Bushmaster Firearms International is a North Carolina (US) based firearm manufacturer whose production is centred on semi-automatic pistols and AR-15 variants. Bushmaster was also one of the founding companies of the Freedom Group following Cerberus Capital Management's purchase of them in 2006.

History[edit | edit source]

The company was originally founded in Madison, North Carolina as the Gwinn Firearms Company. Its first product was the Bushmaster, an arm gun developed from the experimental Colt IMP. A conventional gas-operated rifle was also developed from this concept. In the mid-1970s the company changed its name to Bushmaster Firearms, named after the gun. The company soon gained a contract to produce the AR-15 rifle, a move which has virtually defined Bushmaster's entire existance. In more recent years the development of carbon fibre has provided Bushmaster with the means to modify their AR-15 designs to produce a clearly identifiable line of firearms.

The Bushmaster M17S bullpup rifle.

In 2004 paid $500,000 to Bull's Eye Shooter Supply (whom themselves had a $2.5million lawsuit to pay) in the aftermath of the 2002 Beltway Sniper Attack, due to the fact that it had been a .223 Remington chambered Bushmaster rifle had been used to carryout the shooting. Earlier in 2002 Bushmaster had been the subject of a seperate civil law suit surroundng one of its rifles.

Bushmaster changed hands in 2006, purchased by Cerberus Capital Management. After a year of ownership CCM placed Bushmaster into their Freedom Group (a group of firearm manufacturers) which placed Bushmaster into a group of companies which include the likes of Remington Arms and Marlin Firearms. At this time Bushmaster (after pressure was placed on them from CCM) bought Cobb Manufacturing to expand its facilities. Later in 2010, Freedom Group announced the closure of Bushmaster's Windham plant in Maine (US) in 2011. In late 2012 CCM announced it's intention to sell the Freedom Group, putting all of the Group's futures in potential jeopardy, including Bushmaster's.

Products[edit | edit source]

The Bushmaster ACR (the civilian version of Magpul's Masada rifle.

Bushmaster, as mentioned earlier, has had it's production dominated by the AR-15 rifle, which Bushmaster have themselves developed. Virtually all of Bushmaster's rifles (AR-15s or otherwise) are offered as being chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge with aircraft-grade aluminium receivers. Typically Bushmaster manufacture their barrels from steel (specifically 4150 Steel) with a 1:9in rifling twist with a chrome lining to grant a longer and more reliable operation life.

Bushmaster have also aquired rights to manufacture other firearms. In 2008 Magpul and Bushmaster agreed a deal that allowed Bushmaster to manufacture and sell the Magpul Masada rifle, named the Bushmaster ACR. The ACR entered the market in 2010. Otherwise Bushmaster have been known to develop their own rifles, although these have not been as popular as their contract rifles.

Bushmaster ACR[edit | edit source]

As highlighted throughout this aritcle, the Bushmaster ACR has become Bushmaster's most popular product in their catalogue. Although the ACR is a contract rifle (ie Bushmaster were awarded a contract to manufacture and sell the Masada as their own rifle) Bushmaster have developed the ACR into a distinctive weapon of their own.

Bushmaster M17S[edit | edit source]

The Bushmaster M17S, a semi-automatic bullpup rifle, was originally an Australian design from Armtech Ltd. Bushmaster picked up the design after Australia picked an alternative rifle to the Armtech design, and the M17S was the result. Production ran from 1992 until 2005.

Bushmaster BA50[edit | edit source]

Bushmaster, having bought Cobb Manufacturing in 2006, adapted the BA50 design (which Cobb had been developing) and released the bolt action rifle in 2007. As suggested by the name, the BA50 is chambered for the .50 BMG round and is one of the world's largest calibre rifles in use. Base cost is in excess of $5,500.

Bushmaster[edit | edit source]

The Bushmaster was one of the first products marketed by the Gwinn Firearms Company and the namesake of the company's later trademark, Bushmaster Firearms. A development of the Colt IMP, the Bushmaster was a gas-operated 5.56×45mm bullpup carbine designed to be fired from the user's forearm. A semi-automatic model was also made for the civilian market.

Resources[edit | edit source]

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