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Bullpup Conversion Kit Black Storm BS-4 for Assault Rifles in Ukraine

According to a tweet from B-AREV dated August 9, 2023, an AK-74 in Bullpup configuration can be seen, thanks to the Black Storm BS-4 conversion kit. This Bullpup conversion kit transforms the iconic AK-47 assault rifle and its counterpart AK-74 into a weapon adapted for trench warfare environments. Combining modernization and compactness, this kit, developed in Ukraine by BlackStorm, offers significant advantages for soldiers engaged in restricted combat situations.
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Black Storm bullpup AK-74 conversion used by Ukrainian forces (Picture source: Twitter account of B-AREV )

One of the essential features of the Black Storm BS-4 kit is its transition to the Bullpup scheme. This design shortens the overall length of the weapon by placing the firing mechanism and the magazine behind the grip, freeing up space at the front. This gives soldiers better maneuverability in tight spaces such as trenches, buildings, or other confined areas where fluid mobility can make the difference between life and death. It's safe to say that this is a significant advantage, especially considering the conflict in Ukraine.

A bullpup firearm distinguishes itself by having its firing grip situated forward of the breech, as opposed to the traditional position behind it. This design results in a firearm that boasts a more compact overall length relative to its barrel size, often making it lighter, more concealable, and highly maneuverable compared to conventionally designed firearms. When the need arises for soldiers to carry a more compact weapon, adopting a bullpup configuration ensures that the barrel length remains intact, thereby preserving muzzle velocity, range, and ballistic performance.

One of the features of the Black Storm BS-4 kit is its ability to modernize classic weapons without altering their fundamental design. The AK-47 and AK-74 are legendary firearms known for their reliability, but this kit elevates their performance by bringing significant improvements without disturbing their traditional configuration.

Among the enhancements, we can note the ability to reload the weapon with the left or right hand thanks to the innovative breech design, an easily accessible safety lever, and a magazine reset button. These tactical improvements offer better responsiveness in intense combat scenarios.

In a trench warfare situation, where every centimeter of terrain can be fiercely contested, the advantages of the Bullpup Black Storm BS-4 kit become even more evident. The compactness of the weapon and its ease of handling enable soldiers to move through restricted spaces with greater agility. Quick hand changes, removing the safety lever to avoid snags, and the ability to camouflage the weapon in colors matching the surroundings provide tactical flexibility in situations where discretion and speed are crucial. This allows classic weapons like the AK-47 or AK-74 to adapt better to the ongoing conflict.

However, Bullpup systems are not magical and have a series of disadvantages. A notable feature of bullpup firearms is that the user's face is positioned much closer to the action than in traditional firearm configurations. Increased proximity can result in heightened noise levels, causing potential discomfort for the shooter, especially when firing in enclosed spaces, which is often the case for Ukrainian forces. In the unfortunate event of a catastrophic failure, bullpup weapons carry additional risks due to their proximity to the shooter's head, neck, and torso.

For left-handed shooters, there's a risk of spent cartridge cases being ejected directly into their faces. Bullpup firearms often require unique ejection mechanisms to facilitate ambidextrous operations. The process of changing the ejection side, while possible in some cases, is not always straightforward and might involve partial disassembly. This limitation makes it challenging to switch the weapon's shooting position on the fly. Changing magazines in bullpup weapons can also be less intuitive and ergonomic.

The conflict in Ukraine primarily involves urban combat and trench warfare, where the Bullpup system finds many advantages. Nevertheless, it remains a system with disadvantages, and there is still room for improvement.


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