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 FN 15 Carbine

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.

FN 15 Rifle

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

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        • The “piss poor crap” MSM you can afford to keep in your closet is better than the “Obscure object of desire” MSM you drool over on the shelf at your local gun shop.

        • Someone in love with HKs would know about “piss poor crap” alright …

          Best thing to happen to the civilian version of the M-16 – the AR-15 – is the vast number of “assemblers” – b/c there are few actual “manufacturers”. Most people would be quite surprised to know the quality level of many AR parts. For those folks still thinking Colt made the best AR-15 b/c they formerly had the DoD contract for the M-16s / M-4s, they aparently don’t understand how *few* parts Colt actually “manufactured”. When we start seeing FNH ARs, they will be the best “mass manufactured” ever for the commercial market.

      • quality doesn’t always come with an egregious high price. Building your own from high quality parts can save you some.

        You also have to get away from the mindset that guns are for collecting and thus you need a lot of them. Guns are tools, not toys. One very high quality tool is better than five POS.

        And the term MSR really should not be used. There is nothing “sporting” about something that you depend on to save your life.

  1. The long wait is probably because they needed to meet demand for the military and had no excess capacity. Maybe this means the military contracts are slowing down.

    • I don’t understand all of this brouhaha. FN is building an AR to Colt spec, and it probably will be no better and no worse. There are a hundred and one manufacturers out there dong the same thing, at a bewildering array of price points. And until you get really pricey, most can hardly shoot two moa at a hundred yards. What’s the excitement? I can buy a bolt gun for less that $500 that is more accurate right out of the box.

      • “I can buy a bolt gun for less that $500 that is more accurate right out of the box.”

        That’s great. Too bad we are talking about gas guns.

      • There is a very good reason that you will not see any modern military organization issuing bolt guns to the troops other than their elite snipers.

        Minute of bad guy accuracy at 200 yards and quick follow up shots, plus firepower in close quarter engagements, is the standard design spec for an MSR. Not every shooter is a sniper and I’m pretty sure the snipers are glad about that.

        • Cliff,
          The reason troops aren’t issued bolt action rifles is many fold but has to do with combat effectiveness and the faster dynamics of the modern battlefield.
          Increased rates of fire means fewer troops can be as combat effective as a much larger force from years ago. Because of the highly mobile nature of the modern battlefield, engagement ranges have been reduced from many hundreds of yards to well less than a hundred necessitating higher rates of fire.

  2. For over 30 years FN has made a substantial number of rifle barrels for the military. However, those pictured don’t look like the heavy barrels the army is FINALLY adopting. Frankly, the ARs look like just another clone and will probably be over priced.
    And the carbine is the same design as the infamous “Bushmaster” rifle. Why is it a whole company is vilified while no other is for the same rifle design.

    • Bushmaster is “vilified” because they are producing a lower quality rifle/carbine at this time.
      They source the components of their product from the lowest bidders and the result is what it is.

      • It was the name bushmaster that was vilified. The liberal in the media probably don’t even know that Bushmaster is the name of the company and not the rifle. Look at that stupid gun law the state of Maryland passed and you will see it.

        ST – if it doesn’t have the same heavy barrel on it then its not the same as the M-4 and its still a mass produced weapon. FN also performs a lot of rebuild ops for the military especially for 240 and 249’s. They have a lot going on and for the money they will probably charge I’d rather have a LaRue. I have a 17s which gives me well sub MOA with non-match off the shelf ammo and my opinion is worth every penny I paid for it.
        However saying that as long as the AR is accurate and reliable their isn’t a whit bit of difference between all of the ARs out there. Just another thing to brag about. The vast majority of people out there can’t shoot as well as their weapon is capable of anyway. Add to it all of those 4-5 MOA combat sights people like and you have a guy that happy with 8″ groups at 100 yards. Which BTW is probably going to be the longest range most ever have to shoot anyway. Why pay $2K for a rifle that won’t kill someone any deader than a $750 weapon? Bragging rights? Save the money for mags and ammo.
        But if it makes you feel better go out and buy this gun which is probably going to weigh in at about $1700 minimum.

