Bushmaster M17S rifle
|Place of origin||Australia|
|Manufacturer||Bushmaster Firearms International|
|Weight||8.2 lb (3.7 kg)|
|Length||30 in (760 mm)|
|Barrel length||21.5 in (550 mm)|
|Feed system||STANAG magazines|
The design of the M17S dates back to 1986 when the Australian company Armtech Ltd. developed the prototype as a prospective military rifle for the Australian Army. Two prototypes were developed, one for the 5.56×45mm NATO, the C60R, and the more revolutionary C30R that used caseless ammunition. The C30R was developed hastily and an out-of-battery ignition resulted in a prototype exploding during a high-profile demonstration.
The Australian Army adopted a licence-built version of the Steyr AUG, leading to the sale of the Armtech design to another Australian company, Edenpine PTY Ltd. Edenpine, with Charles St. George, improved the design resulting in the ART-30 and SAK-30. The salient features of the M17S were in place but some Finnish Valmet parts were used instead of AR-15 parts to save money. Edenpine expressed interest in selling the design on the United States market and subsequently licensed the design to Bushmaster for local manufacture thus avoiding import restrictions. This rifle was sold from October 1992 to 1994 as the "Edenpine M17S Bull-Pup rifle". The distributor was Edenpine (USA) Inc., the American branch of Edenpine of Australia, headquartered in San Jose, California.
When Edenpine folded in 1994, the totality of the rights passed to Bushmaster, who manufactured it as the "Bushmaster M17S", starting just a few months before the approval of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The M17S was the only American-made bullpup rifle to be offered commercially, and the only one not banned by name. The BATF approved a version with a longer barrel sleeve which covered more of the muzzle thread. This made it impossible to securely attach the M16-style "Birdcage" flash hider.
The ART 30 is a semi-automatic rifle that uses a gas operated, rotating bolt. The design takes the operating system of the Leader T2 and moves the pistol grip forward in a manner similar to the British SA80. Instead of the sheet metal receiver of the AR18 and SA80, the ART30 uses an extruded 7075-T6 aluminium receiver that serves as the stock and foregrip as well. This method of construction is particularly efficient and was subsequently copied by other designs, FN SCAR as an example.
The ART30 features a short-stroke fixed piston system that is self-compensating. The rifle chambers the 5.56×45mm and accepts STANAG (M16 rifle) magazines. The main drawback of the subsequent modified design, reported by some users, was the tendency of its aluminium handguard to become hot after one or two magazines were emptied in rapid fire. This was only the Bushmaster version. The original ART 30 had internal heat shields. Bushmaster discontinued production of the M17S in 2005.
- "Charles St. George and the Bushmaster M17-S Bullpup" Cheaper than dirt http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=12991
- "FAQ ID #1004". Bushmaster Firearms International. 2009-01-16. http://www.bushmaster.com/faqs/afmmain.aspx?faqid=1004. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- Modifications and spare parts Kmaerospace.com
- Modern Firearms article
- Operators manual
- Article at CheaperThanDirt.com
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