Best Bullpup Rifles and Shotguns [2020]: Our Favorites!

Are you hunting for the best bullpup rifles or shotguns? With so many different options, it can often times become difficult to make sure that you’re making the right choice.

That’s why here at Gun University we’re dedicated to helping you make the right choice. We’ve gotten our hands on quite a few and have whittled the list down to 8 top notch bullpup rifles and shotguns–plus one honorable mention.

BEST BULLPUP RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS

NAME OF FIREARM
#1
IWI X95

Editor’s Choice

#2
IWI-TAVOR-TS12-BULLPUP-SHOTGUN-Top-Gun-University
TAVOR TS12

Best Semi-Auto Shotgun

#3
STEYR AUG

Best Bad Guy Gun

#4
Gun University Kel Tec KSG Review
KEL TEC KSG

Best Pump-Action

#5
fn ps90 top image gun university
FN PS90

Best Video Game Gun

#6
IWI TAVOR SAR

Best Heavy/Battle Rifle

#7
EAA MKA 1923

Best Value Semi-Auto Bullpup

#8
Kel-Tec-RDB-Gun-Review-TOP-Gun-University
KEL TEC RDB

Best Novelty Bullpup

#9
KEL TEC RFB

Honorable Mention

REVIEWS OF THE BEST COMBAT AND TACTICAL SHOTGUNS

#1 IWI TAVOR X95 : BEST OVERALL BULLPUP

IWI TAVOR X95

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

The Tavor X95 has by far earned the Best Overall Bullpup Award.  You can see below why we made that decision.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

IWI TAVOR X95 BACKGROUND

Israeli Weapons Industries released the Tavor X95 as a newer bullpup rifle to rival their older SAR design in the same range. As you’d expect from an IWI bullpup, it is reliable and accurate, but we do suggest you make some upgrades.

So what did we love about the X95? Perhaps the standout positive feature is its reliability. When you consider its background as an Israeli weapon, this is no surprise. The X95 was designed to perform in the harshest climate and the toughest on the ground conditions.

TAVOR X95 SPECS

Host Platform

IWI BullPup

Caliber

5.56mm NATO

Sights

Integrated Backup Trition Iron Sights

Action

Gas operated semi-auto

Length (barrel)

16’’

Piston

Long Stroke Piston

The accuracy is the X95 is more than acceptable. During our shooting session for review purposes, I managed to stay accurate at about the 300 yard mark. Longer range than that became more of a challenge though.

One issue you might have when trying out the X95 is a period of adjustment to the trigger guard. The cutlass-style guard felt weird to use, and we suggest an upgrade to a different style. Coupled with the fact that the X95 is a bullpup, it might be significantly hard for shooters to adjust to this weapon, if you are used to a more conventional style rifle.

Overall, if you’re looking for a premium priced, reliable bullpup rifle, the X95 is a great choice. You can find cheaper bullpup rifles, but it’s worth paying a little extra to get something that you can really count on for reliability. Check Review Here

IWI X95 PROS AND CONS

  • Nice improvement over the SAR design
  • Very reliable (near bombproof)
  • Accurate (for a “battle” rifle)
  • Must relearn rifle operation if coming from an AR-style rifle
  • Ejection port cover leaks gas in your face when shooting suppressed
  • Cutlass tyle grip guard is…just…weird

#2 IWI TAVOR TS12 : BEST SEMI AUTO SHOTGUN

IWI-TAVOR-TS12-BULLPUP-SHOTGUN-Top-Gun-University

IWI TAVOR TS12

Shotguns have always had capacity limitations. The TS12 by IWI aims to help solve this. Love this firearm.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

TAVOR TS12 BACKGROUND

The Tavor TS12 is our pick for the best semi-auto shotgun out there. It is made by IWI and is packed with innovative features.

So why should you consider the TS12 for your next shotgun? What does it offer in terms of features and performance that sets it apart from the other options out there?

The first thing you need to know about the TS12 is it scored nothing less than an A grade across the board. The TS12 has no real weaknesses whatsoever.

TAVOR TS12 SPECS

Barrel Length

18.5″

Caliber

12 Gauge

Sights

Rail Mounted

Action

Semi-Automatic

Overall Length

28.34″

The key benefit of owning the TS12 is its large capacity coupled with its small size. This makes it an ideal weapon for home defense. You aren’t going to run out of shots, and you aren’t going to have any trouble maneuvering this bullpup shotgun in even the tightest of spaces.

