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.
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.
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.