I've been seeing more and more bullpup assault rifles in the world, and I was looking for some opinions as to what people thought of them. There's of course the British L85 and the Steyr AUG, and now Russia is coming out with the Groza and Israel is coming out with the Tavor family.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not that knowledgable about firearms.
*What are the advantages of a bullpup design? The disadvantages?
*If you're in the military, if you were to be in the military, would you prefer to use a bullpup or a standard design?
Here are some pros and cons re: bullpups
Some background. I have fired the FAMAS, L85, AUG, VALMET, Chinese Type95, Bushmasters M17s and FNP P90.
The most apparent charateristic favouring bullpup configurations is their length. They are shorter overall when compared to standard configurations. So getting in and out of APC's, Helo's and buildings is much easier.
Also because they are shorter they are much more balanced. Because most bullpups are of recent design they have better ergonomics.
The FAMAS, AUG and P90 are designed to be fired by either right or left handers. The other designs aren't.
They have short sight radius, perhaps that why most are designed with optics.
Having had a round "cook off" in a M16 chamber and seeing the damage to the receiver, I don't always feel very safe with the action right next to my head and the noise is distracting.
Finally, it is difficult to mount attachment such as surefire lights, grenade launchers, and lasers on the bullpup configuration.
The power of an rifle, its range and accuracy depend ont he barrel lenght. On the other side the military wants to have shorter rifles (carabines) . They are more handy, better for close quarter combat, better for paratroopers and APC deployed personnel.
A normal rifle is fed in the front (to the muzzle ) of the grip. The rest lenght is "wasted". The Bullpup idea is to place the chamber backwards sometimes back to the stock. So the rifle can be short AND accurate. Its a more advanced rifle design thats all. Of course you can' hang so much things on a shorter rfle but you want it light and handy remember?
One. For a left handed shooter the case is ejected to the side of the soldier. This means for Bullpups INTO his face. But there are some ways to overcome that problem:
the german H&K G11 used caseless ammunition... problem solved!
the austrian steyr ACR could change the side of ejection!
the belgium FN F2000 ejects the case to the front... below the barrel.
Resume: the bullpup design is more advanced than the conventional design. You will see more and more rifles with that configuration in the future. But how good a rifle is depends on the specific model of cource. For example the german G36 (not a bullpup) is regarded as superior to the british SA80 (Bullpup)!
Mounting a suppressor on a bullpup can also cause some trouble. Not the mounting of the suppressor itself, but the gasses released from the ejection port right under your face when you fire the weapon. (The FN 2000 and the FNP90 don't have this problem to such a degree as the ejection port on these weapons are not so close to your face).
Suppressor tend to drive a lot of residue, gas and other nasties out of the ejection port, more so than a non suppressed weapon.
The gas will cause eyes to run and feel sore if you're not wearing totally enclosed goggles (scuba mask).
Would placing the firing mechanism behind the handgrip increase the kickback felt in the shoulder? It sort of seems like it would when I visualize it, but then again, I've never fired a rifle of any kind.
No... wether a weapon is bullpup or not does not change how strong the recoil is felt. Bullpups may look deceptivley small and short but have a powerful shot (because of barrel lenght) and only this heightens the recoil.
Hi, i am from AUG-country, e.g. austria hehe, and everyone loves that rifle here, the only disadvantages are mounting a grenade launcher (like mentioned before), and the changing of the magazines if you are new at it. That are the most mentioned problems here i think
Yeah i have heard that this rifle is a good one... often seen in the movies too... mainly in high-tech thrillers because it looks science fiction like. Austies and Aussies both use it (they sound alike but are actually quite different... does everyone know that austria is not even near to australia? )
jep, but its an austrian invention, not australian hehe. They have more problems, because they dont use as good materials as supposed to do. In austria you can buy tshirts with the slogan "there are no kangaroos in austria" on it hehe.
Short and compact, while at the same time having as long a barrel as possible.
Balance is too far back for most people.
Whether it ejects to the right only or can be changed, in Urban combat (where its shortness is useful) sometimes you need to shoot from the other shoulder. With a bullpup this is not possible, as even if it can be adjusted it is ususally a case of a few minutes to change the ejection side over.
This means if you are shooting around a corner you have to expose your whole head and chest to fire, instead, with a conventional rifle you can swap hands and expose one eye and half or less of your head and one shoulder, while keeping most of your chest behind cover.
"Having had a round "cook off" in a M16 chamber and seeing the damage to the receiver, I don't always feel very safe with the action right next to my head and the noise is distracting. "
Are you confusing a cook off with a chamber detonation?
"Would placing the firing mechanism behind the handgrip increase the kickback felt in the shoulder? "
I am from New Zealand and we use Australian made Steyrs. They are crap. The sights fog up and they break and fail reasonably often. I am assuming it is the lower quality control of the Australian manufacture.
They are reasonable accurate and easy to use.
The Main reason behind the Russian Groza was to design a smaller lighter gun for mounting grenade launchers. The Gp-25 and Gp-30 will fit any AK built in Russia and is attached by a bayonet lug connection. It can be fitted and removed as quickly and easily as a bayonet. Unfortunately like most standard rifles the balance of an AK is forward. Adding 1.5kgs to the front makes it feel unbalanced and too front heavy for comfortable use. (obviously the advantages of having an HE point target weapon on your rifle means that the soldiers put up with it and very much appreciate a greande that can't be thrown back and they can launch up to 420m).
So the idea of a smaller lighter weapon with the weight balance at the rear would be a good solution. Adding a grenade launcher on the front made its weight lower than a standard rifle with a grenade launcher fitted and it also meant that the balance was restored to near the middle of the weapon instead of too far forward (for a normal rifle with a underbarrel grenade launcher) or too far back (for a standard bullpup design).