The ammo storage found in the TS12 really is innovative. You can have 15 rounds plus one in the chamber. Even better, you can split the ammo into three different types, and easily switch back and forth between them.

There are no real downsides to the TS12. You have to pay a premium price to own this premium bullpup shotgun, but why cut corners when it comes to protecting the people you love? Check Review Here

IWI TAVOR TS12 PROS AND CONS

  • High Capacity Bullpup design
  • full length Picatinny rail
  • very customizable
  • easy to change ambidextrous
  • Heavy and Pricy

#3 STEYR AUG : BEST BAD GUY GUN

STEYR AUG A3 M1

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

The Aug is a modular firearm and comes in many configurations to include those that fire in the open bolt position as light machine guns.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

Steyr Aug A3 M1

The Steyr Aug is an iconic firearm for many reasons. It’s one of the earliest bullpup type weapons to find widespread use, having first been adopted by the Austrian military before making its way into civilian use.

As well as its legacy prestige, the Steyr Aug is well-known among gun fans for its appearance in many iconic movies as the bad guy’s gun of choice.

So how does it stack up as a bullpup rifle? Is it worthy of your time and attention, or are there better options out there?

STEYR AUG SPECS

Barrel Length

16″

Caliber

5.56×45 NATO

Sights

Rail, 1.5/3x Optic

Action

Semi-Auto 5

Overall Length

28.15″

First, let’s consider the positive aspects of the Steyr Aug. As you’d expect from a weapon with a military background, it’s as reliable as it gets. This is a rifle you can really count on.

The Aug is also a great-looking firearm. Aesthetically speaking, the gun is easy on the eye, and will look equally great in your collection or out on the range.

So what isn’t to like about the Steyr Aug?

First up, if you’re a fan of customization, you probably want to look elsewhere. There isn’t a lot you can do in terms of modification with the Steyr Aug. Also, the trigger isn’t the best out there. We also feel that the ergonomics aren’t as good as found in more modern bullpup rifles.

Overall, the Steyr Aug is a solid and iconic bullpup rifle, but more of a collector’s item than an everyday firearm. Check Review Here

STEYR AUG PROS AND CONS

  • Short, sleek, and reliable
  • Trigger needs improving
  • special mags required
  • safety takes getting used to
  • gas port vents near support hand

#4KEL TEC KSG: BEST PUMP ACTION

Gun University Kel Tec KSG Review

KEL TEC KSG

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

The KSG is Kel Tec’s first foray into the shotgun market. In fact, the gun is so significant to the company that KSG simply stands for Kel Tec Shotgun

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

KEL TEC KSG BACKGROUND

The Kel Tec KSG is the Gun University pick for the best pump action shotgun out there. It is a fan favorite of those who favor the Kel Tec brand, but it has some awkward issues for a bullpup shotgun.

First, we feel that the build quality of the Kel Tec KSG is likely to divide opinion. We feel the materials used come across as lower quality than is found in some other options, such as the Tavor range. However, if you’re a fan of the sleek and futuristic style of Kel Tec, this may not be an issue for you. If you’re old school, on the other hand, this probably isn’t the right shotgun for you.

Second, there are some comfort and performance issues with the Kel Tec KSG. The shell ejection method has caused pain and discomfort to some shooters. We advise you check out our full review of the KSG shotgun to get the full picture. You should also try and test one out before buying it.

KEL TEC KSG SPECS

Barrel Length

18.5″

Caliber

12 Gauge

Sights

Rail Mounted

Action

Pump Action

Overall Length

26.1″

On the plus side, the Kel Tec KSG is an affordable bullpup shotgun that is maneuverable and light. You might want to consider it as an option for home defense purposes or even as a sporting shotgun.

Overall, if you’re set on getting a pump action bullpup shotgun, this will definitely do the job. However, there are better options in the world of shotguns, even if you have to pay a little more to own them. Check Review Here

KEL TEC KSG PROS AND CONS

  • High Capacity
  • Short Length
  •  Ability to Switch Magazines
  • Some reliabilty issues
  • Awkward ergonomics

#5 FNPS 90: BEST VIDEO GAME GUN

fn ps90 top image gun university

FN PS90

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

The first thing you need to know about the FN PS90 is it is a bullpup rifle. This is the popular, compact form of rifle which has found favor among certain parts of the firearms (and gaming) community.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

FN PS90 BACKGROUND

Are you into First Person Shooter video games such as Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, or even old-school N64 Goldeneye? Or what about Stargate SG-1? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this weapon.

