Lithgow Arms USA Importing Thales Aus. EF88/F90 as “Atrax” Rifle [NRA 2016]

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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:

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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.



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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  • My prayers have been answered! Thank you Cthulhu! Let’s hope American gun legislation doesn’t take a turn for the worse between then and now.

  • TJbrena

    Can’t wait for the reviews. I’d like to see just how much this improves on the AUG.

    • My personal feelings are very positive. Even compared with the X95 and RDB and K&M M17S, I still like the AUG best (call me crazy). The F90 looks like a real improvement, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

      • noob

        I’m interested in seeing how the barrel harmonics work out now that they have rigidly affixed the barrel to the receiver/rail system at the midpoint of the barrel. I heard a lot of money was spent on the harmonics since that redesign is a radical departure to the old AUG quick detach system that allows you to separate the barrel from the receiver without tools in the original AUG and Austeyr.

        • Richard

          I guess they deleted the quick change barrel feature to avoid the ridiculous weapon clearance drill that required the barrel to be removed every single time the weapon was issued, shot, or returned to the rack.

          I swear that was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my working life, and having worked in the mining industry as well that’s saying something.

          • Kiwigrunt

            That ridiculous weapon clearance drill is an Oz military
            thing. We never did it in the NZ forces. Just because the weapon allows it,
            doesn’t mean you have to do it.

          • Richard

            The Aus Army being how it is, they’d never be able to scrap the drill once it was on the books, as long as the weapon was capable of having the barrel removed readily…

            I see the NZ Army replaced brought the replacement of the F88 way forward because it was so disappointing in Afghanistan, and selected an LMT AR to replace the F88.

            So NZ is obviously way ahead of Australia there.

          • Gonow

            The barrel removal drill on came into place after 1996 I think.A knee jerk reaction to UDs

          • lcpltac

            We were doing it in 94. But it’s gone now, no more removing the barrel for a clearance

          • iksnilol

            You really think so? I mean, how long til they get rid of the AUGs with the barrel switch feature?

          • lcpltac

            My understanding is that you no longer remove the barrel when clearing the weapon. I’d imagine the older F88’s will still be in the system for another 10 years after adoption of the F90. There were still the odd L1A1’s floating around in Reserve units in the mid 90’s

  • Wow. Much bul pap. So accessory. Polymers. Much low OAL. Wow.
    *insert doge*

    • Bwahaha

      yass

  • BattleshipGrey

    It’s about time a $2000 rifle comes equipped with a launcher. Finally someone listened.

  • allannon

    Welp, that’s gonna end up in a SciFi movie fairly soon.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That’s the coolest thing about the AUG. Designed in the 1960s, and still appears in scifi movies today.

      • Kivaari

        And nightly news when terrorists strike in Tunisia or Saudi Arabia.

  • Emiliano Famas

    They sold me with the 20 inch barrel

  • John

    1. Hmm, $2,000 USD. What’s a Tavor go for now? Match their price or go a bit lower, I think.

    2. “Atrax?” Not close enough to “anthrax”, sounds a little close to “Amtrek” and people might just name it the “Ajax” instead. And if you have to explain the name (which you will, it’s the sound for “attracts”) then you may as well have just called it the “Cydux” instead, as in the phonetic syllables for “seduction”, and it would have been a cooler name anyway.

    3. Ambidextrous “out of the box without having to buy anything to keep suppressor gas from hitting your face” capability is a major selling point. If this rifle–has–that.

    • noob

      Meet Atrax robustus – lives on the densely populated east coast of Australia. They are venomous and will kill you.

      • MavusiKenpachi

        Also he hates you and everything you stand for.

      • FarmerB

        Remember that if you ever visit Sydney…

        • Tom

          Every creature in Australia is venomous, will kill you given the chance and hates you and everything you stand for.

      • DW

        NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENOPE

  • MrBologna

    Will this rifle be compatible with AUG F/A packs? Seems to be in the same family as the AUG.

  • JSmath

    Price is steep, but it looks damn good.

    Also, is that a dorito storage compartment integrated into the handguard?! Man, they think of everything.

