Bushmaster .338 Lapua Magnum MCR (Multi Caliber Rifle): Semi-Auto .338 Lapua Magnum AR Anti-Materiel/Sniper Rifle for Long-Range Interdiction. Will it live?

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September 13, 2010

Nobody seems to have written about this gun, yet, so we thought we would. When DefenseReview (DR) stopped by the Bushmaster Firearms booth at SHOT Show 2010, we got a chance to see a pretty semi-auto .338 Lapua Magnum rifle being displayed prominently on the counter. We saw the gun as potentially important, since .50 BMG and .338 Lapua Magnum anti-materiel/sniper rifles have become very popular in Afghanistan for sending Taliban fighters to their 72-virgin harems in the sky. Most of these big-bore military rifles operate via manual bolt-action. SOCOM’s (USSOCOM) Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) competition reflects this reality. The bolt-action Remington MSR (Modular Sniper Rifle) is a competitor in this competition, and it looks pretty good…as it should. Remington has a long history of manufacturing excellent and accurate bolt-action rifles. It is something at which MSR should be no exception.

However, Remington doesn’t quite have the same successful track record with semi-auto rifles, which may be why they haven’t developed a semi-auto .338 Lapua Magnum rifle. Fortunately, another Cerberus/Freedom Group company, Bushmaster Firearms, has developed just such a rifle. Several years ago, Bushmaster acquired Cobb Manufacturing and all their products/prototypes, including the Cobb MCR (Multi-Caliber Rifle) modular AR rifle series. By the time of the acquisition, Cobb had already developed mag-fed semi-auto (AR) .338 rifles. One of them utilized a side-feed magazine setup. DefenseReview took photos of the Cobb MCR guns at SHOT Show 2005, and they looked pretty good!

Cut to five years later, and a Cobb/Bushmaster MCR-type semi-auto .338 Lapua Magnum rifle (with standard bottom-feed mag setup) is sitting right there on the main counter at the Bushmaster Firearms booth, in all its splendor. The gun looked good. It was well-finished with a production-ready appearance. So, where is it? Since it was sitting right there so prominently on the counter, DR figured the Bushmaster .338 would be ready to go into production in at least relatively short order, if not immediately after SHOT Show, especially since the Bushmaster folks at the booth told us the gun works great. As of this writing, however, the gun is nowhere to be seen on the company’s website, nor is anyone at Freedom Group talking about it.

And, here’s another question: Is Remington Military developing a military/law enforcement (Mil/LE) version of the weapon? If not, why not? DefenseReview realizes there may not be a formal military requirement for a semi-auto .338 Lapua magnum rifle, at the moment, but that doesn’t mean just such a gun shouldn’t be developed. While semi-auto AR rifles might not be quite as accurate as bolt-action rifles, they’re still very accurate, and allow for fast follow-up shots against moving targets. We received the following info on the (prototype) Cobb/Bushmaster MCR 5-shot .338 Lapua Magnum semi-auto AR anti-materiel/sniper rifle while we were at the Bushmaster booth at SHOT Show 2010:

– Gun operates via direct gas impingement (DGI).
– Magazine holds 5 rounds.
– Weapon utilizes a side-mounted charging/cocking handle.
– Prototype .338 gun is capable of 1 MOA, and 7.62mm NATO (7.62x51mm NATO)/.308 Win gun is capable of .75-1 MOA with 168-grain Federal GM308 (Gold Metal Match).
– The gun has achieved 19” 5-round groups at 1500 yards in testing.
– The gun has approx. 3200 rounds through it in testing.
– The gun can shoot two 210-round combat loads (.338) in Georgia heat.
– MSRP on the gun would be approx. $5,000 USD, if it were to go into production.

The Cobb/Bushmaster MCR modular, multicaliber rifles would give military Special Operations (SPECOPS) personnel, LE SWAT operators, and civilian tactical shooters (including competitive shooters) multi-caliber modularity in an accurate AR-platform rifle system. And, the .338 version seems like a no-brainer for military SpecOps, assuming it works as advertised. It is therefore Defense Review’s opinion that Remington Military should consider developing the Cobb/Bushmaster .338 Lapua Magnum rifle for military Special Operations applications. It would complement the bolt-action Remington MSR, nicely, giving military Spec-Operators a fast semi-auto multi-shot .338 capability they don’t currently enjoy. They can call it the “Modular Combat Rifle”, allowing them to keep the “MCR” acronym.

Additional Photos:

Company Contact Info:

Bushmaster Firearms

For Sales, Pre-sales and Technical Questions, please call:
Sales Department: 1-800-998-7928
Mon. through Fri. 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Fax 207-892-8068

For Product Availability, Order Status, Tracking Numbers:
Customer Service: 1-800-883-6229
Mon. through Fri. 8:30 am – 6:00 pm EST

Address for FedEx or UPS Packages:
Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC.
999 Roosevelt Trail
Windham, ME 04062

Address for all other Mail:
Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC.
P.O. Box 1479
Windham, ME 04062

E-Mail Contacts:
Law Enforcement: le@bushmaster.com
Technical Support: techsupport@bushmaster.com
Customer Service: customerservice@bushmaster.com
Company Information: info@bushmaster.com
International Sales: export@bushmaster.com
Webmaster: webmaster@bushmaster.com

Remington Arms Company, Inc.
870 Remington Drive
P.O. Box 700
Madison, NC 27025-0700
TEL: 800-243-9700
Fax: 336-548-7801
Email: info@remington.com
Website: http://www.remington.com

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Bushmaster .338 Lapua Magnum MCR (Multi Caliber Rifle): Semi-Auto .338 Lapua Magnum AR Anti-Materiel/Sniper Rifle for Long-Range Interdiction. Will it live? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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