First Photo of MasterPiece Arms MPAR 556

The first photo of MasterPiece Arms’ new semi-automatic rifle, MPAR 556 has been published by the company.

The rifle is chambered in 5.56mm NATO, has a short stoke action and uses standard AR-15 magazines. The stock is both collapsable and can be folded to the side. The side charging handle can be used as a forward assist.

The MPAR will have an MSRP of $959. This pricing is competitive with budget AR-15 such as the Mossberg MMR 556 (MSRP of $921). Its advantages over a budget AR-15 would be the muzzle brake, side folding stock and side charging handle. Its main disadvantages would be incompatibility with wide range of upgrade parts for AR-15s.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Mu’laei

    Looks interesting to say the least.

  • AK™

    Looks like a modernized AR-18 variant.
    I’d buy one.

  • Ren

    It reminds me of Leader/Australian Automatic Arms SAR rifle.

    • Kyle

      The lower receiver looks exactly the same with a few modifications.

  • Andrew

    Bastard child sig 556

  • Denderwuz

    The only reason I’d buy this gun is because in 50 years from now I’ll be one of 3 people who own one.

    • Carlos U.

      That would be my reason NOT to buy it.

  • Kav

    Frankly… I think they deserve some credit for the fact that this isn’t an AR15.

  • TheIrateBlackGuy

    Wow very cool, great to see something different!

  • Samopal

    Hey, a new 5.56mm semiautomatic rifle that isn’t an AR-15 or $2000+. Neat.

    I don’t know why, but the ugly, blocky, totally-looks-like-a-MAC aesthetics (or lack thereof) really appeals to me. The receiver is very no-nonsense.

  • Samopal

    Also, if this isn’t an AR-15, what does the “AR” in “MPAR” mean?

    • AR-18 id assume

    • Kyle

      Or Automatic Rifle

    • Chase

      Autoloading rifle?

    • RocketScientist

      Well, the AR in AR-15 stands for ARmalite, the original designer/manufacturer (just look at all the other Armalite guns that are AR-XXXs, even the ones that aren’t Autoloading Rifles or Assault Rifles). So it seems reasonable that MPAR might stand for MasterPiece ARms??

  • Darkness

    Very attractively priced. And a side charging handle on an AR? Sexy…

  • hooray, Another 5.56mm with a 16 inch barrel…What will they think of next?! come on people, the market is so saturated with these things, and they are all the same! this is getting silly!

    • TheIrateBlackGuy

      Ok John your not allowed to talk for the rest of the night.

  • Jeremiah

    That mag well looks like a pain.

  • at least it allows you to use AR grips and buttstocks if you so choose. Plus what ever you want/can mount on the handguard.

  • Mike S

    I sure wish they’d release a photo of the other side, too.

  • Tony

    I tend not to buy a firearm unless it’s been out for at least 5 years.
    My 2 cents only.

  • What a refined gun. I’d try to buy one. Thanks for the information.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    I loved this gun the first time I saw it when it was called the AR-180.

  • Matt B

    I think that rifle is why they coined the term Fugly.

    Meh, what’s the point over an AR? Then again, I love the platform. Also, I can’t stand railed handguards.

  • Tyson Chandler

    My initial impression is positive, but I would like to see one in person. I like the location of the charging handle and the fact that it still works as a forward assist. I would like to know how much it weighs. Overall though, I like it!!

  • BillyBones

    That lower looks like a dead ringer for the Leader Dynamics T2.

  • BillyBones

    That lower is a dead ringer for the Leader Dynamics T2.

  • Dave

    Love to see slightly longer barreled one in Canada. ARs are restricted by name here, but this might just be different enough to be non-restricted. Price is right too. Most other NR black guns are $2-3K.

  • JD

    Ditch the obnoxious brake, real fake Magpul accessories, and clean up the lower a little and you got a hit. Lots of respect for not putting a heavy barrel in it, and the modular handguard looks pretty well thought out. I like being able to charge a rifle with out breaking fire control too.

    The magwell looks off though. I’d like to see it enclose the magazine a little more, and I wonder why the receiver extends to far from the magazine. Is the chamber really that far recessed into the receiver? Come to think of it, that would be a good way to allow extra room for a multi chambering of 308WIN.

