BREAKING: France Downselects FAMAS Rifle Replacement to Bids from Belgium, Germany

HKvsFNFrance

France, one the world’s first adopters of the bullpup rifle, will officially be abandoning the stockless rifle concept for good, it seems. The competition to replace the venerable FAMAS bullpup rifle has moved forward, and the only competing bullpup design, HS Produkt’s VHS-2, has been eliminated, along with Swiss Arms’ SG 550 and Beretta’s ARX-160. The downselect means that the next French standard rifle, replacing the four-decade old “Bugle”, will be either the Fabrique Nationale SCAR or the Heckler & Koch HK416, two heavyweight competitors on today’s rifle market. Sputnik News reports:

Earlier, the French procurement agency (the DGA) initiated a tender for assault rifles, chambered in 5.56 mm x 45 NATO ammunition.

Five companies took part in the tender for the purchase of the first 100,000 rifles: Heckler & Koch (Germany), FN Herstal (Belgium), Beretta (Italy), Swiss Arms (Switzerland) and HS Produkt (Croatia).

Last week two finalists were announced: automatic rifle Heckler & Koch HK416 and the Belgian FN SCAR. The final decision is expected to be made by the French military over the course of the month.

The FAMAS was not the world’s first adopted bullpup rifle (that would be the star-crossed British EM-2, which had been adopted for less than three years and never used), but it was one of the first assault rifle’s to be actually put into service as a standard arm by any nation, having been developed and standardized at virtually the same time as Austria’s Steyr AUG. The death of the French small arms industry in the past two decades has meant the end of one of the longest lineages of firearms innovation in the world, a tradition that produced a huge number of groundbreaking designs, including the Bourgeois flintlock, Charleville musketChassepot breech-loader, Lebel smokeless repeater, Meunier and RSC 1917 self-loaders, and Chauchat machine rifle. Hopefully, someday the French small arms industry will return to its former prominence, but for now the next French rifle will come from elsewhere in the EU.



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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  • Tritro29

    So France shortlists the two manufacturers that have been picked up in the past years by individual units. What a surprise…

    • BattleshipGrey

      I’d rather SF units set equipment standards than some guy behind behind a desk.

      • Tritro29

        I fully agree with you, but the fact remains that this was a masquerade, every one knew that H1k was super favourite and the SCAR L being the close second. The bidding process was an example of bureaucratic decorum. If you need “COTS” and already have experience, then don’t lose your time with offers you have rejected in the PAST. Like SiGArms which was turned down in favour of H&K less than 3 years ago.

  • Avery

    What’s the deal with the FELIN program? I thought that was still years away (which was supposedly spurring the selection of the new infantry rifle), yet I’m seeing FAMAS FELIN models in use in French actions in Africa and in France itself, with and without the big electro-optic.

    • Tritro29

      FELIN, years away? The first sub units were introduced in 2008. SAGEM has delivered 15K units to France. The systems were used both in Mali and CAR. The only issue is and will remain weight.

    • neelan

      Bullpup is assured in this case, bullpup is the future due to optics/accessories weighing to much. Not very exciting but true.

    • John Hogen

      I remember reading that the FAMAS won’t be completely replaced. At the very least they would be retained by the Foreign Legion.

  • Kovacs Jeno

    ” Sputnik News reports:” Putin’s propaganda channels are not necessarily the best sources on western armament procurements.

    • Rousso

      Operation Earnest Voice
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Operation Earnest Voice is an astroturfing campaign by the US government. The aim of the initiative is to use sockpuppets to spread pro-American propaganda on social networking sites based outside of the US. The campaign is operated by the United States Military Central Command (CENTCOM).

      • Dan

        And that has what to do with this story? What possible pro U.S. spin could be given to France picking a new rifle?
        Stick to the subject matter of the story.

    • n0truscotsman

      Yeah they’re not a reliable source in the least bit.

  • Major Tom

    They should choose the SCAR. Cheaper, same performance as the 416 for less cost.

    It’s a tad surprising they dumped the ARX-160 though. I haven’t heard anything negative about it.

    • CommonSense23

      Have you used either?

      • Anon

        What’s your take on it?

      • Major Tom

        And this is relevant why?

  • Anon

    What’s wrong with the M4? Wouldn’t that be the cheapest option?

    Eh, whatever, as long as it replaces the POS known as the FAMAS, it’s fine.

    • Tritro29

      POS? I’ve seen things that deserve to be called POS stamped Colt Defense. Never would once call the FAMAS POS. It has “character”…

      • Anon

        If it’s so great, then why’s the damn thing being replaced? Why would it have to use steel cased ammo because of its violent ejection? Why do the ergonomics suck? Why is it unpopular? Why does it have a surrender handle?

        Get over it, the FAMAS sucks and I’d take almost any other rifle over it.

        • John

          >If it’s so great, then why’s the damn thing being replaced?

          And yet MANY PEOPLE have complained and complained and complained and complained and complained about the United States sticking to a 60-year-old design.

          Some guns suck, and so they’re fixed. Some guns suck, and so they’re replaced. Every military is different, and every military has different needs, wants, desires and requirements. It’s that simple.

        • n0truscotsman

          The FAMAS is indicative of the trends of a 1970 bullpup. It was a much needed breath of fresh air in an era where France was still using the MAS49 and other nations already had assault rifles in service.

          Although I prefer the M4, the French have done a decent job modernizing it for Afghanistan with what I believe are essentials such as STANAG mags and optics. It does have a feature I DO like very much: firing rifle grenades.

          This may irritate some, but in my experience, I’d take the FAMAS over the Enfield. Any day.

          • Kivaari

            All NATO standard rifles should be able to fire rifle grenades. Even the M16.

        • Dilewizite

          the famas sucks because it’s from fcking 1974

          How do you think it lasted so long in the french army ?
          aaah yes the surrender handle

          you are pathetic

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I’d love a Famas for my safe but not for beside my bed. I’ll stick with my colt.

        • Tritro29

          YEs sure, and you’ve fought with both for your life i suppose…People please when you judge a rifle take the time to ask yourself, what do i actually know about this. Do I have first person experience with it? Do I know a reliable source about it? The FAMAS is so much maligned while being FAR superior to its reputation, that I cannot but think this is a case of banal French-bashing.

          • Giolli Joker

            As far as I know one issue of the FAMAS is that requires dedicated casings because it may tear off the head case from standard NATO cartridges.
            That is a weakness on a military weapon.
            Personally I fell in love with FAMAS styling during my childhood and I love any retarded blowback system now… so I would not bash it.
            Never had chance to try it, though.
            The French Foreign Legion seems quite efficient even with the FAMAS…

          • Paul Joly

            FAMAS aren’t notorious for tearing off case head, even broken case extractor are not supplied with them.
            As far I know about this trial, the hk416 barrel’s show some issues shooting rifle grenades which is a major issue for our army. I’m still betting on the scar 16.

          • Giolli Joker

            I probably paraphrased with some fantasy from my part what several months ago I read on the FAMAS English Wikipedia page on this regard.
            According to that page (that cites and links French sources) the French Army can only use French steel cased cartridges to avoid issues.
            If you know more, or you can interpret better those sources in your language, I’ll gladly read.

          • Paul Joly

            No, that’s another ammo problem, and a stupid one. I don’t know who, bought and supply one of the lowest quality 5.56 nato ammo you can get => excessive fouling, case rupture ; but the worst part is that the ammo were m855 and m856 type which aren’t stabilized by the 1:12 rifling twist of the FAMAS F1, vive la France…

          • Giolli Joker

            Well… maybe that “who” wanted to make sure there was a guaranteed supply of ammunition from a French manufacturer…
            But maybe this is just my cynicism speaking. 😉
            BTW, the updated versions of FAMAS have a 1:9″ rifling twist, right?

          • Tritro29

            Yes G2/Felin is 1/9. Problem…now the German Ammo doesn’t stabilize as well. Vive la France.

          • Paul Joly

            I heard the same complain about the British RG ammo but the problem may be due to something else than the rifling twist like bore erosion. When you don’t know that a rifle has rifling, you don’t know how to take care of this aspect.

          • Tritro29

            The problem is that many ammo orders lately have been in red hot priority, not always properly tested. Plus RUAG has had issues with its own ammo (DM11) on the G36, so maybe, maybe, it’s not on the FAMAS.

          • Paul Joly

            It was a middle eastern manufacturer.
            1:9 for the G2, and god (Beretta) know what for the FELIN.

          • Giolli Joker

            Beretta manufactures the current version of FAMAS?

            Middle East? Are there other other than Caracal in the UAE?
            Uhm… lots of question marks from my side. 🙂

          • jay

            It’s there beards, and the kill all the mf*ckers attitude.

          • Giolli Joker

            Foreign Legion?
            A couple of them came for a while to the Muay Thai gym were I train.
            No beard whatsoever, very cool guys to train with… but they were built like a rock.

          • Rousso

            FAMAS is a good gun, but it is not an Israeli gun, so, it is not a good gun

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Not french bashing just an opinion. The same can be said by me of the SA80, AUG and Tavor. Not to add the operating system of the Famas is not supposed to be compatible with commonly available ammo here.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            I’d say the same about any bullpup currently on the market. Suppressed the Desert Tech MDR might change that. Not to add Famas isn’t compatible with a lot of ammo pressures available in the US where I live. And no I haven’t fought with both. I also have requirements in a gun and optics and lights are one of them.

            What does the Famas offer over an M4? This is a serious question. Since you’ve implied you have experience with both.

          • Tritro29

            Where do we start? Ambidextrous firing capability and controls? PML/Cpl kits for 9mm. Muzzle Grenades firing capability. Theoretically a cleaner mechanism? A bipod? Local production of the rifle? High rate of fire once ridden of the burst limiter?

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Where do we start? Ambidextrous firing capability and controls? Always good!
            PML/Cpl kits for 9mm. Muzzle Grenades firing capability. I’m a civilian, rifle grenades aren’t the best for home defense. AR15 can convert to anything caliber wise and also their were AR15 based rifle grenade capable guns.

            Theoretically a cleaner mechanism? This has been debunked thousands of times. Theoretically is right but the DI system has proven more than reliable and is in a way self cleaning.

            A bipod? Again not an issue for me with an M4 as I have the monopod by using the magazine or can easily add a bipod. Plus not many occasions I’d need the extra stability.

            Local production of the rifle? Great if you’re in France. That said it’d be very easy to setup production of an AR15 variant considering the design.

            High rate of fire once ridden of the burst limiter? Not relevant to civilian in the US as I am not aware of any transferable FAMAS rifles. ROF is very similar to the M4.

            The M4 is also an easier system to rebuild and costs less according the wikipedia for what that is worth.

            The Famas might be a great rifle and for me who can’t get one unless I get lucky and find one of the very few imported it is very cool.

      • LCON

        I think the replacement program roots to the fact that They no longer have a factory to build new ones so spare parts and replacements is an Issue and the fact that the system predates modern accessories and has not really taken to retrofits of them.

      • Joshua

        Well. Technically Colt rolls all their roll marks….they dont stamp their logos on anything.

    • Jwedel1231

      What if they just… want something different?

      • Anon

        Then it’s fine, as long as it works, because between the HK416 and the SCAR, both are much better options than the FAMAS.

    • Ryan

      One can assume because no US companies bothered to get in the running?

      • Joseph Goins

        One can read that the companies had to be in the EU.

        • Ryan

          Oh I apologise for not paying the EU or its rules any attention.

        • Tritro29

          Could be done through Subs. But really it was the YoY Turnover that was a bigger brake to foreign entries.

    • Joshua

      EU companies only.

      The US and Canada allowed to enter.

      • Anon

        Ah, but wait a minute, I thought there were M4 manufacturers in the EU?

        • Joseph Goins

          If you exclude the UK because of Brexit and FNH & SIG because the ARs are made in America, who do you have left made them?

          • iksnilol

            There are DI AR manufacturers in Germany and Italy.

