Big news at the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting 2016, importer Lithgow Arms USA will be bringing the EF88/F90 improved bullpup assault rifle to the USA. The F90 is a variant of the Steyr AUG developed for the Australian Defence Force to replace the F88 (their designation for the AUG) bullpup rifle.
While I did not catch the Lithgow Arms booth at the show (much to my dismay!) I caught up with the company over the telephone and via email. Also, Larry Vickers, who did visit the booth, graciously allowed me to use his photographs of the select-fire F90s that Lithgow Arms brought to the show:
Thanks to Larry Vickers for all of these photos.
Thales/Lithgow advertises the F90’s improvements versus the AUG as reduced weight (3.25kg vs. 3.60kg), improved trigger pull, improved removable barrel mechanism integrated with the optics rail, compatibility with a new grenade launcher, and an improved ambidextrous ejection pattern facilitated by a shell deflector.
The Lithgow Arms Atrax is just the latest in a renaissance of bullpup rifles on the American civilian market. Demand for a shorter weapon – driven in large part by the increasing popularity of suppressors – that is unregulated by the NFA has led to a resurgence in popularity of this concept that had almost died out on the military market.
Lithgow Arms representatives said that the rifle has been submitted to the ATF for review, and they hope sales can begin by the 2017 SHOT Show. The rifle will retail for around $2,000.