New Zealand Army Selects LMT To Replace Steyr AUG

kiwi rifle

The New Zealand Army has been looking to replace their aging Steyr AUG rifles for some time. The New Zealand Ministry of Defense held trials to select a successor, competing in which were Beretta, CZ, Colt Canada, FNH, Steyr, SIG, H&K, and LMT. It was recently announced by the NZ MoD that Lewis Machine & Tool was selected as the winner – though what rifle they submitted was not mentioned:

A Request for Tender for the provision of contemporary individual weapons, necessary training, and associated support to the NZDF closed on 12 November 2014. Following the evaluation of the tender responses, the companies listed below were selected for the trials programme phase of the evaluation, which was undertaken between 2 March and 1 June 2015.

The following companies were selected for the Individual Weapon trials phase:

  • Beretta New Zealand Limited
  • Česká zbrojovka a.s.
  • Colt Canada Corporation
  • FN HERSTAL
  • STEYR MANNLICHER GmbH
  • XTEK Limited (Sig Sauer)
  • Heckler & Kock GmbH
  • Lewis Machine & Tools Co Inc

Following the trials programme phase of the evaluation of tenders, the Ministry has selected Lewis Machine & Tool Co Inc of the USA as preferred Tenderer. Subject to the Ministry undertaking a Due Dilligence activity and negotiation of a contract package, New Zealand Government approval will be sought to proceed to award of a contract.

The New Zealand Army recently ordered a 7.62mm LMT rifle very similar to the L129A1 in use with the British Army, so this may have been a factor in the company’s selection for the new NZ Individual Weapon. Conspicuously, the New Zealand Army expressed no preference for a bullpup platform.

UPDATE: Steve (the editor) here. We have a number of readers in New Zealand. Two of them both reported that the NZ Army have been referring to these rifles as the “M4”.  I am not sure if this is an official designation, a model number or if it literally references a US mil-spec M4 Carbine (probably not).

Soldiers who say the rifles say the Army was testing two versions, one with a 16″ barrel and one with an 18″ barrel.

lmt

LMT CQB16ODGB (Olive Drab Green)

Apparently LMT rifles test at the Burnham Military Camp a couple of weeks ago resemble the LMT CQB16ODGB (although probably is not this exact model) which retails for $2,100. The CQB16ODGB features:

* CQB MRP® Upper Receiver (ODG).
* 16″ Chrome Lined 1:7″ Twist H-Bar Contour 5.56 Barrel.
* Standard Semi Auto Bolt Carrier Group.
* Tactical Charging Handle Assembly.
* Defender Lower (ODG) with SOPMOD Buttstock and Standard Trigger Group.
* Tactical Adjustable Flip Up Rear Sight.
* Tactical Flip Up Front Sight.

Apparently the NZ Army uses, or is planning on using, heavy 77 grain 5.56mm ammunition.

Thanks to all our Kiwi friends for sharing information with us.

Phil Note: While we would love to tell you and show you the exact rifle common government contract restrictions prevent the company from sharing that information.



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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  • Jeff

    I wonder if the NZDF will allow us to buy the Steyrs (albeit castrated to semiauto) as they did with the FN FAL’s in the 1980s. I suspect not.

    • dan

      probably not although theirs a chance they could be sold as scrap parts to the Australian defense force

  • BattleshipGrey

    Considering New Zealand isn’t exactly a high priority target, I’m betting they went with LMT because the AR is a relatively cheaper option compared to the rest, other than Colt Canada whose parent company is in financial troubles.

    • asterix

      Beretta New Zealand Limited? Oh dear. I’m still waiting a reply from them to an email I sent in 2013.

      • Jay

        With the speed of the Internet down there, your email may still be in transit.

    • Joshua

      They also use the LMT .308MWS for their DMR.

  • Squirreltakular

    Does anyone know if this is the first time a military has gone from a bullpup back to a “legacy” rifle?

    Also, thumbs up for LMT. I used to have one of their piston guns. Good stuff.

    • pbla4024

      British went from EM-2 to FN-FAL. De iure 🙂

      • Graham2

        They didn’t really did they?! The EM2 was only issued in limited numbers on a trial basis and never properly issued to the entire armed forces.

        • Joshua

          well, no but yes, the EM-2 was fully adopted, it completed trials, and was officially the main battle rifle of the United Kingdom, however was never produced in sufficient numbers to fully replace it’s predecessor, before it was replaced by the FN FAL, so no it was not “only issued on a trial basis” it was fully adopted, just not fully implemented, isn’t politics fun?

          • Graham2

            Mmmm, sort of. I know what you’re saying but it’s not like the EM-2 had been used for years and then replaced by a rifle with a conventional layout. It had a glorious birth but was killed off before it could prove itself, as real shame.

          • Joshua, it’s worth remembering that no production lines were ever set up for the EM-2. It was adopted in name only, and for all intents and purposes was an experimental weapon. They hadn’t even worked the bugs out of the prototypes.

            I think they adopted the EM-2 because they felt (maybe rightly) that if they didn’t they would have a foreign rifle thrust upon them, not because the EM-2 was ready for service.

      • The UK is probably going to do it again, too, once they get around to replacing the L85.

        A part of me thinks that the military bullpup won’t survive the proliferation of personal body armor. We’ll see, though.

        • Esh325

          Body armor is already used by pretty much every military.

          • Yes… It has proliferated. That is what I am saying. I suspect this will substantially reduce the popularity of bullpups.

          • CommonSense23

            How do you get that?

          • Southpaw89

            I suspect it has to do with the ability to mount adjustable stocks on firearms of a conventional configuration, making it easier to work around bulky body armor. I don’t think I’ve seen any bullpups with that option.

          • The Croatian VHS-2 has an adjustable stock, but it has a longer length of pull with its stock collapsed than the non-adjustable VHS-1.

          • John

            Mmm. Yeah. But I do like that you can actually switch ejection ports on the fly and not have shells coming down over you. It makes the Felin camera system a lot more effective for what it’s supposed to do, I think. No other rifle currently has that.

          • bigkracka

            The asdvantages of bullpups do not disappear when you don body armor. Who here has actually shot a tavor?

          • No, but their disadvantages are magnified.

            I’ve shot a Tavor. They’re OK, but the AUG is better.

          • B-I-N-G-O.

          • iksnilol

            VHS has adjustable stock. Adjustable stocks isn’t exclusive to conventional layout rifles. It is just that people don’t bother with it since it isn’t a big deal.

          • Bullpups tend to have a pretty long length of pull, and that problem is exacerbated if you’re wearing thick body armor or other bulky gear.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Can’t you put a longer barrel on a bullpup than a conventional rifle for !MOAR POW’R!? What method would you consider to have the most potential for defeating these modern body armors? Or rather, what would higher echelon military decision makers favor to deal with them?

        • Tom

          Also the nature of war has changed, no longer is military planning based mainly on the idea of a massed Soviet assault across the Rhine being meet with heavy mechanised infantry. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed a renewed enthesis on light infantry.

          Whilst a bullpup is always going to be shorter and handier than conventional layout rifle of equal barrel length we no longer see 20″ barrels as necessary so a large part of the bullpup advantage has gone.

    • Matrix3692

      Malaysia.
      M16A1→AUG→M4

    • anonymouse

      The French are about to do it.

    • Stand and deliver

      I think anyone who uses an AUG switches back towards a conventional layout. About time. I had nothing but problems with the Steyrs I fired in my time.

  • kipy

    When Sauron’s armies show up they should be wiped out quite handily now

    • Tassiebush

      I think they have been breeding up lots of Sumatran Rat Monkeys at the Wellington Zoo as a contingency plan against Sauron’s armies.

      • 277Volt

        The Astro Investigation And Defense Service would approve.

        • Tassiebush

          In a real emergency i reckon they might even track down Heidi from the feebles and issue her another M60

          • 277Volt

            I was hoping for a Feebles reference! I never get tired of the puzzled looks I get when I bring up Jackson’s early masterpieces to folks who only know him from LOTR and later.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah it’s really funny to see how respectable his films have become and how oblivious people are to his awesome back catalogue. I still remember that line “eat lead you man stealing sluuuut!” from my teens in the 90s.

