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LWRC SBR vs. MSAR Bullpup

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by VWTactical, Jun 4, 2009.


  1. VWTactical

    VWTactical
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    [​IMG]

    This week, we took delivery of our first SBR from LWRC. It was a 10.5in M6A2 model in 5.56mm that was special ordered for a client several months ago. After handling the unit, I started thinking about a few things. Hopefully, you can glean something from my madness.

    In my sick and twisted mind, I see a short barrel rifle (SBR) as a specialty weapon-- devoted primarily to CQB operations. It's great for moving around cramped locations or traveling in vehicles, but there's an inherent trade off. It's not firepower. The transition from 9mm to 5.56mm has been widespread. The trade off is accuracy-- specifically long range accuracy. It seems that an SBR is great for CQB, but equally inept for engaging targets at 300 meters and beyond. Perhaps that's one of the many reasons the M4 carbine is so beloved by all. 14.7 inches is a perfect bridge between SBR and a full 20+ inch barreled battle rifle. But are we overlooking a potentially superior option?

    Enter my good friend: the bull pup rifle. Most of you know I'm quite fond of my new MSAR STG-556-- a clone of the famous Steyr AUG. However, it was only yesterday when I had an epiphany in regards to its true capabilities! Ladies and Gentlemen, this IS the poor man's SBR! But it does so much more! It bridges the gap between patrol carbine and short barrel rifle.

    Immediately, you can see the overall length of these rifles are about the same. The caliber (5.56mm NATO) and capacity are also the same. The weight is about the same. They're both piston-driven systems, so reliability is above par. However, the bullpup design has a higher muzzle velocity and better accuracy at longer ranges-- thanks to its full carbine length barrel (16in). When you look at the cost of ownership, the STG-556 shines even brighter.

    An LWRC M6A2 in this exact configuration is $2155. You have to factor in a $200 tax stamp to register as a Class 3/NFA weapon with BATFE and another fee (usually around $50) for your dealer to process the paperwork. Then, there's the long wait-- currently around 14 weeks for Form 4 approval to come back from the Feds.

    On the other hand, the MSAR STG-556 rail is $1643-- and any 18 year old with a pulse and a clean background can walk out with this rifle the same day in Florida-- provided he has enough money at his disposal. Gosh, what a lucky young man-- ah, to be 18 again, rich... and have an MSAR STG-556... but I digress... Back to the topic at hand!

    Financially speaking, the bullpup makes a lot of sense. When we're talking about long range accuracy, it's a no brainer. What about the expensive proprietary mags that the MSAR platform requires, you say? Well sir, they're only about $30 and are as good or better than PMAGs for the AR15, in my opinion. There's also a new E-4 model coming out from MSAR that will utilize standard AR15 mags-- but at a premium price, of course-- several hundred dollars more for the base rifle. With that in mind, the current generation MSAR looks good in my book. Don't forget, the anti-gunners have probably taken note of the overall length of bullpup rifles. So, there's a strong probability that these will be on the chopping block when the next AWB rolls around.

    Those are my thoughts. They are not meant to bash the short barrel rifle solution that is the LWRC M6A2. It's a fantastic rifle. If I had the means, I would justify the purchase and hide it from my wife for the rest of my days. Alas, that is not the case. And please don't tell my wife I said that! Too late, I already published it to the website. What's done is done, I guess. I'll be sleeping on the couch tonight. Darn it, there I go again with my stream of consciousness writing style-- and the delete key on my Mac is broken.

    That's all for today, my friends. Have a blessed day!
    -- Evan

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  2. Gokyo

    Gokyo
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    I love my MSAR.

    It would be my last EBR to go.

    OK it would be a fight between it and my FS2000

    OK I really have a warm place in my heart for my M4-gery

    Can I please just keep them all?
     

  3. Locoweed

    Locoweed
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    ++1 on the MSAR STG-556. Since getting mine my M4s are rusting away in my gun safe. I'm waiting for the STG-556 E4 model right now (it takes AR-15 mags). MSAR has some of the best customer service in the industry.
     
  4. lilc

    lilc
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    The only thing I don't like about bullpups like the MSAR are the slightly longer length of pull and the crowding of your firing hand due to the magwell location. However, the weight of the MSAR snugs into your shoulder really nicely, and it is an attractively compact package. If only it took PMAGs and USGI AR mags...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mcs

    mcs
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    I see you are in St. Pete and have been considering some class 3 stuff. Could you pm me with some info? I have got mixed info from people in the area.
     
  6. VWTactical

    VWTactical
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  7. Tomac

    Tomac
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    I've been looking for my "perfect" HD carbine for over 35yrs and the STG-556 comes closest to date. Love the short OAL, manueverability in close quarters, ease of stripping/cleaning, minimal recoil/muzzle rise, quick-change bbl and quick handling.
    Here's a cut&paste where my best friend an I ran two of my STG's (one now, he liked the STG so much I gave him the one he used for the course) through a local two-day carbine course:

