[SHOT 2019] Hands-on with ST Engineering’s New BR18 and CPW

    BR18

    BR18 AR with 14.5" barrel

    more from Singapore

    One exciting company to see at SHOT Industry Day at the Range was ST Engineering Land Systems.  Best known for their constant-recoil Ultimax LMGs and their SAR21 bullpup rifles, they had a new rifle and a rarely seen PDW on display this year.

    A well-Balanced Bullpup

    First up was their BR18.  First introduced in February of 2018, few if any of these rifles have been seen stateside.  Essentially an improved SR21, the BR18 system has a few key differences.  The BR18 is set up as a 100% ambidextrous friendly rifle.  Ejection is forward instead of to the right.  All controls, including the charging handle, are ambidextrous.  Even clearing a stoppage is easy for a right or left handed shooter.  All one needs to do is unlatch the sliding chamber cover, slide it to the rear, and have full access to the chamber area.

    BR18 Chamber cover

    The BR18’s chamber cover and latch slid back.

    The BR18 is available as a 14.5″ barrel assault rifle, 20″ barrel Marksman Rifle, or 18″ heavy profile barrel machine gun.  All twist rates are 1:7″.  The 14.5″ barrel’s effective range is 450m for a point target, and with SS109 its’ muzzle velocity is 860m/s.  Rate of fire is 650rpm.

    BR18 VS SAR21 MMS

    BR18 next to a SAR21 MMS

    I found the BR18 14.5″ to be lighter than the SAR21 (6.3lbs vs 7.7lb), with a vastly improved balance point and trigger.  All controls and clearing procedures were easy to grasp within 5 minutes of handling the rifle.  Ease of use is a key attribute to ST Engineering, as the rifle is meant to be used by their conscript army.  Sadly, commercial sales may be a long way off, as their presence at SHOT was geared towards LE/MIL customers for now.

    BR18 spec sheet

    A quick spec sheet for the BR18 family

    ST's rifles

    L to R: SAR21, SAR21 MMS, BR18

    CPW PDW (Say that 3 times fast)

    CPW

    Though the CPW has been around for a decade now, I have not heard of one coming to the US so far, and  handling one was a definite first for me.  Controls on the CPW are also fully ambidextrous.  Takedown of the weapon is extremely easy, and reminded me a bit of the Beretta 92’s takedown, but upside down.  The trigger was pretty nice, and the clear grip combined with the clear magazine gives one an easy way of monitoring ammunition capacity.

    takedown key

    The CPW’s takedown key in the unlocked position

    Like the BR18, ST Engineering made a big effort to design the balance point around the firing hand.  The CPW was easy to hold on target with an outstretched arm.  I personally found its balance to be superior to an UZI, MAC, or an MP7.  The sliding stock felt a lot more solid than the MP7’s as well.

    CPW stock

    CPW with stock extended

    Stay Tuned to TFB for more info on ST Engineering Land Systems’ firearms.

    CPW

    CPW LH side. note arrow shape charging ear above the selector

    Rusty S.

    Having always had a passion for firearms, Rusty S. has had experience in gunsmithing, firearms retail, hunting, competitive shooting, range construction, as an IDPA certified range safety officer and a certified instructor. He has received military, law enforcement, and private training in the use of firearms. He is fortunate enough to have access to class 3 weaponry as well.


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