The day many of you have been waiting for has come (and gone): The Desert Tech MDR has finally been released to the US consumer marlet after more than four years of development. Desert Tech announced the gun’s official release in a monthly update on their website, citing the first delivery of the rifle made on July 21st:
Dear Valued Customers,
I’m sure everyone is eager to receive our monthly update for August and I know you are all expecting me to say it will take another week or so before we can ship the first batch of MDR’s but unfortunately that won’t be the case. In truth we held our MDR launch party on July 21 and delivered the first production MDR to Derek Johnson from Texas. Derek waited on the phone on hold with our office for several hours to be the very first person to order an MDR. We will be sharing the MDR launch video with everyone late next week after marketing finishes compiling it.
We spent several weeks testing samples of the final production guns to ensure there were no reliability or endurance problems and we are happy to report they are flawless! We are very pleased with the MDR’s performance and I know everyone else will be too. The first batch of MDR’s will start shipping this week and the remainder of the batch will all be shipped by the end of next week. The color mix of this first batch is 60% FDE and 40% Black. Every batch will be split up proportionally between dealers and end users based on when they placed their orders. We have dealers and end users who jumped on board in the beginning and we are sticking to that priority schedule until we fulfill the entire backlog. I would expect it will take us 6-8 months to catch up on the backlog as we are continually receiving new orders daily and I’m sure that will increase substantially once the rifles hit the stores.
Truth-fully I am very excited to say this will be our last monthly MDR update because the product has officially launched and from this point on we will be continually producing and shipping MDR batches as quickly as possible. For those who placed their orders on our website you can login and check for delivery updates on your orders. Dealers can call and check with their sales representative. The 5.56 is pushed out due to the .308 delays, when we know more details on timing for the 5.56 we will provide an update.
The MDR is out in the wild, although it appears to be available in only small quantities for now, through dealers on the backorder list. Even so, the first reviews of the modular bullpup have reached YouTube, such as the two videos released a few days ago by Cold Bore Mirakle:
According to CBM, the MDR he tested had about 2400 rounds through it before it came to him, suggesting this may be a T&E sample. CBM said he put over 700 rounds through the rifle himself, and witnessed no malfunctions. Reliability is of course important, but what many of our readers want to know is “can the rifle shoot?” CBM tested the rifle’s accuracy using a Kahles K 3-12×50, a SilencerCo Hybrid suppressor, and 175gr Desert Tech .308 Winchester match ammunition, at 100 yards:
CBM’s groups are looking pretty good, at right around 1 inch. Based on the performance of other recent semiautomatic bullpup offerings on the market (the Tavor and RDB, for example), the Desert Tech may have gained the lead in accuracy among rifles in this class. The average of the measurements for all six five-shot groups was reported to be 1.041 inches, which would be 0.994 MOA at 100 yards.
Desert Tech released a video on the very first MDR owner, whom they invited out to their facility in Salt Lake: