AR15.Com Archives
 Bushmaster m17s serial # help
prebanman444  [Member]
5/17/2012 10:52:23 AM
Do you guys happen to know the range of serial #'s for pre ban era bushmaster m17s bull pups? I have one, live in ny and would like to know what I can and cannot put on the muzzle of this thing. Is there any other way besides the serial # to determine pre vs post ban?
Elvis121  [Team Member]
5/17/2012 11:02:53 AM
I think they introduced that rifle post ban.

Mine has a two digit SN and I bought it new around '98.
ijoftaa  [Member]
5/17/2012 11:23:45 AM
Originally Posted By Elvis121:
I think they introduced that rifle post ban.

Mine has a two digit SN and I bought it new around '98.


From Wiki
The Bushmaster M17S is a semi-automatic bullpup rifle that was manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms International from 1992 until 2005. (Below it says 1994 to 2005 for Bushmaster.)

[edit] HistoryThe design of the M17S dates back to 1986 when the Australian company Armtech Ltd. developed the prototype as a prospective military rifle for the Australian Army. Two prototypes were developed, one for the 5.56x45mm NATO, the C60R, and the more revolutionary C30R that used caseless ammunition. The C30R was developed hastily and an out-of-battery ignition resulted in a prototype exploding during a high-profile demonstration.

The Australian Army adopted a licence-built version of the Steyr AUG, leading to the sale of the Armtech design to another Australian company, Edenpine PTY Ltd. Edenpine improved the design resulting in the ART-30 and SAK-30. The salient features of the M17S were in place but some Finnish Valmet parts were used instead of AR-15 parts to save money. Edenpine expressed interest in selling the design on the United States market and subsequently licensed the design to Bushmaster for local manufacture thus avoiding import restrictions. This rifle was sold from October 1992 to 1994 as the "Edenpine M17S Bull-Pup rifle." The distributor was Edenpine (USA) Inc., the American branch of Edenpine of Australia, headquartered in San Jose, California.

When Edenpine folded in 1994, the totality of the rights passed to Bushmaster, who manufactured it as the "Bushmaster M17S", starting just a few months before the approval of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The M17S was the only American made bullpup rifle to be offered commercially, and the only one not banned by name. The BATF approved a version with a longer barrel sleeve which covered more of the muzzle thread. This made it impossible to securely attach the M16-style "Birdcage" flash hider.[1]

HardShell  [Moderator]
5/17/2012 11:53:41 AM

Originally Posted By Elvis121:
I think they introduced that rifle post ban.

Mine has a two digit SN and I bought it new around '98.

Nope, there are true "pre-ban" M17s out there but they are much harder to come by.


WW-TechSupport  [Industry Partner]
5/17/2012 2:58:50 PM
There are indeed pre-ban M17s rifles out there. But not many. I saw a few come back for repairs when I worked there but they were rare and were the old split pin style receivers. Those were notoriously weak in the area where the pins went through the receiver would wear and bend fail after a while.
The later ones were better but only as good as the heat treat in the aluminum. A lot of them were heated to too high a temperature when they were teflon coated and the recievers were soft. Where the barrel is secured to the upper receiver with an allen screw the aluminum would bend after 60 rounds or less.
This was not caught on a lot of them in test fire because the factory test fire was only 10 rounds. We used to go through a lot of uppers in repair trying to find ones that weren't soft.
My suggestion to people that still have M17s is to hang them on the wall or sell them. If they break you probably won't be able to get any new replacement parts from Bushmaster as I've heard of people that have tried. A few people have called Bushmaster with M17 problems and they tell them to call us. We can't do anything for them since Bushmaster has all of the old inventory and the tools to fix them. (about $30,000 worth of inventory)

Oh and to answer the first question, if it didn't come with an A1 flash hider on it and has two spanner nuts on the end, it didn't leave as a pre-ban. All prebans left the factory with the short barrel sleeve and an A1 flash hider.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
prebanman444  [Member]
5/17/2012 4:50:44 PM
mine has the a1 flash hider on it. where are these 2 spanner nuts? I was told on the safety side of the upper that it was a post bad due to the 4 small allen screws that hold the bolt slide to the inside. Is this true or bs?

here's a crappy pic. See the 4 screws in the middle of the rear portion of the upper... I was told those mean post ban.


