All About Guns War

Are Bullpup rifles really the future for modern warfare? by Thomas Martin

Let’s take a look at the issue of bullpups now.

The Chinese tried bullpups

The Chinese dropped it, surprisingly fast, at a shocking expense.

The French used bullpups

The French Army replaced it.

The British have continued to keep it, and they’ve stubbornly kept trying to make it workable.

But their professional shooters use something else

The Aussies used bullpups

They moved on to something better, once they got more combat experience.

Their elite opt for something else.

but their REMF’s, combat service support types still use the AUG.

There seems to be a problem and that problem is COMPROMISE.

one is better in a confined space and easy carry, but the other is simply a better hammer.

However, too great a compromise and you have an inferior item.

Relegated-dismissed or assigned to an inferior position.

A designated marksman doesn’t compromise his rifle’s characteristics just to make it easier to carry in vehicles.

nor does a sniper.

At this point, the problems with bullpups are the fact the mechanism is right next to the face and head of the shooter, which is something to overcome for some soldiers, but the main problem is the trigger. With a nation of non shooters, you can get them to accept any crap firearm with bad triggers, because they don’t know better, and you can train them with in that margin, but with shooters that dog don’t hunt. They have little faith in an utterly shit trigger.

The UK has tried to offer their bullpup free to many nations that choose something else or preferred to keep their AK’s, with it’s marginal, but better trigger and ergonomics.

When it comes to mechanical mechanisms, triggers for bullpups are mediocre at best, shit in some cases, it’s because of the lay out.

Eventually, bullpups will overcome this problem and then they’ll be worthwhile, but for now, the first thing that comes to mind when any new bullpup is introduced is the line in a review that mentions the crap trigger. Eventually this major defect will be rectified, but we’re still waiting.

Recently, the US Army, after exhaustive trials, adopted a new rifle and machine gun. It’s fascinating in that extensive combat experience with Infantry engagements has heralded the primary concern-there still is the drastic, essential need for infantry to include riflemen. This was first noted in Iraq with the designated rifle men getting head shots at considerable ranges before the threat could engage troops. This was noted in Afghanistan in the Hills. One of the entrants was a bullpup and it was laughed off, what was simple was shown with the adopted weapon, it has a folding stock. The initial advantage of the bullpup, it’s shorter length in confined spaces like a vehicle is done away with a click of the locking of a collapsible stock being extended or a Folding stock being extended. Click and before the shooting begins, the bullpup is totally inferior.

While there is a MINOR bit of compromise with a folding stock, it’s mitigated by having a good locking mechanism, and that’s not rocket science and that simple aspect negates the advantage of the bullpups compact size with a simple click, and you still have that better trigger.

For the current near future, the considerations were being superior to ‘near peer’ firearms, and that omits any damn bullpup, for range and accuracy and ‘over reach’ which again is about exceeding the range and accuracy of current near peer foes.

Ironically, the M4 eventually will be relegated to regular infantry until enough are made, then combat support and combat service support and continue to soldier on. Just like the bullpups are given to the non shooters and common infantry in the countries unfortunate enough to have jumped on that bandwagon of quirk.

Think about that for a second, the time it takes to go ‘click’ and extend a folding stock, totally negating the advantage of easy transport for a bullpup yet retaining a much better trigger, and all the compromises and problems of a bullpup.

So, to the silly folks arguing against pragmatic reality, <Click!>

There’s a solution that is quite simple. While I’m among the many who abhor the notion of any mechanical part of a firearm being electronic, eventually that might happen to speed up, reduce, enhance, or whatever, dwell time, ignition, rates of fire, etc., and we’re not enamored with the concept because things can go wrong. We’re old enough to have seen what happened when wires replaced with what I’ll crudely call receivers and transmitters for tail rotors on Blackhawks. For a while they were called Crash hawks for a good reason. One might think that as I led Vulcans as an officer, the Vulcan ignition being electronic and critical, I might be more open to electronic firing components to firearms but it’s the opposite, it can go down. A Chief and a mathematician might get angry and irritated at that perception because the actual per round reliability might be higher with the electronic ignition, but the reality is, they’re not being practical and tactical, like a combat arms officer would be, the first round matter the most.

On the flip side, you can make a perceived perfect, precise trigger with electronic ignition and electronic primers and they are relied upon with people’s lives at stake, in higher levels than an individual soldier relying upon his rifle.

Part of a battery is one thing, pilots depend upon electronic ignition with their lives.

In my Sci Fi fiction, the primary weapon carried is a bullpup, one reason for the compromise is fighting in close quarters, and the fact that even for the average infantry men, the primary shoulder arm isn’t his only weapon, but we’re not there yet.

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