I am very excited to be able to announce that Headstamp Publishing’s second book, “Thorneycroft to SA80” is now in stock and shipping! As the name suggests, this is a study of British bullpup firearms, written by the Keeper of Arms & Artillery and the British National Firearms Centre, Jonathan Ferguson. The book focusses on the three major waves of British military bullpup rifle development – the pre-WWI Godsal and Thorneycroft bolt actions, the post-WW2 EM-1 and EM-2 self-loaders, and the massive SA80 program that created the current British issue L85 rifle. That development program includes everything from the very first mockups and the 4.85mm XL60 series prototypes through to the current L85A3 system laden with upgrades and improvements. In addition, the book covers a number of lesser-known British bullpups, like the 1944 SLEM sniper prototype.
A tremendous amount of archival research went into this book, which expands significantly on the story told by Steven Raw in “The Last Enfield” nearly twenty years ago. This is coupled with beautiful full-color photography and a selection of period documents including schematics, promotional literature, and field reports. Until the final stages of SA80 development, nearly all the rifles in this book are unique, and Jonathan gives them the individual attention they each deserve. If you are interested in British military arms or firearms development in general, this is a fantastic reference to understand the pros and cons, the what-ifs and how-abouts of bullpup design!
“Thorneycroft to SA80: British Bullpup Firearms 1901 – 2020” is now available directly from Headstamp Publishing: