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Bullpup question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Balrog, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I have never shot a Bullpup except for the Kel-Tec KSG shotgun. Seems like the short overall length of a Bullpup would make for a great compact home defense carbine.

    Anyone use one in that role?

    What are the pros and cons?
     
  2. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Several issues.
    On the pro side, you have a compact, handy weapon with all the advantages of a long barrel.
    On the con side, you have some limits on ambidextrous shouldering/use; sometimes mushy triggers; and, far too often, questionable control locations. Oh, and some sky-high price tags, too.

    And, there are some real stinkers in this pack, too.
    Like the L85. Even the Product-improved L85A2 (and A3) they are sittl, right handed only, with terrible control locations and a mag release that is, finally, a working kludge.
    The Tavor is not horrible, but the one I shot was not good, either.
    Keltech's RDB is better than the RDF, but is still a kludge. It could be used, but you could get almost two M4geries for the price, and not have to think about not hitting the mag release.
    The Desert Tech is interesting, it's about as ambi as you can get one. Ian and Karl have decided the .308 version works. I still haven't seen the 5.56 version, but the MSRP is close to three shorty ARs

    At home defense ranges, I'm not sure that 2 inch barrel warrants the price.

    It's complicated. After a few thousand repetitions, nearly anything can get to second nature. For me, I have about 30 years of time on AR platforms, if it's the middle of the night, only semi-awake, running on reflex, I know which one I'd pick up. But, that's me. My experience.

    Maybe.
    Perhaps.
    YMMV.
     
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  3. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    Well the good news is you won't have to worry about the L85's lack of ambi controls unless you're British, and in their army.

    No different than a carry pistol, you have to make a commitment to practice and gain proficiency with your weapon, and no different than any other rifle, bullpups have pros and cons that you'll have to adapt to.

    A bullpup will be easier to handle and shoot indoors than any shorty AR, also easier to balance or shoot with one hand which could possibly(not likely) come in handy(pun). Really other than non ambi controls I haven't seen many objective cons against bullpups.
     
  4. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    I'm in the process of working a Tavor x95 up to being my home-defense gun (I spend a lot of time working with a firearm before I trust my life to it). Current is a Winchester 1300 Defender, so you can see I'm making a big adjustment. :)

    Pros so far:
    Shorter LOA. This is a lot bigger deal than I thought it would be.
    *For me* the Tavor shoulders very quickly and moves well. YMMV. I have found that having the center of mass close to my body works well in close quarters (I've tried going with a pistol as well, but decided against it).
    I like that you can keep the weapon "up" with your dominant hand while using the other hand to do something else (open a door, etc.). I find this nearly impossible with a "conventional" longarm.
    Lots of rail space (though I wish the x95 had retained the 45 degree rail of the SAR). Admittedly you can find plenty of full-length firearms with lots of rail space.

    Cons:
    None so far, but I'm still evaluating.

    Non-issues:
    Weight. Bullpups tend to be heavy (the Tavor is about 8lbs unloaded), but since the bulk of that mass is closer to your body it feels to me like the moment is a lot less.
    Trigger. Yes, bullpups in general have a bad rep here, and I'm not going to claim the Tavor has a great trigger. The x95 trigger is fine, though, and we're not talking about a precision rifle that needs to reach out to 400 yards here - what's the longest shot you've got in or from your house? The optic offset is going to be a bigger issue.
     
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  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Doing some cross training with German troops, I got to lay my hands on the standard issue AUG rifle of their forces. The shorter barrel length made it easier for doing room clearing drills in "glass houses." The tight buttstock/shoulder did a slightly better job managing recoil than the US standard M4. My 2 main issues with the AUG (and likely what you will find on similar bullpup designs): the magazine is in an odd place. If you have ever even held an AR (which most people have) the magazine location will take some getting used to. With enough practice, anything can be second memory. And this will be a fun one. The second is the safety of the AUG is a cross bolt just above the thumb for a right handed shooter. As awkward as it felt, I was using the middle knuckle of my thumb to push the safety ON and the palm knuckle of my trigger finger to push the safety OFF. Again, with training this can also be overcome for anyone familiar with an AR. The AUG magazine release was not an issue for me personally.

    As already mentioned, another constraint is cost. Whether it is an AUG, a Famas (ick), or any other production line bullpup, you are looking at over 1000 easy. My personal recommendation would be to put together an AR pistol in a pistol caliber, 300 blackout, or 5.56 if you already have an AR and REALLY don't want to add another caliber to the "stable."
     
