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Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion: Read Before You Buy

David Fortier, James Tarr and Michelle Hamilton share their thoughts on this interesting new bullpup rifle!

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion: Read Before You Buy

We tell you what you need to know before you buy one of Springfield Armory’s new 5.56mm Hellion bullpup rifles! (Oleg Volk photo)

As the sun sank below the horizon, the darkness began its encroachment onto my rifle range. Despite the fading light we were not done for the day. I was peering through a set of 10x roof prism binoculars at our 700-yard silhouette while Be Ready! Field Editor Todd Jaderborg was working the math problem to put a Black Hills 69-grain MatchKing on steel. Jaderborg was behind a compact black 5.56mm NATO bullpup rifle just introduced by Springfield Armory, the Hellion. At just 28.2 inches in length it is shorter than my 11.5-inch barreled AR-15 SBR, but boasts a 16-inch barrel. Better still, it was proving quite accurate. Gazing through the binos, I watched Todd’s first shot at 700 impact the berm directly above the silhouette’s head. “Windage is good, but you’re a half a silhouette high,” I called. Jaderborg acknowledged my call, changed his hold on the Nightforce’s 1-8x24mm scope’s reticle and proceeded to place MatchKings onto steel as the light faded to darkness. It was a great end to a productive day on the range.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Short Handguard with M-LOK slots
The Hellion is a semi-auto sporter version of the Croatian Army’s VHS-2 assault rifle with a few tweaks for the US commercial market. Note it features a short handguard with M-LOK slots for mounting accessories.

I had to dig a bit through my archives, but luckily I was able to find what I was looking for relatively quickly. It was a simple date in time I had been hunting for, May 23, 2000. It is a meaningless date for the most part, but on this day, almost 22 years ago, I started writing an article on a virtually unknown pistol produced by an equally unknown Croatian firm. The pistol was a polymer-framed 9mm and its manufacturer had been founded in 1991 as IM Metal. Much has changed during the swath of time since I penned that piece, including the name of the pistol and the company which manufactures it along with the color of my hair.

The pistol in question was then known as the Hrvatski Samokres 2000 (Croatian Pistol 2000). The HS2000 was the third pistol IM Metal had designed and manufactured. The company was established in the town of Ozalj which is a short drive southwest of Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. It began as a privately-owned company manufacturing industrial metal parts. The company designed and produced its first service pistol, the PHP, in 1991 amidst wartime conditions. The PHP, while a good design, had some disadvantages due to the conditions under which it was produced. In 1993, IM Metal began development of a new model, the HS95. This pistol featured a 15-round magazine, new safety, and new firing pin construction, among other changes allowed by the continued development of improved production technology. Designed by a team of engineers led by Marko Vuković, the HS95 evolved into the HS2000. This new service pistol was developed specifically for military use and it was subsequently adopted by the Croatian Armed Forces as well as their police. 

Introduced in 1999, the HS2000 became a commercial success and was imported into the US. In 2001, IM Metal changed its name to HS Produkt. It wasn’t long before the design was noticed by Springfield Armory. Recognizing the pistol’s potential, Springfield Armory worked with HS Produkt, gave it a facelift and introduced it to American shooters as the XD or eXtreme Duty in 2002. Since its introduction into the US, the XD has proven very popular and been very successful for both HS Produkt and Springfield Armory.


Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Design Team Led by Marko Vuković
The VHS-2 and Hellion (seen here) rifles are the work of a design team led by Marko Vuković. The Hellion is a modern rifle with all the typical traits of a bullpup yet with the ability to eject from either side.

While the XD series of handguns is very well known to American shooters, many may not know HS Produkts also produces rifles. Like their handguns, their rifle designs date back to the Croatian War of Independence. In 1992, IM Metal developed a 7.62x39mm bullpup based on the Kalashnikov. As IM Metal was a new company with limited experience and technological capabilities the design had a number of flaws and issues. Throughout the 1990s, a number of rifle designs were developed using different methods of operation including direct gas and delayed blow-back. However, in the end none proved satisfactory and work continued using their newly acquired experience.