But just because it’s in a video game doesn’t make it the most used–let alone practical–on our list.

When using the FN PS90, you’re going to have to make some changes to how you actually manipulate the firearm.

First off, this thing is a little awkward even has bullpups go. It has an innovative top loading magazine design, and two seperate ergonomic grip holes. Pretty inventive if you ask me, but again it can be a bit to get used to.

FN PS90 SPECS

Barrel Length

16″

Caliber

5.7X28mm

Sights

Rail, Back-up Iron

Action

Semi-Auto

Overall Length

26.23’’

However, it does come equipped with a MIL-SPEC barrel with integrated muzzle break so there’s no issue with the barrel. This comes in particularly handy if you are using the 30 round magazines that are available for this firearm.

Honestly though, it doesn’t really outshine the rest of its competition. But it’s no slouch either. So, if you’re into video games (and other pop culture), then this really is a gun for you. If you’re looking for something with a little more bang for your buck…. Maybe look elsewhere. Check Review Here

FN PS90 PROS AND CONS

  • Novel design
  • small, can utilize same cartridge in pistol
  • No real prcatical use, expensive ammo

#6 IWI TAVOR SAR: BEST HEAVY/BATTLE RIFLE

IWI TAVOR SAR

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

If you’re worried about the durability of the Tavor SAR, you should know this is the bullpup rifle of choice for the Israeli Armed Forces.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

IWI TAVOR SAR BACKGROUND

Let’s just start by saying this is a very nice and reliable firearm. As a matter of fact, it’s actually the standard issue for the Israeli Armed Forces. (Of course, we receive a civilian version compliant with the law… but it’s practically the same gun.)

And that’s not the only honor this Bullpup has to its name. It received a Golden Bullseye award back in 2014. So what makes this gun so special?

To start with, it’s super customizable. And that’s thanks in part to a full length Picatinny top rail. So any compatible accessory can work.

It also comes with high capacity magazines capable of holding 30 rounds. Which you just might need out at the range becuase this thing is just awesome shoot.

IWI TAVOR SAR SPECS

Barrel Length

16.5″

Caliber

5.56 NATO

Sights

Folding, Rear

Action

Semi-Auto

Overall Length

26.1’’

I will say this though… Although this is a well-made reliable firearm, it does have a few issues. The biggest complaint being the magazine release catch. It makes the emptying and reloading sequence quite a bit slower. Instead of reaching for a new magazine with your support hand while you release the magazine with your firing hand , this gun requires you to use your support hand to actually remove the empty magazine.

This may not seem like a big deal to some, but if you ever find yourself in a high intensity situation… A quick reload is definitely something you’re going to want.

Either way, this issue has been corrected in IWI latest Tavor addition (and our Editor’s Choice–the X95). Check Review Here

IWI TAVOR SAR PROS AND CONS

  • Awesome design
  • very reliable
  • Heavy
  • weird mag release

#7 EAA MKA 1923: BEST VALUE SEMI-AUTO BULLPUP

EAA MKA 1923

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

The purpose behind the MKA 1923 was to bring the quality associated with MKA weaponry to a new bullpup shotgun packed with innovation and quality.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

EAA MKA 1923 BACKGROUND

Unless you’re brand new to guns, you probably know about European American Armory and their affinity for shotguns– thanks to their 1919. And now, they’re back with another addition to their family, the EAA MKA 1923.

EAA’s goal with this particular model was to bring MKA quality to a bullpup shotgun. And they’ve pretty much hit the mark. Not only that, but EAA has branded this as a great home defense weapon which is normally the reason for purchasing a bullpup shotgun such as this.

One of our favorite features of this weapon is its detachable box magazines. That’s right. Detachable box magazines full of shotgun shells. Changing from buckshot to birdshot, or even slugs is made super convenient. Just be sure to preload your magazines and you’re set.

EAA MKA 1923 SPECS

Barrel Length

20″

Caliber

12 Gauge

Sights

Adjustable Rear

Action

Semi-Auto

Overall Length

29.5’’

Another defining feature we enjoyed is that they’ve made improvements to the cutlass style grip. It comes with its own trigger guard now! And if cutlass grips on an IWI bullpup make you nervous, this will definitely help to calm your nerves.

