Best Bullpup Rifles – Jan 2023

What is the best bullpup rifle in 2022

The best bullpup rifles offer the performance of a full size rifle in a much smaller package, and you should have at least one in your gun safe.

Left handed shooters love them because they’re a fully ambidextrous design. Once you get used to a bullpup rifle layout, too, there are significant advantages over an AR-15 standard rifle.

The compact layout of this Close Quarters Combat weapon brings the center of gravity closer to your body, making the rifle feel lighter in your hands than a carbine-length AR. It’s a shorter gun you can swing round your home more easily, too.

As with everything there are pros and cons. The best bullpup rifles & shotguns tend to be a little back heavy and muzzle rise is part of the package. They are also heavy, and switching mags does tend to take about a second longer than with conventional rifles.

So you’ll have to change your technique to bear down on your target that little more. They are also heavier and switching out mags takes a second longer than with conventional shotgun designs.

Canada really loves bullpup firearms now, too, after the AR-15 was outlawed the regulations didn’t catch these. That’s food for thought. If you’re worried about a ban, it’s a pre-emptive strike to have bullpup firearms in your gun safes.

But work round that and a good bullpup rifle can work really well for home defense.

But which one?

Here are our top picks for the best bullpup rifle for sale in 2023 and a few other left-field contenders.

Steyr Aug A3 M1 on sale now in Stormtrooper white.

1. Steyr Aug A3 M1

  • Price: $1,855.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/223 Rem
  • Barrel length: 16
  • Length: 28.25-29.75 inch
  • Weight: 8lb

This Austrian icon might just be the most famous bullpup rifle in the world. Mass adoption by military and law enforcement is one reason, but it has also starred in a ton of movies.

The Steyr Aug simply looks like nothing else and that draws the visually minded movie prop folks like moths to a flame.

An adjustable short stroke gas piston was designed to run suppressed, or not, and there’s a Wylde chamber at the heart of this Stayr Arms semi-automatic rifle.

It is simple to convert for left handed shooters and pretty much everybody can pick up and fire the Steyr Aug. This Steyr Arms is that easy to operate.

You can order some great sounding colors from Steyr Arms too. Get the black, white, green or mud. Don’t worry about fancy multicam, burnt bronze, any of that nonsense with the Steyr Aug.

Compact Bullpup Works for House Clearance

Even with a 16 inch heavy barrel, this whole rifle measures just 28.15 inches long. That’s easily 8 inches shorter than an M4 Carbine with a similar length barrel. When it comes to urban warfare, close quarters combat and sweeping your house for home defense, that’s a huge deal.

With a simple armorer’s wrench you can also switch from the famous AUG optics tube to red dot sights on a full length Picatinny rail.

This semi-auto rifle vents gas out the front, so it’s cleaner, which gives it an almost unnatural ability to adapt to the best ammo, or the worst ammo, you can find to put through it.

Introduced by the Austrian military as the StG77 in 1978, the Steyr Aug has barely changed and yet still looks kind of like tomorrow’s world. The collapsible forward grip, the pistol grip and gigantic trigger guard and synthetic stock define the best gun here.

Some very influential folks think the Steyr Aug A3 is the best bullpup rifle ever made. We agree.

FN PS90 on sale now. The bullpup rifle with armor piercing rounds. Chambered in 5.7x28mm.

2. FN PS90

  • Price: $1,799.99
  • Caliber: 5.7x28mm
  • Barrel length: 16.04 inch
  • Length: 26.23 inch
  • Weight: 6.28lb

Show me a more stylish, wackier way to send these armor piercing 5.7x28mm rounds. There just isn’t one.

From the top loading magazine and high rail to the thumbhole stock and fully ambidextrous controls, this was a work of design genius when it launched in 2005. The ejection port is at the bottom, too, which is brilliantly obvious, and yet so rarely done this well.

Special Forces and Counter Terrorist units adopted this bullpup rifle, which led to armed forces, specialist military and law enforcement units in more than 40 countries placing orders.

In the United States, Houston SWAT proved its efficacy in 2003 and by 2009 more than 200 units around the country had the FN P90 in its arsenal. New customers included the US Secret Service and Federal Protective Services.

They often opted for the 10.5 inch shorter barrel SBR, but this 16.04 inch version still results in a 26 inch rifle, and a muzzle velocity of 3000fps with the right ammo

5.7 Better Than 9mm

FN Herstal created this rifle and FN Five Seven in response to a NATO request for a better round than 9mm Luger. Piercing body armor was a non negotiable and the terminal ballistics had to leave 9mm in a crumpled heap.

