If that’s something you are already dreaming of owning, then you might be the perfect candidate for a bullpup rifle. A bullpup rifle can do all the things like a long rifle and can still come in a lightweight, easy handling package.
Owing to its popularity, the bullpup rifle market has exploded exponentially in popularity throughout the world. Many countries have even adopted the bullpup platform as their chosen service rifle in the military and police departments. Let us tell you a fact the United States Secret Service adopted a bullpup for use with the Presidential Protection detail, which helps us to understand the utility that the rifle provides.
The modern age Bullpups look like a futuristic rifle, as shown in sci-fi movies, and people mostly assume that they are a recently developed rifles. But the case is not always what it seems to be, as the fact is that the bullpup concept dates as far as 1903.
But the modern bullpup rifles have been around since the 1970s. Some of them have become a common name throughout the world with the examples of such rifles like the FAMAS and AUG, which have been used extensively in Europe and are still serving today, be it in the military or special police forces.
What is the best bullpup rifle?
One of the features of a bullpup rifle is its versatility, and that is precisely the reason why explaining the bullpup rifle becomes difficult. There are so many different types of bullpup rifles out there in the market and are designed for so many different purposes that no one can restrict the usage of a bullpup to a single definition.
In short, a Bullpup rifle is a specific type of layout of a rifle. Bullpups can be anyone out of rifles, shotguns, and submachine guns, and can be used and modified according to the situation. But the defining feature of a bullpup rifle that separates it from the rest of the rifles is the placement of the action behind the trigger.
This feature places the gun’s operating system behind the trigger in what is essentially the stock. But how does this feature help? This feature saves quite a bit of space and lowers the rifle’s overall length, a distinctive feature, as mentioned above.
What is the advantage of having a Bullpup?
Of course, the Bullpups might have some awesome advantages that make it one of the most extraordinary types of rifles in the world and accounts for its popularity. Here are some of the advantages of having a Bullpup rifle:
- The most significant advantage of the bullpup platform is that it comes with its space-saving design that makes the gun compact and convenient to use. As usual, a shorter rifle is generally easier to hold and use. The shorter rifles are easier to use in close combat situations that demand quick action, like inside buildings, in and out of vehicles. They are truly unbeatable in close-quarter battles.
- You will agree that to shorten a standard rifle, the only way available is to shorten the barrel that will most probably affect the rifle’s performance negatively, if not mollify it by the majority fraction. It is easily understandable that a shorter barrel results in a loss of velocity and range.
- As an additional disadvantage, you will also be left with a louder rifle that has an extreme muzzle flash and potentially brutal concussion, which might render the rifle useless in the long run. And since short-barreled rifles are designed to be used in close quarters, so it might not be the best idea to have a short barrel gun with increased muzzle flash and concussion in a close combat situation.
- Not only will it affect the performance negatively, but without proper ear and eye protection, or a suppressor, you’ll be blind and deaf after the first few shots from a short barrel rifle. Now imagine the effects of a long barrel within the body of a short barrel gun, that’s what a bullpup is. It has a full-length rifle barrel in a platform just as a short-barreled rifle, giving you the advantage of being compact and handy and at the same time, deliver a quality performance.
- Bullpup rifles are also more likely to get to the shoulder faster than usual, saving you some precious seconds. This feature reduces the time it takes to get your sight on the target and eventually leads you to reduced reaction time. It can help you tremendously in risky situations like in a firefight, or even in a competition if you like.
- Last but not the least, the bullpups tend to focus the weight on the center or rear of the weapon rather than on any other part of its body. This feature indeed has advantages. It makes them easier to carry the gun over long periods and too long distances, like when you are in rough terrain like in the woods for hunting purposes.
With that being said, let us jump into the recommendations and have a look at the best bullpup rifles available in the market that you can buy.
Best bullpup rifles 2023 – Reviews
#1 – Steyr Arms AUG A3 BLK High Rail
If you ask what the best bullpup rifle might be, arguably, the answer is the Steyr Arms AUG A3 M1 223 16 inches BLK High Rail. The first item in our list of the best bullpup rifles and shotguns available in the market is one of the most popular rifles in the world named as the Steyr Arms AUG A3 BLK High Rail.
- This rifle has a classic rifle look and comes with all the modern features added to it.
- It is a semi-automatic gun and is gas operated and is quite similar to the guns used by the Austrian army in the late 1970s.
- One of the best advantages of the gun is that the gun can be used by right or left-handed users. It is also very comfortable to carry from one place to another as it weighs around 9 pounds and has a 16 inches long barrel.
- The total length of the rifle is 28.25 inches and holds 10, 30, or 42 rounds depending on the magazine.
- This rifle also has a single-stage trigger, safety with two positions in a cross-bolt design that keeps the trigger locked and prevents accidental misfire.