        • Peadair

          Call the Boys.

          • noob

            Make sure one of them is a Derek.

          • Dereks don’t die…unless they are played by Patrick Dempsey.

    • Rock or Something

      I always figured if it ever came to that, they could call up Xena: Warrior Princess or Hercules from the Legendary Journeys.

      • Uniform223

        Everyone loved (or loves) Xena… then there was that whole Xena Gabriella thing we wont get into.

    • Southpaw89

      I hear that the LMTs night sights glow blue when Orcs are nearby.

      • kipy

        Urak Hai= Spetnaz

        • Grindstone50k

          They do not know pain. They do not know fear. They will taste man-flesh! Wait…

      • 劉丁丁

        The rifle must be handy to have in Mordor.

      • noob

        somebody will put black tape over it to be super tactical.

  • Henry Leaver

    H&k would have done great NZ is cold all the time 😉

    • Joshua

      H&K submitted and was beat by LMT.

      • NewMan

        LMT may have beaten HK in term of price/cost maybe, but certainly not in term of reliability, durability, and quality.

        • CommonSense23

          Guess you don’t have much experience with the 416/417 platform. It is surprisingly easy to beat in terms of reliability, durability, and quality.

          • Joshua

            There’s always one.

          • iksnilol

            Norwegians don’t seem to complain. And considering they issue them to conscripts there should be a deal of complaints if it is as bad as you say it is.

          • CommonSense23

            Its not a bad rifle, but it gets beat out by traditional DI designs. The whole point of the 416 was to solve SBR suppressed shooting, which got solved by Crane shortly after the 416 was adopted in the SMUs.

          • Joshua

            I haven’t seen anyone say the HK416 is a bad gun. It is however expensive and the only part of it that has shown to be significantly better in comparisons is the barrel.

            The rest of the rifle generally has similar parts life and reliability to the M4A1 SOCOM issues. The barrel is the HK416’s one truly better part.

            It literally costs 3 times as much a product improved M4A1, yet performs about on part with a PiP M4A1. The exception being the HK416 has a far superior barrel.

          • iksnilol

            What does HK make their barrels out of? Sounds fancy. If I wanted a fancy barrel for my AK (bear with me, please) what should I go for? I thought about a Lothar Walther barrel. I know, it is ridicilous but would be fun and possibly be useful.

            There must have been some reason for so many countries to go with the HK instead of the M4. I don’t know if it is due to having too much money or if it is something else, but there has to be some reason.

          • Uniform223

            I am pretty sure HK416s use stainless steel barrels, I could be wrong. The M27 IAR was/is more accurate than the M16A4, mainly due because of the free floated RIS. Though if all things being equal (Same free float rail, barrel, ammo, trigger, user) neither would be superior to the other in terms of accuracy. I would believe however the M16A4 (again all things being equal) would have a slightly smaller group because its DI gas system doesn’t vibrate the weapon as much.

          • 2/1 RNZIR

            On the trials the H&K had the most stoppages.

          • Joshua

            Because it’s H&K and a lot of those countries have other H&K products like the MP5 and MP7 and companies love to give bundle promotions.

            Kind of like the Chilean Marines purchasing Colt M4’s after their competition ended, then deciding Colt can’t deliver and then instead choosing the FN SCAR-L, SCAR-H, and MiniMi bundle package. I mean why get a single 5.56 rifle, when they can get a discount if they purchase a bunch of weapons from one company.

            It also depends on the M4 model. Basic M4 with double heat shield handguards would get smoked by the HK416. SOPMOD II M4A1’s are a whole different story and actually perform far better than the basic M4.

            As for the barrel, they use an insanely expensive barrel steel and melonite it, then chrome line it, and taper the bore. It’s a great barrel and my dream AR-15 would be the M4A1 with a H&K barrel.

          • asterix

            The German made Schmeisser AR15s have Lothar Walther barrels as well.