        • what are you talking about? There’s a huge difference between the $700 cheapo POS and a $2K+ battle tested, precision tool. This website seems to be obsessed with advancing the silly idea that some POS rifle w/ China glass is the same as a rifle built w/ quality components. Stop this nonsense.

          And having a 4-5 MOA dot on optical sights doesn’t mean groupings of 4-5 MOA at 100 yards. Methinks you need to do your due diligence.

          • I do my due diligence. I look at other peoples targets at the range. And as far as the $2000battle tested rifles I’m under impressed. Crappy triggers, crappy mags, apparently not very accurate based on rounds expended per kill. Buddy of mine, a Marine, told me he watched some army guys expend 15,000 rounds of 5.56 and 7.62 and killed exactly 2 insurgents and wounded a couple more. And even the support troops seem to jack up their weapons so badly carrying them around that they require major maintenance.

        • You’re either at the wrong range, the wrong people are at that range, the wrong people are shooting those guns, or the wrong guns are being shot. KAC, Larue, LMT, or any high quality AR will easily shoot sub moa w/ match ammo and a trained operator. Consider continued research into precision rifles. A little time spent understanding causation vs correlation might not be a bad idea either.

          • Very few people bother with getting real training on their weapon and how to shoot it properly. They also watch too much TV and movie gunplay. Hence bad marksmanship is common even in the military.

        • Firing on a two-way range and firing for suppression tend to make round counts pointless to anybody who isn’t supplying the ammo.

          • Gyufygy,
            You’ve got that right. And its only going to get worse once the full auto weapons get into the hands of the troops. Youre going to start seeing a lot of burned out barrels again.

  3. While it may seem like “just another AR15”, its a good thing that a vet can buy the rifle made by the same folk who built his full auto M4.

      • Actually, FN has been making them for Colt for some time. The contract now belongs to FN only. Many might remember the FN AR they had in the military- from years ago. I do.

        • I remember carrying an FN M-16 more than a decade ago. It was so worn out, my friend’s Del-Ton is more reliable. But that was at a time that I had no idea how to take care of the weapon system or how to look for problem areas.

  4. Well….when the feedding frenzy fizzled out for AR rifles/parts and let’s say the glut of magazines for AR 15 ‘s was extremely predictable….it is puzzling how FN will deal with the many companies machining AR Lowers and Uppers and with prices for such being so affordable…another word for down right cheap!! And the quality of said uppers/lowers from the many manufacturers all things considered….are excellent. Barrel prices are hovering at the same level.

    Well….I build my AR’s……and since it isn’t my money…people can spend whtever they want. But I’m gonna say that these FN AR’s will be pricey!

      • Your scrupulous attention to linguistic detail is awe inspiring. Clearly your intellectual and moral superiority is unmatched by few humans.

      • Thank you for this. I thought I was the only one who finds TTAG’s “best and brightest” not so bright.

        • All bark and no bite….your arrogances show how shallow your types are. I’ve won many bets off of “DUBS” just like you are HK…… dubs that couldn’t shoot worth a damn even with a high dollar firearm.

          Believe me BUBBA….you’re just passing….as if you’re making me so afraid!!!!!

        • HK…then you go and talk like this…sigh.

          Tip: You seem to have done your homework and you do a real service to those of us here trying to do same, especially with links you have provided in past so thanks for that.

          Tip: On yhe other hand, personal insults just make you look like a fanboi…is all I’m saying.

        • I don’t understand what you are saying. I’m a “fanboi” of the proper use of the English language?

        • “All bark and no bite….your arrogances show how shallow your types are. I’ve won many bets off of “DUBS” just like you are HK…… dubs that couldn’t shoot worth a damn even with a high dollar firearm.

          Believe me BUBBA….you’re just passing….as if you’re making me so afraid!!!!!

          They speak English where you’re from?

      • Then we have Samuel Beckett and “Dante … Bruno . Vico .. Joyce”, where it was observed that Beckett’s creative use of ellipsis points corresponded roughly to the number of centuries separating the times of those he named.

    • Hmmm, I wonder if FNH would sell completed uppers? I’ll admit that I bought a completed AR, but I think it would be a nice compliment to someone’s build to have one of FNH’s barrels.

