I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first saw the Desert Tech SRS. It was long enough ago that History Channel still played shows about history. I remember seeing the SRS on a show about the evolution of weapons. At the time, I was just starting to understand firearms; a passion ignited by my obsession with World War II history. I was fascinated by the bullpup design which was a stark contrast to all of the designs I was familiar with. It seemed to be superior in every way to traditional rifles and I wanted one badly. As I got older and became more familiar with the idea of bullpup weapons, I began hearing negative opinions and drawbacks to the design. Well, here I am, probably two decades after first seeing the SRS, and I have one sitting in my safe. This is also the first bullpup I’ve ever laid my hands on. Will the gun live up to the expectations that have built up over the last 20 years?
It was a Tuesday afternoon when I got the call. “Your rifle is ready for pickup.” With those six words, I was one step closer to fulfilling a childhood dream. I scooped up my son, strapped him in the car, and ripped down the road (safely, of course) to Triple J Armory, my local FFL in Littleton, Colorado. After some of the usual paperwork, I took her home.
Opening the case, I was overjoyed. The mix of tan and black parts gave the gun a really cool aesthetic. What really caught my eye was the size of the gun. This thing is short. In fact, it’s so short that the FFL initially thought it was an SBR. From soup to nuts, the rifle measures 27”. This is the same size as a Heckler & Koch MP5. The gun weighs about eight pounds, which leads to a strange sensation when you first pick it up. The rifle is so compact that I was expecting it to weigh almost nothing. While it was heavier than it appeared, the weight felt natural and balanced. I couldn’t believe that I would be launching a .308 Win from such a small package. I pulled the legs of the bipod down, went prone, and got to work.
I got into position and put my cheek on the stock. The cheek piece was easy to adjust to my face. I happened to like it raised all the way to the top. Next, I tried the rear monopod that’s installed in the stock. Pulling down on the knurled edge launched the monopod to the ground. With a light thud, the monopod hit the ground, securing the height of the stock exactly where I needed it. From there, I played with turning the textured knob, which allows for finer adjustments. This wasn’t necessary on my carpeted floor, but I could already see the utility of this feature when running the gun in the unpredictable nature of the field.
As I had mentioned earlier, this was my first experience with a bullpup firearm, other than just fondling them at SHOT Show. One of the most common criticisms I had heard was the difficulty of performing reloads. I practiced reloading and running the bolt. It was strange at first, but with more and more repetitions, it quickly became smooth and familiar. The real test would be performing these reloads under pressure. In this controlled environment, I was able to perform a reload in no time at all.
That was it. I was familiar enough with the gun that I was ready to take it out and sling some lead. Now, I just had to find some ammo that I could afford without having to sell my kidneys.
The SRS A2 Covert uses a 16 inch barrel. The twist rate is 1:8, meaning it performs better with heavier ammunition. I grabbed some inexpensive Ammo Incorporated 168 grain 7.62×51 to use while getting familiar with the gun.
Once I get dialed in, I’ll be sending this 175 grain Federal Gold Medal Match, which at this point in time, costs about the same as a gold medal.
The only thing that is more exciting than picking up a new gun is shooting it for the first time. To help me with this, I enlisted the help of my friend Dave. Dave Mason is a former Green Beret who has spent years working with US personnel and overseas partner forces. He runs a training company called MODTAC Training Group here in Elizabeth, Colorado.
I know that this gun is far more capable than I am, but I’m working to close that deficit. For this first trip, I only planned to shoot out to 100 or 200 yards.
It was time to press the first shot. One of the other common criticisms of bullpup guns is the trigger. Due to the action being housed in the stock, the trigger mechanism is more complex, which can lead to a spongy trigger. This was not the case with the SRS A2. It uses Desert Tech’s Field Match trigger. I felt a crisp break, which was quickly followed by the thump of recoil to my shoulder. Due to the weight and ergonomics of the gun, I was there slinging lead for at least an hour without a hint of soreness to my shoulder.
I recently posted a photo on my Instagram of the SRS. One of the comments I received was an assumption that the rifle would be a six MOA gun. I don’t know if this idea comes from the length of the barrel, or just general ignorance, but it was not correct. I’m by no means a precision shooter in any shooting discipline. Firearms are practical tools and I’m typically happy with practical accuracy; getting effective hits on a man- or animal-sized target. I wanted to push myself, though. After the gun achieved sub-MOA groups while zeroing, I got first round impacts on paper at 100 yards (if not, I’d have just gone home), then on man-sized steel at 300, 400, 500, and 600 yards.
So, did it measure up to my expectations? Was it worth the wait? Considering you’re probably reading this on Desert Tech’s blog, you probably already have an idea of my answer. The short answer is yes. This thing is a blast to shoot and is extremely capable. The crisp trigger and manageable recoil were the biggest surprises. I’m very much looking forward to my next range day and getting even more precise using Trasol, Desert Tech’s ballistic calculator app. I asked Dave to fire a few rounds, too. Most impressive to him was the Field Match Trigger.
I’m very impressed with this rifle and I’ve yet to push it to its max potential. I plan on hunting with it, using it in some long range courses, and maybe running it in some PRS matches to see how it performs under harsher conditions. If there are specific aspects of shooting this rifle that you’d like me to evaluate, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to gather some data. Thank you for reading and keep training!