BREAKING: LMT To Release New Rifle System At SHOT Show 2016

Two days ago, we blogged about the New Zealand Defence Force’s promotional video sneak peak of their new service carbine, based on the Lewis Machine & Tool CQB16, which will replace the joint Australian-New-Zealand variant of the Steyr AUG in service with the Commonwealth nation. We spoke with an LMT representative after the publication of that article about the New Zealand contract and the company’s plans for the future. The LMT representative said the company is

…launching a new rifle system at SHOT Show 2016 and that the New Zealand Ministry of Defense is the first purchaser from that family of products. But, [the company is] not able to release the details or specifications of that system at this time.

It’s very likely that LMT’s new rifle family will be based on the weapon demonstrated in the video released by the NZDF. The basic weapon in that video featured the standard monolithic LMT upper receiver, a Surefire Warcomp flash hider/brake, a 3 o’clock position bayonet lug, and a double-sided ambidextrous safety lever. On top of that, it was equipped with a Trijicon TA31 ACOG with piggybacked RMR red dot sight, M203-2003 nine inch short-barreled grenade launcher, a PEQ-15 laser target designator, and LMT back up iron sights.

LMT appears to be poised to release a new family of rifles, probably with both 5.56mm and 7.62mm versions. If I had to guess, I would say the new rifles probably target the military market, and there’s a good possibility that the rifles will come in packages including some or all of the accessories shown above. Knowing LMT, it is also a safe bet that there will be civilian semi-auto only versions of these rifles, as well.

Of course, we won’t know anything for sure until January.

For those who missed the NZDF video, it is embedded below:

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • iksnilol

    Hope they call it the KR-15 (KiwiRifle-15)

    • Major Tom

      Nah man, call it the AK*-47.

      *Awesomely Kiwi

    • Tassiebush

      LMT15 (Lamb Monitoring Taskforce 15)

      • Anton Gray Basson

        Sure “monitoring” We all know what the Kiwis and Aussies do to sheep.

        • Tassiebush

          I can assure you that is a nasty unsubstantiated rumour. Well for Australia anyway. In Australia we only eat sheep! Oh hang that came out all wrong!

          • Anton Gray Basson


          • Tassiebush

            And references to Australia “riding on the sheep’s back” were meant to be economic! Honest!

          • jono102

            So what shall we call the Aussie EF-88??? Dingo Baby taker?

          • Tassiebush

            Dingo Complacency Carbine perhaps?

          • jono102

            ha ha, We’d better watch out. Thales may send out their hi priced ring in enforcers to defend their product

          • Mike

            Tastes good with mint sauce.
            How about a Bullpup AR15

          • Tassiebush

            Roast lamb with mint jelly and a bunch of spuds baked in the fat would have to be one of the most awesome meals in existence!

          • iksnilol

            DA*N IT! I’m trying to survive on fried noodles and ground meat (which admitedly is really good) here.

            I won’t find peace til I make what you mentioned now.

          • Tassiebush

            That noodles and mince sounds like a tasty meal

          • iksnilol

            It’s pretty good, cheap, keeps you alive and not hard to make. One of my favorites is a bit more complicated:

            -Boil rice while cooking meat separately in a pan.
            -Then throw the rice in with the meat in the pan.
            -Add chopped vegetables (paprika and onions works well)
            -Then add a couple of beaten eggs.
            -Mix well while cooking on low heat.

            The eggs help keep the rice together and more manageable, + it makes it more tasty.

          • Tassiebush

            Sounds tasty! One economical option I use is for steak. No idea if it is available in your area although it probably is since I’d imagine it’s used in restaurants, but here I buy slabs of porterhouse, scotch and rump steak in bulk in a cryo pack and then slice them into steaks. The price per kg of meat in this form is generally the same as mince. I think when you say ground meat that’s minced meat in my local term. Only catch is that it is bulk buying which may be hard as a student but once you buy that way and stay ahead you’re eating steak on a mince budget.

          • iksnilol

            Yes, ground meat = minced meat. I am going to use the multi-language “get out of idiomatic mistakes” card here 😛

            I will look into buying bulk meat like that. Not really a hurry since I do still live at home but I like being self sufficent. I think the “humiliation” of living with your parents til you graduate doesn’t outweigh the economical benefits. No student loans means more money on buying own house. I’d rather have my own place than struggling to make rent. + it has its perks, I got a drivers license and a car for upholding some promises (not smoking, drinking or knocking up girls) and helping take care of my grandmother.

