LWRC SBR vs. MSAR Bullpup [Archive] - Glock Talk

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VWTactical
06-04-2009, 12:32
http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_1.jpg

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

http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_3.jpg
http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_2.jpg
http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_4.jpg
http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_5.jpg

Gokyo
06-04-2009, 13:14
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?

Locoweed
06-05-2009, 07:51
++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.

lilc
06-05-2009, 08:02
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...

http://www.onpointsupply.com/images/sbr_vs_bullpup_2.jpg

mcs
06-05-2009, 13:32
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.

VWTactical
06-05-2009, 13:47
Send me an e-mail, brother: evan@onpointfirearms.com

Tomac
06-06-2009, 06:38
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:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofJohnCarbineClass5-25-09016.jpg
Barricade shots:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofJohnCarbineClass5-25-09025.jpg
Low crawls:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofJohnCarbineClass5-25-09033.jpg
I'm the good looking one on the left!:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofJohnCarbineClass5-25-09011.jpg
STG's after two days of abuse:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofRotationofJohnCarbineClass5.jpg

thedonn007
06-06-2009, 06:58
Do any of the steyr AUG clones take AR-15 mags?

Tomac
06-06-2009, 07:04
Do any of the steyr AUG clones take AR-15 mags?

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

Gokyo
06-06-2009, 08:41
I'v
Rotating the STG to increase the angle of engagement:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/ResizeofJohnCarbineClass5-25-09016.jpg


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

thank you.

Tomac
06-06-2009, 08:52
Could you explain this in further detail please. Sorry for being so ignorant.
thank you.

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

Tomac
06-06-2009, 08:56
If only it took PMAGs and USGI AR mags...


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

Javelin
06-06-2009, 09:18
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.

;)

Tomac
06-06-2009, 09:31
If only the mag changes on the bullpup design were not so cumbersome.
;)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbJhv39IUM&feature=channel_page
Tomac

Javelin
06-06-2009, 10:23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbJhv39IUM&feature=channel_page
Tomac

That is fast. But I still don't love it. :whistling:

lilc
06-06-2009, 14:41
...Rotating the STG to increase the angle of engagement...Could you explain this in further detail please. Sorry for being so ignorant. thank you.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!...I always just train to switch sides and shoot lefty with my AK...

Tomac
06-06-2009, 14:55
I always just train to switch sides and shoot lefty with my AK...


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

lilc
06-07-2009, 20:25
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?...
TomacFirst 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

BigDaddyK
09-12-2009, 11:04
How are they for lefties? I heard you they have ejection ports on either side. Is that true?

Tomac
09-12-2009, 13:23
How are they for lefties? I heard you they have ejection ports on either side. Is that true?


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

stiletto raggio
04-04-2010, 12:01
I picked up an STG-556 about six months ago and I can safely say it is not my favorite .223 rifle. I have lost pretty much all desire to get an SBR since I have a bullpup that is cheaper, more (combat) accurate, more powerful and a lot less of a legal hassle. I was still interested in the possibility of a pistol caliber SBR (since going below 16" with a rifle is so loud and ballistically ineffeicient) and I would rather not lose my hearing if I ever have to fire indoors. Since MSAR is bringing out the pistol caliber versions this year, I have no reason to get a pistol caliber SBR any more. Can you say integrally suppressed 45 bullpup? Yowza.

deMontacute
04-04-2010, 17:55
I picked up an STG-556 about six months ago and I can safely say it is not my favorite .223 rifle. I have lost pretty much all desire to get an SBR since I have a bullpup that is cheaper, more (combat) accurate, more powerful and a lot less of a legal hassle. I was still interested in the possibility of a pistol caliber SBR (since going below 16" with a rifle is so loud and ballistically ineffeicient) and I would rather not lose my hearing if I ever have to fire indoors. Since MSAR is bringing out the pistol caliber versions this year, I have no reason to get a pistol caliber SBR any more. Can you say integrally suppressed 45 bullpup? Yowza.