          • Rousso

            There are DI AR manufacturers in Germany and Czech Republic (you know, that country where Chechens live) but no one in Europe is interested in DI guns, because rains are frequent in Europe and DI guns are not reliable in such conditions

          • Frank

            It doesn’t rain in the US? Or Vietnam? Or the Philippines?

          • Rousso

            It rains everywhere, but Europeans can afford a gun that doesn’t have a gas tube that blows up when a few drops of water get into the barrel

          • Frank

            Oh so you’re a troll. To play devil’s advocate can most European army’s actually afford it? Germany has skeleton crewed their military through budget cuts to the point where they can’t get most of their airforce in the air. Italy, greece, spain, ireland are all broke. The german gun has a paper thin barrel that causes huge poi shifts when it’s fired at any volume. Italy’s new rifle is an ergonomic mess.

          • Rousso

            France is not Greece, and for the rest of them Mother Russia has a lot of surplus AKs

          • Rock or Something

            France isn’t going to pick the AK variant or go with Russian ammo for compatibility and NATO reasons. The whole conversation about the superiority of the AK or AR pattern rifles is really moot in the eyes of France.

            Personally I wouldn’t let rain water drip into the barrel of either one my AK or AR pattern rifles I actually own, but I have had the “fun” of using my issued M16/M4 rifle in various wet environments. You just shake it out and resume the mission. It’s really that simple.

          • Rousso

            Sometimes it is. Sometimes it is not

            In Russia M4 doesn’t impress people. It jams, it freezes. It is not at home in the cold of Mordor

          • Rock or Something

            I doubt many Russians have an opportunity to use the M-4.

          • Rousso

            Russians have been making AR-15 for some time
            Вепрь-15 ВПО-140

          • Kivaari

            We learned that regardless of caliber we should “break the seal” to let air in to clear the bore.

          • Paul Joly

            Wake up, you live in a dream.

          • Kivaari

            Why Beretta made that rifle so odd is a mystery. Ugly translates to awkward.

          • Uniform223

            Apparently it doesn’t rain in the United States either.

          • Uniform223

            shows what you know…

          • Holdfast_II

            OK, wow. Spent a decade training with the C-7 in southwestern BC, one of the rainiest climates in the civilized world. Never saw a gun “blow up”.

          • jono102

            But the internet said…..

          • Rousso

            Heckler & Koch 416 Vs. Colt M4 – Over the Beach SOCOM Test

            Google

          • Yes, it turns out that you can make an AR-15 drain water very quickly if you poke a bunch of holes in its parts and compromise its ability to use certain types of ammunition:

            http://www.hkpro.com/forum/hk416-hk417-hq/145622-over-beach.html

          • Rousso

            That is not where the problem is. The gas tube is the problem.

          • What a fine source you haven’t provided!

          • Rousso

            Please… This is something understandable. Make an effort!

          • Really? Let’s take a look at that HK OTB test you alluded to earlier:

            So it’s the gas tube that’s the weak spot, eh? Except… That’s not what fails, is it? It’s the barrel extension and bolt that fail. Now, why do you think that is, and why do you think the HK416 passed? Do you really believe that it was because of a difference in a completely different part of the gun?

          • Rousso

            The reason is that water is pushed through the gas tube into the receiver and that causes the pressure to get too high for the fragile parts of the design to endure.

          • I see you haven’t yet bothered to provide evidence to support that statement.

          • Kivaari

            How often do soldiers actually do that?

          • Kivaari

            Why. Unless one dunks the entire rifle under water, rain will not get into the tube in any real amount. From the rear rain just is not going to get into the tube. Carry the rifle muzzle down. If you carry it muzzle up, tape the muzzle or put on an issue cap. Every 30 minutes “break the seal” let air enter the bore and it drains. Usually it wont have enough water to mater. Try it sometime. Waste deep in water, with rain you never thought could be so thick, and even a .30 caliber bore that wont fill up much. Even then, point it down and break the seal.

          • Kivaari

            All we did was pull the bolt back a little to break the seal and drain the bore and tube. The shift to the A1/2 flash hider helped keep water out of the bore. The three-pronged flash hiders funneled water into the bore.

          • Rousso

            WakaWaka
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 03:00 AM

            I place my AR up against my Bronco while camping. Stock on the ground, and barrel facing up to the sky. I leave for whatever reason. It starts to rain while I’m gone. So water can fall down into the barrel resting ontop of the bullet in the chamber.

            Is there anything, like a plug of some sort that can block off water from going inside?

            +Zeke+
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 03:31 AM

            Condoms work great.

            WakaWaka
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 03:34 AM

            Are you serious?

            +Zeke+
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 03:40 AM

            Trust me. It works well enough. The military issues condoms mainly for this reason.

            GUNMAN556
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 10:49 AM

            its called a dustoff plug kit

            762precision
            Posted Nov. 03 2009 – 02:00 PM

            Don’t use condoms – they haven’t been issued for some time. The Army issues covers like the dustoff covers mentioned

          • Right, and do you know why AKs do not have this problem? Is it because of their SUPERIOR SOVIET DESIGN? Is it because of their STRONK TWO-LUG ROTARY BOLT? Is it because of their POWERFUL FIXED GAS PISTON OPERATORATED GAS PISTON OPROD?

            Nope, it’s because .30 cal bores suffer from the capillary problem less than .22 cal bores do. Meaning your Soviet wunderwaffe (or should that be “чудо оружие”?) AK-74 has the same exact issue.

          • Rousso

            Right.

            I imagine Russian paratroopers running in the rain with condoms on their AK-74 muzzle brakes. That would be a hilarious picture.

            Please, stop. There is no such issue because AK is not a DI gun. If 74 did have such an issue it would not have passed the trials.

          • You have evidence showing that AKs magically do not suffer from catastrophic failure when they have a barrel obstruction?

          • Rousso

            Испытания автомата Калашникова под дождем и в песке
            Youtube

          • You mean like this one?

          • Rousso

            I thought you were smart

          • What you really mean is that you thought I was on your side.

            Sorry, my allegiance belongs to no rifle.

          • Rousso

            It’s not about the rifle. This “test” is the dumbest test I have ever seen.

          • Because it didn’t give the result you wanted, I got it.

          • Rousso

            Because wet sand will make any rifle jam.

          • If it gets in, yup, something the AR-15 is much better at preventing than the AK. 🙂

          • Rousso

            That is true, AR-15 is sealed but in the real situations wet sand does not get into the rifles and even if we imagine that somehow that happened it would take 30 seconds to clean AK.

            But water, when it’s raining, and DUST during sandstorms get into the rifles often, and in situations like these AR-15 becomes problematic. In the cold it becomes dangerous.
            And AK works fine

          • I have used my AR-15 in an actual sandstorm; it worked fine.

          • Rousso

            For some reason my comments with links, images and clips get stuck “for moderation”, so… what else can I do? Find it on Youtube:

            Испытания автомата Калашникова под дождем и в песке
            (this is how the real test is conducted)

            Американцы испытывают неубиваемый АК-74
            (some Americans stuff AK with dust and shoot)

            And as you understand the result is not judged like “I used it once and it worked fine”, but how much abuse can the rifle endure, for how long, how bad the conditions were, how well did it handle these conditions, etc.

            AK is extremely good in all these conditions. In all of them. Because it was designed to be used in Russia, the country which has climat conditions ranging from arctic to desert, a lot of mud during rains, and AR was not designed for such conditions.

            Ask cops in Alaska about that.

          • You are very easily convinced by a factory’s own tests. Do the words “third party testing” mean anything to you?

            Yes, AKs work well in the cold, I don’t recall disputing that.

          • Rousso

            AKs work well in the cold, AKs work well in the heat, AKs work well in the sandstorm, AKs work well in the rain.

            If AKs were designed in the US or in Israel, you would be singing a different song, brother, wouldn’t you?

          • Rousso

            I can’t be a nationalist because I am of mixed descent, and a mix of conflicting bloodlines, and an immigrant, and I’m not a troll either.

          • Could have fooled me!

          • Rousso

            תירגע חביבי

          • Calm down dear? You just signed up and you may not be here long with that attitude. Keep it civil—-

          • I have and while they use a lube suited for those conditions they generally don’t have any complaints.

          • Kivaari

            Dry sand infiltrated AKs very easily.

          • Tritro29

            Nooooooo don’t feed the troll. Please.

          • Here’s a muzzle cover for a German K98 bolt-action carbine:

            http://picturearchive.gunauction.com/9217230735/10843751/mvc-001f.jpg_thumbnail0.jpg

            So, you gonna tell me that the Mauser has a DI gas tube, too?

          • Rousso

            Karabiner 98 is a 7.92 mm rifle
            So, you gonna keep pushing that nonsense about .30 bores suffering from that problem less than .22 bores?

            This is to protect the crown during cleaning

            “The cap opens to allow cleaning and acts as a muzzle guide to center the cleaning rod in the bore to preserve valuable rifling.”

          • The way your brain works is fascinating and should be studied by scientists.

          • Rousso

            Follow your own logic!

            QUOTE
            Right, and do you know why AKs do not have this problem? …it’s because .30 cal bores suffer from the capillary problem less than .22 cal bores do. Here’s a muzzle cover for a German K98 bolt-action carbine! (7.92 mm)

            So, you gonna tell me that the Mauser has a DI gas tube, too?
            UNQUOTE

          • Are you unaware that 7.92mm is larger than .30 caliber, or something?

          • Rousso

            It is larger. And following your thought it does not need a plug (.30 cal bores suffer less than .22 cal bores do).

          • So tell me again, where is the DI gas tube on a K98 Mauser?

          • Rousso

            Like I said, the muzzle cover is there to protect the crown and the rifling during cleaning. Google that, like I did.

            It’s a bolt action rifle, come on man. Don’t be stupid

          • Hahahah, OK, buddy whatever completely upside down reading helps you sleep at night.

            You know what, do me a favor: Take your superior 7.62 AK, get yourself a half liter water container, and pour all that water down the bore with the bolt closed on a live round. Make sure the water is full all the way to the top.

            Then fire it. Be sure to come back and tell us what you find, now!

          • Rousso

            There are several clips on Youtube, of AKs being fired when submerged in water.

            1. Ak 47 under water
            2. Shooting The AK-47 Underwater
            3. AK-47 Underwater Torture Test
            4. Slow Motion of an AK-47 Underwater

            No failures. It even cycles

          • Wait, are you saying that AKs don’t suffer from high pressure events underwater because they use operating rods?

            Because that is demonstrably not true:

            Look at that flattened, battered primer at 4:55. LOOK AT IT.

          • Rousso

            To look at what? It works. No catastrophic failure occurs.

            Is it not what you asked to prove earlier? And what else do you want from the rifle to do? To shoot underwater full auto? What are you trying to say?

          • There are videos of AR-15s shooting underwater without exploding, as well.

            Neither is good for the rofle and can cause catastrophic failure. Without the support of water outside the barrel, it surely would.

          • We’ve all seen them since they came out years ago

          • Kivaari

            Why do that?

          • Tritro29

            Don’t bother…please.

          • Kivaari

            I am a couple miles south of you and it rains a lot. The DI guns seem to work just fine in rain. They work all over Central America, Asia and even Canada.

          • iksnilol

            Uh… Chechens don’t live in the Czech Republic. Czechs live there. Chechens live in Chechnya. Good God y’all, use some google for a moment or two.

          • Rousso

            Czechs and Chechens
            They both start with a C

            After officials said on April 19th that the suspects of the Boston carnage hailed from Chechnya, angry users across America flooded social media with vulgar posts targeting the Czech Republic. Some even pointed the finger at Czechoslovakia, a country that has not existed for 20 years.

            “When I first saw it I could not believe it,” said David Krejčí, Mr Jágr’s Czech teammate at the Boston Bruins, in a phone interview just before an out-of-town game with the Philadelphia Flyers. “How can these people get it mixed up? I guess they never went to school.”

