The ACR has had its ups and downs. From stylish beginnings as the Magpul Masada, the path through manufacturers and military buyers has been a convoluted one.
But I was nice to see a legitimately new ACR offering on display at the Bushmaster booth this year as they launched their DMR variant (MSRP $2799)
This new rifle adds a new stock to the ACR: a Magpul PRS with all the adjustability you’d expect.
On the other end, you’ll find a much longer barrel, measuring out to 18.5 inches for a true rifle. Interestingly, this new barrel still uses the carbine-length gas system. This is a weighty, full profile barrel, made of 416 stainless steel with a melonite coating, utilizing a 1:7 twist.
The handguard options are the same as current ACRs. The guns we saw in the booth featured the “enhanced” quad rail, while most of the marketing materials have MOE polymer handgaurd.
Inside the gun there’s a key addition to round out the Designated Marksman design philosophy: a Geisselle enhanced trigger.
Bushmaster lists the gun at 8.75 lbs, but the railed version we handled felt significantly heavier. This is not a patrol carbine or a run and gun setup. Instead (true to its name) it feels like a solid platform for a distance capable rifle.
While this isn’t a reinvention of the platform, or one of the long awaited caliber options, the DMR is especially significant to Canadians.
A brief background: All AR-15s in Canada require registration with the government, stringent transportation and storage requirements, an extra level of licensing, and cannot be used for hunting. The same is true for all semi-auto rifles with barrels under 18.5 inches.
However the new DMR rifles will be non-restricted in Canada. That means no registration, freedom of movement, and welcome in any place .223 can be shot.
Previously, an ambitious Canadian could buy a conventional ACR and pay a gunsmith another $1000 to produce a longer barrel. But having an off-the-shelf solution will go a long way towards putting more black rifles in the hands of Canadian gun owners.
The ACR DMR may be a specialty setup in the US, but it will find a welcome home in Canadian safes.