            From what I learned about food buying as the son of refugees you just have to time things right. Cheese for instance is expensive, but on occasion you can get it for a quarter of the price. It is then that you bulk up. Bread can be gotten for free because the stores just throw out unsold bread. Many will rather give it to you instead of throwing it in the trash. Almost every store worker I know takes bread that would be thrown out. This can also apply to sweet pastries.

            I know my parents like to mention that we wouldn’t be prosperous if we weren’t smart and hardworking as we are.

          • iksnilol

            Kinda hard with the buffer tube.

            If you used something like the OA-93 then you could make a bullpup from an AR.

  • TechnoTriticale

    So what was the angst with the Aug?

    • iksnilol


      First gen AUGs. Older than recruits using them.

      • Clay in UT

        And the AR is new?

        • iksnilol

          I meant physical examples.

          Old as “the rifle in your hands was literally built in 1970”-old.

          • mosinman

            that would be like my Mercury Comet seeing continuous service since 72 o.0

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Talk to people who use carbines in “advanced” roles. Bullpups don’t excel there.

      They’re great for weight distribution for smaller people, like 18yo conscripts. Or for people manning a checkpoint. Or etc. but pretty bad for people shooting under vehicles, reloading and clearing malfunctions from the ground, using off of barricades, prone in general, etc

      You don’t have to beleive me, but you can’t deny the number of serious bull pup users in “advanced” roles only increases in the USA civilian market. They do have their place tho.

      • Yimmy

        Agree on all those points. If it was just age, then they would’ve gotten the newest version.

        • jono102

          Tied into the age of the platform, I think it also has to do with the amount of/lack of continual development the Steyr had vs the AR15 family. Since it was designed in the 70’s it has had little serious development where as the AR15 family has continually been developed. Apart from chucking a rail on the steyr, the Australians have been the first to do a serious development of it with the EF88/F90. To bad for Thales Australia they don’t know anything about pricing in a very competitive industry.

        • dave741966

          Thales Australia priced themselves out of the tender so no we were not going to get another Aug. Our Augs are worn out and needed replacement.

      • I spoke with some of the folks involved with the NZDF procurement program, and I was shocked at how lukewarm they were towards bullpups, despite being in a service that had used them exclusively for 30 years. Their comments reflected your own; the rifles are just harder to use in a lot of shooting situations, and that isn’t made up for by the singular advantage of the layout.

        That pretty well shattered the idea that bullpup’s are limited more by people’s unfamiliarity with them than the rifles’ inherent disadvantages, for me.

        • dave741966

          I’ve used the Aug since it was introduced all those years ago, I started on the M16A1/L1A1 SLR, L4A1 Bren/L7A1 GPMG its had its day what we originally got them for has moved on ie jungle & open country warfare, with todays conflicts in urban etc its just cant compete time to change.

  • Riot

    Well they do have the tools, might as well use them.

  • Yimmy

    If it doesn’t have a bottle opener, it ain’t worth jack squat….

  • Alex D.

    Yet Another AR-15

    Come up with something new, guys.

    • Colin S

      To be fair, when companies do come up with new designs people moan that it doesn’t take AR-15 parts (which usually means it ends up being based off of an AR-15).
      But yeah, hate the lack of innovation / stagnation at the moment.

      • felix

        Most underrated comment by far

        • Joshua

          Not really. Ton of foreign companies have off the wall designs. So far none have proven to be better than the AK or AR pattern.

          • wetcorps

            I think we all agree AR and AK are great, perfected and proven.
            What they are not is new and exciting. That’s what we are criticizing, the misuse of the word “new”.

        • Mike

          underrated? this comment has more upvotes than all the others?

      • n0truscotsman

        I have heard the same sentiments. Everytime somebody comes out with something drastically different, there’s always the group that says, ‘what does this have in common with ARs? and why dont they share more parts?’

        In fact, a company would be stupid *NOT* to use AR parts like buttstocks, pistol grips, etc anymore.

      • DAN V.