          • J.T.

            “Czech Republic (you know, that country where Chechens live)”

            What? I really hope you were trying to make a joke and just failed at it.

          • snmp

            French know well DI rifle Rossignols rifle, MAS 40, MAS44 MAS 44/56 …

          • Kivaari

            The French rifles are clean as well. The gas only hitting the cup on the face of the bolt carrier. A little oil and a tooth brush and its gone. Damn I wish I had kept my M49/56.

          • We don’t appreciate one reader taking over a thread with so many comments on the same post. We get it you like the AK hate the AR enough already.

          • Kivaari

            What? DI doesn’t work in the rain? Really? REALLY?

          • Kivaari

            Anti-DI BS.

        • Tritro29

          There was one big limitation. The Companies entering had to have a 80million Euro turnover. This excludes A LOT of companies. Oberland for instance that makes AR-style rifles.

        • tsubaka

          there were some french gunsmith who offered to design modified m4 for the army, it didn’t go anywhere and 2 years later the guy was arrested for gun trafficking.

        • There are———

    • NewMan

      The DI M4 simply isn’t reliable and robust enough to handle the new standard M558A1 ammo. Right now ONLY the SCAR 16 and HK 416 can handle this super hot round properly.

      Plain and simple DI AR is an old and dying relic, and the world is moving away from it and toward the much better piston system of the SCAR and 416

      • CommonSense23

        Where do you come up with this crap.

      • Anon

        …What the hell are you on? Everything that you just said was complete and utter BS.

        Seriously, I’m completely discombobulated by how retarded that crap you just said is.

      • Joshua

        What? The M4A1 is doing fine with M855A1.

        The simple fact here, is that France limited the tender to EU companies only.

        Therefore the only AR variant made by a EU company is the HK416.

        However you ignore that New Zealand just adopted a 16″ M4 and their SF adopted a 14.5″ M4, both made by LMT.

        • Twilight sparkle

          FN makes perfectly fine ARs
          France is probably just trying to get something different from everybody else.

          • Joseph Goins

            The FN ARs are only made in the USA. They would have to set up the tooling and equipment in the EU for France to buy.

          • Joshua

            Colt still owns the TDP. The US Government has the right to license it out to other manufacturers, but those manufacturers cannot in any way use the TDP outside of the US Government.

          • Joseph Goins

            The patent on the design has expired. That is why the market is flooded with AR-15/M16/M4 replicas. A TDP is not that hard to copy now.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I think they probably already have most of the equipment set up from their other guns

          • Joshua

            FN can’t market the M4 to other nations since Colt owns the TDP.

            FN is building them for the US but legally they do not own any part of the M4.

            Unless they want to make a new AR design of their own(which they don’t).

          • Twilight sparkle

            The technical data package is nothing. They can make and sell anything they want as long as it’s not named an m4. If the TDP were an issue then we wouldn’t see Remington and bushmaster selling ARs to other countries.

    • France has to buy their replacement from within the EU.

      • Tritro29

        Nope, there is European tender process, but that doesn’t preclude from having foreign entries through subsidiaries. AAPC (Public Notice of Competitive Adjudication) doesn’t limit France to European manufacturers by nature.

        • No, I mean that was one of the requirements of the tender.

          • Tritro29

            Requirement was about European production. Not Origin of Service provider. The only Providers explicitly banned from AAPC were those under sanction (Chinese/Russian manufacturer).

          • Oh, interesting. That was reported in English sources as “EU only”.

          • Tritro29

            Try and find the European Tender on the Official European Journal (technically it was issued on Eur-Lex in may 26th 2014 according to French MoD). Result? No Tender is available for the 26th nor for the 16th. France has put a note, not a tender at the Euro Journal. Which has been then peddled by most of the Press. Also most of the complaints for this were that the passing mark (Turnover 80million Eur) was unrealistic for small arms. I did some “filtering” for Oberland and then they issued the “passing mark” which not only killed 90% of the offering, but it also eliminated established manufacturers like Ceska Zbrojka and even Radom (although MSBS is far from completed). Also to everyone complaining about M4, the AAPC was so convoluted in favour of an AR-style rifle (for instance AIF had a requirement that the ejection wouldn’t be close to the shooters face and had to have a specifc pattern of controls) so that an AR-style rifle is going to be selected. Ironically even FNH did not submit its F2000 (although it theoretically matched all the requests).

          • Could you email me with this?

          • Tritro29

            Right now impossible, my friend is in strike, i mean in vacation ;-). But if you can wait a couple of days, French friend will try and get the AIF pre-recs out.

          • I am patient. 🙂

          • Tritro29

            Seems the guy is willing to talk as well. He’ll be back end of July, I hope I can have it by then.

          • Fabulous. Please do.

          • Tritro29

            Following text:

            “Pourquoi il te faut le PAT? Dans les grandes lignes. APAV,400m,Ambi,80/90,Com3.”

            Why you need the Technical Capabilities? In broad lines.

            APAV- French Muzzle grenade.
            400-400m range.
            Ambi- Ambidextrous
            80/90- Must have folding stock? Carbine/Rifle variant?
            Com3- 3 services rifle.

          • nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com. Please do email me. 🙂

          • Tritro29

            As soon as I have a Scan or PDF it will be forwarded.

          • Bullet Fast

            Must have adjustable length of pull. That cut the bullpups out, less the VHS.

          • Tritro29

            Well there it is…

          • Tritro29

            And now a scoop. The gentleman says that IWI did in fact submit an offer through Vernay Carron a French manufacturer with the intent for creating a second facility in….St Etienne. And it was rejected before the first short-list.

          • Tritro29

            Well after asking the French gentleman, this arrived from text message.

            “AAPC AIF lancé le 14 mai 2014. Moyens de productions, les sources
            et chaîne d’assemblage implantés dans l’espace économique
            européen.”

            So in clear, Production means, supplies and assembly chain have to be in the EU. Nothing about origin of Service Provider, although I understand that it’s a tall order to have a whole assembly chain installed overnight in Europe. But technically AIF was open to anyone willing to try.

          • Kivaari

            It seems that we could just about build a plant over ngiht. Knowing what machine tools, cutters, and anodizing is needed, I suspect there are packages that could be put together in a couple weeks. France could sure build an HK 416 fast. We have all these mom and pop builders now.

          • Tritro29

            … Building a military grade rifle is more complicated than buying a couple of CNC machines and chugging out 699$ AR-15’s.

            There’s a scale of proofing that even H&K has been shown unable to match at 100%. Then you have to hire hands and file contracts…probably that part would make you wish you had never been born in Europe.

            You have to guarantee work (Renault Law) with cash and you risk big in case you fold and put the whole manpower in redundancy.

            Welcome to Europe.

          • Kivaari

            French and EU laws aside, all the skills needed exist. Getting them under one roof could be the biggest challenge.

          • Tritro29

            Exists in the EU? Sure…there are even enough places to manufacture AR-style firearms, the problem as it happens is that you also need a 80 million Euro (88 Million USD) turnover. Yeah if it was that easy, I think a lot more offers would have been put forth.

          • Kivaari

            I just feel the Europeans are smart enough to do it. Since nothing new needs to be reseaerched. All that it takes to build the AR from raw stack exists. If they can make a tank or fighter plane they can sure build a rifle.

          • Tritro29

            Actually going COTS for France is a bad idea if the price is going to shoot higher than 2500 Euro. They also need to replace the assets around the rifle. Some FELIN subsystems are already at the limit of the usefulness, because of burden and capabilities. They strong point so far is the integration through the “homemade” interface. But as with everything, that will have to be changed. And spending that much money (about 400 million USD) for around 100 000 rifles, is hard. This means these rifles will either need a different integrated system or an adaptation of the FELIN. This means more cost and shoehorning one system to the other.

            The bright side is that at least this time most of the kinks as far as ballistics and fouling are ironed out(more or less). Basically they are stuck with brand new cars and old parts…

          • @HellerWithAGunn

            Switzerland isn’t part of the EU, but the SG-550 was part of the competition…Obviously potential contenders weren’t limited to EU only.

          • Tritro29

            Swiss Arms has only the Swiss stamp, the company was sold to a German group, L&O Holding. Currently only Half of SAN Swiss Arms line based in Switzerland, Including the rifles. But indeed this meant that you non-EU entries were possible.

    • tsubaka

      short-supply lines it’s better when logistic comes from yours neighboors countries
      (especially if the country of origin could pressure your politics and army)

  • RiskbreakerFA

    The original news report quoted by Sputnik News only speaks of rumors. One month ago on French firearms forums it was rumored that Beretta was prefered and 2 months ago it was the VHS… As no real French military blogs are relaying this information since this 2 weeks old article, I would not consider this serious for now. EDIT for English grammar.

    • Hmmm, interesting. We’ll see, I guess!

    • Ider

      FYI Sputnik is not a reliable source of news. They are literally the mouthpiece of the Russian government. Read their ‘coverage’ of the MH17 shootdown if you want to laugh out loud.

      • Rousso

        Sure
        The most reliable source of news is Ukraine Information Army and Israeli Hasbara trolls

  • hikerguy

    If the report is true, I am surprised the VHS wasn’t in the finals, considering France’s longtime history with the FAMAS. However, I am not surprised the two finalists are the SCAR and HK 416. Both are already in use with Frances special forces, and the manufacturers are close by for technical assistance and resupply, But,……Sputnik News Agency announces it before any French publication? Strange.

    • Gordon Pasha

      “Sputnik News Agency announces it before any French publication? Strange.”

      Only that it didn’t. Sputniks article refers (and links) to an article published by the french site “Journal Les Sentinelles”.

      • wetcorps

        And Sentinelles refers to nothing. No sources, only rumors.

        • tsubaka

          in 2015 a french general said it will be for 2016/2017 (but again it’s been 10 years that i’ve heard it will be replaced soon)

      • hikerguy

        Now that is interesting. It looks like the French will have a winner soon.

        • tsubaka

          the famas have been suppposed to be replaced as much as the m4
          up to the 90′ and i’ve personnaly heard it in 2009

      • John

        And the French story doesn’t link to any sources whatsoever. I can’t read French that well, but some words do stick out, and I can read blue hypertext links, of which there aren’t any.

  • Andrey Martim

    Two great Assault Rifles. France will have a great AR soon, and they need it bad.

    • CommonSense23

      Have you spent any time with either one?

      • Andrey Martim

        Sadly I didn’t

        • CommonSense23

          The MK16 and 416 are vastly overrated. Major issue with the SCAR is the retarded charging handle, mag release. And the barrel change is not as useful as being able to swap a upper for military use.
          The 416 just isn’t as reliable as a M4A1 and is more expensive.

          • NewMan

            Where’s your source that the 416 isn’t as reliable?

          • His butt.

          • CommonSense23

            Considering I spent most of my career in Socom. I have a pretty good sources on this. HKs break more.

          • NewMan

            lol anyone can be a SOCOM or SEAL operator on the net, bro.

          • Anon

            And anyone can fail to do their research on whether M4s can run M855A1 or not on the internet.

          • I was a SOCOM JSOC FBI CIA Navy Seal Astronaut and King of Denmark for two years while running several Fortune 500 companies. HKs break more bro.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I LOVE that you’re digging a hole for yourself here… I can promise you there are two people here you should listen to. CommonSense and Nicks87. I know enough people and have been in enough of these circles to know these two are legit – as where you have aligned yourself in this thread with a teenager at best.

            But carry on buddy.

          • I have not seen Nicks post in this comment section.
            As per a guy claiming to be a career SOCOM employee on the internet (which he may well be), surely you have seen as much of this kind of thing as I have, with people making ostentatious claims about accolades they don’t actually have with regards to firearms. It is, unfortunately, hard to give people the benefit of the doubt.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I can’t prove he is or isn’t. But I know people who are/were, and he says the same things those people do. As where your buddy NewMan there has repeatedly embarrassed himself in this thread.

