[Big 3 East] Lithgow F90 ATRAX Bullpup Select Fire

Processed with Snapseed.

Processed with Snapseed.

One of the most highly anticipated firearm manufacturers at Big 3 East was Lithgow Arms. We heard about the Lithgow F90 being imported a few months ago. See the post by Nathaniel F. At first I was not as excited about the Lithgow until my friend Curtis of VSO Gun Channel was raving about how great it is. He got a chance to check it out at the recent IV8888 shoot the week before Big 3 East.

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photo by Timothy Yan

As a fan of the X95, I didn’t see what was so amazing about the Lithgow until I saw it in person. The weapon can be broken down in about 30 seconds without any tools. You can swap barrels instantly. It is based on the Steyer Aug design.

The F90 aka AusSteyer, is one pound lighter than the Steyer Aug and half a pound lighter than the X95. The F90 with a 16″ barrel is 2″ shorter than your standard M4 with stock collapsed. One major difference between the Lithgow and Steyer, is the lack of a receiver block like those found in the Steyer Aug. This is where Lithgow was able to save weight. However they are having some issues with the ATF as they need to designate some part as the receiver. They want to avoid identifying the barrel as the receiver because then users will not be able to caliber convert or even change barrel lengths. I think they could try a molded metal piece like you see in polymer framed pistols.

The F90 has a perfect 50/50 balance and that is shown by manipulating the F90 one handed.

 

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The F90 uses AUG style magazines, but Magpul is already making magazines that will work with the F90. DSC_0129

The F90 is projected to have an MSRP of $1999. They are waiting for ATF approval to import them and as soon as that is done, Geissele will be making a trigger pack for it.

Lithgow USA is already looking to an integrally suppressed .300blk version and making a 37mm flare launcher, since the F90 polymer housing will have the grenade launcher attachment points.

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Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • That’s a darn fine lookin’ space gun; a bullpup that balances that well is a rare breed and sure to knock some shine off the various Tavor models.

    I’m confused by the concept of not having a part designated as the receiver, though; where are the serial numbers on the AusSteyr located?

    • Nicholas C

      I’m not sure. Since Australian citizens can’t own an F90, perhaps the Australian military doesn’t need serial numbers?

      • That doesn’t sound like any modern military I’ve ever heard of; the very idea of not having a different three-paragraph regulation mandating the exact size, depth, placement, and font of the serial number for every separate orderable part of every weapon and piece of equipment in the entire military inventory is probably giving some career junior officers the hives right now.

      • Rob

        How would they track rifles internally? Do you think you can just pass around rifles like bicycles on the Google campus in a modern military?

    • jono102

      For a Steyr in Australian or NZ service, the receiver is the the barrel locks into topped with either the fixed optic or rail and cocking handle.
      Serial numbers on current service rifles are generally in 3 places as a standard,
      1.On the barrel just above the gas regulator
      2.On the receiver either underneath by the barrel locking lug or right hand side opposite to the cocking handle
      3. On the side of the bolt carrier, visable through ejection port

      On the EF88/F90 I’ve seen numbers on the bolt carrier and right hand side of barrel fwd of the gas regulator. Given that the barrel can still be removed from the “Big center bit” (to avoid calling it a receiver and deal with US Laws) The ADF will no doubt have that serial numbered too.

  • Gary Kirk

    Finally, a bullpup I might be interested in.. Since I can’t get an AUG, but being in Maryland will probably put a no go on that

  • USMC03Vet

    $2k bullpup, VSO channel, and ATF all in the same article.
    I regret clicking this.

    • Zachary marrs

      Would it help if i post a nutfnancy 24 hour special video about this rifle?

  • whit3

    I wonder why they didn’t go with a STANAG magazine?

    • Mmmtacos

      It uses the same magazines as the AUG does, hence why there’s already Magpul mags out there.

      There is a “NATO” stock that can be used on the AUG so it takes STANAG magazines, however it sacrifices the ambi ejection port and the bolt release in order to do so (to release the bolt you have to pull the charging handle).

      The original F88, as per it’s name, was introduced into service in 1988. They probably just decided to stick with that. We could endlessly speculate as to why they didn’t go with STANAG, but it’s futile.

      Good news is 30 round Magpul mags are only $18, and Steyr 42 rounders don’t exactly break the bank at $33 a piece.

    • GD Ajax

      AUG mags where more reliable at the time and Stanag weren’t translucent.

    • jono102

      Rumour has it the Australian Defence force is looking at eventually going to the STANAG mag set up. If so THALES will probably sort the butt stock so it runs the same as for the standard stock.

  • ReadyorNot

    I’m happy to see another bullpup come to the US market, but at that price point and with no STANAG compatibility with BHO release button.. I think they’ll struggle to find the same success as IWI.

