Second Generation MPAR 556 Rifle

MPAR556

MasterPiece Arms is now shipping the MPAR 556 Sporting Rifle Gen II.  The new rifle is an updated version of the original MPAR 556 that began shipping in 2013.

The Gen II rifles add these features:

  • bolt hold open
  • one piece extruded aluminum handguard
  • four position adjustable gas block
  • black nitride barrels

The rifles remain compatible with standard AR magazines and are chambered in 5.56 NATO.  Various gun colors are available.  MSRP for the rifle is $1,089, and includes a lifetime warranty.

If you are not familiar with the MPAR 556, this video is a good overview of the rifles:


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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  • Gabe

    I like the fact that this company is building something new but I just don’t see the point. The only advantage I see this haveing over an AR is the folding stock and that is starting to show up on some ARs. I just see the point of a $1000 rifle, that does the same thing as every other $1000 AR already does.

    I guess it’s just not for me.

    • Mack

      Different strokes for different folks! :)

    • Vitor

      Which DI AR still shoots when the stock is folded?Just getting rid of the giant buffer that is a quite odd feature unique to the AR is a good thing.

      • Gabe

        There are some bufferless uppers starting to show up but so far they have been pricey and a little iffy in reliability. Don’t get me wrong, that is a pretty big feature that most ARs don’t have so if that’s a requirement then I suppose this is one way to go.

        I just don’t have the need for that. Like Mack said, “Different strokes for different folks! :)”

        • iksnilol

          I know that the OA-93 can be fired with the stock folded, though it doesn’t have a stock usually.

          http://www.quarterbore.com/ar15m16/oa93.htm

          • Gabe

            The ARAK-21 upper is bufferless so it could be put on a folding stock lower. They are starting to be more common. However, there was a recent review over at The Bang Switch on the ARAK and it didn’t fair too well. There is a part 2 that hasen’t been released so hopefully it will do better.

          • iksnilol

            There are a couple more too, isn’t there? There is the ZM LR-300, that one is a bit rare though.

          • Gabe

            Oh yeah, there are several but so far, they tend to be more obscure and expensive. I suppose this rifle might be a good option if needed as it’s cheaper than any AR that can do the same. For me though, it’s meh.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, although I’m pretty sure it folded to the left side. The again, they chambered it in 7.62×39 and got steel core ammo banned even after the ATF warned them, Thousands of people called and sent mail to warn them, and 2 importers tried to buy the rights to the pistol to keep it out of production. 1080 rounds of 7.62×39 for $90 pre-ban.

      • steveday72

        From the look of that photo you wouldn’t be able to get to the charging handle with the stock folded … unless it folds to the other side and blocks the ejection port?

        • Cymond

          It folds to the right, and does not block the ejection port. Watch the video of the Gen 1.

      • Joshua

        The ZM LR-300 did. It was actually a really unique design that had potential but was ruined by the insanely high cost of the weapon.

    • WFA

      New design? This rifle is an Australian design from 1978….updated with a rail and paint.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader_Dynamics_Series_T2_MK5

      • Gabe

        Geez, this is why I hate the internet. Someone always has to prove they know more than someone.

        I wasn’t commenting about the design I was talking about the options in that price point and how I don’t think this will fair any better than an AR in that segment. Is the design new? No, but what gun is truly unique today? However, it is a relatively new option at this price point, which is where my comment comes in.

        Now please, take the next 20 minutes reviewing my statment to find a grammatical error you can point out to feel superior.

        • Clodboy

          Actually, I found his remark to be very informative. I actually always try to keep out an eye out for certain exotic guns that are indicators of when or where a movie was made, in case of the Leader Dynamics rifle => Australia; BXP submachine gun/Galil clones/Vektor CR21 => South Africa, ELCAN scopes => Canada and so on.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I’m with you. I didn’t know about LD, and now I do. I’d MUCH rather the correct information be out there even if it means someone’s feelings got hurt.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        New design? No. Updated design? Yes. It is based on the Leader T2, except the MPAR version fixed the problems that the T2 had, but wasn’t in production long enough to fix themselves. It also updates some of the ergonomics and features for a 21 century rifle.

    • janklow

      well… some people do live in states where guns like ARs are banned by name. so there’s that?

    • Blastattack

      It’s another drop in the bucket for you Americans, but the distinct fact that is NOT an AR is a massive selling point in Canada. If it’s non-restricted, and by all rights it should be, it will be the most affordable “black-rifle” in Canada. Almost no other NR black-rifles even come close to being less than $2000, let alone being just over $1000.

      • Gabe

        Yeah, honestly I didn’t even consider the Canada market until I saw janklow and your comment. My apologies my northern brothers, keep up the good fight!

