Bullpup

From Academic Kids

Bullpup refers to a firearm configuration in which the firearm action (or mechanism) and magazine are located behind the trigger, increasing the barrel length relative to the overall weapon length, thus permitting shorter weapons for the same barrel length or longer barrels for the same weapon length. The concept was first used in bolt action rifles such as the Thorneycroft carbine of 1901, and is known to have been applied to semi-automatic firearms no later than 1936, the year a bullpup pistol was patented by the Frenchman Henri Delacre. The first instance of a modern (semi-automatic) rifle in the bull-pup configuration was the Enfield 7 mm EM-2 rifle, leading to the Enfield Individual Weapon and then to the SA80 series.

Design Issues

Bullpup weapons have been the subject of some debate. Mechanisms typically eject casings to the side. This means that the typical bullpup design must be fired from only one side of the body, or the casings will hit the operator in the face. Some weapons have allowed the ejection to be switched by re-assembling it, while others, like the FN F2000 and A-91, eject forward, and others, like the FN P90, eject downward, which usually (but not always) means the magazine is mounted on the top or sides of the weapon.

Other criticisms made of bullpup weapons are heavy and sluggish trigger pull caused by use of a flexible rod or similar system (fixed in the SAR-21 by using a stiff sliding plate instead), awkward magazine changes, sights mounted too high above the barrel (forcing the firer to expose more of his head when aiming over cover), reduced reach in bayonet fighting, and uncomfortable muzzle blast caused by the muzzle's proximity to the firer's head. Proponents of bullpups have responses to these criticisms, however; the location of the magazine makes it easier to change magazines while traveling in an open vehicle, the high sight position is caused by a design feature that is also being used in modern conventional rifles for its use in combatting muzzle climb, and the bayonet is infrequently used in modern combat.

Examples of bullpup firearms

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