Grant Cunningham’s Take on the Bullpup Rifle

Grant Cunningham

Author and firearms trainer Grant Cunningham put together a series of articles on bullpup rifles for defensive purposes. Grant takes a close look at the use of bullpup rifles generally and the Steyr AUG specifically.

Grant has been a long-time user and advocate of the FAL rifle, but is also very skilled with the use of other platforms including the AR. However, he had never taken a long, hard look at bullpups. In this series, he spends months with the Steyr AUG to learn how the platform differs from the traditional defensive rifles.

The series of articles goes far beyond the typical internet bickering of my X is better than your Y because reasons. I recommend reading through the series if you have any interest in rifles for any kind of defensive use.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Evan

    Here’s my take on bullpups based on my incredibility limited experience with a Tavor and zero experience with any other bullpup:

    I like the ergonomics of the Tavor. A lot. It’s probably the most natural feeling rifle I’ve ever shot. That being said, I’m left handed, and the Tavor I shot wasn’t. The brass caught me on the chin, and my beard isn’t thick enough to cushion it effectively.

    I’d like to try a left handed Tavor, and some other bullpups as well, even though I am against left handed guns as a matter of principle, just so I can experience shooting bullpups without getting my chin cut up by ejecting brass. However, the lack of a truly ambidextrous bullpup without some gimmicky ejection system that I don’t trust is a huge problem for me.

    • wedelj1231

      #1: Get a left-hand bolt for the Tavor.
      #2: The Kel-Tec RDB ejects downwards and has ambi controls. It’s not gimmicky (like the desert tech vaporware bullpup) it works. Also the PS90 ejects the same way, straight down towards your feet.

      • Vitor Roma

        The RDB downward ejections works so well while being mechanically super simple I wonder the guys from Desert Tech are checking and rethinking and the MDR. They are probably checking it, but given how advance the R&D of the MDR is, they won’t rethinking.

        • Hyok Kim

          RFB ejects forwards.

          • iksnilol

            RFB =/= RDB

      • Tim U

        The RDB won’t work with metal mags. At least not yet, they might fix it in later versions.

        • Rick5555

          I saw Hank Strange’s video. However, take these youtube channels for what they are….amateurish and definitely no experts. Per that video, just that particular gun didn’t work with metal STANAG mags while the gun was SUPPRESSED. It was wrong of Hank to state otherwise in his vid. He should’ve have said, this particular RDB while suppressed is not locking in the magwell. Or keeps falling out after being fired one time. I bet, due to the back pressures with a suppressor on. Was causing the metal mags, to fall out. And Hank even said he didn’t use any of the gas settings.

      • Evan

        The Kel-Tec RDB is still a Kel-Tec, which is reason enough for me to avoid it. I’ll admit it interested me, but Kel-Tec makes junk that I would never spend money on. And the PS90 is pretty cool, but the proprietary ammo is kind of an issue for me, as are the weird top loading mags. I am intrigued by the Desert Tech, but as you said, they’re constructed of pure unobtainium for the foreseeable future.

        And unlike the AUG, you can’t just swap out the bolt for a Tavor. I thought you could too, and almost bought one based on that assumption, but the guy at my local gun shop told me that the IWI guys told him that it requires extensive work to switch a Tavor to left-handed, which is a big mark against it for me, although I still kinda want one.

        • Hyok Kim

          FS2000

          • Evan

            FS2000 has that gimmicky forward ejecting system that I don’t trust.

          • Hyok Kim

            Why is forward ejection gimmicky?

          • The Brigadier

            If your running and shooting you are running into your own brass. Don’t do it naked like Don or those topless girls we saw in the video shooting down those drones.

          • Hyok Kim

            Hey, one more reason why I wouldn’t use bullpup for HD. I generally sleep ‘commando’, especially in summer.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The forward ejection is 100% on the F/FS2000. There’s plenty to gripe about on the gun, like it’s sensitivity to mags that don’t have anti-tilt followers, mags that don’t have perfect feed lip geometry, mags that won’t fit through the magwell’s dust gaskets, having to partially disassemble the gun in the case of any kind of feed issue, the awful NES light gun trigger, the super low BUIS, or the stupidly delicate charging handle. But the ejection chute is no worries.