        • airchinapilot

          I doubt Masterpiece Arms considers Canada that much either, though. Tiny tiny market compared to the States. Even if it sells like pancakes. And I’m speaking as a Canadian who would love to have one.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It’s not really an AR15. It is more of a competitor to the AR-18 and the FN FNC originally called the Leader T2 which was made in Australia when they switched to 5.56 NATO and has an interesting back-story. It’s more of a 21 century update to the T2. It’s piston operated with a triangular bolt face like the bolt found on the Barrett M82, takes all AR15 mags and is reasonably priced..

  • Mack

    Reminds me of a more AR-esk XCR if that makes any sense, or cheaper (as in cheaper price i have no idea about quality) less feature version of the XCR.

  • Vhyrus

    Unfortunately the Sig 556xi has this beat in just about every way and the price is not much more.

    • TFB Reader

      Sig MSRP is $1,466.00 – $1,599.00. Sounds like a different price point.

      • Sean

        $11-1200 street price for the SIG.

        • TFB Reader

          MSRP or street, the Sig is still $350-$500 more.

        • nose picker

          i got LE/MIL discount pricing for a SIG556XI and its $1250 and inquired with a SIG dealer rep. Not sure where you’re getting this $11xx price point. The Sig is significantly more costly with a pretty horrible trigger. This MPAR to me compares to the Rob Arms XCR at a good price.

    • echelon

      Street price on gen 1 MPAR is ~$750-$800…but yes the Sig is much nicer.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      They do if they fixed the QC issues that have been a nuisance with some of their other recent rifles like the 716, 516, 556R and 556 Gen 1. I sure hope the teething problems with SIG USA have been fixed.

  • Steve Truffer

    Now THIS I like. I like this a lot.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I arranged for one today for us to review.

      • Dave

        Finally! There’s so much blind hate towards this brand that no one wants to give it a shot (pun intended). And when anyone asks questions the rest of the mob just craps on it and no actual information is exchanged.

        • Steve Truffer

          I think most of the hate is toward the MAC’s lackluster performance in a closed bolt setup, and its bulk for a semi-auto only pistol. Some manufacturers of stellar reputation outsource parts to MPA.

      • Steve Truffer

        That is awesome. If it runs like it looks, it will be a serious contender to the AR. The XCR is ~ 2 grand, the ACR another 500 on top, and the SCAR retails for over 3 grand. Not everyone can drop that kind of cash. This looks to be a viable alternative to the mid-range ARs.

        • echelon

          Street price on the MPAR is ~$750. Maybe this gen 2 will be higher priced but I can tell you it won’t be over $1K and if it is, don’t buy it. It’s a good gun but it’s not a great gun.

          Basically if you don’t want an AR and you don’t want an AK you should buy one of these. It’s not Ambi friendly at all so I don’t know why you would want to compare it to an ACR or XCR. It’s also kind of mag finicky. But it shoots well enough.

          I’ll be interested to read TFB’s review.

          And you can get ACRs for $1500-$1800 all day long on Gunbroker. I haven’t seen a SCAR 16 go for $3k in a long time. Those are around $1800-$2000 and the 17s in .308 are around $2500.

          • Steve Truffer

            I like AKs, I can appreciate the modularity of ARs, but for me at least, the ergonomics of every AR I have shouldered have sucked. Troy, Noveske, Colt. They all felt uncomfortable to painful, especially come trigger time on the Colt. This MPAR looks like it will be nicer on people like me, who have high cheekbones and spidery forms. I included the XCR, ACR, and SCAR because they all, for me, accomplish the same thing. Folding stock, adjustable comb, and a handguard that can keep my fingers away from the gas tube. And this comes in at a lower price point than the others.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            If you think the ergos of an AR “suck” I’d highly suggest either a chiropractor or borrow an AR and take a class with it.

            The sights on AR are standardized to not need an adjustable comb.

            Did you really write you need a folding stock? Why?

            Handguard away from gas tube? Wait, you think SCAR which is one of the worst guns for this is better than any one of a million railed ARs?

            I think you may have a bias against ARs that isn’t fleshed out in reality, but rather perception.

          • Steve Truffer

            Buddy, most people say I make lean people look like Rosie O’Donnell. (5’10”, 125 lbs) To use the sights on a rifle stocked AR, I’m usually curling my head around the stock, and the toe is on my collar bone. They don’t fit. Perhaps the only way I could make an AR fit me is an MOE stock/ w a riser, then put the sights on a tall riser.
            AKs, I usually have my cheek on the top of the dust cover.
            Folders are easier to pack up. I have a fairly small car, and length is an issue. If I can take 10 inches off that dimension, that’s a good thing. A SCAR does keep my fingers away from the gas tube, unlike so many slimline handguards for ARs that let me cross my digits over top of the gas tube.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            It sounds like me you are describing a LOP and stance issue. But if a different platform is what you “need” go for it.

            It’s confusing to me how I can pick up any AR and any SCAR and any ACR/XCR/AUG/Tavor/whatever and just make it work in even the most unconventional shooting positions, but you are limited to Non-AR only doing what I guess to be fairly static range stuff. It’s wierd, they’re all about the same to me.

