Desert Tech MDR Update | SHOT 17

Ah, the Desert Tech MDR: The rifle many (based on my comments and emails) believe will be the savior of bullpups, and the best rifle ever made, sweeping aside all others. Well, that’s a pretty high bar for it to clear, but Desert Tech was at the 2017 SHOT Show, and had brought some of their pre-production MDR rifles with them for display.

For those unfamiliar, the MDR is a multicaliber bullpup rifle designed to be convertible from 2.26″ length calibers like 5.56mm to 2.8″ calibers like .308 Winchester, and anything compatible with those two lengths. It is designed to have better ergonomics and handling than previous bullpup designs, and to be shot equally well by right and left handed shooters. For more information on the MDR, you can check out last year’s SHOT Show article on it, here.

The MDR, however, has been in development publicly for over three years now, and the rifle is increasingly getting a reputation as vaporware. If we’re being fair, development of new weapons platforms simply takes time, and three or four years is not at all unusual for a new rifle, especially one from a fairly small company. The MDR has received this reputation more because it has been in the public eye for so long and been delayed several times, not that development itself is taking an unusually long time. So then the big question TFB had for Desert tech was: When? They were a little reticent to give an answer beyond “when it’s done it’s done”, but they did tell us they are shooting for the first shipments to occur in March.

Versus the 2016 versions, the MDR has changed just a little: The ejection swapping procedure is now tool-less, requiring only a bullet tip. Desert Tech was also far more forthcoming this year about the design of the rifle and how its mechanism functions than in previous years.

MSRPs are expected to stay the same as those listed on Desert Tech’s website, that is $2,275 for the 5.56mm version, $2,525 for the 7.62 version, and between $749-$999 for a conversion kit.

I should make one final note of something that struck me as amusing: While at the Desert Tech booth, no less than three other showgoers looking at MDR rifles commented on how “heavy” they felt. Desert Tech quoted about 8lbs for the standard length rifle, which isn’t so unusual a weight, and which is a figure that sounds about right to me. I think the “heavy” comments were the result of the MDR’s balance point being a couple of inches behind the pistol grip, which torques the wrist pretty good and causes noticeable strain, hence the “heavy” feeling! I don’t think this balance point is unique to the MDR among bullpups, but I felt it was worth pointing out.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Fred O C Cubed

    Finally, the only thing from SHOT I wanted to see. Even if it still doesn’t exist.

  • Max Müller

    Which supressor is that? I thought they were supposed to have these new OSS supressors?

    • MikeSmith13807

      That’s from Amtac–pretty sweet, only adds 3.7″. Great user reviews. I think it still works with the OSS over-the-barrel design but OSS is targeting that version at military applications at a much higher price now.

  • ♫ As the vaporware goes, it was vaporer than most

    With a list of excuses well-seasoned ♪

  • hikerguy

    That’s going to be VERY expensive. Cool design, however. Prolly feels heavy due to the balance being shifted towards the end, (Just my theory, anyway).

    • Being heavy is not necessarily a problem, provided the rifle has correct balance. The Tavor is about 8lbs, but is a very pleasant rifle to shoulder due to all the weight being in back. Where you get in trouble is front heavy,.

  • Minuteman

    I’m no longer in on this one. I strongly suggested DT to go with a key mod hand guard instead as it’s more industrially standardized as well as throw on a Lantac brake because it’s hideously unstable. They failed to to listen. Adios!

    • pun&gun

      KeyMod is more industrially standardized?

      • Gary Kirk

        Industrial shelving..

      • AndyHasky

        I think he’s referring to new guns from mid level producers, like the Springfiield SAINT and Ruger Precision Rifles. Both those come from the factory with Keymod only, and there are others too. I think these manufacturers never got the memo that M-lok seems to be winning and the only thing that I can tell that’s keeping Keymod alive is BCM.

        • pun&gun

          I got the same impression. Especially now that BCM isn’t even bothering with the KMR’s super-light alloy anymore, making heavier versions in aluminum instead, I’d be surprised if MLOK didn’t end up pulling even farther ahead this year.

          • AlanHan

            The super-light alloy BCM was using proved too much of a trade-off, weight vs strength. The allow was not that difficult to break, as in pulling attachments out, hand-guard metal and all. Their aluminum version as actually quite light and compact, I think.