      • 35Whelan

        Want something different that takes the best of the AR and the AK? Try the Robinson XCR. Gets a lot of hate press, but once you throw that out and actually handle one, you will see why it is innovation. It may never make a huge splash, but if you want a rifle that is built like a tank, has adjustable gas piston system that will eat any ammo, AK style bolt, left side charger, short throw fire selector, better positioned bolt catch, quick caliber changes/easily removable barrel, and a very good folding stock, then get your hands on one. Been out for about a decade now, all of the early model complaints were corrected years ago. The old news press out there hasn’t been updated though.

        • @HellerWithAGunn

          Sorry, the XCR remains a turd. I owned one and honestly tried to like it. However, I’ll never ever willingly depend upon, let alone trust my life to, a design that requires me to loc-tite its parts together so they don’t fall off or one that requires a 200-300 round break-in before it will approximate reliability. I sold mine at a loss after attempting to deal with RobArms. The owner is an a$$hat and living in a state of denial that he’s actually building a “combat” rifle. My one interaction with the man was enough to convince me to cut my losses.

          • 35Whelan

            I’ve heard that customer service can be “difficult”. I’ve never really had issues with mine. All of them were past the 4000 mark on SN’s. Any time you have screws, they can back out if not staked or loc-tite’d. Mine never backed out. What did on yours? Ejector?

  • Jon

    Im going to make the prediction that their new rifles use the KAC Mod 2 gas system or some other modification to the gas system components.

  • Realist

    Me want…

  • TDog

    Another brand new AR! Who says innovation is dead? [end sarcasm]

    Yeah, yeah… folks will point out that the screws are 1/92 threading instead of the older 2/15 for the lower hind gobble-smacker hinge and that makes all the difference in the world, but the fact is it’s just another AR…

    But hey, trust their marketing department when they say it’s a whole new family of guns! Why innovate when you can use an existing design, throw a new coat of ad copy onto it, and charge 50% more?

  • BREAKING: AR Company releases another AR.

  • Mike

    no thanks man; i’ll take an aug over an ar any day just for something different for once.

    • dave741966

      For someone who has used the Aug for the last 30 years Im damm glad we are going back to the AR politics dictated we brought the Aug for the NZDF last time thankfully they the Politicians have listened to the subject matter authorities this time around.

  • Phil Hsueh

    For all those poo pooing this for just being another AR and the lack of innovation, there’s a reason for the constant release of AR variants. Primarily that it’s still a very popular platform, it can be made in a fairly inexpensive form to high cost, high end. It’s easily upgradale, lots of stuff of accessories and aftermarket parts out there for them, and it’s pretty easy to put one together at home too; so of course companies are going to continue to release AR variants.

    Innovation in the firearms industry is neither cheap nor easy and so far we really haven’t seen a real innovator since Eugene Stoner and Mikahil Kalashnikov. H&K and FN do make non-AK & AR platforms but they don’t match the price point of most ARs & AKs and haven’t seen the same widespread adoption as compared to the AR & AK. Then you have companies like Kel-Tec who makes non AR type rifles but questionable quality and reliability (based on what I’ve read) and are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth.

    I do think that we will eventually see some innovation in the firearms market, once there’s enough incentive to do so. The AR market is pretty saturated right now and eventually it’s going to get to the point where it’s over saturated and someone is going to try something different to differentiate themselves from all of the AR clones out there. The question is, will it offer enough advantages over the AR, or even the AK, and at a price point that will get enough people to buy enough of it to make it successful and profitable?

    • tts

      I’m starting to think the AR and AK platforms have become the piston internal combustion engine of the gun world and will probably stick around for decades more.

      I think the impetus for change won’t come from market innovation or market saturation either. Its just too damn hard and expensive for even the major manufacturers alone to come up with a successful gun design at a affordable price. The risk is just too great financially speaking.

      I’m thinking it’ll come down to 1 or more major military’s drastically changing the required specs for their standard small arms that’ll be issued to nearly every troop. Think something like a switch to telescoped plastic cased ammo from 5.56 to save weight and cost. Or the quick double shot capability for armor piercing that the AN94 or G11 had.

      • Jwedel1231

        The quick double shot ability of the AN94 and G11 was called “hyperburst”. It was a very desirable trait in guns for a while (the 90s, I think) and a lot of prototypes were developed to include hyperburst, but in the end it was dropped as not being useful enough to justify the price.

