The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Bullpup Rifles & Shotguns for 
Are you looking for the perfect Bullpup Rifle or Shotgun in 2023? With so many models to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. In this comprehensive Buyer's Guide, you'll find all the information you need to make an informed and confident purchase.
Bullpup Origins: When Were Bullpup Rifles Invented?
Image from [Armament Research Services]
Bullpup rifles are a unique type of firearm that has grown in popularity over the years due to their compact size and versatility. These rifles have their action and magazine behind the trigger, which allows for a shorter overall length than traditional firearms. The concept of a bullpup design was first introduced in the early 20th century, but it wasn't until the mid-20th century that the first bullpup firearms were mass-produced.
The concept of a bullpup configuration in firearms, where the action and magazine are placed behind the trigger, was first seen in the Thorneycroft carbine of 1901. Although the term "bullpup" had not yet been coined at that time, English gunsmith Thorneycroft earned a patent for his rifle in July 1901. The Thorneycroft carbine was shorter and lighter than the Lee-Enfield rifle in British service at the time, with a reduced overall length achieved by placing the action so that the retracted bolt would slide back through the stock. The carbine held five rounds of .303 British within its internal magazine. Despite initial interest, the carbine's excessive recoil and poor handling qualities demonstrated during testing at Hythe prevented its adoption for military service.
Image from [Gun Wiki]
The first semi-automatic bullpup rifle appeared in 1918, known as the 6.5x61mm Faucon-Meunier of France. The Faucon-Meunier was not without its design flaws, but it was a significant development in bullpup rifles. Frenchman Henri Delacre developed and patented the first bullpup pistol by 1936. Both firearms, however, failed to gain enough popularity for mass production.
Image from [Armament Research Services]
In the early 1950s by the British Army's Small Arms Research and Development Establishment (SARDE) as a way to improve upon the existing firearms of the time. The SARDE was responsible for researching and developing new small arms for the British military, and they recognized the need for a more compact and versatile rifle.
The first bullpup rifle developed by SARDE was the EM-1, which was created in response to the British Army's call for a new rifle to replace the Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle. The EM-1 was designed by a team led by engineer Philip Tickell and was chambered for the new intermediate cartridge, the .280 British. The EM-1 featured a bullpup design that allowed for a shorter overall length than traditional firearms, making it easier to handle in tight spaces.
The EM-1 was not without its problems, and after extensive testing, the British Army ultimately decided not to adopt the rifle. However, the development of the EM-1 paved the way for the creation of the L85A1 assault rifle, which was adopted by the British military in the 1980s. The L85A1 is still in use today as the standard issue rifle of the British Armed Forces.
The bullpup design quickly gained popularity among other countries as well, and several other firearms manufacturers began developing their own bullpup rifles. In 1977, the Austrian firearms manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher introduced the Steyr AUG, which became one of the most popular bullpup rifles in the world. The AUG famously beat out the American M16 in the Australian military trials due to its extreme reliability in rugged conditions. The AUG has seen service by various military and law enforcement agencies for over 40 years making it a proven household name in best military service weapon conversations.
Image from [wikipedia]
Other notable bullpup rifles include the French FAMAS, the Israeli Tavor, and the Chinese QBZ-95. Today, bullpup rifles are used by militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as by civilians for hunting and recreational shooting.
Image from [Wikipedia]
How Do Bullpup Rifles and Shotguns Work? Understanding Bullpup Firearms
Image from [Quora}
Bullpup firearms have a unique design that sets them apart from traditional firearms. In a bullpup configuration, the action and magazine are placed behind the trigger, which allows for a shorter overall length and a more compact design. Bullpups are widely used by military and law enforcement agencies as well as civilians for hunting and recreational shooting. In this article, we will explore how semi-automatic bullpups work, from loading and firing to cartridge extraction and chambering.
