SHOT Show’s NEXT area is an exhibit hall for start-ups and small companies. It’s always full of interesting products and fresh ideas, and Forward Defense Munitions certainly had something unique to show off . . .
The L5 uses charge block ammunition that’s fed left-to-right through an action very light on moving parts. Instead of individual rounds in individual cases, the projectile, powder, and primer are contained in a charge block of five shots.
In effect, each shot (or “charge”) is inside of its own chamber and the chambers get ejected out the side of the rifle when the charge block is expended. The idea is to take the heat with it, resulting in a rifle that always has a cool chamber regardless of how rapidly it’s dumping ammo downrange.
And fire rapidly, it can. The L5 can fire rounds one-at-a-time, in semi-auto or full-auto, or can volley fire all five rounds in a charge block simultaneously. It can do that once per trigger pull or, in full-auto volley fire mode, hold the trigger down and it fires all five charges, cycles in a new block, fires all five charges, repeat repeat in rapid succession.
Continue feeding individual charge blocks or stacks of charge blocks in the left side to lay down unending suppressive fire.
Well, almost unending. The electromagnetic action will fire about 15,000 rounds on a single charge.
I don’t know if there’s a buyer for it, but I do know it’s unique and interesting! TTAG will attempt to borrow one if that becomes a possibility as FD Munitions finalizes the design.