  • TDog

    Call me shallow, but I’m interested because (a) it’s a bullpup and (b) it looks cool. 😀

  • French dude

    Lithgow is owned by Thales, a french multinational company, so these rifles are definitely drop proof.

  • Richard

    The one with the flare launcher has my attention.

  • Kevin Harron

    The multiple misspellings of Steyr are glaringly hard to miss and grate on my nerves.

  • jono102

    The one thing I was hoping Thales would have addressed was the sling attachment points especially the rear one that doubles as a retaining pin for the trigger mech.
    Its good for bugger all as an attachment point and its the common reason that slings needed to go around the stock on the rear and around the barrel on the front. They have a nasty habit of tearing out or the swivel its self going when put under a bit of weight or stress

  • Sakire

    What’s with the brass deflector? One has it, the other not. Is it removable?

  • Tinkerer

    Glock magazines are proprietary as well, are they not?

  • DC

    No stanag mags= no go for us massholes with mag bans.

    Bummer, looks interesting.

  • Just say’n

    Yeah, better than s#x.

  • Max Glazer

    Fail. This weapon is designed to be able to eject to either side. Just swap the bolt over and put the ejection port cover to opposite side.
    F90 is a thorough upgrade of the F88 which made it much lighter then original.
    SAS use whatever they need for a mission. They can choose anything.

    • Richard Lutz

      You cannot readily use the F90 from the weak shoulder. Swapping bolts and moving the ejection port cover is a feature to make it useable by left handed shooters, not something that will allow you to use the rifle from either shoulder immediately in a fast moving combat situation. The FN F2000 is ambidextrous, but it is markedly more complex and heavier than the M4 so not something I would feel comfortable with. In any case, if soldiers in your nation use the M4 then so should civilians who are members of the unorganized militia, not a rifle that has a completely different manual of arms and no parts Interchangeability.

      • Max Glazer

        We don’t have “unorganized militia” in Australia.

        M-4 is in a VERY limited use in Australia, mostly by special ops police and military SF. Australian service weapon is F-88SA1 and F-88SA2. F-90 isn’t officially adopted yet. So that means IF we were to have a militia they’d try having an F88 since it is the service weapon and the whole operation between F-90 and F-88SA1/2 is near identical. In USA AR or its derivative would be the militia choice, in Australia it’d be AUG/AuSteyr, in Russia it’s an AK, in Switzerland it’s SIG.

        • jono102

          Its already in service at 1RAR

          • Max Glazer

            Thanks for the correction 🙂 Is it in trial service or has it been adopted and now in full-rate production?

          • jono102

            Unsure, just was aware 1RAR had changed over. Judging from the pictures from AASAM 2016 a fair amount of the RAR guys had them. For it to be eligible to be used at the comp, it would have had to be an “In Service” rifle.
            It may have been getting rolled out to the RAR Bn’s at 3BDE/ Townsville first

          • Max Glazer

            Would be interesting to know what the IA drill is with it and what the weapon clearance procedure now is.

          • jono102

            Can see the IA’s changing much, At least they won’t have to pull the barrel out for clearances anymore. Well at least the units who have it, apparently the 2 platforms will be in service together for a while.

        • Richard Lutz

          The unorganized militia is every able bodied adult of military age who can be called on to serve as soldiers. As the F88 is not available to civilians the next best option is an M4 type rifle. Namely a semi-automatic version of the M4 rifles used by some special forces soldiers and police tactical teams in Australia which are readily available to civilians in the US.

          • Max Glazer

            Readily available to civilians in the US. Getting one in Australia is extremely difficult. Also. Stop forcing your understanding and standards upon people of other countries.

  • Richard Lutz

    If the F90 is so great why did the NZ Army recently decide to replace the AUG they have been using for decades with an AR (LMT CQB16/MARS-L) rather than the F90?

    • jono102

      Cost.
      THALES Australia was the only company who tendered for the planned NZDF Steyr upgrade program. They were charging approximately twice the cost of any other modern service rifle. Had they charged a realistic price the NZDF would be “upgrading” to that rifle. Since they were essentially a rip off and the only firm to offer an upgrade, the NZDF went to a total replacement project instead. THALES for some reason decided not to tender for that project.

      • Richard Lutz

        They could have saved even more money and adopted Mosin-Nagant M44 carbines. This would be wholeheartedly supported by gun control groups like the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) who want to further restrict the used of modern assault rifles like the F90 that are capable of being used to quickly kill huge numbers of civilians by deranged soldiers like Robert Bales or Islamist terrorists. IANSA also believe the expenditure of huge amounts of taxpayer’s money on modern assault rifles (which some believe qualify as “weapons of mass destruction”) is an obscene waste of resources that could be better spent on pubic hospitals and wind farms.