Loading a Bullpup
Image from [Optics Planet]
To load a bullpup firearm, the shooter needs to remove the magazine, load the cartridges, and insert the magazine back into the gun. The magazine release is typically located near the trigger, which allows for easy access. Some bullpups, such as the Steyr AUG, have a detachable magazine that can be quickly replaced, while others, such as the British L85A2, have a fixed magazine that requires loading through a small port in the top of the gun.
Image from [Military.com]
Firing a Bullpup
Image from [SOFREP]
When the shooter pulls the trigger of a bullpup, the firing pin strikes the primer of the cartridge, igniting the gunpowder and creating a high-pressure gas that propels the bullet down the barrel. This process is the same as in traditional firearms.
Extracting a Cartridge
Image from [Recoil.com]
After firing, the spent cartridge case needs to be extracted from the chamber to prepare for the next shot. In a semi-automatic bullpup, this is done through the gas system. As the bullet travels down the barrel, some of the gas is diverted through a port in the barrel and directed towards the gas piston, which then moves the bolt carrier back. The bolt carrier then unlocks the bolt, which extracts the spent cartridge case from the chamber and ejects it from the gun.
Chambering a New Round
With the spent cartridge case ejected, the bolt carrier moves forward, picking up a new cartridge from the magazine and pushing it into the chamber. Once the bolt is locked in place, the gun is ready to fire again. This process continues until the magazine is empty or the shooter stops firing.
Differences Between Bullpup Firearms
Image from [YouTube]
While the basic functions of a semi-automatic bullpup are the same, there can be differences in how they operate. For example, some bullpups have a fixed barrel that doesn't move, while others have a floating barrel that is free to move. Some bullpups use a piston system to cycle the action, while others use a direct gas impingement system.
There are also different types of bullpups, including pump-action bullpups and handheld bullpup pistols. Pump-action bullpups are typically shotguns that use a pump to cycle the action, while handheld bullpup pistols are smaller handguns that use a blowback action to cycle the action.
In conclusion, bullpup firearms have a unique design that sets them apart from traditional firearms. Loading and firing a bullpup is similar to other firearms, but the cartridge extraction and chambering process are done through the gas system. While there are differences between different types of bullpups, the basic functions of a semi-automatic bullpup are the same. Bullpups are widely used by military and law enforcement agencies as well as civilians for hunting and recreational shooting.
Why Choose a Bullpup?: What are the advantages of a Bullpup rifle vs an AR15
Image from [Quora]
When it comes to choosing a rifle, there are many options available on the market. One option that is gaining in popularity is the bullpup rifle. As with any decision in life choosing a bullpup rifle comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. There is no one perfect gun so you have to pick the best rifle that suits your needs. Well… I guess you could just buy them all.
Advantages of a Bullpup Rifle
- Compact Design: The bullpup design allows for a shorter overall length, which makes the rifle more maneuverable in tight spaces. This is especially useful in urban environments, where space is limited.
- Improved Balance: With the action and magazine behind the trigger, the weight of the rifle is distributed more evenly. This makes the bullpup rifle easier to hold and shoot, especially for extended periods.
- Faster Target Acquisition: The compact design of the bullpup rifle allows for faster target acquisition, as the rifle is closer to the shooter's body. This makes it easier to track moving targets and take accurate shots.
- Reduced Felt Recoil: The bullpup design places the action closer to the shooter's shoulder, which reduces felt recoil. This is especially useful for shooters who are sensitive to recoil or who need to take rapid follow-up shots.
- Better Concealment: The shorter overall length of the bullpup rifle makes it easier to conceal, whether in a vehicle or in a backpack.
Disadvantages of a Bullpup Rifle
- Manual of Arms: Some bullpup designs place the controls, such as the magazine release and safety, in non-traditional locations but this is not always the case as some bullpups maintain more traditional controls. As with any new rifle you have to practice using it to get the best performance.
- Difficulty in Finding Aftermarket Parts: Due to the relatively new nature of the bullpup design, aftermarket parts can be difficult to find. This can limit the ability to customize the rifle to meet specific needs. Due to their rising popularity, this is becoming less and less of an issue every year.
