Hard to Beat a Mossberg AR-15

By CTD Rob published on in Firearms, Hunting

If you have been shopping around for an AR-15, but are not sure if you are ready to drop that large chunk of cash on one just yet, I understand how you feel. Practicality dictates that spending a large sum of money on anything takes careful consideration and research. If you are like me, you spend hours trolling the Internet to read reviews, learn the product benefits, drawbacks and features. You do all this while counting your pennies and explaining to the missus why you cannot live without whatever gadget, gun, tool or gizmo some manufacturer recently released.

I own several ARs, although I remember the learning curve when I was shopping for my first. While there were many things to learn, I found it fascinating. Unfortunately, I soon learned that my budget was going to prevent me from having all the features I wanted—at least at first. I ended up buying a stripped lower at a local gun shop and purchasing most of the other parts online or from friends with extra gear. I ended up spending nearly 800 bucks, and for a first build, I think I did fairly well. The gun still runs like the day I clumsily pushed the parts together. I had help from a friend who had built several ARs in the past, and he helped me avoid some pitfalls along the way.

Black Mossberg MMR Hunter, barrel pointed to the right on a white background

Mossberg MMR Hunter

At the time, most of the AR-15s on the market were more expensive than what I paid for my build, and since I managed to find many of the parts used, I think got a decent deal. However, with the AR’s massive rise in popularity, first time buyers today have it comparatively easy. Companies like Smith & Wesson and Remington have made ARs for the civilian market for years and now O.F. Mossberg & Sons wants a piece of that AR pie.

Mossberg has a reputation for building affordable, high quality shotguns for law enforcement, military and hunters alike. Mossberg took forever to get into the AR market, and, when they did, they chose to do it big. They came out with the Mossberg Modular Rifle, or MMR for short. Had this rifle been on the market when I was looking for my first AR, I might have reconsidered the way I spent my money. I kept looking for places on the firearm where they cut corners to lower cost, and didn’t find much.

Mossberg’s MMR family operates on the direct-gas-impingement system. The company lists eight variations of the MMR, although in reality, there are only three major distinctions:

  • It is available with or without sights.
  • With or without an adjustable buttstock.
  • With or without a forend rail.

The MMR hunter model, which has a 20-inch free-floating barrel and a non-adjustable A2-style buttstock, has no forend rail or dust cover. The forward assist is also missing—and you can ask me how many times I’ve actually had to use a forward assist. The leading feature of the MMR Hunter is the price.

For somewhere between $650 and $700, it stands apart from other budget ARs because it looks less tacticool.

Mossberg MMR Hunter Barrel

Mossberg MMR Hunter Barrel

The MMR series is compatible with most mil-spec aftermarket components. Mossberg, and exclusive Mossberg vendors in the United States, manufacture its major parts. The receiver is a 7075-T6 aluminum forging and the bolt is Carpenter 158 plastic-mold steel, which is a type of case-hardened mold steel with exceptionally high strength. The bolt is also electric-furnace melted, which provides unvarying lot-to-lot uniformity.

Mossberg included an amazingly accurate fluted, 20-inch carbon steel barrel. It is free-floating and has a 1:9-inch rifling twist rate that accommodates most 0.224-inch projectiles. This applies especially to those commonly used for hunting varmints, predators and larger game, such as feral hogs. Similarly, because of its intended hunting role, where regulations sometimes preclude using high-capacity magazines, the MMR Hunter comes with an aluminum five-round magazine. It does, however,  accept any standard AR-style magazine for non-hunting situations.

For the money, the MMR Hunter is the best deal on the market for a quality built, civilian AR. It isn’t the most tacticool AR on the market, and you do get quality components which deliver top-level accuracy and dependability for less than 700 bucks.

Since it is like most other ARs, you can switch out parts to your taste, and the stock MMR Hunter gives you an affordable platform to get started in the AR world.

Like It? Want It? Buy It!

Specifications and Features

  • .223 Rem/5.56 NATO
  • 20″ Barrel
  • Aluminum free float handguard
  • Flat top upper
  • Fixed A2 Buttstock
  • Stark SE-1 pistol grip
  • Dual front swivel studs
  • Accepts standard AR-15 magazines
  • 5 round capacity magazine
  • Length: 39″
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Black finish

The MMR Hunter sounds like a great buy, wouldn’t you say? What does yours look like? Share in the comments section.

