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Mossberg Goes Tactical: Introducing the MMR

One of America’s most enduring gunmakers enters the AR fray with models for both hunters and tactical shooters.

9/26/2011

Long known in sporting, as well as military and law enforcement circles, for its workhorse, value-priced shotguns, Mossberg generated mild surprise among shooters back when it entered the rifle market with its line of ATR bolt-actions. That was just a little over five years ago. The move served as a declaration of sorts by management that the company was prepared to build a future that would carry it beyond its comfortable reputation as America’s leading manufacturer of pump-action shotguns. That product line expansion continues on in a bold way in just a matter of weeks as the first of the company’s true AR-style Mossberg Modern Rifles (MMR) hit store shelves.

To those shooters who still regard Mossberg as a “shotgun” company, the move might feel out of sorts, but in truth, it’s a very natural progression.

“Within the last couple of years, Mossberg has been taking a new approach and trying to be more consumer driven,” says Tom Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing at Mossberg. “If you want to be consumer driven in this market, you better be in the tactical gun market.

In many ways, the company already has been quite involved in the market, both out front and behind the scenes. Since 1979, Mossberg has produced the only pump-action shotguns purchased by the United States government that meet or exceed both mil-spec and National Institute of Justice requirements. Mossberg currently has more than 40 world-wide military contracts and provide shotguns to our nation’s largest police force.

“I hear from a lot of returning servicemen and women who appreciate the performance of Mossbergs,” says Taylor.

Behind the scenes, Mossberg has been one of the largest suppliers of AR rifle barrels in the world.

“We already had that component nailed,” explains Taylor in discussing the MMR’s development. Just last year, the company introduced its Tactical .22, an AR-style rimfire rifle whose sales far outpaced even Mossberg’s expectations. Taylor said initial sales of the Tactical .22 exceeded the company’s forecast by five times, laying solid groundwork for the next inevitable step—the creation of a full-scale center-fire AR.

“This is a major new horizon in the firearms industry, we had to be a part of this market going forward,” says Taylor.

Mossberg’s Modern Rifle
Mossberg hasn’t reinvented the wheel with this creation, but it has created an AR rifle—actually two—that has special features tailored specifically for the sporting market, the MMR Hunter and another, the MMR Tactical, for the shooter looking for a rifle that can deliver full tactical applications.

“There are 1911s and there are ARs. They are very proven and basic designs,” says Taylor. But the MMR does boast some interesting features that make it proprietary. At least in the first incarnation, the rifle does not have a forward assist, though Taylor concedes later versions may well include one. There also is no dust cover on the MMR’s Hunter versions.

Both models are direct impingement, the proven gas system that has powered most ARs throughout its history. They also feature button-rifled, carbon-steel rifles with a 1:9 rate of twist, phosphate/anodized finishes for durability, Stark SE-1 one-piece pistol grips, oversized trigger guards for use with gloves and oversized charging handles for rapid, ambidextrous engagement, even when large optics are mounted. All MMRs are chambered in 5.56 mm/.223 caliber. Triggers are all single stage.

The MMR Hunter includes a slender, aluminum checkered fore-end that offers a sure, comfortable grip and won’t chew at a shooter’s hand like a rail-lined fore-end. Dual swivel studs accommodate both a bipod and sling. The 1:9 twist barrel is 20 inches long, and the Hunter model use a traditional A-2 style buttstock for a more solid cheek weld when shooting. Three versions of the Hunter MMR can be had, one in the black anodized/phosphate finish, one in Mossy Oak Treestand camo and one in Mossy Oak Brush camo. Each Hunter comes with a five-round magazine in order to comply with some state’s hunting regulations, which limit the number of rounds a sportsman can carry when pursuing particular game, but easily accepts higher-capacity AR-15 style magazines where not limited by law. A Picatinny rail is mounted atop the upper for the quick, easy mounting of an optic or red-dot sight.

The MMR Tactical comes with either a fixed A-2 style stock or six-position adjustable stock that allows for up to 4 inches of adjustment to accommodate varying lengths of pull, 16 ¼-inch barrels with A-2 style muzzlebrakes, quad Picatinny rails for ready customization and attachment of accessories and comes with either 10-round or 30-round magazines. An upper Picatinny rail accepts optics, and this model also comes with optional rail-mounted front and rear sights. The Tactical version does include a dust cover—a benefit when used in dry, dusty conditions such as those I recently encountered on a Texas hog hunt where everyone was testing the performance of the MMR.

Performance
From a performance perspective, the MMR performs perfectly in line with the rugged quality shooters have come to expect from Mossberg guns. Without adding a lot of fancy features to drive the cost up, the company keeps price points in an area few AR makers are able to deliver in the age immediately following the 2008 AR purchasing craze, while making what is, quite simply, a very nicely performing rifle.