In conclusion, the bullpup rifle offers several advantages over the AR15, including a compact design, improved balance, faster target acquisition, reduced felt recoil, and better concealment. While there are some disadvantages, such as limited access to controls and limited magazine capacity, these can be mitigated with practice and proper training. With their unique design and advantages, bullpup rifles are an excellent choice for shooters looking for a reliable and versatile firearm.
Who makes the Best Bullpup Rifles and Shotgun? The Best Brands for Bullpup Firearms
IWI (Israel Weapon Industries) is a well-known firearms manufacturer based in Israel. The company is known for its innovative designs and high-quality weapons, with a particular emphasis on bullpup rifles and shotguns. In this article, we will take a closer look at the bullpup rifles and shotguns manufactured by IWI.
The Tavor SAR (Special Assault Rifle) is a 5.56mm bullpup rifle that was designed for the Israeli military. The rifle features a short overall length and a lightweight design, making it ideal for close-quarters combat. The Tavor SAR features a long-stroke gas piston system, a rotating bolt, and a polymer body. The rifle is also equipped with a full-length Picatinny rail, allowing for the attachment of various accessories. The Tavor SAR is available in a variety of configurations, including the Tavor SAR Flattop, the Tavor SAR-IDF, and the Tavor SAR-16. If you are a collector and want the original SAR this rifle is for you! Buy Here Now!
The Tavor X95 is an updated version of the Tavor SAR, with several improvements to its design. The X95 features a smaller and more streamlined body, making it more compact than the SAR. The rifle also features an improved trigger and an updated charging handle. The X95 is available in 5.56mm and 9mm configurations, making it a versatile option for shooters. If you want the most Modern Bullpup in the IWI lineup this is for you! Buy Here Now!
The Tavor 7 is a 7.62mm bullpup rifle that was designed for long-range shooting. The rifle features a 16.5-inch barrel and a full-length Picatinny rail, allowing for the attachment of various optics. The Tavor 7 also features a long-stroke gas piston system and a rotating bolt. The rifle is available in black, flat dark earth, and OD green. Buy Here Now!
The TS12 shotgun is a 12-gauge bullpup shotgun that was designed for law enforcement and military applications. The shotgun features a 15-round magazine and a compact design, making it ideal for close-quarters combat. The TS12 features a unique loading system, with three rotating magazine tubes that can be filled with various types of ammunition. The shotgun also features a full-length Picatinny rail, allowing for the attachment of various accessories. Buy Here Now!
In conclusion, IWI is a top-tier firearms manufacturer that specializes in bullpup rifles and shotguns. The company's products are known for their high-quality construction, innovative designs, and versatility. Whether you're looking for a compact rifle for close-quarters combat or a long-range shooter for tactical situations, IWI has a bullpup rifle or shotgun that will meet your needs.
Steyr Bullpups: Steyr AUG
Image From Diehard Movie
Steyr AUG: Yippee Ki YAY!
The Steyr AUG, an Austrian bullpup rifle, has become a popular choice among firearm enthusiasts due to its compact size, reliability, and accuracy. It has been in service since the late 1970s and has proven its worth in numerous military conflicts, including the Australian military trials.
One of the most significant advantages of the Steyr AUG is its bullpup configuration, which allows the rifle to be shorter overall while maintaining a full-length barrel. This design is accomplished by placing the action and magazine behind the trigger, making the rifle more maneuverable in tight spaces. Additionally, the AUG has a modular design that enables it to be quickly and easily converted to different configurations, such as a submachine gun or carbine, by changing the barrel and bolt.
The AUG is a gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle that utilizes a rotating bolt locking mechanism. It is chambered in 5.56 NATO, and its standard magazine holds 30 rounds. Its accuracy is exceptional, and it can hit targets at ranges of up to 600 meters.