            So it’s funny to me that your jumping with both feet on the “lol operator operating” deflection. The one that’s the child’s response to yea, some people might know more than you.

          • NewMan

            How am I embarrassing myself by simply asking for source that the 416 is ‘less’ reliable? Stop being an ass kisser, bruh. The 416 has really established/proven itself and is an extremely reliable platform. Now all the sudden we have some alleged “SOCOM” operator claiming that it is “less reliable” than the M4 without any citation.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            The DI M4 simply isn’t reliable and robust enough to handle the new standard M558A1 ammo.

            That was where I first noticed it.

          • Joshua

            Haha coming from you that’s comical.

            What’s your military experience again?

          • You need military experience to judge the reliability of a firearm?

            Dammit.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            And your experience with high round count M4 and HK firing schedules is what? Putting on your most expensive cowboy boots and coming up with your best quips for youtube?

          • Here are some sources on the 416s having problems:

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/03/06/norwegian-soldiers-having-problems-with-hk416-2/

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/04/03/hk416-production-suspended/

            http://www.vuurwapenblog.com/technical-issuesnotes/dealing-with-hk416-bolt-over-base-malfunctions/

            Also, the 416 having a higher parts breakage rate than the M4 is supported by the ICC tests, given that Rifle C was indeed the HK416 as seems tp be the case.

          • Oh yes, but as stated in the article sourced from the guy from AR15.com, but the Colt Canada C8 has the same problems (according to the Norwegians).
            Also, the Tactical Wire article was proven false (and deleted accordingly) which is why the link in the TFB article is dead.
            As per Andrew’s bolt-over-base malfunction I have experienced it as well with 416s, as well as full auto DI guns. His complaint about weight is entirely valid as well.
            As per the gun not being as reliable, if we presume that rifle C in the ICC was a 416, then the CNA report showed a 25% increase in reliability, and a much higher mrbf (albeit class III stoppages were more frequent).

          • Class III stoppages are what CS23 was talking about.

          • My understanding is that the rifles were not actually recalled, that’s why the report was in err, not because they didn’t have issues.

          • Cmex

            Alex, you’re trying to convince Nat of something. It won’t work; he’s made his mind up and all facts to the contrary simply do not exist.

          • NewMan

            You DO know that the HK resolved that issue with the Norway rifle a long long time ago right? (that issue mostly have to do with the adjustable gas block) The Norwegian soldiers are very happy with their 416s. I can quote a Norwegian soldier that I’ve talked to if you like. He has nothing but good to say about the 416

            And in another one of your link whoever ‘Tactical Wire” is they got it wrong.

            Come on bro, you’re better than this.

          • It seems you believe I have “taken sides” or something. Rather, someone asked where one might get the impression that the 416 has had reliability issues, and I gave some sources.

            I have no reason to try to “prove” the HK416 is a bad rifle, but it sounds like you want to prove the opposite.

          • NewMan

            And I provided sources to prove that those issues were either solved a long time ago or were completely overblown.

          • On the contrary, you provided no sources of your own at all, and you reacted by questioning my character. Sounds to me like this matter is personal to you.

          • NewMan

            read the quote I provided by the SMEs. This site doesn’t allow me to post direct links so I provided quotes. Fact of the matter is that the Norwegian soldiers are very happy with the 416

            The 416 is currently THE best AR platform out there and is the true way to improve the AR platform. The only two platforms that can rival it in terms of performance are the SCAR and G36.

          • Yes, it sounds like I was right and the person with something to prove here is you.

          • NewMan

            I’m just getting the correct information out there, man, but you are entitle to believe what you want to. I have plenty of operators and SMEs backing me up, tho.

            In all, I’m very happy that the French are having a choice between two excellent rifles that have really proven themselves, instead of having the DI M4 forced down their throats

          • Plenty of operators? Do you realize how you sound?

            The HK416 is basically an M4 that has been overgassed and oversprung. That’s fine, but it can cause some problems, including more parts wear. Yes, the 416 also an oprod gun, which makes it run a bit cleaner but also means you now how a replacement schedule for the oprod, etc.

            None of that really has anything to do with the bolts. If the HK416 does have longer bolt life than the M4 (which, despite your protests, is far from proven; for an example in the other direction, Ron Cheney has reported getting something like 60,000 rounds out of his Colt bolts, which is… Um, a lot), then it’s likely because of the swanky French steel that they’re using, not because they push on the BCG with an oprod instead of a column of gas.

            There seem to be a lot of people who believe that Rifle A is garbage and Rifle B is awesome, because that’s a very natural way for people to think. Black and white, good and evil thinking is very easy, but it’s an obstacle to creating an accurate picture of how these firearms actually work and what their limitations are.

            And when you talk about the M4 having a bolt life of only X rounds or whatever, you really do sound silly to everyone like me who’s shot X+3,000 rounds through their rifles.

          • NewMan

            Replacement schedule for the op rod? Yeah let’s ignore the fact that DI M4 gas tube can be bent or worse blown up under high temperature. At least the op rod in the 416 is very easy to remove and maintain without any kind of tools, the same can’t be said for DI gun.

            Still waiting for your source that show the 416 has more parts wear.

          • Wait, so oprods can’t be bent? Let’s think about this, man: What happens if a DI tube gets bent? Unless it’s a twisted or kinked, nothing. The rifle works fine.

            What happens when an oprod gets bent? The gun stops working completely, and possibly other parts break as well.

            You just glaze over the fact that the oprod does have a replacement schedule (for its piston head and spring, especially), because that would be even remotely negative about the 416!

          • Rousso

            and AK

          • Rousso

            The first links are about HK having problems with freezing. Sure that is true. Designed like that

            The only gun that works in the Arctic is AK
            And Norwegians should have invested in Valmet instead

          • Uniform223

            “The only gun that works in the Arctic is AK”

            http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/2b/2b8f11b7c64f429513f51fd23274762c5b284507e6328d4c5101c290d5d5d9f1.jpg

            completely non scientific but proves you wrong

            later on he did this…

            Also last I checked Alaska is considered to be part of the arctic and the US Army has a major post/base in that state… Ft. Wainwright.

            http://d14rj7v0r2qnrv.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/13110755/ft.wainwright-sign.jpg

            http://www.arcticwarrior.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Arctic-Warrior-News-011516_img_5-1024×664.jpg

          • snmp

            French Army have mountain, desert, artic and anartic, European and jungle climat .. ……. with an small logitic

          • Tritro29

            The issue with the gas regulator is one of carelessness. And plagues most such equipped weapons (Even the M70 will have issues if you don’t understand how the rifle works). The issue was no lubrication, non-approved suppressor and lack of cleaning on the rifle.

          • anon

            Barrel change is fine. Consider it an armorer nicety since caliber conversion kits are not formally a production item. Line grunts aren’t going to be bouncing back and forth between 3 different barrel lengths. They just aren’t. The mag release is ambi and works. Recip charging handles are nothing new. Sorry I don’t get the hate. The 416 is a good gun, but for the cost not really worth it. It’ll probably win though.

          • Andrey Martim

            Wow wow… I am by FAR not a gun expert. But the 416 is WAY more reliable than the M4. It’s actually the very first marketing point of HK when selling this rifle.

          • Joshua

            Key word there is “marketing”

          • Andrey Martim

            Thanks! English is my second language, so…

          • Rousso

            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            In July 2007, the U.S. Army announced a limited competition between the M4 carbine, FN SCAR, HK416, XCR, and the previously-shelved HK XM8. Ten examples of each of the four competitors were involved. Each weapon fired 6,000 rounds in an extreme dust environment. The shoot-off was for assessing future needs, not to select a replacement for the M4. The XM8 scored the best, with only 127 stoppages in 60,000 total rounds, the FN SCAR Light had 226 stoppages, while the HK416 had 233 stoppages. The M4 carbine scored “significantly worse” than the rest of the field with 882 stoppages.

          • Uniform223

            In trails the M4A1 had the LEAST amount of class 3 stoppages… the kind that completely breaks a weapon and requires a fix at armory level.

          • Rousso

            And M4A1 isn’t as reliable as AK, and is more expensive. So…

          • CommonSense23

            Not sure where you get the idea that its not from?

          • Rousso

            No other automatic rifle is as reliable as AK. Because AK beats all of them being tested in the dust chamber, in the freezing chamber and filled with water

            Plus, proven by experience and feedback from users around the globe, from countries like Finnland and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia itself

          • That kind of talk maybe could fly in 1995, man, but these days lots of people own both and have conducted their own tests.

            The AR-15 design is extremely dust and debris resistant, moreso than the AK (which isn’t bad).

            The AK does seem to have an advantage in the cold, although I wish we had more data here.

          • Rousso

            The counterfeit production of Kalashnikovs outside Russia has incurred financial losses, tarnished the brand because of their poor quality and dented the country’s prestige abroad, Isaikin said Thursday.

            “Their quality bears no comparison to a Kalashnikov produced in Russia,” Isaikin told reporters.

            The AR-15 design is extremely dust and debris resistant, being sealed but is just as extremely vulnerable when being used around mud, water, dirt or in the cold. Outside its comfort zone it is not reliable at all.

          • Really? That’s not what I found when I torture tested my AR.

          • Rousso

            Where? In your bedroom?

          • It’s true, I have made most of Northern New Mexico my bedroom at one point or another.

          • Rousso

            Northern New Mexico?

            The average annual temperatures can range from 64 °F (18 °C) in the southeast to below 40 °F (4 °C) in the northern mountains.

            Finland

            Even in the south, the harshest winter nights can see the temperatures fall to −30 °C (−22 °F). In northern Finland, particularly in Lapland, the winters are long and cold, while the summers are relatively warm but short. The most severe winter days in Lapland can see the temperature fall down to −45 °C (−49 °F). The winter of the north lasts for about 200 days with permanent snow cover from about mid-October to early May.

            Siberia

            The annual average is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F). January averages about −20 °C (−4 °F) and July about +19 °C (66 °F)

          • Thank you for the geography lesson. Your contribution has been noted.

          • Also, it’s REALLY funny that you quote Northern New Mexico’s average temperatures as 40-64 F. I lived in Trinidad Colorado, which is only a few miles from Northern New Mexico, for two years, and it routinely got down to -20 F in the winter, at night.

          • Rousso

            You do know how the average value is calculated, don’t you?

            The point is, there are huge regions outside New Mexico, and in some of them, like in Russia, for example, the average weather conditions are much more harsh and because of that the requirements for the rifle’s performance are a little different in those areas of the world.

          • You apparently don’t:

            “Northern New Mexico?

            The average annual temperatures can range from 64 °F (18 °C) in the southeast to below 40 °F (4 °C) in the northern mountains.

            Finland

            Even in the south, the harshest winter nights can see the temperatures fall to −30 °C (−22 °F).”

          • Uniform223

            “The AR-15 design is extremely dust and debris resistant, being sealed but is just as extremely vulnerable when being used around mud, water, dirt or in the cold. Outside its comfort zone it is not reliable at all.”

            run along and play Call of Duty…

          • Tritro29

            This happens to be an US complaint, mostly from Mall Ninjas. Reciprocating handles have been standard for many European Countries (including some French units equipped with SIG/ManuRhin 540 and subsequently SIG 550 series).

            H&K416/SCAR-L not as reliable as the M4A1…yeah whatever.

        • jono102

          There is nothing inherently wrong or can’t be addressed with training and experience on either as a general service rifle. On the same token nothing puts them a head of any other quality service rifles on the market. Nor are they deserving of the “God like super gun” reputation they hold, especially among those who can google or knows a guy who knows a guy but never actually used them.
          Based purely on personal experience of each, my dislike of the SCAR was from the reciprocating cocking handle (dropped on the FCAR and CZ 806) crap stock and the bottom rail being a heat sync being fixed to the barrel. The H&K is a fine AR variant but I’ve also seen them crap out with both H&K steel and Lancer mags. They do get dirty over sustained use. The M320 makes the rifle a bit of a pig to manipulate as well. If my role was based around use of a short suppressed barrel, then use it would probably be an advantage over other AR’s. And I’ve seen them have just as much issues as any other quality D.I. or piston service rifle.