          • AndyHasky

            Yeah it’s not that much lighter then aluminum anyways.

      • Minuteman

        Yes it is. Read my comment @Sunshine_Shooter

        • Aono

          You should let the Army know that they are not sufficiently industrially standardizing the new CSASS. Also that Noveske, the original Keymod vendor, is now insufficiently standardizing their NSR handguards. While you’re at it be sure to tell Desert Tech that they should put keymod on their polymer handguards so that it can suffer some catastrophic material failures for the sake of industrial standardization.

          • Minuteman

            I said make a hand guard that is key mod *and thus aluminum by default). No plastic rifle is worth upwards of 2k. Just as no plastic hand gun is worth more than 500 bucks.

        • Five

          I’ve heard the problem with Key-Mod is that the standard is not well followed and thus you run into a wider variation in the implementation among manufacturers. Where-as M-Lok being proprietary and requiring a license tends to force closer adherence to the standard.

          • Minuteman

            THAT is very true!

          • Minuteman

            I just prefer Key Mod and you can’t go wrong with PWS.

          • Five

            Thanks, I’ll add them to my list of links for when I get back to planning my AR build.

          • Minuteman

            Upgraded Primary Weapons Systems MK116 Mod 2 .223 Wylde
            2x Primary Weapons Systems KeyMod Aluminum Picatinny Rail Section
            Primary Weapons Systems Enhanced Buffer Tube Mod 2
            Geissele Super Tricon Trigger
            Lantac Dragon DGN556B 1/2-28 UNEF R/H Muzzle Brake
            Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector AR-15 – Standard
            Battle Arms Development Enhanced Pin Set AR-15
            Battle Arms Development Enhanced Magazine Release
            BCM Gunfighter Stock
            BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle Mod 4
            BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 Pistol Grip
            BCM Gunfighter KeyMod Rail Panels
            TangoDown SCAR P-Rail Panel 6”
            TangoDown SCAR P-Rail Panel 2”
            Troy Industries Micro Set HK Front and Round Rear Tritium BLK Battle Sights w/ XS Sight Systems Troy CSAT Rear Aperture
            LaRue Tactical LT-FUG Forward Universal ‘Pillar’ Grip
            Aimpoint Comp M4S w/ GDI CM4-OSM QD Mount
            Samson 3.5x Magnifier
            Surefire M600 Ultra Scout Light w/ LaRue Tactical Surefire Scout Light LT272 QD Lever Mount @ 9
            L3 ATPIAL-C 3R Laser
            Savvy Sniper Quad X Cobra Sling
            2x ALG Defense Forged Sling Swivel
            Noveske QD Direct Attach Swivel Mount
            Lancer Systems L5AWM Translucent Smoke 30-Round Magazines w/ 5.56 Magpul

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      I didnt know there were still those who prefer Keymod (other than me of course). Glad to see it.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Keymod is a m e m e

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Is that M-Lok, or just vent holes? BTW, Key-Mod is dying a slow death.

      • MikeSmith13807

        It’s M-Lok at 3/6/9. I think the 1:00/11:00 slots are vent holes–they look wider than the others.

      • Minuteman

        I beg to differ. You do realize that key mod’s market share is second to none? Basically all major gun brands and high end AR manufacturers have pretty much standardized on key mod. It’s here to stay and by no means going the way of the Dodo.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          M-LOK is rapidly taking over Key-Mod’s market share. Key-mod will always be around, but in 3-5 years it won’t be on top.

          • Minuteman

            You think so? I very much doubt it.

        • roguetechie

          No, no it’s not…

          Here’s the thing, like what you want IDC.

          But don’t pretend that Keymod is anywhere close to the best!!

          If keymod were even good, high end modular shelving would use it, but even for hanging knick knack racks it’s basically barely adequate.

          If DT somehow could’ve went with a true best option, best fit where technology for firearms is heading, and best fitting the POLYMER that firearms will be more and more made with…

          They’d be announcing the second coming of PCAP.

      • Minuteman

        Their hand guard is M-Lok.