The Steyr AUG has several features that make it a superior choice to the AR15. Firstly, its compact size makes it easier to handle in tight spaces, which is especially valuable in urban combat environments. Additionally, the AUG's bullpup design provides greater accuracy due to its more natural point of aim, reduced felt recoil, and minimized barrel movement.
In 1985, the Australian military held a competition to replace their aging L1A1 rifles with a new weapon. The competition pitted the Steyr AUG against the M16 and HK G41, and ultimately the AUG was chosen as the winner. The rifle's exceptional accuracy, reliability, and ease of use impressed the Australian forces, and the rifle went on to serve them well for many years.
In conclusion, the Steyr AUG is a highly versatile and reliable bullpup rifle that has proven its worth in numerous military conflicts. Its compact size, superior accuracy, and modular design make it an excellent choice for both military and civilian use. The rifle's success in the Australian military trials is a testament to its exceptional performance and reinforces the fact that the Steyr AUG is a superior choice over other rifles such as the AR15. Buy Here Now!
FN Herstal, a Belgian-based firearms manufacturer, is well-known for producing military-grade firearms. Among their many offerings are two popular bullpup rifles: the PS90 and the FS2000.
The PS90 is a lightweight, compact, and fully-automatic bullpup rifle that has been in production since 2005. The rifle is chambered in 5.7x28mm, which was originally designed for the FN P90 submachine gun. It features a 16-inch barrel, an integrated reflex sight, and a 50-round magazine. The rifle's bullpup design allows it to be only 26 inches in length, making it highly maneuverable in close quarters. Buy Here Now!
The FS2000 is another popular bullpup rifle manufactured by FN. This semi-automatic rifle features a 17.44-inch barrel and is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. It has a 30-round magazine and is equipped with an integrated reflex sight. The rifle's bullpup design allows for a full-length barrel in a compact package, making it ideal for both military and civilian use.
Both the PS90 and the FS2000 are known for their accuracy, reliability, and ease of use. The rifles have proven popular with military and law enforcement agencies, as well as with civilian shooters. Their bullpup design allows for greater accuracy due to their more natural point of aim, reduced felt recoil, and minimized barrel movement.
In addition to their bullpup rifles, FN Herstal produces a wide range of military-grade firearms, including the FN SCAR, the FN F2000, and the FN MAG. These firearms have been used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide and are known for their exceptional performance, reliability, and durability.
In conclusion, the PS90 and FS2000 bullpup rifles are excellent examples of FN Herstal's commitment to producing high-quality firearms for military, law enforcement, and civilian use. Their compact size, superior accuracy, and ease of use make them ideal for a variety of shooting applications. With a reputation for producing some of the best military firearms in the world, FN Herstal is a name that is synonymous with quality and reliability.
Springfield Armory Bullpups
Springfield Armory has recently introduced a new bullpup rifle called the Hellion. The rifle features a 16-inch barrel and is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. The Hellion is a semi-automatic rifle and is equipped with a 30-round magazine. The rifle's bullpup design makes it compact and maneuverable, making it ideal for use in tight spaces.
The Hellion is based on the Croatian VHS-2 rifle, which is currently in use by the Croatian military. The VHS-2 was designed to replace the aging VHS rifle, which had been in use since the early 1990s. The VHS-2 is a modular rifle that can be easily reconfigured for different roles, including as an assault rifle, a marksman rifle, or a light machine gun.
The Hellion borrows many design elements from the VHS-2, including the adjustable gas system and the ambidextrous controls. The rifle also features a short-stroke piston system, which provides reliable and consistent performance in a variety of conditions. The Hellion's bullpup design allows for a full-length barrel in a compact package, making it an excellent choice for both military and civilian use.
In addition to its high-quality construction, the Hellion is also equipped with a number of features that make it easy to use and maintain. The rifle features a polymer stock that is lightweight and durable, and it has a Picatinny rail on the top for attaching optics. The Hellion also features a two-stage trigger that provides a crisp and consistent pull.
