Austeyr F90 Variants are typical bullpup designs.

Bullpup Rifles Not My Cup of Tea


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Austeyr F90 Features. Importantly, mounted infantry in APCs are not encumbered by excessive rifle length, while still having the ballistic advantages of a relatively long barrel.
Austeyr F90 Features. Importantly, mounted infantry in APCs are not encumbered by excessive rifle length, while still having the ballistic advantages of a relatively long barrel.

Q: Over the years I’ve read about bullpup-style rifles, and am amazed they never achieved more popularity. Having extremely short overall length allows a compact rifle with no reduction in barrel length, and other than muzzle blast being a bit closer to a shooter’s ears I see more advantages then disadvantages in the design. Why hasn’t the bullpup become more popular with hunters and shooters?
Ben Thompson

A: The bullpup rifle never caught on for a very good reason. I was always uncomfortable when asked to test one –

Austeyr F90 Variants are typical bullpup designs.
Austeyr F90 Variants are typical of military bullpup designs, but with more innovative features.

shouldered in the firing position, its action is right alongside the shooter’s face. If a primer happened to blow or a case head ruptured during firing, the shooter is likely to get injured by escaping propellant gas and brass fragments. If you like living dangerously, by all means get a bullpup.


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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