Bullpup Rifles (Auto & Semi-Auto Centerfire) => K&M Arms M17S 5.56 and .308 => Topic started by: Tinglyfeet9 on May 08, 2019, 11:04:29 PM

Title: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Tinglyfeet9 on May 08, 2019, 11:04:29 PM
Iíve spent about three months with my K&M M17s 308 20in now and wanted to give an initial review. I havenít done a ton of testing yet, but since information seems to be scarce on this pretty exceptional rifle I wanted to at least get something out there.  As I continue to use and test the rifle Iíll update this review.

I currently have ~850 rounds through it, 99% suppressed with a SiCo Omega.  It has been 100% reliable thus far.  As long as it is on the correct gas setting it cycles everything from Wolf to Hornady Superformance.  This includes Malyasian and Austrian surplus, Tula, AE, Federal, IWI Surplus, and handloads.  Quick side note, it was funny to see Desert Techís president call most of this ammo ďjunkĒ when it works just fine from the K&M M17s any my AR10.  The rifle has been used in -20f to 80f with no issues.  Gotten snowy, wet, hot, and dirty, no issues.  I haven't had the heart to mud test it yet, but that may be something I try in the future (although I believe since there is no dust cover it will fail a full submerge, but we will see).  It might not be quite the match for an AR in the mud or high particle environments (easily solveable with a port cover and slight chassis modifications if Ken or anyone wants to try) but I'd take it over an M14/M1A or FAL any day.  Heck even the Tavor failed in the Inrange mud.  Back the M17s though, mine has shown itself to be more than reliable enough for anything in my book, SHTF included.

Accuracy has been good with match ammo.  With 168gr FGMM I can easily ring steel at 450y (as far as I have access to right now) on reduced silhouettes.   I havenít shot it for groups much yet, but initial testing shows it doing about 1.5 MOA off a bag at 100y with FGMM. This is an area Iíll do a lot more testing using statistically significant methods and Iím currently collecting a lot more varieties of ammo to do so.  It isnít free floated and it isnít a match grade barrel, so it will be interesting to see what can be squeezed out of it.  Promising results already.

The excellent trigger is a large part of this optimism on accuracy.  Anyone whoís used an ELF trigger in their AR knows they are exceptional, and the units they make for the K&M M17s are no exception.  It has a bit more takeup than the AR version but no creep and a very crisp break (not quite as glass-y as the AR version though).  Easily the best bullpup trigger out there (miles ahead of even the RDB) and at least as nice as a Geissele G2S to give some more reference points.

Recoil is another area where this rifle really shines (especially against the direct competition).  It feels somewhat similar to an AR10 in that it is more straight back and it doesnít jump much at all.  Really easy to track and keep the reticle or dot on target.  Doubletaps are no problem at ~40 yards (trigger helps again here) which is really impressive with full house 308.  Granted this is with a suppressor, but suppressors are only about Ĺ as good as brakes are at taming recoil so a lot of this is down to the design and ergonomics.

Speaking of ergonomics and handling, the K&M M17s 308 as it ships feels pretty good.  But once you replace the grip and get a forgrip (I went with BCM but it is AR compatible so basically unlimited options) it really comes into its own.  The rifle feels very natural, balances surprisingly well, points extremely well, especially for having a 20in barrel (with another ~6.5in of suppressor and mount hanging off the end).  It still feels compact enough for CQB.  Relatively quick target transitions, again especially for a 308.  I do wish the handguard was maybe 1-2in longer (since I have long arms), but I realize that isnít possible with the 16in barrel.  Maybe someday Ken will have the time/money to make a longer chassis for the 20in barrel version like mine.  One other quick note, while it isn't meant to be shot lefty you certainly can do it and get NO brass in the face.  A quick transition around a corner or through a doorway is no problem.  You will get carbon on your face (especially when suppressed) but it isn't enough to notice till after you finish shooting.  I also haven't noticed the handguard getting too hot to handle, even after mag dumps.  It does get warm, but never to the point I had to put on gloves, let alone only grip the forgrip.  Maybe it is more of an issue on the 16in version, I'm not sure but it is easy enough to address if it does crop up.

Lastly (for now) I wanted to mention the blowback with a suppressor.  It really shocked me that this rifle is now second only to my properly setup ARs in terms of limiting the blowback to the shooter.  I even get less gas in my face than I do with my RDB and the same SiCo Omega can.  Not sure if it is how the piston vents or the relatively large chassis but gas just doesn't get to the shooter quickly enough to matter which is a huge plus.

