MPAR 556: New Piston Rifle from MasterPiece Arms

MPAR 556

These photos are of the prototype, not production, MPAR 556 rifles.

MasterPiece Arms is releasing more information on the new MPAR 556, the company’s new piston driven AR rifle.

The new rifle sounds like it will offer a variety of features while maintaining a sub-$1000 price tag.  Considering this AR-style gun uses a short stroke piston, that price is extremely competitive.

As the name suggests, the MPAR 556  is chambered for the 5.56 NATO cartridge.  Standard AR magazines will work with this rifle.

MPAR 556 handguard

The handguard is a two-piece, floating system made from machined aluminum.  The handguard allows the user to place Picatinny accessory rails in the most advantageous places.  This allows for weight reduction, since the user can simply remove (or not install) rails in areas they are not needed.

The buttstock is made from machined aluminum and adjusts for length of pull.  Additionally, the buttstock folds to the left for compact carry and storage.

MPAR 556 muzzle brake

MasterPiece Arms has not stated the barrel length, but I would expect a 16″ barrel.  The end will most likely be threaded, and will ship with a muzzle brake attached.  Since MasterPiece Arms now makes sound suppressors, it would make sense that all of the company’s new guns would ship with threaded barrels.

MPAR 556 parts will be either anodized or black phosphate coated (depending on the part material.)

Masterpiece Arms states that “Disassembly will be very user friendly, both for access to the internals of the weapon as well as piston assembly housed in the front handguard.”  Since this design is a departure from the standard AR, I hope it is true.

MSRP is $959.00 and shipping starts in January 2013.  MasterPiece Arms will be at the SHOT Show, so expect to see more photos and information on the MPAR 556 then.

Special note:  The photos in this article are of a prototype MPAR 556 rifle, not the final production version.  As soon as we can get a look at the final version, we will post them here on

MPAR 556 rifle

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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.


  1. I like the charging handle.

  2. s.j.hoffman says:

    This looks up close like a tacticalled-up AR180, not an AR15 variant. Not a bad thing for sure, but not the type of AR that pops to mind when most people hear “AR”.

  3. This is a re-worked version of the Leader Dynamics T2MK5.

    The Leader T2 MK5 Series weapons were chambered for the 5.56 mm cartridge and manufactured by Leader Dynamics of Smithfield, NSW, Australia (1978-1982/1983). The Leader was the brainchild of weapons designer Charles St. George. It was originally a contender for a 5.56 mm Australian military service rifle to replace the then-issued Lithgow L1A1-F1 SLR and Colt M16A1 rifles. What was unique about this endeavor was that Australia had never designed or manufactured its own commercial gas operated semi-automatic rifle. The rifle was abandoned when the Steyr AUG was adopted for use by the Australian military.


  1. […] More photos of one of the MPAR 556 prototype rifles is here. […]

  2. […] addition of a AR-type pistol to the company line up.  The new MPAR 556 pistol is not-surprisingly based on the company’s MPAR 556 rifle.  It is chambered for the 5.56 NATO cartridge and will also fire the .223 […]

  3. […] familiar with the MPAR 556 series of firearms, check out our previous articles on the rifle here, here and here.  Also, take a look at the pistol version of the gun […]

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