Today at SHOT show, I was able to take a look at the Desert Tech MDR in both 7.62×51 and 5.56×45. Desert Tech was taking orders on them currently, so they should head out to dealers soon. Some salient information: There is a handguard that will go around a 2-piece OSS suppressor for the 7.62 version. Although Desert tech makes in-house suppressors, they are optimized for their bolt action rifles.
They are fully ambidextrous, and ejection can be changed from right to left handed simply by swapping a panel on either side of the firearm. The panel contains the ejector, and cases eject forward from either side you select. The panels do not need the rifle to be disassembled in order to change sides, they have their own tabs that can be depressed, and simply swapped over. The charging handle is non-reciprocating as well.
There is no need to change out the lower receiver/chassis for 7.62×51, 5.56×45, or .300 Blackout (coming this summer). To change caliber, one needs to simply change the barrel, bolt, and magazine well adaptor.
Also new from Desert Tech is their own reflex sight, the DT 1X Reflex, which was mounted on the MDR. Another MDR had an EOtech on it, and a lower 1/3 co-witness was able to be achieved with the irons. DMR and compact (registered SBR) versions of the MDR (micro-dynamic rifle, for those who are curious) are on the way, as well as an optional match/competition trigger. The current trigger was a very good 2-stage trigger that broke cleanly. I was impressed with it as far as bullpup triggers go. There are 2 options for mag releas: one on the front of the magwell, and another forward of the triggerguard. All controls are fully ambidextrous. We look forward to reviewing one in the future, as well as taking a good look at the internals when we get the chance.
Here’s the stats from Desert Tech:
All rifles are 26″ long with a 16″ barrel. (I assume the extra weight in the 5.56 and .300 is due to the mag well adaptor.)
Thanks to Desert Tech for their time in answering my questions!