Desert Tech MDR: For Reals This Year?


Desert Tech MDR: For Reals This Year?

I stopped by the Desert Tech booth for my annual look at everyone’s favorite missing bullpup rifle, and I asked the rep, “So the MDR, man, is this actually going to ship?”

“Yes,” replied the rep, “it’s really gonna ship this year.”

He went on to explain that they’ll be doing small shipments in March, and then ramping up to full production by June.

Depending on the caliber, the MDR will come in around the $2500 price point, so it won’t be cheap.

The caliber options at launch will be .308 and .223, and later on they’re adding a .300 blackout barrel. You can buy one gun and three different barrels and some extra hardware and change calibers in about a minute with just one tool.


There was a over-the-barrel suppressor version on display with an expanded handguard. The suppressor is made by AMTAC, and believe it or not the rifle in the photo is not an SBR. The barrel is a full 16 inches. By the time you factor in the bullpup nature and the over-the-barrel suppressor design, you get a very compact package.

Of course, the over-the-barrel suppressors typically aren’t as effective as their normal counterparts, but you can’t beat them for length savings if that’s what’s of primary importance to you.

There has been a lot of hype and a lot of disappointment and sniping around this gun. It was originally supposed to ship in late 2015 (here’s a group buy thread on a forum that has been active since 2014, with a bunch of bullpup fans planning their purchase). Then after delays Desert Tech announced a “firm” commitment to shipping it in the third quarter of 2016. Here’s the company’s CEO in a statement:

We’re really excited that we can commit third quarter of this year — that’s our firm time and we’re excited to have that commitment. … We’re going to take the time to make sure out of the box that this is the product that you guys have been waiting for.

So that didn’t happen, and now the rep is swearing that it will be shipping in volume this coming July.

I, for one, am not going to hold my breath. As I said above, there has been a ton of disappointment out there because folks have been so excited about this thing for so long.

I want to note that I did not see this gun at Range Day, and I take that to be a bad sign. If you’re shipping a new, hot gun this year, it’s going to be at Range Day. The fact that the MDR wasn’t there suggests to me that it’s still vapor.

At any rate, when the gun eventually ships, our colleagues at TFB will be all over it, and then we’ll see if it can actually deliver more than just broken dreams.

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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