In the comment section of a couple of my recent articles on the challenges facing the bullpup concept, and the Lithgow Arms F90-LE, respectively, many of my commenters suggested that the Croatian VHS-2 bullpup assault rifle was one of the most important next generation designs, that its designers had solved the challenges facing the bullpup. The reason many of them felt this way was because “it has an adjustable stock”.
That’s true, the VHS-2 does have an adjustable stock, one that is adjustable through about 2″ of length of pull (LOP). What’s really important though is what different LOPs are available through the stock’s adjustment, with a weight towards the stock needing to be shorter, rather than longer. As the US Marine Corps recently conceded in their adoption of the M4 Carbine, even the M16A2/A4, with its LOP shorter than many bullpups, is just too unwieldy for the sort of close-in fighting being conducted in recent wars.
So I thought it would be worthwhile to compare the VHS-2 to the M16A2/A4 which the Marine Corps recently began phasing out to see what their respective LOPs look like. I scaled the image below based on the rifles’ respective overall lengths, and it appears to be pretty accurate to me:
Note that this is with the VHS-2’s stock collapsed. That means our Croatian wonder-bullpup has a LOP of about 16″, adjustable out to a whopping 18″. Sure, it has an adjustable stock, but I’d rather they just chop all that off so that I could reach the pistol grip!