Desert Tech MDR—A Multi-caliber Bullpup is in the Works—SHOT Show 2014

desert tech01Desert Tactical Arms
By this point in the development of tactical firearms, the bullpup seems like familiar territory. Yet Desert Tech has created a good deal of buzz with the announcement of its new multi-caliber bullpup design. The company plans to release it in .223 and .308 at first, with 300 BLK, 7.62 x 39 and 6.8 SPC to follow. It will be offered with either a 10.5” or a 16” barrel. One of the most interesting design features of the new gun is a new sighting system that will allow the user to swap between calibers without losing zero. The spent casings will eject above the magazine well forward and to the right via a short chute, which is easily accessible to clear any malfunctions.

Will it sell well? It will. Desert Tech is a fashionable brand. Its rifles are built to extreme tolerances and perform exceptionally well, which has earned them a devoted following in the tactical community. And a Desert Tech bullpup may prove to be a step up from the others players in the field.

desert tech02Desert Tech had some mock-ups of the new MDR at the SHOT Show. According to the rep we spoke to, there is only one functional gun and it was back at the shop in Utah. As such, it was hard to tell much about the controls or trigger. But the idea sure had everyone talking. Desert Tech’s motto is “Tomorrow’s Weapons,” but it will be a little bit longer wait. The MDR is set for a mid-2015 release. The estimated MSRP is between $2,100 and $2,500.desert tech03

desert tech04

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Drew Gildemeister November 17, 2015, 10:28 pm

    Will desert tech be coming out with a 18 or 20 inch barrel for the .308 MDR?

  • B. K.Berlack February 21, 2014, 8:15 am

    I made an error in stating that the Keltec has a quick change option ! The weapon that I was refering to is the MSAR version of the AUG ! Thanks and that’s all.

  • B. K.Berlack February 21, 2014, 8:06 am

    This weapon is as close visually to a KELTEC FBR as you can get! The Keltec has a quick change calibre option and I am sure that there will be other to come! I LOVE MINE and they are accurate, and so is my MSAR (American made AUG)! These great weapons have proven themselves and their price is a savings of over $1,000.00, Enough Said!

  • Bill the Brit January 30, 2014, 1:48 pm

    I am always wary of the bullpup after the disastrous British Army issue of the Enfield L85. Over the years Enfield produced some excellent British Army rifles. A pity their last weapon produced, before closing down the factory was their biggest lemon.

  • pup breeder January 29, 2014, 9:42 pm

    im a biased fan of bullpups in general. I have 8 different bull pup weapon systems and still several more to obtain.

    Dale, perhaps you didnt read the earlier news from the SHOT show coverage. IWI has released a 9mm conversion kit for the Tavor. they are available now. while a bit spendy its still half as less money to buy the conversion than a whole new rifle.

    Steyr makes the Aug in a 9mm version but I dont think we have em state side.

    we have .223, 308, 7.62×39. 7.62x54R, 12 gauge, and 5.7 we certainly could use some 9mm and 45acp bullpups. it looks to be an untapped market.

    9mm bullpup has been available as an ugly kit using a Marlin camp 9. the success of the Beretta CX4 carbine should indicate people want a short, compact, lightweight 9mm carbine, the Beretta was often mistakenly called a bullpup since it was so short overall with the magwell appropriately placed in the grip unlike the ridiculously long Taurus CT9 and the new Caracal shown yesterday.

  • John Gill January 29, 2014, 4:06 pm

    Looks like an AUG to me. The ejection port on these can cause problems if you aren’t reasonably careful not to block it. The primary issue will be the trigger system due to the long separation between the trigger and the sear. The long rough trigger pull of a mechanical system is acceptable on a combat weapon as it is sturdy and reliable, but not so good for accuracy. Always thought a hydraulic or electrical system would be better.

    • Bill H May 13, 2015, 12:09 pm


      I have their SRS 338LM bolt gun (also a bullpup) Trigger is likely similar on the MDR to what is in the SRS. The SRS trigger is the nicest trigger I’ve ever used. I personally wouldn’t worry about their implementation of the trigger – its solid!

