Mossberg’s MMR Tactical — An American Favorite

By Dave Dolbee published on in Firearms

The surging popularity of the AR platform (aka Modern Sporting Rifle) over the last decade caused a flood of new manufacturers in the industry—all with their own AR offerings. Several are already gone, but the Mil-Spec design means the guns still survive and should they need a part, everything is easily available. That’s great news, but there is still something to be said for a product from a quality manufacturer and one that is likely to be around in the future in the event that my purchase would later need warranty servicing or simply to enhance the resale value years from now.

Mossberg MMR Tactical AR-15 Rifle

Mossberg is a name you know you can trust and ensures product support in the future as well as a better resale value in the years to come.

Many felt Mossberg was late to the game when it introduced the MMR line, but it is better to be late to the party than rushing something to market that is poorly planned or designed just to be a “me too.” In designing the MMR Tactical, Mossberg took its time, surveyed the market and selected some of the most desirable features shooters demand. This allowed Mossberg to incorporate custom features into the MMR while holding the price to a manageable level.

As earlier stated, the MMR meets Mil-Spec so it fits the “Lego for adults” label and plays well with aftermarket goodies. The MMR Tactical is chambered in 5.56 NATO (.223 Rem.), and operates via a direct-impingement gas system. The 16.25-inch, free-floating, carbon steel barrel is button rifled, with a 1:9 twist.

The make or break for many when first shooting a new firearm is the trigger. As such, the MMR’s single stage trigger receives a lot of play from the “experts.” At the local gun range. Yeah, I get it. However, the same people are also the ones who are constantly bashing all stock triggers and claiming the first thing they replace on premium ARs is the trigger to the aftermarket of their choice anyway.

Having shot the MMR Tactical on several occasions, I can say it is a standard single stage trigger. No, out of the box it is not the smoothest, but after putting a couple hundred rounds through it, the MMR Tactical settles in and works and feels fine. However, there is a ton of aftermarket options if you later decide you need something more. Unfortunately, the cost of an adjustable trigger—and the liability that goes along with it—was not an option for Mossberg without significantly increasing the price.

Stark SE-1 pistol grip black

The Stark SE-1 grip features a small storage compartment and delivers a slightly different grip angle than competing models.

The MMR Tactical’s accuracy is everything you would expect. It will beat an AK any day and by its design, it is not a benchrest rifle and one should not treat as such. That said, with a decent optic and controlled breathing, it will terrorize prairie dogs out to 300 yards any day of the week.

The MMR Tactical comes standard with a six-position stock, adjustable sights and Stark SE-1 pistol grip. The Stark SE-1 grip features a small storage compartment and delivers a slightly different grip angle than competing models. Therefore, the Stark lowers the traditional feel a tad bit, which makes rapidly entering the trigger guard easier. The downside to the design is it also makes engaging the safety more difficult for those with smaller hands, but not so much as to count it as a deal breaker.

The MMR Tactical has the standard dust cover but no forward assist. The jury is out on that for some. A few military-trained shooters find that to be an issue. After having introduced dozens of shooters to the Modern Sporting Rifle, none have ever used the forward assist to my knowledge—or at least while I was looking over their shoulder. One, an accomplished hunter, even had to ask where it was located and when he was supposed to use it after a safety brief and introduction. In all fairness, it is not a common feature among other types of firearms, so few would ever benefit if it had been included versus the cost.

One of the most impressive features on the MMR Tactical is the aluminum Picatinny quad rail that is receiver mounted. Many designs mount the rails to the barrel. This allows an abundance of furniture and/or hand pressure to potentially effect accuracy. Mossberg’s decision to mount the rails to the receiver eliminates that hazard and allows the free-floating barrel to eek out every bit of accuracy of the design.

The quad rails are however a tad sharp. This is one of those areas where Mossberg saved you a buck that may have been better spent on machining time. At the range and during several different manufacturer testing and preview sessions, I became quite accustomed to sharp quad rails and shoot with them just fine. If it is a problem however, (please leave your man card at the door) you can always touch them up by tossing on some customized handguard covers for a couple extra bucks or tactical shooting gloves.

Free-floating barrel, single-stage trigger and quad rails—how would you dress up your Mossberg MMR Tactical? Share your build with us in the comment section.

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SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (42)

  • Brennan Johnson

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    Have one myself, and absolutely love it. As someone with large hands, the grip is perfect. It shoots incredibly accurately (even better with a POF drop in trigger), and I couldn’t be happier. I paid $670, but mine came without sights, so it has a combination of magpie flip ups, and a Bushnell TRS-25 mini red dot at cowitness height (if you want a red dot, they can be had for $65-100, and are incredibly durable). Great fun, highly recommended. If you’re looking at it as a first AR, there aren’t many better choices!

    Reply

  • Jim

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    I checked my man card and it says I can b**** about the rails being sharp I just put a vertical grip and some rail covers. The Mossberg is a fine starter AR and a good toy to play with, this is going to be my test all AR and I’m going to do everything I can to break this rifle. I will let you know how it performed when I do break it.

    Reply

    • Jim

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      I have about 3000rds through this rifle now, and no problem yet. But the standard complaints that came with the rifle came true. The trigger sucks and the rail is sharp! But it will put lead on the target every time! Still don’t miss the forward assist. Haven’t broke it yet, and it is shooting great, the accuracy is far above what I expected.

      Reply

  • Lar

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    I love this “poor-mans AR”. Got it for $399 at BGS on sale, and continue to be amazed at sub-MOA shots often out to 200-250 yards if I do my part. No doubt the fact it’s free floating quad- rail adds much to the accuracy. Yep-the quad-rail is sharp enough to be aggravating-but cheap rail covers fixed that. The trigger was “OK” but it IS getting better the more I shoot it. Good enough now for me to forget about replacing it. After all-I DID buy it ’cause it was cheap. I prefer a 2-point sling, so did have to buy a rail-mounted sling adaptor. Geeze Mossberg-ya’ could have added one. My only minor complaint is the cheesy adjustable stock. Wiggles like a cheap stripper. I’ll be looking for a used Magpul to replace that. For now, I just shimmed it a little with a little thin brass strip epoxied on the shaft. All in all tho-I really like this rifle.

    Reply

    • JPQ RGV

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      You paid $399??? I paid $750 plus transfer fee but I really like it. It was my first AR so I kinda jumped into the platform without knowing to much. the accuracy is good I’ve only shot it up to 25 yards and it hits center mass of target.

      Reply

  • Chuck Carroll

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    Thanks Justin. That makes sense.
    I’am just not up to date on all the sling options & needed some
    suggestions on this type rifle.

    Reply

  • Justin

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    While you COULD attach a single point sling, thats not the best option. The sling attachment on the collapsible stock is just simply there because the manufacturer (UTG) put it there. To utilize a 2 point.sling on the MMR i suggested picking up a rail mounted sling point and putting it on the quad rail of the rifle.

    Reply

  • chad

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    I’m not either, my army buddies all have paracord ones. I set mine up for prairie dogs so i just bought a front sling mount that goes on the rail for a couple dollars off Amazon.

    Reply

  • Chuck Carroll

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    Ref the AR-15 MMR Tactical.
    Why is there no sling attachment on the front
    part of the rifle, but there is one on the stock?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • chad

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      It’s for a one point tactical sling.

      Reply

    • Chuck Carroll

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      Not up on the one pointers.
      Which one point tac sling would best fit the Mossburg MMR Tac rifle?
      thank you

      Reply

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