MSAR STG-556 Bullpup Rifle (4179 STANAG) and Translucent Polymer AR Magazine

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By David Crane
defrev at

All photographic images contained in this article were taken by, and are the exclusive property of owns the copyright on these photos. All photos were shot with an Olympus Stylus 790 SW 7.1-megapixel digital camera, which is advertised as "shock + waterproof".

March 24, 2009

While DefenseReview was at the MSAR (Microtech Small Arms Research) booth looking at the latest versions of their American Steyr AUG clones (including a Steyr AUG A3 clone), the MSAR STG-556 series tactical rifles/carbines, a member of the staff was kind enough to show us an STG-556 that takes standard 30-round 4179 STANAG AR-15/M16 magazines, including MagPul PMAG polymer mags (including MagLevel PMAG polymer mags). My immediate reaction was "smart move", and "it’s about time". Defense Review has been wondering when–or if–MSAR would offer this version.

The new STG-556 model isn’t the first Steyr AUG clone to do this, of course. The AXR rifle/carbine, made by Tactical Product Design (TDP), has accepted standard AR-15/M16 mags from its inception. It’s DefenseReview’s understanding that…

the TDP AXR receiver is forged, while the MSAR STG-556 receiver is cast (i.e. made from a casting), although we haven’t confirmed/verified this point yet, so we’re going to contact both companies to confirm this.

In any case, the new 4179 STANAG MSAR STG-556 5.56x45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO)/.223 Rem. rifle/carbine looks good, but we haven’t had the opportunity to run one, yet, so we don’t know how reliable, rugged/durable, or accurate it is. We hope to rectify this as soon as possible.

In the meantime, there’s one more item worth mentioning, and that’s the new MSAR translucent-polymer (i.e. clear polymer) AR-15/M16 mag (30-round 4179 STANAG magazine) that’s being developed for 4179 STANAG weapons like the new-version STG-556 and any/all AR-15/M16-series carbines and rifles, including the Colt M4/M4A1 carbine. The Mictrotech/MSAR staff member that showed it to us informed us that it’s made from a high-grade, high-impact polymer, although we don’t know exactly what kind of polymer it is.

The new 4179 STANAG 5.56mm translucent polymer mag will be going head-to-head against a number of other polymer AR mags, particularly the Lancer Systems L5 Translucent Magazine (polymer), to which it’s most similar. If MSAR wants to compete against the L5 mag, they certainly have their work cut out for them, since the L5’s already trusted by the likes of tactical instructor Mike Pannone.

Company Contact Info:

Anthony Marfione (Tony Marfione), Owner
Microtech Small Arms Research, Inc. (MSAR)
300 Chestnut Street Ext.
Bradford, PA 16701
814-363-9260 Office Email Website

Megan Mangini – Marketing and Sales Director/ Manufacturing Facilitator
Phone: 814-363-9260 Ext. 13
Fax: 814-362-7068

Zach Harter – Sales Associate
Phone: 814-363-926- Ext. 18
Fax: 814-362-7068

Kareline Gonzalez – Accounting Manager
Phone: 814-363-9260 Ext. 27

Dave Robertson – Customer Service and Warrenty Repairs
Phone:(814)363-9260 Ext. 19

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Fusil-USA Spring-Steel 30-round AR-15/M16 Magazine: Best Steel AR Mag?

C Products Stainless Steel AR Rifle Magazines: A Note from John Farnam

DefRev Quick Hits 3: More Tactical Technology from the Show

Additional Photos:

MSAR STG-556 Bullpup Rifle (4179 STANAG) and Translucent Polymer AR Magazine 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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