K&M Arms Debuts .308-cal M17S at NRA 2016

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Arizona based K&M Arms was present at the 2016 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting, and they brought with them their M17S series of bullpup, triangular-bolt rifles. New for the show was the finished .308/7.62x51mm variant of the M17S, prototypes of which had been shown previously at Bullpup Shoot 2015.

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The K&M rifle is based on a Bushmaster bullpup from the early 1990s, also called “M17S”. However, Ken of K&M Arms has made extensive changes to the design. Gone is the Stoner-Johnson multilug rotary bolt, replaced with a Leader T2-type triangular rotating bolt. Instead of an external cam pin, Ken simplified the bolt carrier with an internal cam pin that abuts against a central guide rod to prevent premature bolt rotation.

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Most importantly, however, the K&M M17S incorporates a completely new trigger linkage system, which pulls the sear backwards, instead of pushing it forwards, leading to a very nice, crisp trigger pull entirely uncharacteristic of most bullpup rifles.

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The K&M M17S, like the original Bushmaster, uses an extruded upper receiver, made in essentially the same manner as pasta, but using aluminum instead of grain flour. This type of manufacturing is a hallmark of the Bushmaster M17S’s designer, Charles St. George, who also developed the aforementioned Leader T2 rifle. St. George and hist company, St. George Arms, were also present at the show, displaying the latest model of his Leader .50 cal rifle:

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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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  • Nicks87

    Uses LR/SR series magazines. I declare this rifle a winner!

  • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

    Any interesting news on Leader .50? I asked once about compatibility with ammo like Mk211.

    • I spoke with Charles St. George, and he always has quite a lot of fascinating things to say, but beyond the incremental progress of his rifle, there is not much I can say.

  • Aono

    6.5CM 24″ bullpup or bust.

    • Secundius

      Desert Tech MDR-Echo in 6.5 Creedmoor (.2644/6.72×48.8mmR), 30-inches long with 19-inch barrel. Coming Soon, No Set MSRP Yet (as of 2016)…

  • Ed

    Wish the added a hadguard make it look just lime a L-85!

  • Vitor Roma

    Dat bolt.

  • Gorilla Biscuit

    Any mention as to what kind of accuracy they are getting out of this rifle?

    • Major Tom

      I’d hope it has accuracy better than an AR. We need some innovation in the rifle market and we needed it a decade ago!

      • CommonSense23

        How much better accuracy are you expecting to get?

        • 0.001 MOA.

          • John

            Dude, just like in the computer world, for perfection you gotta try for 5 nines!

            99.999 MOA!

          • Billy Jack

            My Taurus has that!

          • Small typo: ‘hist’

          • El Duderino

            Laser.

            Heck even a particle beam, affected by gravity, might not get to .001 MOA.

        • Dan

          I would want better accuracy than an AR, it would be the only reason that would convince me to purchase one. That is if i wasn’t using the just because reason.

          • CommonSense23

            What’s better accuracy than a AR? Match ammo, bulk, duty? What are you going for. ARs can achieve equal accuracy with bolt actions if you want to put the money and time into the gun and the round.

          • Dan

            Well since this isn’t a “match” gun I wouldn’t waste time or money shooting match ammo out of it. I only own one AR that i do shoot match ammo out of the rest are fed “ball” ammo. If this rifle could post as good or better groups than say a comparable AR price wise with the same ammo then I would would consider it over that AR. I’m not looking at this or an AR as a tack driver. Now if I had $1800 dollars in fun money right now, groupings be damned my other rifles would have a new sibling.

          • Cymond

            You’re forgetting that the AR’s R&D costs were covered long ago, and it has the advantage of economies of scale. We live in an era where we can get basic ARs for under $600. $1800 bus you an extremely nice AR.

            Simply put, you will never find a new rifle design that shoots as well as an AR for the same price, unless the rifle cuts corners somewhere else.

            Remember, you gotta pay markups for bullpup configuration, new design, and single small manufacturer.

            For me, I really want a bullpup eventually, and the improved trigger sounds nice. I would want to handle one first, because when I held a Tavor, it felt very butt-heavy.

      • Kivaari

        My ARs give good performance. What kind of groups do you want, and out of what type of barrel? I use lightweight barrels of good quality and with a SSA trigger installed, with good ammo they can deliver 1 to 1.5 MOA. Shoot junk ammo and they wont. I see many shooters complaining about accuracy from their rifles. When asked what they shoot, most say “Wolf” or “Anything I can find on sale”. Seriously, if you want accuracy buy good ammo, or carefully reload. Often reloaders are going for quantity and not quality. I’ve found great results from WalMart “Perfecta” .223. Circa MOA from a 16″ BCM LW barrel. It can’t be done by me, unless I have an SSA trigger I the rifle.

      • Given the pretty much unrivaled accuracy of AR’s (0.5-2 MOA) I don’t think that’s a viable expectation for any new rifle system, or even really a necessary one.