    • roguetechie

      Keymod is crap tier mounting for people who like paying more for less…

  • Vhyrus

    The reason people have been calling this vaporware is that they started taking paid preorders for this gun over a year ago and still have not delivered a single rifle. Every quarter they say “it will be shipping by the end of next quarter” and it never does. I almost put in a preorder about a year ago thinking they would be out by summer and I am damn glad I went with a tavor instead.

    • 11b

      I will never understand why people pay for a product that is not on the market yet. I honestly don’t feel bad for them- you’re essentially gambling. Even if it does release, whose to say it will be any good? The MDR looks very polished but still… stop preordering stuff people, you only have yourself to blame.

      • roguetechie

        But muh crowd funding?!

      • Paul B.

        I agree, and am thinking of the whole Bren Ten fiasco in the early 80’s (yes I am old enough to remember that). People just had to prepay and pre-order because it was the latest and greatest, and many of them received a pistol but no magazines. LOL

      • noob

        It’s because the banks won’t loan under good conditions and the engineers making these products are desperate to get any funding they can.

        If you get investors, pretty soon you’re taking orders from suits. The Pre-order relationship is more favorable to you as an engineer.

    • it’s just Boris

      Whereas K&M has been shipping their bullpups for a while now. It lacks some features this one has, like true ambidextrous adjustments and caliber swaps; but it’s available now, and it works pretty well in my admittedly limited experience.

      And it’s in my safe, not in my mind’s eye.

      • noob

        The M17 was developed in Australia and then by Bushmaster for years before K&M made it awesome. K&M were standing on the shoulders of giants and had working rifles to convert to their specifications when they started their line of M17 products.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      I guess you haven’t heard of the guy who pre-orderd Duke Nukem forever back in 1996.

      It came out in 2011.

      • Vhyrus

        Oh I heard. I bet the people who pre-ordered this rifle will be as happy with what they get as he was with what he got.

  • Slim934

    Any word on the Wolf Type 91 upper receivers?

    • abecido

      That’s what I hope to find every time I refresh TFB.

      • Slim934

        I’m willing to bet we are not the only ones.

  • Major Tom

    So Desert Tech is a firm believer and practitioner of Valve Time(TM). And Blizzard’s mantra of Soon(TM).

    • AndyHasky

      They just didn’t realize how much they bit off before they announced it. I would say I can’t blame them but they should’ve said “we’re a company that only makes bolt actions, maybe we should double or triple the time we think it’ll take to bring this to market.”

    • Frank

      I always liked ID software’s motto about Doom 3, “when it’s done”

    • M1911

      They just don’t have any understanding of terms that express the urgency of manana.

  • AndyHasky

    DT’s handling of the MDR is a pretty good case study of how not to run a marketing department. Also of how not to show a new product off so early in development.

    That being said god I want one. It wont be for another year I’d guess because I refuse to buy a brand new gun design. Being a first adopter rarely pays off in the gun world it seems. I’ll wait till someone like MAC signs off on it.

    • Vhyrus

      It wasn’t that they showed it off too early, it was that they started promising delivery in 2015 and actually started taking people’s money in 2016 and not a single gun has been delivered. I also heard a rumor that they are actually charging people a restocking fee for cancelling their preorder… on a gun that can’t be restocked since it doesn’t even exist.

      • MikeSmith13807

        I’m pretty sure that rumor is wrong–people have called their customer service and been told that they can cancel the pre-order anytime prior to delivery with no restocking fee.

    • iDreamOfWeenie

      MAC won’t give it a positive review unless Desert Tech pays him to

      • Drew Coleman

        Ding ding ding

      • AndyHasky

        I’ll rephrase it then “I won’t touch this gun until it’s been pretty well vetted and reviewed by multiple sources.” I think MAC is truthful sometimes…

        • Mark Chavendish

          LOL.. Becuase youtube personalities are the benchmark for quality and reliability.

      • De Facto

        Where does all the hate for MAC come from?

        • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

          Maybe by the whole period when he was prasing the Tavor, even in videos where he recognized its defects, but deemed it superior to guns that did not have them?

  • Gregory

    Too expensive, my cutoff was a IWI X95, at $1600. The X95 works for me, I am very happy with it.

