Headstamp’s Second Book! Thorneycroft to SA80: British Bullpup Firearms

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:

https://www.headstamppublishing.com/bullpup-rifle-book

4 Comments

  1. Perfect timing, my copy arrived today.
    I was not expecting a thicker book then Ian’s own.
    I am already amazed by the quality of illustrations. By the way that’s great to see images from Robert of vbbsmyt channel, he deserve more recognition.
    This anounce some good hours of reading.

  2. Yeah, I got mine a week or so ago… There’s a mixed up U.S. map–all locations except Philadelphia are screwed up: Fort Benning, GA, Aberdeen, MD, Springfield, MA, etc. Too bad! Also, mine came with the French “Ex libris” sticker, but heck, that’s even more collectible, right? Ha!

    Mine came with the reproduction No. 9 rifle/ E.M.2 manual and the cocktails. Gonna try a couple of those… Also the “Fightin’ 69th” cocktail: Thomas Meagher used to have his Irish whiskey watered down with Vichy water… Some hapless batman couldn’t find Vichy water in the midst of some army camp during the Civil War, so he brought Irish whiskey watered down with Champagne… I mean, Vichy, Champagne, French right? I’ll serve that alongside a few of these here M’Collum and Ferguson drinks!

    As for the book, it is simply stupendous and very informative! I’m learning all kinds of stuff I never knew, and things I absorbed uncritically from typical repetitious citing of older material, particularly on the “intrawebs” is being debunked. Very fascinating book. I’ve been immersed in it since I got it… About half way through. Lots of brilliant photography to illustrate it too! Cheers and congrats to Headstamp publishing.

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