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MG Industries has been peddling their Hydra system for a couple years now, an AR-15 based rifle that can be reconfigured to a completely different caliber in just a few seconds. Can’t decide between a 5.56 rifle and a 7.62×39 gun? Why not both? Anyway, they’ve announced that they are finally shipping the guns as a complete kit in the 5.56 NATO flavor, and the price is actually downright reasonable. Make the jump for the presser . . .

MG Industries, manufacturers of the MARCK 15 “Hydra” platform, a base system which the user can configure to any mission-specific rifle, announces that the 5.56 Hydra configuration in complete weapon system or as a conversion package is now shipping. The complete weapon system comes in a standard pistol case.

This rifle features the complete modularity and interchangeability of the Hydra Modular Rifle System. The 5.56 Hydra weapon system is ready to fire right out of the box and comes standard with a Modular Lower Receiver with a 5.56mm Magazine Well, the QCB-D Upper Receiver and a 16-inch barrel with a low profile gas block or with an A2 style front sight tower. By simply changing the bolt, barrel and mag well without tools on this system the user will be able to fire 40+ calibers, including .22 rimfire, .223 or 5.56, 6.5 grendel, 6.8 spc, .450 thumper, .458 socom and the .50 Beowulf.

The suggested retail for the MGI 5.56 Hydra Modular Rifle is $1,299.00 and the 5.56 Conversion Package is $555.00. For more information, visit or your local retailer.

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  1. Sooo, changing barrels is smarter/easier than changing uppers? I think not. This is nifty, but methinks that there isn’t much of a market for this. Please tell me if I’m missing something (seriously).

    • I think it’s a great opportunity for those of us who want something not currently done in the market. For example I am obsessing about a pistol caliber carbine that takes my m&p magazines (I know buy a glock…but I’m not a huge fan and I love my m&p) . It would be so easy for them to do special things like this unfortunately I don’t expect them to capatilize on this possibility.

      I think the barrel mechanism is cool, especially if you want to store or transport it discreetly; but I wouldn’t call it ground breaking

  2. I love the concept of the interchangeable magazine wells, especially for a 7.62×39. I just wish they made one that would accept various pistol magazines that aren’t glock.

    Still not sure where 40 calibers comes from. Based on what I’ve seen on their site I would add:
    9mm, .40, .45, .308 .300blk, 300( there is another one right?) to what was listed in the article. That puts the total at 13-14 calibers?

  3. Haven’t they been shipping these for awhile now? I’ve seen them listed on the mgi website for at least a year? I thought a 223/556 and a 7.62×39,rifle were both listed.

  4. I wonder how repeatable the zero is when you dismount the barrel, then remount it.

    I can see the utility to switching between a couple calibers, but I can really see the utility of being able to carry a full-power rifle in a case the size of a large handgun. It’s easier to secure and easier to transport without alarming anyone. But only if you can snap your 5.56 barrel right on, have it keep its zero, and get right into making the most of your range time.

  5. The entire key to this system is the ability to fire the well-known, highly popular and ubiquitous .450 Thumper. Now, if there was also a conversion for the less-known .22 Bambi, I’d be all the way in.

  6. It is a neat concept but I don’t think it would work well for me personally. My handgun preference is the Beretta 92 series. If I wanted a pistol caliber carbine I (personally) could buy a Cx4 for a lower price.

    But not everyone likes the Beretta series and, as always, individual mileage may vary.

  7. Neat but the AR platform performs best with .223, .308 a distant second. If I want to shoot 7.62×39 I’ll shoot my AK. As for the other calibers, no thanks. If I want to shoot a handgun caliber I will shoot a handgun. Socom? Beowulf? lol Hey nothing wrong with trying though, some people will actually love these.

  8. I consider the Hydra platform as an ideal SBR host – one lower receiver, yet even more cartridge options than with a standard AR lower due to the interchangeable magwells. On the other hand, the magwells themselves are a bit more than a tax stamp…

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  10. Received mine today. In 9mm . Looks great and take down and set up is easy. Looks like rain so it will be tomorrow before I get to shoot it. Looking for the 5.45 conversion kit or will make up one myself .

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