    • To be fair, the X95 has an MSRP of like $1950, so it’s not _that_ far off from DT’s MSRP of $2275. The DT also has a much better scheme for swapping ejection than the X95 or SAR… I think you’ve either got to buy the LH bolt/barrel kit ($450) or send it to IWI (~$125) to convert the X95. For a few people, that’s going to be a big deal. (OTOH, they could buy an AUG A3 for cheaper, too.)

      But for mass market purposes, I agree that if the DT stays at $2000-$2100, it’s going to be a hard sell compared to the X95. The .308 version of the DT is arguably a more compelling gun, simply because there’s not a lot of .308 bullpups running around besides the K&M Arms one.

      • MikeSmith13807

        I don’t think its competition is the X95. They are going after the kind of buyers who would buy high end ARs, SCAR 17, and other “next gen” higher-priced designs.

        • The DT has zero military heritage whatsoever, and putting it on the level of the X95, SCAR 16/17, or ARX-160 is bizarre. The X95 is a combat-proven service rifle that very much has a “next-gen” design. The DT is going to appeal to the part of the market that lusts for niche non-military stuff like the ACR, XCR, RDB/RFB, etc. Those are interesting rifles, and they do have a market, but the fanboy hype for the DT has put a reality distortion field about what its competition really is.

          • MikeSmith13807

            I’m not sure what military heritage has to do with it… the X-95 may offer an allure to certain buyer types based on its service in Israel, but that doesn’t offset the accuracy issues and ergonomic issues from my perspective. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the X-95, but it doesn’t compare well to the MDR in many ways. If the X-95 does everything you want your rifle to do, then fine–buy it and use the extra money somewhere else. For me and many others, the X-95 is a compromise I won’t accept if the MDR becomes a reality.

            DT says they have done extensive reliability testing. At one point they said they are testing to NATO standards (a pretty high standard, if you aren’t familiar with it). Time will tell if it’s marketing hype or real.

          • AJ187

            Mike, don’t you know that the X-95 was born battle proven? That’s all I hear about if from fanboys anyway. i guess we’d all be carrying garands if they had their way too…

  • GD Ajax

    They should just release the .308 version first. Otherwise they will have vaporware if the money dries up.

    • MikeSmith13807

      That’s what they are doing–.308 first, 5.56 a few months later.

  • Bill

    I can’t think of another industry that does this – announce a product before it exists. Plenty of industries float proof of concept and “future” models, namely the automotive industry, but the way the firearms industry does it is nuts.

    • Green Hell

      Vidogames? It became common enough to show beautiful pre-rendered CGI “gameplay” years before the game actually exists, only to dissaloint everyone when it actually comes out.

      • Bill

        Thanks, I did not know that, it isn’t a field I’m familiar with.

    • lostintranslation

      The initial degree of interest, shown by the market, often firms up the internal and external project funding and supports the Business Plan.
      It’s a somewhat painful process, but it makes sense to most smaller businesses.
      If the market interest is negligible, why continue development?

    • AlanHan

      The gun industry’s merely copying Vaporware, the software marketing paradigm of the 70’s-1990’s. And then there’s the marketing tool attributed to MS: FUD, “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” by sowing which one scares the market away from competing products until the Vaporware becomes, a few years later, software, and just before it becomes bloatware. I suppose the gun equivalent of bloatware is a Tavor or AR loaded down with lasers, IR, scope, offset RDS etc for “home defense.” FUD “In a year your gun is going to be passé, obsolete, deprecated. Guys at the range will say ‘your gun’s no good and your holding it wrong.’ So, wait for our product!”

  • A.WChuck

    This rifle is heavily featured in Half-Life 3.

    (fellow nerds will understand)

    • Texas-Roll-Over

      haha so true

    • Jacob Heath

      You are confused A.WChuck… it was Team Fortress 3… lol

      • GabeNsaveus!

        Gabe Newell’s answers (in blue) to the following questions:

        Any chance of a new IP that takes place in the half-life/portal universe? “Yep”

        Is Valve still working on any fully-fledged single player games? “Yes”

        Wasn’t there a movie (or a set of 2 movies) coming in that universe by Valve and JJ Abrams? “Yep. They’re coming.”

