MSBS “Radon” Rifle: US Launch & Impressions

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On this last day of the SHOT Show, I took a detour downstairs to see our friends at Fabryka Broni of the Bumar Group. I covered their MSBS (Polish for “Modular Weapon System” – alternately called “Radon” according to the Polish element naming scheme and not to be confused with Radom, the home of Fabryka Broni) rifle on Industry Day, but Krzysztof told me then to come to their booth at the show for more information.

I’m glad I did. I got to spend a little more quality time with the rifles, as well as talk further with Krzysztof and the other representatives about the rifle and its potential US release. Fabryka Broni is intent on a US release (“are you allowed to own 40mm grenade launchers in America?” I was asked; “we have one we could sell with the rifle”); they are confident of the Polish military’s adoption of the MSBS*, but are awaiting orders before bringing the rifle across the Atlantic. “The rifle is done; these are not prototypes. When we get orders, the rifle will come to the US.”

[*It was mentioned that the MSBS has already been adopted, but when I asked them if they have any competition, they said yes they did, so I think the rifle has passed state acceptance trials, and is awaiting standardization.]

I asked the representatives what the plan for importation is. According to them, Fabryka Broni is currently setting up a factory in Texas where they will make receivers, and many of the parts will be imported from Poland to be assembled in the United States. “We have to gather the tooling at the factory*, then we can begin production”. They mentioned that they are currently seeking ATF approval, and expect the first MSBS rifles to be offered as pistols; the importation regulations on these are easier, they said.

[*It was unclear whether he meant the factory in Texas or Radom, or both.]

Two years ago, when I last visited their booth at the 2013 SHOT Show, they had on display developmental models and rapid prototyped mockups only; this year, encouraged by the very polished looking firearms they had on display, as well as their optimism about bringing the rifle to the US market, I decided to ask them the tough questions: “How much do you think it will cost?”, “when will it come to the US?” and “will you be offering conversion kits for different calibers and configurations?”

Their answers were nothing short of exciting: “The rifle will be manufactured as a system; we make the barrels on our forging machines and will offer many configurations.” When asked about the bullpup rifle, they answered “we will offer one rifle, the standard layout MSBS; accessories, barrels, and the bullpup frame will be offered alongside that as kits.”

On price: “It does not cost so much to make something in Poland as in the US; importation adds cost, but we think we can make a much lower price than the [Bushmaster] ACR.”

When can we expect the MSBS to hit the US market? I was surprised at their response: “We will begin making Beryl rifles (their AK variant) and PM-06 pistols (based on the PM-84/98/06 submachine gun family) in the US later this year. The MSBS is finished; it might come possibly as early as December.”

All the firearms on display did not look like prototypes; according to Krzysztof, over a hundred of these have been made for trials. With the short (akin to “carbine-length”) handguard and medium-weight unfluted barrel (by my guess roughly equivalent in weight to an M4 profile barrel) and polymer lower receiver, I estimate the MSBS weighs at or under 7 pounds empty. While this is not as light as an AR-15 in a comparable configuration, it is much better than other rifles in the same generation as the MSBS. Further, the short handguard was made of aluminum; with a polymer handguard weight could be reduced even further. The balance point of all MSBS rifles displayed was right inside the magwell.

I think the folks in Radom has done a lot of hard work over the past two years; from a design perspective I am confident in saying he MSBS has gone well beyond where the ACR (to which it is related) is now, and it has really caught my attention as one of the promising new rifle designs of this century. I don’t think the gun represents a great leap forward over the AR-15 that currently saturates the US market, but it is solidly engineered, well built, and quite light.

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Yours truly holding the long-handguard, fluted barrel MSBS, with an uncharacteristic grin.

 



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • KestrelBike

    haha awesome portrait.

  • Spade

    ““We will begin making Beryl rifles (their AK variant) and PM-06 pistols (based on the PM-84/98/06 submachine gun family) in the US later this year.”

    Yeah, uh, we should have more info on this bit.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Those SMGs look cool because they have never been in the states… But they were rough to handle.

      • Harrison Jones

        What was rough? Quality or the ergos?

        • Chris22lr

          Ergos, definately. Glauberyt (PM-84/98/06) have it’s roots deep into 70s, but it’s also inspired by ideas from 40s and 50s. It’s actually an obsolete design, but it survived because it was way cheaper for Polish military and LE then the MP5. Civilian version of Glauberyt – BRS-99, had also small success in Canada, and it looks like FB hopes to achieve similiar in US. But I think that this won’t work – there are already similiar desings in US, also probably way cheaper.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            This.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Ergos, stock, sheetmetal of the Mac and Uzi era.