Elvis121  [Team Member]
5/17/2012 7:08:35 PM
*** ELVIS: Please edit this and repost your reply. I tried to quote and post below and ended up editing your post here by mistake, and I can't retrieve it now. Enitirely my fault and I am terribly sorry! HardShell

prebanman444  [Member]
5/17/2012 7:26:56 PM
What nuts Elvis? Does yours have the flash hider or the 4 screws in stock?
wfctrc  [Member]
5/17/2012 9:50:10 PM

Originally Posted By WW-TechSupport:
There are indeed pre-ban M17s rifles out there. But not many. I saw a few come back for repairs when I worked there but they were rare and were the old split pin style receivers. Those were notoriously weak in the area where the pins went through the receiver would wear and bend fail after a while.
The later ones were better but only as good as the heat treat in the aluminum. A lot of them were heated to too high a temperature when they were teflon coated and the recievers were soft. Where the barrel is secured to the upper receiver with an allen screw the aluminum would bend after 60 rounds or less.
This was not caught on a lot of them in test fire because the factory test fire was only 10 rounds. We used to go through a lot of uppers in repair trying to find ones that weren't soft.
My suggestion to people that still have M17s is to hang them on the wall or sell them. If they break you probably won't be able to get any new replacement parts from Bushmaster as I've heard of people that have tried. A few people have called Bushmaster with M17 problems and they tell them to call us. We can't do anything for them since Bushmaster has all of the old inventory and the tools to fix them. (about $30,000 worth of inventory)

Oh and to answer the first question, if it didn't come with an A1 flash hider on it and has two spanner nuts on the end, it didn't leave as a pre-ban. All prebans left the factory with the short barrel sleeve and an A1 flash hider.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile



Interesting.
But I disagree that the M17s needs to be relegated to wall hanger status.
So some of the uppers are soft from improper heat treating.
They can be successfully reinforced, and kept shooting.
Companies like K&M Aerospace have been doing it for years.
And the issue with parts availability is well known. In spite of that the M17s has been experiencing a resurgence of popularity.
Now companies like K&M are manufacturing some replacement parts as well.
So I would not count out the venerable M17s just yet.
Its a Must have for any Bullpup enthusiasts collection.
My M17s is actually a better shooter than my FS2000.

srfnken  [Member]
5/18/2012 12:07:05 AM
Originally Posted By prebanman444:
mine has the a1 flash hider on it. where are these 2 spanner nuts? I was told on the safety side of the upper that it was a post bad due to the 4 small allen screws that hold the bolt slide to the inside. Is this true or bs?

here's a crappy pic. See the 4 screws in the middle of the rear portion of the upper... I was told those mean post ban.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v357/salty600x/IMAG0037.jpg


Yours is a post ban. Someone removed the two barrel nuts and just added a flash hider.
srfnken  [Member]
5/18/2012 12:11:26 AM
With all the work I have done on these I can tell the soft ones from the others. I end up having to put a metal sleeve in the section where the barrel attaches to the lower at the breach block. I did not know that BM knew about the problem. I just end up fixing their mistake.
ILove2Shoot  [Industry Partner]
5/18/2012 1:09:30 AM
Originally Posted By srfnken:
With all the work I have done on these I can tell the soft ones from the others. I end up having to put a metal sleeve in the section where the barrel attaches to the lower at the breach block. I did not know that BM knew about the problem. I just end up fixing their mistake.


Kurt used to reinforce all of the ones that came in front of him also......
HardShell  [Moderator]
5/18/2012 10:22:58 AM
Originally Posted By WW-TechSupport:

... My suggestion to people that still have M17s is to hang them on the wall or sell them...

No, thanks.





(One of Ken's "makeovers" with which I have been VERY happy. )

chibajoe  [Team Member]
5/18/2012 10:51:25 AM
I was told this is a pre-ban lower, so if you SN is less, it might also be pre-ban.

ijoftaa  [Member]
5/18/2012 11:01:18 AM
Originally Posted By wfctrc:
My M17s is actually a better shooter than my FS2000.


Well, I've had both, still have the FS2K, and my FN is a much better shooter simply from the weight. From the bench I'd say they were equal, but after 10 min of holding the M17s, I really wanted to put it down. And mine was fully converted/shortened/with weight reducing (cooling) slots from KKF. The weight was the only reason I got rid of it.
wfctrc  [Member]
5/18/2012 12:39:54 PM

Originally Posted By chibajoe:
I was told this is a pre-ban lower, so if you SN is less, it might also be pre-ban.

http://s17.postimage.org/tq45l8oq7/IMAG0060.jpg

I don't think you were told correctly.
Pretty sure yours is post ban
They were only in production for a few months when the ban
Took effect.
The number made was small.
Check out K&M website for clues on what to look for.
chibajoe  [Team Member]
5/18/2012 2:04:36 PM
Originally Posted By wfctrc:

Originally Posted By chibajoe:
I was told this is a pre-ban lower, so if you SN is less, it might also be pre-ban.

http://s17.postimage.org/tq45l8oq7/IMAG0060.jpg

I don't think you were told correctly.
Pretty sure yours is post ban
They were only in production for a few months when the ban
Took effect.
The number made was small.
Check out K&M website for clues on what to look for.


