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Old March 26, 2013, 11:45 AM   #1
jason41987
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should i buy a bullpup?

im starting to really like the idea of the bullpup concept, i have a few conventional military style rifles and am looking to mix things up a bit either by getting one of the very new designs (like the XCR) or go with a bullpup... i like the way they balance, comfort, compactness, and the mobility they offer in tighter spaces and for such compactness it seems your choices are either to chop the barrel VERY short, or go bullpup

so for the sake of variety, for trying something new and adding greater diversity to my collection, should i buy a bullpup (currently liking the IWI tavor (civilian israeli tar-21), FS2000, steyr AUG.. or get a modern, but still conventionally laid out rifle such as the XCR?
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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I had an ACR, it and the XCR look like nearly the exact same rifle. I got really bored with my ACR after about a year and 500rds and sold it at an absurdly low Pre panic price (stupid stupid stupid... At least it was to a buddy in my unit).

I think a bullpup could possibly get me person interested in 5.56 again, but that's just me, YMMV. I say go with an AUG/MSAR STG556
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:51 PM   #3
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Try it before you buy it. It's a little bit different than what many are used to.
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Old March 26, 2013, 11:25 PM   #4
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why shouldnt you?
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Old March 26, 2013, 11:41 PM   #5
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the only two guns discussed here I have any experience with are the bushmaster ACR and FN Herstal FS2000.
I personally hated the ACR, none of the controls are in a good spot. the only thing I was able to find with less than 30 seconds of searching and close scrutiny was the trigger, and even that the trigger sucked and I couldn't hit anything with the damn thing.

the FS2000 was a much more interesting design. the safety is inside the trigger guard, the mag release allows for single hand mag changes, left side charging handle allows you to keep your firing hand in place and sight picture intact. some low points are the trigger takes some getting used to but most bullpups have subpar triggers compared to conventional designs so it's probably nothing to worry bout. also the factory peeps are pretty bad, very small apertures. a red dot would really make the FS2000 shine.
if I ever had the money and opportunity I would pick up a FS2000 in a heartbeat.

if the XCR is anything like the ACR I'd pass...
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Old March 27, 2013, 12:01 AM   #6
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OP, do yourself a favor and just buy a bullpup stock for a semi-auto rifle that you already have, that way if you get bored with it you can always change it back, and if you have a ruger mini-14 here is a link to Muzzlelite,http://www.mwgco.com/ar-15_accessori...G-MZ0-014.html, the stock cost like $100+s&h.
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Old March 27, 2013, 12:25 AM   #7
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the problem with bullpup conversion kits is that they always create problems with the rifle they go on, especially the cheap ones. muzzlelite in particular has a poor reputation for bad ergonomics, poor fit, reduction in accuracy and they are all ugly to boot. some companies like center balance systems offer interesting and convincing conversions and what few reviews I've been able to find are all positive but they cost a great deal more than the $100 kits that bubba slaps on his AK to try and make to look more scary.

if you want a decent bullpup, you'll have to pay for it, there's just no way around it.
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Old March 27, 2013, 08:12 AM   #8
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i LOVE bullpups! my MSAR is my fav rifle. my greatest sale regret was selling that green one earlier this year. still have the black one tho. i got ratworx trigger pack for it. lets you put any AR style trigger parts in it. great upgrade.

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Old March 27, 2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Definitely "try before you buy". I shot the FS2000, and just didn't like the trigger at all. It felt "mushy" and "indirect", if that makes sense - probably because of all the extra connecting pieces required due to the distance from the trigger to the firing assembly.
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Old March 27, 2013, 08:42 AM   #10
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I really like the augs, customizable, battle proven, either get a model that uses stanag magazines or the model that uses better Aug mags, seems to be a fair amount of accessories.. I may go that route
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Old March 27, 2013, 08:53 AM   #11
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Isn't the msar like $800 cheaper than the steyr brand? What's the difference in terms of features and quality?
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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generally the MSAR is much cheaper than the AUG and probably the most affordable bullpup out there right now, my LGS had one for a while and it was neat to say the least. never got to fire one though so I can't speak for function, accuracy etc.
I would wager the difference between the MSAR and AUG are about the same as the difference between a Stag arms AR15 and a Colt, the biggest difference is the name stamped on the side.
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Old March 27, 2013, 12:39 PM   #13
jason41987
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Was the MSAR based on blueprints or was it backwards engineered? Are parts between them and steyrs freely interchangeable such as between in-spec ar15 brands? To be honest I like the top rail on the msar more than the a3
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Old March 27, 2013, 04:24 PM   #14
loose_holster_dan
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not fully interchangeable. some parts are.

ratworx makes (and/or sells) most of the aftermarket parts for it that i know of. a lot of their parts are trying to make it more like an AR-15. the hybrid bolt and hybrid trigger pack let you use AR-15 parts. their trigger pack, while pricey, is fantastic. i had some of the other brand trigger mods, but they made it very unreliable. sometimes the trigger wouldn't even reset. the raptor charging handle helps the heavy charging pull weight, but the new trigger pack helped that a lot too.

