FN Herstal FS2000 .223/5.56mm Bullpup Rifle Review

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on January 28, 2013 at 1:01 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Gun and Accessory Reviews > FN Herstal FS2000 .223/5.56mm Bullpup Rifle Review

Below is my review of the FS2000, which is a bullpup rifle chambered for .223/5.56x45mm.

FN Herstal FS2000 bullpup rifle


The FS200 is a rather futuristic looking bullpup, which means that the action and magazine are positioned behind the trigger.  This layout is more efficient than a traditional rifles, which place the action and magazine in front of the trigger, as a bullpup is able to make use of what would otherwise be wasted space in the stock.  The result of the bullpup layout is that we end up with a rifle which is shorter in overall length, for any given barrel length.

The FS2000 is the semiautomatic version of the F2000, which is a fully automatic rifle developed by Belgium-based FN Herstal.  It is a relatively new design, with the F2000 being released 2001, and the FS2000 making its debut in 2006. The action of the FS2000 is gas operated, with a short stroke piston.

Spent casings are carried down a tube to the front of the rifle, where they are ejected.  The “grouping” of spent casings are quite accurate, and make cleaning up one’s brass quite easy.  This is particularly nice in a bullpup, as the gun powder residue and noise are moved a bit further away from the shooter’s face.  Those who are left handed will also appreciate this feature as the rifle is truly ambidextrous, with no need to change parts to switch from right-handed to left-handed use.

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Build Quality

The FS2000 is the most expensive rifle that I’ve purchased.  Prices vary, but it is generally about $2,000 (which is fitting, given its name).  For that reason alone, I expected it to be of high quality, and I was not disappointed.  The rifle feels solid, and the parts are well made.  I have not experienced any malfunctions in the couple hundred rounds I have fired through the FS2000 so far.  Disassembly for cleaning and reassembly is not particularly difficult, although the bullpup design makes things a bit different than those accustomed to an AR-15.

As I’ve said before, I prefer polymer-based firearms.  This rifle has about as much polymer as possible.  Those who prefer wooden stocks will likely be disappointed with this rifle.


The FS2000 takes standard AR-15 magazines.  However, it will not take the Magpul PMAG magazines, due to the slightly different size/shape of those magazines. That disappoints me, as I have many PMAGs and would like to be able to use one type of magazine across as many rifles as possible.

The Trigger

With bullpups, the biggest potential problem area is the trigger.  Because the trigger is forward of and separated from the hammer mechanism, there must be a mechanical linkage connecting the two.  This linkage can result in a trigger that feels mushy or requires excessive force to fire.  To be sure, the trigger on my AR-15 is crisper and requires less force.  But, I’m happy with the FS2000’s trigger.

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The FS2000 narrowly beats out my now-second-favorite rifle, the MSAR STG-556, in the ergonomics department.  The controls on the FS2000 are well placed, and are large enough to comfortably operate while wearing winter gloves (which is nice as I seem to keep buying rifles in the winter months and then visiting the outdoor range near my home).  The trigger guard is also large enough to comfortably accommodate a gloved finger.  The rifle is well balanced, and easy to hold.


Like the MSAR STG-556 and many rifles other than the AR-15, the FS2000 uses a gas piston system, which avoids some of the chamber fouling issues that historically have been attributed to reliability problems within the AR-15/M-16 family.  I haven’t fired enough rounds (or enough separate FS2000 rifles) to make any scientifically valid statements about reliability.  That said, the rifle seems to be quite reliable in my experience, and it is based on the same basic F2000 design that has seen combat with the armed forces of several countries.


I haven’t fired it at targets beyond 100 yards, but at 100 yards at the outdoor range I can tell that my skill level and the cold air (which I did not enjoy) were the limiting factors as far as accuracy was concerned.

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The FS2000 is now my favorite rifle, with the MSAR STG-556 coming in second, and the AR-15 as a somewhat distant third.  I love the bullpup design, the use of polymers, and the futuristic appearance.  I wish it would work with the Magpul PMAG magazines, but life isn’t perfect.  Those looking for a rifle chambered for .223/5.56 would do well to consider the FN Fs2000.


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