          The argument over life of the bolt or barrel in a military context is pretty irrelevant as military rifles aren’t generally shot to the point of total failure nor is the amount of round through it as important to the way they were put through i.e. rates of fire. Other stuff will generally crap out sooner and things like barrels and bolts will be replaced (or entire rifles) before they “really need to” so guys aren’t deploying with parts nearing there end of life.

          • Rousso

            Right
            There is nothing better than AK

          • jono102

            Dependent on the soldiers you want to use it, their ability and the capability you want from them…..in some cases maybe

          • Rousso

            “A new humility and a new sophistication may form the best parts of a complex heritage left to the Army by the long, bitter war in Vietnam.”

            Demma, Vincent H. (1989). “The U.S. Army in Vietnam”. American Military History. Washington, D.C.: US Army Center of Military History. pp. 619–694.

  • wetcorps

    I looked at the source of the Sputnik post, it’s in French and only mentions rumors. Not a hint of a, actual source, so I wouldn’t get excited yet.

  • Nicholas C

    Why not the Tavor?

    • Joshua

      Because Israel isn’t the EU and this was limited to EU companies.

      • Nicholas C

        Ahh thanks.

        • Joshua

          I think it’s a horrible decision, but I can see the reasoning behind it.

          Easier to get parts from a EU factory than from someplace on the other side of the world.

          Still though, it horribly limits your options.

          • Giolli Joker

            Horribly limits is a bit too harsh of a definition… FNH, HK, Beretta, CZ, HS Produkt, Swiss Arms, Steyr… and surely a few others that I forget.
            All offering different products.
            Basically you do not have Colt and Remington that would offer something with a design comparable to the HK offering; IWI and who else? Daewoo, STK?
            (Concern Kalashnikov would be unlikely anyway)
            I’m not going to say that any of the manufacturers is better or worse than the others, just saying that Europe alone offers plenty of choices and it’s no “horrible limitation”. 😉

          • Rousso

            It IS horrible
            No Tavor. No Israel. Is it not horrible?

          • snmp

            Kalashnikov in UE were build by Romania, Poland, Finland and Bulgaria … They could bid if theire AK could have AR15 mag & ambi contrôle

          • Tom

            Straying a little into politics but the EU is at its heart a protectionist trade union so it makes sense to keep procurement within the EU and keep the EU happy.

    • Anon

      Or the AUG?

      • snmp

        AUG is not ambi (ejection port)

    • tsubaka

      also we had a bad experience with Israel (and IMI) ~10y ago (for supplying 5.56 Famas) but they gaved us 5.56 Nato instead.

    • Rousso

      Yes! Why not the Tavor?
      Israel is a European country, and it is a kosher, fine rifle, and it is from Israel, so indeed why not

    • Tritro29

      Because they were rejected on the preliminary list. They submitted through Verney Carron and were turned down, because the subsidiary company was:

      1. Too “small”.
      2. Would have to start a pre-prod run in France (means about 6 months for the industrial tooling and formation of manpower). This means the rifles would have been issued later than the initial 06/2017 dead line.
      3. Politics.

  • I think

    …the winner is………………. HK 416!

    For the obvious reason that they are already fielding the HK 417

    • forrest1985

      French spec ops fielding the Scar for a while now tbf

      • snmp

        HK417, HK416, SCAR, SIG 5XX…. and some G3 ….. => phase out G36 & SR25 (not enough rugged …..)

  • Hurry up France. I would love to see some FAMAS parts kits trickle in so people could build them. I mean, sure they aren’t too great, but damn if they don’t look cool.

    • wetcorps

      No chances in hell, they’ll probably be scrapped.

      • Avery

        Or sold off to some other country like Algeria. Or donated to the Kurds or other non-state allies like what the Croatians did when they began replacing the VHS with the VHS-2.

        • Tritro29

          FAMAS will not be scrapped or sold, they will be kept to fight on until the French soldiers fighting with them will have no choice but use what ever is left of the guns in a last desperate charge against a canon redoubt. Too much Balaclava you say?

        • jono102

          Don’t a few of the current/former French colonies use them. They’ll probably crate a lot of them off and write them off as some sort of Defense aid package. A buy 1 get 2 free package and break down more as parts packages for them

    • John

      If somebody took the time to make a modernized pistol-grip version of the BAR rifle, in 30.06 no less, then people WILL build awesome FAMAS rifles.

      And then they’ll submit those FAMAS builds to France for evaluation, or just to prove they can do it, and the French will wonder what the hell is with our singular obsession with every firearm in existence. 🙂

  • jam

    come on parts kits

  • I’m excited to see a SCAR vs 416 fight to the death. Hopefully the testing procedures and results will be shared.

    However I wish the VHS-2 was still in the running. It looks like a FAMAS that’s been sent back in time from the year 2035.

  • kyphe

    “France, one the world’s first adopters of the bullpup rifle, will officially be abandoning the stockless rifle concept for good, it seems.” Should read “France, one the world’s first adopters of the bullpup rifle, will
    officially be abandoning the stockless rifle concept for the foreseeable future, it
    seems.”

    • ostiariusalpha

      Nah, bruh, bullpups are banished from L’Hexagone F-O-R-E-V-E-R! Otherwise we would have to believe that Clickbait Nate was guilty of hyperbole, and I just can’t even imagine that.

    • You are aware that “for good” may mean “permanently”, “finally”, and “conclusively”, as well as “forever”, right?

      • kyphe

        That is exactly why I am correcting your statement to an accurate form, rather than hmmm come on?

        • I think you’re interpreting it that way, sure.

          • kyphe

            I apologize if I came across in any way aggressively in my response. I had just come home from a night out drinking and had actually forgotten I had posted at all. My point is this. The term “for good” is directly synonymous with “Forever”. It can as you said, mean conclusively or finally but this is inclusively of forever as it is not an alternative meaning but a derived meaning from the implicitness of “forever”, as in so much as, if something is done forever it is by extension conclusive, final and permanent. It can in specific circumstances be set within the limits of a time period such as say a football season ” he is out of this season for good” but this needs to be pre established or immediately post established to prevent the default meaning being applied in the mind of the reader. Even then it is very bad use of grammar.

          • Alright, well, I disagree, and I think quibbling over what I wrote is pretty pointless.

            Frankly, I could have written “Robert’s rubber chicken is blue and lame” there instead of “for good” and it wouldn’t have changed the meaning or content of the article whatsoever. Therefore, your criticism is for all practical purposes just one of my grammar and writing. Fine. Not every reader has to like the way I construct every sentence, I would go mad and never get any work done at all if I thought they did.

          • kyphe

            I perfectly understand deadlines mate, but I think you are potentially underestimating how misleading headlines can impact the readers view of the article and the writer. Not that you are often guilty of this, I think your work is predominately high quality, well written and engaging. Obviously I never thought there would be any quibbling over pointing out such a basic error, but as it appears that in this case you actually hold a rather unique definition as is your right and as it is your career not mine I will butt out, chill out and leave you to it. “Robert’s rubber chicken is blue and lame” may just have caused a tiny bit of confusion and one or two comments regarding your current medication levels hehe.

  • WERT

    For the record, French special forces already are running a fleet of SCARs and HK416

  • Vernon682

    Kinda sad the VHS didn’t make it, if only because I kind of like the idea of a helghast gun being the french army rifle. Alas, a gun that’s familiar and battle hardened will inevitably win over a cool looking, but UNTESTED gun with an admittedly wii u grade gimmick of doing something that wasn’t done before that was otherwise fine and messes the whole thing up because the thing it’s trying to do is just not meant to be.

  • Ax

    In the last paragraph, the term “assault rifle” is used as meaning “bullpup assault rifle”.

  • Blake

    I think you meant to say “first adopted bullpup rifle”, not “first adopted assault rifle” in the first sentence of the last paragraph.

    • Whoooops, good catch. What is this, typo week for me?

  • Vitor Roma

    What bothers me about FN is that they seem lazy about updating the gun once it becomes mass produced. The 17S has a so-so stock and trigger that could receive upgrades and justify the very high price.

  • The_Champ

    What a magical place this internet is. A place where having a differing opinion on a rifle is an equivalent affront to murdering someone’s loved one.

    • Scott P

      Yep haha

  • Tom

    Any idea if its a basic SCAR L or is it the FNAC variant?

    • No clue. FNAC would surprise me as that was developed for US trials.

      • jono102

        FN USA and FN Belgium are 2 separate companies to a certain degree. They may produce the same platforms but they conduct further development in isolation. FNAC as above was a FN USA development as was the development put into the Mk 46 and Mk 48 guns from the 5.56/7.62 Minimi. FN Belgium seem to lag behind when it comes to further development of their products.

        • Yeah, and HK and HK-USA are the same way. Most extranational subsidiaries are not nearly as connected as they at first seem. 🙂

  • 2805662

    Interesting that Thales, a French company, couldn’t sell the French army their F90.

    • tsubaka

      it’s another branch company, thales australia who eenginered the F90 it’s like FN USA or SIG USA, they are related but Thales France didn’t worked on it

    • Saj

      I believe Steyr has rights to the international market. Thales is tech company, Lithgow small arms is a tiny part of their business that they inherited when they bought ADI.

  • breversa

    Please, for one last time :
    The “bugle” nickname hasn’t been used for TENS of years now. Only in the FA-MAS early days was it called like that by some units. The majority of today’s french soldiers weren’t even BORN that that nickname had long been forgotten…

    • breversa

      … also, the background french flag is backwards. Blue is left, and red is right. 🙂

    • Cmex

      You’re right, they prefer “The range rifle”, for only working well on the firing range. 😛

  • toms

    The Famas requires steel cased ammo to not rip apart cases and weighs 8+lbs. The french actually field Chinese ammo because of this. The Famas is a turd but its Frances turd which means its a polished turd. Seeing the French buy a non-indigenous rifle makes me sad though. How far western Europe’s once proud industries have fallen. It was once unthinkable for a country to purchase non-indigenous rifles because it was a source of pride. Maybe Russia will field the M16a5, Ha

    • Tritro29

      Every one board the bullshit train. The F1 Famas would deform SOME brass cases. MAT (Tulle Armament produced both Steel AND Brass). The French field German and British ammo because the MAT has been closed down and there’s no more French production for original French specced ammo. You guys have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Anonymoose

        Most FAMASes actually used by the French military/gendarmerie are the F1 version. The G1 and G2 and other special variants (“commando” and DMR, etc) were bought in small numbers by the French Navy and produced for export, but never really used by the French Army. The FELIN system was based around the F1 even, not the improved G2.

        • Tritro29

          Nope, most Famas are REV (Revalorisés) are STANAG compatible and are F1 rebuilt from G1/G2 groups that were the last systems available from St Etienne. At least half the Famas rifles can mount part or all of the FELIN suite, this means that F1 standard is non-applicable.

          Yes, it’s France, everything is complicated.

      • Kivaari

        Like the G3 deforms some brass. Some really badly. As long as it doesn’t rip through the rim all is good.

    • n0truscotsman

      The FAMAS rifles in afghanistan were firing brass cased. Since it was German, there weren’t any case issues.

      Tritro, was this a problem or isolated incident with domestically produced french brass cased ammunition?

  • Rousso

    Valmet was and still is popular and appreciated

    • Tritro29

      The RK 62 is the exception to the rule. Given that Finland discontinued the purchase of the AK and build their own within the decade, it’s exactly what I mean.

      • The Rk. 62 is a fabulous rifle, and I find it amusing that he laments inferior “copies” of the Russian AK while touting the Finnish guns.

        • Tritro29

          He’s probably ex-pat fan boy. These days I see them everywhere having opinions on anything. Case in point he would consider AK-400 superior to AK-12. Two different paradigms.