        • Rick5555

          I’m a Lefty Tavor owner. Swapping the bolt out is no more difficult than swapping out an AR bolt to the carrier. The reason, you need the bolt from IWI, is the dimensions are bit different than an AR bolt. When it comes the position of the extractor. Due to the Tavor being a long stroke piston gas system. I don’t need to disassemble the BCG as much. However, you knock out one pin. And you can disassemble the BCG in the Tavor. Plenty of place either have or will order you a lefty Tavor as the same price. However, it only comes in Black. If you want one of the colored models. Then you’ll have get a lefty bolt. I believer IWI wants a customer to send their righty version into them for conversion. Due to head spacing and ensuring that’s spot on. IWI use to sell you a lefty bolt and you could within 10 minutes switch the system to lefty. Most likely, it’s something the lawyers said about head spacing. Potentially, if someone messed up the head spacing and the gun blew up. Could be a disaster for a company with a lawsuit. I paid, $1539 for my lefty Tavor (on sale). But they can be found for $1600. You shouldn’t have to purchase a righty version and then pay an additional $100 for a lefty bolt. You LGS should be able to order a lefty model at the same price. Also seen lefty models at Impact Weapons, Bud’s at the same price as the righty. You can always at a later date get your Black Lefty model Tavor, Cerakoted for probably $100-$150. If a colored model is what you desire. Me, I’ve always loved black firearms. And due to the polymer is textured. Some sandpaper (fine grade), and some Spray Paint could be the ticket too. Provide one color is fine with you. It’s the route I would take if I wanted a different color. Hope this helps you out some.

      • Hyok Kim

        You mean ‘RFB’? It ejects forwards, not downwards. FS2000 is a far better gun.

        • iksnilol

          They’ve also made an RDB. It’s chambered for intermediate cartridges and ejects downwards.

          • Hyok Kim

            Thanks for the update. I am not impressed with Kel-Tec so I haven’t paid too much attention to their products on going.

          • Rick5555

            The new Kel=Tec RDB is expected to hit the open market any day now. Sometime in the 4th quarter. And a company announcement said. Sales should be before thanksgiving. I’m not excited at all. It’s a Kel-Tec. Some asked, if this new bullpup would be a combat grade gun. I just laughed.

          • Hyok Kim

            Honorably made in China = Kel-Tec

      • Dan

        What if I’m shooting nude and the hot cases hit my willy? I don’t want to burn my dingle ling

        • Hyok Kim

          How is forward ejecting more likely to burn your ‘egg roll’ than side ejecting?

          • Dan

            Just because, I don’t want to tell you. Egg roll…ha! I like it.

      • The Brigadier

        2) Yes and it loads on the top and is amazingly accurate.

    • Dave Spears

      You can get a shell deflector for augs. So firing one from a left hand barricade is easier or you can position you r none trigger hand near the ejection port to buffer empty cases forward. Compared to the aug, the tavor feels clunky but it has a lot more rail space. Maybe someone will make a case deflector for it.

    • Dan

      Found your problem. Beard thickness. 🙂

      • Evan

        What can I say? That’s just crummy genes. My dad doesn’t even have eyebrows.

        • Dan

          My dad shaved his mustache once when I was younger. First time any of me or my siblings seen him without it. It appeared he did not have an upper lip as it was so thin. He has never since shaved it again. And we still poke fun at him.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Find me someone who has actually run guns hard in non-traditional shooting routines and uncommon positions, and I’ll show you someone that doesn’t prefer bullpups. The special forces of the world us AR and AK style weapons for a reason.

    They have their place. Like with small shooters. In non-SBR states. But otherwise, (and I own an Aug A1 I love) they’re just not as good as a traditional carbine. The people who make a big deal to try and prove otherwise just aren’t being objective I think.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      His articles don’t seem to pertain much to a battlefield type environment, so I’m not sure how that matters that much. It seems to be an experienced shooter’s observations on getting to know a bullpup and how he felt about it.

      Personally, I’ve kept a bullpup bedside since I’ve owned one and probably will continue to do so. It’s compact and comfortable with a good capacity. For me, it’s a great choice. I was never trained on anything formally, so when I bought one, it wasn’t alien feeling like it is to many. I spent a lot of time getting comfortable and learning how to use it. They make sense in a home defense and limited space type environment for me.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Ok, but my point is when you get into working with around, under vehicles, broke-back position, reloading on the move, really all malfunction clearing (!), you see that bullpups are best suited for “casual encounters” or sport, or just mild stuff.