          • iksnilol

            I sorta want one but the review I saw of a Schmeisser AR was a bit disappointing.

        • John

          I have both. They are pretty close in all aspects. Both are also way too front heavy.

          • Uniform223

            wouldn’t the H&K be more front heavy because of the gas block?

          • John

            The monolithic LMT rail is pretty heavy. I also have the piston version.

  • Wolfgar

    Great choice, the Stoner platform just keeps on ticking through time, much to the dismay of it’s distractors.I wonder which rifles of HK and Sig Sauer were tested?

    • Joshua

      I heard the Sig MCX was submitted and I know the HK416A5 was what H&K submitted.

    • J.T.

      Probably the HK416 and SG 516.

    • Uniform223

      Much of the criticism comes from detractors who still look at Vietnam and cite Wanat OP as their “proof”. It is also in other weapon manufacturers best interest to slam the DI/Stoner design gas operating system to sale their piston gas systems.

      • Tom

        Which is especially funny considering that the NZ SAS (along with Aussie SAS) never had any problems with their AR15/M16s – maybe because they understood that guns need to be cleaned!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Nice order for LMT, wonder how many rifles in the contract..?

    • Asdf

      Knowing New Zealand, 5. Unless they start arming sheep.

      • dave741966

        yeah your only short 8795 rifles

    • dave741966

      8800 rifles plus accessories

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Sweet order.

  • Well I certainly did not see that coming.

    • iksnilol

      You didn’t see them replacing 20-30 year old rifles?

    • I did. 🙂

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Conspicuously, the New Zealand Army expressed no preference for a bullpup platform.

    Ha, not to anyone that’s ever tried to use one in any role outside of fun-time-range-plinking.

    Try to shoot under, in, around vehicles in uncommon shooting positions, try to reload in urban prone or brokeback and then go ahead and tell people all about how awesome bullpups are.

    It’s of zero surprised to me that bullpups aren’t more popular. They do have their uses. I do own an AUG. But for a general military rifle, no thanks.

    • Green Hell

      Tavor? IDF?

      • JumpIf NotZero

        lol, yes, those trend setters…

        Ever use a Tavor in advanced/uncommon shooting positions? It’s a turd. I’m a little biased because I have one and they’re more established, but the AUG is the better gun.

        • The AUG is the better gun, I agree.

        • Joshua

          I also would be interested to see how their extractor spring works in cold environments. Being made of a rubber…or is it polymer??? Either way I have yet to see a rubber or a polymer that is chemical resistant, and springy enough to function as a extractor spring function in cold environments.

          If I remember correctly, arctic environments was not a requirement when they developed and tested the Tavor.

          • Iggy

            Well if Israel had to consider arctic environments when designing the Tavor then either climate change has accelerated worse than I thought, or there’s still a couple of secret antarctic Nazi bases supplying the moon that they haven’t taken out yet.

          • Joshua

            Just something I would be curious to see tested. We require the capability to work in Arctic conditions and test for it on all firearms.

  • Bon

    I wonder if its a piston operated or not for sure as the brit one is piston yeah? As for people giving bullpups a bad rap i have had no problems urban prone or reloading. Not saying that its easier for idiots then an m4 but if you actually learn the gun there are a lot of mute points. Personally i dont mind either set up and it appears they picked the weapon they liked, not for too many politcal reasons. Good for them!

    • Joshua

      Probably Stoner driven like their LMT .308MWS.

      The L129A1 is also a .308MWS that is Stoner driven.

      • iksnilol

        They have a stoner driving their rifle?

        I know English is my third language but I still believe there’s something wrong there.

        • Joshua

          Lol no. I’m not a fan of the term direct impingement for the AR-15 platform since it honestly never fit the definition of Direct Impingement.
          It’s closer to a internal piston system than anything and sort of a hybrid, the definition of Direct Impingement was just morphed to include the AR-15 when it never should have.
          So I just refer to it as the Stoner system since Eugene Stoner developed it, and there honestly isn’t a specific weapon operating system it 100% falls into.

          • iksnilol

            It is an interesting mechanism. Could easily be made into a balanced recoil rifle without making it heavier than regular rifles.

