K&M M17S556 Bullpup
Oleg Volk 06.25.14
Bushmaster M17S rifle dates back to Charles St. George’s Australian original from the mid-1980s. While innovative, the rifle was heavy and clumsy. I handled one briefly in the late 1990s and decided against the purchase.
A few years ago, Ken McAlister started producing customized M17s. Perforated receive improved air flow around the action and barrel, and saved weight. Trigger improved considerably, and the raised rail was replaced by a Picatinny flattop.
This year, Ken’s company K&M Arms is offering M17S556, an all new rifle with a metal lower. It’s distinguished from the old conversions by the greatly improved trigger, reduced weight, smoothed forms, and charging handle relocated from the top of the receiver to the left side. QD sockets for the sling, built-in recoil pad and AR15-compatible pistol grip add to the appeal.
I’ve only had time to fire one magazine through the rifle, but it impressed me enough to do more with it at the first opportunity. My sole complaint so far is the smallish charging handle, but that’s easy enough to fix.