  • Matt Shermer

    I read this thinking there was no way that this would be competitively priced, and by the time I got to the MSRP, I was glad that my powers of precognition had not failed me.

    I really want to try for an AR alternative, but I can’t afford $1800+ rifles…

  • WT

    And there is also a 7.62×51 version.

    • PK

      I’ll take two of those, then! About time.

    • Monty01

      Not yet there isn’t. It’s been discussed, but nothing has yet appeared. I dislike the F-90, it no longer has the AUG’s quick change barrel system. Expect Steyr to develop an AUG A4 and for it to kill the F-90.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Will probably need a $200 trigger upgrade.

  • borekfk

    Does Lithgow still have tooling for Lee-Enfields? Because I really would like an L-42 Enforcer

    • Cynic

      I believe so but the last run used Vietnam sourced wood so not us legal

      • borekfk

        Hell, all they need to do is buy wood from somewhere else and they’re golden.

        • A.WChuck

          Or import them sans stock/furniture and let the local market make stocks, etc.

          • iksnilol

            Would it be legal to import them without stocks? I mean, wouldn’t they be too short then?

  • 40mmCattleDog

    Man, I’ve been scoping this rifle online for a LONG time, wishing and waiting for it to be imported but $2000 MSRP is alot to pull me away from my BCM AR builds. I will probably pull the trigger anyway to fulfill the bullpup itch as the X95 seems to be less than impressive for now.

    • A Fascist Corgi

      I’ve never really regretted the expensive firearms that I’ve bought. I think of it like cars. I’d love to own a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but I can’t justify spending several hundred thousand dollars on one. But for firearms the difference between an HK pistol and a Glock is only a few hundred dollars. If the difference between a Ford and a Ferrari was only a few hundred dollars, then everyone would go with the Ferrari. With firearms, most of us can afford to go with the Ferrari. And it’s not like you have to expand this line of reasoning to everything that you buy, just the things that you’re really passionate about. Firearms last decades. You’re not going to care if you spent a few hundred extra dollars in the long term. In fact, you’ll be glad that you did because you’ll get a lot more enjoyment knowing that you bought a higher quality product. When it comes to firearms, get what you really want. Don’t compromise. You’ll regret it in the long term.

      • iksnilol

        Considering I don’t really like Turkey (YOU F**** STILL OWE US THOSE HINDS!) and my vision of Switzerland was shattered after being there for a week (admitedly, CERN was friggin awesome) I think I’d rather go with the original… a CZ75.

        EDIT: No, you cannot afford the ferrari, most people can’t. I mean, have you priced DSRs?

        • A Fascist Corgi

          What’s your problem with Switzerland?

          • iksnilol

            I don’t like it there. The gun law discriminates people of my nationality (I literally can’t own a firearm legally in Switzerland just because I am from a specific country). The food is crap, the waiters are rude. I don’t mean French rude, I mean “yelling at me because I wanted to pay for my food after waiting an hour for my check they said was coming right up”. Oh… and everything closes at like 7 PM during workdays, I found out that one the hard way.

            That, and if you aren’t visiting from a rich country like Norway or are a Sheikh from Dubai then everything is gonna be hella expensive.

            Tho I did see a cop on a push scooter, that was funny. And I also saw CERN, which was very cool.

  • Note that $2,000 is MSRP, folks.

    • Gonow

      That’s almost $2800 AUD .I think they are ripping you yanks off.

  • stan

    How about they stop refusing to sell there AUG range of products in Australia while taking government bailouts almost every year with my tax money.

    the standard “atrax” could be sold and owned as a pistol to the Australian people with out the need of modifying it.

    • James in Australia

      I’d have a long one if it were legal, but not a pistol version -too restrictive on use. Most of my shooting is away from a range.

  • kregano

    You know what? If Lithgow Arms starts selling a version of ATRAX in .300 Blackout, I might give it a shot, especially if the X95’s accuracy issues don’t get sorted out soon and RDBs don’t become more available than not at all. It might not look as cool as the CQB A3 AUG (see the pic), but it’s got enough rails to be versatile.