          • It gets even worse if you read 1950s sources, they refer to the M1 Garand as having a “direct impingement” gas system.

        • Peadair

          Stoner Driven. Every rifle has a very small drug addict who hand cranks the mechanism to make it work.

          • iksnilol

            Must be easy to maintain, just throw some junk food in the receiver.

            Those torture tests where they fill a rifle with food all make sense now.

  • DIR911911 .

    * Tactical Charging Handle Assembly . . . . (facepalm)

  • HenryV

    I was expecting them to follow the Ozzies.

    • Asoken Pusa

      The Kiwis apparently didn’t like the F90’s asking price. So it was dumped early in the competition.

      • HenryV

        Government procurement. Where the $5 tool costs $50 supplied from the cheapest bidder!

        A joint buy may have mitigated the cost a bit, who knows? The cost and build quality of military rifles is a constant fascination for many of us. I remember the L85A1 which was awful. H&K rebuild it we get an adequate robust rifle. But then I look at say, don’t laugh, the S&W M&P Sport which is streets ahead in terms of quality of the L85A1 and wonder just how much more is needed to be done to such a rifle before it would be adequate and robust. That leads on to “mil spec”. Good on the Kiwis.

        • Tom

          The L85 story is pretty tragic tail, its basically an A – Z of how not to make an infantry rifle and a fine example of buy cheap pay twice but that’s what happens when government bureaucrats are allowed to control the entire process. The troops wanted the M16A2 but the government wanted something cheaper and to give RSAF Enfield something to do so they could be sold off – not sure they even looked at producing the M16 at Enfield its not like the US would of charges royalties.

          • HenryV

            There are lots of twist and turns in the story. There is something new to find out about it. I think the stories that came back from the Sandbox about the A2 being better than the M4 are purely down to the latter’s longer barrel and nothing more. You wouldn’t have wanted ROF to build the M16. 🙂

        • Pablo

          I wasn’t aware that LMT was considered a budget brand? H&K are known to be pricy, but some of the others? Hard to see LMT’s offering undercutting Colt Canada or anything from the Czech Republic.
          I’m pretty sure NZ decided to go AR15/M4 because of the modularity and range of accessories, ansd this example was preferred by the troops.

          • HenryV

            Where did I say LMT was a budget brand? Where? I was talking about current budget models like the SMITH AND WESSON MP15 SPORT and comparing them to rifles built in the early 1980s.

  • Lance

    Good to see NZ getting logical and dumping none ergonomic bullpups with the tried and true M-4.

    • Christopher

      Of course a fat mall ninja would happy with gas piston in the wrong place replacing a better gun,

      • You’ve achieved the impossible, and gotten me to actually defend Lance. Well done.

  • Esh325

    “A 2011 Ministry of Defence study found the rifles were not powerful enough to “identify accurately adversaries” and was “ineffective at ranges greater than 200m”. And the LMT in 5.56×45 is going to fix this?

    • Asoken Pusa

      The “not powerful enough to identify accurately adversaries” part would be fixed – as they’d be able to attach optics more powerful than the 1.5x that they currently have.

    • Peadair

      The truth is that the NZ army thought that the M4 style rifles looked cooler and wanted new toys. 5.56 NATO rounds out of a different tube of the same length don’t travel any further.

      We should have gone with a NZ built version of the IWI Tavor, and called it the Kiwi Tavor.

  • roguetechie

    Nathaniel,
    I wouldn’t write the bullpup eulogy quite yet…
    Though, I believe you’re absolutely correct when it comes to bullpups currently in service / available. They have issues, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t come along and fix them.

    • It would be very difficult to do so, and we know from experience that placing demands on the length of rifle receivers generally results in compromised reliability.

      • MikeSmith13807

        Huh? Not sure I understand what you’re saying.

        • A bullpup rifle has a long length of pull (LOP) because its stock cannot be shorter than its receiver length + enough space for the magazines behind the shooting hand. This typically gives bullpups LOPs similar or in excess to the M16A2 (IIRC, the AUG’s LOP is about an inch and a half longer).