          • BattleshipGrey

            The receiver is stamped then?

      • mikewest007

        Never? That’s odd, I distinctly recall them being used in one of the Resident Evil movies. Unless those were shot in some crazy location like South Africa or something.

    • its very compact but not sure how useful it will be for civillian shooters in the US with the demise of the sig brace and the newest atf ruling

  • JumpIf NotZero

    MSBS impressions from someone more critical…

    – the trigger had an startlingly positive reset but the pull wasn’t anywhere near a well-made AR trigger

    – offset / rail over bore height seemed to be very large, a lot of empty space over the barrel

    – AR-180 themed bolt and carrier, like the ACR and SCAR

    – the stock extended fine, but the cheek riser was clunky. While it was adjustable in a few unique ways, I could EASILY see it becoming unclipped and unset with use

    – front heavy

    – adjustable regulator, BUT, I could not turn it with my fingers as it appears it was designed to be

    The idea looks great, but (again again again) it overs no great utility over a quality AR.

    • Esh325

      Why exactly is having an AR-180 themed bolt and bolt carrier a bad thing? Your beloved AR15 has practically the same bolt design.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Wow. Who said there was anything wrong with it being like an AR18/180? And who is only talking about the bolt?

        • Esh325

          Sorry, my misunderstanding.

        • iksnilol

          You said you were looking at it critically and you mentioned the bolt. So, I presume you find it to be a negative thing.

      • tts

        Perceived tone and ‘reading between the lines’ messing with your mind man!

    • Harrison Jones

      I look at guns like this as cool guns to have. I want one and if I get one I’ll shoot it but It’ll never take place of my ARs which I can customize and replace any parts using 10s or quality vendors and manufacturers.

    • 1. Trigger had a longish reset, but it was positive. It felt a little different than an AR trigger, maybe a little worse, but not bad.

      2. Over bore height is less than other designs of its generation, but more than an AR-15.

      3. The SCAR does not have an “AR-180 themed” carrier. The MSBS traces its ancestry through the ACR to the AR-180, but the latest versions have serious mechanical improvements that I won’t talk about out of respect for the Radom folks.

      4. Cheek riser was a bit weird; set it and forget it, I say.

      5. I’m serious, all the rifles I tried balanced over the handguard. I am not sure what weapon you handled.

      6. I did not have a problem changing the regulator setting, but I feel it comes out too easily. You can skip over a setting and just have the thing pop out. I suspect it will get redesigned with testing.

      All of these are minor flaws.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Ok, I was just there and really ran it through looking at it critically. But alright, all minor flaws if you say so.

        • You didn’t like it. Perhaps the ARX-160 is more your speed.

          • Joshua

            Lol the ARX isn’t anyone speed.

          • Kivaari

            I have never seen an ARX on a dealers shelf. From the advertisements only, it just looks cheap and clumsy to handle. Maybe a dealer will get the nerve to bring a few into the stores, but so far the dealers I visit don’t want to gamble on them.

          • I can speak frankly about the ARX: I do not think it is a good design. It is the only modern rifle I have been able to totally lock up just by manipulating the controls.

          • n0truscotsman

            I haven’t touched one yet, and now im curious.

            Im not buying though, if what I hear is true. Ill have to see for myself.

      • toms

        I agree with everything Nathaniel said here about this gun. I think it will do well and there are more reasons to open a factory in the USA than just selling to civilians. They are government subsidized after all. From what I understood from my conversations with Radom is that they have a very few minor minor refinements to make before full production, based on recent Army feedback. I think they mentioned trigger upgrades, possible selector tweeking, and minor polymer tolerance changes. Overall its a solid rifle that I would trust my life on when finished for sure, more so than a banged out Colt in any case.

        • Kivaari

          The biggest reason to build them here is all critical parts are banned from import by the GCA ’68. Since the ATF revisted the GCA ’68 a few years back, it stopped the import of barrels, inner workings (hammers and triggers), receivers, etc. If they want to sell guns here, they essentially have to be built here.

