Review of the Thales EF88 (F90)

Jenzen-Jones had an opportunity to shoot Thales’ new EF88 (F90) rifle at Lithgow arms factory. I love the two-tone color combination of the olive green stock with tan metal finish.

As superficial as it is, I am a sucker for a nicely finished gun.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Paul C.

    Is it just me or is does that look like pink to anyone else?

    • MrSatyre

      Yes, it looks a little pink to me, too. I’m going to hypothesize that it’s due to the lens of the camera that was used, tho’.

    • Higgs

      I’m assuming it is the same finish used on the most recent upgrade of the F88, which is very tan.

    • anon

      It could also be the camera sensor (I’m assuming digital) picking up a bit of IR. I’ve noticed that when taking photos of my S&W TRR8, every part looks a different shade of grey – which is not the case visually, it’s just that the camera sensor response curve doesn’t match the human eye. For an extreme example of this effect: There is a video of a DINAN V10 being dyno’d on YouTube where the exhaust header glows purple. Search “DINAN Custom BMW S85 V-10” at YouTube. It doesn’t _actually_ glow purple, it glows red, but the camera sensor is skewed by the heat.

  • Nanban Jim

    Well there IS a good reason the Desert Rats painted their jeeps with pink in the scheme.

    • Jeff

      Yep, IIRC the SAS drove around in pink land rovers back in the day… the shade was called the pink panther.

      Sailors didnt take too kindly to their ships being pink though 😛

  • Might be my screen but it looks a tad pinkish to me too

  • Joseph

    It’s amazing the AUG is still a modern looking gun… and even goes into modern standards that only just became popular… yet is so old of a design.

    • Other Steve

      70s design that is STILL used in scifi movies. A pretty good testament to good designers.

  • To all the people who are saying the tan looks “Pinkish”, well there is a reason for that. Green and Red are colors that react to one and other, so if you put Green next to a Brown it pulls out the Red in it.

    If you ever mix paints and add too much Green/Red just add it’s opposite and it will neutralize the other.

  • I shot that one on my phone, and had to use it as I have lost a camera cable whilst travelling. Plenty of good shots to come; I will publish some teasers soon.

  • Richard

    I know some reason why was excite about rifle. Wait I know why Styer Aug clone same family rifles with all same short comings all bullpup rifles have. Bad tiger pull hurt accuracy and precision accord ergonomics that come in play when in prone postion change magzines. Oh high price for rifle does offer any advantage over lower cost Colt M4 Carbine get full load cheaper with better tiger pull better ergonmics. They do look neat make great movie guns you can now pay more have one in tan.

    • DW

      Not trying to be a grammar nazi, but…

    • gunslinger

      my eyes….

  • bbmg
  • John Doe

    It may be over 30 years old, but the AUG will always look space age to me. I’ll just keep on looking for one for myself.

  • Adam

    Are they planning to get rid of those mags and feed it from AR mag? Mag change in this thing is a pain in the ass, especially compared to IWI X95.

    • Chris

      I’m in the autrian army myself and I can assure you, that reloading the AUG (A1 in my case) is just a matter of training. It sure takes more time than a standard AR, but the magazines are “dropfree” and even in prone position it was never an issue to reload. The polymer magazines are way tougher than the steel ones, cost is little to nothing (about 3,xx€) and we were trained to look at them while doing our quick weapons check to get an approximate ammunition status. I simply do not see any good reason, beside compatibility with STANAG, to change to something else. On a side note, I never had a single malfunction with live ammunition, even after several thousand rounds. We check our gear regularly and single out damaged or worn out magazines, so take that with a grain of salt.

      • W

        whatever you do, you guys keep using what you’re using 😀

        AR15 mags have come a long way from being disposable junk to pretty awesome, though AUG mags have always been awesome.

      • Adam

        Good to hear from you Chris, representing one of the best armies in the world. I wasn’t saying that you can’t learn to change the mag in AUG, or that those mags are prone to fail. I’m no AR-only lover of any kind too.

        The thing I tried to tell and some idiots marked as negative is just the way Steyr mag is locked in place – similar to the AK mag release. The AR mag allows to design a more advanced way of releasing it – solved well in Tavor and brilliantly in Micro Tavor. Releasing the mag with your weak hand will always be less effective than with strong hand resting on the grip – just like it is with AR in comparison to AK (now that’s a hot subject ha?). Trust me, I’ve got some experience with both.

        Take a look at those videos – both mag changes performed very well, with skill and some experience:

        – Tavor:

        – AUG:

        The TAR is approximately 1,6 sec from shot to shot, the AUG is about 2,5. Both very good times, and everything less than 3 sec is perfectly acceptable. Think about this difference and let me know if you can go much faster than this guy with AUG.


    • Esh325

      I believe the reason why a lot of countries do not use M16 magazines is because they found that they weren’t as reliable in their rifle design, and instead developed their own. There were a lot of problems making reliable 30 round magazines at first for the M16.

  • Alex-mac

    Also it’s very likely this is the second military rifle that is completely camouflaged as a standard. The first being the F88A2 currently in use by the Australian military.

  • mechamaster

    Where is the side loading under-slung grenade launcher ?

  • whence

    on the subject of AUGs, and idea where the ones appearing in the hands of syrian rebels are coming from?

    • Avery

      I’ll admit, you piqued my interest in this. I had not heard of the Steyr AUG being used in numbers by anyone in Syria until I Googled it in response.

      I’d say Saudi National Guard surplus, but I believe they only bought their guns in tan. Maybe Malaysian surplus, but right now, it’s anyone’s guess.

  • Pedro

    Anyone got any information on the 40mm grenade launcher sights?

    None of the pics I have seen show any sights at all, and I assume that there must be some sort of system to aim the grenade launcher.

    One suggested possibility is a grenade launcher reticle in the rifle optics.

    Any info appreciated.

  • TW

    am i the only one who thinks this gun is fing ugly.

  • Alex-mac

    I wonder what those square holes on each side of the rifle are for?

  • SB

    In regards to the colour of the barrel and receiver – it’s actually browner than it appears in these images.

    The holes in the plastic body are too aid cooling.

    The grenade launcher sights will most likely be a Docter red dot mounted on a qudrant device for selecting range. (The same set up on the existing F88/M203 GLA).