Many weapons owners want to increase their choices, adding new guns, close-combat choices, knives, and other options to their repertoire. However, if you are a sport-shooting, hunting, or war enthusiast, knowing as much as you can about the best firearms is paramount in importance.
Throughout history, there has been an evolution of war-time weapons, including stone tips, bows and arrows, swords, spears, catapults, and guns. Guns have become commonplace in the world today, with use either for self-protection, sport, hunting, or special service use. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of specific firearms can help you make educated decisions when purchasing a gun in the future.
What is a bullpup rifle?
A bullpup firearm is a rifle with the action behind the trigger.
- The ‘action’ of a rifle is the mechanism of a firearm that handles the ammunition cartridges, which means it is involved in the loading, locking, firing, extraction, and ejecting of the ammunition within the firearm itself. Actions can either be categorized as a single action, double action, break action, or bolt action.
- A single action is a simple trigger type that performs only one function – releasing the hammer and striker of the bullpup rifle.
- A double-action is a trigger that is in charge of cocking and releasing the hammer and striker of the bullpup rifle.
- Break action is where the barrels are hinged and rotate perpendicular to the bore, such as shotguns, double bullpup rifles, and combination guns.
- Bolt action is operated manually by moving the bolt via a bolt handle, with some examples being repeating firearms, single-shot breech-loaders, and bullpup rifles.
- The ‘trigger’ of the bullpup rifle is the mechanism that actuates the function of the rifle (i.e., shooting the rifle).
Background of the bullpup rifle
‘Bullpup’ was derived from the analogy of the rifles to bulldog puppies since the construction of this weapon was short and stocky – similar to that of the ferocious type of dog. With an aggressive and powerful nature, the bullpup rifle resembles that of the canine, helping to spur the namesake for this type of weapon.
Benefits of a bullpup rifle
The main benefit of using a bullpup rifle is the length adjustments. The length of the weapon can be shortened significantly without reducing the barrel length, meaning the bullpup can be easily maneuvered and concealed with tight spaces. Unlike other weapons that have long barrels that would be difficult to conceal, such as in clothes, bags, or bags, the bullpup is small and compact for easy transportation and maneuverability.
In some versions of the bullpup rifle, the shorter length of the stock reduces the overall weight compared to a conventional rifle. A lightweight gun is easier to transport and carry long distances, reducing the fatigue of the user.
The center of mass of the bullpup rifle is closer to the core of the shooter, which produces less torque when moving around. The lack of torque, twist, and kickback makes handling the bullpup rifle more comfortable. When in agile conditions, like running, hiding, crawling, or ducking, having a weapon with less torque is easier to use.
Less muzzle rise
Since the length between the action and the butt plate is shorter for a bullpup rifle, the recoil impulse travels directly into the shooter’s shoulder. This transmission of the recoil prevents excess muzzle rise.
- Recoil, often called kickback or kick, is the forward momentum when a gun is fired. This can become uncomfortable and extremely tiring for users when shooting multiple rounds.
- Muzzle rise is the tendency of a firearm or muzzle to rise up after firing. This ‘jump\ of the muzzle results from a combined recoil from multiple shots fired quickly one after the other. Muzzle rise is unfavorable to the gun user, since it reduces accuracy and tires the user’s shoulder.
Reaches the shoulder faster
Another benefit of using a bullpup rifle is the ability to reach the shoulder faster, since the gun takes less time to maneuver when trying to get to your target. The lower reaction time is crucial during combat situations, when every second counts.
Disadvantages of the bullpup rifle
Now that we know the benefits of using a bullpup rifle, we need to address the downsides of this weapon type. Just like any gun, the bullpup rifle has a few drawbacks that potential buyers and users should take note of to make sure it is the best choice for you and your needs.
One shortcoming of the bullpup rifle is the ejection ports are close to the face of the gun handler. The proximity of the ports makes it difficult for left-handed users to use the bullpup rifle, since the firearms typically have ejection ports on the right side of the gun.
If the ejection ports are located on the right side of the bullpup rifle, this means the used cartridge casings are ejected towards the right of the user. Now that the ejection ports are closer to the face, the ejected casings will be sprayed in the user’s face while shooting.
In this case, you need to find a bullpup rifle that has a right-sided ejection port or bottom ejection ports – like these:
- FAMAS assault rifle
- Steyr AUG
- Israeli Tavor TAR-21
- FN P90
- FN F2000
- Kel-Tec RFB
- Heckler and Koch G11
Close proximity to the face
Another downside of using a bullpup rifle is the close proximity to the user’s face and head. If the bullpup rifle catastrophically fails, the explosion will happen directly in your eye, eye socket, cheekbone, or skull, causing a higher chance for long-term damage. If the gun was further away, like six or eight inches in front of your eye, you would suffer from less drastic consequences.
Lack of Balance
The bullpup rifle is known for having strange dimensions. Some of these dimensions cause the bullpup rifle’s weight to be stored at the back of the firearm, causing some problems with balance, muzzle rise, and automatic firing accuracy when shooting multiple rounds back-to-back.
Of course, the accuracy and balance can be adjusted the more you use the gun. However, when first starting out using a bullpup rifle, you may find the accuracy of your shots suffers.
Lack of length
Although the lack of length is positive in some aspects, like concealing a weapon or maneuvering in tight spaces, the bullpup rifle also has a drawback due to its shape. The lack of length basically voids the effectiveness of this weapon in close weapons usage, since a long sword or bayonet would be deadly in close-range combat.
One of the most common drawbacks that users state from using a bullpup rifle is the interesting – or poor – design of the trigger. In most cases, the trigger of a bullpup rifle is spongy, and requires some use to get accustomed to. However, some users never acclimate to the strange texture and feel of the trigger, causing the bullpup rifle to have a lack of accuracy and user confidence.
Difficult to operate
Although an automatic rifle may be heavier when compared to a bullpup rifle, the automatic option is easier to use and better for beginners. Many gun owners, athletes, and hunters gravitate towards an automatic rifle with a simplified design and ergonomic grip due to its simplicity
With an automatic rifle, you can see the mag inside and easily check if the barrel is empty. With a bullpup rifle, it is difficult to see the mag and more tedious to rapidly reload the firearm in between rounds.
Bullpup Rifle Options
IWI Tavor X95
The IWI Tavor X95 is a bullpup rifle for gun owners who want to use their weapons quite frequently. With a modern design, ergonomic grip, and easy-to-use construction, this bullpup rifle is a good choice for beginners and advanced users alike. This bullpup rifle weighs a tad less than 8 pounds, contains a 5.56mm NATO cartridge, and has a removable magazine.
STEYR AUG A3 M1
This shooting bullpup rifle has a high accuracy for long-range shooting and uses an integrated optic for crystal clear clarity in low-lit conditions. Weighing in at 9 pounds, this rifle has a 16-inch barrel length and features a 1.5 or 3.0 integrated optic.
IWI TAVOR SAR
This bullpup rifle is designed for use as a battle or heavy rifle. With a completely customizable Picatinny rail, this semi-automatic rifle has folding and rear sights, and has the magazine capacity to hold 30 rounds.
Desert Tech MDR 223 WYLDE
If you want an extremely accurate bullpup rifle, this option lets you shoot quickly and easily. With a barrel length of 16 inches and a weight of 8.67 pounds, this bullpup rifle is good for sharpshooters and hunters.
Gun owners need to know the advantages and disadvantages of a bullpup rifle before making an educated decision about which rifle is suitable for their needs. Knowing the history and construction of this weapon type can provide users with critical information that will help them make a smart choice for their future.