          • toms

            I think it has more to do with possible utilization of US foreign aide funds. The US gives countries like poland opportunities to buy US made defense items for military assistance. This also applies to other countries so say if Mexico wants MSBS, but has to buy American with Aide money they can have free guns other than m16s, which are not popular in many countries that get us aide. Also having redundant defense infrastructure is a priority when you are under the high possibility of invasion from Russia. Civilian sales just keep the lights on. EU export restrictions are also a huge obstacle in arms sales and do not always coincide with US policies so you can have a greater market reach.

    • Chris22lr

      As for the trigger issue – MSBS is compatible with any AR trigger module, and pistol grip. This wasn’t featured on SHOT Show guns, because these had older lower receiver – newer ones were all made as a full autos.
      Rail to bore offset comes from charging handle position – if you want it there, you had make rail higher, otherwise your hand may hit the optics.

      As for “no great utility over an AR”, you’ve got to remember that this weapon system (a “platform” if you wish) is made for Polish Military. They could have millions of ARs already (US lobbyists are practically living in our MoD), but they’ve decided that none of them meets their rather specific requirements. MSBS offers possibilities that aren’t present even on newest FN or Beretta offerings. This is not an AR and it was never meant to be. Bringing it to US civillian market, oversaturated with ARs and it’s cousins, is a rather dangerous endeavour IMHO, because US customer won’t understood the effort which went to make MSBS what it is – they’ll say that it’s too expensive and doesn’t come in Hello Kitty Pink. Let’s take a look at civi SCAR and ARX-100 – both solid designs, but “they’re not ARs” for Mr Typical US Shooter. And that makes them a niche guns (not counting ACR because it’s reported to be problematic). MSBS is bound to meet the same fate, and I hope that FB guys understand it. But I don’t know – company rep from Nat’s post seems to be way much optimistic.
      Anyway, the way it works here, civilians in Europe nor US, won’t probably see MSBS until our Army won’t adopt it, simultaneously pumping hard cash into FB. So company shouldn’t get into any danger if MSBS will have problems on civilian market.

      But I agree that cheek riser looks… cheap. I hope that some new stocks will show after the gun’s debut.

      • The SCAR’s problem on the civilian market is that it’s too expensive.

        The cheek riser doesn’t seem any cheaper than that on the SCAR. As a military stock, I think it’s fine.

      • Esh325

        People always seem to think that the standard M4 will always be on the top of the world and there will never be anything better than it, which is quite naive in my opinion. Yeah for civilians that just shoot at paper targets I could argue MSBS is a waste of money, heck I could even argue an AR15 is a waste of money for that purpose. The Poles have experience with the M4 and HK416, so I imagine they could have adopted that rifle if they want to, but they didn’t, they wanted a new rifle.

        • Joshua

          Would have been interesting to see the MSBS in the ICC given how the ACR did and how close they are to each other.

        • At the end of the day, all of these weapons are very close to each other in terms of operating mechanism. Among top of the line rifles, the M4 offers lighter weight for a given barrel profile, low cost, and good reliability.

          Rumors of its competitors’ total superiority have been exaggerated.

          • Esh325

            The Israelis tested the M4 and the Tavor and they found the Tavor outperformed the M4. For a country like Poland which isn’t exactly rich and has experience with the M4 and HK416, why didn’t they just adopt those two rifles instead of spending a lot of time and money in developing a rifle that isn’t all that much better?

          • Do you have a source of information for this? Outperformed in what respect? How great was the difference? What does do Israeli soldiers think of the Tavor now that it is in production?

            Politics are certainly a factor. In Poland’s case, I would expect the development of an indigenous rifle was a combination of national pride, maintaining their industrial base, and meeting their specific requirements.

            There is a problem with throwing around the terms “better”, “outperformed”, etc. Without qualifications to narrow down what is meant, these words are meaningless. I could as easily say the M4 is “better” or “outperforms” all other offerings in terms of receiver weight. It isn’t useful for the discussion, however, if I wield this as a rhetorical bludgeon.

          • Kivaari

            It would be interesting to see what IDF actually feels about the Tavor. IDF uses mostly M4 carbines, except for a few units scattered around the country. Considering how good many Israeli rifles are, the fact that the M4 carbine is so wide spread may mean it really works well and no one has issues with the DI system. I know I preferred the AR over the Galil based on weight, handling and bolt hold open feature. I believe Galils had issues with cracked receivers as well. The Tavor is awkward to handle, like every bullpup rifle.

          • I don’t know enough about it, but I’d heard that, too.

