I wonder if Bushmaster will evolve the M17S any further, or now give up on it (especially since they now have their new Carbon series guns to invest time and energy in).
I don't believe Bushmaster sells all too many M17S bullpup rifles, and though the design can only be evolved so far, there is quite a bit of room for improvement.
Many may not know this, but the M17S started life as a potential Australian military contract entry, that at one point, even used caseless ammo. The original basic design did not go to far for the original Australian firm, so the design was later sold to another Australian firm. That firm evolved it some more, but with the Australian military having chosen other designs, the new company considered the gun for civilian sale. The problem was that the Australian government had become ever more gun unfriendly, so their target market was set for the U.S..
That was not going to be easy either, since the U.S. had passed their own anti gun laws concerning assault style weapons, so they figured out another method to sell their product to the Americans. This would involve getting a U.S. gun manufacturer to either buy or pay rights to build and sell the gun in the States. At that point, Bushmaster either outright purchased the gun design, or purchased the rights to make them here. They continued to evolve the design, and came out with the M17. They have done a little more redesigning since their starting manufacture date, but not very much. I would love to see the M17S getting serious revamping and advancing. That, or it will probably never become a better seller for them.
If the redesigning/improving of this weapon does not occur, I can very easily see the M17S becoming a discontinued product soon.
Some recommendations to Bushmaster:
*elimination of the carry handle
*a decent iron sight setup
*a close to the receiver weaver mount set up
*a more modern safety set up (the current one seems to be a crossbolt that blocks trigger movement, but does nothing to block the firing pin from the hammer)
There are what I feel to be many more shortcomings in the M17S design, but most are just inherent in the design itself, and would probably cost too much, and need too much revamping of the current design.
What I recommend are things that can probably be done to the existing design without needing to start with a completely new slate, and therefore cost less money. The gun should then get more advertising to help get it off it's dragging feet :)