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Hera Arms Close Quarter Rifle System: The Futuristic AR

By J.M. Ramos

America’s love affair with the AR and admiration of the FN P90 was finally answered as the new Close Quarter Rifle (CQR) system.

When the FN Personal Defence Weapon (PDW) P90 was unveiled in 1999, it was an instant hit among military Special Operations Group (SOG) VIP protection, the Secret Service and other government and police agencies worldwide. Its futuristic looks, ergonomics, firepower and outright overall compactness while sporting a reasonably long barrel (263mm), a deadly newly developed cartridge (5.7 X 28mm) and an impressive 50-shot magazine makes it one formidable package. The P90 is inspired by early American innovations of the past century, namely the small caliber Colt SCAMP machine pistol and Hall submachinegun utilizing a top-mounted magazine on a horizontal position. It was, however, FN that cracked the egg that hatched the world of PDW as we know it today becoming the inspiration of many specialized weapons of this class—most notably its closest rivals: the Heckler & Koch MP7A1, as well as many intriguing Russian designs of the modern era.

The allure of the new P90 soon became a must-have fantasy among die hard military weapon buffs primarily in the United States, the world’s largest consumer of firearms. Unfortunately, the P90 is strictly law enforcement and military market with the exception of some dealer’s samples. Having realized the potential market for a civilian version of the P90, FN soon tooled and re-designed the full-auto version and came up with a semi-auto version with a longer 16-inch barrel to meet government regulation. The civilian version was designated the FN PS90 carbine. While the PS90 resembled the P90 in all respects, the long barrel sticking way out of its very compact polymer shell simply did not look quite right. The new carbine did not do justice to its original loveable sibling, possibly a turn off to many would-be purchasers when there are plentiful of better looking ARs and AKs around at a much lesser cost.

What’s Next?

The never ending saga of “I can do better” among tactical weapon innovators lives...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N8 (October 2017)
and was posted online on August 18, 2017

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