It doesn't matter to me as I'm not in a ban state, but that's kind of confirms my suspicions.

ETA: According to the ATF letter on K&M's website, S/N P01514 is pre-ban (and recalled), so it's possible (probable?) that what I was told is actually correct and S/N# 1776 is pre-ban.
WW-TechSupport  [Industry Partner]
5/22/2012 10:43:01 AM
Perhaps I should edit my former statement. For most people that have M17s that have problems with them I suggest selling them or retiring them. Not everyone does all of the custom work on them shown above or knows where to go to get them worked on.
I do remember Kurt from Kurts Kustom used to make the metal sleeves for them that would help solve the upper bending issues (as some of you know, Kurt died tragically a few years ago). One of Bushmasters former employees Vaughn Shafer used to make these sleeves as well to help us repair some of these bending uppers.

The earliest M17s had an aluminum rail that was inside the upper and was part of the upper itself. I believe there were problems with wear so they switched to a steel rail that was screwed into the upper.
A lot of people ordered the short sleeve from us and had us install A1 flash hiders on their M17s when the ban expired in 2004. So there are a lot of them out there that have been retrofitted like this.


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
WW-TechSupport  [Industry Partner]
5/22/2012 10:51:53 AM
Thanks for the info on K&M Aerospace. Good information there and now I have someone to refer people to that call us with M17 problems.
I think K&M actually contacted us asking about Bullpup parts and we refered them to Remington. It would be nice if they would sell all of that inventory to them as I doubt Remington is going to do anything with it.
They've got $30,000 worth of Bullpup inventory somewhere in Remingtons Ilion New York plant gathering dust.

I found this excellent page on the site that shows the differences between the older and newer M17s

http://www.kmaerospace.com/M17s%20Gen%201%20vs%20Gen%202.html


Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Elvis121  [Team Member]
5/22/2012 11:42:27 AM
I've got SN 0056 and it has the two lock nuts on the end of the barrel, so I suspect there are very few pre-ban rifles out there.

I'd sell it as I haven't shot it in something like fifteen years, but I also have an AUG A3 that I got through the board here with the exact same serial number.
chibajoe  [Team Member]
5/23/2012 9:26:47 AM
Originally Posted By Elvis121:
I've got SN 0056 and it has the two lock nuts on the end of the barrel, so I suspect there are very few pre-ban rifles out there.

I'd sell it as I haven't shot it in something like fifteen years, but I also have an AUG A3 that I got through the board here with the exact same serial number.


Might be a parts gun that someone slapped a post ban upper onto, especially if you bought it new in '98.
GI_Brat  [Team Member]
5/23/2012 7:22:58 PM
This is the last M17S produced by Bushmaster. It was built February 2011

wfctrc  [Member]
5/23/2012 9:10:55 PM
That Last M17s is amazing
Whats the serial number?
was it made up out of the last parts they had?
How do you know about it?
Is It pre-Ban?
WW-TechSupport  [Industry Partner]
5/24/2012 7:51:22 AM
Ahh, I'd recognise Paul Cartruch's OCD bench any time. Every oil can and degreaser label pointed perfectly outward. This is the one gun I didn't build for you GIBrat as Paul was the Bullpup guru. I loved watching him pull his hair out repairing the things.
I swore them off around 2005 when I came really close to throwing one across the shop floor.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
WW-TechSupport  [Industry Partner]
5/24/2012 7:55:08 AM
Originally Posted By wfctrc:
That Last M17s is amazing
Whats the serial number?
was it made up out of the last parts they had?
How do you know about it?
Is It pre-Ban?


That photo was taken on a cell phone in the Bushmaster gunsmithing cave where I spent my last days with that company. It was built with leftover inventory before we packed it all up and shipped it to Ilion New York were it is now gathering dust.
I don't like Bullpups but this picture warms my heart. I like that we got to do some special things for GIBrat before the Freedom group plane flew away.



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
GI_Brat  [Team Member]
5/24/2012 11:05:17 AM
Originally Posted By WW-TechSupport:
Originally Posted By wfctrc:
That Last M17s is amazing
Whats the serial number?
was it made up out of the last parts they had?
How do you know about it?
Is It pre-Ban?


That photo was taken on a cell phone in the Bushmaster gunsmithing cave where I spent my last days with that company. It was built with leftover inventory before we packed it all up and shipped it to Ilion New York were it is now gathering dust.
I don't like Bullpups but this picture warms my heart. I like that we got to do some special things for GIBrat before the Freedom group plane flew away.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Erik, you, Paul and the rest of "The Real Bushmaster" crew did turn out some very special toys for me in those final days and I truly thank y'all!