          • Esh325

            The only place I’ve heard of cracked receivers is on Internet forums. I’ve heard people say AK milled cracked too.

          • Esh325

            I thought I read some where that the troops are very satisfied with it. I believe all the main combat troops are issued the Tavor now. I know the new Galil Ace is lighter and one of the models does have the bolt hold open feature.

          • Wosiu

            Only reason that IDF uses mostly M4 carbine is zero cost. Or exactly speking minus zero cost. US send M4 to Israel for free but also paid offset for Israel 🙂

          • Tom

            It should be remembered that by the time the IDF adopted the M4 they had 10 000s of Galil’s and AK47 types in inventry/storage. so even though the M4s are free the IDF still had to go through the expense of training Armourers and getting new racks etc. They [the IDF] clearly felt the M4 was sufficiently better to justify the replacement.

          • tts

            So I dunno if this is the case with Poland/MSBS just playing devil’s advocate:

            National politics + supporting local industry are common reasons for buy domestically produced equipment/arms even if the cost is somewhat higher or the equipment/arms aren’t quite as good as a given foreign made product.

            A good modern example of this would how Russia is suddenly buying the AK12, when before they said they weren’t interested, to support ailing Kalashnikov Concern.

          • Esh325

            Couldn’t they have just locally developed their own M4 variant then? They didn’t buy the AK-12 yet, and it’s competing against the AEK-971.

          • Scott P

            “A good modern example of this would how Russia is suddenly buying the AK12, when before they said they weren’t interested, to support ailing Kalashnikov Concern.”

            I would guess Russia being a different culture in how one interprets what they mean I think the context of their statement meant that they did not want the AK-12 in the previous form until further kinks were worked out of it. With the kinks worked out they now want it.

          • n0truscotsman

            I would say that the Israelis had many considerations in the tavor vs M4 competition, other than just raw MRBF comparisons.

            Why? because they are Israelis. They are pragmatic. And perhaps they are right to be honest. The tavor seems to fit THEIR requirements (mechanized forces that operate in primarily urban areas, or, within close combat distances).

            Combine this with the hellbent desire for more domestic armament production and you have a suitable environment for the Tavor to be adopted.

          • Esh325

            I mean I think it is silly think the only reason why a country wouldn’t use a M4 is because of national pride and politics. I’m sure there are countries that wouldn’t adopt a M4 based on that it doesn’t meet their requirements for a combat rifle. Or they replace their M4 with new rifles that meet new combat requirements like the Israelis. The article above says the MSBS have competitors and I’m going to guess they are competing against the HK416 and M4.

          • n0truscotsman

            Your point is a good one. Im curious about this rifle now, and erroneously seem to have dismissed it a year ago as “another AR18 copy”.

          • It started out as an AR-18 derivative via the ACR, but I got a good look (field strip, though hastily reassembled – the reps didn’t mind me doing it, but didn’t want anyone else to get ideas) at it, and at this point there are important mechanical differences vis-a-vis the ACR.

          • I did not say that.

            I think Poland looked to domestic offerings because of national pride, industry preservation, and politics. Oh, also, they may have found that their labor was cheaper.

          • Tom

            Just maybe the Poles think they can do better than the M4. Also perhaps after decades of being dictated to as to what equipment they can field I guess they relish the opportunity to design their own. But ultimately its economics, the Poles want to keep the engineering knowledge base in country along with jobs.

            Also it can not of escaped the Poles that several European militaries are looking for new service rifles (the French and possible the British sometime around 2020) if they just made an M4 clone they would have trouble differentiating their product from a very crowded market. Also I am as I understand it the US Government owns the rights to the AR15 design so maybe even if they let the Poles make the thing they might restrict exports? Or is the design now so old that its essentially public domain?

          • tomd

            I wouldn’t count the 416 out either. A lot of guys who can have any weapon in the world choose the HK and swear by them mostly on their long term reliability and accuracy. The A5 seems like a sweet gun. The AR is a good gun but the army should upgrade it with new industry materials, rails, ambis ect. and not get stuck in 1997.

          • The 416 isn’t a bad rifle, but it substantially is an AR-15. It’s certainly not a huge leap forward.

          • n0truscotsman

            The factors of low per unit cost, massive supply of spare parts and existing manufacturing base, massive supply of spare magazines and existing manufacturing base, not to mention further R&D and evolutionary growth with the two aforementioned attributes (parts n’ mags), roughly equivalent performance to contemporaries, and modern features makes Stoner carbines a high bar to jump over.
            Im still in disbelief over how much ARs have evolved and what products have been developed for them over the past decade. I remember when hose clamps, mag lights, and aimpoint 1000s were beeding edge.

          • That’s the truth. I root on anybody who wants to take on the “rifle problem”, but it really is a high bar to clear.

          • CommonSense23

            Are you actually serious with the SCAR coming close to the AR-15. The whole family is a disaster. I just recently started trusting the 17 enough to use over my 14 and that isn’t exactly setting a high bar.

          • Mechanicall, there is a lot to like, yes.

          • CommonSense23

            I am honestly curious what you like in the SCAR mechanically disregarding its history. And what about the ergonomics, do you like those too.

          • Good mass ratio, lots of underlug, hunky bolt that fails gracefully, lots of overtravel, high dwell time, low cyclic rate, well-balanced tappet operation, relatively low friction in the receiver.

            Lots to like from a purely mechanical standpoint. I could see how the charging handle would annoy shooters, but IIRC that was an explicit request in the tender.

          • CommonSense23

            Only can disagree with the Tappet Operation, and only cause of its effects on optics.
            Do you believe the large amount of reliability problems with the SCAR family is due to design just not synchronizing well or quality control.

          • No idea. That is a question for someone involved in the Mk. 16 or 17 programs.

      • tts

        The problem with a lot of these newer rifles isn’t that they’re ‘not AR’s’. Its the cost/value proposition vs. a AR. Lots of peeps would love to own SCAR’s, ARX-100’s, Tavor’s, HK243/293, etc. but bang for buck vs. a AR they don’t pan out for most.

        At all.

        Innovation and variety are great and all but if gun manufacturers want their new rifles to be successful they have to address the bang vs buck issue against the AR. Particularly since many of these newer designs make heavy use of plastics which is way cheaper and easier to mold or machine than steel or aluminum.

        • This is a good point, and well said besides. The AR-15 has a tremendous head start in terms of how widely proliferated the tooling is, which vastly reduces the cost of rifles due to economies of scale.

          This is one of the big reasons so many manufacturers are intent on winning a contract for a new weapon; it would be a huge boon to them not just directly in terms of selling their rifles to the government, but they would essentially beat out all their competition at making a cost-effective AR-15 alternative.

          • tts

            The AR15 does have a head start over new rifle designs that aren’t being mass produced yet and are still in the prototype stage but there are newer rifle designs that are being mass produced and still cost lots more than the AR15.

            Even while using lots of plastics.

            I don’t have anything against plastics. Or against people making money per se.

            I actually like plastics (light + cheap while reasonable durable) and I like to see people get paid to make a good product. I want them to get paid so they stay happy and continue to make great products!

            But when I see a newer design where much or most of the gun is plastics (thus cheap + easy to machine or mold) + gun costs several hundred dollars or more than a AR15 I just roll my eyes and move on. Yea design costs are a thing but those are supposed to be rolled into the price of the gun over long stretches of time.

          • I think part of it is a deliberate markup, but the majority comes from conomies of cale. How many SCAR 16s have been made, vs. M4s and clones?

          • tts

            My understanding is that economies of scale plateau quickly once you start talking about producing 10’s of thousands of guns.

            Yes not many SCAR’s have been made at all, but Tavors, ARX-100’s, etc. These are being used by militaries soon or already and can expect to be mass produced for a decade or 2 at least. Brand mark up and/or price gouging are probably a bigger part of gun price than any manufacturer in the industry wants to admit.

          • Heh, I used to work behind the counter of a store that stocked ACRs. Markup is definitely a factor.

      • Scott P

        Well I will be one American shooter who doesn’t fit the typical mold of “AR or nothing” who would love to buy the MSBS when it becomes available. Being a collector makes it easy for me. I guess if you hate collecting like most seem to be here and on other gun boards then I can see the problem.

      • mikewest007

        Funny, because the Cowadoody crowd already caught a glimpse of the bullpup MSBS in COD: Ghosts (where it’s the top-tier multiplayer weapon, no less – makes me wonder how they pulled this sort of sneak promotion off). As for the ARs, they make great civilian guns, but the horror stories about its compliance (or lack thereof) with military standards keep circling since ‘Nam.

