FN M249S PARA: In 1988, the U.S. military adopted the M249 Para light machine gun. The M249 is chambered in 5.56mm NATO, and so is the semi-automatic version with the “S” designation from FN. In addition to the step down from full-auto capability, the M249S PARA has also been modified to fire from a closed bolt. It can accept either a 30-round magazine or operate with linked ammunition like its belt-fed predecessor, and it has graduated iron sights to take you out to 1,000 meters. At 17 pounds and 37 inches in length with the stock fully extended, the PARA is an intriguing civilian version of the M249.
IWI Tavor X95: The IWI Tavor X95 is an aggressive upgrade to the original Tavor SAR, offering an improved manual of arms and increased versatility. The X95 is available with a 16.5-, 17- or 18-inch barrel, and the shortest weighs just under 8 pounds unloaded. The bolt catch has been trimmed down, and the ambidextrous magazine release is now located in the same position as an AR-15’s. A new trigger system provides for a 5- to 6-pound pull, and the Picatinny rails at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock come with removable rail covers. Black, green and Flat Dark Earth versions are available.
Desert Tech MDR: The adaptability of the Micro Dynamic Rifle (MDR) from Desert Tech sets it apart from other bullpups. The MDR has forward ejection and ambidextrous controls like other rifles, but it adds the option of caliber interchangeability to expand the applications of this unique rifle. The MDR is available in either .308 Winchester or .223 Wylde as a complete rifle, and caliber conversions are available in both .308, .223 and 300 BLK. The MDR boasts a consistent return to zero when swapping calibers, making the versatility of the 16-inch-barreled rifle a no-brainer.
FightLite MXR: The patent-pending MXR provides a compact platform for a select-fire submachine gun for military and law enforcement use and a semi-automatic pistol-caliber carbine for the consumer market. The MXR will be convertible to accept a variety of handgun magazines, including those from Glock, Beretta, CZ, Sig Sauer and others. In addition, the MXR will easily convert between 9mm, .22 LR and .45 ACP without tools. Its small size makes the MXR the perfect host for suppressors and other accessories.
HMG Sturmgewehr STG-N: The STG-N from Hill & Mac Gunworks (HMG) is a modern version of the classic StG 44. The STG-N is available in 5.56mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, 300 BLK and 7.92x33mm, giving today’s shooters several caliber options in this iconic rifle. The long-stroke piston and tilting-bolt action can be converted between calibers for maximum versatility. The STG-N tips the scales at more than 11 pounds with its beechwood stock and 16.1-inch barrel. The action and barrel sport a black oxide finish. A standard HK-style trigger pack completes the firing mechanism on this U.S.-built rifle.
JARD J68: Available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, the JARD J68 is a compact pistol-caliber carbine. In 9mm, it weighs in at 7.5 pounds unloaded and comes in at just over 26 inches long with a 17-inch barrel. The bolt locks open after the last shot is fired, and the bullpup uses Glock magazines for reliable functioning. The J68 also features an ambidextrous safety and magazine release with charging handles on both sides. Empty cases are ejected downward.
JP Enterprises GMR-15: JP Enterprises has long been known for making quality semi-automatic rifles, and the introduction of the GMR-15 has made a mark in the world of pistol-caliber carbines. The new GMR-15 makes improvements on a quality platform with a dual charging system, an improved ambidextrous magazine release and a flared magazine well that willingly swallows Glock magazines. The GMR-15’s action holds open after the last shot and runs reliably with virtually no recoil or sound thanks to the 9mm Silent Captured Spring. The GMR-15 is a solid choice for competition, plinking fun or home defense.
Kel-Tec RFB: The Kel-Tec RFB brings ambidextrous operation to the 7.62mm NATO bullpup. The RFB, which comes with either an 18- or 24-inch barrel, uses a forward ejection system and places two layers of steel between the shooter and the breech for additional safety and comfort. The 18-inch-barreled RFB weighs 8.1 pounds unloaded and has an overall length of 26 inches. The rifle is also compatible FAL-style magazines. With an adjustable short-stroke gas piston system, the RFB can be tuned to run a variety of ammunition or with sound suppressors
Nordic Components PCC: The Nordic Components Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) features a patented modular lower receiver with easily interchangeable magazine wells. Without the use of tools, the user can swap magazine wells to use more than one type of magazine. The PCC can be configured to run 9mm Glock or M&P magazines, and the bolt will lock to the rear after the last shot is fired. Additional mag wells and calibers will be available soon. The upper and lower receivers are machined from a billet of 7075-T6 aluminum, and pistol, SBR and rifle configurations are available.
Osprey Armament MK36H: The MK36H is a rifle that has emerged from the combination of two proven platforms, the AR and the M1A/M14. The MK36H uses the gas piston operating system of the M1A/M14 and the lower receiver of the AR, giving today’s demanding hunter the best of both worlds, namely reliability and simple operation. Chambered in .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO, the magazine-fed MK36H weighs in right around 8 pounds, making it a lightweight performer for hunters and precision shooters alike.
Ruger SR-556 Takedown: The Ruger SR-556 Takedown makes the AR-15 platform even more compact when broken down. No tools are needed to remove the barrel from the upper receiver, so taking your rifle down is quick and easy. In addition, the 5.56mm barrel can be swapped out with a 300 BLK barrel for even greater versatility. The action is driven by a chrome-plated, two-stage piston design that helps the rifle to run cleaner and cooler than a typical direct-impingement model.
Ruger 1022 Takedown Lite: The Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite features the time-tested reliability and accuracy of the Ruger 10/22 in a small, lightweight package that can go just about anywhere. The Lite features a cold-hammer-forged barrel shrouded in an aluminum barrel sleeve that is capped with a set of 1/2×28 threads to allow for the attachment of muzzle devices. The action is set in a modular takedown stock that allows for multiple comb heights for the perfect fit. The gun easily disassembles to fit in the included carrying case.
Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown: Tactical Solutions has moved the Ruger 10/22 platform to a whole new level with the X-Ring Takedown. This rimfire rifle is compact, lightweight and accurate. The barrel is threaded to allow for mounting various accessories, and the rifle is available in a variety of colors. You can choose between a Hogue or Magpul stock, and TacSol triggers are available as an upgrade. The package includes a custom rifle bag to help keep your new rimfire rifle portable and protected.
As the American gun industry enters a new political era, mental horsepower seems to be casually diverting from solving typical industry problems. Instead of worrying about how to fulfill massive orders of plain-Jane AR-15s, some designers are cooking up the next wave of gun industry inspiration and innovation. Some have quietly been at the creativity game for years while others have just recognized the freedom to create in the past few months. Either way, it means that folks like you and me are in for a treat—new guns to drool over and dream about. This is a great time to look at bullpups, takedowns and other exotic weapons. Here are some of my favorites currently available on the market.
- RELATED STORY: Ripping Rounds Through FN’s M249S Para
- RELATED STORY: Home Defense Bullpup – JARD’s Glock Magazine-Fed J67
For more information about the bullpups, takedowns and other guns featured here, please visit the following sites.
FN M249S PARA
IWI Tavor X95
Desert Tech MDR
HMG Sturmgewehr STG-N
JP Enterprises GMR-15
Nordic Components PCC
Osprey Armament MK36H
Ruger SR-556 Takedown
Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite
Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown
This article was originally published in “Black Guns” 2018. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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