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Monday, August 4, 2014

Special Operations Assault Rifle (SOAR): A Filipino innovative assault rifle


Fascination for guns and a dream of once joining the military are what led the Filipino twin brothers (Ferdinand and Francis Sy) to the arms industry. But it was a controversial armed robbery in the Philippines in the 90's wherein robbers outgunned police that made Ferdinand and Francis pursue their passion. They wanted to come up with a modern firearm that is accurate, easy to use and durable.

“The mission of FERFRANS way back in 1994 was to really give an edge to the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force. To give them the edge in combat through weaponry,” said Francis as interviwed by ABS-CBN.

The FERFRANS logo 
FERFRANS started in 1998 developing specialized equipment for law enforcement and military. Although all products were manufactured or sourced in the United States, it was the operational requirements of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and specialized military units in the United States that motivated FERFRANS to design and develop its products.

The challenges of the PNP-SAF during that time and in the present became very complex. They have to deal with multiple threats from, the communist New Peoples Army (NPA), the muslim insurgents (MILF and MNLF), terrorist groups (Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah), and organize crime. Also, in this day and age of terrorism, the line between conventional and unconventional warfare has diminished as well as the grey line between military and law enforcement operations. Special operating units in urban centers today, conducting hostage rescue will be the same troops that will battle insurgents in the jungles tomorrow. Unconventional warfare has evolved to irregular warfare so a new breed of warriors are created and together with it a new weapon system.


The main feature of the FERFRANS SOAR is its patented Delayed Sear Activation System. It is a me- chanical device that reduces the cyclic rate of full-auto fire of the M16 / M4A1 type rifles from 850-900 rpm to 550-680 rpm. This system does not only reduce the cyclic rate of fire but also reduces the velocity (Impact Stress) of the bolt carrier assembly as it goes into battery making the rifle very controllable and smooth in full-auto fire. Reliability is increased because impact stress is reduced considerably and heat is reduced. Burst controlled fire can be achieved with just a simple squeeze of the trigger as the time between shots are slower and the tempo is constant. The effect is immediate Controllable Accurate Full Auto Fire. Another advantage of the RRS is for short barreled rifles and the use of suppressors.

  • Reduced Cyclic Rate of Fire
  • Rail Handguard with Rail Covers
  • Removable Carry Handle
  • 6 Position Retractable Stock
  • Machine Gun Chrome Bore Heavy Barrel
  • Slidable Independent Sear Disconnector
  • Muzzle Brake
  • Side Tactical Sling Attachment
  • Aluminum or Stainless Steel Magazine with Non- Tilting Follower

FERFRANS SOAR specs taken from its website


The SOAR P (Piston version of the soar) was developed as early as 2008. This further increase the benefits of the SOAR by changing the gas system with a short stroke piston system with the independent sear disconnector enhancing the capability of the rifle to fire without draining the water in “over the beach” operations.

  • Operates in almost any environment
  • Sustained Full-Auto Fire w/ Low Chamber Heat
  • Full Control of Accurate Full-Auto Fire
  • Reduces Possibility of Cook-Off
  • Increases Parts Longevity
  • “Over the Beach” Operations Capable

FERFRANS SOAR P specs taken from its website
Other FERFRANS products include the SCW (Sub-Compact Weapon), HVLAR (High Volume Light Automatic Rifle, SOACR (Special Operations Adaptable Combat Rifle), and the RMGL 403 (40mm Rail Mounted Grenade Launcher). We will discuss these weapons on the next blog entries.




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