    • toms

      It was not front heavy in any way, it balanced right at the magwell. I checked. The trigger on the conventional rifle was a typical milspec AR trigger not unlike older ARs. I thought the bullpup trigger was quiet nice (for a bullpup). I agree with the cheek riser but I expect full production models to be a little more refined. Finger adjustable gas is unimportant in my opinion, use a cartridge. Barrels were definitely solid (steyr machines). The poles have done lots of field work on this and have issued everything from AKs to ACRs, 416s, scars, sr15, and picked what features they wanted from those guns. Some armies just aren’t impressed with the AR and prefer something different for whatever reason.

      • Scott P

        Don’t say that or you will have tons of AR fanboys down your throat telling you how dumb you are for you to go against their mold of “perfection” that is the AR.

        • I should hope not; this is TFB. We combine our fanboyism with classy, collected charisma, and gin and tonic.

      • iksnilol

        The balance is probably the reason they didn’t make the handguard lighter. A “heavier” but balanced rifle is much more comfortable than a “lighter” but unbalanced rifle. I put heavier and lighter in quotes because these guns are pretty lightweight. I am not a strong guy but I always get a laugh out of people whining about how heavy an AK is. Though I will admit the ammo isn’t the lightest it is much better than 308 in regards to weight.

        • I don’t think a polymer handguard would have thrown off the balance.

          • iksnilol

            How much lighter would a polymer handguard be?

            Besides, is the receiver polymer or aluminum?

          • 1.00 g/cm^3 vs 2.71 gm/cm^3, or thereabout.

          • iksnilol

            so almost a third of the weight?

          • Weight distribution would go rearward; I don’t see the problem.

          • iksnilol

            Rear heavy rifles jump more and tend to slip upwards. At least that is for normal config, I don’t know how that applies to bullpups. + I doubt the polymer handguards would be able to take the recoil/weight of the 40mm.

            But that is all theoretical, I haven’t spoken to the engineers like you guys. If you still have contact with them, ask them.

          • While I think polymer handguards would significantly assist in reducing the overall weight of the rifle, I don’t think they would seriously impact the balance.

  • Plumbiphilious

    “Are you allowed to own 40mm grenade launchers in America?” I was asked, “We have one we could sell with the rifle.”

    Did anyone else shed a silent tear for want of freedom?

    • Jesse

      I laughed. Then, after thinking about it, got a little depressed.

    • Happy Camel

      You can own 40mm launchers…$200 tax stamp for a DD

      • yup grenade launchers are the easy part. getting grenades is the hard part

        • iksnilol

          You can always get practice grenades (chalk filled). IIRC they don’t require a tax stamp (for the ammo, the launcher still needs one).

          What I am unsure about is shotgun rounds for grenade launchers. Do they require tax stamps per round or something?

          • dingus johnson

            No, the shotgun rounds don’t, but to get an adapter (there are adapters that allow you to fire a 12 gauge from a 37mm or 40mm flare/grenade launcher)

            the adapters are AOW’s, I believe.

          • iksnilol

            That’s handy to know. Now where can you get shot cups for 40mm hulls? Considering that 40mm is more than double the diameter of 12 gauge it should be devastating filled with buckshot or something. Wonder how many pellets you could fit?

          • Not An ATF Agent

            Screw it, just make your own nades

          • iksnilol

            I can’t condone breaking the law… at least I can’t condone that officially over the internet.

      • Kivaari

        Then one needs to check state laws. Idaho and Washington don’t allow we mortals to have them. Idaho has a 0.70 inch bore restriction, excluding shotguns. I know a SOT holder that has a near new M79. A wonderful piece of history.

    • anonymous

      “are you allowed to own 40mm grenade launchers in America?” I was asked; “we have one we could sell with the rifle”

      Uh, um, yeah, sure. In fact, in America, we don’t even need to do any paperwork. And lucky for you, I have cash on me right now…

      • Tassiebush

        Erm yeah and it’s little known that in Australia we’re allowed to mail order firearms from abroad that would otherwise be restricted but it’s a legislative requirement that they be packaged amongst unrelated machinery parts and be labelled as such. All such purchases also must be addressed to the names such as Roland Browne, Rebecca Peters, John Crook, Simon Chapman or failing that John Smith…

        • Keith Melton

          TOOOO funny

          • Tassiebush

            Cheers 🙂

    • Vee

      No.

  • Jason

    It’s “RADOM”, not “RADON”. Jeezey chreezey! Anyone claiming to be a “small arms know-it-all” should know that! It’s even printed real big right behind you in your goofy self portrait. I’m beginning to think there is NO editorial oversight or even proofreading on this site at all.