      • Anon

        The market needs better accuracy than what the AR is capable of? First time I’ve heard of that “problem”.

  • Wt

    Better get a legal opinion on that hollow pin trigger!

  • Kivaari

    A fine looking rifle, except for that horrible bronze. Now, if it were in 5.56mm it would be interesting. Now bring the price down under $1500 and it would be “fascinating”. One thing I found with modern rifles, is the price for a base model is getting too high, and if you want quality optics and simple things like QD swivels, nice slings, mounts and magazines pretty soon there are 2000 dollars added to the package. Now in my youth, when I had money enough to buy a new car with new tires instead of buying new tires, I could spend such money. Even while I owned gun stores, I resisted extravagances. Today, if you want good stuff, it simply costs a bunch. 40 years ago, the gear wasn’t anywhere as good as it is today. The few good military rifles around, WERE good, but not many good optics, mounts, and all those other nice things to have, even existed. Looking at most rifles back then showed the AR15 was already ahead of the others, even though there were only a handful of accessories to be had. With most imports very few aftermarket or original items could be had. Today, we do have better choices. The one and only Leader T2 I sold, didn’t have simple sling swivels or slots. The magazines did not have an over travel stop and no support.
    Still they were interesting. This new rifle looks like a huge upgrade in quality. Now make it $1000.

    • Suppressed
      • Kivaari

        Yep! I am old. I started shooting 60 years ago. It was quite a time, when Colt Governments models were $76 EW. Used GI were $40. Lugers $50 if in nice shape. P38s, were $30-40. 03-A3s $30, No3 Enfields for under $25. No 4 Enfields at close out for $14.95. AR15s were $125 and over-priced, like all the other Colts. Pythons were $115 while S&W M19s, a better police gun than any Colt, was $75 and M10s were $65 all new. Times have changed.

        • iksnilol

          Lemme check:

          50 dollars in 1956 equals 439 dollars in todays dollars. Not a bad price for a Luger.

          125 dollars equals to 1100 in todays money. Dayumn, nowadays ARs are actually cheaper :O

          • Kivaari

            A local store following WW2 had barrels full of war trophy handguns. If they paid over $15 each, they were over-paying.

      • Kivaari

        Oh, by the way Homer’s dad is dead, and I’m not far behind him. I am still buying guns, even when I told myself I should stop, since my last trip o the rifle range about 7 weeks ago, resulted in a minor heart attack. I didn’t even got to shoot my M4 with the new barrel and EOTech. Last week I bought a Beretta CX4 and need a PX4 to go with it. I’ll likely be dead before I get them zeroed. The kids wont get much, but they will have a few very nice guns.

        • Suppressed

          I hope you get them zeroed and are around long enough to wear the barrels out man.

          • Kivaari

            I ordered a PX4 F (9mm 4 inch) Tuesday. I had not handled one, but after I did so including using the de-cocker, DA and SA triggers, I was surprised that it fit my hand and the trigger pull in either mode was pretty good.

        • You and I need to do a meetup and a shoot. Where are you located? I can usually swing a trip in the continental US. Shoot me an email at the address in my author’s description.

          • Kivaari

            North Idaho 57 miles east of Washington and 16 miles west of Montana. Osburn, Idaho. We have a great public range built on Idaho Department of Environmental Quality land, and using local and NRA funds.

          • Devil_Doc

            Hey, I drove through there a few weeks ago. My wife and I were driving to Helena to look at property.

          • Kivaari

            Good! We drive through it as well. In ’92 we came through on our way home from vacation in Montana, and then it was just coming out of the heavy pollution era, where there were no green trees growing, just brown ugly dirt. I said to my wife that there was no way in hell we would ever live in such an ugly place. We needed green trees. Well, today the smelter is gone in Smelterville and a Walmart is there, and the mountain sides are covered in green trees. 25 years can make a difference.

          • Devil_Doc

            We live near Tacoma, and we’re just sick of the people and the politics of the left coast. Plus, we have a baby on the way and we don’t want to raise our son here and have him exposed to this asshattery. On to Montana..

          • Kivaari

            Tacoma has always been a hell hole. Corruption is rampant, and has been all my life. It was a center for mob activity. Hits, arsons, thefts, prostitution and horrible drugs activity. Like nearby Spunaway.

          • Devil_Doc

            We live in Spunaway. Lol.. We’ve been planning on driving back out to Helena in the next month or 2, wanna meet up with a fellow ex squid for a cup of coffee?

          • Kivaari

            It could happen, I need to figure out how to let you know who and where I can be found without publishing it here. As nice a place as this is, it gets some people with , welllll… you know.

          • Devil_Doc

            Do you have Facebook?

          • Kivaari

            Nathaniel, I hope one of the messages I sent went through. I have received about 5 mail-demons trying to access your account

    • TDog

      They do have one in 5.56.

      • Kivaari

        I have to admit that I pretty much ignore bullpup rifles. Most are simply not very good, even the “best of them”. I have owned almost all of the black guns since the 60s. I’ve gone around in circles and come back to AR pattern rifles, as they have been the best of the lot.

