FN America announced a pair of new FN 15 carbines for the consumer market. What makes these a little different than the existing guns the company offers is that they are NFA guns with barrels shorter than 16”.
If you are not familiar, the National Firearms Act of 1934 requires a special tax stamp and registration of any rifle with a barrel that is shorter than 16”. Essentially, this makes a short barrel rifle (SBR) illegal unless you go through the extra scrutiny and paperwork (along with paying a special tax) the federal law requires. Because of this, few people buy an SBR and few manufacturers built SBRs for the consumer market. So the announcement from FN America is fairly interesting. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come.
FN 15 Patrol Carbine 10.5”
The first of the two new carbines is the shorter and lighter of the two. This model has a 10.5” barrel — almost half a foot shorter than what most civilian shooters are used to. Shorter does not mean the company cut corners on the quality. FN America uses button broached rifling with a 1:7” twist. The barrel is chrome lined and threaded with an A2-style muzzle device.
This gun has other features commonly referred to as being A2 style. This includes a front sight tower with gas block. A flip-up rear sight is included. The handguard is a two-piece design with a heat shield. A standard pistol grip and adjustable buttstock are used on this gun.
Obviously, the shorter barrel makes the gun easier to maneuver in closed spaces like the interior of your home. It also makes the gun lighter. Unloaded, this model weighs about 5.9 pounds. With a collapsed stock, the gun has an overall length of 26.5”.
FN 15 Patrol Carbine 14.5”
Some might say that this gun is “the same, but different” from the 10.5” gun. Although 4” longer, it shares the same quality barrel with an identical twist rate and lining. However, instead of a front sight tower, it has a low-profile gas block. Instead of the two-piece plastic handguard, FN America opted for an aluminum part made by Midwest Industries. This handguard has M-LOK attachment points.
The additional length doesn’t affect the gun’s overall weight by very much. This gun is only about 0.1 pounds heavier. Fortunately for shooters, the price isn’t affected at all. It also carries an MSRP of $1,148.