eli5 Why isn’t the recoil of bullpup guns harder than guns with the action in front of the trigger?


Shouldn’t bullpups have higher recoil because the firing mechanism is RIGHT in the stock? And also because the stock has the magazine, shouldn’t there be less room for recoil lessening technology?

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What recoil lessening technology exists in a solid stock? The only real things I can think of is the little springs/pads people add to the end of their stock.

If the bull pup has the same barrel length and is chambering the same round, the recoil should be the same. The force going into your shoulder should be the same.

What could be different is the muzzle jump, or how much the end of the rifle starts to point up after firing. This is a function of torque, where the rifle is pivoting around your shoulder. In a bullpup since your hands are further down the rifle, further from the pivot (your shoulder) you may get more mechanical advantage and be able to control that rise easier.

But that also can be rifle specific, some bull pups still have complaints of being hard to control.

The force is the same either way. Whether it is created ten feet or ten inches in front of your shoulder, it transmits straight back to your shoulder. The distance that matters is how far *above* (or below but that is rare) your shoulder the force is, as this causes it to be unbalanced and rotate the weapon.

Recoil dampening mechanisms both are and are not a thing. That momentum can’t just disappear. Heavier weapons will generally experience less recoil from the same round, and weapons with heavier moving parts have a bit of a complicated relationship with recoil, but you can’t just make that momentum disappear with springs or shocks.

One major tool for recoil control is spreading out the time that force is experienced. This helps the user “get a grip” on it, while of course not actually getting rid of any momentum. Not all weapons try to do this. Many do not try to do this.

Another tool is the muzzle brake, which may be closer to the user in a bullpup (making it less pleasant) but still it serves its purpose the same.