More Springfield Bullpup: a Hellion at the Range With Ian McCollum

Within days of the launch of the Springfield Hellion Bullpup, Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons posted this video with the Hellion at a 2-Gun Action Challenge match.  Considering that it’s a bullpup, we would expect it to be very compact and good in close quarters, and that’s just the case as his first shots take place from inside a Ford Bronco.

Shooting the Springfield Hellion Bullpup out the driver's window
Out the driver’s window. The little bullpup gets it done!

The Springfield Hellion

The video goes a long way in showcasing the maneuverability of the Springfield Bullpup, which appears to be outstanding. Ian changes positions several times, including shooting out the driver’s side window, inside from the driver’s seat, from the passenger seat, and finally, out the passenger’s side window, including a magazine change. The short nature of this carbine makes all of this maneuvering inside a vehicle about as easy as we could expect from any weapon.

Springfield Hellion inside vehicle
Inside the vehicle, the Hellion is short enough to maneuver well, and yet has a 16-inch barrel.
Ian McCollum Springfield Hellion
Whether inside or outside the vehicle, the Hellion is short enough to maneuver. Here, Ian competes in a 2-gun competition.

Testing the Springfield Bullpup

Aside from shooting from inside the vehicle, there is also a healthy portion of shooting around and under barricades, further showcasing how maneuverable the little bullpup is.

Throughout the video, there is a good deal of shooting, so we viewers get a good idea of how this weapon handles and behaves. One thing that becomes immediately apparent is that the Hellion does not recoil very much and that the recoil is directed straight back.

Ian McCollum shooting from under a vehicle
Ian gets low during a competition! None of the brass hits him in the face from the ejection port.
Ian McCollum shooting the Springfield Hellion Bullpup from the prone position
Prone shooting is no problem for the Springfield Hellion.

Ian says that the weapon is heavier toward the rear, and not perfectly balanced at the grip. The front end is light, which he says is good for handling at close range, but not optimal for engaging targets at longer ranges. A heavier front end would keep the sights stabilized better.

Springfield Hellion recoil
With brass in the air, the muzzle remains level. Recoil is extremely light, allowing for fast follow-up shots.
Engaging close range targets
Engaging multiple targets at close range is no problem, given the Hellion’s maneuverability.

Difficulties that Arose in the Springfield Bullpup

He describes the trigger as a bit “squishy,” although this does not seem to be an issue for him throughout the video. He does have a difficult time hitting a Texas Star target at distance, though this might have partially been because he was shooting offhand, and the targets were relatively small. Perhaps a more stable shooting position would have yielded better results.

Distance shooting
Distant targets were a bit tricky to hit from the offhand position.

In the video, the Springfield Hellion is set up for ejection from the left side, but it can also be set up to eject from the right side. It’s worth noting that, regardless of the position he shot from, Ian says he never was hit by brass in the face. The rest of the controls are also ambidextrous. Further, he notes that it’s a very good bullpup and that the cheek rest is good. There is also a generous rail for optics, lasers, lights, a can opener, a kitchen sink, and any other accouterments that a shooter might wish to bolt onto the weapon.

While the video is great for digging into the meat and potatoes of how this bullpup shoots and how it behaves on the range, it doesn’t go into the technical specifications of the weapon. As such, I did some looking and came up with some here.

Springfield Hellion Specifications

  • Overall length: 28.25 inches.
  • Barrel: 16 inches.
  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO (or .223 REM)
  • Quick detachable sling points on both sides.
  • Gas system: Adjustable for either Suppressed or Normal modes, depending on ammunition.
  • Color: Black.
  • Sights: Front flip-up, elevation adjustable. Back flip-up 5-position aperture, adjustable for windage.
  • Stock: 5-position adjustable.
  • Flash suppressor: 4-prong.
  • Weight: 8 pounds.
  • MSRP: $1,999.

The charging handle and safety are ambidextrous, and the ejection port can be adjusted for either side. The magazines are compatible with the AR-15/M-16 series and supplied by MagPul.

All in all, the Springfield Hellion appears to be a solid bullpup design and Ian does a great job showing the attributes of the carbine, as well as pointing out some of his less favorite aspects. I’d say this is a good video to watch to get a realistic picture of how this firearm can be expected to perform.

Watch the video:

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

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