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.
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.
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.
CPW PDW (Say that 3 times fast)
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.
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.
Stay Tuned to TFB for more info on ST Engineering Land Systems’ firearms.