The author firing an EF88 with 20″ barrel (with 4x ACOG and Harris bipod) out to 600yds. Photo courtesy of Julian Elliott (Thales Australia).
Last week I was in Lithgow at the invitation of Thales Australia, and had the opportunity to conduct a test and evaluation of the new EF88 assault rifle (essentially the same as the F90, with some minor changes for the Australian Land 125 Phase 3C program). I shared the range with the boys from On Duty Magazine, and got the chance to fire both the 20″ and 16″ barrel version of the EF88, and to utilise a range of accessories (foregrip, 4x and 1.5x ACOGs, suppressor, bipod, under-barrel grenade launcher, and so on).
The full review will be published later this year, and will include details of the weapon’s handling and firing characteristics (out to 600yds), changes from previous F88 models including the F88SA2, a look at the different barrel lengths and other options being offered, an examination of the technical, handling and firing characteristics of the new Madritsch ML40AUS grenade launcher and associated sight, as well as a number of photos of the weapon, its features, and main component groups, as well as some action shots. On Duty will be also be publishing a review, targeted towards the Australian military user, and this will no doubt be worth checking out.
Whilst in Lithgow I was also fortunate enough to receive a tour of the Thales Australia factory, and to visit the Lithgow Small Arms Museum. These will also be the feature of future pieces. I heartily recommend the museum to anyone with an interest in firearms; I saw a number of very interesting pieces there, including Australian Kokoda and MCEM experimental submachine guns, a McRudden Light Machine Rifle (MK1), and a Solothurn S18-1100 anti-tank rifle (or ‘Universalwaffe‘).
Stay tuned for more information, pictures, and even a little video.
Update 24/10/2012: the On Duty Magazine review was written by me, and will be available in Issue 4, due out soon.
Top: EF88 with 20″ barrel, 4x ACOG, and Harris bipod. Bottom: EF88 with 16″ barrel, 1.5x ACOG, and flash hider threaded to accept suppressor.