In this article from Guns.com, Jeff Wood looks at FN’s FS200 Bullpup rifle in 5.56 NATO.
Fun With the FS2000
The FS2000 is a 5.56 NATO carbine designed for military and police use. The rifle uses a 17.5-inch barrel tucked deep into its bullpup chassis to shorten the platform. The gun uses Stanag pattern magazines, but as far as I can tell only works with the metal GI type.
The action uses a short-stroke gas piston, a rotating bolt, and an interesting forward ejecting system to make this bullpup truly ambidextrous. With the action next to the face, it would be unpleasant to have brass ejecting out the side if you are left-handed.
The FS2000 has a unique look that has earned it several nicknames such as the “tactical tuna.” Like the other FN bullpup, the P90, the FS2000 features an ambidextrous safety. A small disc located at the bottom of the trigger guard can be rotated from either side with the trigger finger to engage or disengage the safety.
The charging handle is located on the front left side of the rifle and uses a claw detent to keep it in place. The bolt does not lock back on the last round, so there isn’t a bolt release.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the rifle is at the breech. Since the chamber end of the barrel is deeply covered inside the rifle, there is a spring-loaded trap door just in front of the cheek rest that the operator can open to see the breech and clear any malfunctions.
The rifle features a great deal of sealing designs to prevent the ingress of debris into the rifle. All points of ingress have their own way of closing off, such as gaskets in the mag well and a closed ejection port.
The rifle weighs in just shy of 8 pounds at 7.9 pounds, and overall length is 29.25 inches. The compact size of the rifle promises to give the user more maneuverability and mobility in action.
Let’s See It!
When I opened the box containing the FS2000, I was surprised to find that it had been shipped with both the original foregrip panels and a Picatinny-railed foregrip to accept other accessories. The vertical grip gave better purchase for me than the traditional smooth forearm panels, so I left it installed for the purposes of the review.
The gun seemed lighter than I expected, but I think that’s because it appears bigger and bulkier than it should be. There seems to be a lot of empty space inside. As I lifted the gun to my shoulder, I was surprised by two things. First, I enjoyed the feel of the rifle much more than expected based on my experience with the PS90. And second, it felt rather bulky compared to similar firearms, whether bullpup or conventionally configured.
FS2000 for Sale
Where to Find Yours
I ran the charging handle a few times to get a feel for the rifle. I have grown to like the feel of metal and polymers functioning in unison. The FS2000 felt smooth and locked up tight. I gave the trigger a few squeezes to see how it felt. I’ve felt a few bullpup triggers in my day, and this one was not too shabby. There are certainly better triggers, but this one was serviceable.
I gave the remaining controls a once-over. I didn’t care for the safety much – which, again, was no surprise. The mag release is another curious design. It’s a button just in front of the magazine well that you can depress with the edge of your hand while gripping the magazine. It is pleasant to use if you are stripping the mag with intent to retain it, but if you are reloading a fresh mag, it will slow you down. It requires you to strip the mag with your support hand, then grab a fresh mag to insert.
The muzzle of the 17.5-inch barrel is pinned – eye roll – with a muzzle brake, which is not my preference. The gas block has two settings I would have loved to try with a suppressor, but I guess that’ll only happen in my dreams.
- Barrel length: 17.5 inches
- Overall length: 29.25 inches
- Weight: 7.9 pounds
- Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Rem
- Magazine: 30-round detachable box magazine
- Action: Semi-auto short-stroke gas piston system with rotating bolt
- Barrel: Cold hammer-forged, chrome-lined, with ported muzzle brake
- Controls: Left-side charging handle, ambidextrous controls
- Ejection: Unique forward-firing system
It was time to install a red dot and get this thing to the range. Once upon a time, the FS2000 was available with a 1.6X sight attached. The pictures alone made me shudder, so I’m glad I had my own. I dropped a simple Vortex red dot onto the rifle. After gathering up some ammunition, I was on my way to the range.
It had been a minute since I’d loaded some old metal GI mags, but it felt nostalgic. I loaded the magazines with some PMC Bronze 55-grain ammo and began firing my first magazine. A handful of rounds in, the rifle stopped. That old familiar feeling of the bolt not going into battery told me something was up.
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