          So the only solution to this is to move the magazine to funny places or to move the grip to funny places or to shorten the receiver.

          We have a lot of experience making rifles with short receivers, it turns out, as receiver length was one of the major concerns before separate pistol grips became common. In the M14, for example, the receiver is quite short. This proves that a shorter receiver is possible, but unfortunately it also proves that doing so makes compromises that directly affect the weapon’s reliability (e.g., reduced dwell time, more severe camming angle, reduced bolt carrier mass).

          You can mitigate to some degree these shortcomings in a short-receiver rifle, but at the expense of increased complexity and cost. At the end of the day, a bullpup rifle that is twice as expensive as a conventional rifle is less attractive than a conventional and is unlikely to get adopted.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Ah, ok–much more clear and makes sense. 🙂 Thanks. I’m a fan of the bullpup concept because it keeps the barrel longer (maintaining design velocity for common cartridges) while giving you space for a suppressor without making the overall length unwieldy. The fact it doesn’t become an NFA item is a bonus. However, I can understand the issues you mention being a concern for military applications. Hopefully engineers smarter than me can sort it out!

            I anxiously await the MDR…

      • roguetechie

        … I agree with you because of your precise wording…
        however one of my hypotheses when it comes to building a good bullpup is it probably is not possible to do using a RIFLE receiver. What I mean by this, is simply, you probably can’t make an acceptable bullpup that easily converts to a rifle! Now to my mind every bullpup Currently available but the RDB and rfb are easily convertible to a conventional rifle.
        honestly the vertical magazine well is one of the glaring issues here, but hardly insurmountable.
        IDK though, only time will tell.

        • The RDB and RFB are interesting, certainly, but not necessarily solutions to the problem. The RDB uses its saved length to eject downward – this is a fine thing, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the LOP problem. It features a shorter bolt carrier – but at the end of the day, this amounts to a length savings of very little, perhaps one or two inches (which the RDB spends on the back end to add enough overtravel to downward eject).

          And of course, we don’t know how reliable a properly-made RDB would be, either (though it seems like a sound enough design).

    • iksnilol

      The Korobov TKB-022 was good, too bad Russia didn’t adopt it.

      • Joshua

        Not sure if serious!?!?!?!?!?

        • iksnilol

          Why wouldn’t I be serious? It had a really short receiver. If you pushed the grip back 10 cm closer towards the magazine, while shortening the barrel and whatnot by about 10 cm you could have an adjustable stock on it while keeping it ridiculously short.

          • ostiariusalpha

            My thoughts exactly. With some engineering tweeks, the TKB-022 design would indeed have room for a folding or telescoping stock.

          • iksnilol

            WOAH! Calm your moose, what’s the point of a bullpup with a folding stock!? Or, that could work, if you made some sort of folding receiver. Though I don’t know how that would work with the barrel.

            The Korobov design is really short, in its current config it is like 52-53 centimetres long. And that’s with the standard 41 cm 7.62×39 barrel. That cartridge doesn’t take much of a hit going with a shorter barrel. That’s why I am thinking, shorten the barrel part by 10 cm and move the pistol grip equally far back. Add a collapsing stock, and that way you have a bullpup that can adjust by 10 cm (4 inches).

            Also, please give me a heads up if you know of anyone with access to a TKB-022. I would love to have some dimensions… for academic reasons.

          • ostiariusalpha

            I was thinking something like an underfolder for a highly concealable PDW. I’ll keep an eye out for any spec sheets or dimensional blueprints.

      • roguetechie

        I got a nice diagram of the TKB internals I’ve been staring at for quite awhile…. I honestly like the RDB, but they didn’t take it far enough.

  • USMC03Vet

    I always thought the bullpup choice was based around I-Want-To-Be-Unique idea rather than something practical. I guess after finally having to use them for srs biz they finally decided looks don’t trump usability.

    • Southpaw89

      Seems likely, but aside from that I believe part of the appeal to consumers in the states is the ability to have a shorter rifle without having to SBR it.

