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Bullpup Firearms May 3, 2006

Posted by federalist in Open Questions.

Why isn’t the bullpup rifle/carbine design more popular?  The only production bullpups I can find are either inexplicably expensive imports like the Steyr AUG, FN F2000 and PS90, or unpopular curiosities like Bushmaster’s now-discontinued M17S.

Regular rifles effectively throw away all of the space between a user’s shoulder and trigger hand.  But a bullpup moves the barrel, action, and magazine back into that area, so that for a given barrel length it’s easier to store, carry, handle, and use in close quarters.  Thus it seems like an ideal tactical weapon design.

I understand one drawback to a bullpup is that if it ejects spent cases to the side then it cannot be used for cross-shoulder or ambidextrous shooting. But we have plenty of examples of automatic rifles that have ejected downward, and FN has a clever forward-ejecting system.

Are there other factors involved in this design that limit its practicality, or explain the dearth of commercial offerings?



1. federalist - July 1, 2007
2. federalist - March 21, 2008
3. federalist - November 28, 2008
4. federalist - January 14, 2009

Apparently there are bolt-action bullpups out there as well, though I’m not as convinced of the value in that case since it seems like you would have to lift off not only the trigger but also the stock to cycle the bolt.

5. federalist - January 13, 2011

Getting even cooler: Kel-Tec announces the KSG, a bullpup pump-action shotgun with two selectable magazine tubes holding 14 rounds!

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