      • You can get a complete Palmetto State upper with a chrome-lined FN CHF bbl for $449 on sale, including BCG and charging handle.

        FN is entering an extremely crowded market at a time when distributors are still reeling from the Sandy Hook scare. I’m sure they’ll find some dopey blogger to push their stuff. 😉

        • No kidding. F.N better be pricing these at about $800 if they want to sell any. I wonder if they will jack the barrel prices they charge Palmetto State Armory.

    • FN can do competitive pricing just fine. Just look at their FNX and FNS pistols – a very solid platform in high quality for a price that’s better than many of their competitors.

      Whether this will be the case for their ARs or not is yet to be seen. They might try to price it higher and try the ride the “official military rifle” fad to sell. Which might even work. Or they might try to deliver a well-built rifle for less than what we are used to (when buying complete, not assembling yourself – not everyone wants to do the latter), and gamble on low pricing attracting people.

  5. Interesting offering for the civilian market. Hard to understand why they did not offer a M4 version with a rail system. Perhaps they are going after the civilian market that want as close to the “real thing” as possible?

    The more the merrier, I say.

    I’m pretty content with my Daniel Defense M4 V1 and my HK MR556A1 and my TAVOR SAR so don’t have a hankering for another 5.56 in the safe.

    • i like the lack of rails i don’t want them there kinda heavy and i hate the feeling of them even with the covers, besides everyone that buys a AR15 is going to customize it anyway standard equipment is a good idea for a factory gun.

  6. The reason they wont be made anywhere near where the government rifles are made is because when you are awarded a military contract to produce rifles, you cannot sell rifles to the public that are made out of the same materials, on the same machines, or from the same specs. These wont be anywhere near the quality of a gov’t made rifle.

    • Quinn,
      I’ve been to their factory in Columbia SC. Trust me it will be the same quality as the one going to the army. Doesn’t pay to have multiple production lines or quality for an identical product. To much risk of cross contamination of parts and cost 2x as much. Besides its mostly highly automated production methods. Computerized milling machines do the work so there is very few ways of lowering quality that does not cost more money to perform.
      And don’t fool yourself, milspec is mostly bullshit and just means it has to meet at least this minimum level of performance/quality. Most civilian equipment exceeds milspec.

      • Paul- you’re on M4c enough, you should know that what Im saying is fact. Although the last time I saw you on that site, you were getting chastised for saying incorrect things.

  7. You clearly have no ide how the TDP and government works,
    FN can make a commercial AR, but they can’t use *ANY* knowledge, tooling, etc gained from the M4 or M16 TDP in the manufacturing of a commercial product. The parts can’t be mixed and the tooling can’t be the same. The machine programs can’t be the same. The gauging can’t be the same. They can’t even use the scrap parts.

    • yep, even the FN spokesman said a separate area is set up to build these semi guns. government regs can be stubborn if not down right unfriendly.

  8. Im glad you’ve been in their factory. Let me know when you actually work in the firearms industry where you can see behind the scenes and learn this type of information. Ive been to Ferrari’s factory, doesnt make me a Formula 1 driver.

  9. While I’m interested to see these FN products in the wild hasn’t Palmetto State Army been selling some of their rifles with FN barrels and third party full auto BCGs for years? I always assumed the barrel and BCG were the heart and soul of an AR.

    The PSA rifles that I’ve handled in the past all seemed to function very well, especially given the price.

    • You beat me to it. I need to get on the interwebs earlier next New Year’s Day.

      Many (not all) of Palmetto State Armory’s guns do indeed contain the same FNH barrel as these nice examples above. So as far as shooting your barrel out goes, you’ll have some breathing room with either one.

      I have one sitting here (20″ A3 clone) and to my very picky consumer-grade expectations it’s a damn nice piece. It certainly would motivate me to possibly purchase one of those FNH versions when they become available. Or do another build with PSA parts. I don’t know enough about the BCG to comment on that. Don’t want to possibly fib about something. I do know that this rifle doesn’t miss a lick no matter what I stuff in it. And I do shoot the cheap stuff.

      Will be interesting to compare/contrast the two manufacturers in the future maybe?

  10. I’d be interested in a stripped lower, if they become available for a decent price. I won’t hold my breath.

  11. I will try and explain this the best I can so people here who are just average, everyday firearms enthusiasts can understand the inner workings of manufacturing the M16/M4 rifles. Colt created the TDP, technical data package, which is what EVERY M16/M4 MUST be built to. Because they created the TDP, they can also build and sell rifles to the public, built using the exact same machines, materials, and programming. Because of this, every M4 that Remington makes, they have to pay a royalty to Colt.

    FN has made only TDP rifles. They have never made civilian AR’s before, therefore, all the machines and programs they have cannot be used to make their new civilian FN-15, BY LAW!

    So I ask you, whats going to be a better financial decision- buying tens of millions of dollars in new machines, tooling, and programming? Or ordering parts from other manufactures, built to FN’s specs, and assembling a rifle they just put their name on? I already know the answer, but Ill let people believe what they want.
    If FN does what they do, this could turn out to be a hell of a rifle. HOWEVER- it will not be close to what my, or any other door kicker carried, because it isnt built using TDP.

      • Im not implying that Colt is the best. They are the standard when it comes to a duty rifle, and while I do own several Colts, most of my time is spent behind BCM’s and KAC’s. What I am saying is that Colt owns the TDP, and if the government gives you a contratc to build M4’s to the TDP, there are rules and laws you must abide by, and you are going to pay Colt a royalty for every rifle you build. Im sorry that honest facts hurt your feelings. And i really could care less if a man that is the best example of an OFWG believes me or not. Have a nice day.

        • I was going to comment that Colt being first doesn’t mean Colt is the best. However, it just occurred to me that shouldn’t Armalite being getting the royalties?

    • Quinn. Thank you for the info on TDP. One question from a newb:

      Could FN have one set of machines set up for military production and another set of machines with identical cspability that do civilian production?

      Do you mind if I ask what your specific manufacturing experience is? I realize this is an anonymouse forum but if you csn elaborate a bit more it helps to validate the claims for superior knowledge.

      • Youre kidding right? Do you have any idea how much precision milling machines cost? Why in the world would you buy a second set of these things to do the exact same job to a lower spec? The potential cost of cross contamination of inferior parts with high quality is mind boggling.

    • Are you saying that FN cannot use the same materials or build to the same dimensions as the m4?

      If they are using the same materials and plug in the same milling dimensions in another factory, then it will be a near similar product

      • according to FN, these new semi rifles will have button cut rifling and not hammer forged like the military ones.
        pity… i was all set but now…………. just yawning

    • >> They have never made civilian AR’s before, therefore, all the machines and programs they have cannot be used to make their new civilian FN-15, BY LAW!

      Can you please cite said law? Document title, paragraph etc.

  12. A year too late to the AR15 party, but I guess they have been busy building other things.
    Wonder what the price will be? Their rifles are expensive, but their pistols, except the Fiveseven are resonabley priced.
    More people making AR15s the better. Nothing different n these rifles though

  13. It will be nice to see another 20″ rifle available, most of the offerings out there seem to consider 16″ as the upper limit on barrel length.
    Put me down for one. 🙂

    • Build your own. Run you about $750.00 when you’re all done.

      I wanted an A2 ever since my friend/FFL dragged an old Colt out of one of his safes and let me take it for a spin. I quickly discovered that they are nowhere to be found for any amount I was willing to pay.

      PSA is your friend. Easy. Palmetto State Armory Barreled Upper Assemblies, 20″. 20″ uppers are always out of stock, you can look at the page every day and jump on one when they become available.

      • I’d rather see him in a higher quality BCM, DD, Colt, LMT, or Noveske upper. BCM’s are surprisingly affordable, given their high quality.

        With that said, it would probably make more sense to get a 18″ SPR or 16″ RECCE SS barrel, if you are looking to extend your range.

    • CL barrels have their place, but I agree, you can get better accuracy out of a SS with decent barrel life.

      • Exactly.

        The other reason why I don’t like chrome lining on barrels is that I can’t do much with them after the chrome is in. Want to set back a chamber? That chrome will play hell with my HSS reamers. Want it re-crowned? Again, same deal.

  14. Mil-spec Colt 6920 buh bye! You’re now resigned to the trash can for all the mil-spec fan bois who ain’t mil-spec themselves.

    Colt’s sales and stock will plummet. Nice move FN. Nice move.

  15. Hay Nick. Since they also still make M-16A2 and M-16A3s for the Navy will they make a fixed carry handle model for CMP competitions too???

    Glad you will see the light dump crappy SCAR for a good AR.

      • Since he can’t have an actual conversation with a human being, he just goes to every goddamn gun site on the web and starts making up debates regarding the SCAR that never actually happened and addressing arguments that we’re never actually made.

        • Your the SCAR lovers who at every turn attack the M-4 and M-16 at every turn strange how you bring the scar up more on every web sight.

          All I asked was if they sell a fixed carry handle model.

        • Yup, still a numbskull who can’t read. I LIKE THE AR YOU DOPE. I also think a SCAR17 looks interesting. “Looks”, because I’ve never even held one. A person with an IQ above room temperature should have the capacity to have an interest in more than one object. Also, I’m easily amused, so pointing out your glaring, obnoxious fanboyism entertains me.

          • You might not actually like it but then guns are like women, neckties and good whiskey. Everyones got their own preferences and no amount of arguing will change someones opinion.
            The SCAR17 looks clunky and not as slick as an AR, but shoot one and you will see its a great rifle. Is it perfect? No. I had to make a few mods to get mine a little closer but I won’t be trading it off. Nothing like 7.62 power and range with an AR recoil. I have a female friend who has had to have both shoulders rebuilt and she loves shooting it. Only bad thing is its a little pricy.

  16. I do think FN is one of the better companies for making their military variants available to us lowly peasants. That said however, i wish instead of making another AR the could make Cheaper More Affordable SCAR variants released to the general public. The new FNAC is what comes to mind.

  17. My USAF issued FNH M16A2 was more reliable and accurate than my issued Colt M4 and my civilian POF 415 beats them both by a mile…

    Just saying

    • Yeah I knew many who liked the M-16A2 better than a small carbine. FN also wont the Army M-4A1 contract so they make all three ARs in military service the M-16A3 and M-16A4, and now the M-4 series.

      • Lance,
        Most military people and a lot of civilians haven’t shot the rifles to know a difference between them.

        The military adopted the carbine simply because its easier to get in and out of a vehicle with them.

  18. My 100 dollar ChiCom SKS is better than any of those plastic overpriced jam a matic AR 22’s. It shoots a 30 caliber bullet vs a .22. Goes bang everytime hasnt been cleaned since the day Suk Muk Dik built it in Uncle Ho’s glorious Peoples Armament Machine Factory #14 in the Year of the Dog. When TSHTF it can be clamped above the driveshaft of an F250 and driven thru the FEMA roadblocks without worrying if the Magpul midlength tac rail with covers got scratched or fell off. Then it can be used to hunt deer, shoot off locks to Walmart distribution centers, beat down DHS Kapos, and driven into the ground to keep the center of the survival tent up. Keep buying those AR 22s even tho every bubbletop has a couple in the trunk for the grabbing if/when TSHTF.

  19. Ill pit my build against any store bought “quality” manufacturers off the shelf rifle, any day of the week… I live on south Florida so any takers Just let me know….

  20. Firstly, Gene worked for Armalite Fairchild Aviation. Colt only came into the pic because of their mfg capacity. There were other companies making military contract rifles. The lowly Harrington Richardson comes to mind.
    For Colt to have done so well, why havent they had a contract in decades? How many bankruptcies and sell outs? Hell, we dont even know what name Colt is operating under this week! The mark of true quality and success.
    FN on the other hand, consistently successful. Innovative operator grade products.
    Colt makes the same few products for decades and decades. You would think they could get it right.
    I will buy a 20″ to use at camp Perry. I am sure it will be fine in my safe next to my LWRC. It will be ok fellas. Stay in your lane.

  21. what a shame the barrels in these new FN rifles are NOT hammer forged like their military ones.
    THEY ARE NOT THE SAME…….. next. lol.

  22. You guys are all full of shit. If you get your info from facts instead high speed keyboard “operators” someone might actually take you seriously.

  23. You guys are all full of shit. If you get your info from facts instead high speed keyboard “operators” someone might actually take you seriously.

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