Don’t have a MSR (Modern Sporting Rifle), but would like to get one?

Intimidated by all the terminology?

Stay tuned for a series of posts explaining simple MSR terms and functionality.

Today’s terms – “Upper”, “Lower”, “Picatinny Rail”

The MSR can be separated into two main elements: The complete “Upper” assembly, and the complete “Lower” assembly. Both the  complete upper and lower assemblies can be further separated, stripped down to their discrete components.

The upper assembly includes a standardized mounting rail called a “Picatinny” or “Pic” rail. This rail allows for the mounting of a variety of MSR accessories – like the carry handle shown here.

Another popular MSR accessory is a scope. A scope can be mounted to the accessory rail using “Picatinny” style scope rings.

Image “1” shows the two main assemblies of a MSR – the complete “Upper” assembly, and the complete “Lower” assembly.

Image “2” shows the carry handle detached from the upper assembly’s picatinny accessory rail.

Image “3” shows a picatinny style scope ring mounted on the picatinny accessory rail.

Beginning with a completely assembled MSR, the rifle can be easily disassembled into two main components – the complete upper assembly, and the complete lower assembly. Each of these sub-assemblies may in turn be further disassembled into discrete components. The MSR includes at least one picatinny accessory rail mounted on the upper assembly. For further flexibility, additional accessory rails may also be mounted to the MSR. Upper/lower assembly breakdown, and additional pic rail mounting will be discussed in later posts.

That’s it! Another handful of intimidating terms explained!