Why are bullpup rifles so expensive?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by USAF_Vet, Mar 5, 2015.

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  1. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    When I was over in Iraq, I got to handle a Styer AUG used by the Australian armed forces. They had a beer ration, which was the primary reason we wandered into their camp. They were cool , though, very hospitable. They had no problems sharing their beer, their weapons, and their fellowship.

    That rifle started my fascination with bullpups. Their biggest drawback was the lack of ambidexterity, and as a southpaw, being lefty friendly was a must.

    I've seen several bullpups come to market, but they all seem to hover in that $1800 price range, give or take. The complex nature of the FNH FS2000 makes sense to be a high dollar rifle, but the relatively simple K&M M17s does not strike me as a $1800 gun.

    Based on the breakdown and reviews I've seen on the M17s, I see no reason that couldn't sell for $800 all day long. The controls are simple, some of which are off the shelf AR parts. It seems too simple a mechanism to command that price, where a Tavor or FS2000 or a civilian AUG can be had for similar prices.

    Do bullpuos in general command this price due to their relative obscurity in the US? Are they seen more as a novelty compared to an AR which can be had for half the cost of ever the cheapest of bullpups?

    I'd love a lefty friendly bullpup rifle to complement my ARs, but for the money, I simply can't justify it, not when I can build three ARs for the same cost.
     
  2. CLP

    CLP member

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    Well, they're still just pups
     
  3. 9mm+

    9mm+ Member

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    I'm not sure I would classify the F/FS2000 as complex (the trigger group might be, though) since the field stripping is simple and design is very modular. I happen to like bullpups very much and am jonesing for a Tavor this year.

    As to the question of cost, it simply has to do with the volume of sales of these rifles vs. the industry standards of AR and AK's. The competition for market share and the volume of sales keep the prices of these rifles much lower than a bullpup in a comparable or identical caliber.

    Should bullpups ever reach the popularity of the AR's/AK's, you'll see the prices drop. Until then, shelling out $1500+ for a quality bullpup rifle will be the norm. On the plus side, though, there doesn't appear to be many bullpup lemons out there from the well-known arms providers like FN, Steyr, and IMI. You'll pay more for the rifle, but you'll get a great firearm.
     
  4. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    I just got an AUG. All you have to do to make it left handed is switch the ejection port cover to the other side and get the left handed bolt.
     
  5. wally

    wally Member

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    Bullpups are so expensive because if you put that lousy trigger on a $500 AR there would be no end to the complaints about the lousy trigger no matter how good the rest of the rifle was.

    Pricing them so high cuts these complaints way down as nobody wants to say I spent ~$2K on a rifle with a lousy trigger.

    That said I'm a fan of them going in and have examples of most of them so I speak from experience :)
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    To pay for medical bills for all the lefty shooters. :rolleyes: Actually, probably a lot like why ANYthing with "tactical" stamped on the box is immediately 25 percent higher priced.
     
  7. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    The new A3 Steyr AUGs are around $1500. Tavor's are a bit more.

    FS2000s were selling for around $1400-1500 when they were available.

    A big reason all those rifles are made than a AR is production cost. The tooling for making AR components is all paid off after the millions of rifles that have been made and the components themselves are commodities. Does anyone really care which of the three or four foundries that produce raw forged receives? Instead, we all buy the lowest priced part that meets our need.

    BSW
     
  8. elwoodm

    elwoodm Member

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    paying 1660 for the tavor is a bit much but you get a well thought out rifle. the tavor has all coated steel parts so no rust. have put almost 1000 rounds through it leaving it 3 months uncleaned between range time. this was done to test if i would get any fte or ftf issues. the tavor has not failed any test i have put it through. just mounted a scope on it and with the 18 inch barrel got sub moa at 100yrds. the trigger you can get the feel of it after a few hundred rounds.the gun can be changed to left in just 30 min. put the eotech back on and with a single point sling this is the cqb master piece:D
     
  9. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    Bullpups scare a lot of folks, so not as many buy them, so the price has to be higher for the company to make a profit? By all rights bullpups should be more popular than they are, (whats not to like about a rifle length barrel in an SBR length platform?) but with the Tavor being such a hit maybe folks will start coming around.
     
  10. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    "I've seen several bullpups come to market, but they all seem to hover in that $1800 price range, give or take"

    That's kind of the going rate for the "not a derivative of an AR15 or AKM" rifle, these days. The Tavor is a rare exception clocking in at 1600$, but that's as much a (smart) marketing choice as anything. I think the fact the Izzie's coughed up a lot of the R&D money on that project (unlike most other bullpups, which were either solely civilian endeavors or half-heartedly released for commercial sales that cannot be allowed to undercut the .gov price) aided them greatly.

    The PS90 has dropped a lot in recent years, coming down from over two grand to half that, presumably since FNH is finding fewer and fewer takers in LEO/MIL contracts compared to civilian sales which are hotter than ever. Also because of the AR57 which has been eating away at some sales in that market.

    The CX4 has come down a bit, as well, but is still pricey IMO for what it is and how much Beretta has been investing in its development (or lack thereof).

    The real reason the guns are expensive is because people are willing to pay up for pups. The Kel Tec RFB was supposed to be like 1200$, right? Whatever it was supposed to go for, buyers readily snapped them up at double the MSRP for like two years, and three or so years into it we're still seeing them well over the factory price. The pup market may be smaller, but it is much higher in demand. If KT ever gets its RDB concept out the door (lol) we'll see another highly bidded product.

