The ACR 18.5″ DMR Rifle

Bushmaster ACR Designated Marksman Rifle

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.

Bushmaster ACR DMR

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.

Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


  • JumpIf NotZero

    On an SPR/DMR… I would never run piston system, and I’d never run an AAC 51T can (too sloppy on it’s mount), I’d never run a magpul RPS stock (they’re just too heavy, even for the convenience in customization they add), I’d also not run a carbine length system on an 18.5″ barrel so….

    All win there Bushmaster?

    They really should have just called this the ACR-OH-CA since as Edward put it, it does seem to make sense for obscure Candian laws. Ohhh… Canada…

    • Suburban

      The ACR has a mid-length gas system.

  • plumber576

    Great news for Canadians, but such a waste of what could have been a great rifle. Bushmaster continually jumps the shark with the civilian ACR.

    • José Pulido

      Blame Freedom Group, honestly. They don’t care at all about producing a decent product or fixing problems.

  • Kevin Harron

    I’d love to take a look at one of these, especially if it’s not restricted. Though I would need to find a compatible 10 round magazine for it.

    • ColaBox

      I believe the new PMag10 is compatible, as ACR takes Magpuls and regular STANAG. If $18 isn’t out of reach.

      • FourString

        Sounds about right. If you don’t have the new PMag 10’s then you’ll probably find the 10/20’s (10 rounders in 20 round bodies) or 10/30’s. I think they’re pretty common in Canada (since all that is required is pinning, right?).

    • Tuulos

      Quote from my Canadian friend: “Since there are now AR-15s chambered in .50 Beowulf, we can get their 5 round
      magazines and just put 15 rounds of 5.56x45mm instead and it’s legal. LOL
      Apparently you now have the option to use half-capasity magazines.

  • Geoff Peterson

    As a Canadian, I have no real interest in this rifle. I’d jump on a Remington ACR, but there is nothing in Bushmaster’s lineup that interests me in the slightest. Bushmaster has just made the most unattractive design decisions, making the ACR a waste of money when compared to alternatives

    • 68

      Have you seen the point of manufacture for the new ACR’s. Ilyon, Ny aka Remington.

  • The Stig

    I want to love the ACR, but Remington just can’t quite get it right.

    • Christopher

      Indeed Bushmaster and Remington were a poor choice for Magpul to go with in manufacturing their guns.

      • Anon

        Now imagine(I’m not completely serious about this) if Magpul went to HK with the ACR, it’d be almost perfect, but we’ll never own it

        • AnoSynum

          Except HK suffers big-time from NIH-syndrome. I can only imagine the amount of teeth that were ground to dust due to the HK416-decision.

  • Noob

    Why the stock doesn’t have the rail for a monopod?

  • Tim Pearce

    So, rather than meet the promise of making a 6.8 ACR, they redesigned the 5.56 version instead. Yay.

    • José Pulido

      Do people actually still want 6.8spc rifles?

      • SteveScuba

        One caliber is kinda missing the point of the title ADAPTIVE Combat Rifle, eh Jose?

        Not very adaptive or perceptive…..

        • José Pulido

          Not very adaptive if the solution to a cartridge being thought “ineffective” is to change cartridge entirely, rather than use an appropriate version for the intended purpose.

          Niche cartridges are niched. My perception is that I need to become a better shooter rather than a better consumer.

          • SteveScuba

            Jose, despite your perception, no single cartridge is capable of accomplishing every task, but then who can argue with someone so astute that they would categorize the difficulty of taking down an elk versus a coyote as the need to become a better shooter rather than a consumer. Sure, some shooters are good enough to take both sizes of game with a 5.56, but the majority of shooters could not do so. Hell, some would even claim to be able to take a bull elephant with a .22 lr cartridge let alone an elk, but maybe just a reasonable few would like the option to change the caliber to something that could do a better job. And far be it from me to point out that a company, which represented to it’s consumers as the major selling point that the ACR would actually be adaptive enough to change calibers to something that they actually wanted. By the way, 6.8 spc wasn’t the only conversion people were expecting. 7.62 x 39 isn’t a niche round, yet that never developed either, even though it was talked of. Strangely however, third party developers have been able to created barrels and bolts for both 6.8 and 7.62 x 39 calibers because consumers have wanted it, while Remington fails to deliver on it’s promise. So now, why is that? Must be because we are all such poor shooters, eh Jose?

          • José Pulido

            Despite your perception, I didn’t say that, Steve.

            I was only referring to the 6.8spc when talking about rather poor attempts at adapting(to shorter barrels; a healthy attempt being Mk318Mod0, despite it being sold out everywhere for months.)
            I don’t recall this being marketed as a hunting rifle(or my mentioning hunting,) but that is cool. I actually admire the toolless latch method of detaching the barrel.

            You’ve said far more than I have.

            The biggest way I could see the quick detach barrel(which I think is the rifle’s biggest virtue.) being actually valuable, disregarding how cool it is(both in my personal opinion,) is if the conversion kits were actually available, and if you could easily get the barrel shorter than 10.5.”

            At 10.5″ the performance is not that hugely different from an 18.5″ barrel, and the rifle could be shorter. What I’d be more interested in seeing, myself, is a 7.5″ barrel so that you could quickly jump from the opposite sides of the spectrum from ultra compact, to seriously milking the rounds for all they’re worth at 18.5 or 20.”

            Then again, it’s not like people are actually limited to how many firearms they can own, and unless the conversion kits become available for significantly less than the cost of complete firearms, I don’t see them as being particularly useful to most people.

    • Guest

      It would be better if it was offered in 7.62×51 like it was originally promised all those years ago when it was in concept.

      • 68

        FGI doesn’t own the rights to the Massoud, the .308 version.

  • An Interested Person

    So rather than make new caliber kits(what the rifle was designed for) they made more 5.56 stuff? The heck? What is the MSRP?

  • nester7929

    Just when I thought Bushmaster ruined the ACR, my suspicions were proved totally correct. It’s still overpriced and has none of the caliber kits that were promised.

  • Tim U

    Offer a fixed stock, 18″ barrel version with a lower MSRP and I’d be tempted. This was the one rifle platform that I really, really wanted to love, and Bushmaster ruined it for me with the high price for what you get.

  • Esh325

    I think if you’re gonna do a DMR, it better be .308.

  • cmblake6

    Did you look at the price tag? No.

  • Bobby

    Ok. I have owned my acr for 3 years. It was within the first 1500 manufactured and I have had 0 malfunctions. I read a lot of complaints from people who have most likely never shot one. I have currently put 3000 rpunds through it with out cleaning it. Wolf 5.56. Bushmaster has done a good job with the rifle and I encourahe everyone to atleast try the rifle.