        • tts

          Yea for the that were submitted it was too expensive and difficult to do. But its like that with anything new. The first implementation is rarely the best and militaries tend to be fairly conservative when it comes to adopting anything new on top of that. For good reason of course.

    • TDog

      The constant release of AR variants can be boiled down to two factors: intellectual laziness and risk aversion. Innovation isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy, but therein lies the alternatives: we can have new or we can have easy – designers and manufacturers have obviously chosen the latter.

      • nadnerbus

        I disagree, it has to do with sunk costs, and price competition. The AR is basically an open source design at this point. Anyone can get the TDP and get into the business of making them. The design is extremely well understood, ironed out, and extensively modifiable. It is basically impossible for a new manufacturer to put out a gun in the same category and be competitive without losing money on every unit. Then there is trouble-shooting of new designs. The latest and greatest always have teething problems, just think of the ACR, or even early SCARs.

        Simple economies of scale make the AR almost impossible to dethrone in the US market, at least until that far off distant day when the US military finally adopts a new rifle. That would be about the only thing, short of a technological revolution like caseless ammo, that could put enough capital into a new rifle design to make it price competitive with an AR.

        The AR platform is just a low cost, low risk, proven platform. I know everyone wants space guns and greater variety. But the market (that is, the hard consumer spending) must not be there for that, or the manufacturers would have provided it.

        • TDog

          You said nothing that disputed my assessment – as a culture, we are risk-averse and intellectually lazy. Why do something new when you can do something proven?

          Gun design is stagnating but for a few folks out there with the guts to try better.

          • nadnerbus

            I explained to you why the market isn’t providing you with your desired alternatives. There is no money in it. Being risk averse or intellectually lazy (which I think is laughable) is irrelevant. You can be as bold and creative as you want, and you will still end up with nothing more than a niche corner of the market if you are lucky, or filing chapter 11 if you are unlucky, because there is just not enough consumer money out there to support it.

            Like I said in my other post elsewhere, there are more alternatives in the gun market these days than ever before. The market just isn’t large enough to support them all, and nothing will dethrone the top dogs (AR/AK) until a major military, probably our own, adopts something different and changes the price equation.

          • TDog

            Marketing is the art of selling people what they didn’t know they wanted. Selling them what they want is hopping aboard the bandwagon.

          • tts

            Culture doesn’t have much to do with it. Its all about money and the gun business is a high cost + high risk industry as is even with proven existing designs.

          • TDog

            Culture has everything to do with it. Some cultures prize innovation, some don’t. We apparently do not.

          • tts

            What are you talking about? There are tons of people in the industry and amongst gun buyers who are looking for something new and interesting.

            Same thing goes for other markets and products. The thing is it also has to be good and affordable. People don’t want crap and don’t have much disposable income in general. Its tough to pull off innovation that meets those requirements is all.

          • TDog

            It is and I understand and appreciate that, but for Pete’s sake why is it that every time some numbskull with a machine shop turns out an AR, people talk about how “it’s a brand new AR” like these things were made of fairy wings and unicorn hooves? There’s nothing to get excited over, yet someone somewhere will invariably write a glowing article about how “it’s a new family of modular gun!” or “it’s a great new design!”

            No it isn’t! It’s an AR with a shelf bracket on it or a snail de-sheller attached to the stock. Why “new” AR’s continue to get press is beyond me. But for some unfathomable reason every time someone turns out an AR, it’s like “ooh! Look! Shiny! New! Must. Have.” whereas whenever a new design comes out, writers, reviewers, and bloggers say with alarming frequency, “I don’t know if this will even find a niche. It’s unproven, I can think of fifteen billion ways it can blow up in your face, and it costs too much.”

            People should start calling these so-called innovators on their BS and say, “Oh, it’s an AR. Congratulations, yo have proven you can get design schematics off the Internet,” rather than lauding them for putting out something new.

          • tts

            They’re just doing their marketing when they do that stuff. I mean what do you expect them to do?

