Why are more and more countries fascinated with bullpup guns?

The bullpup design rifle, which means that the entire barrel block and magazine are located behind the trigger, is becoming a new trend in assault rifle development around the world. Many countries around the world are developing bullpup-style assault rifles to replace the traditional design.

Leading in bullpup rifle designs are Western European countries, followed by Israel, China also chose the QBZ-95 rifle – bullpup design as a standard assault rifle to replace the copied Type-81. from the Russian AK-47.

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Recently some countries like Turkey, Croatia have also released bullpup design rifles in which the VHS-2 of HS Produkt, Croatia is considered the latest assault rifle in the bullpup style. .

Austrian Steyr AUG – the most successful bullpup rifle ever in this design.

The origin of the phrase "bullpup" is not really clear, it is believed to have appeared around 1957 in the US. Meanwhile, the origin of the gun with the magazine behind the gun is believed to be around the 1930s. However, at that time, this design did not receive the attention of the military authorities of the countries.

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The world's first complete bullpup design was the British EM-2 built in 1951. However, this gun was not approved. The world's first successful bullpup design was the Austrian Steyr AUG assault rifle, which entered series production in 1978 and exported to more than 30 countries around the world.

So what advantages does the bullpup rifle have, compared to the traditional designed assault rifle, what advantages does it bring and is its combat effectiveness higher?

The first advantage of the bullpup rifle is that because the entire barrel block and magazine are located at the back, it saves a lot of space. Bullpup rifles only need a very short stock, the stock is where the bolt is located. While the traditional design rifle requires a fairly long stock at the rear, which leads to an increase in the length of the gun.

Vietnam's Marine Corps is also prioritized to equip Israel's Tar-21 bullpup rifle. In the photo is a variant for special forces CTar-21.

Due to the space saving of the stock, the bullpup rifle has a relatively short overall length while ensuring the length of the barrel to reach the required range. This is the biggest advantage of the bullpup rifle. For example, the British SA80 has an overall length of only 780mm, but the barrel is 518mm long. Meanwhile, the American M16A2 has a length of 1,006mm, but the barrel is only 508mm long, shorter than the SA80.

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Even the shortest carbine variant of the Steyr AUG has a barrel length of 350mm. Due to the shorter length, the bullpup rifle becomes more flexible in use, and the weight is also lighter thanks to the saving of the stock.

Belgium's FN F2000 is one of the new bullpup gun models released not long ago with a very aggressive design.

However, the bullpup design also has many disadvantages. Its biggest disadvantage is that the position of ejecting the shell is close to the gunner's eyes, so left-handed people can't shoot. In addition, the smoke from the bullet casing also significantly affects the gunner's ability to aim.

Some bullpup guns such as France's FAMAS, Austria's Steyr AUG, Israel's Tar-21 have overcome this limitation by adding a hatch and a special barrel that allows the conversion to eject the shell on both sides. depending on the shooter's choice.

Thus, it can be seen that the biggest advantage of the bullpup rifle is to reduce the overall length while ensuring the barrel length, lighter weight thereby increasing flexibility in combat. That is why this design is becoming attractive to countries that are looking for their own way in the design style of assault rifles.

Of course, each design has its own pros and cons, with bullpup or traditional designs having more advantages remains a controversial topic in military circles. Each design plays to its advantage in its own way, but this design is still hot in new assault rifle designs.

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