The high muzzle velocity 5.7x28mm was the answer and this orgy of curves and weird yet totally logical corners and straight edges just works. Rarely for a bullpup, it’s an excellent trigger pull too.

You know you want this gun in your collection. It is fun to shoot, it will put a smile on your face very time you touch it and it’s a little piece of firearms history in a spectacularly useful package. Look at the impression this awesome bullpup rifle makes on one of our favorite Youtube gun guys here.

Springfield Hellion Bullpup rifle. Get yours here

3. Springfield Hellion

  • Price: $1,799.99
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Barrel length: 16 inch barrel
  • Length: 26 inch
  • Weight: 8lb

The Springfield Hellion is a rebadged version of the Croatian VHS-2, and that’s a good thing. The VHS-2 is the Croatian military duty weapon, standard issue for all the armed forces and a legend for close quarters combat.

Springfield Armory doesn’t manufacture much these days, instead it imports most the black polymer pistols and rifles. That means it can cherry pick some great guns, and the Springfield Armory XD came from Croatia, too.

The VHS-2 is a famously smooth shooter in fully automatic mode. As a semi-automatic the performance has amazed, delighted, whatever you want to say. It’s good, is the short version and the full auto version is a work of art.

You get an adjustable length of pull with the Springfield Hellion. It’s already longer than most of the best AR-15s, but it goes longer still, with an adjustable cheek riser and iron sights. The high rail keeps the red dot in the right place and this could be the next gen Aug that we all love.

Other neat touches include a cassette mounted Fire Control Unit that pops out with the touch of a button if you’re struggling with trigger group issues etc. Again, it’s super easy for left handed shooters to switch the ejector port and avoid a face full of hot brass and there’s no slop in that rail, or anywhere.

Desert Tech MDRx bullpup. Get your rifle ttoday

4. Desert Tech MDRx

  • Price: $2,145.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/223 Rem
  • Barrel: 16.5
  • Length: 26 inch
  • Weight: 8.3lb

The Desert Tech MDRx is a relatively new arrival, launching in 2020 and making a spectacular impression on the bullpup market.

Available in a range of calibers, this gas piston operated rifle comes with the Ratchet Compensator, which adjusts to the ammunition and helps reduce recoil. Side ejection is standard, but you can order a forward ejector upgrade that is well worth it.

Tavor X95 on sale now. Get one of the best bullpup rifles

5. IWI Tavor X95

  • Price: $1,749.99
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 16.5 inch barrel
  • Length: 26 inch
  • Weight: 7.9lb

The IWI Tavor X95 was designed with the tight corridors and alleyways of Israel in mind. So it’s compact, reliable, and also serves as a club when you’re out of bullets.

Sounds pretty good as a home defense weapon right?

I mean any bullpup style gun does, we guess. But the Tavor X95 one was actually designed with that in the parameters.

Aside from that it’s a long stroke gas piston that evolved from the Tavor SAR rifle that has inspired thousands of clones around the world. Well, maybe hundreds if you include the bullpup shotguns that largely copied the basic layout of the IWI Tavor SAR.

The IWI Tavor X95 bullpup rifle is a step forward in several areas. The Fire Control Unit is better, the charging handle has been moved closer to the center mass and there are other small changes. It field strips into two major components in seconds too.

Muzzle rise is a character trait, and you have to adjust your stance and shooting technique with this Israel Weapons Industries bullpup assault rifle.

Spare parts availability is an issue with the IWI Tavor too, all of them, not just the Tavor X95, but it’s still a great gun and owners love theirs enough to tolerate the supply chain.

Plenty of folks end up with the Tavor 7 308 Win rifle, too, then maybe a wild Tavor TS12 semi automatic bullpup shotgun. Tavor has truly embraced the bullpup design and has a full range of the best bullpup rifles and shotguns for you to choose from. We love them for that.

Kel Tec RDB is a low price bullpup rifle and one of the top rifles for sale

6. Kel Tec RDB

  • Price: $980.64
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel length: 16.5
  • Length: 26 inch
  • Weight: 7.9lb

One of the recent arrivals to the best bulldog rifle ranks is also the cheapest by some margin if you get our gun deals.

So if you’re looking for a cheap bullpup style rifle, then the Kel Tec RDB might be your best gun right here.

