Originally Posted by orangello
IOW, why a bullpup design? Is it designed for closer engagements with armored targets or what?
Dumb it down for me a bit, please.
(I'm not being sarcastic; i'm just a lil ignorant in this area)
The Barrett M82 is the conventional, semi auto .50 cal sniper rifle used by the military for quite awhile now. It weighs 30 pounds unloaded, it's 57 inches long and it sports a 29" barrel.
Essentially the thing is a boat anchor to carry around. You can't move quickly from one spot to another in today's urban sniping environment. Unless you are Robo, this thing isn't really a one man weapon. Or if it is, that person needs to have one or two guys for protection while he is lugging it and his ammo from and to position.
Snipers just don't hold up on a roof top for days on end with the ebb and flow of the urban battlefield. They still do that once they hold an area, but when the troops are sweeping and clearing new areas, the "over-watch" has to be liquid. Able to move and get into position to provide rounds on target quickly.
With a bullpup design, the overall weapon is smaller, lighter and quicker. The weight of the weapon is moved more over the pistol grip, which makes it easier to swing onto target. Faster application time from place to place. You can lay it across the hood of the Humvee, take a shot or three, jump back in and beat feet to a new locale.
Try that with 30 pounds of metal that's front heavy and almost 5 feet long.