        • Rousso

          That is because the Finnish gun is not an inferior piece of crap like all the US-made so called “AKs”, but a fine and refined Western rifle, and still AK!

          • But Bulgys and Romys are useless pieces of crap, yes?

          • Tritro29

            Why do you want to make me cringe. Don’t fall for it. I could explain him that Funland guns are technologically less advanced than most of the Western rifles it has gone against and unlike most of these guns, it is a forced choice rather than a perfect gun (same for us in Russia) but I don’t. Kivaari/Vintovka is fine, it’s just not either refined or Western. It’s an old milled workhorse of Soviet design, mostly still alive because no one can afford to re-equip the FDF with prices asked for replacements out there. Let’s be brutally honest. Sig 550 or FNC that’s a refined and upgraded AK-style action, just not exactly an “industrial AK”. He’s an ill-informed troll. Just let this be. Oh and as AKOU showed recently, yes US-export Civilian Arsenals have this tendency to be crap from time to time. Same for those Cugirs picked up by US brokers. This is a simple issue with greedy brokers and “week-end” QC. Happens all the time for AK pattern rifles.

          • Rousso

            Romanian are crap, Bulgarian are so-so. M70 is fine. Valmet is great. Russian 100 series are good enough.

            But those that are made and sold in the US are all garbage, because even Arsenal doesn’t make them up to the milspec standarts.

          • That’s right, we Americans are not worthy enough to even touch a true Kalashnikov, and indeed therefore we know not what a real rifle is actually like.

            But of course the Russians made sure that the Vietnamese and Iraqis got all the best guns! XD

          • Strange since I bought an M70 variant here in the US three years agp

        • Kivaari

          The RK62 is a great rifle. It was the first AK pattern rifle I bought 40 years ago. It is superior to all AKs that follow the original pattern Soviet rifle.

  • John

    Ok.

    Let’s assume the article is on the actual level and the French military is actually leaning towards getting rid of bullpups altogether.

    Let’s also assume Sputnik News and the sourceless article it links to aren’t meant to push these two rifles, and are actually on the level.

    It’s no secret that I favored the VHS rifles. They’ve got some unusual concepts, and I thought it would simply French training if they were using a rifle they were already somewhat familiar with. Oh well.

    Having a weapon that looks like an AR-15 simplifies some stuff. It simplifies sharing equipment with the Americans. Let’s not dance around the issue; everybody who can shares something with the Americans. Vehicles, missiles, fighter jets, whatever. It may as well be ammunition magazines and weapon attachments as well.

    It also identifies them as Western forces. UN Security Council aside, there are three major rifles being used in the world right now.

    First is the AR-15 series by North American/European forces. Second is the Kalashnikov series by Russia.

    The third is the QBZ-95 bullpup series by Chinese forces. I think the Chinese rifles are worth taking a hard look at, because China is currently equipping a lot of African militaries in the hopes to try to secure the places Chinese businesses are working in.

    The QBZ-95 is a bullpup rifle. It is also the standard-issue battle rifle of the People’s Liberation Armed Forces, and when combined with all its export gifts and sales that China makes to Africa and anyone else who wants them, makes the QBZ the most manufactured bullpup rifle in the world.

    If French forces are fighting hostile African militaries or rebel forces, those militaries and rebel forces may well be equipped with Chinese bullpup rifles. It’s easy to determine the difference between an AR-15 and a QBZ-95 up close; it’s much harder to do so between a FAMAS and a QBZ. So that’s probably another very good reason why France wants to dump anything that looks like a FAMAS and the whole bullpup rifle together, among others.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter.

    • Rousso

      First is the Kalashnikov series by Russia. Second is the AR-15 series by North American/European forces.

    • The front half of the VHS is interesting; the back half is pretty much a trainwreck.

      I don’t know if the “bullpup means Chinese” idea was a factor, but it’s an interesting line of thinking.

      Anyway, I just reports da noos, and this is news. We’ll see how truthful it proves to be.

  • Kivaari

    France and Spain have both abandoned domestic firearms manufacturing. It is a shame, considering how advanced France has been. Except for a couple failures, the Chauchaut being a prime example, their modern rifles have been pretty good. The FAMAS not so much, since it needed special ammunition. But, they sure could come back.

    • snmp

      French Army FAMAS were built around 1980’s. There are 40 years of services for manies small wars …..

      • Kivaari

        The French were in Afghanistan with our forces.

    • Cmex

      The French also seemingly make retarded arms design choices out of habit. Let’s think… The Ruby pistol was good at failing or shooting its carrier in the leg, the MAS36 required a complete change of sights to be zeroed, the MAS49 was a DI semiautomatic released when everyone else had moved onto battle rifles and assault rifles, the FAMAS used a wierd blowback system with proprietary ammunition…

      • Kivaari

        The rear element on the MAS 36 was changed to zero the rifle. Big deal. MOST soldiers in the era did not get to zero their rifles, individually. They shot a group, and if it needed correction the armorer replaced the element. It worked.
        Spanish companies built the Ruby pistols. France could not get enough pistols and contracted out. Britain and Russian did the same. Some very nice .455 Revolvers were bought in Spain for Brit forces.
        The MAS 49 and M49/56 (in particular) were good rifles. The M49/56 is as good as an M1 or M14 rifle. When France adopted the FAMAS, they were out of NATO (DeGaull’s polices hung on) so having a weird rifle, was a “So what?” issue. The M49/56 was not NATO standard either. It may have been “French” to use non-NATO calibers, as they liked not being tied to alliances. Now they are adopting a NATO standard rifle. Their belt feed guns are 7.62mm. Moratars are the same caliber. Artillery are the same.
        Your criticism of those weapons are without foundation.

      • Kivaari

        Think about what you said about the MAS 49. A DI gun adopted when others were moving to battle rifles and assault rifles. Really. The French adopted it before the SAFN 49 was common. We had the M1. The M14 wouldn’t show up, and then go away in 1957. The FAL did not exist. Soviets were still building and issuing the SKS. The AK really did not showing up until 53 and in 57 changed to the AKM. WE were behind, and finally adopted a DI gun in the 60s, that is still with us today. It’s like you think a DI gun is bad. France was ahead of European armies, by a decade.

        • Cmex

          1949 wasn’t a bad year for semiautomatics, but then they went and insisted on fielding it all the way into the 80’s…

          • Kivaari

            Did, the combat actions the French participated in go badly because the rifle was inadequate? I think not. They just needed a new rifle to adapt to new combat tactics. When the typical French Para jumped he only carried 100 rounds, not uncommon for men with 7.5 or 7.62 HEAVY ammunition. Going light wight allowed more fire and maneuver where the riflemen can add weight to the action. With the M14 or M49/56 that really limits what they can do. Before that the squad was built around the GPMG. Going to rifles supporting the movements aids in the speed of advance.

          • Cmex

            Need I remind you that the MAS-49 literally lost every war it ever fought.

          • Kivaari

            That is not true. France has been in quite a few punch up that it controlled. When they jumped in Kolwezi (sp) they packed M49/56 and only 100 rounds of ammo. One unit jumped and prevailed. The M49/56 is a fine rifle. War are lost at bargaining tables not battle fields.

          • Kivaari

            Vietnam and Algeria didn’t show inferior French arms, just politics. Dien Bien Phou was not lost because of the rifles, but by generals that did not know that deploying on a long valley floor over miles of terrain under the muzzles of artillery was a bad thing. They put soldier in a trap and it was not the enemy that was being baited.

  • Uniform223

    run along and play your Call of Duty for all your insight into military firearms.

  • Your link has absolutely nothing to do with M855A1.

    Different people will have different recommendations for when to change a bolt. You are making the connection between Kyle’s advice to change bolts at 5-6k and the bolts in the photo. Do we know how many rounds those bolts have? No, we do not.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    The French flag is backwards in your image…

    • No, the hoist is just on the right.

      • anonymouse

        There seem to be two extra colors besides the usual white…

        • Cmex

          Ho-hohn!

  • Warren Ellis

    Isn’t there a FAMAS variant that works fine with brass cased ammo? Why don’t they just adopt that?

    • No one is making the FAMAS anymore, in any variant.

      • Tom

        Also and sorry to upset HK fansbut gas operated rifles just make for better military service rifles than recoil operated ones.

        • The FAMAS is delayed blowback…

          • Tom

            Correct me if I am wrong on this but as I understand it a blowback design be it straight, or retarded in some way is a recoil operated – relying on Newtons third law – to open the breech.

          • Not really, no. At least, considering them to be recoil-operated requires using vastly different definitions of those terms than the ones that are generally accepted.

  • Rousso

    The AK-47—Best Fighting Rifle in History
    by Jeff Kirkham

    I stood on the first Afghan target I had ever assaulted looking at an AK we had just taken off a body of a man who had decided to fight us.

    It was stamped “1953” and I thought to myself that at that point in time that rifle had been in combat for at least 40 years, with little to no maintenance, and was just as deadly that day as the day it rolled off the manufacturing line in Russia.

    I thought back to 2002, right before deploying to Kuwait in preparation of the invasion of Iraq. I had the opportunity to do the first non-bias “official” testing on the AK-47 for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

    Up to that point in time no data could be located on the performance of the AK, where the DOD had officially tested it. After I finished that week of testing, it forever changed the way I look at the AK rifle and I came to the conclusion that the AK was the best-engineered rifle in history.

    Since that time, I have used, carried and taught the AK extensively.. It was my choice of weapon during the years I spent fighting in the Global War on Terror and would be to this day.

    During the DOD/SOCOM testing, we exploded all the myths associated with the AK such as accuracy, ergonomics, heat, etc.. We confirmed that the AK did in fact have incredible reliability. We proved that the rifle was well within the parameters of accuracy, the ergonomics just simply needed to be learned and understood, and that it was an incredible feat of engineering.

    One of the brightest mechanical engineers that I know once said to me “Any idiot can come up with a complicated solution to a problem. But it takes a genius to come up with a simple solution to a complicated problem.” I believe that simplicity is the spirit of the AK-47.

    The AK is an incredible achievement of engineering that has withstood the test of time and I would argue that it’s the most ergonomic, best thought-out, and least-understood rifle today.

    • WE GET IT, YOU VAPE

      • CommonSense23

        Apparently 2002 was the first time the US ever did a real test of the AK.

        • Rousso

          Jeff Kirkham has served 28 years with the US Army Special Forces (active and guard), with numerous operational deployments to worldwide posts in both semi-permissive and non permissive environments. He is currently a Master Sergeant (18Z) with the 19th SFG (A) and, in the past, was a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

          Besides earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of New York and completing the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course, Jeff also graduated from US Army Ranger School, Special Forces Combat Dive School, US Army Free-Fall School and numerous other shooting, driving and close-quarter combat schools.

          • CommonSense23

            Ok. So what.

        • Kivaari

          A test of its mechanics? We sure knew a great deal about the ballistic performance and wound treatment. The AK simply is not as good a rifle as the M16 series. Poor ballistics in the air and in tissue.
          There is so much information regarding the AK, much of which is just simply wrong. I’ve used the round for over 40 years, and it is a fun cartridge. It simply comes in a package that is inferior in almost every regard to other modern rifles.
          I’ve owned around 25 AKs and 25 SKSs from just about every nation that produced the things. I like them, but I no longer own one. Why? Poor sights and lack luster performance. They are good short range rifles. Add a scope and they can reach out much farther. But, sights seriously limit performance especially if you’re eye sight is not 20/20.

    • Kivaari

      DOD had long ago tested the AK47. By 2002 there was extensive testing done by the Wound Ballistics Lab, Presidio. Even the AK74 and the 5.45 round was well known in Army circles. WE had tons of information from the Vietnam era on how to treat 7.62x39mm bullet wounds. WE knew in the 60s that the AK had an inferior bullet compared to 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO.