        They absolutely make sense in some places, but there are clearly reasons they will always be niche. I know they seem great when the disadvantages aren’t acknowledged or marginalized, but that’s not a genuine objective view.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          I’m in agreement with you that they are a niche market, because you can give a familiar weapon in a shorter package and not have to retrain.

          Clearing malfunctions is more training and somewhat platform specific. I’ve never had a problem with my FS2000 and I had a few issues early one when I tried to use some Tula and it short stroked. Its the same process for the most part, but different muscle memory I guess. Bullpups aren’t perfect, but no do-it-all rifle ever will be. You have to give and take in some areas depending on what’s considered important. More than likely, they’ll be more popular with civilians for the time being.

          • The Brigadier

            Another Tula hater. I’ve been reading about that crappy ammo and the general consensus from here and elsewhere is that its crap. Stay away from it, even though its only about 30 cents a round. Not worth it in the long run.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            It’s just very, very weak.

        • The Brigadier

          Will you agree that carrying and learning how to shoot a .50 cal has legitimate utility? So does learning how to shoot a BP. Just because you don’t like them, doesn’t mean they have no legitimate utility. BPs are easier to shoot. I can personally attest to that. I will still carry my M1A into battle and I will have an AR strapped to my backpack. Just put an Exos Defense stock on my AR – sweet and on sale. See you on the battlefield and I hope you can shoot well.

    • Hyok Kim

      “The special forces of the world us AR and AK style weapons for a reason.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steyr_AUG

      • Dan

        You think the U.S. special forces use bullpups more than an AR? Just because it’s listed as in use by those countries doesn’t mean they actually use them. They have them on hand.

        • TJbrena

          I don’t think any of our rifle procurement competitions (SCAR, IC, etc) even had bullpup entries, with the sole exception of the Stealth Recon Scout in the PSR competition.

          If our SOFs had the option to have loadsa different assault rifles in service like some Euro SOFs seem to, or just more bullpups available to them, maybe we’d see bullpups, maybe we wouldn’t.

          As it is, they seem to be content with AR derivatives, SCARs and conversions of aging M14s in the assault rifle/battle rifle role.

        • Hyok Kim

          “You think the U.S. special forces use bullpups more than an AR?”

          …….but I neither said it nor implied it. Who are you arguing with?

          “Just because it’s listed as in use by those countries doesn’t mean they actually use them. They have them on hand.”

          How do you know they don’t use them? If they don’t, then what do they use?

          • Dan

            Probably more myself than anyone else really. When i first seen your linkI figured you were making the point that the countries listed used bullpups. I believeyour link was in response to someone saying ARs and AKs being used by SOF. I probably saw and argument that wasn’t there and my comment was perhaps a little snippy. My apologies.

          • Hyok Kim

            What separates grown men from ‘cocktail sausages’?

          • Dan

            Not sure I want to know this but I’ll bite. What is it?

          • Hyok Kim

            You are an example of a ‘grown man’. Some others in this thread and some more others are examples of ‘cocktail wieners’.

    • Manny Fal

      The special forces use the conventional rifle cause of it’s greater versatility ie more rail space = more accessory choices and their positioning. Only recently have bullpups been upgraded with rails (Tavor/SA80) and even even then the rail space available is greatly dwarfed by conventional rifles.

      As for the bullpup ergonomics being deficient you’ll need to ask those who have the most experience with the platform, ie Israeli, Austrian and U.K special forces. All use bullpups.

    • The Brigadier

      The only bullpup I have ever fired is the PS90. It used the old more powerful ammo before the Europeans made the bullpup’s ammo the same as their pistols. It loads on the top of the receiver. Made it easy to load and held 50 rounds. The most accurate fully automatic rifle I have ever shot.

      Shooting accurately is much easier with a bullpup because the two sights are much closer together. Loading a rear mag one is going to be a handicap. If you like bullpups try and find a PS90 in semi auto. Still loads on top, and it still is very accurate. If you like AR carbines then stick with them.

      Treat articles like this as valuable information. Maybe not for you specifically, but perhaps for the guy next to you covering your butt. Or do you think everyone on the battlefield will be armed with ARs? You are going to be sorely surprised when someone with a Barrett shows up opposite you.

  • Dave762xx

    The author is way out of date and if another gun writer comments about his small hands I’m going to demand that the gun journalists submit to DNA testing. I have maybe ten thouand rounds through augs and there is no way it can keep up with a m4 when it comes to modern weapons drills. There is a reason why Steyr is developing their own m4 replacement for it. I love the aug, fals and aks but weapons handling techniques have changed dramatically over the decades and the ergonomics of the ar make it the best choice.

