In a world full of AR15s and AK variants, few companies dare to be different. This list deals with a few offerings on the market that we wish would make more range appearances but tend to sit on the shelves or in distributor warehouses. Criteria for this list requires the guns to be listed by the manufacturer on their website.
– [Voiceover] Hey guys it is Alex C with TFBTV.
And today I thought it might be fun to make a list of five firearms I wish were more popular.
The criteria here is that the guns must be listed as in production by the manufacturer.
In a world where quality factory made ARs can be bought for under $1000 and built for often half this much by thrifty enthusiasts, it just makes it plain hard for any big company to produce competing design at a similar price point that offers enough to justify the difference.
Mind you this list isn’t necessarily about underrated firearms because most of these are very well regarded by the community but numerous factors prevent any kind of proliferation.
First up is a gun that is coveted by many.
Peerless in the marketplace and tactical as you know.
This is FN SCAR® 17S.
The 762 x 51 version of the SCAR platform.
The SCAR 17 is a self-loading rifle that uses a short-stroke piston and a Stoner Johnson style rotating bolt.
Pretty straightforward in this regard but the controls and ergonomics are simply wonderful compared to other battle rifles like the HNKG3 or FAL rifles.
In my opinion the SCAR 17 is again peerless in the marketplace when it comes to self-loading 30 cals and in my experience, the accuracy is rivaled only by the SIG STG57 and its variants.
The SCARs handle like an AR 15.
They are fairly light, user friendly, accurate, recoil is manageable and they are very, very reliable.
The after market is also decent for a new comer to the marketplace and you can accessorize them to your heart’s content and your wallet’s disdain which brings to me why they aren’t common.
They are very, very expensive.
With a factor MSRP of $3349, it is no wonder that you don’t see these on the range too often.
While I will be the first to sing the praises of this gun, I think it is frankly insane to expect a rifle to sell for this much when the alternatives that fill the same role or niche are one third of the price like the PTR 91, which isn’t as good but the SCAR is certainly not three times better.
Really for the SCAR 17 to get more popular, it needs to come down in price.
I think most consumers in the market for a self-loading 308 would pay $1500 for one especially when M1As move quickly at that price.
But value isn’t there at three grand.
So for the SCAR to get more popular, it needs to come down in price substantially.
I wish that would happen so it could proliferate.
Next up is another offering from FN.
FN seems wishy-washy on whether or not they want to continue to make this rifle for commercial sale or not.
But as of this video, it is listed as available on FN USA’s website under carbines.
I’m a huge fan of the FS2000.
They are so damn strange looking that you can’t help but gravitate towards them and want to see how the heck something so bizarre works and performs.
Also within an MSRP right there with the AUG or TAVOR it was priced to compete with its peers, but for some reason it just never garnered any traction.
It never got much attention and advertising was also almost non-existent.
We here at TFBTV have a lot of hands-on experience shooting the FS2000.
We’ve even made a video of us shooting it from a moving vehicle at targets in a field, which was fun and showed that the gun itself works and handles very well.
Well the manual of arms takes some getting used to.
The FS2000 is a solid, sturdy platform.
While I personally think the AUG is a better option for most situations, the FS2000 is a much more fun and interesting gun to shoot.
It garnered little interest from consumers due to either poor marketing or perhaps its unconditional appearance and that’s a shame because I feel that FN has a great gun to compete with in the bullpup arena, sad really because it is always great to have as many options available to consumers as possible.
Third we have a gun that is enigmatic in that in some places it is very well regarded and popular but in other countries it is existence is almost overlooked entirely.
This is a civilian variant of the Czech VZ. 58 rifle and they are fantastic.
The reason this one isn’t popular is pretty obvious.
Cheap AKs exist and they have a following and aftermarket in the USA.
However, interestingly in Canada where AKs are not available to civilians with the exception of a handful of walnuts, the VZ.58 is a great option for shooters who want a non-restricted military style semi-automatic rifle chambered in the venerable 7.62 x 39 cartridge.
The VZ.58s are terrific and have a milled receiver while also weighing a pound less than most damned AKs.
