Gun Review: Masterpiece Arms MPAR 556 Gen 2

    Remember the Australian Leader Dynamics T2? It is okay if you don’t, as very few made it here to the USA, but thanks to people like Ian McCollum some are at least aware of it nowadays.

    The Leader was designed and produced by Charles St. George in New South Wales, Australia for his firm Leader Dynamics. Eventually the firm was sold and an outfit called Australian Automatic Arms was formed and began manufacturing firearms based on the T2 in Tasmania, Australia. Having spent a significant amount of time on the island of Tasmania, I connected with one of our frequent readers here who posts under the name “tassiebush” and he has an interest in these. His words:

    “I’ve seen two first hand. One when the police had it at their exhibit at a gun show. The spoil sport policeman wouldn’t let me touch it or open it up or pull open the bolt 🙁 There was also a dealer (now ex dealer) who used to have one on his back shelf. It was category D which means it’s only available to professional pest controller who can explain exactly why they need one over all other existing options and as soon as they stop that job they must sell or dispose of it.
    A friend who I’ll be seeing tomorrow saw a 9mm parabellum prototype being used at the range his dad went to when he was a kid.”

    Tasmania truly is the most spectacular place I have ever been to, and if I had Australian citizenship and a log cabin somewhere on the western part of the island, nobody would ever hear from me again!

    So what does all this have to do with the MPAR 556? Well the MPAR shares a lot in common with Mr. Charles St. George’s T2 rifle design. It shares the form of the rifle and his patented triangular bolt design.


    The carrier and bolt come out easy and the rifle is very simple to take down and clean:



    The rifle also has an adjustable gas system:


    So how does she shoot?

    Well I was certainly eager to find out.

    Patrick R. and I took the MPAR and several loaded mags out on a cold overcast day ready to see what this stamped wonder gun could do:


    The gun uses a standard AR trigger and controls, and is nice and easy to operate. I fired the gun a few times to find the lowest gas setting on which it would run reliably (like you would on an FAL):



    After this the gun chugged along great and devoured magazine after magazine!


    Nailing steel and putting rounds where I wanted them to go was easy and I must say that I was impressed with the MPAR.

    It was then Patrick’s turn to run the gun, and he shared my favorable opinion:





    All in all we both enjoyed shooting this rifle.

    As for the ole’ bullet points:

    The Good:

    • Street price of $900
    • It uses many AR15 components (customize as you see fit)
    • Adjustable gas system
    • Reliable as a toaster
    • Great muzzle brake
    • Left side charging
    • AR style controls
    • Uses AR mags
    • Holds sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards with plinking ammo and 4x magnification.

    The Bad:

    • The stock has a bit of wobble

    The Ugly:

    • The handguard is comically large, and unnecessarily so


    For $900, I consider this a winner, especially for people who have “AR fatigue”. AR substitutes usually run $1,500 and up, Masterpiece Arms has managed to produce a great stand-in for a great price!

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.