"The correct bullpup" rifles RDB, RDB-C and RDB-S
All rifles are made in the bullpup layout, it seems that there is nothing new for several decades and you won’t be surprised by this, however the manufacturer stresses that his weapon is the best example of how the bullpup layout should be implemented.
The layout itself has both a number of advantages for handguns, in particular rifles, and a number of drawbacks. The advantages are quite obvious and noticeable even to a person far from the world of weapons. First of all, the main advantage of the layout are the dimensions of the weapon, which are significantly smaller than those of the rifles in the classical layout. This gives the right, we can talk about the greater maneuverability of a fighter in cramped conditions, plus less space occupied during transportation and storage, which is also a plus.
The second obvious advantage is the high stability of the weapon in firing. Often there is an opinion about the layout of the bullpup as a scheme for placing weapons nodes unsuitable for accurate automatic fire. The main argument in this is usually the change in the balance of the weapon as the number of cartridges in the store decreases. What happens in practice? In practice, the weapon is held conditionally by the barrel, since the handle for holding is located under the breech, and the forearm covers most of it. In this case, the entire bolt group moves in line with the arrow of the shoulder. The result is a very high weapon stability compared to the classic layout, even with automatic, even with uninterrupted automatic fire. And the balance itself changes, but it absolutely does not feel and does not affect the effectiveness of the fire.
With the advantages that are inherent in the whole weapon in the layout of the bullpup, it seems to be finished. All this is in the RDB rifles. Let's move on to the shortcomings and see why the manufacturer calls its weapon “Right Done Bullpup” (RDB).
In the domestic segment of the Internet, it is considered that the main drawback of the bullpup layout lies in the inconvenient location of the weapon shop. Of course, such a lack of layout is present, but here you need to make an amendment to the habit. I am more than sure that for a person who used his weapon in such an arrangement all his life, the location of the store in the “classics” will also be uncomfortable at first. Among the many minor flaws in this layout, it should rather be noted that the sights should be on high racks for convenient aiming, which will cling to everything that is possible from branches to clothing. Folding sights are not a panacea, as they still need to be expanded to bring weapons into battle. But this concerns military weapons, for civilian use this is not such a significant nuance.
Where a big disadvantage is that the ejection of the spent cartridge case occurs at a very close distance from the shooter’s face. So many models in which there is no possibility to change the direction for ejection of spent cartridges become inconvenient for left-handers, and also unsuitable in situations where you need to change the shoulder for firing, for example, in case of injury or when shooting from cover. The weapon in which the change of side is implemented for ejection of spent cartridges often requires incomplete disassembly for this procedure, which is also not the way out.
Designers of the company Kel-Tec eliminated this deficiency in their weapons. RDB rifles eject spent cartridges down for the store. It is this feature of the weapon that gives the right to call the rifle "the right bullpup."
The decision to throw the spent cartridges down is not entirely new, but no one claims a new look on this issue. More interesting, but at the same time more complex, is the design implemented in the domestic machine gun TKB-0146, where the spent case is thrown forward along a tube parallel to the barrel, pushed by the bolt group.
With the main feature of the weapon met, you can go to get acquainted directly with the models themselves rifles.
Rifle Kel-Tec RDB
The appearance of the weapon is quite interesting and recognizable. The only thing that confuses is the number of elements connecting the entire structure. Of course, for maintenance it is not necessary to unscrew each screw, but the assembly and disassembly has its own unpleasant features.
Conventionally, the weapon can be divided into two parts, the upper one in which the barrel and bolt group are installed, and the lower one with the trigger mechanism, and a plastic foregrip can be noted separately. The entire design holds together the large pin 4, which stand out from the rest with its size. For incomplete disassembly of weapons it is necessary to disconnect the forearm, pulling out the first pin, if you count from the muzzle. After disconnecting the forearm, the remaining three pins are pulled out and the weapon is divided into two parts for maintenance.
It is noteworthy that the pins are not completely removed, but remain in the weapon, at least until it is new, with time they begin to be removed completely, which means there is a chance to lose them. This happens due to the fact that it is not easy to remove the pins without any available tools, they are removed with effort and often for this purpose they use additional devices from what was at hand. So it seems to be no fault of the manufacturer, it all depends on how carefully they will handle the weapon. But if you look at it from the other side, it seems obvious that if you knock out the pins with a screwdriver with a tap on its handle, then this will inevitably lead to minor but damage to the fasteners, which could be foreseen.
Automatic rifles built around the removal of powder gases from the barrel with locking the barrel when turning the bolt on the 7 stops. The piston is a steel tube welded into the slide frame, inside this piston tube is placed a return spring on the guide. This solution has its pitfalls, as the spring can overheat during intensive shooting with all the unpleasant moments resulting from it, but since this is a self-loading rifle, and not an automatic rifle or machine gun, this problem is apparently not observed. At least no one complained about it.
