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Posted: 4/16/2002 1:47:39 PM EDT
Just wondering why the US Armed Forces are wasting time with a 14.5 inch bbled M-4, when they could have a rifle length bbl in a shorter package. With that, would come true rifle-like range, with a carbine length.
The Steyr Aug comes to mind. If not the Steyr, there are others, such as Bushmaster's Bullpup, and many other similar designs.

The only reason I could think of would be: perhaps some reliability issues, or that the bullpup is slightly more fragile than the carbine.

Anyone else know why we are not issuing a bullpup?
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 1:53:58 PM EDT
The US has been working on the OICW. So I guess there are plans in the future for some sort of bull-pup.


The Russians and Germans have stuck with more conventional designs in their next generation rifles (AN-94 and G36 respectively.)

Check out that new F2000 by Fabrique Nationale!
They just reviewed it in SAR and the rifle performed quite well (reliable.) It hasn't been battle tested yet so who knows.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 2:03:01 PM EDT
How about these disadvantages:
1) Magazine Changes are slower and generally require removing the rifle from your shoulder.

2) The Steyr, BM, FAMAS, SA80(A2 too), and Tavor all have side ejection. This prevents you from efectively using the rifle from the opposite shoulder - eliminating 50% of cover in the world.

The new FN 5.56 bullpup (F2000) has forward ejection, but the cases dribble out. Let's wait to see if this system is reliable enough when it gets full of mud. In any event it still has problem #1.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 2:06:48 PM EDT
There are no reliability or frailty issues with bullpups. Only reasons they aren't popular for general service is that left handed shooters get brass in their faces. That is unless their rifles can switch ejection port location; as in the AUG's.

In addition to this, in general, bullpups require optical sights. Which is something that most military bodies do not want to incorporate as a MANDATORY feature. We all know optical sights fail once in a while.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 2:25:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mayday:
There are no reliability or frailty issues with bullpups. Only reasons they aren't popular for general service is that left handed shooters get brass in their faces. That is unless their rifles can switch ejection port location; as in the AUG's.



Well, more importantly (although related), you can't shoot from your weak side, meaning a right handed shooter, for example, would have to expose more of his body if he needs to fire from the left of his cover. No matter if the ejection port can be switched from side to side, a side ejecting bullpup will always have this problem. I also wonder how the fn2000 is going to handle ejection when that part of the rifle is constantly being jammed in the dirt, etc...

Rocko
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 2:50:04 PM EDT
The US military has hundreds-of-thousands of M16's in service and millions of parts to service them.

At present I know of no issues/cases of the M16 failing in a combat situation.

The M16 has the best ergonomics of just about any assult rifle out there.

The M16 has a proven track record of over 35-years in combat.

Why change at this time to the same technology?

Wait for the next generation.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 3:32:47 PM EDT
I understand the shortfalls...it's just surprising that our troops could be going to places like Afghanistan armed with a 14.5 inch M-4.
If my unit gets activated, I hope to God that we keep our M-16's! I'll take my 20in. bbl any day for long-range shooting, thank you very much.
Those M-4's lose the 2700fps threshold after around 75-100yds...after that, the terminal ballistics are more like a 22lr than a real rifle. Shit gets scary when they mess with what works... hopefully they will come up with something that is both compact and powerful, while not neglecting either feature.



Link Posted: 4/16/2002 4:01:03 PM EDT
Because of the shortcomings listed here, the only way a bullpup design could be the "perfect military rifle" is when caseless ammo is perfected.

The H&K G11 is a great example of this:
* No brass so no ejection issues.
* No brass so extra ammo is much lighter (carry more!).
* No brass so cyclic speed is high (2000rpm)
* The magazines are loaded from the top & front so no need to remove the weapon from the shoulder to reload.
* Muzzle velocity over 3000 fps out of a 20+" barrel.

www.hkpro.com/g11.htm
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 4:58:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 5:06:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2002 5:07:40 PM EDT by ronin47]

Originally Posted By Troy:
The question will be: will WE get to own guns firing caseless ammo?



Call me a paranoid pessimist but I'm guessing that since some of the primary benefits of caseless ammo are:

1 - high cyclic rate
2 - high capacity (even the handgun version uses a 20 round magazine)

we can forget the notion of civilian ownership. After all, we have no legitimate need for something like that, do we?

Edited to make sure that everyone realizes that I am being sarcastic in that last part.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 6:24:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ronin47:
Because of the shortcomings listed here, the only way a bullpup design could be the "perfect military rifle" is when caseless ammo is perfected.

The H&K G11 is a great example of this:
* No brass so no ejection issues.
* No brass so extra ammo is much lighter (carry more!).
* No brass so cyclic speed is high (2000rpm)
* The magazines are loaded from the top & front so no need to remove the weapon from the shoulder to reload.
* Muzzle velocity over 3000 fps out of a 20+" barrel.





* No brass so all heat energy remains in chamber.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 7:06:45 PM EDT
I think a better option would be a folding stock type rifle, such as the original AR180. Take the new 180B, give it a folding stock with the updated internals ArmaLite has incorporated into the 180B and the fact that it accepts M16/AR15 mags. You have an 18 inch barrel and a very short rifle when the stock is folded. Fold it for close in combat and unfold it for long range shooting.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 7:21:11 PM EDT
Another thing about the bullpup rifles you want to consider is that they have the tendicies to be butt heavy. There was an incident involving The New Zealanders or Austrailian peacekeepers in the Timor crisis where in an ambush situation the troops armed Sterys with the M203 jammed in the critical firefight. The extra weight up front may have cause the jamming to occur.
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 7:28:26 PM EDT
The Soviets rejected the Bullpup design after they tested the first few prototypes of their new AN-94 in Bullpup configuration, according to a recent Small Arms Review article the development of the AK-47 and AK-74's replacement, the AN-94.

