06 February 2017

Is Polish MSBS rifle is as good as dead?

This is not factual information, but opinion piece based on my personal assessment of future of MSBS rifle program. Please take it with grain of salt.

MSBS program is in place for over 10 years already. It should be enough to design and start manufacturing of 2 or even 3 designs. What we have after this time is:

1. 100+ MSBS straight pull repeating blank firing rifles delivered to Ceremonial Company of Polish Armed Forces.
2. Some prototypes of MSBS delivered for informal testing by Border Guard and Prison Service.
3. MSBS in military certification trials scheduled to end later this year (those are not acceptance tests!)
4. MSBS bulpup is even no longer presented by FB Radom on trade fair exhibition.

This of course does not outright mean that program will be canceled or rifle will not be adopted. But there is one big nail to MSBS coffin:

Polish Ministry of Defence awarded FB Radom with 350mln PLN ($85mln) contract to deliver 58,000 assault rifles until end of 2019. This is additionally to earlier contracts for roughly 30,000 assault rifles. Those contracts vastly exceed manufacturing capability of FB Radom and will require investment in real estate, tooling as well as hiring new personnel. Good news? Certainly for FB Radom, but not for MSBS, because ordered rifles are not MSBS, but Polish AKM variants in 5.56 NATO called wz.96 Beryl and wz.96 Mini Beryl.

One would say: "but after that Polish military will surely bus MSBS". Why would they? By 2020 they will double their inventory of wz. 96 Beryl and Mini Beryl, mostly with brand new rifle. Who with sound mind would replace them with new rifle right away? This basically ends possibility for Polish Army to move away from AK-style firearms for foreseeable future.

But surely FB Radom can sell MSBS on international market. It is modern, modular, flexible and ergonomic rifle. Lot of smaller military forces would like it. They would, but there is second nail to MSBS coffin: it is called HK 433.


  1. Thanks for the update!

  2. Anonymous16/2/17 18:50

    MSBS landed as basic rifle for Territorial Defence Forces. So looks like all is well...

    1. Minister of Defense said that on PR stunt presentation. He says lot of things. By now we should have fleet of UH-60. Where are they?

      There was no any information on any MoD order towards that: no number, no timeframe, no nothing. Even if FB Radom will start to make those at early 2020 (after fulfillment of present contract, if they will be able to fulfill them on schedule, which is doubtful), then Territorial Defense will get full deliver of their MSBS rifles earliest by end of 2022. What until then? Will they use broomsticks painted in black or what?

  3. Anonymous20/2/17 14:23

    Indeed he says a lot. but... Territorial defence staggered rollout (east to west regions) fits well with introducing a new type of weapon. The first two organising units will not need THAT many guns... Should be fine. Also a thing worth noting is that simplicity of the rifle, ambidextrous use, etc are very well suited to less experienced shooters, with shortened training cycles. I do understand the lack of faith, but for one, i still have some :)

  4. Hello.
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