Thorneycroft to SA80: British Bullpup Firearms, 1901 – 2020 (Signed Edition)


Thorneycroft to SA80: British Bullpup Firearms, 1901 – 2020 is a reference work for all those interested in the history of military firearms. It charts the British love affair with the ‘flipped’ bullpup rifle and machine gun - weapons with their firing mechanism positioned behind the trigger - from a faltering start in the Edwardian period, through the controversy of the NATO rifle trials, to the troubled history of the current SA80 family. The book covers the following arms in detail:

  • Thorneycroft rifle

  • Godsal rifle

  • Korsak’s Light Automatic Gun, 7.92 mm, (E.M. 1)

  • Thorpe’s Automatic Rifle, .280 inch, (E.M. 1 aka ‘Cobra’)

  • Janson’s Automatic Rifle, .280 inch (E.M. 2) aka ‘Mamba’)

  • Rifle, 7 mm, No. 9 Mk. I; Rifle, 7 mm, X1E1; and Rifle, .30 inch, X2E1

  • 4.85 mm Enfield Weapon System (Individual Weapon and Machine Gun)

  • SA80 Individual Weapon (L85A1, A2, A3) and Light Support Weapon (L86A1, A2)

  • SA80 Carbine (L22A2) and grenade launchers

  • Several more civilian, prototype, developmental, and other weapons

Each chapter describes the weapon's conception, development, trial and intended role. Essential technical aspects of design and operation are framed in their historical context and the whole is laid out in a clear, logical, and chronological manner. These stories are lavishly illustrated with top quality photography of key examples from the world’s best collection of these exotic and poorly-understood weapons. As the contemporary debate over the relative merits of bullpup and conventional small arms builds pace, this work is a timely reflection on the efforts of the most prolific of the bullpup nations. Thorneycroft to SA80 is both a comprehensive reference work to support serious research, and an aesthetically pleasing illustrated publication for the firearms enthusiast.



  • Page count: 532 (approx.)

  • 7.5" wide by 10" tall (approx.)

  • Commercial quality, section sewn style binding which allows the book to lay flat

  • Full colour prints on premium quality paper stock

  • Foil stamped, blue faux leather hardcover

  • Ribbon page marker

  • Signed by author, Jonathan Ferguson - onsite at our Leeds Museum.

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