They rejected it (at least according the SA review article) because of noxious fumes in the proximity of the shooters face when rapid firing. I think they know a thing or two about gun design, and the weird config they came up with for two rapid fire auto shots before any recoil seems pretty interesting.

Link Posted: 4/16/2002 8:05:33 PM EDT

eliminating 50% of cover in the world.

Are you claiming that most soldiers would switch shoulders when firing around the left side of something? I don't think so. Also, from what I remember, we were trained cover is down, not cover is to the left or right. A small wall, hill, foxhole, etc. will protect you much better than most things that you would lean to the right or left behind. A tree or a corner of a building isn't good cover.z
Link Posted: 4/16/2002 9:06:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 3:56:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 5:03:09 AM EDT
bull pup designs present severe ergonomic issues -not everyone has the same length of pull (LOP). LOP can NOT be adjusted in a bull pup design, u can't cut away part of the trigger group (housing).
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 6:00:03 AM EDT
The main problem I see with bullpups is that ejection issue. Weapons such as the Tavor, Steyr AUG, FAMAS, and SAR-21 can all be readily converted to left hand ejection using either the same parts, or a conversion. The draw back is of course that what ever shoulder you fire from is the only one you can use, or so the argument goes. I have never fired a rifle from the left. Granted I am not currently in the military, so I do not know if that is a tactical requirement or not.

Bullpups do solve alot of issue in carbine size weapons given the fact that you maintain barrell length, and as such maintain velocity. Also a well designed bullpup can be more balanced then a traditional rifle because the weight of the action can counter balance the barrle.

As for the mag changes, I will give you that that is slower, but after some practice I've gotten almost as quick on my M-17 as on my AR.

I love bullpups, how they look and how they shoot, I wish that there were more of them on the civillian market!
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 7:25:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
Are you claiming that most soldiers would switch shoulders when firing around the left side of something? I don't think so.


Well trained soldier do. If you don't switch your rifle to the other side you expose way to much of your body. Remmber incomming fire has the right of way - so you BETTER stay out of its way.

If you always shoot from the same side of cover (i.e. alwasy from the right because you are a righty and you love your new SA85A2 bullpup) you quickly get shot because they can predict where you will pop out from.

Every soldier in Basic training is taught to constantaly switch sides to avoid this problem.



Also, from what I remember, we were trained cover is down, not cover is to the left or right.


Cover stops incomming fire - it does not matter if its on the right/left or down. Down is better but that is not always possible.



A small wall, hill, foxhole, etc. will protect you much better than most things that you would lean to the right or left behind. A tree or a corner of a building isn't good cover.z


You take what you can get. Foxholes are only when fighting defensively - not many of them when you are on the attack say in Desert Storm or Afghanistan. Foxholes in cities are almost unheard of; you use trees or corners of buildings (say in Panama or Mogodishu). MOUT operations are becommming more common, and more and more combat is expected in urban areas. YOu will need to be able to switch shoulders with your rifle or you will shot really quicly when you expose yourself going around a corner to your 'strong' side.


As for the mag changes, I will give you that that is slower, but after some practice I've gotten almost as quick on my M-17 as on my AR.


You will never be as fast with a bullpup as you are with an AR. I'll bet AK's will even load faster than your bullpup.
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 8:21:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
The question will be: will WE get to own guns firing caseless ammo?



I stand corrected. Apparently, there is a firearm that is, at least theoretically, available to civilians -- the Voere Electronic caseless rifle.

To drive yourself crazy, go to:

www.vpc.org/press/9307case.htm
Link Posted: 4/17/2002 9:27:49 PM EDT
When the Brit Army switched from the FAL to the L85 (SA80), they had big problems with left-of-cover situations in Northern Ireland. No problem to left-shoulder the FAL, but not possible with the L85.

Result was that squaddies were real reluctant to patrol that side of the street... made them more predictable (a bad thing in urban warfare).
Link Posted: 4/18/2002 4:39:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ronin47:

Originally Posted By Troy:
The question will be: will WE get to own guns firing caseless ammo?



I stand corrected. Apparently, there is a firearm that is, at least theoretically, available to civilians -- the Voere Electronic caseless rifle.

To drive yourself crazy, go to:

www.vpc.org/press/9307case.htm



And the funny part is that if it were made here, or had enought american made parts, the G-11 that they mentioned would be legal here wiht out modification! Eventually we will get a civvie G-11 esque rifle, time will tell, sooner or later, time will tell.
Link Posted: 4/18/2002 1:12:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By StealthyBlagga:
When the Brit Army switched from the FAL to the L85 (SA80), they had big problems with left-of-cover situations in Northern Ireland. No problem to left-shoulder the FAL, but not possible with the L85.

Result was that squaddies were real reluctant to patrol that side of the street... made them more predictable (a bad thing in urban warfare).



And now the spec ops types who can use what they want are getting Canadian manufactured M16s. I believe the same applies to the Aussie spec ops types, who would be happy to use anything that doesn't have the initials AUG.
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