    The one bad thing about it is that the handguard has that clunky grenade launcher block, and you’re never going to be rid of that unless you mess up the stock/receiver (depending on what the ATF declares to be the receiver).

    • PK

      Personally I’ve got my fingers crossed for civilian sales of that new 40x46mm underbarrel launcher. M203s are fun, but variety is the spice of life.

      • SF

        if its imported, then its still a post sample, so no luck there unless your have an FFL/SOT

    • noob

      well Thales (which owns Lithgow) markets their own line of .300 blk under the brand name “Outback Ammo”.

      The gun and bullet business in Australia doesn’t seem to get a lot of love from Group in France. You see a lot more promotional material for the Hawkei PMV when Thales goes to exhibit as a company.

    • iksnilol

      Why? I mean, Blackout has the advantage with short barrels. With full length barrels it is way more practical with 5.56.

      Unless you are using subsonics the majority of the time.

      • kregano

        You still get a boost in velocity with a full length barrel, but with a bullpup, you get that advantage plus compactness and less of an added length penalty if you run with a suppressor.

        Also, if you want to go hog/deer hunting with a light, modern rifle, .300 Blackout is a great choice, thanks to its various loadings and the fact that it’s 95+% parts compatible with the 5.56 variants of whatever gun you get.

        • iksnilol

          Yeah, but the boost isn’t really that much. Not worth it:

          Granted, You lose less with 7.62×39 but still. It’s a negligible difference. You aren’t really going to notice the difference of 70 m/s (going from 40 to 23 cm barrel).

          • Gorilla Biscuit

            That’s only 1 supersonic loading for both the 5.56 and 300. Bullet weights and pressures can be modified to show completely different results. Remember this PDF was Roberts trying to sell the world on the 300 BLK. And his data was very good. There is just a lot more going on in reality.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, I think the guy trying to sell the 300 BLK to the world is the one who would be most biased to show it in a good light.

          • And it’s Dr. Roberts we’re talking about…

          • iksnilol

            A true gentleman and a scholar who holds the pursuit of truth and fact to the highest regard.

            *single tear rolls down cheek

  • Peter Nissen

    I find this ludicrously funny that Americans can buy firearms made in Australia that even Australians cannot own! Ahh the irony!

    • billyoblivion

      Americans can buy Australian made wines cheaper than Australians.

      Significantly cheaper.

    • Tinklebell

      It’s the Norinco phenomenon all over again.

    • Richard

      I live in Australia and I can own a semi or select fire F90 if Lithgow would sell me one. I would’t buy one even if they were available – the F88 is hands down the worst self-loading rifle I’ve ever shot, and I’ve shot quite a few.

      The F88 is crudely made, prone to stoppages, and has terrible ergonomics. When the Aus army adopted the F90, they didn’t competitively test it against anything else. They let Lithgow test the market for them, and Lithgow came back and said that their own newly developed product just happened to be the best one.

      The NZ military went through the same process and didn’t even consider the F90 – they selected an LMT AR-15 instead.

      Having used a few different current generation AR type rifles – Wilson Combat, PWS and HK MR 556 – I’m not surprised.

      Compare an F88 to a HK 416 and you wouldn’t even know they were supposed to fulfill the same role.

      Finally, note that the real trigger pullers in the Australian Army – the SAS and Commandos – don’t use the F88 or the F90.

      They use AR type rifles instead, just like pretty much everyone else.

      • Dave

        You’ve got a Cat E licence? Then you’re one of the very very few, but for the rest of us Cat A/B peasants, we’re out of luck.

        • Richard

          I have D and E as a firearms dealer and armourer – there are quite a few Cat D licencees around. I doubt Lithgow would offer the F90 for commercial sale in Australia, even as a cat D semi.

