Our Bureau
02:20 PM, September 19, 2018
9040 rifle (Image: NZ Herald)

The New Zealand Defense Force’s (NZDF) new 9040 infantry rifles have been replaced due to breakage after it was brought into service.

The MARS-L rifle bought as part of a $59 million deal to replace Steyr rifles. The firing pin is a critical part of any firearm - without one it won't work, New Zealand Herald reported Wednesday.

The new weapon is based on the M-16/AR-15 type weapon and was intended to double the range effectiveness of those firing it out to 600 metres. The first shipment of the 9040 rifles bought from United States manufacturer Lewis Machine and Tools arrived in May last year.

They have been gradually rolled out since, being introduced as military personnel trained with the new weapon during which time issues with the firing pin emerged.

Then other issues cropped up with about 130 rifles showing cracks around the mechanism which houses the bolt allowing the weapon to be fire.

NZDF confirmed: "Identified issues were the firing pins, trigger mechanisms and cracked bolt carriers.