enlarged circular base, making the control easily found and super smooth in operation. The charging handle is forward of the trigger group, but not nearly as much as AR-designed forward charging handles. The MDR charging handle is non-reciprocating removing any concern about snagging or outside interference with the action.

The MDR comes with a full-length Picatinny rail on the top of the chassis providing great potential for folding BUIS, red dot reflex sights, or even magnified scopes like the new highly popular 1-4x24mm or 1-6x24mm options. The hand guard is slotted for heat dissipation and appears that it could also take modular Picatinny rail sections for lights, lasers, or other accessories as well.

Desert Tech has designed the MDR with an advanced, patent-pending forward eject system to prevent any interference with expended shells and the shooter or others nearby. Ejection is also ambidextrous and simply changed by switching a panel on the side of the stock that also contains the ejector. Additionally, Desert Tech has prepared for the MDR release with a wealth of conversion kits and accessories.