    My best friend is visiting for a week so I treated us both to a local 2-day carbine course using my STG's & crappy Brown Bear 55gr. Both rifles were slightly dirty from sighting in their Eotechs the previous week and I deliberately decided to run them through the course dirty & w/o any cleaning or additional lube as a reliability test. Gas systems were set to "heavy" as per Dave's advice due to the Brown Bear being so underpowered.
    First day was a little classroom work to cover the fundamentals along w/some highly educational in-house exercises on proper pie-ing (?) techniques. The afternoon was spent at the range confirming zero, proper sight picture, trigger technique, footwork, posture, etc. Altogether appx 400rds were fired per rifle that day w/the only problem being a single double-feed in the STG I was using.
    Second day was the fun stuff! Moving targets, shoot/no-shoot drills, stop drills, shooting on the move, transitions, single hand manipulations (man, was *that* interesting w/the STG!), team drills, hostage exercises, lateral-move shots, low-crawl to shooting position, multiple-height barricade shots (my friend took a couple of empties to the teeth when firing from the roll-over support side prone position, all I got was a hot casing to the back of the neck...), room clearing and other very practical and realistic exercises.
    Their range wasn't complete but what they managed to accomplish w/improvisation was simply amazing. My favorite was a carboard box wearing a tee-shirt and suspended on a coat hanger by an inflated balloon (representing the heart COM) inside the box. While this target was moving you had to hit the small & unseen balloon inside the target to get it to "drop". Lots of fun!
    Anywho, my friend's STG completed the course w/100% reliability (which pleasantly surprised me a little since he was using my "problem child" STG that had initial FTE's right out of the box, I guess Dave done fixed it right!)
    However, almost at the very end of the 2nd day I started having stuck casings w/resultant FTE's (not surprising w/steel-cased ammo, especially the cheap Brown Bear I was using) w/one so severe it locked up the bolt and took a major effort to free. Rather than mess with it I just dropped in a spare bolt and finished the course w/o further difficulty.
    I detail-stripped the bolt and discovered that the extractor claw was chewed up rather badly (but not broken), I believe this to be from trying to forcefully trying to extract that one badly-stuck casing. It only took a couple of minutes to drop in a new extractor and it's good to go again.
    The environment was very unfriendly to mechanisms; a very fine dirt (evident in the pics) that coated and got into *everything* (even the toilet paper in the outhouse, that's one memory I'm going to try very hard to forget...). Even though I had to drop our chest rigs into the washing machine to get them clean, the STG's cleaned up very quickly and easily w/only the gas pistons requiring any real cleaning effort even after nearly 1,000rds each of the crappy Brown Bear.
    Btw, the Eotech 512's we used were absolutely great for this kind of shooting. From unconventional positions I found the big circle much quicker/easier to acquire than a small single dot and at close ranges the bottom of the circle made a perfect aiming point. From point-blank out to 50yd hostage rescue shots I never missed w/the Eotech.
    Tomac
    Rotating the STG to increase the angle of engagement:
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    Barricade shots:
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    Low crawls:
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    I'm the good looking one on the left!:
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    STG's after two days of abuse:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. thedonn007

    thedonn007
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    Do any of the steyr AUG clones take AR-15 mags?
     
  9. Tomac

    Tomac
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    Yes, the TPD AXR takes AR mags but it's a small company w/limited output. However, MSAR is soon to release their E4 which is the STG-556 that takes AR mags.
    Tomac
     
  10. Gokyo

    Gokyo
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    Could you explain this in further detail please. Sorry for being so ignorant.

    thank you.
     
  11. Tomac

    Tomac
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    I'll do my best since this was a new concept for me as well.
    In the pic above I'm moving from right to left w/the targets 90 degrees to my right.
    When making lateral shots on the move you can only turn your torso so far to the right while maintaining forward movement w/o turning completely to face the target.
    Rotating the rifle as shown in the pic gains you a little more angle of engagement before reaching the limit.
    Sounds and looks strange but it works!...
    HTH...
    Tomac
     
  12. Tomac

    Tomac
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    MSAR is soon to release their new E4 which is the STG that takes all std AR mags.
    Tomac
     
  13. Javelin

    Javelin
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    MSAR is a nice firearm! Looks like you have perfected your hold with it. The lack of the $200 tax stamp is definitely alluring for the bullpup design and the cost is definitely a little less than a CQB AR.

    But many of us want a 10.5" CQB so that we can shoot suppressed without over-gasing a piston system. If only the mag changes on the bullpup design were not so cumbersome.

    ;)
     
  14. Tomac

    Tomac
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  15. Javelin

    Javelin
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  16. lilc

    lilc
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    I always just train to switch sides and shoot lefty with my AK...
     
  17. Tomac

    Tomac
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    So, if you're moving from right to left as in the pic above and need to engage targets to your right, how does switching sides & shooting lefty work?...
    Tomac
     
  18. lilc

    lilc
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    First shot is a partial transfer with the buttstock moved to your left shoulder but still firing with your right hand, and the subsequent shots are a full transfer to the left side, shooting left-handed with hands reversed from their dominant-side firing positions.

    You can see the technique repeated over and over in the drill demonstrated in the first 20 seconds of the promotional video (behind the rolling titles)...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fouesdpTBXo
     
  19. BigDaddyK

    BigDaddyK
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    How are they for lefties? I heard you they have ejection ports on either side. Is that true?
     
  20. Tomac

    Tomac
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    STG's are easily made lefty-friendly and they do have ejection ports on both sides. You can either buy one preconfigured for lefties or buy a righty and either purchase a separate lefty bolt or I've heard Dave at MSAR will do a straight swap of your RH bolt for a LH bolt.
    Tomac