    • Joshua Knott

      I swear to God if Gabe doesn’t make the third installment people are going to lose their minds

    • chedolf

      I’ll start to worry when they promise MDR orders will ship with a complimentary Daikatana tactical knife

      • Brett

        Maybe a beta code for Starcraft Ghost.

  • Shayne

    Sorry just reminds me of Bushmaster’s ACR fiasco. 1)Delay after delay. 2) Multi-caliber switched to we will release the other calibers later, promise. 3)The price is going up because it was featured in some game which will mean less people will buy it which means less demand for caliber conversions. Good luck to them.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      At least the MDR’s caliber conversions will be (should be?) available from day 1, since they are releasing both calibers at the same time.

      • RSG

        No they’re not. In a shot show interview, they said 308 is coming out first.

    • noob

      the caliber kits came out eventually on the ACR. the problem is that we expect everything to be perfect on day 1 and physics means that there are bugs.

      You’re right that they should stay stealthy until they are ready to explode onto the scene, but they also have to balance that against needing to find out if there even is a market for their product before finishing development.

    • JLR84

      I will never understand why Magpul decided to give the Masada to Bushmaster. What a wasted opportunity.

  • The_Champ

    What is it exactly about this design that has convinced people it will be the greatest thing since soldiers traded in their bow strings for gun powder? The multi-caliber aspect?

    • MikeSmith13807

      Fully modular, piston system, easy to swap calibers, fully ambidextrous, familiar AR-style controls, sub-MOA accuracy, 4ish lb trigger, light weight, a handguard design that lets you mount stuff and grip like an AR, all in a package that’s 10″ shorter than an AR with no NFA issues… What’s not to like?

      • GaryOlson

        I dunno, it doesn’t shoot golden rays of sunshine that parts the fog of war, transform ejected brass into a shower of diamonds like unicorn feces, or make Skittles rain from the sky. Seems a little limited.

      • noob

        and forward ejection without a long FN2000 poop chute

      • The_Champ

        I’ll believe all that when they actually deliver it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cheering for almost any new company or design to succeed, especially any AR substitute, but this much hype is bound to let people down.

        And I do think that others make a good point about the cost. Everyone is cheering now but when it’s finally released how many people are actually willing to slap down $2500?

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      As for me (since I’m definitely in the camp of it probably being awesome once released), the gun just seems… well-designed. I love the look of it and the left-handed comparability of the design. I have no real hard evidence I can think of, but I just kinda want it to work.

      If it turns out to be a total flop, I won’t be making excuses for it though. After spending so much time in development and continuously being delayed, it better be the best thing ever.

  • Laserbait

    “I think the “heavy” comments were the result of the MDR’s balance point
    being a couple of inches behind the pistol grip, which torques the wrist
    pretty good and causes noticeable strain, hence the “heavy” feeling! I
    don’t think this balance point is unique to the MDR among bullpups, but I
    felt it was worth pointing out.”

    Don’t forget, the rear of the rifle is supported by your shoulder, so with the balance point being rearward means that you spreading the weight between the shoulder and strong hand. It’s ideal when you have to hold the rifle up for a long duration, less fatiguing.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Agreed. That also struck me as people who aren’t familiar with the rearward center of mass mislabeling it as ‘heavy’.

      • noob

        hmm. can we just hang a bunch of lights and lasers and bipods and grips and tac-sacs from the rails at the front until it balances right over the pistol grip?

      • CavScout

        Don’t forget, 8lb is a full pound or more heavier than we see from rifles that do the same, and don’t cost near that much. People whine that LMT MRP’s are heavy, but at least all the weight is from the barrel profile.

    • MPWS

      Good talk, but, where is ANY feature on that but to suggest you can rest it on shoulder? The negative slant? Would it not be better to do a ‘beak’ on top? This requires constant pressure, therefor undue fatigue.

      • Laserbait

        With a conventional rifle, you pull the rifle into your shoulder anyway. The buttpad does a very adequate job of keeping the rifle adhered against the shoulder, without any additional pressure.

        • Hunter

          I played with it at shot and it differently felt heavy, more so then the x95 or Aug I played with at the show(for reference I own a sar tavor). I frankly was surprised, it did have a good trigger though, and the mag release was as easy to use as an ar15, this was a prototype so hopefully the production model will be lighter.

