MPAR 556 Now Shipping

MPAR 456

The Masterpiece Arms MPAR 556 is now shipping and can be purchased from your local dealer.  For those not familiar with the rifle, it is a piston-driven rifle that looks similar to the AR-15.  Some parts are interchangeable with AR-15 rifles, such as the magazines, but running the gun is different.

The MPAR 556 has a non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side of the gun that incorporates a forward assist.  A folding stock is standard on the MPAR 556, and the gun will fire normally from the folded position.

The gun is chambered in 5.56 NATO, and has a 16″ barrel with a 1:9 twist.  The handguard is aluminum and allows the shooter to locate various length Picatinny rails at various points.  The gun comes with an angled foregrip.

MSRP is $999, which may make it very attractive to someone looking for a piston driven alternative to the standard AR-15 rifle.


Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Asdf

    And the weight of the thing?

    Anyway, it isn’t a shotgun, so a low profile folding charging handle would be nice.

  • John Daniels

    So…it’s an AR-18. Great.

    • sauerquint

      Because there are so many of those around? I could see if it was yet another ar15, done to death. I think it’s nice to have choices. I hope they sell tons of them. At that price, they may not. When I bought my ar180b dealers were marking them up to ar15 prices. I don’t think Armalite really wanted that, but they couldn’t do anything about it. Fortunately I got in early, before all that.

    • DBaker

      Actually, It’s much closer to a Leader T2– it has a triangular bolt face, unlike the AR-18 which has a AR-15 type bolt.

    • http://www.fnhusa.com/ Kyle Sarver

      Just a quick note if you google MPAR 556 one of the related searches is ar18.

  • Alfian

    its kind like indonesian rifle SS-1

    • snmp

      * indonesian rifle SS-1 is base on belgian FN FNC (AK system)

      * The MPAR 556 look like the an version of the Autralian/Tasmania Leapers T2 (who was base on the Armalite AR18.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      The SS-1 was basically an FN-FNC 5.56mm assault rifle manufactured under licence by PINDAD Industries. With the proliferation of modern assault and battle rifles, one has to be careful when looking into weapons that may appear externally similar, but which are actually very different both mechanically and functionally. A good example is the Czech-made CZ vz.58 7.62mm assault rifle. It looks quite like a more refined and slightly slimmer version of the AK-47 or AKM on the outside, but is actually a completely different gun with no interchangeable parts vis-a-vis the AK. The only thing it shares with the AK is the ammunition — both fire the 7.62mm x 39 Soviet cartridge. To this day, there are still a lot of people who incorrectly assume that the vz.58 is an AK clone, and you will still find their postings all over the Internet and YouTube. Hope this helps a bit.

  • Jordan Hyers

    and obnoxiously larger charging handle
    kinda throws off the slab side lines

    • Joshua

      Not just that but I guess he has never slung it and then had to do any sort of climing, damn thing would stab you every second.

    • Ripley

      Like a FN FNC, like the one Al Pacino famously uses in Heat.
      http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Heat#FN_FNC-80

  • Ryan

    Bolt hold-open?

    • Joshua

      Last I heard there is not.

    • Keith

      No. I own one.

  • Aliceson

    I like this Idea and I’m the guy that hates AR15s, I do love the AR18 though.

  • Joshua

    God that magazine release is a horrible idea.

  • Colby

    I’m interested. If they turn out to actually retail at a reasonable, are reliable, and if they become popular. I might just get one myself.

    Judging by the hight of the receiver above the bore line, it looks like these might be an ideal candidate for HK type BUIS.

    I like that it’s made from steel and that the stock is foldable. The trade-off is that it will probably be heavy, but I’ll have to wait and see. Looking forward to handling one at my LGS.

  • Mark Chavendish

    Pardon my ignorance here, but wouldn’t this hold up well to steel cased ammo?

    • Cymond

      Well according to Lucky Gunner Labs, most of the damage from steel-cased ammo is not actually from the case, it’s from the weird jacketed bullet (not copper) that increases wear in the barrel. It seems that it wouldn’t matter much what kind of barrel you have, it would be in poor shape in a few thousand rounds.
      http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/brass-vs-steel-cased-ammo/

      • Joshua

        Thing to note is those BM’s had CHF 4150CMV barrels.