  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I would rather have an AR pistol with a brace. Actually I do. That gets you the short length but keeps the weight and controls in a normal place, plus it’s cheaper and more versatile.
     
  7. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    My friend has a Microtech AUG clone that he really likes, but which nevertheless stays in the safe, taking second fiddle to the AR for home defense.

    As mentioned, the controls tend to be unique and sometimes awkward. This could be overcome with training, of course, but few people are willing to put in the training to become proficient with a unique manual of arms. The design isn't as ambi, so left handed shooters like me have fits, and even right handed shooters are limited in their options. Many schools teach switching shoulders to minimize exposure when clearing around corners. This is not an option with most bullpups.

    Bullpups tend to be short, but heavy. My friend's AUG weighs 10 pounds unloaded with a red dot sight and a sling--no white light, no ammo. My Colt 6960 weighs less with 30 rounds in a Pmag, a Fenix white light, SIG Romeo 7 with Juliet 4 magnifier on FTS mount, and a sling. We could argue about which is more important, a few inches in length or a few pounds in weight, I suppose, but it would be situationally dependent.

    Finally, as mentioned, bullpups tend to be proprietary and rare, and this makes them expensive. When you can pick up a decent, name brand, pre-assembled AR with the features you want for under a $1000, paying two or three times that much for some obscure bullpup probably isn't rational. If you have the money and like bullpups as "second kind of cool" or just like the attention you get having something other than an AR at the range, fine. But from a cost-benefit basis, bullpups just aren't practical for the majority of us. The AR just provides so many more options and capabilities, is so much more accessible, and so much more economically feasible, very little else does make any sense when considering a home defense carbine.
     
  8. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    In addition to all of the points already made - they are, by design, very butt-heavy. I find that rapid shouldering / snap shooting is far more difficult due to the wonky balance - YMMV.
     
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  9. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    I've never fired an AUG, but the Tavor x95 has an AR-style safety/selector, ambi mag release, and you can drop the bolt with the same motion you use to insert a new magazine (you can also use the charging handle). The way I see it, if you're not training extensively and regularly with a firearm it shouldn't be your home defense gun.

    I'm also a lefty and pretty much ignored bullpups for that reason alone for years, but I've found that I can shoot the x95 from either shoulder without issues with brass (the deflector kicks them slightly forward).

    Is it different? Yes. If you're already trained on an AR will it be seamless transition? No. Is it perfect? Nope.

    Can't argue the rest, and I'm not selling my AR, but I wouldn't write off bullpups until you've looked around.
     
  10. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    I seriously considered a Tavor. I ended up getting a name brand AR pistol with a brace. I liked the idea of a shorter weapon while still having 16" of barrel, but the inability to switch back & forth between right & left hand is what made the choice for me. Cost was a consideration too, but not the deciding factor.
     
  11. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Someday I will pick one up. (Likely an AUG before the next election.)
    Ive got plenty of AR's so I just want something different to play around with.
    Although Pistols are my HD weapon of choice.
     
  12. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Bullpups are a good idea but they don't work out real well for most for a couple reasons. The main thing is they do not feel natural or point naturally, and the controls are awkward for typical shooters. Also the action is next to your ear. However some folks are not bothered by that. They don't work for me. I am a trained point shooter. That requires a natural traditional fit. I think that is true of most shotgun shooters. It doesn't hurt to try one out. Some guys like them.
     
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Not all of them or short.

    76AFF424-44F0-4B64-8A78-11D2F9CA2689.jpeg

    Is one way to have a long barreled rifle that’s not as long as a pool stick though.
     
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  14. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    I really don't buy the unnatural pointing or(to a lesser extent, it depends on which bullpup) the controls issues, it's the 80/20 rule favoring what you've spent more time training with. That's just based on my experiences with my AUG, and a little time with a Tavor, I'm no competitive shooter, nor am I former military or police, but most complaints I read about bullpups seem to stem from a lack of understanding and experience rather than actual time with the rifles. And before anyone gets triggered(pun), please note that "most" is italicized.
     