      • lcpltac

        Considering the F88 was designed in the 70’s a comparison with a modern rifle is a bit unfair. In the mid 90’s I was issued and carried one for 6 years and fired thousands of rounds through them with nary a problem. With blanks you would experience stoppages, but that was good IA practice 😉 They were a lot easier to shoot well than the Rifle L1A1 preceding it, and your average digger could shoot it effectively. Comparing it to the M16/M203’s we used till they gave us back the 79’s, it out shot them easily. The only thing that bemused me about the F88 was the refusal to mount a GLA until the early 2000’s. I did cop a mouth full of brass when using the drivers rifle once when doing vehicle mounted fire & movement-after mine ran dry, but that was my fault for forgetting he was left handed!! I’m sure the ‘proper trigger pullers’ love their Gucci M4’s but I don’t think the thousands of other diggers who’ve used an F88 since its introduction have been poorly equiped. Is the F90 better than the modern crop of military rifles? Probably not, but in its day the F88 was a capable rifle in my opinion.

      • Peter Nissen

        What you mean to say Richard is that “IF” the government trusted it’s Citizens and allowed us as Free People to own such rifles. But alas – we live in a POLICE STATE and cannot even own .22 semi autos (owww Scary!) or pump/semi auto shotguns – cause OUR government since the Weasel Howard years deems us incompetent and untrustworthy to possess such freedoms!

  • Phil J

    It’s nice to see a military bullpup that isn’t 8 pounds. I never understood why the US X95 weighs in at 8 lbs, when the military X95-L (15 inch barrel) is stated to weigh under 7 pounds on IWI’s website.

    • A Fascist Corgi

      And I never understood why civilians are complaining about the weight of their firearms. Are you going on long patrols with your guns? Do you have a crap ton of other gear on you? No? Then why do you care? If anything, civilians should welcome heavier firearms since they absorb recoil.

      • Phil J

        1. There is no need to be so condescending.
        2. Lighter weight is a nice convenience. Just because I may not need it doesn’t mean I can’t have it. Plus I imagine its helpful for people with certain handicaps, especially.
        3.Why do you care?

        • A Fascist Corgi

          I’m just annoyed by the Nutnfancy trend of obsessing over weight. I see so many people saying that they’ll never buy this or that gun because it weighs more than a Glock or an AR-15.

          • Phil J

            I get ya, the mall ninja-types do seem to take things out of hand. But I do think that weight savings are a good thing that can be appreciated fully in the civilian world, like in 2/3 gun matches, dynamic rifle classes, etc. I mean, if there exists the capability to make things lighter and handier, why not make them so?

          • Emfourty Gasmask

            I use a CZ in USPSA 😛 find it much better for me to shoot

          • Phil J

            Well, that’s a handgun. I’m sure the weight decreases muzzle flip and all that. This conversation was more about rifles, but I still appreciate your input.

          • john huscio

            If your gonna carry it all day, you want something as light as possible.

      • MrEllis

        Holding heavy guns makes our puny civilian arms tired. We are so feeble from civilianing we can barely grasp anything larger than an iPhone.

      • Cynic

        Ever treed 10m across a hunting lease into your stand position to take game and had to drag your gun and the deer out after?

      • Don Ward

        Wait. So you WANT an unnecessarily heavy weapon with useless garbage stuck all over it?

        Oh wait, this is Fascist Corgi.

        NVM

        Carry on.

        • A Fascist Corgi

          When did I ever advocate adding tons of accessories to firearms? I do exactly the opposite. I don’t think that home defense firearms need slings or red dot sights. The only accessory that I think every home defense gun should have is a light attachment.

          • iksnilol

            And… you lost me when you said a rifle or shotgun shouldn’t have a sling. + red dots weigh so little yet add so much that I see no harm in them (but I do see many advantages to them). On the other hand, a light on the gun itself is sorta a meh and a big no-no on a pistol.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            I didn’t say that people shouldn’t put slings or red dot sights on their home defense guns, just that I don’t think that they’re necessary. Slings get in my way, and iron sights are perfectly fine at home defense shooting distances.

            But I completely disagree with you when it comes to light attachments. Every home defense firearm should have a light attached to it in my opinion. As to the common criticism about not wanting to point your gun at family members when you need to illuminate a room, lights these days are so bright that you can easily light up an entire room while pointing your gun at the floor; so, that’s not a legitimate criticism in my opinion.

      • “I don’t understand why anyone would complain about weight if they’re not doing anything strenuous with them.”

        “Look, I’ve created this strawman who complains about weight endlessly but never carries his firearms around! See how I have pointed out the absurdity of my own strawman?”