In 2003, work began on a new bullpup design that would become the VHS-D or Višenamjenska Hrvatska Strojnica (multi-functional Croatian machine gun). This 5.56mm assault rifle resembles the French FAMAS in profile. It weighs 7.5 pounds, has a 19.7-inch barrel and an overall length of 30.1 inches. A shorter 16.1-inch barreled carbine, the VHS-K was also developed. While initially a different operating system was tried, in the end the VHS was redesigned around a short-stroke gas piston system. The result was a rather homely polymer design that passed a 50,000-round service life test with no major parts failing. It was subsequently adopted by the Croatian Army in 2009.

While the VHS-D/K had a number of positive features, it also had a number of flaws, including poor ergonomics. So, Marko Vuković and his team went back to work both improving and refining the design to become the VHS-2. First shown in April 2013 at the Adriatic Sea Defense & Aerospace (ASDA) Show, the VHS-2 retains the basic reliable operating system of the earlier model, while making it much more user-friendly and up to date. What makes this rifle of particular interest to us today though is Springfield Armory introducing a commercial semi-automatic version, the Hellion, onto the US commercial market. So, the question in my mind was, how well does the new Springfield Armory Hellion bullpup rifle perform?

To find out, I received a rifle on short-term loan from Springfield Armory to test and evaluate. I also picked the brains of James Tarr and Michelle Hamilton. You can read their thoughts on the Hellion following mine. The sample I received from Springfield Armory was teamed with a Nightforce 1-8x24mm F1 NX8 optical sight. I added a Savvy Sniper sling, collected a variety of suitable loads for testing and got to work. 

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion 4 Prong Flash Suppressor
The 4 prong flash suppressor proved very effective in low-light scenarios.

Initial Impressions

Without a doubt, Springfield Armory’s 5.56mm Hellion bullpup rifle is an eye-catching piece. It’s very modern-looking in form and easily accepts contemporary optical gun sights and accessories. The polymer body is nicely contoured, functional while also being pleasing to the eye. Yet, the heart of the rifle remains a proven short-stroke gas piston operating system. In my mind, it is not a futuristic design, but rather dwells comfortably in today.




Two things immediately come to mind when you initially handle a Hellion. The first is its short, like very short, with an overall length of just 28.2 inches with the butt fully collapsed. In comparison, it is shorter than my 11.5-inch AR-15 SBR. The second is the length of pull is surprisingly long. Again, with the butt full collapsed the length of pull is a Thompson submachine gun like 16.1 inches. Egad. Extend the butt all the way and overall length (OAL) grows to 29.7 inches and LOP becomes around 18 inches in length. Everyone who handled this example commented on both of these aspects of its nature. Typically, it went something like this, “Wow this is much shorter than expected……wow that pistol grip is far forward…”

As you get a feel for the Hellion, you notice the fore-end is nicely shaped and comfortable. Plus, it has M-LOK slots for mounting accessories, such as a white light. There are three M-LOK slots at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. There is about 12.5 inches of MIL STD 1913 rail running along the top of the rifle for easy mounting of optical sights. In addition, well-designed folding iron sights are standard. The front features a protected tapered post that is adjustable for elevation. The rear sight features multiple apertures for different ranges and is adjustable for windage. The rear sight features a large ghost ring aperture for low light use as well as smaller apertures marked for 100/200, 300, 400 and 500 meters. Pushing a button deploys each sight and they lock into position.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion 2-Position Gas Regulator and Gas System
A look at the Hellions 2-position gas regulator and gas system. Inset photo shows the gas system piston, tappet and tappet spring removed for cleaning.

A four-prong flash suppressor is fitted to the muzzle of the 16.1-inch CMV barrel. This has a Melonite finish and a one turn in seven inches rifling twist. Just behind the muzzle you find the gas regulator valve. This has two positions, N for normal conditions and S for use with a sound suppressor. As you examine the rifle you will note 10 sling mounting positions. Six of these are for QD socket swivels while four accept snap hook style attachments. Weight comes in at eight pounds.  