    • iksnilol

      You mean the horrible charging handle together with the stupid mag release is superior ergonomics?

      • Evan

        The AR charging handle is awesome. It’s in a neutral position where nobody has to reach around the rifle to access it. And what is wrong with an AR mag release? It’s in a perfect spot where you can hit it while gripping and pulling out the empty. Letting magazines just fall to the ground is moronic, retain your gear.

        • iksnilol

          You have to reach back. Messes with the flow.

          The mag release is a bit too easy to activate and isn’t ambi.

          • Evan

            The not ambi thing isn’t great, although they are making ambi ones now (LWRC and a number of others do it). And I’ve never had a problem with it being too easy to actuate. Just keep your hand away from it, the placement is such that your hand shouldn’t be near it anyway. And I’m lefty and have never had any problems with my gear hitting it or anything.

            I just use the charging handle to load the first time and don’t touch it again unless I need to clear a malfunction, in which case I usually have the rifle off my shoulder anyway. It’s out of the way where it won’t snag on gear, non-reciprocating so it doesn’t interfere with anything, and placed so you don’t have to reach for it like on the G3 family. I’ve always been a fan.

          • Some Guy

            Maybe I’m just proportioned like a neanderthal but I always found G3 pattern rifles super comfy. The AR is frankly a little small for my taste though one certainly can’t deny the convenience of a small gun.

          • Rick5555

            I’m a lefty too. And never had an issue with the ergos with the AR15 platform. As for an ambi magazine release. There’s plenty of manufactures who make the mag release assessable on the left side of the lower receiver. I found a Troy mag release on sale for $25. Christensen Arms uses a nice after market release too. I actually prefer my BCG release on the right side. Hence, I use a Magpul BAD device. I have a Tavor. Which I love. But I would go with an AR SBR as my first choice. Besides. the Tavor is a bit too heavy for what it is, imo.

    • tony

      Yawn…

      • The Brigadier

        Yup here we go again.

  • Darkpr0

    I absolutely loved this article, and if you’ll excuse me I’m going to run before Nathaniel gets in here.

  • Don Ward

    Comes to TFB to read articles by guys who should be gun experts giving me their take on various different firearms and related paraphernalia.

    Is given an article with five different links directing me away from TFB.

    • Hyok Kim

      What’s your problem with the articles?

      • ozzallos .

        You don’t read well, do you?

        • Hyok Kim

          I have read the whole articles. Have you read them? If so, can you explain why you may or may not have problem with the articles?

    • Don the writing staff as well as editors don’t control that.

  • Kip Hackman

    I love how pretty much everyone here is assuming Grant says that these are “the best thing for battlefield environments”. News flash: not everyone is prepping their defensive setup around being a “sooper-dooper commando operator” some of us don’t feel the need to play Call of Duty in real life and just want to find tools that do the job well for us in what someone referred to as “casual encounters”. These articles show why the AUG may be a good choice for such an occasion.

    I’ll never understand why stuff ALWAYS has to be super tactical high speed low drag all the friggin time. They work, and work well. Everybody gets so butthurt when someone does anything but praise the BORING AR platform.

    • Hyok Kim

      Actually, for HD as opposed to SWAT raid, it’s hard to beat shotgun.

      • Kip Hackman

        I don’t mind the shotgun for HD. I do mind people saying that the AR is the be all end all of rifles for HD and if you use anything different you’re an idiot because it’s the super duper AR platform. God forbid anyone broaden their horizons a little bit.

        • Hyok Kim

          I agree. For civilian SD purpose, especially in HD, AR, especially expensive AR is an overkill, not even necessarily the best weapon for the purpose. AR is a great battle carbine for professional (not conscript) troops, and Police SWAT Sharpshooters.

          ……but you know, how some people gotta have the weapon that SOF guys use, even though their mission-criteria is totally different from civilian SD/HD situation.

          • Cynic

            How do you justify that opinion when 5.56 overpenetratws less into drywall than 9mm or even most buckshot.

            When the ar is faster to shoot and get a second round on target and can be easily equipped with a can to make it hearing safe.

            Not an ar fan boy by any means but all the research I have done indicates that for HD in a built up area a 5.56 rifle is probably the best tool for the job and the most commonly availible easy to use 5.56 rifle on the market is the ar

          • Hyok Kim

            “How do you justify that opinion when 5.56 overpenetratws less into drywall than 9mm or even most buckshot.”