        Some people actually DO carry their guns around on treks, and even if you don’t, commenting about something’s weight is perfectly legitimate given that the context of the conversation is appropriate.

        In my case, I use weight to point out how lazy some rifle designs are – often they could be much lighter, but little effort is devoted to perfecting them that much. Most of the smart people with a formal education in engineering and weight reduction work in higher fields than small arms, designing aircraft and spacecraft payloads and suchlike.

        It’s a perfectly legitimate criticism given that the purpose of these designs is to be standard military rifles, or civilian or law enforcement equivalents.

  • Spudmonkey

    Enjoy the gun Australian made gun designed with grants from the Australian government that we cant own ourselves 😛 Do us a favor yanks and pump out a few more rifle-based handguns until one gets through hehe 😉

  • Gorilla Biscuit

    OOOOH!! CQB model with 14in barrel

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That’s kinda cool. But it wouldn’t be terribly popular. All other reasons aside, one of the only reasons to get a bullpup is to get a shorter rifle without dealing with NFA.

      Unfortunately I see the F90 going the same way as every other bullpup in the USA… Tons of people say they want one on the Internet – few people actually purchase.

      • Lt_Scrounge

        Cost is prohibitive for many people. When a bull pup alone costs as much as an AK or AR, a dozen magazines, accessories and 2000 rounds of ammo, most people on a budget will buy the less expensive rifle, accessorize the crap out of it and then spend the rest on ammo.

        I can buy a G3 clone, a dozen magazines, a 1000 rounds of ammo, a used Glock, a handful of magazine for it, and a 1000 rounds of ammo all for the price of this bullpup. Which would you prefer to have? A full MBR, a sidearm, magazines and 2000 rounds of ammo, or a cool looking bull pup with only one magazine and no ammo for it? I just bought an Adams Arms gas piston AR for a third of that price. It looks cool, but looks don’t put food on the table or keep the two legged predators at bay.

        When a company begins making and selling bull pups at a price that is comparable to the other weapons on the market, they will sell a lot more of them. Until then, they will remain novelty items. Whenever you are pricing a new item for sale, you have to not only look at what it costs to make, but what price the market will bear. To increase sales and bring the economy of scale into play, you have to maximize your pricing to where the price is at the peak of what you can sell it for BEFORE sales start to drop off. $2000 is beyond that point. That is more than 2 weeks take home for most of the country and more than one month’s pay for a significant portion of the rest. That’s why I don’t own a Keltec RFB. It is simply priced too high.

        • Phil Hsueh

          Well put. I’m one of those people who would love to buy a bullpup, just about any bullpup would do but the prices on them are all too prohibitively high for me. I definitely agree that bullpup makers need a way to make them more affordable to help generate more sales, maybe lower their profit margin a little to try to make the difference by volume of sales. Hopefully, that would allow them sell more bullpups which means they’d make more and would thus be able to bring the manufacturing costs down and there by increasing their profit margins over time.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, all new rifles have that problem. Only thing that is sub 1000 dollars is ARs, AKs, and milsurps from what I see. Maybe VZ58s? I don’t know.

          • Kivaari

            Most of the prices come from market surveys, and are not based on the cost of production. I remember when Detonics pistols sold for $600+ while they cost $125 to build.

        • Kivaari

          I just added up what it cost me to build a high quality, yet very bare bones, AR-16″-LW-ML-SSA and it was over $1400. Yet, I’d likely not buy a bullpup at $2000.

        • iksnilol

          Well, new rifles that aren’t entrenched with 50 years of production do cost around 2000 dollars when new.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            Augs have been out since the early 80s and are still that expensive. I understand the issue of having to recoup research and development costs very well. With modern CNC, MIM, investment casting, 3D printing and injection molded polymers, there is very little need for skilled labor other than assembly involved in most modern firearms. That means that economy of scale can be brought into play and bring the sales price down while covering the cost of initial development by selling significantly more units. I’m certainly not adverse to them making a profit, I just think that they would make MORE profit if they sold 3 times as many units and built their brand up instead of remaining a niche market item. Yes, their per unit ROI wouldn’t be as high, but their overall profits would be higher. Sort of like Exxon/Mobil. They only make a few cents on every gallon of gasoline sold, but they sell a LOT of gallons of gasoline.