  • petru Sova January 29, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Oh wow another $60 dollar plasticky and stamped sheet metal gun on sale for $2,000 plus. I am in the wrong business that’s for sure.

  • Dale January 29, 2014, 3:32 pm

    I’m not much into tactical rifle systems. What I would like to see is a bullpup design that takes pistol cal. ammo., specifically with Glock magazines. I know that there is at least one company that makes an upper to replace the slide assembly of a Glock, but then you have to buy another Glock & the upper to have a fully dedicated carbine to go with your hand gun.

  • JMG169 January 29, 2014, 2:16 pm

    I don’t suppose Desert Tech might entertain the idea of a .22LR version of this nice little weapon? Current ammo prices don’t help the budget these days.

  • Mikel January 29, 2014, 12:51 pm

    Build your own from a Saiga or Vepr. The kits are decent but home builds are better, imho. For the price of these things, you can build 2, maybe 3 home builds. I’ve done a Saiga12 and a Romy RPK as a DMR and likely have less money into both of them together.

  • n mellen January 29, 2014, 11:34 am

    The listed prices on these new bullpups are right in keeping with the “Robber Barons” of past history. about like the Masterpiece Remington 700 system rifle in the $7,000.00 + class. These manufactures will do more to limit gun ownership than the government will ever accomplish.

    • lujan February 10, 2014, 3:26 pm

      I agree Mellen, it seems a new innovative rifle never gets off the ground because the target consumer simply has too much invested in other weapons. How many gun writers have said how intriguing these new rifles are, but the price prevents them from justifying another major purchase. I think cost is something a company has to consider, but when people don’t buy enough of them how successful is the endeavor?
      The only reason so many countries use M4’s is because the US practically gave them away, often for other services & or arrangements. But they end up buying more because of practicality. And that’s my point. If they want a true success for this system, they should take a “modest” loss for awhile until the demand is so high, coupled with positive reviews, that they will make up their initial losses with higher demand & extra caliber & accessory sales. Planned production capacity is also a factor. One more thing, a true “boutique” company like DT should offer calibers that not only utilize the bullpup design but offer the end user something unique and yet exceptional performance. Say 6.5 Grendel, Creedmore, 7mm-08.

  • TheRoo January 29, 2014, 10:58 am

    Don’t hold back Allan, Tell us how you really feel. For that Pricetag I would still go with a Tavor personally. You just cant beat Israeli reliability and toughness.

    • TangoDown January 29, 2014, 7:04 pm

      My feelings exactly. IWI, as well as their counterpart, do not mess around. And they’ve got the history to prove it. Nothing but GOOD things about the Tavor..

  • allan dix January 29, 2014, 10:06 am


  • gary January 29, 2014, 9:47 am

    i don’t see a rail under the forearm for a front hand grip. i think it would be a big help for higher recoil rounds.

  • Tommy Henderson January 29, 2014, 9:20 am

    I am looking forward to this application for two reasons. First off i am wanting to transfer over to the bullpup as my primary rifle for three gun matches. Second is the ablity to transfer out the barrels to a larger caliber and not loose zero! This will help with different match rules, placing two shots with a smaller caliber or one shot with a larger caliber. Also will make having to carry as many back up guns to a match!

  • drcoffee January 29, 2014, 8:31 am

    How do I get on the waiting list?

  • Mark Temple January 29, 2014, 8:24 am

    Hope they hit on what Tavor left out . LIKE 6.8! Usable top rail, sling mounts that are user-friendly, AR sights ,faster safty lever ,better mag release and ambi ejection port. Not sure how well308+ mags will fit AR mag well? Should offer 18″ quick change barrel. . Would fit long fore-end .

  • Mike the Limey January 29, 2014, 5:33 am

    Is the ejection designed this way to enable firing off the left shoulder?

    • Evan January 29, 2014, 9:21 am

      Yes. The MDR is designed to be fully ambidextrous. And the forward ejecting mechanism looks simple, not ridiculous like the Kel-Tec one.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend