by David Crane
Alright, get a load of these two little honeys. I found them at IACP 2005 Miami at the Bushmaster Firearms booth. They’re Bushmaster Carbon 15 prototype shorties, and both are select-fire (full-auto). One’s a 5.56mm (5.56x45mm) subcarbine/SBR (Short-Barreled Rifle) that’s basically the select-fire version of the Bushmaster Carbon 15 Type 97S/21S Type series. The other’s a 9mm (9x19mm) subgun (submachine gun). Both are the lightest weapons in their class that DefenseReview has ever handled. We don’t even have weight specs on them yet, but it doesn’t really matter–because they’re LIGHT (nerf gun light, practically), despite the fact that they both incorporate a 4-sided (or "quad-rail") Mil-Std-1913 rail system/forend rail tube and vertical foregrip. The prototype 9mm submachine gun we handled and photographed even sported a BUIS (Back-Up Iron Sight) system, which you can see in the photos we shot (below).
1) Are they’re realiable under adverse/combat conditions and high round count?
2) Are they accurate enough at realistic combat distances, i.e. for close quarters battle (CQB)/close quarters combat (CQC)?
And, of course,
3) Are they controllable enough on full-auto for CQB/CQC applications, including counter-ambush use, where burst fire may need to be employed? This an important question, especially considering weapon weight(s) involved.
Well, we don’t know, yet, but we’ll try to glean some intelligence on this, ASAP–and get both weapons onto the range for a little T&E session. Bushmaster’s Director of Law Enforcement and Government Sales, Israel Anzaldua, did tell me that the guns are indeed reliable, when I asked him about this aspect, and I can tell you they were a true joy to handle. If they prove to be reliable, accurate, and controllable enough under the conditions outlined above, they might just be suitable for both Direct Action and PSD/Security operations. We’ll see. DefenseReview will also try to find out when Bushmaster plans to go into production on the two guns.