            “here is this AR we slapped together its pretty blah and the changes we made are purely cosmetic, so you know, better buy it or were screwed cuz’ we mortgaged our houses to start this here company”

          • TDog

            Reviewers don’t have to go weak in the knees every time one of these is released. I’m sorry, but when I’ve had meatloaf eight days in a row, I don’t wax poetic about how awesome this “brand new” dish is when I get it on the ninth day.

            A new AR isn’t. I wish people would start calling it for what it is.

      • Phil Hsueh

        Well, given that gun manufacturers, like pretty much every other industry/business out there, is in the business of making money risk aversion is natural. What would you do if you were a gun manufacturer or wanted to start your own gun manufacturing business, would you spend countless numbers of man hours and the money that goes along with it to try to design that’s completely new and different that may or may not sell enough to even cover the R&D and manufacturing costs or go with something that involves little to no R&D and is practically a guaranteed seller?

        As Nathaniel F points out, we’re not likely to see anything terribly new until the military (most likely the US) fields something brand new and different. Then we’ll probably start seeing civilian sales of those and if it takes off like the AR has, then we’ll start seeing tons of variants based on the new design instead of the AR.

        • TDog

          I would try something new. As a consumer, I have bought new designs and plenty of them. I’m no a trust fund baby or an investment banker, but I live simply and frugally enough to give the new guy with the new design my money and I have been pleasantly surprised more often than I have been disappointed.

          Going with something proven is not what made the US one of history’s greatest success stories. Aping a proven design isn’t what made US industry and business number one in the world, but it is what will make us number two if we’re lucky.

          • jono102

            Its got to the point with modern small arms that be it civi or military no great innovation will come with current ammunition natures. Pretty much everything currently is a derivative of 3-4 designs or features. There’s only a couple ways to operate a bolt, run the action and build a receiver then rifle around the package.

            The SCAR, ACR, VHS-2 etc are all essentially combinations of old or proven ideas repackaged in “generally” an improved way. They are entering a market where they don’t do a heck of a lot more than whats already out there. The AR/AK have just become the bench mark to what everything else is measured. Funnily enough a lot of the non AK/AR firearms producers will use “The Best of the AK and AR features in one rifle” selling point.

            Innovation isn’t making something new for he sake of it, Its developing something because there is an evolutionary need for it. As some have alluded to, You aren’t going to get much more out standard/current ammunition. The ammunition isn’t going to change until a major NATO (i.e. US) decides there is a need. This is beginning with the development of the like of the LSAT type system and ammunition. Will the likes of Cased telescoped munitions be the the next evolutionary step, maybe, maybe not. No true evolution will happen till that next step is made.

          • Herbmiester

            Agreed the platforms wont change until we see the advances in ammunition,

          • TDog

            True, but not all of it has to be the exact same design. The F2000, the PS90, the Tavor – all of them at least tried to look different.

            On a related note, when someone comes out with a man-portable rail gun, I am there! 😀

    • The thing lots of people – at one time, including myself – don’t want to admit is that the AR-15 is so dominant because it’s a nearly perfect military weapon. I know this will rustle a lot of people, but it’s not an idle claim.

      Expect to see a lot of AR-15s for years to come, until something comes along that makes the whole current generation of infantry weapons obsolete.

      • Molon Labe!

        Small round meant to maim instead of kill…hardly perfect.

        • Rick A

          That sir, is sheer idiocy. If it maims instead of kills, it was a bad hit. Nothing in a military issue 5.56 projectile has been designed with the intent to “maim.” The entire premise is a smaller cartridge that is more efficient in actual combat distances. Full power battle rifle cartridges are mostly the realm of designated marksmen, snipers, and medium machine guns these days, as it should be.

          • Molon Labe!

            Rick you are ignorant to the facts. It was, in fact, designed to maim to take out more than one person from the battle due to those giving aid to the wounded. Please do some research and you will find the info easily.

          • Rick A

            You sir are indeed an idiot. I have read the definitive book on the development of both the rifle and ammunition and have served in my beloved Marine Corps Infantry as a Sergeant of Marines. No where in my duty or readings have I ever heard mention that 5.56mm and related weapons systems or doctrine included anything about maiming anything. In short, stuff it.

          • Molon Labe!

            The only idiot here is you moron and add troll to that list as well. Marine my rump… You’re a f*cktard and nothing else. Look up the info and stfu kid.

          • Rick A

            Keep perpetuating a ridiculous and erroneous myth. Your source is dubious at best.