i also had problems switching between brass and steel case ammo. it does fine with brass. it would do fine with steel as well, but you shouldn't switch between the two without cleaning first. i won't explain why, as a simple google search should tell you. i broke an extractor doing this. however, with ratworx's hybrid bolt and new extractor, it handles both just fine.

i've handled both this and the old pre-ban aug and just like this better.
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Old March 28, 2013, 07:32 PM   #15
jason41987
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well i think im pretty much sold on the AUG... though still undecided if i want the MSAR, or the real deal aug... it seems like the steyr aug is just a copy of their military rifle, but it seems that MSAR actually makes improvements as they go
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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jason41987, I've got both an AUG A3 and an MSAR E4. I've fired brass and steel cases (zinc or brass plated, no polymer coated stuff), through both and not had any problems with the ammo. But then I always keep both weapons clean. I've not tried any run-the-thing-without-cleaning-until-it-won't-run-no-more stuff. They've both worked great for me so far (over the course of a year or so).

HOWEVER. That said, I've seen many posts on various forums complaining of problems with various makes of MSAR. There are 3 or 4 generations of them, plus the E4 (which takes AR mags). Do a search on ARFcom, and on USAUG.com and see what you think. For a long while MSAR the company had gone offline (Chapter 11 I think). The only support available was from the fine folks @ RatWorx. They helped me out with an issue on my E4 (the original magazine latch design for the E4 was weak and needed replacement). I've also purchased RatWorx' hybrid bolt and trigger pack. Both are excellent, though you have to get on a waiting list for the trigger pack. That pack compared to a stock MSAR or AUG trigger pack is a whole new ballgame. Highly recommended.

MSAR the company is back now and building the E4 again, so *perhaps* the support thing is resolved. I don't know. And Steyr are having AUG A3s built in the U.S., so they are available NIB too. Parts have always been available for the AUGs (do a search for Pete Athens: great guy and an AUG guru). It would be worth your while to search on the world wide wait for info on both firearms to see what's what, before making a decision.

I'd hate to have to decide between my AUG and my E4. Both are fun to shoot, handy to maneuver, and nicely balanced. I use an ACOG on my MSAR and an Elcan on my AUG (1-4x). I have 3 barrels for my MSAR (16", 18" and 20"), but only 1 (16") for my AUG. Been lookin' for a 20" barrel for the AUG, but no luck so far. New 16" barrels are available for the AUG again, and 24" barrels are supposed to be next on the list. The 20" is planned for later on down the road. It takes about 15 seconds to change a barrel on an AUG or the MSAR, which is a very cool feature. Helps make them simple to clean, too.

Good luck in your search, Sir!
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:20 AM   #17
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This.

Quote:
ScottRiqui Definitely "try before you buy".
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:36 AM   #18
loose_holster_dan
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the e4 is awesome, but a little more expensive. en-frame is right about early generation stg-556 models. the ones with the forward assist or the ones with the older flash hider are ones to stay away from. a good visual inspection will usually tell you what generation they are. if they have the tulip style flash hider and no forward assist like both the ones in my picture, chances are you will be fine.
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Old March 29, 2013, 02:20 PM   #19
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I can tell you about the XCR. I had one. I sold it reluctantly as I was not shooting it a lot and the AR was a better answer for support if I needed it (though I do not like the AR very much)

Think of the XCR it as a modernized AK. By that I do not mean kludging on things to an AK, but what you would have if you could take the long stroke gas piston concept with the rugged AK concept and put it in a modern frame gun and controls and add in a modular barrel system.

From that standpoint Alex Robinson succeed brilliant. The controls are exactly where they need to be (for a right hand shooter), they are intuitive, well located and work perfectly. They make the AR look like a model T in comparison. The cocking knob is non reciprocate and located on the left side which allows you to hold the gun in one hand and operate it easily (it has a forward assist function if you are dumb enough to want to try to force a cartridge into the chamber when its jammed). The bolt release is right where it need to be, magazine release also and the safely is in the right location. He did everything right unlike all the other recent ones and I have played with them all.

The new trigger is equal to the RRA two stage chrome match (older ones had the standard ugly AR equivalent). It is not the same trigger though, its OEM to RA.

Function wise I never had a problem with it. Accuracy wise at least for 3 shot groups I could sometimes get a sub 1 inch accuracy at 100 yds and often 1 1/14 inch.

Barrel wise you would be better off with a 16 inch version and the light barrel, not the heavy. The 18 inch is heavy and with the HB its too heavy (at least for the purpose and testing has shown that the light barrel are as accurate. XCR is a bit heavier regardless and a 16 inch AR is a lot handier

I never had it fail to operate and you could select gas port setting to suit the ammo.

Barrel removal is easy and return to very close to zero.

Takedown is extremely easy (better than an AR by far) and no small parts to loose, you can get to all the items including the gas tube and piston and it runs clean.

One downside was that after a while it started to pierce primers (no issues resulted but I don’t like it and it should not do it). The fix was to grind the firing pin hole and it had bad looking primers (they tell me like an AK though my AK does not do that) but not pierced. A lot of discussions on the XCR group as to the cause and the real fix.