    TCB
     
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Compare the features of most of these bullpups to ARs with similar features and the price points are not that different. Look at an AR that comes from the factory with ambi controls and a quad rail and compare it to an FS2000 and you're probably looking at a similar price point. You could piecemeal one cheaper with the AR, but I think bullpups try to have all those features that add to the price.

    They're actually cheaper than some ARs. Look at the POF rifles and then tell me 1500-2000 is more expensive than an AR.
     
  12. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    To me, comparing a Tavor to an AR is like comparing an over under to a pump shotty. They may be chambered in the same round, but they are marketed to two different types of people.
     
  13. blueskyjaunte

    blueskyjaunte Member

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    I could never wrap my head around paying $1800 for a piece of plastic like the FS2000 or the AUG. Manufacturing costs are MUCH lower once the tooling is done. Heck, the guy making the CavArms lowers was doing it out of a tiny shop, and for the same price that some stripped aluminum lowers sell for.
     
  14. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    Same reason the ARs used to be expensive: they are a little newer on the scene and a little less common.
     
  15. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    The AUG has a lot of steel in it. The aluminum receiver has a steel insert the barrel and bolt lock into plus steel bushings that support the front of the barrel, op rods, and barrel latch pin. All made with tolerances that allow swapping of barrels without headspace checks.

    Molded plastic is one of the more expensive ways to make low volume items. The molds are very expensive to manufacture and that cost isn't spread over huge volumes of work like more common items.

    BSW
     
  16. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    The AUG is a very high quality rifle and it's price is comparable to higher end AR's. I'm not sure how high end AR production costs compare to the AUG, but even boutique AR's tend to use many off the shelf parts and still cost as much or more than AUG's. Many of said parts are produced in very high volume which makes price per unit cheaper as well.

    If i want to start a new line of AR's called Justin's AR's, i can order the parts for my guns from numerous different producers/distributors hence competitive pricing. But if i want to make a special proprietary piston system and use my own special triggers, receivers, etc, my rifles are going to cost more than standard AR's and probably be in the same ballpark, or higher, than the AUG. Look at LMT, LWRC, POF, Wilson Combat, etc. The fewer standard parts i use, the more expensive my product. Steyr on the other hand has to produce all their own parts, or contract somebody else to, and those parts only go in their guns. If one looks at the big picture as opposed to just seeing AUG vs the cheaper AR's, the AUG is quite competitive.
     
  17. HankC

    HankC Member

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    Worse if kaboom.
     
  18. HankB

    HankB Member

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    In WWII, American troops in the PTO got a beer ration, too.
     
  19. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    For what it's worth........

    .........the K&M is aluminum compared to the plastic in the other name brands. The trigger is said to be 3 to 5 pound adjustable, which would be nice since the major downfall to bullpups is the trigger due to the linkage. I'd love to have a K&M but just don't have the finances for it. I fell in love with bullpups when I put a Kushnapup stock on my Saiga .410. Petty soon I'll get back to work on my SKS conversion. I have a wood stock that was made by a guy on the Bullpup forum. I don't expect that trigger to be great either. But then I still have the mag disconnect in my FEG Hi Power so I guess I'll cope!:)
     
  20. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    You have to pay to play................................:)
     
  21. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    For what its worth; I cut my teeth so to speak on an SKS trigger, so I don't really understand when folks say bullpups have bad triggers. My AUG certainly doesn't, and my brothers Tavor is a little heavy, but not really all that bad.
     
  22. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I was really fascinated by the Tavor when it first became available. ALMOST ordered one. Then I got to shoot one at the range. Not for me at all.

    Huge advantage to have the barrel length in a relatively short rifle, but totally uncomfortable for me and any shots 50 yards and beyond, the weight was all wrong, again for me. For short HD, I'll go for the SBR AR.
     
  23. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Bushmaster, the original builder of the M17s, used a polymer lower. When K&M acquired the design, they moved to the aluminum lower.

    Maybe I should keep an eye open for a beater SKS and get a bullpup kit for it. Not gonna bubba my '68 all matching SKS. Maybe a Yugo or some such if I can still find one for a reasonable amount.
     
  24. alexander45

    alexander45 Member

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    They don't sell very well and the cost of the gear to build them spread over so few units just costs more... but I still really really want a fs2000 it's just for the price of it I can pick up a few other guns I want
     
  25. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Member

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    I had an early Bushmaster M17S Bullpup, and totally loved it, even with it's few warts. Well balanced, almost like a huge pistol. The typical chintzy BP trigger linkage can be smoothed. The aluminum fore end gets HOT with sustained shooting, but that can be addressed too. There is a yahoo website devoted to them, and the mods are endless.
    Sadly, I had several guns stolen a couple years back, and my beloved Bushpup was among them.
    Most other BPs seem ill-balanced, too rear heavy. Sights can be very clunky too. The bullpup is definitely an eclectic interest. Not all like the ergonomics.
    I paid $800 for mine just before the silly AWB. Bushmaster needed to do a bit more development with it, but they got sidetracked by the sudden interest in the AR15 platform, and the M17S languished. This new rendition is okay, but far too expensive.
    I have also handled and shot the AUG, the Full Auto version. Talk abut 'precision firepower'! I loved it. But I can't even think of affording FA.
    KelTec has some interesting concepts, but too expensive and they are too often vaporware. Their production doesn't keep up with their design staff.
     
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