Well its not an MSAR, but it makes me happy...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4388987818_14b1db894f_o.jpg

I have no desire for an SBR, and quite honestly I think I would get rid of my ARs before I would get rid of my AUG A3. Not that I would get rid of any of them...

ETA: I will have the money to get an Optic later this month. I'm thinkin I am goin with a T-1 micro...

just a shooter
04-04-2010, 21:53
Hows the trigger on these?

is it mushy and heavy like other bullpups?

MSAR I mean..

NDC187
04-04-2010, 22:19
Bull-pups are ok. But I do agree about the mag changes. Feels like im going to put a mag in my arm pit. Like anything you can train to do it effectively. To me the ar platform is a die hard habit.

Tomac
04-05-2010, 05:32
Hows the trigger on these?
is it mushy and heavy like other bullpups?
MSAR I mean..

They're not bad for bullpup triggers, more than adequate for tactical work but they'll never equal a good AR 2-stage match trigger (that may change, MSAR is supposedly working on a carbon fiber "match" hammer pack). They improve significantly w/use, you can pick up a Trigger Lyte or Trigger Tamer to reduce pull weight and a good 'smith can do wonders (I have a hammer pack w/an overtravel stop installed and the contact points worked on, *very* nice).
HTH...
Tomac

RWBlue
04-05-2010, 22:14
Everything you say makes sense, but I have never seen anyone run a bullpup with flashlight, IR illuminator, and IR Laser. I an thinking there isn't enough rail space.

Tomac
04-06-2010, 06:05
Everything you say makes sense, but I have never seen anyone run a bullpup with flashlight, IR illuminator, and IR Laser. I an thinking there isn't enough rail space.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=43&t=302876
Tomac

deMontacute
04-06-2010, 06:24
Everything you say makes sense, but I have never seen anyone run a bullpup with flashlight, IR illuminator, and IR Laser. I an thinking there isn't enough rail space.
The Jagdkommando, ADF, and the IARW all use all the goodies on their AUGs.

FWIW Pete Athens at PJs is supposedly importing some of the real Steyr forward rails. It can be seen below the barrel in this picture...

http://reinhardjambi.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/02022008908.jpg

Alaskapopo
04-06-2010, 12:01
The AUG MSAR is a good bull pub. That being said all bull pubs suffer certain flaws. 1. Terrible triggers 2. The Aug and MSAR can not be shot off the weak side shoulder effectively. 3. The generally tend to be less accurate than an AR. 4. Bull pups are slow to reload. So basically the AR beats any bull pup on accuracy and ergonomics. Which I value more than more velocity or a smaller compact rifle.

This is a group I fired yesterday at 200 yards with my 14.5 inch Noveske N4.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g299/355sigfan/Targets/Noveskegroup200yards.jpg
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g299/355sigfan/AR%20style%20rifles/NoveskeDesc.jpg

This is my friends MSAR at the same distance.
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g299/355sigfan/Targets/MSARgroup200yards.jpg
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g299/355sigfan/Friends%20guns/JamesMSAR1.jpg

The difference at 300 yards was even greater. The best group I fired with his gun was around 9 inches while mine were about 4 to 5 inches at 300 yards. Now granted most people will never need to go beyond 200 yards. But if you do the AR is far easier to shoot.
Pat
Its true you get more velocity with a bull pub due to a longer barrel. But for me that velocity increase is not worth the drawbacks. But others like my friend Alaskacop disagree.

