Bullpups are fascinating weapons. I often hear the quote that “Bullpups are the gun of the future, and they always will be!” Yet, this maligns them and ignores the fact that several have become prominent service weapons and proven to be quite successful. Today we are going to talk about bullpup shotguns and why they make a lot of sense. Bullpup shotguns have become quite popular as of late, and as a shotgun nerd, it’s easy to see why.
What’s a Bullpup Shotgun?
If you’re not familiar with the bullpup concept, it’s quite simple. A standard firearm has the action forward of the trigger. A Bullpup shotgun, or rifle, places the action behind the trigger. The overall result is a much shorter weapon without having to sacrifice barrel length for a shorter profile.
Bullpup rifles like the AUG and the Tavor have become popular with both military and civilian users for a good reason. That short design makes them perfect for CQB. Only recently have bullpup shotguns made a rather large splash and become more popular. I would hazard to say that a bullpup shotgun makes more sense than a bullpup rifle even.
Why It Makes Sense
Shotguns are close-range weapons. For close-quarters fighting, a shotgun excels in delivering a large, often fight-stopping, payload with every trigger pull. In close-quarters combat, a shotgun rules. Generally speaking, in close quarters, the shorter the weapon, the better.
Shorter weapons are more maneuverable and easier to move with, especially when doorways, corners, and short cover are involved. Bullpup shotguns offer you an extremely compact but powerful weapon that works perfectly for shotgun applications.
A normal short-barreled shotgun will often have to compromise its ammo capacity to shorten the barrel. You can lose three rounds going from an 18-inch to a 14-inch barrel. Bullpup shotguns don’t have that issue at all. They allow you to retain an 18.5-inch barrel, maintain capacity, and keep the weapon shorter.
Bullpup shotguns are often even shorter than short-barreled shotguns. In fact, some are as short as pistol-grip-only shotguns and offer a stock for stability. Keep in mind if you are a Law Enforcement Officer or military, a short-barreled shotgun is an ATF Title II firearm requiring a tax stamp, registration, a long waiting period, and more.
Obviously, the downside to any bullpup is the slower reloads. Shotguns are already slow-reloading weapons with limited capacity. It does suck if you go Winchester and are forced to reload. However, shotguns often stop the fight with one shot, as evidenced by a study by Police Officer Greg Ellifritz who found that shotguns incapacitated 86 percent of combatants in one shot if fired the torso or head.
My Favorite Bullpup Shotguns
Which Bullpup shotguns are worth a damn? Well, although the market is growing, it’s not quite crowded yet. However, in my experience, three firearms take the cake when it comes to bullpup shotguns currently on the market.
The VRBP-100 offers shotgunners a semi-auto bullpup shotgun that looks like it came from the future! Its sci-fi design gives you a reliable gas-operated gun, nearly ambidextrous controls, and a wide variety of magazine sizes.
Shooters can choose between capacities ranging from five to nine to 19 rounds. The 19-round magazine is ridiculously large but provides a plentiful source of ammunition. The nine-round magazine provides a magazine of less ridiculous size but still plenty of ammunition.
As a semi-auto gun, it absolutely dominates and requires nothing more than repeated presses of the trigger to fill a target full of buckshot.
Bullpup shotguns offer a space-age design and the KS7 is no different. This pump-action, tube-fed shotgun does have the old-world reliability mixed with its space-age looks. The KS7 surprised me when I first got my hands on it. It proved to be incredibly reliable, easy to use, and simplistic.
It’s only 26.25 inches long and weighs less than six pounds. It’s incredibly light and provides a modular M-LOK rail system for lights, lasers, and cup holders. It packs seven rounds of 12-gauge firepower in its single tube and is an excellent option for an affordable bullpup shotgun.
The TS-12 is the king of bullpup shotguns. It mixes great ergonomics with a short bullpup design. It truly looks like a future blaster and packs features we’ve never seen before. This includes a tube-fed design that uses three magazine tubes, each holding five rounds. These tubes rotate and allow the shooter to pack a ton of ammo in a small package.
It’s a semi-auto design that produces relatively little recoil. The TS 12 is modular for lights, accessories, and all the fun stuff you can fit on it. It’s super easy to shoot, and its design makes reloading easy and intuitive. Early TS-12s had some teething problems, but it seems they’ve figured these problems out and given us a duty-worth blaster.
Bullpup shotguns deliver you a lightweight, compact platform teaming with ammo. They are an excellent choice for home defense and pack a lot of lead in a compact and easy-to-wield platform. They keep things small and excel where the shotgun itself excels.
What do you guys think of bullpup shotguns? Let us know in the comments below!