            The infantry mission in its most basic form is to locate close with and destroy the enemy, non maim him with ineffective fire so they can return to battle.

            I’ve learned about the infantry by being a part of it, not reading stilly articles by ignorant liberal buffoons.

          • Rick A


          • Molon Labe!


            I’m sure that no one ever accused you of being smart. If you were you would have looked up the info. Do yourself a favor and troll else where.

          • TheGrammarMan

            I beg to differ. You are indeed the troll. You’re citing an article on CNN that is so full of ballistic nonsense as to be laughable. Get a clue and then come back and pontificate. Better yet, get some experience instead of regurgitating BS you read on CNN, written by a buffoon.

          • Molon Labe!

            So I cite a source and you pop off your mouth…yep, you are trolling and stupid to boot. I won’t waste anymore time with you or your brain dead ignorance.

    • Tritro29

      There’s enough platforms out there that aren’t exactly AR or exactly AK or none of both at all.

      What you guys forget is that military sales are also and above all political decisions. Interoperability with NATO/SEATO makes sure that you won’t have many options besides AR or Proto-AR. Also the AR isn’t a “nearly perfect military weapon, there aren’t “near perfect military weapons”, especially when you consider what NATO fields that needs constant maintenance, cleaning and tight tolerances. Militaries are systems which need fine tuning and pick their fights. So their tools don’t exactly need to exude “near perfection” when everything is clicking. Have your guys field AR’s in a Syrian scenario and those AR’s will serve at best as an expensive paper holder.

      There are lot of weapons that are better than the AR as a military rifle, but there are not (m)any (not willing to offend anyone, Nash Mash crowd included) militaries that field them that are better than the US military. It’s called cultural hegemony for a reason.

      See how the Garand isn’t foul proof but how it was “the rifle that won the war”, and see your own rant against STG44.

      You constantly mix two different worlds, the military and the civilian market. While ironically they are largely exclusive one another, because they do not rely on the same kind of premises.

      Military Arms Channel explained it best when he put the AK-74 vs M4 to the test. The log train of a military org, will make or break rifles as “military” weapons. While you do not have the same system as a civilian.

      Yet some of you guys spend above 10K’s on a supposedly “cheap” platform, that ends up being moderately “better” than many AK-74 clones (as a military tool) that come generally at half the initial price.

      And when counting with US nasty policy of defending their home industry by protectionist means, then you understand the “cheap and plentyful” AR market.

    • wetcorps

      I freely admit the AR is very good at what it does, and since everyone makes parts it has gotten to the point it is unbeatible price wise. Which is one more advantage and in turn makes it even more popular.
      And really, it’s good. It means many people can have one.

      But from a designing point of view we like to see new things, even if they are less useful and more expensive. Because guns are our hobby and we love the variety.

      Yes, ARs are good and won’t be surpassed anytime soon. But that also makes them boring. Calling anything AR related “new” is just marketing.

    • Harold

      Great post Phil. Too bad the US is one justice away in the Obama or Clinton administration from turning in our ARs

    • LazyReader

      Better to have a PC than a Mac. You can customize, accessorize, prioritize

  • Herbmiester

    The Aussies were not price competitive with the new Aus Steyr and they got a precious over negative comment on NZ gun forums, and by ex servicemen.The LMT is a quality piece of kit that shows a sensible evolution of the AR/M4 platform. Until there is a major change in ammunition technology there won’t be major changes in the rifles that shoot current ammunition. As an aside the NZDF are set to adopt 77gn 5.56 across the board and that will mean the end of Aussie SS109 as well. Goodbye Australia hello USA.

    • I’ve heard reports that they’re adopting the 77gr, too, but at the moment I can’t seem to dig up a source.

      IMO, an OTM like that is an odd choice for a standard round, but I guess in the NZDF’s case they’re integrating 7.62mm belt feds into the section, so maybe it’s not so limiting.

      • Herbmiester

        77 gn is going to be adopted across the board when the LMT comes on board. A cheaper 77g training round is being assembled in NZ.

        • DaveB

          “A cheaper 77g training round is being assembled in NZ.” Actually, that is by no means decided. A couple of firms are showing early interest, but the final decision must be an open tender in accordance with NZ Government tendering rules.

