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Subject: Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?
skrip00    2/27/2005 3:41:28 PM
hello, im new here, and this is my first post in Infantry discussion. my question is: why doesnt the US develop a bullpup design to be the new rifle for the US armed forces? i hear you can make the weapon smaller while maintaining barrel length due to its layout. It seems to save space as well since the stock is also where the receiver is. Ive seen the israelis have a new rifle: that is also a bullpup design. Is it better for the US to scrap the M8 and redsign it as a bullpup?
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Clausewitz    RE:Bullpup guns are imbalanced    2/28/2005 4:10:24 AM
Bullpup weapons trade some inches of barrel length for the balance of the gun. You can't shoot a bullpop well by instinct. And bullpubs have more problems with the recoil. The reason is that the mass of the weapon is at the back. So you need energy (muscle) to avoid a wandering of the barrel while shooting. Classic designs have most of it's mass in its center. Thats better to deal with the recoil and it makes it easier to shoot by instinct too. So most modern guns again are classics (M 8, G 36, new russian weapons, the new FN gun for the US special forces, ...). If you think you really need more barrel length (most infantry firefights got a range of just up to 200 yards; if the enemy is beyond it should be easy to call in artillery/mortars/CAS or to use machine guns and snipers)you should buy a classic design with a long barrel. Thats the reason why the M 8 has a "sharpshooter version" with additional barrel length. Most modern leave the concept of real rifles. They usally take carbines. Especially modern urban warfare demand short cabine weapons you can fire quick by instinct and with well aimed shots up to 400 meters while most firefight just have a range of up to 200 meters). A bullpub will never be a soldiers/marines bride. Its the classics they fell in love with.
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gf0012-aust    RE:Bullpup guns are imbalanced    2/28/2005 4:39:38 AM
"You can't shoot a bullpop well by instinct. And bullpubs have more problems with the recoil." Actually thats the opposite of the Australian Army experience with the Steyr. - Virgin shooters were able to get much tighter groupings and a lot faster than on the M16's, M4's and SLR's. - on the weapons trials, shooters found the weapons easier to manage on recoil "creep" - tighter and more consistent groupings was invariably attributed to easier weapons management and less recoil through the 3 typical axis of movement. I'm not sure what the UK experience has been with the SA-80 (Ser 2), but I was under the impression that their results were similar
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Yimmy    RE:Bullpup guns are imbalanced    2/28/2005 10:05:16 AM
I can't really bring much to the debate, as other tha air rifles, I have only shot bullpups (L85A1). Going past what I think of the weapon itself, I don't see how a conventional design can be superior to the bullpup design. Bullpups are shorter than conventional rifles, and as such they are of greater use in FIBUA and when using vehicles etc, and as previously mentioned they also have longer barrels. With the 5.56x45mm round barrel length is -everything-. While most bullpups have a full length barrel of 508mm+, (the same as the M16), most modern conventional rifles have barrel lengths of around 460mm's, to reduce the overall length of the weapon. A full length barrel will not reliably fragment the 556 round past 150m's, although it can hit targets at 400m's and more. A weapon such as an M4 will not fragment the ammunition past 50-75m's, and a weapon such as the CAR15 will not fragment its ammunition past 25m's. If the round does not fragment as it is designed to do, it builds the temporary cavity by yawing alone, and the 5.56 round will have nearly gone straight through the target before it starts doing that. Ergo the target has a small permament cavity, and will likely not be incapacitated. Of course this is just going by what I have read. More from my personal opinion, I find bullpups to be very nicely balanced, to the extent that (if you had the strength) you could comftably shoot one with the right hand alone, the centre of gravity being directly over the pistol grip. The only time I have movement of my point of aim through recoil is when I am prone on gravel, and the magazine slips (it being rested on the gravel). The weapon itself recoils very nicely straight into the shoulder, even if only a small part of the butt is making contact, for instance through being in the sitting or knealing position. My glowing opinion of bullpups all said, I should probably point out that I'm not a great shot myself, but thats more due to the copious amounts of cafine I consume and my eye-sight.... :D
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Yimmy    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   2/28/2005 10:12:43 AM
Two more things - One, the US does use bullpups, their Coast Guard use the Steyr AUG. Two, I do not see the inability to shoot a bullpup from the left shoulder to be an issue - firstly, how well can you eat or write left handed, and secondly, many conventional weapons can not actually be shot from the left shoulder, ie the Sten gun in WWII, and I dont remember hearing veterans criticising it for it.
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skrip00    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   2/28/2005 12:31:57 PM
i think the balance argument is overplayed... Ive held M16s before, and they are definitely more fron heavy with the barrel and the ammo. Many nations in the world use bullpups in government work, from military to police, and balance is never cited as an issue. Look at the british, and Israelis. as for abidexterity, im sure there can be a way to make a rifle eject cartriges with limited modification of the weapon... (like removing the rear assembly and simply switching something around) bullpups give longer barrel length for a more compact design, and this is important because longer barrel length helps reduce recoil and increase the power and accuracy of the bullet. I would kinda be glad to see the US military going bullpup wen its time to get a new rifle, if that ever happens within the next 50 years.
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RM-Nod    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   2/28/2005 1:18:28 PM
I agree with the general concensus. Personally I find bullpups a hell of a lot easier to carry and move about, and they're very comfortable if you have to stay in a ready position for a long time. Conventional rifles tend to make my arms tired a lot sooner. Recoil is the same, I don't think a conventional design has any advantages over a bullpup, I would say it's the other way around if anything. As for the shooting from the left shoulder thing, I'm sure there are a few bullpups out there that can easily be switched around, IIRC the Steyr AUG is one of them. The only real problem in my opinion is that it can be awkwared to change a magazine or move the selector switch but obviously that depends on the specific weapon.
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Iano    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   2/28/2005 6:18:18 PM
I believe that the company (is it Royal Ordnance, HK or BAE who own it all now?) that made the L85, did offer a left handed version that ejected cartridges the other way (not sure if it was a quick in-the-field conversion or permanently constructed) but the British Government said NO right handed only!
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Clausewitz    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   3/1/2005 11:19:42 AM
skrip00 wrote: " important because longer barrel length helps reduce recoil and ...". The longer the barrel the longer the pressure works to drive the round out of the barrel and the longer the pressure will work backwards what is called recoil. So the longer the barrel the stronger the recoil. Classics or bullpups, it may be a question of believe. But it is suspicious that most - if not all special operation forces - are using classic designs.
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skrip00    RE:Why doesnt the US ever use bullpup style weapons?   3/1/2005 1:29:16 PM
are you sure? i mean with shotties, the longer the barrel, the less recoil. Plus many say the M16 has less recoil than the M4 due to the longer barrel length. But then again, there are other factors to consider such as the weight and balance of the weapon, and if there is a compensator on the front of the barrel.
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Sentinel    They make the magazine change awkward.   3/1/2005 3:59:15 PM
Basically, with the magazine forward you can see the well more easily, also you don't really have to take it off your shoulder to reload. Get down in the prone sometime with a rifle you will quickly see that a bullpup magazine is awkward to change. I guess the US just figured, if they are far enough away that 8 more inches of barrel will make a differnce, you should be calling in arty.
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