The primary police rifle is still the AR, but that isn’t the only player in the game. The bullpup has been around a long time and offers some distinct advantages.
There are certain pluses and minuses that come with different barrel lengths, especially for police operations. Working in full kit with a 16-inch-barreled carbine can certainly be done, but it is far more convenient with a 10-inch barrel. Add a suppressor to the equation and barrel length becomes even more critical—running a 16.5-inch AR with a suppressor is unwieldy at best. While 10-inch-barreled ARs can be made to work, they are loud and can be finicky with ammo. Adding a suppressor makes these ARs solid entry weapons, but many suppressors will increase fouling and reduce the gun’s reliability. Also consider terminal ballistics. The 5.56mm round was designed to be used out of a 20-inch barrel, so anything shorter will compromise the round’s effectiveness. While 14.5-inch barrels work well, they lower the 5.56mm’s velocity quite a bit. And as the barrel gets shorter, this only gets worse. The struggle between barrel length and performance is never-ending and hard to overcome with a standard configuration.
Bullpup rifles have been used by military and police forces for quite some time. The biggest advantage of the bullpup design is its size, especially as it relates to barrel length. A typical bullpup with a 16.5-inch barrel is comparable to a 10-inch-barreled AR, giving you the ballistics of a longer barrel in a shorter platform. This contributes to better operational reliability and terminal ballistics. Also, the bullpup’s controls are closer to the body, making it easier to use in full kit, and shifting the rifle’s weight to the rear means it’s more comfortable to carry and easier to shoulder.
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