Best Bullpup Rifles

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A bullpup is a firearm with its action behind the trigger. This configuration permits a shorter overall weapon for a given barrel length. This maintains better maneuverability in confined spaces and reduces weight and size without sacrificing range or power.

Bullpups have been around since 1901 but didn’t make a splash until the 1990s, and only recently have they gained popularity in North America.

The Steyr AUG, FN PS90, FN F2000, and Tavor are a few of today’s most popular bullpup rifles.

So, what are the best bullpup rifles? Keep reading to find out.

What is a bullpup rifle?

A bullpup rifle is a type of firearm with its action and magazine behind the trigger, allowing it to be shorter than traditional styled firearms with the same barrel length.

The advantages of bullpup rifles have led to their adoption by military and police forces worldwide. One of the most noteworthy modern examples is the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) adoption of the Tavor rifle, which features an advanced modular design allowing quick disassembly and easy maintenance in field conditions.

Additionally, due to its compact size and unique loading system, this type of rifle offers superior accuracy compared to other long guns.

Best Bullpup Rifles

Here are a few of the best bullpup rifles on the market today.

Kel-Tec RDB

KelTec RDB one of the Best Bullpup Rifles

Kel-Tec RDB (Rifle, Downward-ejecting Bullpup) is a semi-automatic rifle designed and manufactured by Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc.

It is a bullpup design, meaning the action is behind the trigger group, allowing for a shorter overall length without sacrificing barrel length.

The RDB is chambered for various calibers, including 5.56x45mm NATO, .223 Remington, and 7.62x39mm.

It has a polymer stock and a rotating bolt system, and it is designed to be ambidextrous, with the ability to eject spent shells downward rather than to the side.

The RDB is intended for civilian shooters, law enforcement, and military personnel. While it may not be the most high-end bullpup on the list, it still is a solid gun that is a lot of fun to shoot.

Kel Tec RDB Stock Photo

Kel-Tec RDB

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Gas Piston
• Barrel Length: 20.5″
• Twist Rate: 1:7

FN PS90

FN PS90 Bullpup Rifle on top of The Bureau

The FN PS90 is was an innovative design and high-quality construction in it’s day and still holds its own.

Its 5.7x28mm cartridge offers reduced recoil compared to other handgun rounds, making it easier for shooters of all sizes to handle. It’s arguably still one of the best guns that shoot 5.7.

The PS90’s ambidextrous design makes it easy for both righties and lefties to use without any modifications.

Furthermore, the magazine sits on top of the barrel rather than underneath, preventing accidental discharges if dropped or bumped into while loading or unloading ammo.

Finally, the PS90 has an ergonomic build that is lightweight yet durable enough to withstand regular use in various environments without compromising performance or safety standards.

FN PS90 Stock

FN PS90

• Caliber: 5.7x28mm
• Action: Semi-Auto
• Weight: 6.28 lbs

Steyr AUG

styer aug stockphoto

The Steyr AUG is an excellent choice for 2024 due to its long track record of success and ability to accommodate right-handed and south-paw shooters.

The gun offers an easy-to-use safety mechanism above the grip and the ability to switch bolt sides for right or left-handed shooters. Additionally, standard models come with a 1.5x optical sight and carrying handle which makes them even more versatile in various environments.

Furthermore, the Steyr AUG has been around since 1974 and continues to be used by militaries worldwide due to its reliability in any situation.

Finally, it has plenty of accessories available so users can customize their weapon according to their needs to maximize performance on any mission they take on.

styer aug stockphoto

Steyr AUG Classic

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Semi-Auto
• Barrel Length: 16.375″
• Weight: 9.8 oz
Price Check: Bereli| PSA | Grab-A-Gun | Guns.com

IWI Tavor X95

Best IWI Bullpup - Tavor x95

The IWI Tavor X95 is a great bullpup rifle because it offers a sleek, compact design, ambidextrous controls, ample optics rail, and rails at 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions.

The trigger breaks at a crisp 5 to 6 pounds, which is ideal for Bullpup fans.

Additionally, the rifle’s ergonomics are top-notch, making transitioning between targets quick and easy.

The long-stroke operated X95 weighs 7.9 pounds, making it extremely manageable, especially when shooting multiple rounds.

Finally, considering all its features, the price point is reasonable, making it an excellent value.

IWI Tavor X95

IWI Tavor X95

• 5.56, .300 Blk, 9mm
• Action: Semi-Auto
• Barrel Length: 16.5″
• Weight: 7.9 lbs

Springfield Hellion

springfield hellion stockphoto

The Springfield Hellion is probably the best bullpup rifle due to its innovative design, outstanding shooting ability, reliability, ergonomics, and accuracy.

Its 16-inch barrel performs excellently in a compact package that weighs only 8 pounds unloaded.