          • Herbmiester

            Perhaps not signed but heads are nodding; you don’t have to be genius to see how it will pan out. Red Tabs are now aware that you need to train with the same stuff you deploy with.

          • dave741966

            Those days are gone, if a foreign manufacturer can produce it cheaper then they will win the tender…might of happened back in the 1970-1980 but not in 2015

          • Herbmiester

            Front line ammo will be one of the big guys BH or GD would be my guess but training ammo, lets just see.

          • dave741966

            There is no NZ manufacture who has the means or intellectual property to produce 77g 5.56mm cheaply big difference producing 5.56mm blank ammo or 40mm chalk rounds to 5.56mm 77g ball meeting the NZDF requirement & more importantly NATO STANAG requirements. That requires investment of large amounts of capital which means a established foreign manufacture is always going to out bid us on price.

          • Herbmiester

            To manufacture a training round not for front line use that meets Nato spec, yes entirely possible. In fact having tested the ADI and previous FN vs NZ assembled, the NZ produced ammo had a better ES for both pressure and velocity and met NATO standards for both and was just as accurate in a 5.56 chambered rifle.

          • dave741966

            Testing trial rounds is not the problem building a new facility to manufacture in quantity and with consistent quality control is where the problem exists that’s the sole reason the makers of our 40mm prac rounds and 5.56mm blank could not expand due to our RMA act and all those NIMBY who don’t want a factory producing products for war. The only factory that is set up to make these rounds currently is in Wanganui & they cant expand for the very reasons given. Unless a new factory has been built under the radar of the Green, labour & John Minto clowns I just cant see it if they do good on them but I give the clown club 1 year before they are protesting to shut them down. Anyway this is getting off the subject of MARS-L regardless of where the ammo comes it the right weapon system for NZDF

        • iksnilol

          I really hope cheap 77 grain 5.56 ammo becomes a reality.

          Would make me consider the 5.56 even more. As of now I am thinking 7.62×39 for my “small” hunting rifle simply because plinking ammo is half the price of plinking ammo in 5.56. Being in Norway might have something to do with this though.

      • dave741966

        Mk 262 Mod 1 is our Operational ammo to be used for Pre deployment training & operations only been in service at least the past four years, normal training ammo for range shoots & live field firing activities is the Thales F1A1 5.56mm

    • @HellerWithAGunn

      You nailed it. Until we see a generational leap in ammunition technology there isn’t much more to be improved in terms of weapons platforms like the M4/AR-15 other than experimenting with new build materials to improve weight savings, accuracy or service life. What is preventing new innovation is simply the Law of Diminishing Returns.

  • nadnerbus

    I have to be a little snarky here. As gun consumers in the US, we have never had it better when it comes to self loading military style rifle options. Right now we have all the old options, M1As, FALS, ARs Mini14s, AKs, HK91/93 clones, etc. Then we have more recent offerings, like the SCAR, the ACR (yeah…), Tavor, importation of AUGs, smaller batch stuff like the Kel Tec bullpups, the Desert Tech bullpup, etc.

    For all the people rolling their eyes at “another AR,” if you don’t like it, put your money where you mouth is and buy another design. There are lots of options out there, and they need consumer support to be successful. And if you pick up one of those options and find something lacking compared to an AR, like being heavier, worse trigger, worse accuracy, more expensive, then you will know why the market is still dominated by the AR.

    • LazyReader

      Short Answer: Your money, Your purchase

  • jerry young

    so whats so new about this? in Nam we had the 203, an M16 with a grenade launcher that looks surprisingly like their new gun

    • jono102

      Compared to an M-16/M-203 of 60’s vintage? At user level the ability to easily change barrels and operating systems D.I./Piston, a modular M-203 that can be attached to the rifle or stand alone bracket, a rigid reciever with the ability to mount optics and ancillary equipment to suit the operator, 7 + sling attachment points, very efficent break/flash suppressor with QD mount for a supressor…….. and 50yrs of refinement of an already solid platform

      • jerry young

        exactly not a new rifle but an improved one

        • jono102

          Yeah but definitely not the same rifle. Same thing with a 1974 Mustang vs a 2015 one. 4 wheels, a V-8 and similar external features

          • Rick_A

            That’s a bad analogy. Mechanically the guns have changed little, it’s just become more modular and adaptable.