            Well, with the exception of the SCAR’s handguard being roughly equivalent to a 8″-9″ rail on an AR. Where I prefer an 11″ rail at least.

            But if it works for you, go for it. Have you taken a carbine class with that SCAR?

          • Steve Truffer

            No sir, I have not. High School budget limited me to an AK for my most recent purchase. Took a basic rifle course, and it reaffirmed my purchase of an AK over an AR. I’m tall, scrawny, and spidery. Why should I spend $1-2K to have to contort myself to deal with a poorly fitting rifle? Or I can get something that works right the first time. The pain of a poor decision lasts long after the sweetness of “now” has passed.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I would really suggest you get it out of your head of “how things are” in terms of what works and what doesn’t, in terms of actual issues, in terms of body image, and be more open minded. But good luck

          • Steve Truffer

            Once I’m out of school and can get a decent paying job, I’m sure things will open up for me. Right now, I can’t really afford much, so once I have better income I can stop focusing on getting something that I like in its stock form. I can get away with $200 in tweaks on a $450 rifle. On a $1000 rifle, I’m trying to squeeze out as much as I can.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            ACR is $1800-$1900 depending on color
            SCAR 17 is $2650-$2700 depending on color
            SCAR 16 is $2300
            XCR L is $1995
            XCR M is $2500
            AXR 100 is $1950
            Tavor is $1700
            AUG is $1700
            MPAR is ~$1000

          • echelon

            You are quoting MSRPs. I’m quoting “out the door” prices. I’m not saying the guns you mention aren’t sitting in a shop somewhere or up on Gunbroker with those prices listed, but they aren’t selling in this market for those prices. With the exception of the Tavor maybe. Although there are a few different flavors of those as well so it depends.

            But MPARs are definitely not around a grand. $850 tops our somebody’s getting hosed…

          • Rusty Shackleford

            I’m just quoting the prices that Bud’s sells them for except for the Beretta and MPAR 556 are the MSRP.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          You’d be hard pressed to actually pay $2500 or $3000 for an ACR or SCAR anywhere. I have never street priced XCRs but 2k would surprise me. On the topic of money though… If you are buying a gun for defense and considering a budget as the first and foremost factor, you’ve already lost. If it’s a range toy, that’s different.

          You’re also trading an extremely well proven AR design for something pushed out by one company that has had a slew of previous issues. I’m not sure I could ever justify that.

          • Steve Truffer

            That’s what my ’74 is for. If I want a customizable toy, AR’s are out, this looks like a decently priced alternative.

      • macmechanic

        While you’re at it, find a Leader Dynamics T2 or AR180 or AR180B to compare & see what improvements have actually been made, other than what appears to be cosmetic changes.
        I believe Charles St George is somehow still inolved?

  • Jeff Smith

    Ok, perhaps someone can help me win a bet here – is the rear BUIS on backwards?

    • therapist

      Yes. That will get fixed in Gen III.

    • Rob

      That’s called they hired a photographer who has no idea what they’re doing

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      It’s a Magpul gen one sight and yes it’s on backwards.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Looks like another attempt to update the AR18 Stamped steel lower and upper should be much cheaper than an AR. Geoff Who notes this obviously isn’t.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      If the AR-15 came out today, you can be damn sure everyone one of them would be over $2000.

      Arguing that other things should cost less because ARs prices are leveraged with sheer volume and time doesn’t make sense.

      • Yellow Devil

        AR18s were created as an cheaper alternative to AR15/M16s of the day (as well as skirt around the licenses Colt had with the M16 design). I imagine AR18s would initially be high when introduced, but the stamped and welded sheet process would make the AR18 cheap, maybe as cheap as the average AKs out there.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Volume. AR18 would/will never have it.

          Stamping is not cheap when you consider the tooling and metal finishing. Forging and machining can be cheaper with the right volume, which again…

          If the AR were released today, without the volume it would cost $2000. Reconcile this when people complain that a SCAR or ACR is 2k.

  • Squirreltactical

    Can’t get the video to work on my connection. Is is a long- or short-stroke piston?

  • n0truscotsman

    Does anybody have any experience with the MPAR in a carbine class?

    thumbs up or down?

  • Keith Melton

    Hope it’s better than the 1st gen I had. They quit responding to me after my 3rd complaint.

  • nose picker

    A smaller handguard would be nice than this behemoth one. reminds me of the stormwerkz rail I had for my Daewoo DR200.

  • Benjamint_Tanklin

    What an awesome gun. Amongst the sea of endless Ar-15’s it is nice to see a non Ar-15 styled rifle with budget in mind.

  • ballistician

    Any ETA on the review? I’m licking my chops and my tongue is sore.

  • Benjamint_Tanklin

    I bought a second hand first generation MPAR for a good deal at my local shop. I sent the rifle into MPA and they updated the rifle for me free of charge.

    With the new adjustable gas piston I decided to pick up a suppressor. With a good sight and an adjustable bipod and running hornady .55 gr ammo, I had a new Varmint killer to tote around the property.