The Hellion also has an ambidextrous charging handle and safety, an adjustable stock with a cheek riser, and QD sling points on both sides of the rifle’s stock and handguard.

Additionally, it has M-LOK slots on the handguard for mounting accessories or optics and flip-up iron sights built into the design for quick target acquisition.

Furthermore, its case ejection system is reversible, which makes it suitable for lefties as well.

springfield hellion stockphoto

Springfield Hellion

• Caliber: 5.56
• Action: Semi-Auto
• Barrel Length: 29.75″
• Weight: 8 lbs

FN FS2000

fn fs2000 stockphoto

The FN FS2000 is a semi-automatic rifle produced by FN Herstal. It was designed for military and law enforcement use and is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge.

The FS2000 is a bullpup design, which means that the action is located behind the trigger group, allowing for a shorter overall length without sacrificing barrel length.

This makes it more compact and easier to handle in confined spaces. The FS2000 has a polymer stock and a cold hammer-forged barrel, and it can be equipped with a variety of optics and accessories.

The FN FS2000 has been featured in several video games. It may have also appeared in others, but I don’t have a complete list.

Here are a few examples of video games in which the FS2000 has appeared:

It is common for video games to include a variety of real-world weapons for players to use, and the FS2000 is just one example of a weapon that has been included in some games.

fn fs2000 stockphoto

FN FS2000

• Caliber: 5.56
• Gas, rotating-bolt
• Barrel Length: 17.44″
• Length: 29.29″

Conversion Kits

The best conversion kits for bullpup rifles are the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine Kit from Manticore Arms and the DIY Conversion Kit for Mossberg 500s from Bullpup Unlimited.

Both kits are relatively easy to install and can turn your standard rifle into a compact, maneuverable bullpup rifle.

The Manticore Arms kit is more expensive than the Bullpup Unlimited kit but offers higher-quality components and better performance.

What to Look For

Best Bullpup Rifle: PS90 or RDB?

Design

When considering which bullpup rifle to buy, it is important to consider its design features.

Most modern bullpup rifles have an action behind the trigger, allowing for a shorter overall length than a traditional rifle.

They also typically feature detachable magazines for easier loading and reloading.

However, some older models of bullpup rifles, such as the Thorneycroft Carbine from 1901, do not have these modern features and can be harder to find today.

Due to their unconventional design, some newer models may be less reliable or require more maintenance than traditional rifles.

Caliber

When selecting a bullpup rifle’s caliber, it is important to consider the shooting you will be doing.

For example, if you plan on using your rifle for long-range shooting or hunting, a larger caliber such as .308 would be ideal.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a firearm for home defense purposes, something smaller like 5.56 NATO or 9mm may be more suitable.

Another consideration is how much recoil you can handle since most bullpup rifles have more recoil due to their compact design and longer barrels.

Therefore, it is important to research the different calibers available and find one that suits your needs while being able to handle any added kickback from firing it regularly.

Trigger pull

A bullpup rifle’s trigger pull is important because it can affect accuracy and performance.

Some triggers are made of plastic and often don’t have the same quality feel that metal AR-15 triggers have.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics considerations are similar when comparing a bullpup rifle to a conventional rifle.

Both rifles should have a comfortable stock, adjustable stock and should be easy to handle while shooting.

The main difference is how the two types of rifles are designed: conventional rifles have the action in front of the trigger, whereas bullpup rifles have it behind it.

This change impacts how you hold and aim the gun, so it is important to ensure that you understand how this will affect your shooting before purchasing one.

Sights and optics

Sights and optics are available for bullpup rifles, including red dot sights, magnified scopes, and reflex sights.

These provide a variety of options for different shooting contexts and applications.

Ammo selection

Depending on the caliber and purpose, various types of ammo are available for bullpup rifles. Rifle cartridges include:

  1. Centerfire rounds are typically used in hunting and target shooting, as they have a center primer at the cartridge case’s center.
  2. Rimfire rounds are generally less powerful than centerfire rounds and can only be used in rifles specifically designed to shoot rimfire.

Configurations

There are various configurations for a bullpup rifle, depending on the caliber and needs of the shooter.

The most common configuration is an assault rifle with a long barrel and detachable magazine.

Other configurations include sniper rifles, pistol grip models, and shotgun variants.

The compact design of a bullpup rifle makes it ideal for these different configurations, as it provides increased maneuverability without sacrificing firepower or accuracy.

Magazine compatibility

When selecting a bullpup rifle, it is important to consider how it will fit into your magazine compatibility.

Most bullpup rifles use standard AR-15 magazines and can hold up to 30 rounds.

However, some bullpup rifles may not be compatible with all types of magazines due to their design or caliber restrictions.

It is important to check the specifications of any potential purchase before buying in order to ensure that it will meet your needs.

