The idea of the bullpup sounds nice on paper, but is hardly easy to carry out in practice in terms of making one reliable and completely accepted. Bullpup rifles often get a bad reputation due to a few perceived disadvantages displayed by certain bullpup designs used in history, and even today. I am going to look at a few bullpup designs to understand why people often feel that the bullpup has no place in a modern military or battlefield with current rifle fighting techniques.
I will agree that firearms are indeed tools, and typically it is good to have a variety of tools in your toolbox. However, a firearm is not a $5 wrench that you can just toss in a little chest or bucket in case you need it down the road. Firearms require training, practice, commitment, care, etc. Not to mention that each firearm is hundreds of dollars, not including the amount of rounds needed to not only verify a lack of manufacturer defects but also to gain proficiency with the platform. These "tools" are money pits if you get too far down the rabbit hole on the "WHAT IF" game, which effectively turns them from being tools, into being financial burdens.
Shooting is one of the hardest skills to pick up and perfect due to the physical, mechanical, and technological variables. Your fitness, your mental state, your firearm(barrel length and construction), and your ammunition will all have an effect on your performance. Not to mention that the climate and environment will all play a role as well. There are alot of things that go into shooting, but the hardest thing for people to get right is being able to exercise great discipline and learn to control their mind and body in order to shoot consistently well. For almost all shooters, this is a lifelong struggle no matter how much better they get. A good shooter always strives to be better than they were yesterday rather than just trying to be better than the person next to them.
Fighting in a low light setting is one of the most demanding things you can do, let alone with a firearm. It requires alot of things to be done right and for you to be very proficient. This means that you must practice and constantly challenge yourself. If there is anything I have learned in my time of fighting in low light and training in low light, it is that there is no one thing that is universally applicable. Darkness will complicate everything and adding in having to use and be mindful of other gear, in addition to your gun, adds to the complexity. There are a few basic things that are necessary and vital to effectively fighting at night, and I want to go over them briefly.
The roller-delayed blowback system is not complex in general, but it does require a very specific manual of arms. It is simple and universal in technique, but it has to be done the right way in order to be fluid. Now, you may never get as fast with it as you would with other weapons that have bolts that lock back on the last shot, but you will be smooth and be able to do it naturally without having to look at your gun while operating it. Practice and really forcing the rifle around is the best way to go, in my experience.
When I first started getting into the world of bullpup rifles, I was looking at the Steyr AUG but wasn't sure that it fit all my needs. The magazines were expensive and hard to come by, and the rifle was not well reviewed by those who already had a bias against bullpups. It is hard to find credible and knowledgeable reviews on bullpups anyways since few people understand the platform. However, I have found that the criticism is solely around this illusion that speed is the key to everything and intuitive function comes second to thinking lightning fast makes up for shortcomings of the more popular rifle designs. Anyways, I wanted to give an update on my experience with the Steyr AUG NATO and some of the changes I have made in how I run it and its function while shooting.
It is all too common these days for people to use capacity to justify a certain firearm or even a caliber. I personally shiver when people try to make generalizations based on arbitrary information that doesn't even match up to their situation. Some of the studies they cite are based on studies or plain old ballistics gel demonstrations. This should be an interesting thing to discuss. Good old caliber debate analysed peripherally.
I personally feel that beginner firearms classes are going about training their students in the worst manner possible. When you try to get a new shooter to manage and control 10 things at once, it is like telling a first grader to solve trigonometry equations before they even know multiplication, angles, fractions, etc. The standard for teaching people how to shoot a firearm has remained relatively unchanged for decades. These students are taught proper firearm safety and all the fundamentals before being taught how to shoot. The current way of teaching the fundamentals to new pistol shooters, is FUNDAMENTALLY flawed.
As the title states, it is common for people to try and break even in a caliber or pistol debate by using the common and boring say of "all pistols are under-powered anyways." I rarely let people get away with that claim. I usually have to insert logic and reality into the equation, which often brings people to get upset that they couldn't just parrot a saying and bring the debate to a draw. There are just too many facts out there, and I feel that it is important that people wake up and accept that they need to respect their pistols and take care to get good with it.
My love for bullpups started before I even had experience using a firearm. I liked the looks of the British L85 rifles. The green furniture of the rifle and the compact, aggressive look made it oh so appealing. After I joined the military and had experience with using an M16/M4 to clear urban environments, I realized that having a rifle dangling out in front of me did not fill me with alot of confidence. This brings me to why I opted for a bullpup when I got out.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.