    • I mention in the article that these are easily confused. The MSBS is called “Radon”, after the element. This follows the “Beryl” (Polish for the element beryllium. Radom is the name of the city where FB is located.

      • Dan

        And that kids is why we don’t spout off at the mouth until we know what we are talking about.

    • You sure about that are you—- read this He’s right it is Radon! http://world.guns.ru/assault/errortranslite/msbs-e.html

      • REMOV

        “Radon” it is a name given by one of Polish firearms magazine. It is not official, not used by the Army or the Industry, just folks from the magazine which try to promote it. That’s all.

        The official military name of MSBS will be different when it would be adopted by Polish Armed Forces. By the way, the MSBS-5,56 rifle family is developed under the RAWAT name.

        • The reps said they prefer “MSBS”, anyway.

          Thanks for the comment, Remi!

  • toms

    I was impressed with their rifles at the show as well. The bullpup was solid, both versions had a nice trigger, and smooth bolt glide. All the materials used are very high quality. The Radom guys were definitely well versed in firearms design and have put a lot of thought into the design. It was nice to talk to engineers about their rifles. Also, working close with GROM, it has a solid field use design with a touch of soviet ruggedness. It’s what the ACR should have been. Their AK’s are also first rate. I will be getting one for sure.

    • Yeah, the machining on the bolt and carrier really impressed me. The bolts also had this weird purple finish, almost like they blued over temper colors.

      I don’t really like how their AKs are laid out, but the workmanship was on par with Russian or Bulgarian AKs, I think. I am not an AK expert, so it’s possible there were details I missed.

      • toms

        I agree, their bolts looked HK, obsessively smooth and uniform. the Poles tennifer everything except their barrels on rifles, they also hold tighter machine tolerances than Russia does or did unless something has changed recently. Their steel and QA/QC stuff is mostly new (and Austrian) Zeiss optics and Puch steel I believe. I would give them a slight edge in the AK category over everyone else for now (almost all of the Radom machine equipment is from the last few years with few exceptions). Although the Russians are constantly trying to finagle high end machines from Europe using medical tech loopholes, a lot of their stuff is still 70’s era and they won’t be upgrading anything now. I also liked that bull pup bolt rifle that was at the booth. Like a bullpup hecate.

      • toms

        The steel color indicates that the steel used is very hard and properly tempered before nitrided. The steel is so smooth, consistent and dense the treatment does not penetrate very deep as their is very little rough poor space to move it through. Think purple slided HK P7s. Its definitely a sign of superior materials. Now that SAKO is out of the AK game I have to give the edge to the Poles. They were also super guys. So many of the companies had representatives who know diddily sqat about firearm design, or think because they were on some high speed swat team years ago that they know everything about firearms, it was nice to talk to people who know their trade. Remember for them this is a life or death business right now. All poles are front in center in a likely east west confrontation that either ends with their freedom or their occupation. Each day they wake up wondering whether they will be called up for service or have T90’s pouring over their border. Selling to civilians is an after thought.

        • Right, I took this as a very good sign. Poland is very serious about the MSBS; if I were FN for example I would be watching closely.

  • Both the AEK-971 and AK-12 have passed acceptance trials, neither has so far been adopted.

    • tts

      Woops.

      Not the best example then. India’s INSAS would probably be a better example.

  • “According to Amihai Dekel, a project manager with IWI in Israel and a reserve officer in the Israeli Special Forces, whose career has included troop commands at the platoon and company levels, the Tavor underwent a series of rigorous tests between November 2001 and March 2002 with two IDF brigades that evaluated it throughout different scenarios, theatres and configurations. Numerous aspects of the new platform were considered, including: Mean Rounds Between Failures (MRBF); accuracy and retention of zero using various sights; human ergonomics during extended periods of use, including marches as long as 37 miles; speed and accuracy of sighting in daytime and nighttime with iron sights, magnified and night vision optics, and lasers; use with the M203 grenade launcher; and maintenance-relevant issues.

    Dekel said that, in the end, the Tavor prevailed over the M4, although he declined to share specifics about how the guns scored. “The results are clear, the Tavor is the [gun] of choice for the IDF and for Israeli special and elite forces.” The IDF officially adopted the Tavor in 2003 and within three years it was in the hands of infantry brigades and special forces throughout Israel.”