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  15. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I guess that's true if you don't know any better. I have lots of training and experience and am a trained instructor. I understand the importance of proper fit and ergonomics. There is a reason and centuries of evolution for the form of traditional firearms. Not that there is anything wrong about bullpups. Most people can learn to be comfortable with them. If you have heard the expression, naturally pointing, you may understand the difference. If you rely strictly on optics, you may not notice much difference.
     
  16. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    True. The muzzle-loading, single shot, smoothbore, iron-sight-only, black powder longarm has an extensive history, and its form is the result of centuries of development by scores (perhaps hundreds) of major military forces.
    The relevance of this to a breachloading (magazine-fed) semi-auto rifle with a mounted optic using modern propellants is... wait, is there a major parameter I haven't changed? I'm not even going to start on materials technology, bullet composition...

    As you correctly note, optics alone change the game. Who *doesn't* mount some kind of optic on a modern rifle these days? Iron sights still have their place, but I've started to see two-optic setups with a reflex sight serving in the backup/close in role that BUIS held. I, personally, still want a set of irons on every rifle I have... but there are people out there who don't.

    Is the bullpup the inevitable form of future rifles? I'd say no, but several nation's armies apparently think it is the right choice for general issue. Designated marksmen/snipers? No. Mechanized infantry in urban warfare? They're getting there. Military equipment decisions don't translate directly to the civilian market, but the trends are still interesting to watch.

    Arguably longbows weren't obsolete until rifled breachloaders came along... but everyone switched over to muzzle loaders anyway. Are bows still used? Of course! I own one (two, if you count crossbows). We can't dismiss a technological development just because it isn't superior to the existing tech in every respect. Most smartphones are actually really *lousy* telephones. Compared to flip phones they're also heavier and more expensive. They have other, more important, advantages - at least based on the market response.
     
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  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    One that always stood out to me was the FN F2000.

    The polar opposite of a mini 14 Ranch rifle, the brass barely dribbles out the port. All the brass in a nice little pile. Kind of weird at first, as most expect a case to leave the firearm with every shot and that doesn’t always happen with this one.

     
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  18. rust collector
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    rust collector Contributing Member

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    I am seriously considering the KS-7 for home defense. Similar to, but lighter, slimmer and much less expensive than the KSG, it has m-lok attachment points, can take a mag extension, and can work with mini-shells to give more capacity. The sight fixture makes it point better for me, and a shotshell seems less likely to do unintended damage beyond the structure. If you haven't tried one, it might be worth your time.
     
  19. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Gridley, You don't seem to understand that bullpups are not an advancement, they are not new or untried, they are just different. They do have an advantage in a more compact firearm and the drawbacks are minimized in close quarters. They also are popular with militaries whose civilian population are not familiar with firearms. They won't know any better. But they are not going to replace traditional firearms for skilled experienced personal. Remarks like yours are evidence of a person that thinks something is different but have a narrow uninformed perspective. After you are an accomplished competition shooter with various firearms and an experienced combat veteran with multiple firearm types get back to me. Firearms are designed to take advantage of natural reflex reactions. If they were superior they would be all over in competition shooting.
     
  20. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The only ones I am familiar withare the Steyr AUG and the FAMAS. I wasn't impressed with the AUG, and the FAMAS was like a bad joke. Supposedly the FN 2000 and the Tavor are both better designs, but I never played with either. The biggest thing I notice is the price tag on them. To me, using such a gun for HD is counter-intuitive, because in order to use any gun for such a purpose, it needs to be accessible. In most cases, that means not secured. I would never store such an expensive gun anywhere but in a safe, and I sure wouldn't be the guy that is constantly putting a gun in a safe every time I leave the house, and taking it back out every time I come home. It's just not going to happen. Also, firing a 223 indoors without hearing protection is brutal. So unless you are going to sleep with peltors on, or hope you have time to put in earplugs when you need your weapon, plan on a dynamic event. The other option is to suppress it- not only does this make your rifle grow longer, now you have an expensive NFA item on it, and also unsecure if it is kept accessible. I think a better choice would be either an AR pistol with a 10" barrel in 9mm, or one of the Ruger PC9 carbines. They are on sale through PSA for $450. 9mm is fairly cheap to shoot. The PC9 can use Glock mags, and they feature a picatinny scope base for a RDS like the Sig model or a Vortex SPARC, and they have a small rail on the handguard to which you can attach a small white light.
     