Barrel length

When buying a bullpup rifle, it is important to consider the barrel length as this will affect the overall length of the firearm.

The minimum overall rifle length under United States federal law is 26,” and the minimum barrel lengths are 16″.

Bullpups let you push these limits, with Tavor XB95s having 16.5″ barrels and an overall length of 26.125″, for example.

Having a short-barreled rifle can be quite the process if you’re just starting out, but they do offer a number of benefits compared to having a longer rifle.

These include better balance due to being back heavy, faster shoulder positioning due to grip position, increased maneuverability in close-quarters situations and looks cool AF (just kidding on that last one).

Barrel twist

The barrel twist is an important factor to consider when buying a bullpup rifle.

It determines how fast the bullet will spin as it travels down the barrel, which impacts its accuracy and distance.

A faster twist rate will result in a more accurate shot at longer distances, while a slower twist rate will be more effective for close range shooting.

The optimal twist rate varies depending on the type of ammunition you are using, so it is important to check with your manufacturer before making a purchase decision.

Receiver mounting

The receiver mounting of a bullpup rifle is similar to that of a standard layout rifle.

It requires the appropriate hardware, such as scope rings or rail attachments, and can be done either by the owner or a gunsmith.

The main difference between receiver mounting a bullpup rifle and a standard layout rifle is that with the former, there are additional considerations to consider due to the firearm’s unique design.

For example, when selecting optics for use with a bullpup rifle, it is important to consider how they will interface with its unique ejection port location and downward ejection pattern (if present).

Additionally, owners should be aware that clearing complicated malfunctions from these types of rifles can be more difficult than from standard layout rifles due to their closer proximity between shooters face and action components.

Bolt release and ejection

For many bullpup rifles, the bolt release and ejection can be switched between the right and left sides of the rifle.

This allows left-handed shooters to avoid having spent shell casings ejected out the right side of the rifle, hitting them in the face.

However, not all bullpup designs offer this feature, so it is important to check before making a purchase decision.

Additionally, many bullpup rifles have higher muzzle rise due to their back-heavy design, which may make shooting more challenging for inexperienced shooters or those unfamiliar with such a design.

Size

Bullpup rifles offer a unique combination of size and capabilities. They have full-size 16″ barrels in a smaller overall length than most SBRs, making them more compact and easier to maneuver.

Gas system

When buying a bullpup rifle, it is important to consider the gas system.

A good gas system will ensure smooth operation and accuracy, as well as prevent fouling of the barrel. It also helps reduce recoil and increase reliability.

A bad gas system can cause problems such as excessive recoil or failure to cycle properly.

It is important to research the different types of gas systems before purchasing in order to find one that best fits your needs.

Cost

The cost of a bullpup rifle can vary depending on the model and features but typically ranges from $1,000-$5,000.

FAQ

What is a bullpup rifle?

A bullpup rifle is a type of firearm that has its action and magazine located behind the trigger.

The advantages of bullpups allow them to be shorter than traditional-styled firearms with the same barrel length.

This makes them more compact and versatile, allowing for easier maneuverability in various shooting contexts.

Additionally, their compact design allows for greater accuracy than other types of rifles due to reduced recoil due to less weight being pushed backwards when firing.

What is the best bullpup rifle?

The Tavor X95 is our top choice for the best bullpup rifle due to its high-quality build, ergonomic design, and impressive performance. The KEL-TEC RDB is also an excellent option for shooters on a budget as it offers great value for the money.

The Tavor X95 features an AR-15 style platform with a compact frame that makes it easy to handle and maneuver in any shooting context. It is also equipped with an ambidextrous selector switch, adjustable iron sights, and plenty of rail space for accessories such as optics or lights. Additionally, this rifle has a large magazine capacity of 30 rounds plus one in the chamber which provides plenty of firepower when needed most.

The KEL-TEC RDB features a unique rotating bolt design that ensures smooth cycling even after thousands of rounds have been fired through it. This shotgun also offers users interchangeable barrels so they can tailor their firearm to their specific needs or preferences without having to buy an entirely new one each time they want to change something up – making it highly customizable without breaking the bank!

What is the accuracy of a bullpup rifle?

Bullpup rifles are known for having sub-minute of angle (MOA) accuracy.

This is because most bullpups have a longer barrel than their SBR counterparts, allowing for more velocity and, thus improved lethality at longer distances.

In recent years, manufacturers have been capitalizing on the AR aftermarket game and not focusing on bullpups.

Michael Savage
Michael Savage

Michael is the President of Lynx Defense and an avid gun owner and outdoors man. He's passionate about helping find the best bang for your buck and helping others learn about firearms and the industry as a whole.

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2 Comments

  1. The FN FS2000 was discontinued some years ago, and is not available anywhere except, possibly, on some used gun sale sites.

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