Springfield Armory Hellion Bullpup ($1,999)

Based on the internationally proven VHS-2 bullpup that has been employed by the Croatian armed forces from Iraq to Africa, the Springfield Armory Hellion offers American shooters a semi-automatic 5.56mm version of this capable service rifle.

If you’re in the market for a high-performance, short, and adaptable platform, Springfield Armory has got you with its all-new Hellion. This bullpup configuration places its action behind the trigger and features an overall length of just 28.25-inches while still boasting a 16-inch barrel. One of the coolest features is a reversible ejection system that can be set up for either left or ride side ejection of fired cases with no additional parts or tools required. Complementing this system is a set of fully ambidextrous controls, including the safety, charging handle, magazine, and bolt releases. The result is an ultra-compact platform that can be easily fired from either shoulder.

For those of us that have historically despised anything resembling a bullpup and recoiled at the thought of ever owning one — and we can’t believe we’re about to say this — the Hellion, without question, makes the best of this historically flawed design. In fact, it’s actually quite palatable once you spend a little quality time with it. Given the thoughtful and very functional updates that Springfield has made, we would say they are making a best-in-class platform. For more information, contact Springfield Armory; Tel.: (800)680-6866; Web:www.springfield-armory.com.