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An ambidextrous non-reciprocating charging handle is located in the centerline of the rifle below the optics rail. The spring-loaded handle returns to center when released, and is large enough to get a good purchase on while also being nicely contoured. While the charging handle does not reciprocate, a small latch at its rear can be held down to lock it to the bolt carrier allowing it to act as a forward assist. The trigger guard is slightly over-size facilitating use with gloves. Ambidextrous safety levers are mounted on each side of the receiver along with pictograms indicating the safe and fire positions. A Bravo Company BCM Gunfighter Mod 3 AR-15 pistol grip is fitted, but this can be swapped by the end-user for a different AR-15 compatible design if they so choose.

To the rear of the pistol grip is the mag well. This accepts standard STANAG pattern AR-15 magazines, so you do not have to worry about finding a proprietary magazine. The magazine release is a lever at the rear of the mag well. This is an ambidextrous design and easy enough to depress. To the rear of this is the bolt release. Sliding this horizontally to the rear will release the bolt when it’s locked back. There is no control to manually lock the bolt open, but it’s simple enough to hold the bolt to the rear while reaching up into the mag well and pushing the bolt hold-open up into position in the manner an empty magazine does. Ideal? No, but doable on the range when you need to have your bolt locked open without a magazine.

At the rear of the rifle you will find a cheek riser which can be raised to provide a bit of height when using optics. To the rear of this is an adjustable butt. This features five positions if you wish to increase the length of pull. As you are examining this you are bound to notice the Hellion has dual ejection ports. Yes, one on each side of the receiver with spring-loaded ejection port covers. As you would guess, the rifle can be configured to eject from either the right or left side of the receiver. This allows a left-handed shooter to easily configure the rifle for their use.

So, all in all the Hellion is an interesting design. Build quality looks good. My review sample was nicely put together and exhibited a good fit and finish. The controls operated without issue, the iron sights looked very nice, mags popped in and out easily, the charging handle retracted the bolt easily and action cycled smoothly. No issues were encountered and I had zero complaints.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Captured Cross-Pin
Pushing out one captured cross-pin allows the butt to be pulled off and the bolt carrier assembly to be removed.

Operation

Operation is via short-stroke gas piston with a carrier-controlled multi-lugged rotating bolt. The bolt looks similar to, but is slightly larger than an AR-15 bolt, and has seven lugs. These are radiused at both the tip and root for added durability. I thought that was a nice touch. The ejector is a spring-loaded plunger and a conventional claw extractor is fitted. The firing pin is spring-loaded, and a firing pin safety is present to ensure a fall or drop can be safely handled. This locks the firing pin in place until disengaged by the hammer. The bolt slides into the rectangular bolt carrier and is retained with a cam pin. When field stripping the bolt carrier assembly you only have the firing pin retainer, firing pin, cam pin, bolt and bolt carrier. Simple. The recoil spring is captured and features a full-length guide rod. There is an additional guide rod to the left of this. A white polymer buffer is housed in the butt below both of them. 

To switch the direction of ejection is very easy and requires no tools. It does require a quick field strip though. All you do is clear the rifle, remove the bolt carrier assembly, strip the bolt carrier assembly of its firing pin and cam pin, rotate the bolt 180 degrees in the bolt carrier and reassemble the carrier assembly. Next remove the port door pin by raising the cheek riser to access it, and pulling it straight to the rear and out of the rifle. Reinstall in the other side, replace the cheek riser to lock it into place and reassemble the rifle. That is it.

The gas system is very simple. It consists of six main components, the gas block, two-position gas regulator, gas piston, tappet and tappet spring. The beefy gas block is pinned in place using two roll pins. The gas piston features three gas rings. The tappet impinges onto an extension on the bolt carrier. The gas piston and tappet and tappet spring are easily removed for maintenance. Just pull the tappet to the rear compressing the tappet spring, then angle the tappet to the side and slide it and its spring out and off. Next slide the gas piston to the rear and out.