    I had really hoped for a better source than a secondhand quote from IWI’s own project manager. Are the test reports available online?

    • Esh325

      Unfortunately such testing information is witheld from the public. But I’ll tell you it’s not the first time there have been rifles that have outperformed the M4/M16 in military testing.

      • There’s that word with no context again.

        • Esh325

          Where is the context then for the rifles not being significantly better than the M4 or M16 Where is the testing that proves that?

          • You cannot just throw around words like “better” or “outperform” without context. You need to say in what way is something better, and be as specific as possible about how and why.

  • Blake

    If the PM-06 “Polish Uzi” becomes available at near-Kel-Tec Sub-2000 prices (& recent currency market fluctuations should help this), then sign me up :-). Especially if they import one with a 16″bbl & sliding/folding stock.

    It ain’t a PP 2000 but it’s about as close as we’re gonna get.

    • iksnilol

      I can’t understand why they haven’t made quadstack magazines for the PP-2000. They could fit at least 20 rounds extra while keeping it the same length as the 44 round mag.

  • patrickiv

    Why not design it around an AR-15? Half a century of experience making those work.

    • Good question. Regardless of the answer, I’m really impressed with where they ended up. If all goes well, Poland will have an excellent service rifle.

    • iksnilol

      Because there are *shockingly enough* other guns than the AR-15. I really think firearms are stagnating, at least in the US. Since everyone wants to tear out your throat if you make something that isn’t an AR.

      • I’ll only tear out your throat if you make something heavier than an AR. 😉

        • iksnilol

          Eh, I have been wanting to make a repro Korobov TKB-022PM. It weighs 2.4 kg without a magazine (older version was 2.8 kg). I wonder if I could reduce weight by going with carbon fiber instead of bakelite? and using titanium and aluminum in areas where steel isn’t needed.

          • I suspect it does work well, but what it lacks in reliability and recognition it makes up in being hella cool.

          • iksnilol

            Reliability? Why would it be unreliable? I mean, the mechanism is weird but it is also pretty simple (just unusual).

            Besides, it was good enough to be accepted into Soviet millitary trials. Must have done something right. Only problem was it was too radical/unusual for its time (+ it used a lot of bakelite which at the time was new and unproven).

          • I suspect the rammer doesn’t have enough momentum to work reliably

          • iksnilol

            We can’t know for sure until we have one to test. The only ones in existence I know of are in Russian museums and I doubt they would let us test/pop one open to check it out. Maybe they would let Larry Vickers since he has had access (at least to an AEK-971)?

  • I’m pretty interested in the bullpup.

  • andrey kireev

    Now, make it work with Pmags / Stanags =P

    • That is what it uses. Those are Lancer AWMs in the magwell (though minus baseplate, as they were using displays that fit up through the magazine body).

      • andrey kireev

        I could kiss you right now ! XD

  • iksnilol

    Eh, unusual question I will admit: How much space is there between the gas block and the muzzle? I am fond of the T8 Scout suppressor and it requires 20 cm behind the muzzle. Bonus points if there is enough length with a shortened barrel (30 cm).

    Also, the bullpup looks nice. With a short barrel (30 cm) and in 7.62×39 it is probably the only bullpup in 7.62×39 I want (except for the Korobov TKB-022).

    • Depends on model. IIRC, they said they would be iffering kits for all styles of handguard and 16″ and 20″ barrels.

      • iksnilol

        They didn’t say anything about 12″ barrels?

        • There was a very short barrel length, I do not recall what it was exactly.

          • iksnilol

            Seems interesting, can’t wait until more info comes out. This is pretty much the only modern/new gun that actually interests me. So having one in 7.62×39 with AK mags and a 30 cm (12 inch) barrel would be beautiful. Though I am worried if my favorite suppressor (T8 “scout” reflex) would work with it, since it needs about 20 cm (8 inches) of length behind the muzzle.

  • TomOakheart

    Dang I want this platform.

  • PL Popeye

    As I see for some people, Facebook is the whole world, ha ha ha.
    FB Radom made a great gun

  • iksnilol

    Probably late to comment but here I go anyways: In regards to height over bore; can’t you just use sights that aren’t as tall? I know AR sights are particularily tall due to the straight recoil principle it is designed around (compare AR sights with FN FAL sights). Shouldn’t be a problem since you do have the adjustable cheek riser on the Radon. Might not work with the bullpup version though.