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When it comes to maximizing performance and minimizing bulk in a tactical firearm, it is hard to beat the bullpup.

A “bullpup” weapon, by definition, has a design where the action is located behind the trigger group. The action is built into the buttstock, thus significantly reducing the overall length of the weapon while maintaining the same full-length barrel of a conventional rifle or shotgun.

The shorter length gives the bullpup better maneuverability in confined environments—creeping around corners, moving through doorways and rooms, getting in and out of vehicles.

The balance of the bullpup is also moved toward the rear, making it more comfortable to carry and quick to shoulder. The operating controls of bullpups are closer to the user, too.

In short, they combine the best of both worlds—outsized power and downsized dimensions. From across a room or out to thousands of yards, bullpups offer uncompromised firepower in compact packages.

Barrett Model 95

The Barrett Model 95 harnesses the pinpoint accuracy of a bolt-action rifle with the power of the .50 BMG round. The bolt carrier assembly is a simple, rugged design that can be field-stripped in less than 60 seconds. For more information, visit barrett.net or call 615-896-2938.

Bluegrass Armory Moonshiner

The Moonshiner from Bluegrass Armory is a bolt-action bullpup that features an interchangeable-caliber platform, allowing a user to go from 7.62mm NATO to .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua. The receiver is made from billet aluminum. For more information, visit bluegrassarmory.com or call 352-401-9070.

Desert Tech SRS-A1

The Stealth Recon Scout A1 (SRS-A1) sniper system from Desert Tech is 12 inches shorter than a conventional sniper system. The rifle can also use quick-caliber conversion kits, so operators can change the SRS-A1’s chambering in the field, and it’s guaranteed to shoot within 0.5 MOA with quality match ammo. For more information, visit deserttech.com or call 801-975-7272.

FN FS2000 CQB

The FS2000 CQB from FN America uses a gas-operated rotating bolt, and spent casings are ejected from the front of the carbine, through a port near the exposed barrel. The barrel is slightly over 17 inches in length and is fitted with a ported muzzle brake. (fnhusa.com; 703-288-3500)

FN P90

The P90 is completely ambidextrous and built for the 5.7x28mm cartridge. It uses a blowback operating system and fires from a closed bolt. In its LE/military configuration, the P90 features select-fire capabilities, an ultra-short overall length and a 50+1 capacity. The civilian PS90 features a 16.1-inch barrel and semi-auto operation. For more, visit fnhusa.com or call 703-288-3500.

IWI Tavor SAR

In service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since 2001, the Tavor is now being offered in a semi-automatic version by IWI US to American citizens. SARs are available with 16.5- or 18-inch barrels, and shooters can choose a model with a flattop or the IDF variant, which comes with a Mepro 21 day/night reflex sight mounted. For more, visit iwi.us or call 717-695-2081.

Kel-Tec KSG

The unique KSG is a pump-action shotgun with two magazine tubes. Each tube holds six rounds for a total capacity of 12+1 rounds. The user selects the magazine tube via a lever located behind the triggerguard.For more information, visit keltecweapons.com or call 800-515-9983.

Kel-Tec RFB

Kel-Tec’s RFB (Rifle, Forward-ejecting Bullpup) uses a short-stroke gas piston operating system. All of its controls are fully ambidextrous, and it uses common FAL-pattern magazines. The muzzle is threaded to accept flash or sound suppressors. For more information, visit keltecweapons.com or call 321-631-0068.

MSAR STG-E4

The STG-E4 is the fifth generation of MSAR’s American-made bullpup. At its heart is a forged 7075-T6 aluminum receiver. It is compatible with most AR-15/M16 magazines. For more information, visit msarinc.com or call 814-363-9260.

Standard Manufacturing DP-12

The DP-12 combines pump-action and double-barreled shotguns into one. The twin-barreled bullpup holds sixteen 2¾-inch shells that are fired via a single trigger one barrel at a time—the right barrel and then the left. For more information, visit stdgun.com.

Steyr AUG A3 M1

The iconic Austrian AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr) utilizes a modular design that allows users to quickly change barrels for specific scenarios. The new M1variant is configured with an optics attachment platform similar to the AUG A2 and is offered in short-rail, high-rail and integrated-optic versions (the latter with either a 1.5X or 3X scope). For more information, visit steyrarms.com or call  205-417-8644.

UTAS UTS-15

The UTS-15 uses an AR-style pistol grip and safety selector, but its resemblance to an AR ends there. Above the barrel are two magazine tubes that can accommodate seven 2¾-inch shells or six 3-inch shells each. The Picatinny top rail makes it easy to mount sights. For more information, visit utas-usa.com or call 847-768-1011.

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