            Less than birdshots? For HD, birdshot is better.

            “When the ar is faster to shoot and get a second round on target and can be easily equipped with a can to make it hearing safe.”

            One can launch several shots with one pull of a trigger with a shotgun. With AR, one has to pull the trigger several times to match the saturation power of a shotgun. So shotgun is faster if talking about efficient firepower.

            Not only that AR is generally more expensive than shotgun, and forget about using a can for most people employing an AR with a can. Most people simply do not have the budget.

            “Not an ar fan boy by any means but all the research I have done indicates that for HD in a built up area a 5.56 rifle is probably the best tool for the job and the most commonly availible easy to use 5.56 rifle on the market is the ar”

            For HD, one simply doesn’t need the range or accuracy of AR. What one needs is the saturation power at CQB or even ECQB distance.

            Btw. for CQB purpose in built up areas, USMC deploy shotguns when they could easily use AR/M4 they already have in abundance.

          • Zachary marrs

            Birdshot?

            I hope you never have to face a home invader.

            Birdshot is for birds

          • Hyok Kim

            At CQB distance for HD, birdshot is ideal. At that distance, one needs as much spread and even density as possible. I had given a lot of thought to it before posting it.

          • Zachary marrs

            Think more.

            Birdshot is for birds, little tiny birds, not people

          • Hyok Kim

            Nope, you need to think more about the actual effect at the distance intended, instead of just listening to branding/marketing stuff.

            Birdshots spread more within cqb at HD than buckshots. What one needs for SD for HD is enough spread at the HD distance so as optimize the probability of encouraging the intruder to stop harming the owner and the dependent ones. Birdshots spread more and recoil less than buckshots given everything else equal, increasing the probability of hitting the intruder.

            “Birdshot is for birds, little tiny birds, not people”

            So I guest a person getting hit with birdshots at cqb within hd distance doesn’t have to worry about getting hit with it, huh?

          • Zachary marrs

            Its not just about spread, its about penetration.

            Go shoot som ballistics gel, or watch one of the billions of youtube videos that show this

          • Cynic

            Shotguns don’t saturate a large area. . At HD range say 10-25ft quality self defense ammunition will spread maybe 1.5″ to 2″ max so pie plate at best.

            Birdshot isn’t a guaranteed stop round Cheny pointed that out to the world when he shot another hunter in the face in close quarters.

            For HD I want accuracy every round I miss with by ‘rapidly pulling the trigger to saturate the area’ could end up in my kids room or neighbours house. Plus within 21′ a motivated attacker can be in your ribcage with a blade before a handgun can be drawn and fired I want something that will be a quick and reliable stop, double tap centre mass from a weapon that’s easy to handle the recoil of, lightweight has quick followup shots and is accurate and easy to use under stress.

            All of that says to me semi auto intermediate calibre rifle, no risk of short stroking it under panic conditions so it will fire round 2, no risk of the recoil inhibiting my followup being quick enough to be effective nor throwing my aim off and lightweight enough to manoeuvre with one handed around the home so I can open doors and grab kids and stuff.

            As for budget, I can get into an argument currently for 400-450 Anderson lower 39$ kit from psa 350-400 transfer fee 20$ that’s good new shotgun territory for something more capable and easier to use defensively.

            A can 350-400$ including the tax will get me something effective that I can make with a dremel and a vice .

            The can would be nice but it isn’t essential just a would like to have.

            As for efficency I can have a new 30rd mag from a dressing gown pocket and into the rifle in less than 3 seconds l, how fast can you reload the pump. Clearing a jam for me less than a second…. A miss feed the same.

            The ar is faster, lighter easier to teach a new or inexperienced shoot to hit well with, doesn’t over penetrate with quality ammo and is a proven reliable manstopper.

            As for Birdshot for HD checkout a credible series of testing such as the Box Of Truth series that shows its capabilities and it’s risks for use in HD.

          • Hyok Kim

            “Shotguns don’t saturate a large area.”

            ……..should have qualified with ‘not necessarily’. I would be inclined to agree if you are talking about 00 buckshots and slugs at the rather low end of HD distance, and that’s why I prefer birdshots over buckshots.

            “”As for Birdshot for HD checkout a credible series of testing such as the Box Of Truth series that shows its capabilities and it’s risks for use in HD.

            At HD range say 10-25ft quality self defense ammunition will spread maybe 1.5″ to 2″ max so pie plate at best.”

