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Old 20th January 2016, 08:27 AM
skires skires is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 950

Originally Posted by vinny View Post
What area of airgunning are bullpups aimed at ,personally I think its a really bad idea with some manufacturer making air rifles look like military autos , especially the rainstorm ,
I shouldered a daystate and it felt nicely balanced , short and stocky, looking at the shape of them I doubt if theyre gonna be any good for hft , so plinking , fun , ft ,
anybody enlighten me
A guy on the Airgunforum recently said he wanted a Bullpup and said he also wanted to try HFT with it. A few posters made comments that it wouldn't be great for HFT due to high scope mounts ( difficulty on close targets ) and the pistol grip being very low and may touch the ground etc.

I tried to give a balanced view that these things don't make it impossible to use a Bullpup for HFT.

Without spending too much time on the scope height and close target thing, because if you know owt about target shooting you will already know what I'm talking about, but with a few minutes working out aim points at close targets the high scope thing isn't a problem. High mounts also close up the aim points at the longer ranges. So if a shooter isn't great at ranging at long distances, but is pretty good at close ones ( or can work out his ret to range close ones ), then high mounts can be an advantage.

The low pistol grip ( in respect to the buttpad ) ...

HFT is a prone sport ... and a HFT style prone sport. For most this means forearm rested on the floor and gloved hand on the floor and front of rifle rested on gloved hand. The butt is also allowed to rest on the floor. So pretty solid ... hence all the reduced kills.

A traditional sporter rifle has the butt area sloping downwards the further back it goes. So the bottom of the butt is usually lower than the bottom of the pistol grip. This lends itself nicely then to having the butt rested on the floor and keeping the pistol grip clear. The problem will still be the front end. To get the barrel @ horizontal to the ground most sporter fore ends are too shallow. So most HFT shooters use some kind of hamster to give depth to the fore end. So with that extra depth ( hamster ) the fore end can now rest on the gloved hand, and the butt can rest on the floor, and the barrel will be close enough to horizontal with the floor and the pistol grip clear.

Using that stance a lot of HFT shooters won't have the buttpad actually curving around the shoulder. The bottom of the pad rests on the floor but the shoulder is usually a little higher up and more in line with the bore. I've seen loads of HFT shooters with an expensive fully adjustable buttpad fitted ... and rested in the mud and not fitted properly to the shoulder. They could have used a 2.50 coat hanger from B&Q.

The traditional style rifle, as described above with down sloping butt area, is mainly aimed at standing ( kneeling ) where the eye is much higher than the shoulder. A proper prone rifle will have the butt pad much higher because the eye and shoulder will be closer together in the horizontal plane.

So most HFT shooters use a 'b@stardised' prone stance with everything dropped much lower to the ground ( fore arm/hand rested on floor ... not up on elbows ). The butt of the sporter stock is rested on the ground and not true in the shoulder.

So if you use a Bullpup for HFT ...

You will still need some sort of hamster so that the hand can be rested on the ground and the barrel kept horizontal and the pistol grip off the ground. OK ... so nothing new there. Most HFT shooters do that.

The butt area ... the Bullpup buttpad is normally more in style with a proper prone rifle with the buttpad higher and more in line with the bore ( and higher than bottom of pistol grip ), so unless you set your butt pad very low with respect to the butt then you will struggle to get the butt rested on the ground. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. I shot years of HFT with springers. After loads of testing I found resting the buttpad of the springer on the ground could cause problems. So I found it best to have the buttpad set high so it sat properly in the shoulder ( like proper prone ). I still had the forehand gloved and rested on the floor ( hamster ). You still get a very very solid stance like that. Having the pad sitting properly fitted in the shoulder gives better sideways stability. I've shot pcp's like that and on a stillish day you will get tiny groups at 45 yards and will nail a 15mm at 25 yards all day.

So you can use the Bullpup with a hamster on a gloved hand rested on the floor, and have the pistol grip clear, and have the buttpad sitting properly in the shoulder and have a very stable stance.

A number of targets make you get the buttpad off the floor anyway.

A mate of mine used to convert rifles to Bullpups. I've shouldered and shot a few of his Bullpup conversions. The one thing you notice when shooting standing with the Bullpup is the weight is further back and the rifle feels so much easier to hold steady in the standing position.

Whenever you talk about HFT or FT a common story is that most of the top shots won't miss the freestyle lanes on stillish days ( so sitting in FT and prone in HFT ). A lot of top shooters will say that a course is won and lost on the positionals and especially the standers. The Bullpup is easier to hold steady in these positions.

So if you have a shooter who may be ok at ranging close targets ( and is willing to put in a few minutes work finding out aim points on close targets ), but isn't great at ranging longer targets, and isn't great at standers ... A Bullpup with a higher mount set up may just increase their scores.

Do I like them ( new ones ) ... or like the way that they are being marketed? No.

I liked the old conversions that B&M did. I don't like the military, aimed at Rambo airgunners, versions that are being pumped out today. They are here though ... and people will buy them. Some may buy them for close range hunting ... ratting in barns or out of vehicle shooting. Some may buy them because they will look hard walking around the woods wearing their camo and carrying one ... but people will buy them.

Some of those people will probably want to give HFT a go. I wouldn't discourage them too much by saying that the Bullpup isn't suitable for HFT.

If someone told me they wanted to give HFT a go and asked if a Bullpup would be best ... I'd tell them to get to a club and try all the most popular single shot, stock adjustable, decent trigger rifles and see what suited them. If they said they had a Bullpup and wanted to give HFT a go I'd tell them to definitely turn up and enjoy. They may do well with their Pup or they may move to something else ( most do anyway ).

I seriously think that if a top shot put a few weeks/months into shooting HFT with a Pup they'd do very well. It would only take one top shot to win a course with one and they would suddenly be more popular in HFT.

Last edited by skires; 20th January 2016 at 08:41 AM.
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