            It’s more like a resto-mod than a new system.

          • jono102

            Yeah not a perfect analogy, but have Mustangs changed that much? Faster, safer…a little more modular and adaptable

  • Joel. k


    • Vitor Roma

      The gas block looks different…

  • Bullphrog855

    Boggles my mind. Ya’ll are acting like the Ar-15 is the only gun in the world, any person who likes guns would tell you that’s BS. Ironically this is a gun blog and ya’ll are so narrow sighted about this. What are ya’ll on… have you not heard of Desert Tactical, Keltec etc.

    The real story in the is that this new AR-15 being made available to civilians will likely be the AR-15 that replaces the AUG for NZ. Not that a new AR-15 is being made.

    • I can’t help but notice that you used two very odd examples for AR alternatives. Those from Desert Tech and Kel-Tec are not exactly the easiest or cheapest weapons to find (with the exception of the interesting but thoroughly mediocre PLR/SU series, I guess). And neither of those companies make rifles in the kind of quantity needed for a military contract.

      • Bullphrog855

        It was just the first two that came to mind, there are plenty of guns that aren’t AR-15s though. Albeit I’m not restricting my self to rifles being produced for the military but even then. You wrote a pretty good article and all anyone had to say about it is “Another Ar-15.” as if that’s all there is in the world.

        News coming out about LMT and the NZ contract and the possibility of a civilian model is exciting, it’s a shame how the comment section turned out the way it did IMO.

        Sorry for the late reply

  • HKGuns

    Yeah, comments as expected……

    Does it?
    – accept AR magazines, more specifically PMAGS?
    – operate via Direct impingement and not piston?
    – have completely interchangeable AR parts?
    – have a price point under $600?
    – have a chrome lined barrel?
    – Is it not a bullpup? (All bullpups suck because they aren’t AR15’s you know)
    – Have a manual of arms identical to the AR15?

    Sound familiar?

    Innovation in the US firearms industry is dead, because of the closed minded people, who refuse to accept something even remotely different can be a good rifle.

  • There really isn’t going to be much actual innovation as long as we keep to the same ammunition. Primer. Case. Propellant. Projectile.
    If we get innovation in the ammunition, then we will see some real innovation in the firearm.

  • Friend of Tibet

    When US comes up with a new AR, it is always “innovation of an innovation ”

    When China comes up with some new design, it is always flamed as “knocked off of xxx-xx”

    And innovation got lost in this process……

    • Rick A

      China, of course, is known for innovation…

      • Friend of Tibet

        Well, in last 20 years, China has replaced type 81 weapon family with innovative QBZ95 bullup family, not to mention all the new weapons such as CSLR4, JS09.

        For the US…………..well………..AR15 AR15 yet another AR15……..since 1970s

        • Rick A

          Not impressed in the slightest.

          • Friend of Tibet

            I guess you are impressed with never changing ar15……

  • Jesse Foust

    You had me at 40mm and sideways bayonet.

  • Mike Stewart

    Or AFAR15? Another F-F-F-F-FLIPPIN’ AR15?

  • GregT

    So….how is this a new rifle “system”? It’s a new product from LMT, OK, got that….but innovation-wise it’s not exactly new.

  • James Madison

    More of the “same old AR-15” is a GOOD thing for Constitutional reasons. The more and more evil, black, AR-15 “assault” rifles that are produced and sold here in the States, effectively lessens the chance of infringement upon owning that platform.

    Now more than ever, the media, liberals, and their politicians are asking the “who really needs an AR-15”? question. The more of the “same old AR-15” being sold translates to more and more Americans, raising their hands and answering “me” and then fighting back when those groups propose infringement upon the platform. AR-15 proliferation only helps the cause and I therefore welcome the “same old AR-15” with open arms.

  • theoneshot1

    I appreciate the AR platform. Own some, but I guess I’m old fashioned. Blued steel and walnut will always get the most attention from me.

  • Phil Elliott

    As far as the Kel-Tec, I have one and have probably 1500/2000 rds. thru it. No issues so far. It has a 1 in 9 twist, the old standard 55 gr. is not a tack driver, the 62 gr. is a 1″ 100yd. group. I’m happy with that.