- The stock added to this rifle is synthetic, and the finish is available in blue and black so that the owners can choose according to their choices.
- The gun also has a quick-change barrel with a collapsible forward grip that may not fold up conveniently but makes it quite compact.
Overall, this rifle is chambered in 5.56 NATO, or 223 Remand can be one of the best choices if you want to buy a bullpup rifle.
- It is one of the most versatile and popular guns available in the market.
- It comes with advanced safety features.
- It is a semi-automatic gun and is gas-operated.
- The stock doesn’t fold up conveniently.
#2 – FN PS90 Standard Matte Black 10+1 RD
The FN PS90 Standard Matte Black 10+1 RD is the second bullpup rifle in our list of the best bullpup rifles and shotguns available in the market that you can buy.
- Like the previous one, this rifle is also quite lightweight, measuring a total of 6.28 pounds and is thus easy to carry.
- Again, this one is perfect to be used both by the right or left-handed users that brings the whole bullpup lovers in their list of prospective customers.
- As it is versatile, the owner can use this rifle for various purposes, like for self-defense, recreational shooting, and even in competitions.
- This bullpup rifle has a reduced recoil because of the integral muzzle brake FN equipped to the gun.
- As an additional feature, when you are using this rifle, the empty cases are ejected in a lowered motion so you won’t be distracted by them.
- It comes in matte black paint and measures approximately 26 inches in length.
- The removable magazine can hold 10 +1 rounds together, and the barrel can extend to 16.04 inches while still providing amazing accuracy, and that can be guessed from the name of the rifle itself.
- This rifle is gas operated and comes with a rear sight rail. However, there is no front sight added to this bullpup rifle.
- The stock is synthetic and is a great gun to be kept under possession for a wide variety of uses.
- It is very lightweight and versatile.
- The empty cases are ejected in a lowered motion.
- It can be used by both the right and left-handed users.
- The front sight is absent in this gun.
#3 – IWI US Tavor SAR-B16
Here comes the third bullpup in our list of the best bullpup available in the market and is extremely suitable for you if you need to use the weapon in small spaces.
- Named as the IWI US Tavor SAR-B16, this bullpup rifle has a very compact design, much like most of the bullpups available in the market that you can buy.
- The center of gravity of the gun is brought closer to your body that improves your aim and timing while using it and also helps to carry it easily from one place to another.
- There is minimal recoil in this gun because of the non-lubricated long-stroke gas piston system that the manufacturer has added to this gun that helps to improve the overall accuracy, along with reducing the recoil.
- It is suited to be used by both right and left-handed users.
- It is a very comfortable rifle that comes with an easy-to-use operating handle ejection.
- The gun measures approximately 26 inches, and the barrel measures 16 ½ inches.
- This gun is also equipped with many other advanced features like a flash compressor, a BUIS rear sight, a polymer stock, and a removable magazine that can hold 30 rounds, which adds on to its benefits.
Overall, this rifle is quite compact, and pretty lightweight, weighing approximately 7.9 pounds and comes with advanced features that make it a modern gun.
- It is suited to be used by both the right and left-handed users.
- The center of gravity of the gun is brought closer to the body of the shooter.
- It is slightly heavier than the majority of the bullpups available in the market.
#4 – Kel-Tec KSG 12 Gauge Matte Black 14+1 RD
The Kel-Tec KSG 12 Gauge Matte Black 14+1 RD is a reliable pump action bullpup shotgun that has a standard look and comes with a matte black finish.
- The manufacturer has added a manual feed side selector lever, right behind the trigger guard that can be fed from both the right and left sides.
- Both the tubes equipped to the gun can hold up to 6 shells, holding 12 shots when combined. This bullpup shotgun also has two ring sling loops, one in the front and one in the rear.
- The manufacturer has also added two Picatinny rails on the bottom and at the top to add on any additional accessories or scopes that the shooter may want.
- Also, there is the presence of a rubber butt pad that helps to reduce the recoil, and the KSG receiver is incredibly durable because of the steel it is made from.
- The magazine is welded on while the grip and stock are made from glass and reinforced nylon making it incredibly easy to take apart or put together conveniently and quickly when required or in close combat situations.
- The length of the shotgun is 26.1 inches in total, and the barrel measures approximately 18.5 inches. As can be guessed from the name itself, it is a 12 gauge gun and is incredibly lightweight.
Overall, this gun can be your constant companion while you are out, either for your hunting game in the wild or practicing in the range.
- This gun has two Picatinny rails added to it.
- The rubber butt added to the gun reduces recoil.
- It is very lightweight.
- The length of the gun might appear to belong to the fans of smaller guns.
#5 – High Tower Armory Ruger Stock Bullpup
The High Tower Armory Ruger Stock Bullpup is made in the U.S.A and has a design that is quite easy to balance and very comfortable to use.
