THE UL­TI­MATE OFF-ROAD VE­HI­CLE

THE FRANKLIN AR­MORY’S BFS-3 TAKES A UTV TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

Tactical World - - Contents - TEXT & PHOTOS BY MIKE SEAR­SON

Our editor got be­hind the wheel of Franklin Ar­mory’s BFS-3. Find out how both per­formed. By Mike Sear­son

In North­ern Ne­vada, UTVS and ATVS are a way of life. Chances are, if you are a se­ri­ous hunter or shooter, you have at least one of these ve­hi­cles and a trailer, to en­able you to ac­cess some of the back­coun­try shoot­ing and hunt­ing spots. And let’s face it, when you’re shoot­ing some­thing like the Cobalt Ki­net­ics Over­watch, it is more pleas­ant to drive 1,200 yards downrange to check your tar­get, than it is to walk it, es­pe­cially in the 100-de­gree heat.

Most peo­ple run their ATVS or UTVS stock with a few up­grades, but some go all out and turn their ve­hi­cle into some­thing truly tac­ti­cal. Franklin Ar­mory di­aled it up to 11 when they kit­ted up their Can-am.

Franklin Ar­mory is a firearms man­u­fac­turer based in Min­den, Ne­vada that pro­duces some of the most in­no­va­tive ri­fles and parts that we have seen in a long time.

Known mostly for their Bi­nary Trig­gers, the firm has pro­duced some out­stand­ing weapon sys­tems, in­clud­ing a pis­ton-driven AR-15 in .22 WSM. It may be the only pis­ton-driven rim­fire ri­fle in the world!

When I saw their Tac­ti­cal UTV on dis­play out­side their booth at the an­nual Shoot­ing, Hunt­ing and Out­door Trade (SHOT) Show in Jan­uary 2018, in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada, I pulled Franklin’s mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, Sun Nae­gle, aside and said, “When we get back home, you have to let me take this for a spin.”

The Pack­age

It started out life as a Can-am X3 Mav­er­ick, which, for most en­thu­si­asts, is a top of the line side-by-side UTV. How­ever, Franklin Ar­mory did this up right and went to RP Ad­vanced Mo­bile Sys­tems to have it “tac­ti­caled out.” The pack­age they started this build on is known as the Strike-x. This is what they use when kit­ting up ve­hi­cles for mil­i­tary use, po­lice use and use by emer­gency ser­vices.

Work on the triple-turbo su­per­charged engine means that this baby runs 172 horses un­der the hood. That may not sound like much when you are talk­ing about ve­hi­cles in­tended for the road, but off-road on the trails in the moun­tains of North­ern Ne­vada means 85 miles per hour, and it is a teeth-rat­tler, to say the least.

The tires are Spar­tan run­flats and the ve­hi­cle han­dles ex­tremely well with the Elka Sus­pen­sion Stage 5 high-per­for­mance race level shocks.

Franklin Ar­mory would be re­miss in not out­fit­ting this ve­hi­cle with gun mounts. An AR-15 with their Cal­i­for­nia Com­pli­ant CSW is mounted on the pas­sen­ger side of the ve­hi­cle.

This unique trig­ger sys­tem at­taches to any ex­ist­ing MIL-SPEC AR-15 plat­form. It re­places both the pis­tol grip and the stock, with no per­ma­nent al­ter­ation to the firearm. The ad­van­tage to this setup is that the weapon is no longer clas­si­fied as a ri­fle, which means that it can­not be con­sid­ered an as­sault weapon by any ex­ist­ing as­sault weapon bans. It is sim­ply an “Other” firearm and doesn’t carry the re­stric­tions that other tra­di­tional firearms may. In Cal­i­for­nia, that means that an AR-15 pat­tern firearm with the CSW can use a stan­dard mag­a­zine re­lease in­stead of a bul­let but­ton, as well as any legally pos­sessed mag­a­zines that can hold more than 10-rounds.

The CSW is a Spade Grip de­sign that boasts two in­de­pen­dent trig­gers on each grip. The orig­i­nal fire con­trol group is re­tained, and the link­age at­taches di­rectly to the trig­ger, so the rate of fire is not ar­ti­fi­cially in­creased. This de­sign as­pect is in­ten­tional to pre­vent be­ing clas­si­fied as a “multi-burst trig­ger ac­ti­va­tor.”

It is par­tic­u­larly fun to shoot and de­parts the feel of fir­ing a vin­tage ma­chine gun in semi-au­to­matic mode.

The rear of the ve­hi­cle stores ad­di­tional weapons and gear, and an op­tion can be or­dered to in­clude a stretcher for Mede­vac pur­poses. The tie-downs that se­cured the ri­fles to the ve­hi­cle’s rails were par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive and held up well, con­sid­er­ing the speeds we were trav­el­ling and the ter­rain we were cross­ing.

Tear­ing up the back­coun­try trails of North­ern Ne­vada at speeds in ex­cess of 60 mph was fun and I al­most rolled it (only once), but on our ride back from the shoot­ing spot, Sun had me put it in two-wheel drive and I was

im­pressed with how much smoother the ride was. It han­dled more like a light pickup truck than a UTV.

Some of the ad­di­tional fea­tures in­clude a com­plete cus­tom Mul­ticam paint job and MOLLE pan­els on the doors for ad­di­tional gear stor­age. You can never have too much MOLLE!

Bot­tom Lines

Ad­vanced Mo­bile Sys­tems of­fers the ex­act same pack­age they built for Franklin Ar­mory, as the BFS-3. It is named for Franklin Ar­mory’s award win­ning bi­nary trig­ger.

To­tal cost of this per­for­mance pack­age is around $80,000. It’s not for ev­ery­one, but makes a great ve­hi­cle for EMS, Po­lice, mil­i­tary scouts or for the ex­treme shooter/off-road en­thu­si­ast. TW For ad­di­tional cov­er­age, go to: Face­book.com/tac­ti­cal­world­magazine

The au­thor fell for this one at the SHOT Show, and then had a chance to take it for a spin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.