  • idahoguy101

    The M16/M4 rifle were manufactured in Connecticut and paid for with military aid money provided by the USA. The Galil was paid for by the Israeli taxpayer. So buying from Colt cost Israel…nothing!. Which is awesome when you need 100,000 rifles

    • Tritro29

      Yes, you just lost your small arms design capability. BTW now that the Menusar went down, why didn’t the IDF stick with the ACE family of rifles?

    • Kivaari

      Many were made in Olympia, WA.

  • forrest1985

    Lotta debate on this…personally like both rifles although i can only go by aesthetics/ergonomics as haven’t had pleasure of shooting either. All i can say is i wish the UK would take note and ditch awful bullpup format! It needs to die a death soon. Both SCAR & 416 have seen some action with French Spec Ops to my knowledge, although i can see the 416 edging this.

  • That’s an Rk.76, bro.

    • Rousso

      I was talking about Valmet, bro!

      Rk95 is an upgraded variant of Rk62, not Valmet M76 that I was talking about. Rk62 and Rk95 are not called Valmet

      • Tritro29

        WTF? The Orginal Valmet is the RK60 which is a milled barely modified AK. 200 rifles were built. SAKO was also participating and its design (which was a kind of mix between SKS and AK lost). Afterwards both SAKO and Valmet were contracted to build the RK62. Which once again was a milled, heavily modified, AK.
        The RK76 was also built in two variants, both in a stamped reciever variant and milled reciever. Funnily enough. SAKO imported the gun in the US…So which is the Valmet and which is the SAKO.

        • Rousso

          Valmet M76 (Rk 62-76) is the only one in the series of Rk that bears the name of Valmet

          • Tritro29

            You clearly have no f***** clue. “Valmet” M76, is actually the export model which was distributed and built by…SAKO. It’s called SAKO M76 in the US and outside of Finland. The RK 76 is built like usually by both companies (Valmet with serial numbers 100 XXX and Sako with Serial numbers 200 XXX). It will also be built in two receiver variants (milled/stamped) and three calibres (5.56/7.62×39/7.62×51).

            Get back to your cave.

          • jay

            Ohhh, a Valmet or Sako in 7.62×51. Where would I find one. What a painful woody!

          • Tritro29

            It’s a long and perilous journey my friend…Honestly given they’ve sold like a couple hundreds at best. You have more chances to find the RK83 than the original 76 on 7.62×51. Then there’s the Rk 88 if you like Saigas.

          • Kivaari

            I had the M62s and the 76FS. The first is milled the second stamped. The 76FS stock was horrible and the hinge weak. Both rifles shot quite well.

          • Tritro29

            It’s actually the other way around, the Rk62 stock was so stiff it would sometimes lock in the mechanism once the mobile part was dented and out of tolerance. The new one (“smile” pattern) has less of that risk because of the multiple spacings. Ironically again they reverted to the East German/Polish folding mechanism for the Rk76 (because they bought some samples of Polish AKM’s Rk 58TP), instead of their own mechanism…

          • Kivaari

            The ones Interarms brought in had rigid butts stocks on the M62s. Later the folding tube 76FS (“FS” folding stock or folding-semi?) came in. Nicely made rifles, but that sheet metal huge folding stock was horrible.

          • Kivaari

            The RK62 (not the “T” model) doesn’t fold.

          • Tritro29

            Actually it’s the TP model, but whatever. The point was that the folding variant was troublesome and it was changed.

          • Kivaari

            WE see them with SAKO marked parts.

          • Kivaari

            Look at others SAKO is in the mix.

        • Kivaari

          Very early ones were simply Russian rifles. From MEMORY they were milled receivers. Somewhere I have a photo of Finn soldiers in a bicycle unit armed with Soviet patterrn AKs.

      • Kivaari

        Valmet and SAKO built the rifles. WE tend to call the Finn AKs Valmets as they were the only ones imported into the USA.

      • Kivaari

        Valmet and SAKO are the two large semi-government arms works. At one time owned by the International Red Cross.

  • Hahahah, I don’t even had moderator powers in this comments section, dude. Chill out. Disqus gets buggy when there’s a lot of comments.

  • I’m not putting words in your mouth, I am using a form of argument called argumentum ad absurdum, which is where I take statements you’ve actually made and follow them to their logical conclusion. Example, Kalashnikov/Izhevsk/Molot/Arsenal guns imported to the USA are not “true” AKs because something something quality control (which isn’t how that really works), but every single worn out Type I in Asia and Africa is a Superior True AK and Real Man’s Rifle.

    Ergo, the Russians and Bulgarians clearly cared far more what quality of rifles dirt herders in Africa got than they do what they send to the American market.

    • Rousso

      “…each type of equipment which is produced is turned out in two variants – the normal one and the ‘monkey model’. The ‘monkey model’ is a weapon which has been simplified in every conceivable way and which is intended for production in wartime only.

      …In peacetime these variants are turned out in large quantities, but they are only issued to countries friendly to the Soviet Union.

      …When one of these ‘monkey models’ fell into the hands of Western specialists, they naturally gained a completely false impression…”

      Suvorov V.
      “Inside the Soviet Army”

      • Oh man, you’re quoting Suvrov on monkey models in a conversation about AKs! Are you gonna quote Snake-Eater next?

        • Tritro29

          It’s amazing the mental gymnastics this guys can achieve just not to “lose” the argument. It’s clearly a mental condition. As a Russian, I don’t understand why it is so complicated to accept that Dima was asleep during QC or just didn’t care. The guys that were receiving it weren’t going to survive the rifle anyway…or maybe they would.

          Sometimes it’s just embarrassing. When you point out that my best mates service rifle had three different model parts with “matching numbers”, people say you lie. And I’m like, Bozhe moi…

        • Rousso

          No reason to doubt what he is writing there

          Like I said, AK is a design, and how bad or good this designe is should be judged by the best, not by the average and of course not by the worst of the examples.

          I also said that I think the best example of AK is Valmet. The M70 and 100 series are also good. Others are not so good including the earlier Russian production.

          What is so difficult to understand here

          • A. It’s Suvrov.

            B. Monkey model rifles? I’ve never heard of them. Monkey model tanks, airplanes, trucks, etc, sure. Rifles? What’s there to simplify, leave out the cleaning kits!?

          • Kivaari

            Add Galils.

    • Kivaari

      I love it.

  • I am not saying the American AK market doesn’t have problems (indeed, it has serious ones), but the idea that somehow the surplus Tabuk that a Maadi Army militiamen is using is more of a “Real AK” than the average Arsenal import on the US market is stupid.

    • Tritro29

      We’re in agreement. I was pointing out that the AK suffers from a reputation that has nothing to do with the rifle itself. In both good and bad.

    • Rousso

      That is not “the idea” I was talking about

  • Tritro29

    1.That’s an RK76

    2.The RK62 was milled.

    3. The RK95 is also…milled. You are an ill-informed troll and should be gone by now.

  • Tritro29

    I call that many Wikipedia non-sense and over exageration. Bottle of whisky for the Armorer…really? And where would the armorer find the “obturateur” to replace the “cheek rest”? Let me tell you, in the units reserve. Which means that once per year, the armorer will have his ass chewed. I don’t know anyone risking demotion for a case of booze.

    Especially the part which sees “a French politician” move the production “abroad”…What “Julien” meant, was that GIAT was losing so much money on ammunition (given most export sales of the FAMAS were all 1/9 in twisting that foreign clients would buy non-French ammo and still shoot with the rifle accurately and the Cold war was over) that they elected for part of their ammo (F1/G1 rifles) to purchase from 3 sources. Among them a Giat/UAE JV given the Emiratis had bought a small batch of Famas.

    However this was only part of the ammo supply. A big bunch of it from 1997 over was coming from RUAG, Germany from a factory next to the French border.

    In supplement, some British ammo was also picked up. BTW his description of the FAMAS is quite positive…so what’s the deal?

    • Anon

      For all of your defending of the FAMAS, have YOU actually used one? Do you or anyone else you know have first hand experiences with the rifle?

      • Tritro29

        About half a dozen people I’ve served, went on to join the FFL. I’ve fired the FA about a dozen times and F1 to boot. I’ve done comparisons for Oberland along with other people (filtering) with a G2 rifle about 250 rounds prior to the AAPC in 2014.

        Basically firearms is not some hobby. It’s also part of my job. Also being objective about an item or a topic, doesn’t mean I’m defending it. Between a FAMAS and AK74M, I’d pick a 74M. It doesn’t mean the 74M is better, it just means I’m more comfortable with it. The same is true for many/all Americans here. They would bounce the FAMAS, notwithstanding its flaws and qualities, primarily because they’re far more familiar with an AR-15.

        This doesn’t mean, that one should misjudge a rifle because Wikipedia peddled non-sense about it. No rifle stands 40 years as a primary weapon, with flaws as huge as implied regularly about the FAMAS.

        • Anon

          Admittedly, the flaws of the rifle are probably exaggerated, but I’ll say the F1 does have a huge flaw in that it can’t properly stabilize 62 grain ammunition with its 1 in 12 twist rate.

          Since the FAMAS is pretty much dead (no production), with the F1 version being the most common with its stupid proprietary magazines and twist rate, the FAMAS should certainly be replaced, wouldn’t you agree? And one more thing, this rifle doesn’t lock back on the last round fired, does it?

          • Tritro29

            F1 as it was is only remaining in Reserve. Most of the F1’s used currently are REV’s (which is a very complex “upgrade” as not every REV has been upgraded the same, some have just rails, some have everything of a G1/G2 but keep an F1 distinctive appearence).

            It’s not that simple, “properly” stabilizing the round isn’t exactly the reality? Some deviation exists on some worn out rifles and with the recent change in ammo, the problem isn’t going anywhere.

            The FAMAS, since its production line has ceased, was doomed.

          • Anon

            Why did they stop producing it anyway? Lack of funding if I were to hazard a guess.

            My bad, I forgot that I read about the upgrades (STANAG magazines) in a previous post of yours.

            Anyway, I finally realized that arguing about the FAMAS’ merits or lack thereof in my case is kind of pointless when the rifle’s going to be replaced anyway.

            What do you think should replace the FAMAS?

          • Tritro29

            Why did they stop producing the FAMAS? Capitalism…
            I think the French ought to rethink their COTS strategy. And is they want that, they should have lowered the passing mark, in a way that the actual cost of the program (around 350/400 million Euro) doesn’t get out of hand.

            I am partial to Oberland, because I worked with them. The French could have gotten their rifles at roughly 1.6/1.8 thousans euros. Now they won’t get them anywhere lower than 2.5 thousand Euro, which is the lowest price the H&K416 has ever been sold.

            However beyond the rifles and accessories, the French needed ammo. That effectively stops small companies from competing, H&K and FNH have synergies with other companies (like Cockerill for FNH) that allow them to offer a complete range of “solutions” price be damned.

            The other big issue is the fact that the Felin program is going to be obsolete very soon. Most of the subunits are 2000 era products, while the detection and communication solutions have made giant bounds both in capability and burden.

            So buying a very expensive COTS rifle they would need to re-accessorize in the next decade seems like a waste. But again, it’s normal. This is the state of affairs in Europe when the military is concerned. Including Russia.

        • jay

          I’m sure that if we could get the importation laws relaxed, America would happily take in all those awful Famas rifles. Can I pre order? ;-}

          • Tritro29

            I really don’t think the French understand the concept behind any commercial enterprise when guns are concerned. So frankly it’s going to be an uphill battle.

  • jay

    There are half a dozen excellent AK manufacturers in the states, they just are not inexpensive.

    • Rousso

      None

  • Rousso

    This is Valmet M76 aka Rk 62-76

    “In 1986, Valmet’s gun manufacturing unit in Jyväskylä was transferred under Sako-Valmet Oy, which was later renamed Sako Oy. The company is currently owned by the Italian gun manufacturer Beretta.”