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Comments (30)

  • CavScout62

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    I know Mossberg makes fine weapons but, this AR Platform is overpriced just like all the others out there. The .556 or .223 is big enough for whitetail hunting yes but, the 6mm (.243) is far better and the .308 is even better yet. As for the AR platform itself, after 27 years of Military service I still don’t like it’s dirty operating system design and truth be told neither did Gene Stoner. He preferred his AR-18 or as some of you may know it the AR-180B which was a gas piston designed rifle he developed at the same time he did the AR-15. I would always have preferred an M-14 in a composite stock over the “Poodle Shooter” any day as I have used both in firefights and can tell you that there is no comparison in the effect that the 2 rifles, in their respective calibers have on an advancing enemy. If you must have an AR platform rifle do yourself a favor and buy or build one in 7.62X51/.308Win caliber. Due to the buffer system inherent to the design the .30cal has very little recoil and is a much more effective caliber weather hunting or in a real SHTF situation. Of course this is just my humble opinion and we all know what opinions are worth.

    Reply

  • Joe F

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    I don’t care what anyone thinks they are all over priced. They have been making the same gun for many years and the price just goes up. The fact that so many more companies are now making them and the price dose not go down tells you so if and when a company makes one a little cheaper its a big deal and really it should not be but the quality has come up so my opinion is neutral. The current administration is fueling the fire that consumes us all .Don’t get me started on the price of ammo

    Reply

  • Tommy

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    Jim in Ga. The place I bought mine from still has them and as a matter of fact has a sale on now for the same price I paid last year $649 + Tax. shoot-straight.com their located all over the state of Florida, but I’m sure you could get one shipped to you.

    Reply

    • rich

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      They have them on sale in Marietta vs for 549$

      Reply

  • david hoffman

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    For those that are waiting for another caliber, thats just a simple change out of the upper receiver, put your search engine to work, you’ll find loads of them for sale by quality gun makers online. chk out the alexander 6.5 grendel as an example, same goes if your lower is a 308, I’ve seen uppers that will fire a 50 caliber.

    Reply

  • david hoffman

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    Build your own, not only will you know your firearm inside and out,but you can build(assemble)an AR of greater quality per dollar spent. The only thing I’ve up graded since completing my AR was the gas system, I went to a long stroke gas piston, since they weren’t available when I built mine, and I would highly recommend considering one as an upgrade. I’ve lots of friends purchase complete ARs then spend a lot of money changing parts out such as furniture, triggers,sights,etc. While it did take me a little longer to complete, The extra time did allow me to buy pricier custom parts, I did save in the long run by not spending twice to replace with upgrades.

    Reply

  • mater

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    sounds like the adams needs to be traded off the only time i ever used a forward assist was in training not becuase i needed it and those were nam era rifles

    Reply

  • Mike

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    I guess I just see things a little different. I know folks will always argue about the best AR platform, but think about the optics you buy, it’s always “You get what you pay fot” well, the same goes for the rifle. I bought a Colt LE6920 for 1100 bones, it’s everything I needed and wanted, and the best thing is reliability. Yes you can build a cheaper rifle, but why. I’m serious about having a reliable weapon system and its ability to possibly save my life someday. I carried the M16 in the Corps for 3 years, and it never let me down. C’on guys, everything is always advertised as being as good as a Colt, Save some money up and buy a quality weapon and never look back.

    Reply

  • Steve Walker

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    What a great article, and not owning an Ar platform, but being interested in one in the future, it was informative, especially the comments section, thanks for the various opinions,,, I’m sorry to have to say that Mossberg is missing the boat without offering the hunter in a hunter caliber,,, 308, and yes you can load it down to a varmint load with lots of bullet weights.

    Reply

  • Marcus

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    I have basic Bushmaster M4 and tough I don’t use it much, I have never had to use the forward assist. I wouldn’t consider it not being there a deal breaker at all. I read somewhere that Eugene Stoner did not intend it to have a forward assist, that it was put in at the insistence of the army.

    Reply

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