  21. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

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    I am very partial to bullpups as fun guns (I've got an FS2000, PS90 and Tavor CTAR) but I would pick an AR for home defense, especially one with a shorter barrel if it's available to you. Despite being a little longer overall, a 10.5" or 11.5" AR handles like a dream (to me at least)...much better than a bullpup (although the PS90 is no slouch). Velocity loss with a short barrel is moot at short ranges, although muzzle blast inside without hearing protection would be brutal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  22. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    Very true, due in part to their lack of popularity, a lot of folks don't realize how old the concept is.

    They never became popular by any stretch of the imagination, but the militaries who did choose bullpup designs were focusing on mechanization, and the rifle length barrel in a shorter package is an obvious advantage with vehicles. I highly doubt a standard service rifle was ever chosen based on the civilian population not having familiarity with firearms.

    Not a requirement to have a legitimate and informed opinion. Comments like this don't really fit into the context of the majority of threads on the high road.

    I might have skimmed over, or missed it, but I don't think anyone here said that bullpups were superior designs, like you said, they're just different. As to competition, the AR is a very adept rifle, and can be purpose built for just about any game, bullpups were never designed with competition in mind, and like most other designs conventional or not, lack the adaptability that AR's provide.
     
  23. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I disagree, experience and training is a very big part of being informed. I would think being rated as an expert with various firearms, being a certified instructor, and having experience in competition make one more informed. And knowing why firearms are design in particular ways is part of that. I don't disagree with much of what you said but someone said Bullpups were the next step in firearms. My post was to refute that.
     
  24. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    My 9mm bullPup has the advantages of being relatively lite and cheap. And yes, it is fun to shoot.
    H-P-on-bag.jpg
     
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  25. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    I've always been a fan of Bullpups ... 20+ years ago I was able to get one of the 2nd generation of AUG's more commonly called the USR. Except for the pre-ban features I feel its the ultimate Bullpup.

    usr.gif

    3000 of them were imported before Clinton in-acted the barrel ban in 1997 by executive order and stopped its importation. It has a odd thumb-hole thingy in front of the mag, the 18' barrel wasn't threaded and they removed the nub for the quick change barrel ... it complied to the 1989 import ban by executive order by Bush/41, just as the MAC-90 and a hand full others skirted the issue.

    Since then I've owned a couple of the Special Receiver AUG's and finally one of the 62 green AUG's sent back to Austria with the upgraded 2nd generation receiver which bore the original serial number so was still classified as a preban, they were returned in a new factory box with new owners manuals & test targets ... and the new scope that featured the "donut of death" with a cross hair that is also set up for range estimating.

    The Tavor took the US by storm ... I owned one briefly. After being underwhelmed by its 13 pound trigger and realizing it would cost another $350 for a Geiselle trigger another $150 for a raised sight rail that was compatible with standard optics (the factory sight rail is on the same plane as the cheekrest) the forend also left a lot to be desired but I don't recall its cost as I didn't buy one ... but all that on top of the premium price they commanded ... I sold it quickly while the demand was still high.
    It left me with such a huge let down I didn't buy into the X95.
    I had a FN PS90 which I felt the ammo was expensive and anemic ... the only way to make up for that was in volume ... so if it wasn't full auto it couldn't make up for its shortcomings. Didja ever notice in Stargate SG-1 they never fire just one round? Lastly for the FN's, I've handled the FN FS2000 but it was like shouldering a 3foot long 2x6.

    Before the AUG I had a Bushmaster M17S which was ok but even heavier, I always felt it was a poor man's AUG.
    I've had the Valmet M82, which is a 7.62x39 AK variant and I really liked but its composite shell (much like the AUG) is known to be brittle and there are no replacements so it was a safe queen for 20 or so years.

    Another AK variant Bullpup is the AKU94 which was a kit to transform a standard AK into a bullpup ... it had the spongiest trigger of any bullpup I've ever shot ... I think I still have the kit in a box somewhere along with the gas tube that has a picitinny rail on it (another bad idea).

    Anyway, if you want a bullpup, do yourself a favor and get the AUG A3 ... there are a couple different variants but save up a little longer if you have to and you'll most likely be money ahead.

    Here's an old picture of a few 'pups I had all at the same time; Top right is the AKU94 , next down is the FN PS90, then a highly modified Bushmaster M17S and on the bottom is the lone survivor my A2 AUG in a NATO stock with the factory scope instead of the optional picitinny rail

    P1010708.jpg
     
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