They lock like a giant P38 which is mechanically interesting for a rifle, have a short-stroke piston system, folding stocks are available and the aftermarket is terrific.
While clones like these can be bought for around $600, you can get factory made guns from the Czech Republic with all new parts for around $1100.
However, they always seem to be out of stock everywhere, and imports are spotty at best.
I’ve been trying to track down one of these high quality guns for a while to test for you all, and it is pretty darn difficult.
However, I have reviewed a clone and fired 700 rounds through it in one setting with no malfunctions and grouping about three inches at a 100 yards with iron sights and steel cased plinking ammo.
I know the rifles are capable of more and I look forward to when I can test one for TFBTV.
They are affordable, reliable, accurate, parts are cheap.
The aftermarket is big and yet they still remain underground.
I suspect that this will remain so unless AK productions suddenly halts.
Fourth we have a gun that many, many people were filled with optimism about and hoped back in 2007 or so that it would be released to great critical success.
However, when it hit the market, there was nothing but grumbling and disappointment.
I’m talking of course about the Bushmaster ACR.
The ACR’s history is quite strange.
It is outgrowth of the Magpul Masada rifle that promised great things to consumers at a price point around $1500.
People wanted a viable competitor to the AR15 that offered more and the Masada seemed to be the ticket, but when it hit the market with a 1:9 twist barrel and selling for a much higher price than originally quoted, the community was so angry that they overlooked the gun entirely.
Bushmaster promised all sorts of conversion kits and parts to that never materialized as well.
This also further upset people and rightfully so.
I’ve felt there was some minor improvements and changes the ACR could be a great rifle, but even the company that manufactures it seems to have forgotten about it.
While listed on the website, there are almost isn’t any information at all about the rifle.
The parts and accessory list is pretty barren.
You don’t hear much about it at all these days.
I’ve shot this rifle quite a lot.
It’s always run reliably including with a suppressor and I like it.
It is ergonomic.
User friendly, fun to shoot but that wasn’t enough to move the ACR.
While I have seen them price new at about $1750 which is expensive, guns like the TAVOR, AUG, and even the much more expensive SCAR 16 sell better.
I believe this is an example of a company rushing a product to market without listening to the demands of the consumer such as the desire for a 1:7 twist barrel.
And then further ignoring the marketplace when backlash is present.
However, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Polish took notice of the design and their MSBS rifle while different has many of the positive features of the ACR.
Now that is a rifle I can’t wait to review.
Lastly we have a rifle that is overlooked now but seems to be getting some traction.
This makes me happy and I thought it might be good to end this video on a high note.
This is pistol version of the CZ 805 BREN and I have submitted paperwork to transform it into an SBR which I will run through the ringer in a review with ammo provided by Ventura Munitions if the stamp ever comes back.
The CZ 805 is replacing the previously mentioned VZ. 58 in Czech military service.
And CZ USA is importing them in pistol form as a carbine for civilian shooters.
Reviews are all favorable too and the guns have been very well received.
This gives me hope.
It shows that the industry isn’t as stagnant as you might think.
There are companies that dare to bring something to market that is new, unique, and an interesting design.
Sure it does cost around $1500 but that is competitive with most non-AR 15 or AK 5.56 self loaders.
The 805 is a piston design with a rotating bolt, is nice and user friendly, neat looking for what that’s worth, accurate and with a folding stock very compact.
It isn’t popular now because it is still a newcomer.
Whether or not it storms the marketplace like CZ Scorpion EVO remain to be seen, but I really hope it does.
As previously stated, the more crowded the marketplace is the better it is for consumers.
Competition brings innovation and lower prices.
I hope that if anything the 805 gains a following to show the industry that we like new and new can be lucrative and profitable.
So these are five firearms I wish were more popular.
Stagnation is the last thing the industry needs because improved designs and products are a large part of what makes things interesting, but in a world full of $600 ARs I understand why companies are hesitant to tool up and try and compete with a new and expensive R&D project.
Still though there are a few new rifles and pistols out there with close release dates that I’m very excited about and I can’t wait to review.
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