Magpul Masada is now Bushmaster ACR

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

This is big news. Bushmaster have licensed the Magpul Masada! It will be mostly the same but with additional features such as firing pin block and ambidextrous charging handle.

It will be available in three models:

Bushmaster ACR Entry Carbine (12.5″ barrel)

Bushmaster ACR Standard Carbine (16″ barrel)

Bushmaster ACR SPR Rifle (18″ barrel)

The Masada before it was the ACR

The owner of Magpul has this to say:

Okay guys, first things first – just to clear this up, the Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) is the final production version of the Masada prototype that we debuted at SHOT Show last year. Like the press release says, we’ve spent the last 12 months refining and re-designing the Masada, but I will not be posting any updates yet. The ACR will officially be unveiled at SHOT Show starting on Saturday, so do us a favor and have patience until then. If you happen to be in Vegas, swing by the Magpul and Bushmaster booths – there will be plenty of ACRs to play with. Photos welcome – just ask before you snap. Post ’em if you got ’em.

Next, I need to address some of the things I’ve been reading on the forums lately. From the get go, the idea behind the Masada was go big or go bust, no middle ground. We’re going big. We designed the best rifle we could with the ultimate goal of putting it in civilian, law enforcement, and military hands. Licensing the design to a well-established American firearms manufacturer offered the best opportunity to achieve these original goals. Enter Bushmaster and the ACR.

We’ve spent a lot of time with the Bushmaster guys over the last few months. I have personally been impressed with them. Down to earth and and down to business, very stand up. We jived right off the bat. The tolerances and specs Magpul laid out for the original Masada were tight, and the Bushmaster guys didn’t blink. Both sides of the table have kept open minds about the project, and Bushmaster will be building the ACR to the same quality and material standards as the original Magpul concept. The lines of communication on the ACR remain open between Bushmaster and Magpul.

As far as Magpul’s direct involvement goes, we’ll be designing and manufacturing all polymer ACR parts including, but not limited to, handguards, lowers, and stocks. The bottom line: you get high-end Magpul kit straight from the factory on your Bushmaster ACR.

A couple of things in closing – for those of you who are wondering, Magpul is still an independently owned and operated company. We will also continue to expand our product line. In the following days at SHOT we plan to release several new products. These are fast and exciting times for those in our industry.

I think think was a brilliant move by Magpul. There was speculation about how Magpul would fare producing large quantities of Masadas if they became popular.

The press release from Bushmater

The Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) will initially be offered in 5.56 NATO, available for law enforcement and civilian purchase second quarter 2008. This release will be followed by military ACR versions in the 3rd quarter of 2008.

Windham, ME – Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC (BFI) announced today that it has signed an exclusive license deal with Magpul Industries Corp. for the production, future development, and sales of Magpul’s prototype MASADA weapon system.

The Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) will initially be offered in 5.56 NATO, available for law enforcement and civilian purchase second quarter 2008. This release will be followed by military ACR versions in the 3rd quarter of 2008.

“The opportunity to partner with such an innovative company as Magpul, is a very exciting step in the growth and evolution of Bushmaster’s product line.” said Chad Brooks, CEO of Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC.

Without government funding or outside influence of any kind, the Masada concept was developed from scratch in Boulder, Colorado by Magpul’s Design Group. The initial Masada concept was first shown publicly at the 2007 Shot Show and its success prompted Magpul to spend a year redesigning the system for production.

Richard Fitzpatrick, CEO Magpul, said, “As the design progressed, we began to realize we needed to find a partner who shared our vision, and could drive production at a suitable volume without sacrificing quality. We entertained a number of ideas and offers, but in the end, a partnership with Bushmaster was the logical choice. Their production capabilities, distribution network, and brand name were the best match for our goal of getting this rifle into civilian, law enforcement, and military hands.”

The result is the ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) which keeps the fundamentals of the Masada concept with added advanced features such as firing pin block and true ambidextrous charging handle.

The ACR will be available for hands on viewing in the Bushmaster and Magpul booths in the Law Enforcement section at SHOT Show 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the ACR’s key features are a gas piston operating system, tool-less quick change barrel, multi-adjustable folding stock with integrated storage, and backward compatibility with a number of AR15/M16 parts. Due to similar operating controls, user transition from the M16 series of weapons is easily facilitated with minimal re-training.

The Bushmaster ACR will initially be available in 3 SKUS: Standard Carbine with fixed stock, Entry Carbine with folding stock, and Special Purpose Rifle with Precision Rifle Stock. Live fire demonstration and test and evaluations beginning in the end of March to qualified law enforcement and federal government agencies.

UPDATE: CheekyQuim posted photos from SHOT Show at


CheekyQuim scanned in the Bushmaster ACR brochure:

(click to expand the image)


A video made by

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 49 comments
  • Jake Jake on Jan 08, 2011

    All I can say is that it was a sellout. I hate not having the 7.62 version, the charging handle is messed up and much much more

  • Fred Red Fred Red on Feb 02, 2011

    The charging handle is just fine. It feels sturdy. It is accurate. Just because the barrel isn't chrome lined doesn't mean it isn't still lined, because it is, do some research. Also....the price has come down to around 1700-2000 for the basic configuration. I do believe that puts it a little below the SCAR. It is 1 pound heavier than the SCAR however, which is really not a big deal unless your just looking for something to complain about.