Australian F90 News Report

Channel 7 news, in Australia, did a report on Lithgow Arms’ F90, the weapon that replaced the Aug Steyr for the Military. It must be quite a thrill to shoot one of these since Australian Citizens can’t own semi automatic rifles. The F90 looks remarkably like the Steyr. How do they avoid copyright infringement?


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

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  • KoyoteTan

    Yeah but not for you untrustworthy Australian citizens no for you

    • Richard

      Almost, but not entirely true.

      I’ve been importing mostly AR type rifles for Australian civilians for the past two years – they are going to professional feral animal cullers.

      Difficult to qualify for, but these guys do own ARs.

      • All the Raindrops

        Pretty weak, still

      • Mad Marsupial

        But at what cost?

        I think our American cousins might choke on their Weeties if they knew how expensive an AR was to an Australian shooter.

        • Evan

          How much does it run you for an AR?

          • Mad Marsupial

            Not a Cat D shooter, so I’ve never seriously priced one.
            I had thought that they were in the AUD$5000 range due to the import restrictions and general nuisance of getting them (i.e. very small market).

          • Evan

            Christ that’s ridiculous. You guys need to fix your gun laws in the worst way.

    • FarmerB

      I hope they export them so that at least some former Australian citizens can own them πŸ™‚
      But given the mindset of the Australian government and their media, I cannot see them ever letting Thales market them for the non-LE/Military market – even in semi-auto. Although I know a few people that have the earlier Steyr models (in some cases, full auto) and the A2 and A3 is still actively sold here in semi-auto. But I’d really only go for the F90 for sentimental reasons – I think we have better options with local products.

  • Mark

    How do you switch shoulders without taking brass to the face? This gun needs bottom ejection. How do soldiers use it in combat without switching shoulders? What if you have to shoot around the left side of a building?

    • I’ve been lucky enough to observe various groups of British soldiers go through simulated firefights in urban environments using the SA-80 platform. They don’t switch shoulders. It’s not part of their manual of arms at all.

      • Those poor, poor people…

        • Kivaari

          It is not good to be limited to using a firearm off the right hand side. We trained with both hands, and were expected to do a full qualification using either hand. It’s smart.

      • Teggy

        We are Australian, not British.

        With the F88 you will get brass in your face if you switch but with the ACOG/RMR combo you need to pull your head slightly to the rear to avoid it, but you can still use the RMR in this position.

        • kyphe

          TV did not claim you were British, just that the Brits have a similar issue with their bullpup as Australians do.

      • Charles

        Actually its worse/dangerous for the Brits, not only do they get hot brass but a reciprocating charging handle doing its best to crack their jaw.

    • noob

      if shooting left handed you can rotate the weapon about 30 degrees so the brass goes down into your chest. Either that or you could get a brass buster brass deflector from Manticore Arms, if the stock profile hasn’t changed too much from the old austeyr.

      • wclardy

        Noob, have you thought about what happens to your zero when you cant the weapon 30 degrees?

        • noob

          I forgot to mention – there’s rails all over the F90 so you can attach backup offset sights on a 30 degree rail (among other devices).

  • Dan

    They avoid legal issues because Lithgow are the Australian manufactures of the F88 AusSteyr, which is just an AUG made under licence . The F90 apparently has a few improvements.

    • greek preparedness

      indeed..right at the start of the video, one can see the building’s sign. “Thales” is written with bigger letters and on top of L.A.

  • Nigel Tegg

    This highlights the problem in the first place, just about every infantry soldier I’ve encountered who knows about weapons (including our entire SF comunity) dislikes the F88 weapon system, not for reliability or anything but for pure ergonomics. Regardless the Army is trying hard to sell it to us as the next biggest thing because we are stuck with it, any rifle fielded by Australian soldiers will be produced at Lithgow because they don’t want the factory to go under. It’s unfortunate but unless either Lithgow arms designs a whole new rifle, or another weapons manufacture offers us a patent we will be continually trying to polish a turd.

    • Gonow

      Spent 7 years in RAR never disliked F88.The F88 got old thats all.Nothing is built to last nowadays.I never had an issue with ergonomics either.I’ve played with the F90 and it’s alot more balanced than the F88.
      .With all the noise and concussion from battle who cares that brass might hit you in the face when your trying to put effective rounds down range..Suck it up.I use to get barrel burn on my hands from the F89 minimi..I never felt it until later.
      Reports from 1 RAR seem to be good.The HK 417 is popular.