- The overall length of the rifle is 26 ½ inches, can take 10 round magazines, and can fit on barrels that are 18 inches or over.
- There is a unique CNC machined monolithic aluminum Picatinny optic rail and a polymer stock giving awesome durability and makes it last longer.
- It also comes with a safety extension to help you not only activate the original factory safety but also easily helps you get an added safety near the trigger for easy access and thus prevent accidental damage.
- The magazine is extended, and the bolt release of the rifle is automatic so you can quickly change any controls you need to when dealing with a hostile enemy in close range.
- The manufacturer has also provided a dummy suppressor in the packaging that you can remove and buy a new one if you like.
- Two Picatinny rails can be mounted on the sides and one storage container to hold your ammunition when you’re not using it.
- There is a CNC machined monolithic aluminum Picatinny optic rail and a polymer stock added to the gun.
- It also has an extended magazine and is an automatic rifle.
- It has added safety features.
- The gun might appear to be longer to those who like smaller guns.
#6 – Desert Tech MDR 223
The Desert Tech MDR 223 is the sixth bullpup in our list of the best bullpup available in the market and provides you with one of the best accuracies.
- The Desert Tech MDR is equipped with a lot of features that make this rifle stand out from its competitors.
- It is equipped with caliber-conversion capabilities that will help you to pick between a variety of well-liked cartridges, and thus give you the option to choose what you like.
- The rifle measures 26.6 inches in total and has a 16-inch button-rifled barrel on the gun that will give you better accuracy.
- This gun is gas-powered, enabling the rifle able to shoot quickly, especially when you are in a close combat situation.
- This Desert Tech bullpup rifle is available in two finishes: flat dark earth or all-black and is equipped with a removable magazine that can hold up to 30 shells around.
- This gun ejects the used shells forward, so they won’t distract you while you are focusing on your shots.
- This ambidextrous rifle weighs approximately 8.67 pounds and is fairly lightweight and is easy to carry around when you are in the wild for hunting or in the range for practicing.
- It is gas-powered and comes in two finishes.
- It ejects the shell forward.
- It is an ambidextrous rifle.
- The length of the barrel is slightly short.
#7 – IWI US Tavor X95
Here comes another high-quality bullpup firearm from the house of IWI, named the IWI Tavor X95 that has many amazing features and is of great utility.
- The gun measures 27.6 inches in length, and the barrel measures 18 inches. The gun weighs approximately 8.2 pounds making it pretty lightweight.
- The removable magazine added to the gun can hold up to 30 rounds at a time.
- One of the most interesting things about this gun is that you can switch out the Tavor style grip for a different one if you find it more comfortable or need a smaller release button, which adds to its versatility.
- This gun also comes with a fire control pack that has a trigger pull weighing approximately 5 pounds.
- The Picatinny rails that are in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions come along with rail covers that are removable so you can adjust the charging handle. This helps you to give yourself better accuracy.
- It can hold up to 30 rounds.
- This gun comes with a fire control pack that has a trigger pull.
- Foreign shipping isn’t available.
#8 – Panzer Arms BP-12 Bullpup 12 Gauge
The Panzer Arms BP-12 Bullpup 12 Gauge is a12 gauge gas-powered bullpup and is the last bullpup in our list.
- It is fairly lightweight and weighs around 9 pounds with an overall length of 29 ½ inches. The barrel measures around 18 ½ inches.
- It has an innovative design, and both of the sights conveniently flip up. This gun can be used both by the right or left-handed individuals.
- The upper receiver of the gun is made from aluminum, and so is the Picatinny rails.
- The stock is made from low impact-resistant polymer, which makes it incredibly comfortable to hold and also has a sleek black finish.
- It has a unique design and is quite durable.
- It is an ambidextrous gun.
- It can hold only up to 10 rounds.
We hope that you liked our article on the best bullpup rifles available in the market that you can buy to enhance your shooting experience. But before purchasing a bullpup, do analyze your needs, to get the features that you need. Since bullpups are very versatile, you will get them for a wide variety of purposes and thus need to choose what suits you the best.
Frequently Ask Questions –
Q – Are bullpups good for home defense?
Ans – Using a bullpup gun is more maneuverable than using a conventional firearm, which makes bullpups ideal for shooting in small spaces. In addition, for home defense, bullpup shotguns are also an excellent option.
Q – Are bullpup shotguns legal in California?
Ans – The state of California allows the ownership of almost any firearm, provided that it was originally designed to be a softball bat. They are legal in California. A good example of a bullpup currently available on the market there is the RDB-C. This product is legal in California.
Q – Is Steyr AUG a good gun?
Ans – Unlike other bullpup rifles, the AUG has consistently proven its reliability and usefulness. Small shooters who want to exert full control over their weapon will find it a great choice.