  • John

    It does have one key feature going for it. It’s the first sub-$1,000 AR-type piston rifle. Right now Ruger has the lowest price with the SR556E at $1,049 (and it’s a pretty basic model). This rifle will most likely sell for about $850.

    For those who want an affordable piston AR-type rifle, this could be what they are looking for. We’ll just have to see how it performs.

    • RocketScientist

      Wrong… Kel-Tec SU-16 is chambered for 5.56, has AR mag compatibility,and is piston operated. Stock can be folded for storage (or true shoot-while-folded in the SU-16C). If you’re not pleased with the stock bipod fore-end or lack of a pistol grip, there are factory (and aftermarket) conversion kits that allow railed fore-ends and AR-pistol grip/stock compatability. You could get an SU, AND all the parts to add on the AR-style foreend/grip/stock for probably less than this MPAR or Ruger’s gun.

      • John

        When this comes to market it will have a major advantage over a Kel-Tec firearm . . . you will be able to buy it. I’ve heard reports of Kel-Tec firearms being seen in the wild, and some people say they’ve actually captured one. I’m still a skeptic though. All I’ve seen is “out of stock”.

        Oh I’ve seen people post pictures of themselves with a Kel-Tec, but we live in the age of Photoshop so that doesn’t prove anything. Maybe there really is an SU floating around out there somewhere, but I’m almost positive the PMR-30 is an urban legend.

      • RocketScientist

        I know there aren’t exactly crates of Kel-Tecs just laying around, but in my area they are not exactly rare as hen’s teeth. The 2 or 3 local gun shops I visit regularly usually have one or 2 SU-16’s (mostly A’s and B’s) on the shelf (not to mention various pistols). One even had an RFB on the counter for a few weeks earlier this year. The gun show 2 weeks back was full of SUB-2000’s (folding pistol caliber carbine) and at least a half dozen PMR-30’s. The prices were a little high, but no more so than the typical gun-show-post-election price hike you see on just about everything. When I bought my SU-16C (the true-folder version, more demand for them) I ended up buying off the internet, as there were none in stock locally, and I didn’t feel like waiting the 1-2 months it would take to get one in. Maybe here in Florida, we have more stock available, being close to the source?

      • John

        Unfortunately, none of the gun shops in my area have ever had any (at least not when I’ve called or been there).

        I just looked up Kel-Tec on Impact Guns. Of course none were in stock. Their stock issues are common enough that Impact is actually joking about it. Normally the page says either “In Stock” or “Out of Stock”. On Kel-Tec’s 7.62 it says, “Really? I Think Not.”. On the RMR30 it says, “Dream On.”

      • W

        I think the rarity of keltech has been blown out of proportion, though they are not as common as others. still, i have seen the 223 carbine and RBR (the 7.62 bullpup). I have never actually fired the two.

        I had to see for myself of the impact guns backorder comments. that is hilarious!

  • Sian

    big problem: the safety is opposite that of an AR. This is going to cause serious issues down the road.

    • TCBA_Joe

      Thanks for pointing that out. That alone would be a deal breaker for me.

      I’m sure it will be an interesting novelty piece. Not sure if it will be a viable fighting rifle.

      • I was IN LOVE with this rifle when I held it at the SHOT Show….UNTIL I noticed the safety. Same spot, same style as on the AR/M4’s…but OPPOSITE. If you are an experienced AR/M4 shooter this is not only confusing it is a accidental discharges just waiting to happen. I know, if you never put your finger near the trigger until you are ready to shoot the worst that should happen in theory is that you try to shoot and find it on safe… But if you ended up carrying it on F when you thought you had it on S something could snag the trigger or you could accidently hit it handling the rifle. It is just stupid. Either do nothing similar or do the same as the AR but don’t do the same only opposite. I was ready to plunk down payment in full to be on the list until I saw that….

    • Bryan S.

      I dont think many people got the point of your post… the lever straight up and down on an AR is fire… on this is Safe.

      I wonder if that would be fixed?

      • That would take some getting used to. It sort of makes sense if you’re a 1911 junkie, but being more used to the AR-15/M-16 selector, it would probably confuse me.

    • Jeff

      I don’t understand what people hate this post. You do have a point

  • Ian

    That is a pretty heavy, awkward, and frankly janky looking rifle. I suspect that the magazine wobbles fore and aft like crazy as well.

