Smith and Wesson M&P15R: 5.45×39 Rifle and Upper

The new Smith and Wesson M&P15R is a rifle chambered in 5.45×39.  S&W developed this new AR variant due to the rising costs of .223/5.56 NATO ammunition.  The 5.45×39 cartridge was developed for the AK-74 rifle in the early 1970’s.  Few guns in made the United States are chambered for it, and consequently, surplus ammo is comparatively cheap.  The 5.45×39 is not interchangeable with the 5.56×45 NATO (or .223 Remington) cartridge which is the standard cartridge AR-15 platform rifles.

Smith and Wesson M&P15R

The M&P15R features a chrome lined 16″ barrel with a 1:8″ twist, M4 style post front sight, and a six-position collapsible stock. The rifle comes with one 30-round magazine.

A “mil-spec” upper is also available for people who already own an AR, but would like to shoot 5.45×39. The upper comes with a 30-round magazine and a bolt carrier assembly, and should drop right onto any mil-spec AR lower.

The M&P15R has a suggested retail price of $1146.00 and the upper alone has a MSRP of $751.00.  Street prices should be significantly less.

From the Smith and Wesson website:

With the ever increasing cost of 5.56mm and .223 ammo, Smith & Wesson is pleased to announce the M&P15R Rifle (along with the new Upper Receiver Assembly). This new rifle is chambered for the less expensive and abundant 5.45 x 39mm cartridge. The rifles come with a flat-top receiver and the M4-style post front sight ready to accept the optics of your choice or a back-up iron sight. Also included is one 30 round magazine built specifically to accommodate the 5.45 x 39mm round.

Smith and Wesson M&P15R info

May 2013 Update – It looks like this rifle and upper are no longer offered by Smith and Wesson.  Although the gun would not have been a major part of the company’s business, I thought the gun was selling well.  Perhaps the recent run on guns forced S&W to focus on the 5.56 NATO guns.  Regardless, the Smith and Wesson M&P15R is a thing of the past.  If you have one, you might want to hold onto it.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

Comments

  1. Just bought one… love it… especially the cost of the ammo.

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