    “The Valtion Kivääritehdas (VKT) opened at Tourula, Jyväskylä in 1925 had become a part of Valmet in the 1950s and in 1987, the state-owned Valmet and SAKO fused into SAKO-VALMET, with ownership split evenly between Nokia and Valmet. After several organizational shifts in state ownership, the SAKO name remained for the privately owned gun- and cartridge-producing company located in the cities of Riihimäki and Jyväskylä (former Valmet factory in Tourula, which was later closed). The company now is owned by Beretta Holdings.”

    I don’t care what people call it in the US and what it’s called in the books like the one referenced.

    • Tritro29

      Once again mister troll. Explain to me why Finish defense Rifles until 1986 have two serial numbers. 100 XXX and 200 XXX. Called in the books? The two manufacturers built the rifle and those for export were pushed through the SAKO moniker. It’s not caring, it how they were marketed…I already posted a “sales brochure” with Sako M76 mentionned. Now stop lying and get off the thread.

    • Tritro29

      Also do you want me to show you the other face of that rifle? Will I have your word that you would stop your bullshit if i can show it to you? Let me tell you something, it’s written S… on the other side.

  • n0truscotsman

    “because they don’t see the use for a bipod and muzzle launched grenades”

    They just haven’t witnessed the sheer awesomeness of the rifle grenades available for the FAMAS.

    They make the 40mm HEDP look like a firecracker.

  • n0truscotsman

    I dont like either, TBH.

    Id prefer a US M4 or Canadian C7 or C8.

    Given France’s more limited military budget, it would make little sense to go with either.

  • Kivaari

    Late M62s or RK62? Either way it’s a great rifle.

    • Tritro29

      It’s an Rk76…milled.

      • Kivaari

        The 76s imported to the USA were sheet metal. I understand the Finns reverted to milled after a few years with sheet metal.

        • Tritro29

          The M76 imported in the US were of both types. And Sako marketed both types. That’s why a lot of people talk of Rk62-76 and M76 is different brackets. While it was the same production batch. Something I only discovered recently, is that a part of the milled Rk76 were actually intended to be sold to Israel as a stop gap to their own troubles with the Galil. They ended up on the international market.

  • Kivaari

    AKs are only inaccurate due to the trouble using the sights. 7.62x39mm ammo can and has produced some fantastic accuracy. The most consistent ammo I used was Chinese military PS-type. I should say it was the most consistent of that ammo I shot over a chronograph. I’ve seen lots of people complain about inaccurate AKs, but they don’t even know that you can adjust the sights. That was common in the US Army when demonstrating the AK.

  • Kivaari

    ALL Soviet PATTERN AKMs I’ve seen have a phosphate coating covered in baked on paint. Even the Saigas have paint.

  • Kivaari

    M16s can fire rifle grenades. We just don’t. The 40mm grenade systems do what we want. No, a 40mm grenade can’t deliver a HEAT round like a rifle grenade. The Mecar BT grenades can be slipped on and launched with ball ammo. All the M16 needs is the retention spring slipped on the flash hider. It was developed to use rifle grenades, but we quickly went to the more useful M203-type accessory.

    • Tritro29

      The M16 can fire rifle grenades without modification, please explain to me how? The only armed forces to do so are the IDF and the Menusar used an extension…more useful? A low speed, mortar like specialized grenade over a high speed direct fire muzzle grenade. Clearly you haven’t seen how potent the direct fire grenades are. The facts are simple, there’s one function (actually at least 4 more but whatever) more on the FAMAS, is it perfect? No…but is it more versatile, yes.

      • Kivaari

        The M16 was designed to just slip a grenade over the flashhider. It IS NATO standard. A circula sping was issued to retain it, like on the M49/56. Mecar bullet trap grendades slip on with no need to use a blank. Simply fire a ball round and off it goes. Look at the Israeli launcher. They have that very long dual charged bariccade busting grenade that slips on. This was commonly illustrated in early literature. We just went to the M203 style launchers. Accuracy with rifle grenades are harder to hit with. The 40mm systems are better, except against armor of any real size.

        • Tritro29

          The only M16 with muzzle grenades I’ve seen are those used by the IDF which all use a contraption(including the Simon).
          The M16 could very well been though to “fire” muzzle grenades but it has no tool to aim them. So this leads me to believe that the function has either been delated, though redundant or not planned all together. The Mecar grenade AKA Energa even corrected that flaw in the trials by actually having both sight and adaptor mounted on the fired HEAT grenade.

          Israelis used prior the Simon a similar style self regulated grenade for a very short range engagement. And ironically they used them with the Galils.

          • Kivaari

            Them flash hiders on the NATO rifles all take grenades. Those Mecar grenades were “universal”. WE just went another route. I’ve seen the early images where the only added device was the annular spring.

          • Tritro29

            Nope they don’t. The Energa was self adapting but it was tested with the initial M16 three prong flash hider (Colt 601). For instance You couldn’t fire the M29 (training version of the Energa with the FAL, which had its own device for them, with a launch sight).

            Do we have to restart the old debate about you dreaming some details about weapons? Fact is, try and fire an APAV with an M16, I guarantee it will upset you…Because the people at Oberland have a special setting on their M/LE piston rifles…

            Furthermore, A part from the Protugese Ar-10 which had a specific muzzle design and the COLT 601 (which also had the Brunswick “grenade”) none other model was tested with that capability in mind.

            Also you never launch grenades with ball ammo…it’s always with blanks…

          • Kivaari

            Those rifles in use by NATO that use the cylindrical flash hiders launch grenades. The bar-type on sonme FAL and M14s needed adapters. The Styer didn’t. The G3 didn’t need extra hardware.
            Early on the M16 could have been confirgured for RGs, but that choice was made to not do so. WE just have not issued RGs for 50 years. Many NATO nations do and many rifles use a cut off valve.

          • Kivaari

            Wrong. The BT = BULLET TRAP RGs are made to use directly with BALL AMMUNITION. The range is diminished, but it doesn’t require a shift to blanks. That was why the BTs were introduced. How many are used? I have no clue. But if an army wants a BT grenade they exist. The sights are built into the tail fin assembly and is simply raised and is discarded as the RG leaves the gun.
            All the NATO standard grenade launcher – flash hiders were adopted with that in mind. Better range comes from using a cutoff valve and blanks.

          • Kivaari

            Look up Mecar BT RGs. BT = BULLET TRAP. Live – real – ball ammo as the launching round.

          • The father of the 22mm muzzle device concept was reputedly Henk Visser. I don’t think it was ever formally standardized by NATO, but its use is widespread enough to be a de facto standard.

            http://www.mecar.be/data/1156766327rifle_grenadeM200.pdf

          • Kivaari

            I think it is the same size as our WW2 clip on launchers. That’s from memory. Essentially every rifle became a spigot launcher. It is hard on the rifles and using blanks with a closed off system, like the FAL, FN49, M59/66 allows more gas to be delivered behind the bomb. The bullet trap system worked on any rifle with or without a valve. On a rifle without the shut-offs the range was quite a bit less. It sure would cut down on mistakes if every grenade had a bullet trap. Even Mecar advised using blanks to maximize range.

          • Kivaari

            Tritro29 wont believe me. Perhaps the Mecar ad will inform him of the 40+ year old design.

          • Tritro29

            See above…

          • Kivaari

            What about the BT RGs? “Also never launch grenades with ball ammo… it’s always with blanks…”, except when it is with ball ammo using BT RGs from 22 mm NATO standard muzzle devices. It is advisable to use blanks to get the extra range. It is advisable to use a shoulder fired missile for AT jobs. It is why the Soviets and Western nations use under-barrel 30 – 40 mm launchers. Rifle grenades are hard on rifles, have poor accuracy, and limited range.
            I didn’t impose 22 mm RG sizes on NATO or Yugoslavia, they did it to themselves. The US tested RGs but the rifle is better used as a rifle. But, launching illumination devices is less stressful, and with a BT Flare any rifleman can throw a light in the sky without swapping out ammunition. BT RGs have been around at least 40 years. The WW2 Italian device used a 45mm grenade launched into the air will BALL ammunition. I did not imagine that nor the Mecar BT series.
            Using blanks is prefered. But, a BT device will give a serious safety and speed edge in a pinch.

          • Tritro29

            For reasons I mentioned earlier, like some grenades on certain rifles needed to be stripped of some parts to be harmless, it is always better to fire your muzzle grenades with blanks…I also explained to you that having a “standardized” muzzle device isn’t always enough to use muzzle launched grenades.

            Bullet trap grenades are always more problematic than blank fired grenades, the other idea is also than bullet trap grenades can and are fired by blanks, by…slightly modifying the grenade (like taking out the projector on the grenade, once more).

            I was taught that blanks were heavily preferred to any other method for muzzle grenades.

          • Kivaari

            Mecar BT, bullet trap, grenades. WW2 Italian as well.

          • Kivaari

            Why do we fit 22mm grenade launching sized flash hiders. All the contemporary rifles and most old ones. Like the FAL-Para, M16, G3, HK416, M59/66, SCAR, FAMAS, FNC etc. It is our old rifles that needed adapters.

          • Kivaari

            The Energa is a 1950 era grenade. We have come a long ways since 1950.

  • Kivaari

    With modern computer driven machines and the correct cutters it seems like an AR plant can be put together just about anywhere. Every detail of how to make them exists in the public domain so nothing is stopping anyone from making them.

  • Kivaari

    So Mecar makes a grenade that can be fired from a compliant rifle. Essentially every thing with a 22mm muzzle device, until somewone comes along and changes a fore end or places another device or character to prohibit the grenade. OK, we all get that. My 11.5 inch M4 can’t do it. My others could. The point being the Mecar bullet trap grenades are designed to be fired from most of the service rifles in use in western nations. Since most users no longer have any desire to use spigot launched RGs, they make rifles that wont accept them. That is the rifle makers and users choice. Mecar provides a RG that can be launched using blanks or ball ammo. Rifles that accept the grenade bombs can launch them. Rifles so configured to not accept them can’t. So much for no one uses ball ammo to launch RGs since the product has existed for over 40 years. Look around. How many armies still issue RGs? Not many. Most from what I see no longer issue rifles having a cut off valve specifically for firing RGs. Times change.
    BUT, if an army wants a RG capability using ball ammo, even if it is only for illumination and AP they can have it. The 40mm grenade came into use 50 years ago. We pretty much stopped using RGs for anything. Someone must, since Mecar and IMI still pump them out.
    I know it’s hard for you to simply accept that you did not know everything. Once in awhile things slip by us. I wont ever BS you. I may be wrong now and then, but it will be simply a faulty memory or a device that never made it far. We see lots of AT weapons that looked good in development, that never lasted long. Some things last a long time, simply because of cost. We were using Dragon missiles long after the TOW was in use. We had them. That was over 30 years ago. I suspect there are a few still floating around our allies.

    • Tritro29

      As said, it is not SO SIMPLE. Everything you need to know is on my earlier answer. The facts are simple, a 22mm flash hider will not necessarily allow you to use those “every-rifle a launcher by virtue of 22mm FH”.

      I have accepted the fact that I don’t know “everything” the day I started to look into “everything” .

      A blanket statement that using blanks for MLG is better and should be preferred to BT, is more correct that every 22mm FH equipped rifle can launch Mecar’s BT grenades…

      The earlier is based on experience, the latter is based on marketing…

      • Kivaari

        No kidding. Within reason the standard rifles accepted grenades. When other variants appeared without enough exposed barrel or with other devices in the path of the tail boob, then of course they wont fit. The concept, especially 40 years ago was the rifles accepted the grenades. Than carbines and SMG-sized variants appeared. Within reason the concept was any RIFLE fitted with a 22mm FH could be used. Obviously the carbines fitted out like a Colt Commando can’t accept RGs. Even AK can be fitted to launch RGs. Even made to accept NATO-size bombs.
        As noted several times, the BT RGs can be and perform better when launched using a blank. They even work better if a gas cut-off valve is available. As I look around, I don’t see lots of RGs being used anymore.