          • iksnilol

            Augs have been made since the 80’s, doesn’t mean they’ve been on the civilian market for nearly as long. Nor have they been popular.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            They were on the civilian market when I looked at one in a gun shop in Fayetteville, NC in 1984. I was at Ft Bragg teaching small unit infantry tactics to ROTC cadets that summer. Of course they were probably banned from importation under the Clinton AWB from 1994 until 2004. I’m not a huge fan of bull pups anyway, but it looked cool.

          • iksnilol

            That last sentence is also one thing that hurts sales.

            Like, stuff like bullpups and “alternative rifles” are simply “cool”. I mean, we want one on occasion as a cool toy, not that we’re goign to risk our lives when there’s proven AKs and ARs to be had.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            From someone who has been in sales for most of the last 30 years, I’m going to let you in on something. People buy what they WANT not what they need. The trick is to get them to want your product, whether they need it or not. I don’t need a paratrooper model folding stock FAL carbine, but I darn sure want one. I didn’t need an under folding stock AK or a gas piston AR, but I have them all the same. My gun safe is full of stuff that I didn’t need, but wanted anyway. The one absolute truth about sales is that if you can get people to WANT your product AND they can afford it, odds are that they will buy it. It’s called perceived value. If they want it, but can’t afford it, they can’t buy it. That’s an obstacle to the sale and can’t be overcome.
            If they want it, but think it is over priced, they won’t buy it. That’s called an objection and a good sales man can over come that. I can almost guarantee that with the proper marketing campaign and a price point that is in line with a mid to upper end AR (not custom like a Wilson Combat) ($1200 – 1500) these things would sell very well. But as Samuel L. Jackson says in the movie “Formula 51”, “You’ve got to give props to marketing.” It really is all in the power of suggestion. Unless they can show that it is as reliable as an AK and as accurate as an AR with better balance and handling than either, they will barely scratch the surface of the market. Once they do, people will be breaking down the doors to buy one…. IF they can afford it.

            Look at polymer framed handguns. 30 years ago they were an anomaly, now they are almost the industry standard. What changed? Glock came along and produced a firearm and marketed it that was as good as most of the metal framed ones while weighing less. Once it proved its reliability, and the durability of the new high strength polymers, polymer became all of the rage.

          • iksnilol

            I see your point and all. But it still stands that new rifles are around 2k. The Tavor is in that price range, the ARAK upper itself is 2000 dollars. There’s no difference there between bullpaps and regulars.

            I can imagine that you’ll see the AUG for around 1800, the 2000 is MSRP. I’ve yet to see people sell at MSRP.

      • iksnilol

        What about pinning a flash suppressor that extends that much? preferably one with QD attachment for suppressor.

        That and you have to be careful since that thing is like less than two inches over min OAL with the 16″ barrel. So a 14.5 barrel with flash hider pinned could work.

        • abecido

          I never got the short barrel, long hider thing. If I have to have a 16″ barrel, I may as well have 16″ of rifling in it.

          • Cymond

            It started because standard A1/A2 flash hiders aren’t long enough to pin & weld to a standard 14.5″ AR barrel, and it’s cheaper to make slightly longer muzzle devices than slightly longer barrels. Some companies do make 14.7″ barrels now.

            The logic is that if you know you’re going to use a muzzle device, why add extra length? It’s an easy way to shave about 2″ from the overall length. The obvious downside is committing to a single muzzle device.

    • Cattoo

      Want more.

  • Tinklebell

    Anyone else find it ironic that they’re exporting the kind of guns to civilian markets in other countries, while their own civilians would never be allowed to own this type of weapon? Like Norinco, which I’ve also always found ironic.

    • Andrew Dubya

      I tend to consider Norinco a great example of a Chinese business: Hell with our own people, money over literally everything else. Greedy bastards but they make a passable product at least.

      • iksnilol

        They just embraced capitalism. Kinda disappointed when Americans complain about that. :/

  • Dracon1201

    Insert O face here.