          • Laserbait

            I have not followed the MDR too much, but I wonder if they use the same chassis for the 7.62×51 and the 5.56×45. If that’s the case, I bet that’s a good reason for the weight.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Yes, it was built as a .308 first and then will be adapted to the other calibers without changing the chassis.

      • ostiariusalpha

        My FS2000 has no “beak”, and it doesn’t slide off my shoulder if I have my arm rest naturally against my body while holding the grip; just the weight of my arm keeps it in place. The FS2K has a little more curve on the buttpad than the MDR, but I doubt it’s really all that different in regard to this resting position.

      • noob

        You can probably make a rubber length of pull spacer to add to the buttpad with a negative slant.

        Or a shoulder thing that goes up.

        the main thing is that it is easier to attach things to the rifle than to build in a feature that other people might want to dremel off.

      • pweekles

        It’ll have a shoulder thing that goes up.

    • I think it’s a good balance point for some things and an atrocious balance point for other things.

  • ozzallos .

    At $2,000+ it won’t be sweeping anything aside.

    • MikeSmith13807

      I think it’s designed to compete with something like the SCAR 17, not the Tavor.

  • MPWS

    In the meantime… Tavor anyone?

  • gordon

    “Next quarter” is the sound it makes when it LIES:-) I was just barely smart enough not to “preorder” from them. Now, I will wait at least two years after it starts shipping and strongly consider alternatives before buying anything from them. They are not our friends, like they try to project, they are just another poorly managed business. Still, if it ends up being the best MSR ever, I will buy one once the glitches are shaken out.

  • Malthrak

    At ~$2500 or thereabouts and having already blown their metaphorical hype train load, even if this thing gets released, it’s hard to see it doing spectacularly well. It’s well above the price of contemporary bullpups like the Tavors, Augs and variants like the upcoming Atrax, RDB, etc, with zero of the real combat experience some of these rifles have, and a limited niche for aftermarket support.

    It may end up making people who see it think “thats neat”, but I think thats about the extent of what it will achieve at this point.

    • John Yossarian

      Exactly – I can get an RDB and an RFB today for less than half of what the MDR with its conversion kit are supposed to cost tomorrow.

  • Aono

    Recoil magazine mentioned a planned “DMR” version of this with, IIRC, a better trigger. Personally I’m holding out for that in 24″ Creedmoor. I want full house ballistics in a handier setup, not just the shortest possible setup.

    My biggest question though is how quietly this thing will shoot suppressed when metered at the shooter’s ear, compared to an AR10. I’m really hoping to see some reviews focused on that in particular.

  • Justin

    I’ll just wait until this has been in the wild for a few years before I even consider it. I believe the marketing hype about as much as I believe the people who call about reducing my student loans. If it can prove it’s actually worth the money and it’s actually available anywhere other than Gun broker for 3x MSRP then I’ll look at it.

  • Joshua Knott

    Is it me,or does anyone else chuckle when they hear “it’s too heavy” …like idk maybe walk a little more …..
    Thompson smg 10lbs
    M1 10lbs
    I mean my grandpa would call me a wuss

    • ARCNA442

      Yeah, but if you can get a rifle that does the same thing and is pound lighter, why not? I’ll also note that weight was a fairly important factor in the replacement of the Garand and Thompson.

      • Joshua Knott

        oh im not arguing with that, i just think that we have become so damn peachy to just utterly complain about everything, i mean a part of me says the people saying the heavy comment are kitted out wearing a fanny pack, blackout t shirt cruising in a walmart go kart. (motorized shopping cart)

    • roguetechie

      Your grandpa also faced the prospect of no “golden hour” medevac, dying from a 7.92×33 sucking chest wound, and would’ve been expected to go into battle loaded down with approximately 50% the weight in gear.

      I love our Grandpa’s I really do, don’t get me wrong.

      Just don’t imply there’s anything like a 1:1 equivalence between things then and now.