      • iksnilol

        They are also handy as PDWs. I mean, short barrel + bullpup = really short

    • dave741966

      Steyr won on price over the original M16A2 back in the late 80’s, unfortunately Australia our closest neighbour chose the Steyr before us so we followed their lead.

  • John

    >Two of them both reported that the NZ Army have been referring to these
    rifles as the “M4″. I am not sure if this is an official designation, a
    model number or if it literally references a US mil-spec M4 Carbine
    (probably not).

    Probably just a description of what it looks like. At this point, it’s like using “AK-74” as a catchall name that describes pretty much any variant of a 5.45 Kalashnikov.

    I also wonder if this is a thumb in the eye of the Australian government. They either did something to piss New Zealand off, or nobody thought the Thales modifications would actually go anywhere.

    • Yallan

      Nah, Australian special forces still use M4s so it won’t hurt their logistics. And just a recently Australian airforce was given charge of defending New Zealand. So their relationship has never been closer militarily. Most likely just a cost saving measure on New Zealands part. I actually predicted this would happen a few months ago. Australia recognizes the superiority of the traditional rifle layout too, it just has more faith in the bullpup as a general infantry rifle and willing to pay for it’s development with the F90/next gen Steyr aug

    • dave741966

      No Thales F90 was very much the dearest weapon out

  • charlest

    I know this is a controversial and unscientific view, but I am old school infantry-trained and just HATE the look of the Steyr AUG. Looks like a Star Wars prop. Way to go NZ! The Aussies could also have ditched it, but it’s really dug in and “steyring” put in Oz now.

  • Sharpshooter99

    Looking forward to using this new gun in 2018

    • dave741966

      Well you first need to know the difference between a gun & rifle

  • LazyReader

    So was this because they offered a superior product? Or good underhand dealing. I doubt the later. As LMT makes an ideal product and isn’t as big to offer lobbying bribes and the British Army bought three thousand of LMT’s .308 rifles as the L129A1. That’s a supreme honor considering Heckler/Koch’s 417 series rifles.

    • pablo

      NZ is normally ranked as among the least corrupt countries on earth by Transparency International and similar groups, so I’d say bribery is highly unlikely. If anyone in NZ hands you a brown paper bag, it will almost certainly contain a potato-top pie rather than a wad of cash! Not saying price wasn’t a weighed up by the gov’t, but I’m pretty sure LMT won this on merit.
      For the earlier Designated Marksman acquisition, H&K417 went into NZ trials as favorite based on Australia having picked it. But the guys doing the testing rated the LMT higher (particularly the ergonomics, I heard), so that was the weapon chosen.

  • LazyReader

    Amazes me LMT out flanked HK and FN, two of the largest, most politically connected gun makers in the world.

    • dave741966

      Not politically connected in NZ, LMT won fair and square

  • Peadair

    I for one like the fact that TFB has decided to endorse it’s vote for New Zealand’s new flag, titled “Kiwi fruit and Kiwi”.

    The designer of this flag was so annoyed by people from the USA who couldn’t be bothered using the correct name (admittedly some never knew the correct name) of the fruit they were eating. The designer wondered why it was so hard, one was a fruit the other was a flightless bird. They wondered if Americans kept having have it pointed out that there was a difference between grapes and grapefruit as well.

  • asterix

    M4s were already in NZDF service with the SAS I believe.

  • dave741966

    Mate we were never ever getting the tavor it didnt even make the short list. By the way all those cool high-speed addons could go on the Steyr

  • LazyReader

    When was the last time an Army went from standard rifle to bullpup and switched back?

  • Max Glazer

    Not a fail at all by the looks of it 😀

    • Tassiebush

      Haha yeah I think just surviving the process without anyone breaking their neck was a huge achievement!

  • L. Roger Rich

    Congrats LMT. Made in the USA

  • Sharpshooter99

    sorry about it dave

    • dave741966

      All good Sharps you will be taught the difference

      • Sharpshooter99

        Haha yeah

  • Steve

    So thats going to be an order for 15, maybe 20 rifles?
    Bit surprised at the continuance with 5.56 though, when others are going back to 7.62.