FIMS Firearms has published on their social media pages a photo of the pre-production prototype of their new bullpup rifle. I reached out to the company to see if they can tell me any details about the rifle. I talked to the head of engineering and product development of FIMS Firearms, who kindly answered all my questions and thoroughly described this new bullpup rifle.
This firearm is a straight pull bolt action bullpup rifle chambered in .308 Winchester. It is fed from AR-10/SR-25 pattern box magazines. The bolt is spring assisted which means in order to reload the rifle, all you need is to pull back the ambidextrous charging handle and let it go. The charging handle is attached to the BCG and you can use it to force the bolt forward should you need to. According to the company officials, the location and design of the charging handle will allow pulling the bolt back with a swift rearward stroke of your support hand. I guess with a little bit of training, one can become really fast with such a system.
This rifle utilizes a proprietary bolt carrier but the bolt itself is borrowed from the AR-10. The barrel is also taken from the AR-10. These rifles will come with Criterion barrels. Obviously, being used in a manual repeater, the FIMS rifle’s barrel will have no gas port. If the customers will want to install their own AR-10 barrels that already have a gas port drilled, FIMS Firearms will be offering a gas port blocking accessory which should be installed in the place of the AR-10 gas block to cover the gas port.
The longest barrel of this rifle is a 26″ one and with that barrel installed, the overall length of the rifle is 34″. With this 26″ bull barrel (barrel diameter starts at 1-1/4″ and tapers to 1″) the rifle weighs 9.6 lbs and has a center of gravity four inches behind the pistol grip. With shorter and slimmer profile barrels, the rifle will weigh much less but will become a little bit butt heavy.
According to FIMS Firearms, they have developed a much more solid machined trigger linkage bar which makes the trigger pull way better than you can expect from a bullpup rifle. Their initial tests showed that they can have as low as quarter-pound trigger pull weight which can be increased with different drop-in springs. The company also experiments with a quick trigger weight change mechanism which will allow switching between different trigger weights in a matter of turning a switch.
The rifle utilizes a trigger mechanism identical to that of the AR-15 with the exception of the actual trigger shoe being bobbed. Below the trigger housing, there is a milled slot covered with a plug. This is done to allow the end user to drop any AR-15 trigger to test how it works on this rifle without having to cut the trigger shoe. Once you have made sure that you like the feel of the tested trigger, you can cut its shoe and install it into the FIMS bullpup rifle. Cutting the trigger shoe is important because otherwise, you’ll have an unprotected “second” trigger hanging under the lower receiver, behind the magazine well. That being said, I think it could be a good design feature if FIMS engineers added a small compartment under the lower receiver that would cover the original trigger shoe and make it possible to swap in AR-15 triggers without modifying them.
Interestingly, the linkage system of the gun converts single stage triggers into two-stage ones.
If you take a closer look, you can notice that the lower receiver is a two-piece design (note the vertical line in front of the magazine well). This feature allows adjusting the length of pull by moving the front portion (pistol grip/trigger guard assembly) back and forth. The advantage of such a LOP adjustment over changing the stock length is that you can adjust the length of pull without changing the overall length of the rifle. The rifle in the images has a length of pull of about 14.5″.
The FIMS bullpup rifle also features a polymer shell deflector and the company plans to offer a brass catcher, too. The handguard on the final version may differ from what is shown on this prototype. In any case, it will be made of the same proprietary extrusion as the ones used in other FIMS Firearms rifles.
The disassembly process starts by pushing a button on the buttpad to remove it. Then you’ll need to push out the three pins holding the upper and lower receivers and separate them. At this point, you’ll have access to the bolt carrier group, breech and trigger mechanism.
When you hear about a new .308 bullpup rifle, you probably think that it will cost an arm and a leg, don’t you? However, when developing this rifle, FIMS Firearms had a goal of making it reasonably priced. The company plans to have a price tag of $1,600 to $1,800 on this gun. This is a target price and it may be different on the final product.
It is hard to make an opinion without having seen the actual gun and without testing it. However, based on the features described by the company, I think they are on something interesting. This rifle looks to have a very good combination of newly designed and borrowed parts. It is not a bullpup conversion of any rifle with a traditional layout thus it does not have to have weird features of a converted gun (e.g. odd location of the controls such as the safety selector and charging handle) but at the same time, it has the right amount of borrowed parts from the AR-10/AR-15 platforms that make this bullpup rifle more versatile allowing to use a number of aftermarket triggers, barrels, bolts and grips.
As mentioned earlier, the FIMS Firearms bullpup rifle shown in the images is a pre-production prototype. It will be officially released at SHOT Show 2020. TFB will definitely visit the company’s booth and report about the final version of this rifle. Stay tuned!