      • Joshua Knott

        the golden hour really took phase during the Vietnam war and the use of helicopters as air ambulances first implemented during the Korean conflict, i totally get the fact that we have come a long ways in terms of technology and its use. during ww2 a riflemans loadout wouldve been around 110 lbs, whereas today its around 135 including armor/helmet. So in essence we carry more protective gear and more than twice the amount of ammo. I mean an m4 with ir/trigicon weighs in around 8lbs, and the M16a4 weighs close to the original weight of the m1. The only technicality would be paratroopers as they are loaded down like mac trucks regardless of era.
        So whats more effective, a round a rifle designed to kill a Calvary man at thousand yards or a .22 caliber weapon designed for 300 meter engagements, i mean its a toss up.

        • roguetechie

          Considering that select fire general issue small arms are not optional at this point.

          The 300 meter range engagement envelope staying remarkably consistent…

          And a bunch of other factors I just don’t have the time to even start getting into, much less trying to cram into a DISQUS comment, leave me with 100% confidence in SCHV general issue infantry rifles being a better choice.

          Truth be told though, I’m pretty much 100% sure we could already have a current issue round with a 5.45-6mm saboted VLD bullet getting greater than 3300fps MV from a 16.25 inch barrel. A complete cartridge of this type could weigh 50% less, hit just as hard and accurate as M855a1 to 500+ meters, and all using a steel case making for a cheaper to manufacture round on top of everything else.

          You’d also be able to run something as effective as an AK74 muzzle brake without experiencing the same levels of concussion and discomfort you experience from firing even an m16a4 with birdcage flash hider!

          All in all you’d be able to almost double up your standard ammo load out over current levels while not gaining an ounce much less a pound! Each round in this ammo load even more potent, accurate, and with more consistent performance than the M855a1.

        • CommonSense23

          The fighting load of the the infantry in WW2 is vastly different than today. Far more than 20lbs.

          • Joshua Knott

            OK…. I was comparing a rifleman , if you’re going to debate at least follow up with facts. I did the Research , I said 25 lol. But that what was issued, I’m damn well known most grunts load themselves down with a few more mags. Again I was going off standard issue.

  • Anonymoose
  • valorius

    With the exception of the AUG, i don’t like bullpups. Bullpups are for “sailors and men named Lawrence.”

    • Lawrence

      I beg your pardon?

      • valorius

        Go watch Full metal jacket.

    • Popeye

      I own a FAMAS in every color.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Heavy for a 5.56 light for a 7.62×51.

    • roguetechie

      Heavy for a 5.56 more or less freakishly on par for a modern 7.62

      *paging DPMS g2*

      BUT shorter and KEWLLLL!!

  • mig1nc

    “from 2.26″ length calibers like 5.56mm to 2.8″ calibers like .308 Winchester”… Hmm… .264 USA? Because reasons. I don’t have any reasons. Just want.

  • john huscio

    Rather have an AUG (even with the crappy trigger) or better yet, a thales F90.

  • Saint Stephen the Obvious

    So while I would like to get this, the delays are killing it. With that said its a tad expensive at $2,500 for me.

    Compare this to the IWI X95, which you can pick up for around $1,600 and is readily available = good alternative.

    • roguetechie

      Which isn’t an 8 pound bleeding edge 308…

      So there is that…

  • Chris Schmidt

    The first production model of most guns/cars/anything will often have issues that will be resolved in later models. I’m willing to wait for the first wave to pass and DT to identify and deal with those issues. I may eventually get one….just have to see where this goes.

  • I handled it at SHOT. It’s very cool, look forward to seeing them out in the wild.

    It is rear heavy, similar to the Tavor and X95, vs the “Neutral” weight balance of the AUG, which balances at the pistol grip.

    The trigger is good, but the K&M trigger is better, and Desert Tech’s SRS trigger is MUCH better.

    Drop free AR style mag release worked very well.

    It’s a shame it has taken this long, but I appreciate that they are getting the design perfect from day 1, vs releasing it into the wild for the first 1,000 customers to be beta testers, which has been the trend with most new rifle designs.

  • noob

    @Nathaniel thank you for finally getting the photo of the open chamber with the forward ejection mechanism.

    I have been curious about how that works – it looks like a small toggle that sticks a metal finger out to guide the case towards the door, without being so big as to impede the feeding of the next cartridge below.

    if that is the case it is genius. I hope it still works when dirty. clearing a double feed from that could be nasty since the ejection only completes when the boltface (sidelug? is that a thing?) pushes the spent case forward and out the door as the bolt closes.

    does the door on the front of the chamber cover automatically spring closed?