            Below is a link from the same box of truth site you quoted from. They were using 00 buckshots, not even birdshots.

            http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-truth-42-precision-shooting-with-buckshot/

            According to the site you yourself quoted from, at 3 yards, it was already 4″, at 5 yards, 5 to 6″, at 7 yards, 9″

            “Birdshot isn’t a guaranteed stop round Cheny pointed that out to the world when he shot another hunter in the face in close quarters.”

            What is a guaranteed stop round? Btw. The fella who got shot was in no position to hurt anyone after getting that blast of birdshot, was he? Wasn’t that enough to qualify for HD round?

            “For HD I want accuracy every round I miss with by ‘rapidly pulling the trigger to saturate the area’ could end up in my kids room or neighbours house.”

            Average cops who get involved in shooting in the line of duty miss about 4 out 5 shots they fire with their pistols.

            http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf

            “Plus within 21′ a motivated attacker can be in your ribcage with a blade before a handgun can be drawn and fired I want something that will be a quick and reliable stop, double tap centre mass from a weapon that’s easy to handle the recoil of, lightweight has quick followup shots and is accurate and easy to use under stress.”

            A very unlikely scenario unless you are facing a Banzai or Juramentado charge. Most goblins if faced with gun wielding owner, would flee at the first opportunity, especially if fired upon, (whether hit or not.)

            “Plus within 21′ a motivated attacker can be in your ribcage with a blade before a handgun can be drawn and fired ….”

            Btw. why wouldn’t you have your handgun already drawn in such a scenario? You mean you are going to have your handgun in a holster or pocket in such a scenario?

            “All of that says to me semi auto intermediate calibre rifle, no risk of short stroking it under panic conditions …..’

            One can use semi-auto shotgun, not pump.

            “so it will fire round 2, no risk of the recoil inhibiting my followup being quick enough to be effective nor throwing my aim off…”

            Semi-auto shotguns firing birdshots or 00 buckshots doesn’t recoil that much, either, plus far higher probability of hitting the intruder than any semi-auto battle carbines, especially with that critical first shot. After all, that’s USMC used for CQB in the built up area instead of AR.

            “……and lightweight enough to manoeuvre with one handed around the home so I can open doors and grab kids and stuff.”

            There are many quality SD semi-auto shotguns (even 12 gauages) weighing sub 7 lbs. Besides you don’t want be manoeuvering around the house with the intruder running about, do you? You go to kids bedroom and stay there, and call 911.

            Or are you saying you are going to be running about in your house with that AR with the flash light (and the can) and grab stuff, with your kids clinging about with the intruder running about as well?

            “As for budget, I can get into an argument currently for 400-450 Anderson lower 39$ kit from psa 350-400 transfer fee 20$ that’s good new shotgun territory for something more capable and easier to use defensively.”

            ……but you are not comparing the quality. For that kind of money you can get very high quality semi-auto combat shotgun. You are not going to get as high quality AR for the same kind of money.

            “A can 350-400$ including the tax will get me something effective that I can make with a dremel and a vice .”

            It may apply to you, but it doesn’t apply to the most of gun owners. Most gun owners are simply are too cheap or lazy both for the paperwork, and the bench and/or have other priorities.

            “As for efficency I can have a new 30rd mag from a dressing gown pocket and into the rifle in less than 3 seconds l, how fast can you reload the pump.”

            For HD situation, reload is not much of an issue. If one has to reload to take care of a situation (especially with that 30rd magazine or 6 shells for shotgun) one is way above his head. After all, like you had said earlier, if you valued accuracy, and you shot 30 rounds, and you still didn’t take care of the problem, then you are not in a position to talk about accuracy or there are more than 30 intruders in your home. Now, how likely is that?

            ” Clearing a jam for me less than a second…. A miss feed the same.”

            Even double feed? Do you know how to clear a double feed?

            “The ar is faster,………..”

            Not necessarily, if how many projectiles delivered with one pull of trigger, a shotgun delivers a lot more projectiles with one pull of trigger than AR, therefore more projectiles faster than AR

            “…lighter……”

            there are semi-semi auto shotguns weigh less than 7lbs, 12 gauage at that,

            “…easier to teach a new or inexperienced shoot to hit well with…”

            it’s easier to hit a moving target with a shotgun than AR at CQB distance. Otherwise why don’t hunters use AR to shoot at a flock of birds instead of shotgun?