Alex is too busy designing new guns to fix that relatively minor issue to him but ****** off people who bought the rifle as it should not do it. Maybe someday he will turn his brilliant mind to the fix and come out with one. Stay tuned on that.

While the modular barrel system has some emotional appeal and works very well, most people just put on one and use it and not shift. For civilian use I think it has limited application. I do think it would make a very good military option that you cold select barrel lengths for a given mission be it all open country and one length of a mix of lengths to allow flexibility to deal with close in to far out and stuff in between. (one type or any mix at base, not in the filed)


The downside to dealing with the XCR is its not just a custom carbine, you have to deal with Alex Robinson and his crappy approach to customer support. He does not care. I know of two people who worked that area and really tried to make it function and both were run off (or quit as he made their job impossible form what I can gather).

He is a brilliant designer, but he apparently want to design new things, not improve the problem with the older stuff and run a business. He can’t do it and the consequence is poor to non existent effort to the people who buy the gins.

If you go that route I would encourage you to deal with the following as he seem to have been able to maintain some kind of working relationship with Alex Robinson.

Kermit Zahn, Wild Thang Farms 3150 Fuller Road Emmett, ID 83617-9158 Phone: (208) 365-6582.
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:34 PM   #20
jason41987
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i actually remembered the designer of the XCR sending a long rather insulting rant on the XCR forum insulting the intelligence of anyone that had an issue with the rifle.. this is why i didnt buy an XCR then.. but i do like AKs so the long stroke piston and massive lugged bolt were attractive features to me

as for bullpup vs conventional rifle... it seems bullpups, which all have crappy triggers, and weighted more rearward tend to be limited in range because of this and not barrel length.. and a few more inches overall length between the bullpup and a conventional rifle of the same barrel length just doesnt seem as much of an issue... i mean, really how bad off is an M4 sized rifle in close quarters and moving from vehicles?

meanwhile.. i had this idea come to me for a new approach to the trigger mechanism of a bullpup, one that would allow for for a short travel and a light pull like on a conventional rifle.. without giving too many details, basically linking a striker in the rear to a hammer in the front... the extra length and weight of the pull would be taken up by the action of the rifle when cocking the hammer and the amount of rearward force can be adjusted to make up for it...

so while im waiting for prices to come down, im designing my own bullpup from scratch in a 3D solid modeling CAD program after which i can assemble the parts in the 3D, run function tests, animations, etc... if im confident in my design i may just spend my money on a mill to machine the parts i need for a prototype

im working on designing three other designs as well, ones a modern rifle similar to the ACR/XCR/SCAR with some improvements, one is simply a lower/upper carrier set with new bolt carrier, all other parts used are AR15 parts.. trigger group, barrel, bolt, etc.. and the last one is geared towards ultimate simplicity in manufacturing, using a piece of tube steel for a receiver (finished product would look similar to a barrett M82 if it was scaled down and made into a 5.56mm)... but this is a lever-delayed blowback as its simpler to machine these parts than it is a seperate bolt and bolt carrier, locking lugs, etc

so i guess if i want something truly perfect ill just have to do it myself
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:20 AM   #21
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FYI - Tomac is selling one of his MSAR's right now. He has owned a bunch over the years. I got most of my good information from him when I was starting out.

With the upgrades he already has on this and all the extra mags, it's a great deal.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=521370
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:24 AM   #22
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The Bullpup is made for the 5.56 round. If I ever buy, or trade for, another 5.56 gun, it will definitely be a bullpup.
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Old April 2, 2013, 02:31 PM   #23
jason41987
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i heard IWI's MSRP is going to make the tavor (israeli tar-21) the least expensive purpose-built bullpup on the market which is quite suprising considering out of all available its probably the most battle proven... i know the AUG has been around much longer and adopted by more countries, but the tavor has probably seen more recent conflicts and was honed in an environment that is hell on rifles

so with the price being lowest on this one is making the tavor a very attractive option... id wait for aftermarket.. but lets face it, there will never be as much aftermarket for a bullpup as a conventional rifle of equal popularity simply because you cant really change the stock, forearm, grips, and what you can do as far as triggers is limited too.. but i think if i go with one ill wait for the tavor, but its neck and neck with the AUG which ive liked for many years

but at any rate i think if i do in fact decide to go with the AUG, id probably go with the MSAR simply because there seems to be more available, more out there, more aftermarket, and they make improvements as they go (such as their rail system vs the A3s) it would be nice if their parts were more compatible though..
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Old April 2, 2013, 11:34 PM   #24
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I like the bullpups a lot but with the way many of them are priced I don't like them that much more than a regular old AR. As everyone has said, give one a shot if your local gun range has one for rent because I know it felt a little weird the first time I used one but that went away quickly.
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Old April 3, 2013, 12:35 AM   #25
jason41987
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zia, i hear the tavor is supposed to be prices as the cheapest, a good chunk below the price of the aug and well, well below the price of the FS2000
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