  • RickH

    I agree with others that it looks like the Leader, because the first thing that caught my eye was the odd looking safety. Might be interesting even though the original Leader was generally panned back in the ’80’s. I wonder if this one will be a “Masterpiece”?

  • Andrew

    Hahaha, its like my AR-180 on crack!

  • Lolinski

    The only thing I dont like about it is the muzzle brake, they will damage your hearing. Other than that Its fantastic to see a “evil black rifle” that isnt a AR-15.

    • Esh325

      I’ve shot plenty of rifles with muzzle brakes and I can’t say they were any louder than rifles without them.

      • Try standing next to someone shooting a rifle with a muzzle brake. You’ll hear it. You may also feel the jet of hot gas from the side ports.

      • Lolinski

        Its better to just use a recoil reducing stock and/ or a suppressor.

      • Esh325

        I was mostly talking about from the shooters perspective, standing right to a muzzle brake is a different and I know how it feels. It wasn’t so much the noise of the brake, but the concussion of it that was discomforting, this is with ear muffs of course.

  • schowgun

    Upper and lower look VERY much like the Leader Dynamics rifle.

  • gunslinger

    not that bad of an idea. just different enough to not be an AR in name.

    and MSRP of 960, so the cost would be less than… looks like you’d be able to keep AR grip and stocks. but parts such as triggers may be off.

    and the safety probably can be changed. it’s a “1911” push down comparet to a “AR push up/forward”

    would be nice if the lower could have enough space to take .223 and .308…

  • Esh325

    It’s nice to see an non AR rifle that’s affordable. Though on the US market, non AR-15’s or non AK’s “assault rifles” have a harder time succeeding. Especially one that doesn’t have a “it’s used by the military” appeal. A lot of people might also say “What’s it’s do better than my AR15 for my intended purpose?”.

  • SawThumper

    Hmmm… it kinda reminds me of the Robinson Arms XCR..

    • . . . but apparently without an ambi mag catch. I actually don’t see a bolt catch at all.

  • schizuki

    Am I the only one who thinks AR-style collapsible stocks look weird on anything non-AR?

    • Phil White


      I have to agree.

  • Mike Knox

    Looks like someone’s trying to reinvent the shovel..

  • John Doe

    Forgive my ignorance, but why does the handguard have to be so bulky and ugly? I find that so off-putting and impractical. Rifles should have light and minimalist handguards.

    • There may be a recoil spring inside the handguard, as with the ZM LR300, Para TTR, and Olympic OA 93. The gas piston system must be in there somewhere too. It doesn’t look like there’s very much room for a recoil spring behind the bolt/bolt carrier.

  • It’s whats on the inside that counts.

    • Carlos U.

      That’s just a lie we tell ugly people to make them feel better.

  • KM

    Why? when there are so many competitors out there for traditional GI? When someone can put an upper and a lower receiver together within the $600-700 range. I never could figure out why people buy whole rifles instead of doing the upper/lower receiver thing

    • KM

      wait, this isn’t even an AR??? So it’s something that takes the same magazines as an AR, tries to make the gas piston thing work like AR’s are moving toward, but has 0 parts interchangeability?

      • Clodboy

        A lot of guns all around the world take AR magazines nowadays – after all, the “STANAG” stands for “(NATO) STANdardization AGreement”.

        But yeah, it seems to be an “AR” in the sense that they took AR-15 ergonomics and fused them with AR-18 features.

        And I don’t see why a lack of parts interchangeability is that big of a deal – the extra cost of having to buy the whole gun including the lower instead of just an upper (nevermind that a lot of AR uppers are actually more expensive) is pretty low compared to all the optics, lights, lasers and foregrips one would mount on this gun’s Picatinny rails (which is where most of the “customization” happens nowadays anyway), just like with any AR-15.

  • Carlos U.

    I like the idea, but it seems so front-heavy. They need to make more balanced rifles.

    • Esh325

      It’s hard to say it’s front heavy when you haven’t actually held one in your hands.

      • Samopal

        I believe that’s why he used the word “seems”.

  • Goose60

    Having owned this rifle now for little over two weeks and being an AR owner too. The safety selector isn’t an issue as you know what rifle your of possession of. This rifle handles like an AR yet isn’t an AR and it’s performance is outstanding. Being the owner of a SCAR 16 as well I would have to compare it more to that than an AR. It’s an awsome weapon and highly recommended. BTW…..1 inch group at 200 yrds. I’m in………:)