Sunday, January 14, 2007
7.62mm Bullpup From Kel Tech
Over at Anthony Williams's site there is a thread about the new Kel Tec RFB chambered for 7.62 NATO.
This is looks like it could really be an impressive weapon in that it gets rid of the length and bulk that hinder most 7.62x51mm weapons like the M-14 and the excellent FN FAL, while dealing with the case ejection issues that plague bullpups via a forward ejection system reminiscent of (but, reportedly, mechanically distinct from) the FN 2000.
The weapon is quite compact at only 26 inches long with the 18" barrel and uses the reliable and still common FN FAL magazines.
Note that the compact design does not alleviate the excessive weight of a full load of 7.62mm ammo as opposed to the 5.56 ammo used by most US (and NATO) individual weapons. The 5.56mm round has gotten a bit reputation for lacking stopping power against and while "stopping power" is hard to quantify imperiacally, the 5.56 round does lack in range. The rationale behind its adoption was that infantry rarely have to engage enemies at extreme range...but as has been discovered in Afganistan and Iraq, that doesn't count if you encounter an enemy on the other side of a barren valley or a sniper in a minnarette well outside M-16 range. The 5 percent or so of engagements where one needs something one doesn't have are the 5 percent of engagements one is likely to die in. What is likely needed is an intermediate cartridge like the Brits tried to get us to use back in...oh...1949! but we went with the heavy and overpowered 7.62mm round...and then overcompensated and went with the 5.56mm round...a modified "varmint" round that is illegal to hunt deer with in most states because it will not reliably kill them. (This was a MacNamera special. He wanted something that would wound rather than kill on the grounds that it is a greater drain on logistics to care for the wounded than bury the dead)
Of course it is better to have too much firepower than too little, especially with body armor becoming more ubiquitous and we are NOT going to retool to a completely new round at this point. If this weapon proves reliable (And from my limited knowledge, Kel Tec has a good reputation for high quality fairly inexpensive weapons) this weapon would seem to be a damned good choice for the services, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard who need something with good range for use over water....of course the US Military absolutely hates bullpups and the likelyhood of this weapon getting adopted is small.
More is the pity.
The fact that they are using FN FAL magazines which are much more common in Europe and the third world rather than M-14 magazines might indicate they are looking at the overseas market.
A brochure is available in PDF format here.
I want someone to review this.
UPDATE:All the cool cats are Gunblogging this weekend, so my cunning plan to get linky love is thwarted. ACE has several quite good posts, and has spent the day rounding up gun related posts from around the net .right here. My only unique contribution to the discussion at this point is this grainy video of some random loli firing a 'cataling gun'