The bullpup rifle has grown in popularity in recent years. A firearm truly like no other, the bullpup is of European design, and in the past, has been predominantly favored by those in combat and by collectors. There are several advantages to owning and operating a bullpup, as well as a few current disadvantages to be aware of. However, these disadvantages are of no worry, as the weapons marketplace continues to adapt to consumers’ interests.
What Is A Bullpup?
A bullpup is a battle rifle known for its size and the location action in relation to the trigger. The bullpup platform is defined by the action being located behind the trigger.
The RDB is Keltec’s 5.56/223 iteration of the bullpup. A series of rifles developed by KelTec, the defining characteristics include:
- Ambidextrous design — features downward ejection
- Reversible operating handle
- 5.56/.223 ballistic advantage in a compact package
- Easily maneuverable with improved trigger and balance
However, the features of the RDB series do not necessarily account for all bullpup rifles. KelTec has worked to address the common pitfalls of the bullpup and has redefined the platform in their different series of rifles.
Advantages of a Bullpup
As firearms technology continues to experience innovation, improvements are being made to imperfect platform designs, the bullpup rifle's appeal is broadening. There are also reasons bullpups have been the gun of choice for different militaries around the world. Some of the most notable and beloved features include compact size, maneuverability, and barrel length (in proximity to its compact design).
Smaller Size and Better Range of Motion
The biggest advantage of the bullpup is its small size. The RDB is known for its compact design and balance. Users are able to more easily utilize the weapon's overall length without sacrificing barrel length compared to a traditional rifle. Excellent balance allows for better mobility. The RDB is the most balanced 5.56 rifle on the market.
Because of the RDB’s balance, it can be operated for extended periods of time without fatiguing the user. Thus, they are great for individuals with a smaller stature. Whether maneuvering through a competition course of fire or quietly navigating a hunting spot, bullpup rifles offer certain advantages over larger alternatives.
The Adjustable Gas System Means Less Recoil
The adjustable gas system allows for minimal recoil while maintaining reliability. While there are adjustable AR15 rifles, they are not very common and typically offer minimal adjustment. The RDB’s fully adjustable gas system, on the other hand, allows the recoil to be tailored to the ammunition. If mounting a suppressor, the ammo pressure can be tailored to that particular suppressor for maximum reliability.
Because suppressors typically add about 60% of back pressure on the action, more pressure will be felt in the recoil. However, with an adjustable gas system, all of the additional pressure can be eliminated. This is beneficial because it reduces the impact felt on the shooter which allows for faster, accurate followup shots.
KelTec RDB: Modern Features on a Patented Design
KelTec has continually perfected weapons that have been loved for generations. The RDB is no exception. It is fully ambidextrous due to its patented downward ejection. With this design feature, KelTec has successfully addressed one of the main issues of bullpups.
Disadvantages of a Bullpup
The dominant issue with bullpup rifles that KelTec has risen to the occasion to answer has been an ejection system ruling out left-handed shooters. Typically, bullpup rifles have featured side ejection. The only solution in the past has been to purchase expensive conversion kits. The RDB provides downward ejection, making this a versatile, one-of-a-kind rifle.
Regardless of the model, there are a couple of limitations that affect all bullpup rifles. Unlike the AR15, bullpups are not standardized. Accessory options are also sparse for bullpups as compared to AR15s. However, over the years, as demand has increased, there have been improvements. The aftermarket is catching up with consumer interest in AR-style bullpup accessories, especially with the RDB.
For more information about the RDB or any of KelTec’s other bullpup models, visit our website.