Desert Tech MDR: A Bullpup .308 Switch Hitter — SHOT Show 2018

Desert Tech is certainly among the most innovative of all firearms companies and is primarily known for their bullpup .50 BMG designs.

Last year they introduced the MDR (Micro Dynamic Rifle), and this year it has gone into full production. It really says something about a company, when they consider the .308 as their “micro-sized” rifle!


  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Each rifle includes a chassis and one complete conversion kit.
  • Each conversion kit comes with a barrel assembly,
    bolt head, magazine, and magazine well adapter, (if applicable).
  • Free-floated barrel
  • Barrel length: 16 in.
  • Overall length: 26.2 in.
  • Weight: 8.67 lbs.
  • Capacity: 20 +1 ; 30 + 1
  • MSRP: .308: $2,524; .223 Wylde: $2,274 .300 BLK$ TBD
  • Conversion kits: .308: $999 .223 Wylde $749  .300 BLK: $829


In a departure from bolt-action precision rifles, the new MDR is a semiauto battle rifle. Available now in 308, 5.56 and .300 AAC Blackout is on the way. It’s a unique piece of engineering. You could own one chassis that is capable of all three calibers, by purchasing the conversion kits.

The MDR is a bullpup. It has a similar length 16-inch barrel to the classic FN SCAR, however, the MDR is a full foot shorter. The overall length totals 26.2 inches. The weight is a manageable 8.67 pounds, which provided a well-balanced weapon. I was impressed with it on range day.

This firearm falls into the unique category, the Desert Tech MDR is fully ambidextrous out of the box. And, I do mean fully. Even the ejection side is reversible without tools. The ejector claw is on the top of the bolt, with cutouts on either side. This combined with the ejection port design means swap over doesn’t even require bolt disassembly. One of the other features I really like on the MDR, the placement of the magazine release. It has two. The first is upfront, in a similar location to an AR. Very handy for those of us that grew up on the Stoner Standard. The second one is in the rear, similar placement for those that grew up on Tavor’s, or other bullpup designs.

The MDR offers a lot of firepower in a compact package. If you like bullpups, this is one worth taking a look at.

For more information about Desert Tech, click here.

***Check out GunsAmerica for your next rifle.***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

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  • Derick A Jeansonne June 19, 2018, 1:05 pm

    Rang officer 😂.

  • Mike February 2, 2018, 9:30 pm

    Extractor ≠ ejector. Who’s the editor, & why do they still have a job?

  • BB January 31, 2018, 5:24 pm

    This must be a paid advertisement for desert tech, otherwise you wouldn’t be censoring feedback that is critical of the company/product…

  • BB January 31, 2018, 5:11 pm

    Everyone at this company (shy of the owner) will tell you this gun isn’t even close to ready for the consumer market. Which is actually very funny consider seeing how far behind schedule it is already.

    • Scott January 31, 2018, 11:42 pm

      Weird, they’re shipping already…

      • TruthSlanger February 6, 2018, 9:50 pm

        Yes, 5 have shipped already. Hot damn!

  • Winston January 31, 2018, 10:03 am

    As usual, more expensive firearm novelties are being promoted on this site. Too bad US manufacturers are fixated on turning out overpriced .308 bullpups, AR variants and expensive handguns yet cannot duplicate a properly heat-treated AKM receiver nor the high iron content steel metallurgy for the barrels and small parts.

  • thomas driscoll January 31, 2018, 7:36 am

    if i was a range officer on that range, i would throw them off the range for being behind shooters, moving that weapon all over the place, pointing the muzzle at everyone on the line. incredibale.

    • triggerpull January 31, 2018, 7:57 am

      No worries–half of em are drunk. ; )

    • Junior Soto January 31, 2018, 11:51 am

      Why? I noticed it was unloaded, bolt open and had the little flag thingy (I don`t know what it`s called) showing safe…

    • buhbang January 31, 2018, 11:53 am

      don’t you see the bright orange flag? it’s not for decoration. it means the chamber is clear and the weapon can’t be fired, and the other one is clearly empty. also. this isn’t your everyday range, it’s at shot show and it’s all professional dealers and manufacturers.
      the people they are behind are other employees of that company. I’ve never been to a range that had an range officer, how terrible are the shooters at your range that they need a babysitter to tell them what to do and how to do it? why can’t you just tell them yourself? I think I’d be afraid to shoot somewhere that the range needs a “nanny” just to teach basic common sense.

    • Doc Graham January 31, 2018, 3:10 pm

      clearly, you have never been at the range during shot cab show. If you haven’t been there, and you don’t understand the what, why, and how of range-day, you shouldn’t comment. There’s one in every group. There is always “that guy“. Apparently, you are “that guy“.

  • Cody January 31, 2018, 6:48 am

    I like it, however, I see some big competition with the Tavor 7 coming out. Battle of the .308 bullpups.

    • Goody January 31, 2018, 6:22 pm

      Lets just hope the “big competition” leads to a more affordable price tag.

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