The fore-end on the Hunter model, which I first tested, really did improve comfort, whether being held during extended shooting sessions or carried in the field for extended periods of time. I also found it resisted heating quite well when hammering round after round at targets as, most of us who love ARs like to do. The rifle sighted quickly and depending on the ammo, shot with varied degrees of solid accuracy in conjunction with a Bushnell Elite scope in 1.5-4x.

Initial five shot sets at 100 yards yielded several 3-inch groups using 70-grain specially loaded ammo that we were able to walk inside 2.5 inches. However, the heavy bullets were almost too much for the 1:9 twist, showing signs of beginning to wobble in flight due to the minor keyholing evident where the bullets hit the target. The Hornady TAP 62-grain loads were no better, no worse; however when switching up to 65-grain TAP ammo, the rifle found something it really liked and groups fell easily within a 2-inch circle. We’re not talking competition or custom-gun level accuracy here, but it’s more than adequate for virtually any hunting or shooting application by most shooters.

The .223 is a little light for the average hog-hunting venture, but with well-placed head shots it proved more than capable. In fact, one hunter took out two feeding hogs with a single shot at more than 175 yards. Given the creation of a dedicated hunter model, I would expect to see heavier calibers arrive in the MMR lineup in the near future. With an MSRP of around $900 for most of the MMR’s configurations, interested buyers should be able to put one in their hands for an actual retail price of around $750 to $800. As such, the MMR lives up to the company’s long-held philosophy of building solid performing guns and making them available at a good value.

MMR Hunter
Manufacturer: Mossberg; (203) 230-5300;
www.mossberg.com 
Action: direct impingement, semi-automatic rifle
Caliber: 5.56mm/.223
Overall Length: 39"
Barrel Length: 20" fluted, free-floating
Weight: 7 lbs., 8 ozs.
Magazine Capacity: 5
Rifling: 1:9" RH twist
Trigger: single-stage
Sights: none, upper-mounted Picatinny rail for optics
Stock: fixed A-2 style black synthetic with Stark SE-1 pistol grip; black anodized aluminum forend, available in Mossy Oak Treestand or Mossy Oak Brush
Suggested Retail Price: $921-$1,010

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16 Responses to Mossberg Goes Tactical: Introducing the MMR

Randy wrote:
December 08, 2012

I just bought on and did a pre use inspection and put 200. Rounds through it and found it to work as designed and I plan to by the hunter version now

Alaska_Rod wrote:
July 01, 2012

Why in the world can't a Gun Company make an "M-15" with a 1:8 0r 1:7 twist WITH a 20 inch Barrel! Unless your going to Clear Houses with Bad-Guys in them, a 16 inch barrel is usless! Make a Rifle with Collapsible Stock and the 1:8 Twist (Or Faster) with a 20 barrel, and I'll will buy two or three of them

joe wrote:
May 30, 2012

can not find one are they out there hunter yes tactical no

John wrote:
May 24, 2012

What none dust cover!

Patriot75 wrote:
February 29, 2012

The folks carping about "another AR" are carping up the wrong tree. The market may be saturated with "brands" but with all of those brands there is still a shortage of arms. The makers cannot meet the demands of the market. Y'all talk as if the market is saturated with rifles. Not.

Dewey E.Du Bose wrote:
September 29, 2011

What is great about America is that you don't have to buy any firearm you don't like. Mossy has producted a firearm for those who like having another choice. I think I would like to try one before I making up my mind about how good it is or not. Mossberg has aways made outstanding weapons. I trust the name.

bill wrote:
September 28, 2011

David, FYI the .410 upper hasn't been offered here in YEARS, try FINDING one! All you can find on the market now is that godawful oversized 12 gauge version unless you want to buy a Saiga. I'd be ALL OVER a Mossy (or anyone else's) .410 upper, just didn't have the disposable income when they were being imported from Turkey.

daybol wrote:
September 28, 2011

The market seems saturated with ARs how can they compete? The price isn't much of a savings. I'll keep my Colt.

Steve wrote:
September 28, 2011

A shotgun would be a great idea for the AR platform, so when Mossberg creates one to add to the line I might consider buying one.

David wrote:
September 28, 2011

Well John, there is a .410 upper,not much can really be done seeing as to the limitations of the magwell preventing 12 gauge from being used.

Greg wrote:
September 27, 2011

Howabout 7.62.

darek454 wrote:
September 27, 2011

Oh boy, (sarcasm)another AR. It'll be nice when someone comes up with something unique and not just another version of something that's already been beat to death.

John Hartley wrote:
September 27, 2011

Now they just need to make an AR style shotgun, kind of like what Saiga did for the AK. I'd buy one! ;-)

Jim wrote:
September 27, 2011

Would have liked to see if 55 grn loads grouped better, im my Mossburg barrell they really shine 1 in to 1 1/2 in all day long

Matt wrote:
September 26, 2011

Why didn't you make it a piston action? Will you offer more calibers? Will after market parts fit on the MMR so it can be tricked out?

Mcgee wrote:
September 26, 2011

ghey