The actual field stripping of the Hellion is quite simple. Start by removing the magazine and ensuring the rifle is empty. Next, extend the butt all the way out. Push the rear most captured take-down cross-pin through to the left as far as it will go. Pull the butt to the rear and off. Next, slide the bolt carrier assembly to the rear and out. Push the forward most retained cross-pin to the left as far as it will go. This will allow you to remove the handguard. Next, push the large round button below the rear sight all the way to right. Pull up on the 1913 rail and the entire rail assembly and charging handle will come off. Pushing the middle retained cross-pin through all the way to the left will allow the mag well to be removed. You can now remove the tappet and gas piston and disassemble the bolt carrier assembly. 

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Bolt Carrier Assembly
The bolt carrier assembly is simple, well-thought-out and nicely machined. On the left you can see the bolt carrier assembly stripped down. This is very easy to do.

Why Choose A Bullpup?

The Hellion is a modern bullpup and most riflemen have strong opinions when it comes to bullpup rifles. You either love or hate them with few falling in-between. Most though will readily admit and recognize the inherent benefits of the bullpup design, namely:

1. Short overall length

2. Longer barrel in relation to overall length compared to conventional design

3. Center of gravity of rifle moved closer to center of gravity of shooter

The very short overall length, while retaining a relatively long barrel is a definite advantage. Many countries, including France, Austria, England, Israel and China have all adopted and fielded bullpup rifles. One of the conclusions the Israeli IDF came to prior to developing the Tavor, was that battles had moved from traditional “open field” conflicts to close-quarters engagements. The short overall length of a bullpup is an asset in close-quarters fighting. It is also an asset if troops are traveling in and deploying from vehicles. 

These advantages are just as real and useful for the armed citizen protecting his home or traveling by vehicle. Think of it this way, you can have a rifle the same overall length of a 10.5-inch barreled AR-15 short-barreled rifle (SBR), without the paperwork and $200 tax stamp. Not only that, but you get the velocity of a 16-inch barrel too.  

Despite these benefits, many riflemen still dislike bullpup designs due to two main issues. Chiefly, many bullpups are slow to reload and they generally have mediocre triggers. In addition, to these two complaints, most bullpups cannot be readily fired from both shoulders due to the ejection path. So, bullpup rifles are not universally embraced and this is especially true here in the U.S.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Bolt Carrier Assembly
A look at the Hellion’s well-designed bolt face which is slightly larger than an AR-15s. Note the design of the locking lugs.

On The Range

OK, the big question is, how does Springfield Armory Hellion rifle perform on the range? To find out, I gathered together a variety of 5.56mm NATO and .223 Rem loads, packed up some targets and my LabRadar, and walked out to my range. I began testing by zeroing the rifle and immediately noticed it seemed to be shooting well. I was using a Nightforce NX8 1-8x24mm F1 scope for testing and it zeroed easily. This is a very compact optic that zooms from 1x to 8x and features a Front Focal Plane daylight illuminated reticle. On 1x you can utilize it like a red dot, and on higher magnifications you have Mil or MOA marks (depending upon which model you choose) for hold-over and windage/lead corrections.

Very compact in size the NX8 is built on a 30mm, only 8.75 inches long and weighs just 17 ounces. The model I was using features .5 MOA adjustments with 50 MOA of adjustment per full turret rotation. Plus, the elevation turret features a zero stop. The windage turret is capped, which I prefer and there are 10 illumination intensity settings with an off position between each one. All optical sights are composed of a number of compromises, and that is certainly true here. However, this small scope brings a lot to the table and is a good match to the Hellion.

As I was gathering loads for testing, Michelle Hamilton was texting me reminding me to include a 62-grain M855/SS109 load. So, I selected some Sellier & Bellot 62-grain FMJ-BT SS109 with mild steel penetrator. For an economical load, and to see how the Hellion handled steel case ammunition, I selected Barnaul’s 62-grain FMJ load. For loads intended for personal protection, I picked Black Hills Ammunition’s 55-grain TSX and Speer’s 75-grain Gold Dot. For a match load, I selected Black Hills’ 69-grain MatchKing and then for a hunting load I chose Hornady’s 55-grain GMX Superformance. I figured these six loads ranging in weight from 55 to 75 grains would give me a pretty good picture of how well the Hellion shot.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Ambidextrous Safety Levers
Ambidextrous safety levers are fitted and the charging handle is ambidextrous as well. The charging handle is non-reciprocating but can be used as a forward assist if needed.