            “……, doesn’t over penetrate with quality ammo”

            Okay, by your definition, ap .223 doesn’t qualify as quality ammo? Quality ammo has notthing to do with overpenetration.

            “………..and is a proven reliable manstopper.”

            It’s all about shot placement, and enough penetration for the target area intended. Btw. One doesn’t have to ‘stop’ an intruder to be a successful HD gun. All it has to do is maximum hit probability under the distance involved, with the hit being enough to convince the intruder to leave the house. It’s better to have a weapon that has far higher hit probability with the hit enough to convince the intruder to leave rather than far less hit probability with the hit being far more lethal sooner.

            After all, you wouldn’t prefer .50 BMG to .223, even though .50 BMG is far more lethal far sooner than .223.

          • Cynic

            As for the appeal to authority reference to the USMC yes they do for 1 specialised role, breaching a door for which they use specialised rounds. (1-1.5oz of fine lead or steel powder iirc) great for anything the muzzle is pressed against crap beyond 5 feet.

            Personally I don’t think I will ever need to breach a locked door in my own home and if I do I have bigger problems and will leave that to the pro’s.

            Shotguns have their place and for HD from 4 legged beasties when I lived on the farm sure…. but anything on 2 feet I’d grab the ar/scar/aug/tavor first. Bears or skunks get slug/buck respectively coyotes/wild dogs/raccoons/foxes/thieves get a quality expanding soft point.

            Anything I really want dead, zombies, Charging rhino’s the exe’s mother would get a blast of 7.62 or a CAS strike.

  • Hyok Kim

    Thanks for the link, Great article. With that out of the way, here comes my windbaggary.

    “The rifle’s greater power, greater precision, and corresponding ability to deliver both at extended distances makes it a formidable tool in the correct circumstances.”

    I also would like to include the fact that battle carbines being more friendly to people with small hands and short index fingers than pistols, especially with double column mags. The discrpepancy in firepower between people with big hands and long fingers and those otherwise are far less with battle carbines than the pistols.

    “Compared to the SBR, with the bullpup you don’t have to put up with the reduced ergonomics (because of the shortened buttstock) or the reduced ballistics (because of the shortened barrel.) You get a gun that instead handles and shoots more like a full-sized rifle, but in a handier and easier-to-use form factor……”

    Not necessarily. Reducing the barrel length does not significantly affect the terminal ballistics, especially at CQB range. However, Grant did not mention the reason, especially significant with HD in mind, the reduction of flash, and extra noise getting into the home defender’s ears. Not fun, shooting reduced barell length battle carbines inside the home in the middle of night! However, due to the closer distance of the ejection hole to the ear, the perceived muzzle blast is higher with bullpups given everything else equal, but FS200 has forward ejection, actually reducing the perceived muzzle blast even compared to conventional battle carbeins. Kel-Tec RFB does it as well, but it’s a Kel-Tec, Honoary made in China.

    “I also learned that weight distribution is something we don’t often think about, but once you’ve experienced a rifle whose center of balance is on the pistol grip it changes your outlook. Reloading the rifle from the shoulder becomes easier; shooting one-handed “injured man” drills is a piece of cake; and swinging the gun onto target requires less effort. Even a lightweight 16” AR-15 is noticeably front-heavy in comparison, and the shorter the buttstock is the worse it gets. (Again, a curse of the AR pistol and SBR!) The neutral balance of the bullpup also makes it easier to carry in a “ready” position, whether moving around obstacles or just waiting patiently in the hot sun for your instructor to give the fire command!”

    All true, but there are prices to be paid in turn. Those are the reasons why I decided against bullpups for civilian HD purpose, and I think for most military purpose as well, but police SWAT raid team is a different story.

    As Grant would mention later, being able to reload while maintaing the sight picture is not much of an advantage for HD scenario, more relevant for military and to a lesser extent to SWAT team. Far more important is the speed to grab and aim the gun. To grab a conventional rifle or shotgun, one merely has to grab the stock right behind the trigger with one’s dominant hand, and while lifting the gun with one’s dominant arm, grab the forward portion of the gun with one’s non-dominant hand, and at the same time, pull the dominant hand to the shoulder while supporting the most of the weight of the gun with the forward non-dominant hand. It is very natural and fast.

    With bullpups, one has to grab the forward trigger grip with one’s dominant hand, and lift the gun primarily with one arm, the non-dominant hand not playing a significant role in lifting the gun from the rest position due to both hands not being able to support the entire weight of the gun evenly as in conventional guns. This delays the effective/efficient deployment of the weapon for that critical intial encounter.