  • John

    Looks pretty interesting. I get the feeling it’s simply an AR-18 upper on a simplified AR-15-style lower receiver. I know it uses the same FCG and it looks like you can use AR-15 pistol grips and muzzle attachments on it, and I hope the buttstock is interchangeable with those for the AR-15.

    Also, good news for Canadians, this rifle will be non-restricted since it’s not very close to an AR-15.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    Might have to give one of these a shot, pardon the pun.

  • Bull
    • Alex C.

      My thoughts exactly. Looks like Leader rifle.

    • Ben 10

      definitely a clone of the leader t2.

    • mikee

      The main faults with the Leader Dynamics T2 were the patchy quality control and of course the circlip pins used in the receiver. These issues, if attended to properly, would most likely make the MPAR556 amongst the simplest and most reliable 5.56 platform available. The Leader T2 was a brilliant design let down by manufacturing shortcuts. Hopefully, the MPAR556 (Leader T2 product improved) will finally get the recognition it deserves!

    • Miguel A

      Thanks for the tip. Loved this forgottenweapons.com!!!

  • IXLR8

    Why is the charging handle in the rear position (open breech) and the ejection port still appears to be covered? I would expect that the charging handle would be forward when the ejection port is covered by the bolt.

    • IXLR8

      I see the charging handle is on the other side in the video. But the ejection port still appears to be blocked.

      • IXLR8

        Nevermind, that handle is actually a shell deflector. I should have completely watched the video first.

  • Lance

    Loos like a XCR in new clothing.

  • Nathaniel

    Nice of them to rip of Charles St. George.

    ###leaderT2clone

    • Nathaniel

      *off

    • noob

      Charles St George is pretty chill about people licensing his patents

      he’s currently working on the MICOR defense Leader 50 BMG.

      http://www.micordefense.com/Leader-50_ep_41.html

      • Nathaniel

        But did they have to make it 8 pounds?

  • Tyler Marcoz

    Is it me or does it look sort of like an FNC?

  • scotchflavoredchewablevicoden

    Why a 1/9 twist? Other than that an extremely interesting little carbine. Always good to have choices….

    • Gary Patterson

      On the twist, looking at barrel at gunpartsplus.com that has a 1 in 7 and is chrome lined. what is the benefit of 1 in 7 versus 1 in 9.

      • mikee

        1) 1:7 twist barrels stabilise projectiles weighing more than 68 grains; 2) 1:7 inch twist as specified by the military to stabilise tracer rounds. For all practical purposes, 1:9 twist is adequate as longer projectiles impinge on powder capacity and seating depth to be able to feed reliably through AR 15 style magazines.

    • Esh325

      A 1:9 twist is suppose to have a longer barrel life.

  • http://www.advanced-armament.com/ Kyle Sarver

    Just a quick note if you google MPAR 556 one of the related searches is ar18.

  • Doopinton

    Pretty gutsy price! I like that they’re trying to make a dent in the market where the AR-18 couldn’t seriously!

    I hope barrels could be swapped out though…
    I really want a 1:8 .223 Wylde barrel rather than a stock 1:9 chromoly(?).

    Though, I guess I shouldn’t be hunting for that sort of performance with a piston gun?

    • Ian

      Since there is no difference in “performance” with a piston gun, I say go for it.

  • tappan

    I sent them an email asking about the possibility of a folding charging handle and if the gas block was adjustable(e.g. FAL) and here was their response:

    “Thank you for contacting us. At this time the side charging handle is fixed as it features a forward assist.

    Our gas block is also fixed but valved to be self-regulating to ensure performance with a wide variety of ammunition.”

  • Chris

    Have one these MPAR’s for several weeks now. Nice weapon. Ran 200 rounds through with no failures. Overall, I really like the rifle. I was looking for a piston AR, but could not find one under $1300. Paid about $800 for the MPAR, which has a short stroke piston system. The side charger is really a great feature. I never really liked the charging handle on an AR, but this MPAR allows you to charge the system while keeping it shouldered. Its just a neat desgin. Handguard is big, but it definitely gives the rifle a unique appearance. The bolt carrier group and recoil rod assembly is a complete unit. Just slides right out of the upper. The overall finish is good. The side folder is also a unique feature. Fires just fine with the stock folded. I like it!