Kel-Tec makes a lot of cheap, great guns, including the Kel Tec KSG bullpup shotgun. The Kel Tec RDB is a cheap rifle in this company, but it is every bit as effective as the higher cost offerings.

The downward ejection port is just one of 11 innovations that Kel Tec thinks give them a competitive edge in this compact battle rifle sector. It also makes it even easier for left handed shooters to just pick it up and start shooting.

You could definitely make a case for case ejection out of the line of sight being a gamechanger in real world situations like home defense. We like that about the Kel Tec RDB semi-automatic rifle and the gun reviews are largely positive.

Also check out the similar Kel tec RFB, chambered in 308 Win Mag, with the longer barrel. If you like the RDB, you’ll love the Kel Tec RFB too.

You Want a Bullpup Shotgun With That?

Bullpup rifles and shotguns sort of go together and if you’re swayed by the bullpup design, get the pros and cons and actually give it a go, you might find yourself investing in a collection. Especially when you see the gun deals we have for you.

Here are a few bullpup shotguns you should consider.

Tavor TS-12 is a beast of a semi-automatic shotgun

1. IWI Tavor TS12

  • Price: $1,340.99
  • Barrel length: 18.5 inch
  • Total Length: 28.75 inches
  • Weight: 8.85lb
  • Capacity: 15+1

This semi-automatic shotgun comes with a revolving set of 3 tube magazines and 15 full-size shells between reloads.

It isn’t quite as effective as a detachable box magazine in terms of fast reloads. But the IWI Tavor TS12 is a truly unique bullpup shotgun and we kind of love it.

Would the IWI Tavor TS12 be our first choice for home defense in the United States with all those complex moving parts? That’s another question…

The IWI, Kel Tec and more come in Flat Dark Earth, Drab Olive Green and more. So you don’t just need a matte black option.

Kel-Tek KSG Pump Action shotgun

2. Kel Tec KSG

  • Price: $744.99
  • Barrel: 18.5 inch
  • Total Length: 26.1 inch
  • Capacity: 12 + 1

The Kel-Tec KSG 12 gauge shotgun is one of the most famous bullpup shotguns in the world. John Wick had one with red dots and it has appeared in more movies than most Hollywood stars.

The dual magazine tubes meant it was one of the first high capacity shotguns and this pump action shotgun is still one of the best.

Get the buyer’s guide on this bullpup style 12 gauge shotgun here.

Black Aces Tactical

3. Black Aces Tactical Bullpup 12 Gauge Shotgun

  • Price: $329.99
  • Barrel: 18.5 inch
  • Total Length: 28 inch
  • Weight: 10lb
  • Capacity: 5 + 1

Black Aces Tactical make great tactical shotguns for personal defense at an affordable price. Compared to most the others on this list, these bullpup shotguns are just the best gun deals.

This Black Aces Tactical bullpup shotgun is a pump action shotgun, but there is a semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun for not much more money.

Now the Black Aces Tactical Bullpup shotguns are fun to shoot, reliable and they get great gun reviews on the Palmetto State Armory website. Read the buyer’s guide posts, the pros and cons, and you’ll see that people love this 12 gauge shotgun.

That’s one of the few places you can buy a Black Aces Tactical Bullpup shotgun now, as the company has ceased selling direct to the public and now operates through a dealer network.

Check out the gun reviews on the Black Aces Tactical 12 gauge shotguns, and prepare to place your order.

Where to Bulk Buy Ammo

Our gun deals go beyond the rifles themselves and we spend a lot of time looking for ammunition prices. Palmetto State Armory is a favorite supplier at the moment, for the best bullpup rifles, shotguns, best ammo, everything.

Palmetto State Armory does have some great ammunition prices and you can buy up to 1000 round ammo cans. 9mm ammo, handgun ammo, rifle ammo, all that. Palmetto State Armory is our inside tip for ammo deals.

Other Guns You Need, But Didn’t Know It

So we’ve done the best bullpup rifles, shotguns, best ammo too. So now you only really need traditional rifles, and maybe the best concealed carry pistol for a complete personal defense weapon kit.

Maybe some concealed carry insurance, while you’re there.

The Sig Sauer P365 is our best 9mm micro-compact handgun, although you might want the Sig Sauer P365XL if you have bigger hands.

If you need to go hunting, or something more dramatic, check out these bolt action sniper rifles.

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