“Though referred to as the ‘modern rifle’, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has been deployed with military personnel and law enforcement agencies for decades,” Mossberg’s press release proclaims. “More recently, this very adaptable and versatile platform has become popular with recreational shooters and hunters alike.” Note: the correct nomenclature for firearms manufacturers wishing to avoid the term “assault rifle” is “modern sporting rifle.” This despite the fact that the term is about as popular as “facial tissue.” What’s more (or less), if you remove the word “sporting” from your product description your long gun could soon be replaced by a post-modern rifle. I nominate pistol caliber carbines for the job. Meanwhile, Mossberg’s AR is here, and not a minute too soon . . .
When you’re really really late to a shindig, it helps to bring one hell of a gift. Here’s the gun that Mossberg’s minions reckon will let them party like it’s 1999.
All MMR rifles feature a traditional direct-impingement gas system for reliable, smooth operation; free-floating, button-rifled, carbon steel barrels with 1:9 twist rates for increased accuracy in this standard military chambering; single stage triggers; and black phosphate/anodized metal finishes for enhanced durability. An oversized trigger guard allows for use with gloves. For a more positive grip and less shooter fatigue, these value-packed rifles feature Stark® Ergo Pistol Grips with a convenient battery storage compartment. To further enhance operation of the MMR rifles, the charging handle is oversized for quick and effective engagement by right or left-handed shooters and the forward assist has been removed.
MMR Hunter – Three initial offerings of this series in 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem) will be dedicated to the predator, varmint and small game hunter: a black phosphate/anodized version and two fully camouflaged versions in Mossy Oak® Treestand® and Mossy Oak Brush®. A slender, checkered aluminum tubular fore-end is matched with an A2-style buttstock for a more traditional fit and feel. Dual swivel studs grace the forend for the addition of bipod and sling and the stock features a rear stud with attached sling swivel. The clean profile 20-inch barrel is optimized with a 1:9 twist rate and features a recessed hunting crown. The machined aluminum receiver has an integral Picatinny rail for ease of adding optics with Weaver-style rings. A five-round magazine is included; however, the MMR Hunter accepts most higher-capacity AR-15 style magazines.
MMR Tactical – Designed to support both sport shooting and tactical applications, the MMR will meet your needs. Chambered in 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem) the Tactical versions come with a durable black phosphate/anodized finish and feature a 16.25 inch free-floating barrel with removable A2-style muzzlebrake; aluminum Picatinny quad-rail forend with vents for maximum cooling; receiver-mounted integral Picatinny rail; and standard dust cover. Options include 6-position adjustable or fixed stock which allows for up to 4 inches of LOP adjustment; available with or without removable Picatinny-mounted front sight (adjustable for elevation) and rear sight (adjustable for windage and elevation); and choice of 10-round or 30-round magazine. MMR Tactical rifles accept most higher-capacity AR-15 style magazines.
As far as I can tell, Mossberg’s Unique Selling Point is price. A black Mossberg MMR Hunter msrps at $921, jumping to $1010 for a Mossy Oak finish. A black Mossberg MMR Tactical’ll run ya $885 sans sights, rising to $921 with optics.
The Tactical is almost two hundred dollars more than an entry-level Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport. That modern sporting home defense sporting black rifle msrps at $709 [click here for TTAG's review]. Now that Smith has brought M&P15 production in-house, the guns’ quality issues have pretty much disappeared.
Can Mossberg’s marketing muscle sustain sales of a me-too gun in an AR-intensive world? Watch this space.