Overall, the Springfield Armory Hellion is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality, reliable, and versatile rifle. Its origins in the Croatian military are a testament to its performance and reliability, and its bullpup design makes it an excellent choice for use in tight spaces. Whether you are a civilian shooter or a member of the military or law enforcement, the Hellion is a rifle that you can rely on. Buy Here Now!
Bond Arms Bullpup
Bullpup 9: Bullpup 9mm Pistol
The Bond Arms Bullpup 9 is a unique and compact bullpup-style pistol. Its bullpup design allows for a shorter overall length without sacrificing barrel length, which provides improved accuracy and handling. The pistol is chambered in 9mm and features a seven-round magazine. The Bullpup 9 also features ambidextrous controls, a reversible magazine release, and a Picatinny rail for attaching accessories. Its unique design and high-quality construction make it an excellent choice for those looking for a compact and reliable pistol. Buy Here Now!
Smith and Wesson Bullpups
Smith and Wesson M&P 12
The Smith and Wesson M&P 12 is a home defense Bullpup Shotgun that was designed to give you a large payload in a small ergonomic package.
Kel-Tec is a renowned firearms manufacturer that is widely known for their unique designs, specifically their bullpup rifles and shotguns. Bullpup firearms are becoming increasingly popular due to their compact size and ergonomic design. Kel-Tec has four main bullpup models: the RDB, RFB, KS7, and KSG.
The RDB, or Rifle Downward-ejecting Bullpup, is a 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle that features a downward ejection system. This innovative design helps to minimize the overall length of the rifle, while also reducing the amount of heat and debris that is expelled from the firearm. The RDB is also ambidextrous, allowing both left and right-handed shooters to use it with ease.
The RFB, or Rifle Forward-ejecting Bullpup, is a 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle that features a forward ejection system. This allows the rifle to have a more traditional appearance, while still maintaining the benefits of a bullpup design. The RFB is also ambidextrous, with a reversible charging handle and ejection port.
The KS7 is a 12-gauge shotgun that is a shorter and lighter version of the popular KSG shotgun. The KS7 is designed for personal defense and is perfect for close quarters combat due to its compact size. It has a capacity of seven rounds and is ideal for home defense or law enforcement situations. Buy Here Now!
The KSG, or Kel-Tec Shotgun, is a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun that features a dual tube magazine design, allowing the shooter to switch between magazines quickly. The KSG is capable of holding up to 14 rounds, making it an ideal choice for home defense, law enforcement, or hunting. The KSG also features a top-mounted Picatinny rail for the attachment of accessories, such as optics or lights. Buy Here Now!
In conclusion, Kel-Tec's bullpup firearms offer unique and innovative designs that are well-suited for personal defense, law enforcement, and hunting. The RDB and RFB rifles offer a modern and efficient take on traditional rifles, while the KS7 and KSG shotguns are perfect for close-quarters combat and high-capacity needs. Kel-Tec's attention to detail and innovation makes them a leader in the bullpup firearm market.
Bullpups for Every Budget
Sometimes due to the more tedious manufacturing processes to make bullpups and the extensive R&D budget these firearms can be expensive compared to traditional rifles. Below are some budget options that everyone can afford.
Budget Bullpup Shotguns
Century Centurion BP-12 Bullpup 12 Ga
KCI BP-12 12 Ga Bullpup
Panzer Arms Bronze CRA 12 GA Bullpup
Where are Bullpups Legal?
Unlike other tactical guns, you can find a Bullpup legal in your state no matter where you live in the United States. Bullpup shotguns like the IWI TS12 are legal in ban states like California and make for a great high-capacity home defense option. In many banned states they put restrictions on capacity, short-barreled firearms, and pistol grips. Many Bullpup shotguns get around this by being a pump-action firearms with a longer barrel but remaining compact because of the nature of the bullpup design. If I lived in a banned state this would be my home defense option.