    Being able to carry easily in ready position for extended time is an advantage primarily for the SWAT team, and to a lesser extent the military, but for the civilian HD purpose, not much.

    “One of the criticisms of bullpups are the bad triggers, and it’s a valid criticism in many cases. They tend to be very heavy (these are, after all, derived from full-auto military arms where crisp triggers aren’t exactly a concern!) Some are mushier than others, though; the Tavor, for instance, is notorious for its creepy, mushy trigger (and I’m being charitable.) The AUG is much crisper and with shorter travel, but very heavy — you can count on a minimum of 9 lbs from the factory. (I find it much easier to deal with than the stock Tavor, however.)”

    Even though I agree with his sentiment above, it needs better explanation of why. Bullpups can never have as good trigger as conventional battle carbines given everything else equal. Bullpups adds additional lingage point to conventional trigger set up.

    With that out of the way, however, I think bad trigger in bullpup is not as much of an handicap as in conventional carbines. In conventional battle carbines, the trigger doesn’t have much weight above it, most of the weight being forward, and as a result, bad trigger is far more likely to disturb the sight picture than bullpups, further compounding the problem is that the support non-dominant hand is far forward of the trigger hand/finger to be able to reduce the sight picture disturbance due to the bad trigger, further compounding the bad trigger in conventional battle carbines is that the trigger is at the rear of the gun, it is more likely to distort the sight picutre further due leverage it gains the longer the distance from the trigger to the muzzle.

    With bullpups, the most of the weight is above the trigger due to the most of the weight being rear of the trigger, and this tames the bad trigger pull’s ability to disturb the sight picture, plus the support non-dominat hand is right next to the dominant trigger hand/finger, taming the ability even further, plus the distance from the trigger to muzzle is far less than the conventional battle carbines, and this reduces the leverage the bad trigger has to disturb the sight picture.

    Yes, due to the dominant hand/arm being strethced further forward creates sympathic response so the dominant trigger finger loses the fine motor skills in relation to conventional battle carbines, but that matter becomes significant in medium to long range, in CQB, it really doesn’t matter that much.

    “Yes, shooting from the offside with a standard pattern bullpup requires a change in technique, but it’s perfectly doable without injury. I show how in my new Personal Defense Network DVD, which should be out in a month or so. I’ll keep you posted.”

    For FS2000, this issue doesn’t matter.

  • Andrew Hobby

    PFFFFF!! Unless its got 36″ of barrel, I wouldn’t even strap it to the top of my hummer.

  • john huscio

    Im partial to a Colt m4 commando pistol with shockwave brace. compact, handy, fires an effective round, accurate enough at short distances….no hoops to jump through to put one together…….and it just looks cool.

  • Brian M

    Very very good. Thanks for posting this, because this is the first nuanced analysis I’ve yet seen of bullpup firearms out of the realm of nerds flaming over top 10 guns videos on Youtube.

    I did notice that Mr. Cunningham did completely forget to mention the issue that everyone else does where a bullpup can oh so very easily pelt you in the face with molten metal if you ever need to fire it from the off shoulder or go around a wrong-handed corner.

    • He actually discusses that in one of the articles; he recommends keeping the grip in your right hand, but placing it on the left shoulder. Somehow this changes the mechanics of where your face is sufficiently for the brass to pass the face.

      Also, there are now shell deflectors for the AUG allowing left handed fire.

    • Hyok Kim

      FS2000 bypasses that problem.

  • CavScout

    A guy who’s stuck on the FAL? Sounds like ‘failure to adapt.’
    You know who says certain things are for ‘ninjas’/’operators’ etc? All the modern ninjas/operators/elvises.

    • The Brigadier

      Oh for God’s sake, another slam on the FAL. Look everyone has different preferences. In handguns I have autos but I prefer revolvers. In rifles I qualifed as a marksman with a M16 A1, but I prefer M1As and I like FALs also. So you don’t like FALs? Who cares? One of the guys above doesn’t like mouse guns. Again who cares? Find one or more that you do like and practice and you can defend yourself and others.

      War is coming folks. The world became more crazy before WW1 and again before WW2. Guess what? The same crazy world before war symptoms are now evident. Find your favorite rifle, make sure it operates well, and buy lots of ammo for it. You’re going to need it soon. See you on the battlefield and let’s be sure our nation wins.