PlasticGuy
04-06-2010, 13:42
...The best group I fired with his gun was around 9 inches while mine were about 4 to 5 inches at 300 yards. Now granted most people will never need to go beyond 200 yards. But if you do the AR is far easier to shoot.
Pat
Its true you get more velocity with a bull pub due to a longer barrel. But for me that velocity increase is not worth the drawbacks. But others like my friend Alaskacop disagree.
I agree with your friend. The key to terminal success with a 5.56 chambered rifle is velocity. If you cut the barrel to 10.5", fragmentation may not occur even at the muzzle. Also, a 9" group with an MSAR is pretty sad. I've shot both of mine out to 300, and my groups are that good with steel cased Wolf ammo. It won't keep up with sniper grade AR15's, but it will keep up with any of my combat grade AR15's.

I'm not about to say the bullpup doesn't have faults, but accuracy is not one of them and I believe you understate the ballistic advantages.

deMontacute
04-06-2010, 17:14
I agree with your friend. The key to terminal success with a 5.56 chambered rifle is velocity. If you cut the barrel to 10.5", fragmentation may not occur even at the muzzle. Also, a 9" group with an MSAR is pretty sad. I've shot both of mine out to 300, and my groups are that good with steel cased Wolf ammo. It won't keep up with sniper grade AR15's, but it will keep up with any of my combat grade AR15's.

I'm not about to say the bullpup doesn't have faults, but accuracy is not one of them and I believe you understate the ballistic advantages.
Absolutely. While I think the AR is inherently more accurate, I do not find the slight increase in accuracy to be a major advantage. Both systems have strengths and weakness to each design, and overall both are good systems. Probably why both have been in service for several decades...

Tomac
04-06-2010, 17:45
1) MSAR trigger can be greatly improved (although they'll never equal a good 2-stage AR match trigger) and unless you're shooting competition at distance the trigger is more than adequate for its intended use.
2) Not entirely accurate. They *can* be shot off the support shoulder effectively. One technique is to place your primary hand directly behind the ejection port causing the empties to miss your face.
3) Can't comment on this as I've never shot my STG's for group size. However, I have no problems hitting the 300m gong offhand if I do my part, that's accurate enough for my needs (YMMV).
4) Slower to reload than AR's, yes. However, they can be reloaded quickly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbJhv39IUM&feature=channel_page
I doubt any of us will ever face a situation where the difference in reloading speed changes the outcome (I'm starting w/a 42rd mag, I can't envision any realistic HD scenario where I have to reload).
Just MHO...
Tomac

RWBlue
04-06-2010, 19:00
Since it doesn't have a move able stock, how does it do with body armor?

RWBlue
04-06-2010, 19:24
I doubt any of us will ever face a situation where the difference in reloading speed changes the outcome (I'm starting w/a 42rd mag, I can't envision any realistic HD scenario where I have to reload).
Just MHO...
Tomac

I keep coming up with one situation.
When I get a failure to feed, cycle, jam of some sort.

With an AR I would be inclined to fix the issue and keep going with the AR.

With a bulpup......fix the issue, or switch to side arm....decisions decisions.

Alaskapopo
04-06-2010, 22:17
I agree with your friend. The key to terminal success with a 5.56 chambered rifle is velocity. If you cut the barrel to 10.5", fragmentation may not occur even at the muzzle. Also, a 9" group with an MSAR is pretty sad. I've shot both of mine out to 300, and my groups are that good with steel cased Wolf ammo. It won't keep up with sniper grade AR15's, but it will keep up with any of my combat grade AR15's.

I'm not about to say the bullpup doesn't have faults, but accuracy is not one of them and I believe you understate the ballistic advantages.
If you use good ammo such as 75 grain TAP fragmentation will not be an issue even with 10.5 inch barrel.

12131
04-07-2010, 12:35
I picked up an STG-556 about six months ago and I can safely say it is not my favorite .223 rifle. I have lost pretty much all desire to get an SBR since I have a bullpup that is cheaper, more (combat) accurate, more powerful .......
:dunno:
:dunno:

Wild Gene
04-08-2010, 10:12
For some reason, the thought of having the chamber under my head makes me nervous. I think the bullpup is a good, proven design, and has it's merits, but it just bothers me.

I do think the original post is a very good point.

WG