FNH USA is the current manufacturer for the M16A4 and M4 series rifles for the U.S. military, so it might come as a bit of a surprise that despite the insane demand for AR-15 rifles in the United States FNH USA didn’t make a version of the firearm for civilian sales. But starting in 2014 FNH USA has announced that they’ll finally be producing two models of AR-15 rifles for the civilian market, one with a fixed A2 stock and one with a collapsible stock.
Word on the street is that the guns won’t be made on the same machines or even in the same area as the original full auto versions, since putting the wrong trigger pack in one of these guns and shipping it out the door would require more than a little ‘splainin’ to the ATF. Still, there’s something pretty appealing about an AR-15 made by the same manufacturer that the military uses. I’m expecting demand for these guns will be pretty heavy, especially considering that they’ll be using the same barrels and the same machining processes as the military guns. Heck, even Larry Houck, Team FNH USA captain, has said that he might change to one of the new FN-15 rifles for the pro series competitions from the venerable SCAR.
Speaking of competitions, that 20-inch version appears to be NRA High Power/CMP-legal for the as-issued service rifle division, which I’ve been competing in for years. Emphasis on ‘as-issued.’ The lack of a floating barrel on either of these models is a little disappointing, but for a first stab at the civilian market, this definitely bears watching.
Here’s the press release:
(McLean, VA – November 1, 2013) FNH USA, LLC is pleased to announce the launch of a brand-new product line for 2014, the FN 15™ family of modern sporting rifles. The company will unveil the first two variants, the FN 15™ Carbine and the FN 15™ Rifle, at NSSF’s annual SHOT Show in January 2014.
“The FN 15™ category is a very important and exciting launch,” said John Goliber, FNH USA Chief Technology Officer. “Like the SCAR® platform, the FN 15™ product line incorporates all of the best features and benefits FN has developed over the last 125 years. With this addition, FN now offers our customers robust and affordable products in all categories, whether they are looking to purchase a product for personal defense or use in the pursuit of sport or competitive shooting activities.”
“The FN 15™ line is a great addition to the FN family of firearms, especially for avid shooters and collectors,” said Ken Pfau, FNH USA Senior Vice President for Commercial Sales. “Our history and expertise in building high-quality and reliable firearms is well-known around the world. We are pleased to bring this new line to our customers looking for the latest in FN technology to add to their collection.”
The FN 15™ Carbine has a 16-inch chrome-lined, alloy steel barrel and is available in 5.56mm NATO. The polymer forearm and butt stock are both black, and the stock is collapsible into six positions, making the total length 31.9 inches at its shortest and 35.2 inches at its longest. The FN 15™ Carbine also features an A2-style compensator and a 1:7-inch RH twist rate. It comes with fixed A2-style front sights, a removable M4-style rear carrying handle, and one GI pattern 30-round aluminum magazine.
The FN 15™ Rifle has a 20-inch chrome-lined, alloy steel barrel and is available in 5.56mm NATO. The polymer forearm and fixed butt stock are both black, and the total length is 39.5 inches. The FN 15™ Rifle also features an A2-style compensator and a 1:7-inch RH twist rate. It comes with fixed A2-style front sights, a removable M4-style rear carrying handle, and one GI pattern 30-round aluminum magazine.
Here’s the full specs on either rifle:
|Specification||FN 15™ Carbine||FN 15™ Rifle|
|Caliber||5.56mm NATO||5.56mm NATO|
|Barrel Length||16 inches||20 inches|
|Twist Rate||1:7-inch RH||1:7-inch RH|
|Barrel||Chrome-lined, alloy steel||Chrome-lined, alloy steel|
|Muzzle Device||A2-style compensator||A2-style compensator|
|Sights||A2-style fixed front sights, removable rear M4-style carrying handle||A2-style fixed front sights, removable rear M4-style carrying handle|
|Stock||Black, six-position collapsible||Black, A2-style fixed|
|Forearm||Black, two-piece ribbed, round||Black, two-piece ribbed, round|
|Weight (with sights and empty magazine)||6.935 lbs.||7.965 lbs.|
|Length||31.9 – 35.2 inches||39.5 inches|
|Width||2.53 inches||2.53 inches|
|Height (with sights and magazine)||10.5 inches||10.5 inches|
|Length of Pull||9.9 – 13.2 inches||10.6 inches|
|Magazine||GI pattern 30-round aluminum||GI pattern 30-round aluminum|