  • Max Glazer

    This is a firearms discussion site. Not a political discussion. So would be good to keep it on topic. But IMNSHO firearms should be freely available to public, provided they are psychologically, medically, physically fit and have no criminal convictions which are of violent nature.

    • Richard Lutz

      Politics cannot be separated from the issue of the private ownership of military type rifles that 2A was intended to protect. By “freely available to public” I assume you mean freely available to competent adults of good character, not children.

      “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

      • Max Glazer

        You assume correctly.

        There is a lot more to freedom then that.

        The 2A applies to USA territory only. Noone else.

        • Richard Lutz

          The Second Amendment of the US Constitution only applies to US territory as you assert, as does the First Amendment, but the right of free adults to possess practical defensive weapons with which to defend their essential liberties (notably the public expression of their political beliefs) is an essential democratic freedom along with forming political parties and voting. Democracy cannot exist in any meaningful sense in a one-party state where ordinary adults cannot vote or express their political views publically; while depriving ordinary adults of the practical means of defending these core democratic freedoms destroys an essential democratic safeguard against tyranny and crimes against humanity like genocide.

          “It is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe among armed servants”. – Niccolo Machiavelli

          • Max Glazer

            USA is a two-party state but democracy in USA is fake. Why? Because all of elected officials are subservient to corporate bosses. Hence it’s not a democracy but oligarchical dictatorship under “democratic” sauce. And as long as the colluding bunch is in charge of government, public expression of opinion is little more then waste of breath. Also while main-stream media is in their pocket, as clearly is evidenced by behaviour of outright lies about events in Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, on USA TV and in papers, as well as their internet branches, people will not be heard and brainwashing will continue. And they do so starting from kindy and primary school through the high school.

            American people have ability to fight back with guns that they have. Except there needs to be a will to do what is necessary. You people are being poisoned, lied to, oppressed without noticing. Everything that the 2A is designed to allow you to fight against is being done to you. I don’t see any resistance. Soon you’ll accept that guns are evil through brainwashing that you are subject to. And that is a sad state of affairs. But then who says a civil war is a good thing?

          • Richard Lutz

            Good point. I often say that most democracies are in fact elective oligarchies, not true democracies like ancient Athens where ordinary citizens could directly participate in the political process. It seems to me that we need to introduce Swiss style democracy with binding citizen initiated referendums to amend the federal constitution. This is opposed by vested interests (many of which are very well organized and resourced) as it is far easier for them to manipulate a handful of politicians behind closed doors than have to deal with millions of voters.

            We need democratic reform worldwide, with democratic nations forming a federation dedicated to protecting the democratic nation state against the anti-democratic globalist elites (notably laissez-faire capitalists, cultural Marxists and Islamists). Ideally this reform would be supported by a transnational public militia, which would deter violence against pro-democracy protestors and visit violence on those who use violent means to suppress or reverse democratic reform, as when authoritarian regimes order the security forces to shoot protestors.

            Just as important, we need to promote a culture of liberty and democracy which should be incorporated into a secular national narrative, as in Switzerland with the legend of William Tell. In the case of Australia that would naturally be the Eureka Stockade rebellion, in which the original diggers (gold miners, not ANZAC soldiers) in the Victorian gold fields were treated like dogs (notably in ‘digger hunts’) by authorities who wanted to pressure them to leave as the flood of workers from low paid jobs created a shortage of workers that hurt businesses.

            This culminated in demands for changing the conditions relating to gold mining and democratic reform which were rejected by the colonial government, which resulted in diggers burning their licences and taking up arms. The spirit of the moment was best summed up by Victor Daley (Stand Up): “There comes a time to all men when submission is a sin; we made a bonfire brave, and flung our licenses therein. Our hearts with scorn and anger burned more fiercely than the flame, full well we knew our peril, but we dared it all the same.”

            A rebel leader named Peter Lalor had his comrades swear the following oath on Bakery Hill: “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties”. The revolt was put down violently in a dawn raid on their encampment with dozens of diggers killed by police and soldiers, but the discredited government could not convict any rebels due to sympathetic juries, and gave the diggers much of what they wanted for fear of an American style revolution developing as many citizens were well armed.

            The first digger put on trial was a black American named John Joseph, as the racist authorities thought this would be an easy conviction and set a precedent for further trials. Upon being found not guilty by the all white jury he was carried in a chair by a cheering crowd around the streets of Melbourne. A great moment not just in Australian history, but for all mankind. Mark Twain wrote the following about the revolt: “I think it might be called the finest thing in Australian history. It was a revolution – small in size, but great politically.”

            “But not in vain those diggers died. Their comrades may rejoice, for o’er the voice of tyranny is heard the people’s voice; it says: ‘Reform your rotten law, the diggers’ wrongs make right, or else with them, our brothers now, we’ll gather in the fight.’” – Henry Lawson (Eureka)