I consider myself quite lucky to either have hands-on experience with a few uncommon firearms or at the very least talk with people who own them. From a one-off tool-shop prototype of a spring-assisted straight-pull bolt-action Lithgow L1A1 to a very recognizable internet-famous Mosin-Nagant. Now I get to dig my claws into a new set of unicorns.
Thanking Sam, a fellow Australian firearm owner, for giving some info on part of his collection. Eagle-eyed readers might recognize some of these. For those who don’t, here is a quick introduction top-to-bottom:
Unicorn One: Australian Automatic Arms SPB
The tale of Australian Automatic Arms is a sad one. Originally started as Leader Dynamics, then sold off to a businessman who then started Australian Automatic Arms. AAA eventually closed down following changes to Australian firearm law.
The AAA SPB (Straight Pull Bolt) was a prototype made in an attempt to keep the company going following legislation changes to (except for high specific purposes) ban semi-automatic long arms. Adapted from the AAA SAC, a self-loading rifle that was based on the Leader Dynamics T2, the rifle is a one-off which fits my description of unicorn quite nicely. The SPB features a 20-inch barrel, an AR-style bolt, no gas system and a forward “HK-Style” charging handle/bolt.
For those interested, this link will take you to some old manuals and advertisements for the original AAA firearms.
Unicorn Two: Wedgetail Industries MPR
Wedgetail Industries is another current Australian firearms manufacturer. Wedgetail currently make self-loading firearms (The WT-15 and the WT-25) for those who have the appropriate license for them, as well as a wide variety of suppressors and muzzle breaks. WT also manufactures an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) device for Government/Law Enforcement orders, and in 2018 was involved in a deal with Lithgow Arms to assist in the production of the Lithgow LA106 338LM as part of a bid for sniper rifles tendered for the Indian Army.
For the regular Australian shooter, WT developed, and produced a limited run of the pump-action MPR308 (Modern Pump Rifle – 308W. Or “Rhonda”. Just go with it.). Information and specs can be viewed here. Due to the low numbers of these firearms in the wild, I’d say it fits into the ‘Unicorn’ category, but I have faith that Wedgetail will ramp up production when they are able to (and in a wider variety of calibers as well!).
Unicorn Three & Four: Sommer & Ockenfuss Griffrepetierer
Now we’re delving into real unicorn territory. Manufactured by the now defunct German company Sommer & Ockenfuß GmbH, the rifle is a bullpup pistol-grip straight pull. Yes, you read that correctly. It utilizes a grip safety which allows the grip to be pulled to the rear, and then pushed forward to chamber a new round. Not following? Here’s a handy video:
Sam is lucky enough to have two models of the Griffrepetierer – The Hunter and the Wilderness model, both in the hard-hitting 30-06.
Unicorns are cool. Have you got something highly uncommon, rare or unique? Let us know in the comment section, as well as what your favorite unicorn-gun featured today is.