All in all I'd say this rifle is a stunningly overlooked piece of exceptional engineering.  It is rare I have a semi-auto rifle I feel I can trust that isn't an AR or AK pattern, much less one that I can trust suppressed and in 308.  Moreover the K&M M17s 308 is just a pleasure to shoot, it puts grins on peoples faces.  Whats more it is backed by the best CS I've ever experianced from a gun company, period.  Ken has answered every dumbass question I've asked, and even sent me spare parts for free.  Hell of a guy, hell of a rifle.  If it sounds like I'm gushing it is because I am.  There have been a ton of disapointing rifles out over the last 10 years or so, and to finally come across one that ticks all the boxes and then some is beyond refreshing.  I hope to have my next update up sometime in late summer when work/family/travel allows.  I'll answer whatever questions I can in the meantime ITT, so feel free to ask!

TL;DR for the lazy- 100% reliable with large variety of ammo suppressed and unsuppressed, low recoil, excellent handling, low gas in face, great company & CS.   Only downside is ~12 week wait on new orders currently and high cost of aftermarket barrels.



Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Desert Kraut on May 09, 2019, 12:20:19 PM
Thanks for detailed great review of the M17S. Although I don't have the .308 yet, I have thoroughly enjoyed  shooting my 5.56/.223. Although it is not meant to be a battle rifle, it checks off most of the boxes on my list of HD firearms features. Looking forward to acquiring my own .308 once I have saved all my pennies.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Tinglyfeet9 on May 09, 2019, 08:04:14 PM
Haha, I'm in the opposite camp.  Now that I've been so pleasantly surprised by the 308, I want to get the 5.56 version soon.  Maybe run it against an X95 SBR.

One quick update on the ergos I did want to bring up is the safety.  It is crossbolt which can easily be take from safe to fire.  But going from fire to safe requires you to break your grip unless you have ungodly large thumbs.  Not a big deal, but worth a mention.  The charging handle is also a bit stiff.  Again no issues but you really need to rack it.  Lastly, the reloads are slower than an AR (like everything else) and take some getting used to (like all bullpups).  Again, not a huge deal but something to note.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: xdmikey on May 10, 2019, 04:47:32 PM
Thanks for the great review Tinglyfeet9.

I already have the 556 model and now I see I'm going to have to take some drastic measures to get my hands on one of these riles!

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: ddavis on May 10, 2019, 10:35:37 PM
Thanks for the review.  This is about the most in depth review I've read and gives me hope that mine will someday work when I get a can that it likes. 


Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: thehun on May 11, 2019, 10:22:27 AM
Great gun...but one thing thing I would disagree with is calling it a true modern battle rifle...if it was so...it would be ambi...or have the capability to convert to ambi.

If you are a right handed shooter...this is a great great 308 option...much better than a MDR.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: sboone on July 24, 2019, 08:50:33 PM
Is it a 2 position adjustable gas block? Sounds like it has a suppressor setting and a normal setting? Or is it something like a FAL or RFB where its more tunable

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Tinglyfeet9 on July 24, 2019, 10:20:32 PM
It has an 8 position gas block and is tune-able.  Goes from very high back pressure suppressor (tiny hole) to adverse conditions (XL hole).  Not quite as many settings as the Kel Tecs or FALs but more than most other firearms, and more than enough to run reliably with every ammo type I've tried suppressed and unsuppressed.  Really low pressure stuff (like Tula) is usually one click open from higher pressure loads (like Hornady) both suppressed and unsuppressed.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Air-cooled on July 30, 2019, 11:08:18 AM
If the government showed an interest in using the K&M, I'm sure Ken would make a left hander.  But it's just not cost effective to do it for the current low production numbers. I have the .308, 16". I consider it a work of art in addition to being functionally great.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: thehun on July 30, 2019, 11:20:05 AM
The US government wouldn't consider a bullpup for service...so...

Making it a lefty...wouldn't be that difficult honestly...

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: Tinglyfeet9 on July 30, 2019, 11:10:56 PM
The impression I get is that it is about scale and time.  Last I heard there is a 13 week wait on the .308s.  They can barely keep up with demand and are a small company.  I'm 110% sure lefty isn't hard to do, they just need time and to scale the biz which can be very hard to get in the current market environment.

I hope they do grow though, and eventually are able to do a lefty version.  As I mentioned there are more refinements that could be made to the design to really perfect it if they only had the time/budget.

Title: Re: The K&M M17s 308. A True Modern Battle Rifle.
Post by: thehun on July 31, 2019, 09:46:08 AM
I'd try one if it was lefty...no i am not learning to shoot as a righty...lol