        • TDog

          I’m one of those folks who can’t get enough of bullpups. To be fair, some of them (make that a lot of them) are not my cup of tea. They tend to be heavy and bulky and the triggers oftentimes are atrocious.

          That having been said, when I find a good one, I like them a lot more than standard layout rifles.

          • Kivaari

            It usually gets far enough for me to pick up one in a store. “Handle it” a little bit, enough to show me the very poor ergonomics. ‘Club like” is my most common thought. I.ve never seen one of these or the 5.56 variant. The T2 was incomplete and needed considerably more work. It was an interesting gun. Had it not been for gun laws we would likely have seen them more advanced sooner. I like the concept of bullpups, but all of them need to eject brass safely. They need to be bi-lateral. The FN2000 was the most-club-like rifle I had ever handled. Soon, someone will build a great one. This LOOKS good for a THS ejecting 7.62mm. IF it is better than an M4, then I would consider buying them.

    • JSmath

      They already sell a ~$1500 5.56 model…. They have for years.

      • It’s $1799. For a new production gun, that’s just what you have to pay these days.

        • JSmath

          Thanks, I suppose that was inexcusably lazy of me, but I recalled it being competitive with a Tavor two years back, but I decided I’d rather have something with a (larger/any) aftermarket.

      • Kivaari

        None show up I the gun stores I visit. Or if they have they have been lost in the sea of black rifles.

      • Xanderbach

        My LGS had one. Amazing trigger. Seriously good- Not “for a bullpup” but “for a stock rifle.” It was, unfortunately, priced the same as a Tavor- Hard to dump that for an extruded tube full of Ar parts. If you can do it though, grab one.

        • JSmath

          Right! Was cross-shopping it with a Tavor two years ago and settled on the Tavor since there were already aftermarket parts for the Tavor. And also because I already had a Baby Desert Eagle and the idea of manufacturer pairing amused me.

    • Dracon1201

      The 5.56 version was already released. .300BO is on the way, as is 6.5 grendel.

      I’d be impressed if a small company could reduce to those costs. It’s competitively priced at the moment.

    • Machinegunnertim

      The 5.56 version already came out.

    • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

      You might have heard of a nifty little thing called “inflation” and her cousin “purchasing power”. Have you?

      • Kivaari

        Well, there’s inflation and than there’s inflation. There is also a condition called. living. When you are well paid, single and don’t have kids, inflation wasn’t such a big deal. Not until the Carter oil crunch.
        Today the average American is in an income shrinkage area. In the last 7 years they have not seen an increase in take home pay, that keeps pace with inflation. If inflation strikes and wages are stagnant you see inflation coupled with lower purchasing poser. The cost of our toys has gone up.

  • Mo’ bullpups is mo’ better.

  • stephen

    The majority of shooters are not experienced enough to take advantage of accurate guns. Long range competition shooters are a small segment of the gun world. So when I see people arguing about a .5 to 1 MOA on a bullpup, it makes me laugh. These are not meant to be long range competition rigs.

    😉

    • Bullpup is an “entry” gun, for cramped quarters and better retention.

      • Kivaari

        Throw a grenade first. Then the rifle is a cleaning tool.

    • Kivaari

      Many shooters can’t even judge range on a square range.

  • klaus.ramelow

    the lower looks like plastic (reminds me of the H&K G36 and related problems)

    • Machinegunnertim

      The lower is billet aluminum.

      • klaus.ramelow

        Thank you very much for this information

        • Machinegunnertim

          No problem, it claims to be the only all metal bullpup on the market. Nice, but not a selling point for me.

          • Kivaari

            It makes them more interesting. I like polymer gun, but aluminum is stiff. Poly fire control systems are often spongy since every part has its own level of stretch and compression. Compound the 5-8 parts and they are even worse.

  • If you want a home protection gun, this one would be high on the list. We make great stuff in AZ.

    • Leigh Rich

      Go through 2 homes down…LOL

      • Don’t miss and load frangible .308 rounds. Or as you have pointed out, shoot your neighbors fishtank and car, by accident. However if you are using a .308 bullpup as your home defender, you are probably expecting “professional” adversaries, such as cartel hitmen or terrorists.

        • Secundius

          Try a Pathan 44-Bore AkK Pistol with 7.92×33 Kurz ammo…

  • RickOAA .

    Nobody wanted the 5.56…why a .308?

  • Bob

    what kind of aluminum, 7075? (receiver).
    what does this bad boy cost?
    what magazines does it use? FAL’s or M14’s or ??
    How HOT does that BLACK rifle get in this AZ sun especially after you popped say 60 rounds through it?

    • Kivaari

      Why do MOST metal free float barrels NOT have heat shields?

    • Secundius

      The Japanese created Series 7075 Aluminum in 1934. And it the same Aluminum used on the Famed Mitsubishi A6M Zero in WW2. It’s a Structural Loadbearing Aluminum…