  • Maxpwr

    I saw it at the NRA show in Louisville last weekend. I don’t think it will ever get imported here unless they set up a factory here to make the 922R parts. Doesn’t seem likely for a company with only one product, but who knows. ATF will reject it without those US made parts.

    • Cynic

      Unless they import a spirterised version that passes the tick box and then sell a parts kit ala sig

      • Maxpwr

        It would have to be a version that only takes custom 10 round or less magazines as you can’t import semi-auto centerfire firearms which take 10+ round magazines. Modifying the magazine well to go from low capacity to high capacity on top of 922R parts is not in the range of of most parts kits. I hate our import laws.

    • FarmerB

      If you look at the pamphlets above, it says “Made in the USA”

      • Maxpwr

        Agreed, but the title of the article and body of the article refer to it as imported. Not really imported then. We’ll have to trust the manufacturer over the author of the article.

        • FarmerB

          Yeah, I think a bit loose on the truth with the headline. The pamphlet (in some wordage) says that “Our rifle … is currently fielded by the Australian Military”. Here they really mean: “Rifles, similar to this one, made by our company subsidiary in Australia … are currently fielded…”

  • Vitor Roma

    Looks good, but I’m skeptical about the deflector being enough for not eating brass as a lefty.

    • Cynic

      They produce a left handed setup for the issue rifles that works really well so if they keep that on the table you’ll be fine

  • Reid

    I really can’t wait until the RDB is widely available – and not just because that is the bullpup that I’d really be keen to try myself. Once that happens, one of the big-time youtube gun review folks (and TFBTV is certainly among them) can do a big comparison review between rifles like this F90 “Atrax,” the Tavor, the RDB, and possibly something more off-the-wall like the FS2000 thrown in for good measure. These are heady times to be alive for bullpup fans.

  • Joe

    Same length of pull as the AUG?

  • FarmerB

    Thanks for the reply – interesting. BTW, I don’t think there was much G36 outrage from the troops, it seems to have come from the politicians. With any luck, I’ll be able to get my hands on a semi F90 in a year or two.

  • Rog Uinta

    Holy height-over-bore, Batman! What’s the point of that raised rail if you have to put a full-height riser on it??!

  • Cattoo

    Want.

  • Don Ward

    John Lithgow has a gun company? Cool!

  • Kivaari

    Nathaniel, I haven’t been ignoring you my attempts to get to you get mail-demined. DD

  • Kivaari

    By the way, another great article.

  • Richard

    Interesting that according the ASPI article one of the main requirements the Army had was that the new weapon system was the same as the old weapon system to avoid retraining, restocking of parts, and building of new ranges (?).

    That meant they were always going to adopt some variant of the F88.

    Lucky they didn’t have that requirement previously, otherwise they’d still be issuing SMLEs I guess.

    I’m skeptical of how great the EF88 is when it was never compared to anything else in any trials.

    First they decided to adopt it, then they decided to trial it.

    NZ requirements would be almost identical to ours, and they decided to replace their Australian-made F88s in 2008.

    All arms of the NZ army, including special forces, will now use the same rifle – must be a bit of a confidence boost for the troops.

  • Kyle

    I always wanted an AUG but they were so damn expensive. Looks like that isn’t changing. I get that these a niche weapons but they always seem to be priced well into premium AR range. Two grand gets you one hell of an AR that in all probability is flat out nicer than this will be. Cool is only worth so much.

  • RezaQin

    The irony is that Aussies can’t own this.

  • Bill

    Why is the guy ghillied up like a shrub in what looks to be an industrial park?

  • Andy Kay

    Oh man… I’m not sure about that height over bore

  • michel Baikrich

    Beaucoup de masturbation cerebral pour quelques modifications de la carrosserie, avec le meme principe mecanique qui a plus de 35 ans

    Il serait bien plus interessant d’essayer de faire le saut technologique pour proposer une nouvelle arme, avec une munition qui proportionnera une avance, car depuis plus de 50 ans on essaye de faire croire qu’il y a du neuf en armes d’infanterie,…. Pas du tout

    A bon entendeur salut

    Michel