The gun world has been witness to several large government contract dramas recently involving the choice and purchase of new guns. It has been raw fuel for internet speculation and suggestions. One area of discussion that gets revived in times like this is “combat rifles.” The opinions about the critical tools of war are as diverse as the guns they support. While names of many companies are thrown around with their latest go-fast gun, there is one that is overlooked: the Savage MSR 15 Recon.

The MSR 15 Recon is an AR-15 platform chambered in .223 Wylde, which allows it to easily and accurately run both .223 and 5.56 NATO. Known for great rifles, Savage has a strong place in the AR market in general. Having gotten my hands on it at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Gateway, Colo., the MSR Recon takes it to a new level.

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“This rifle offers a button-rifled, 16-inch barrel with accuracy-enhancing 5R rifling, a long-lasting Melonite QPQ finish and Savage’s trademark zero-tolerance headspace control,” said Bill Dermody, the Savage Arms marketing director. “These are high-performance barrels you’d have to buy as an upgrade with standard AR-15s.”

Dermody noted the rifles also feature the proven .223 Wylde target chambering that boosts versatility without sacrificing downrange performance.

“Typically, an aftermarket feature popular with competitive shooters, the .223 Wylde allows you to safely enjoy optimal accuracy from both .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition,” he explained.

The question however is simple: “Is the Savage MSR 15 Recon a serviceable combat rifle?” Well, let’s break it down and see what makes it tick before we make that call.

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