The cocking handle folding, also attached to the part, made of a tube. This detail has an oblique cut and is put on over the piston tube, remains fixed at firing, can be located both on the right and on the left side of the weapon.
The rest of the controls are stingy and located in familiar places. So above the handle to hold, you can find the fuse switch duplicated on both sides, while the magazine is held by a spring-loaded key in front of its receiver.
Sights are mounted on a short mounting bar above the barrel. Standard sights folding. Due to the small distance between the whole and the front sight, it is possible to predict not the most outstanding shooting results even at medium distances, which can be corrected more difficultly by the sighting device.
The total length of the weapon is 693 millimeter with a barrel length 439 millimeters. The mass of the rifle is equal to 3 kilogram without taking into account the weight of ammunition and sighting devices. It feeds weapons from detachable magazines with a capacity of 20 X5,56 45 cartridges, however all stores compatible with AR-15 can be used. The price on the manufacturer's website is 1275 US dollars.
Rifle Kel-Tec RDB-C
If the previous rifle fit into the concept of conventional weapons, despite the layout, the Kel-Tec RDB-C looks a bit different, although by and large it is also a weapon, with minor differences.
The most important difference, which immediately catches the eye, is the absence of a pistol grip, the solution is somewhat strange, since the convenience of holding is clearly incomparable even close, however, it is as it is. Perhaps the absence of a pistol grip is the result of bypassing prohibitions in some individual states.
In addition to this change, other weapons controls were also affected. So the fuse switch is now located at the base of the safety bracket and is a button that moves perpendicular to the weapon. The method of extracting the magazine has also changed. Now, in order to change the magazine, you need to click on the rounded button on the right side of the weapon located behind the magazine. In principle, if you practice, it is unlikely that a new method will cause inconvenience. The folding handle for cocking remained unchanged, which can still be moved to any side of the weapon that is convenient for the shooter. Sights are still installed on a relatively short bar mount above the barrel. In addition, the flame arrester disappeared, in its place the safety sleeve was screwed, so that in principle it is possible to install the other most suitable one. Pay attention to the number of pins connecting the two parts of the weapon, they became 3.
The main difference from the previous model rifle in Kel-Tec RDB-C is a longer barrel. Its length is already 520 millimeters, which could not but affect the other weight and size characteristics of the weapon. The total length of the rifle has grown to 771,5 millimeters, the weight has increased to 3,1 kilograms without taking into account ammunition and sighting devices. The standard magazine for weapons was the magazine's 10 ammo capacity, but compatibility with AR-15 magazines was retained. Oddly enough, but the price tag on the manufacturer's website is the same 1275 US dollars.
Kel-Tec RDB-S Survival Rifle
Finally, we come to the novelty of this year - the Kel-Tec RDB-S survival rifle. This weapon is based on the Kel-Tec RDB-C, but it also has differences, which, according to the manufacturer, should make this rifle ideal for survival in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
The most important and reasonable difference of this weapon from previous models is the presence of fixed folding sighting devices. So the folding pillars are installed in front of the strap for attaching additional sights, and the front sight on the barrel of the weapon. The controls remained similar to the Kel-Tec RDB-C, but now the weapon has a retractable butt, which is fixed by a key hidden in the butt itself from below. This is hardly done to make weapons more convenient to use, rather, it is a step to reduce its dimensions during transportation and storage.
The connecting parts of the weapon pins returned in full, now they are again 4 - 1 for the forearm and three for connecting the upper and lower parts of the weapon.
The barrel of the rifle is the shortest of all three models - 409 millimeters, the total length of the weapon with a folded butt 663 millimeter. Significantly reduced weight to 2,27 kilograms without cartridges. The rifle from detachable box magazines with a capacity of 10 5,56x45 cartridges is powered, but the compatibility with AR-15 magazines and its derivatives is preserved.
Some personal reasoning instead of concluding
The idea of using weapons chambered for 5,56x45 as a means for survival seems rather strange. The situations, of course, can be different and most scenarios cannot be fully prepared; nevertheless, firearms, if a person finds himself in the wild, as a result of an air transport accident or for some other reason, will be used mainly for hunting and to protect against animals that decide to hunt for the man himself. With all these tasks, the 12-caliber rifle with ammunition with even the shortest barrel copes quite well. The ideal weapon would be combined, of course, but if there is a choice, it would be wiser to give preference to the gun rather than the rifle, but this is just my opinion.
In general, Kel-Tec managed to make a compact and at the same time effective weapon, devoid of the main problem of the bullpup layout. It can be argued that the weapon can “refuse” when fired upside down, but, first, the cartridge is not thrown away under its own weight, and secondly, it is very difficult to imagine a reasonable situation when you have to shoot, holding the weapon upside down. The rifle will definitely find its buyer, but how it will show itself depends only on the quality of the mass sample, the design itself has already been worked out over the years in other weapon models, it is impossible to do something wrong with it, you can only do it badly.