  • John Benham

    Since when is the weight 8 lbs? I think the rep may have either misquoted or was quoting the weight with optics/suppressor/mag. Desert tech has quoted the weight at 7.1 lbs. for the empty .308 version for years at this point. It is plainly posted right on DT’s website for all to see.

    • Probably since the weight spiral that happens during the development of literally everything.

      Holding the thing from the flash hider, I say 8lbs is closer to the mark than 7. One of these years, I really need to bring a postal scale to SHOT.

  • cutamerc

    That balance point sounds ideal to add suppressors.

    Does anyone know how bad gas to the face/neck is with a can? Do you get painted with soot like some bullpups?

  • YZAS

    How many shot shows does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop

  • CharlesH

    where is the MDR-C?

  • Vitor Roma

    This gun deserves respect. They had two of them, firing around 1k of big 7.62 rounds each of big in 3 hours without malfunctions.

    • CommonSense23

      Thats not really impressive.

      • Vitor Roma

        Actually it is if you know real life is not like a Rambo movie. The standard ammo load of a us soldier is 210 rounds (7 mags), and that is of the considerably smaller and lighter 5.56. So almost 5 times that of a bigger round is way more than a soldier will shoot in combat, except in the case of a machine gunner doing supressive fire.

        • CommonSense23

          Which it isn’t impressive mechanically impressive to fire a 1000 rounds in 3 hours of 7.62 out of what is being sold as a battle rifle. Has nothing to do with any combat load.

  • Desert Tech brought a .308 MDR to the Burgers and Bullets shoot during SHOT Show this year, so they at least have a couple of working models. The event was hosted by Faxon Firearms at Range 702 in Vegas.

    The MDR is a little heavier than my Tavor X95, but was not uncomfortably hefty. The .308 ammunition also played a part in the heavier weight, as opposed to a 5.56mm version. The bullpup design does make it much more comfortable for unsupported shooting (we were standing, unsupported) than a traditional .308 rifle with the weight further forward. It was a short range, and the target was only around 15-20 yards away, but I was able to place rounds in a tight group without specifically trying for accuracy. Recoil for the .308 MDR is noticeably greater than my GA Precision Rock (10.0 lbs. with heavy, fluted barrel and McMillan M40A1 – HTG stock). There is more muzzle rise from the MDR, likely due to the transfer of weight to the rear, but this may be mitigated using a bipod or bag when prone or bench shooting. Another consideration is noise and muzzle flash. The muzzle being much closer to the shooter made for very loud recoil. Granted, we were in an indoor range, in a room with only 4 shooting stalls, inside one of those stalls, but EVERYONE was commenting when the MDR was fired. Noise may feel louder even outdoors due to the muzzle being so much closer to the shooter’s ears. The room was well lit so muzzle flash was not a problem, but could be an issue with the shorter barrel and being closer to the shooter’s eyes.

    Overall very excited and interested for the MDR to hit the market!

  • you mean its not vaporware afterall?

  • l2a3

    Played with it at the 2016 NRA show, just picking it up as well as holding it in your hands, it felt heavier than the weight they claimed. Yes it did feel butt heavy at the shoulder, as well as just handling and It did not feel “lively” moving it around as other rifles do. Just my observation, and yes I still want to see and feel the final product.

  • Dean_R

    I had an opportunity to fire it (6 rounds only) at the Burgers and Bullets thing that DT took part in at SHOT 2017.
    I also was surprised by the “apparent” weight of it.
    The author of this article, Nathaniel F, makes an interesting comment about the rearward distribution of the weight in bullpups.
    The thing is, I own a Chinese Type-97 NSR and a Lever Arms LA K12 bullpup 12 gauge, and I dont get the heavy feeling from either of them.

  • LDS_Cult_Finder

    Desert Tech is owned by a Mormon CULT. The cult who actually own/run the company…..You have to have to follow all the shell companies up the ladder to find this, but it’s true! The Mormon cult that owns them and places it’s members as employee’s is so horribly sick I don’t have enough time to list all the sick things they do. Research it for yourself.

    • Dean_R

      If you dont have time to list all the things “they” do, why would I have time to research all the same things?
      Move along, pus-head.