Buy a Mossberg 500: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=mossberg%20500
Buy a Remington 870: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=870
Bullpup Unlimited isn’t a house hold name. They haven’t been around for 100 years. They have not revolutionized the firearms market–at least not yet. But what they have done is worthy of a closer look. Bullpup Unlimited builds kits that allow you to optimize your existing shotgun into a tool that is more compact, and more suitable for defensive use.
Why would you want make your own bullpup? Aren’t there enough bullpups on the market? Kel-Tec’s KSG, the Standard Manufacturing DP-12, the UTAS? I can see your point. And I own two of these three. Yet there are many out there who won’t trust their lives to new technology. No matter how many reviews come out praising a new design, there’s still something to be said for guns that have been around forever. Guns that have gone to war, and come back, and gone again.
And that’s the appeal of the Bullpup Unlimited kit. Designed around the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870, these DIY options take that old, beat-up, timeless pump shotgun and transform it into a compact powerhouse. Built as a non-permanent conversion, these kits are easily installed and even easier to remove if they don’t float your boat.
Features of the BPU-500
- AR-style grip and safety
- Split-trigger built in safety
- Railed forend for accessories
- Contoured slide release area
- Rugged shell deflector for left handed shooters
- Beveled magazine tube loading port
- Tools included for conversion
- ambidextrous sling points
- Field strips with tools included under butt pad
- Made from glass filled nylon
- non-reflective surface texture
- Overall thickness: 2.75, width: 8, length: 28
- Conversion can be easily reversed
- MSRP: $359.00
How does it Shoot?
As this is not a gun, but a bullpup kit, the gun can only truly run as well as the gun you put inside it. Start with a functional 870 or Mossberg 500 and you should see good results. There are millions of these out there, and most of them work as well as they did the day they left their respective factories.
So what happens when you take a fully functional design and twist it up, figuratively speaking? You may think this thing won’t run. You’d be wrong! This kit is built around the Mossberg 500 and the bullpup runs flawlessly. Lock-up of the action is solid, the action racks smoothly and recoil is managed nicely. In essence, the only thing that has changed is the new shorter length and the adaptation of and AR15 style safety and pistol grip. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Running the gun through my normal testing and evaluation paces, we found the BPU-500 to be extremely controllable and easy to shoot. Recoil is dampened by the stock’s butt pad and the polymer enclosure shields your hands and face from all hints of heat, blast, and sharp edges. The controls are easily accessed and manipulated and, most notably, the trigger is a 2-piece (reminiscent of a Glock) design that adds an extra level of safety to the gun.
I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with the old standby Mossberg 500, but when its dressed up like this… it makes you wonder why Mossberg hasn’t resurrected the old Maverick 12-guage bullpup shotgun.
Ergonomic Bullpup. Oxymoron? The constraints of the design don’t always make for gracefully operated guns. Ergonomics are sacrificed for the sake of size and maneuverability. With the BPU-500, this isn’t the case. The addition of features like the AR style safety and the AR style pistol grip allow for the shooter move seamlessly from America’s rifle into America’s shotgun. Beyond its controls, the BPU-500 also has the option of running railed panels on the handguard, giving the shooter places for a vertical grip, flashlights, or lasers.
Beyond the forend, the BPU-500 also features 3 ambidextrous sling mounting points as well as a full length 1913 top rail. The rail is made of polymer, but (considering that this is a scatter gun) it should hold a good enough zero to get the job done.
This gun is completely encased in polymer. When it comes to comfort, this is good. There is no hot or cold metal to touch your skin. There is less recoil energy transferred to the shooter. Where this becomes a negative is aesthetics. Plastic can feel somewhat cheap. The kit adds a very plastic look and feel to what has always been a very rugged and timeless firearm.
Some may like the looks of the BPU-500, but I personally don’t find it very attractive. However, it is very functional so I will bite my tongue on this note. That’s what actually matters. And I think I may be unfairly comparing it to the looks of the 870 and 500. Those two guns are classics. They’re exquisite. But not of the commercially available bullpups is winning a beauty contest.
Reloading presented some new issues. Topping off a traditional shotgun is easy and intuitive. There is nothing easy or intuitive about reloading a bullpup shotgun and the BPU-500 is no exception. The best way to remedy the strange ergonomics of the the BPU-500 reload is to completely flip the gun vertically into your off-hand and load shells into the tube one by one.
If you can get past the strange reloading procedure, the gun is actually easy to reload due to the beveled loading port. I’ll give the bullpup shotgun design a C+ on reloads and the BPU-500 a B+ for making it easier than it normally is on an unconventional pump guns.
Installation of the BPU-500 kit is fairly easy. Though that statement is subject to your skill set, I will say if you can field strip your shotgun you will have little problems installing this kit. We have included the official Bullpup Unlimited installation video below for those of you who are interested in seeing the process or need help doing it yourself.
As far as tools need for installation, Bullpup Unlimited has made sure to include everything you need in the box. The conversion even comes partially assembled, making the install as easy as field striping the kit and inserting your gun.
I want to make it clear this is not a complete firearm and your success with the platform is subjective to the gun you are building it around as well as correctly assembling the firearm.
The BPU-500 is a quality kit that updates the pump-shotgun design. It gives the other bullpups a run for their money, all while avoiding the high price tag found on the competition. You can build a BPU-500 off an existing gun for $360. Or you can buy a Mossberg for $350 and the kit for $360 and have around $700 invested in the whole build.