Getting to work I fired four five-shot groups from a rest at 100 yards with each load. The first five-shots out of the rifle told me it was going to be a good day on the range. Despite the trigger being long and mushy, it was consistent and manageable. Looking at my first group of the day, it was just under one inch, center-to-center. Better still I had fired it with Black Hills Ammunition’s 55-grain TSX load. The Hellion went on to give a very solid performance across the board at 100 yards. Magazines inserted easily, the bolt release is a bit awkward but it works. The bolt cycled smoothly and rounds chambered easily and extracted and ejected smoothly with no issues. Recoil was mild and it proved to be a pleasant rifle to shoot.

Frankly, I expected the Croatian semi-auto bullpup carbine to shoot into the three- to four-inch range. It did significantly better. Best accuracy was obtained with Speer’s 75-grain Gold Dot load which averaged an impressive .8 inch at 2,508 fps. Right with Speer’s load was Black Hills’ 69-grain Match load which averaged .9 inch at 2,640 fps. Black Hills’ 55-grain TSX load averaged 1.1 inches at 2,834 fps. Sellier&Bellot’s 62-grain SS109 ball load surprised me when it averaged 1.4 inches at 2,967 fps. Hornady’s 55-grain GMX Superformance load averaged 1.6 inches at 2,909 fps and Barnauls steel case 62-grain FMJ load averaged 2.9 inches at 2,700 fps. So, accuracy from the bench at 100 yards was very good across the board.

I was joined by Be Ready! magazine Field Editor Todd Jaderborg and we moved to firing from supported field positions at 280, 450, 500, 580 and 700 yards. For this portion of testing, we switched to Black Hills 69-grain MatchKing load. Rather than dialing elevation and windage, corrections were made using the Nightforce’s reticle. We took turns shooting and spotting until we ran out of light. Here the Hellion did very well but the less than stellar trigger came more into play as ranges increased. Even so, the rifle proved very consistent and we scored a high percentage of hits all the way out to 700 yards.

Next, I moved from the bench and proceeded to run the Hellion through some drills from seven to 100 yards. Here it performed well. Practical accuracy is excellent, and it is an easy rifle to operate. It’s just not as fast or efficient to operate as an AR when it comes time to reload. There is a learning curve to running it as efficiently as possible. With the Savvy Sniper sling mounted the rifle “wore” very well and was very comfortable. Its short length makes it very easy to go through doorways with and to enter/exit vehicles. Zero problems were encountered, and the Hellion ran flawlessly throughout testing.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Cheek Riser
The Hellion has a cheek riser and the butt is adjustable with 5 positions to increase the length of pull.

Final Thoughts

Springfield Armory’s 5.56mm Hellion rifle is an interesting piece which is a nice change from norm. It is a nicely made and good-looking rifle with a proven military track record. During our testing it proved more accurate than expected, shooting sub MOA with loads it liked. Is it perfect? No, the trigger is a bit mushy, reloading is a bit slow and length of pull is long. It did prove very fun on the range though and it’s an easy rifle to strip and maintain. It’s not inexpensive with an MSRP of $1,999. However, it is an interesting design I know many are interested in.

Springfield Hellion First Impressions

James Tarr:

My thoughts: I really love the sci-fi looks of it. It looks like a bullpupped G36, or the love child of a G36 and a Kel-Tec, something straight out of Total Recall. It has the best trigger pull of any Factory bullpup rifle I've ever shot, and that is important. A horrible trigger pull is one of the two biggest negatives toward Bullpup rifles. The other is poor ergonomics, but you just can't get away from that with a bullpup rifle. It's short as an SBR, but all your controls end up being tucked in close to your body where they are harder to use. The Hellion has the best trigger pull, and the worst bolt release, of any bullpup I've tested. With no real ability to lock the bolt back except via an empty magazine. But, I still really like the rifle and it delivers on everything it promises.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion 3 Take-Down Pins
A look at the Hellion stripped down. This is easily accomplished and the 3 take-down pins are all captured.