The one major thing we didn’t like about this weapon is that it’s a little rough around the edges. Not to say that the EAA is cheaply made, but it could uses a little smoothing.

But again this is a budget friendly firearm. And darn good one at that. Check Review Here

EAA MKA 1923 PROS AND CONS

  • Semi Auto
  • Affordable
  • Detachable Box Magazine
  • Lacks finesse
  • proprietary magazines

#8 KEL TEC RDB : BEST NOVELTY BULLPUP

Kel-Tec-RDB-Gun-Review-TOP-Gun-University

KEL TEC RDB

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

Some of the innovative aspects you’d expect from Kel Tec are found here in the RDB. One of these include an ejection system that is amazingly designed.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

KEL TEC RDB BACKGROUND

When it comes to cool looking guns, Kel Tec really stands out. And there is no exception made with the RDB.

Not only does Kel Tec produce neat looking weapons, but they strive to provide innovation into their products as well.

In this particular rifle, Kel Tec aims to provide a unique shooting experience. One that can unify all marksmen. But did they really hit the mark?

There are few super cool and innovative features with this firearm. We really liked their ambidextrous magazine release which helps out any and all shooters. Also, their downward shell ejection system is pretty nice. It forces spent casings downwards to help with both lefties and righties while maintaining a great line of sight.

KEL TEC RDB SPECS

Barrel Length

17.2″

Caliber

5.56 NATO

Sights

Rail Mounted

Action

Semi-Auto

Overall Length

27.3’’

However, there’s a little thing I’ve noticed about Kel Tec. Where their ideas are top notch, the actual execution tends to fall a little short. The gun does feel a little wonky and a little cheap.

But that’s not to say it doesn’t work properly. And if you’re looking for an ambi bullpup that’s fun to shoot… This might be the option for you. Check Review Here

KEL TEC RDB PROS AND CONS

  • Light
  • Cool looking
  • Inexpensive
  • Not pro grade
  • poor trigger and mag release
  • impossible to diagnose malfunctions

#9 KEL TEC RFB: HONORABLE MENTION

KEL TEC RFB

Sold at palmettostatearmory.com

Kel Tec’s stated aim in releasing the RFB is to offer a truly ambidextrous bullpup rifle that is easy to operate.

Shootability

A

Reliability

B+

Accuracy

A+

Ergonomics

A

Value

A+

FINAL GRADE : A

Kel Tec RFB BACKGROUND

Now we do prefer the RDB to this model due to some of its other features.

But the RFB does provide some cool things worth mentioning. First off, it has a unique ejection port like that of the RDB. But instead of ejecting downwards it projects spent casings forward. This makes it ideal for either lefties or righties, and very interesting to see in action to say the least.

There are a few customization options with this firearm thanks to the top mounted Picatinny rail. However, there aren’t really any aftermarket availabilities with buttstocks, grips, or forends. Check Review Here

KEL TEC RFB SPECS

Host Platform

Kel Tec

Caliber

.762×51 NATO

Sights

Rail Mounted

Action

Semi-Auto

Length

26’’

KEL TEC RFB PROS AND CONS

  • Short length, looks cool
  • Difficult to diagnose and clear malfunctions, no upgrade options, falls behind similar rifles

WHAT IS A BULLPUP RIFLE?

What makes a bullpup rifle is where the action and magazine are fixed behind the trigger, instead of just the opposite in front of the trigger which is the more common design. This design has many benefits for several reasons, one is it shortens the length of the overall firearm as well as lowers the weight. Second, is you have the advantage of a full length barrel.  This was created years ago by a British weapons manufacturer and was given the name “bullpup” at that time. The original weapon was the Thorneycroft carbine and was revolutionary when it was first introduced.  It used a standard .303 cartridge which was the common one used by British forces at the time.

Even though the bullpup was revolutionary, it had some recoil and performance issues that kept it from being picked up by the British military at the time.  Over the years other national gunmakers and manufacturers have built upon the concept improving its design and function. To be honest the name “bullpup” is still a mystery to some degree because even before the Thorneycroft carbine the name was being used to describe a specific type of pistol.  The breakthrough for the bullpup finally came when the Austrian government decided to adopt it for their military as its primary combat weapon. Once that happened many other countries followed suit and began to also carry this amazing firearm.

 

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