      SF will argue and argue how crap the new F90 is and how much better their weapon is…no word of praise will ever come from them on the F90 …bad opinion leak after leak in the true Aussie Alpha fashion..when the truth is it’s only because back in the mid 90s water operators got M4s to replace the M16a1 so the the rest of the boys got upset at the new Gucci toy so they all got it.
      Now young Digs believe it was because the F88 was crap which is far from the truth.
      ADF needs a new pistol though.

    • Yalan

      Not really would be very easy for them to a build a AR-15 clone.

      I think the main reason is due to the future soldier program, which requires alot of accessories hanging off and the bullpup allows for a better balanced rifle. Another big reason I think is intimidation. Australian military is a very small military but probably the most highly trained and effective in the world. It’s designed to strike fast and obliterate an opposing enemy, unlike say China or Indonesia whose military are optimized for domestic use only.

    • Yalan

      Another reason may be political. Australias military alliance is considered ‘too close’ by alot of people, it makes us more easy to predict and seem less worthy of respect as we are less sovereign in our decisions. So a different rifle would help with that image problem. Australia already uses the same multicam pattern as U.S, if we used the same rifle, we’d be almost indistinguishable. Not good.

  • Dave

    “since Australian Citizens can’t own semi automatic rifles.”

    Yes we can, you just need a Cat C or Cat D licence. Also Thales bought the licence from Steyr to make them, might want to do some research.

    • FarmerB

      Cat C is .22 with 10 round magazine only, and only goes to farmers with vermin problems. Or you can get one for a 2 round semi-auto shotgun if you shoot trap. Cat D is professional (cullers) only. Unless you own a helicopter with a govt contract for pest extermination, don’t bother. I know people with both licenses, but they are extremely rare.

      • HenryV

        I am right in thinking that you can own a Ruger Charger because it is a pistol?

        • FarmerB

          Good question – I’ve not seen that model. Maybe they regard it as too easy to convert to a rifle πŸ™‚ Makes for a funny change, because normally they ban rifles because they are too easy to convert to a pistol (revolving cylinder rifles are banned, for example). But pistols can be had if not more than ten rounds and barrel >120mm/4.72″ and calibre not greater than .38 (there are some IPSC exemptions).
          Of course, the anti’s see the fact that semi-auto handguns are available (possible but difficult on a “Cat H” license) and that semi-auto rifles are effectively banned as “a loophole” – which they firmly intend to close.

          • HenryV

            Firearm laws on oddity all of their own. For example here in the UK is that pump action rifles like the Remington 7600 are banned, but you can own something like a Browning Maral or BLR.

          • FarmerB

            I hear you. Pump-action shotguns are illegal in Australia, pump-action rifles are not. Lever action rifles are not, but they just tried to ban the lever-action shotgun. Go figure.

          • HenryV

            Here in the UK we can have semi-auto and pumps on what is called a Shot Gun Certificate as long as their round capacity is no more than 3 (1 up the spout, 2 in the tube.) You don’t have to have a reason to own a shotgun but if the cops ask it is best to be polite and have a reason; then again most do want them for genuine reasons so there isn’t a problem. Any more rounds and they have to go on to the Fire Arms Certificate. We do have practical competitions here and “farmers” can have higher capacity shotguns for dealing with flocks of birds.

          • ben

            ruger chargers are legal in aus, so are pistol stock kits

  • gunsandrockets

    Still uses the cross-bolt safety?

  • FarmerB

    Perhaps the French can buy them to replace the FAMAS – after all, Thales is a French company?

  • iksnilol

    I thought F90 was basically AUG, just tweaked a bit?

    I don’t understand why they’d get copyright infringment when it is a license built AUG variant.

  • Vitor Roma

    The trigger seems to be lighter than the average Aug trigger, or the guy has a hell of a strong finger.

  • Dolphy

    The F90 is just an F88 with some picatinny highlights.

    • Max Glazer

      False. The entire receiver is completely changed. The barrel no longer changeable. Weapon is over 3 pounds (1kg) lighter then the F-88.

      • Dolphy

        Fine, they got a new skirt, too.

  • Jake Barnes

    “The F90 looks remarkably like the Steyr. How do they avoid copyright infringement?”

    Is this for real?

    Thales Australia Manufactures Steyr AUG’s under licence.