Michelle Hamilton:

Springfield shocked the American firearms market when they brought back a beloved favorite and historical beauty queen, the Hi-Power 1935 in 2021. This bold move was much to the public's pleasure and has been greeted primarily positive overall. That said, the Geneseo Illinois based company made a real "one-two punch" at SHOT Show 2022, releasing the Springfield Hellion in 5.56mm. While Springfield produces their own line of gas impingement AR pattern rifles in both large and small frame, alongside the M1A (a semi-automatic variant of the M14 battle rifle), Springfield really had no long arms that set them apart from the crowd, and really hadn't since the discontinuing of the SAR-8 (HK-91-type) and SAR-4800 (FAL-type) rifles respectively. Well, working closely with HS Produkts of Croatia, they developed and imported a semi-automatic "Sporter" variant of the HS VHS-2 Assault Rifle.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Nightforce 1-8x24mm Scope
Accuracy testing was performed from a benchrest at 100 yards with a variety of loads. The Nightforce 1-8x24mm scope performed very well, especially at distance.

While slightly "Americanized" for the U.S. firearms market, some of the changes are quite logical while others seem forced, and almost makes me feel like they were added simply for 922(r) compliance with the 1989 ban on “assault rifle” imports. The Hellion offers nice specifications, including a 1x7 twist Chrome Moly-Vanadium barrel, weighs in at a respectable eight pounds and comes in at less than 29 inches. The Hellion is 100% ambidextrous, which is important to "southpaw" shooters, as typically lefties and bullpups don't necessarily mix well. I like the adjustable gas system and one large perk to this is the simplistic adjustments. It is simply "suppressed" and "normal". Coming from a person who owns an FAL, simplistic gas systems and adjustments definitely have their perks, especially on a combat rifle. While fine-tuning may not be available, this isn't a target or precision rifle; it is a defensive or modern sporting rifle.

I like the addition and inclusion of an M-LOK handguard, I believe this was a logical and necessary step, as fore grips, lights and other accessories are typically used on MSRs geared for defensive use. This system has become practically universal and I thought it was a nice addition. The BCM Gunfighter grip, however, seems slightly out of place. While I am glad they didn't go for a straighter angled grip like those offerings from B5, the BCM seems a bit out of place and looks like the grip angle could be slightly uncomfortable for long periods of trigger time or shooting from a prone position. I believe a more proprietary designed grip, with a better grip angle would be better suited and I feel like Springfield almost said, "Hey, we got AR parts; throw that grip on there for added 922 parts." I would also like to see more information displayed on their barrels and a bit more specification-driven information. While it may not matter to some, with a $2,000 MSRP, I would like to know a bit more about the barrel steel. Yes, it is labeled as "CMV", but how close is it to true 4150? Is it manufactured to Mil-B-11595E specifications? Is it made closer to Croatian military specs? Is it chrome lined? Cold Hammer Forged? Button rifled? I am not trying to be overly critical, but I also understand that many firearm owners would like more than vague specifications for their $2,000 investment, especially considering that the Hellion is priced higher than corresponding and proven bullpups such as Israel's Tavor, Steyr's AUG and FN's PS-90.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Test Ammunition
Test ammunition ranged in weight from 55 to 75 grains and consisted of ball, self-protection, match and hunting loads. Accuracy proved quite acceptable.

Overall, I like the rifle and my constructive criticism is nit-picking at best. I do believe that Springfield Armory needs to be more open with the specifications of the rifle, but I also understand that it is brand new to the market and more information will come forth. I do believe this will be a slightly hard sale for them, especially once the "shiny new gun" phase wears off and they saturate the market and this observation is strictly based on price. While judging only by the MSRP, the "street price" is still likely to be mid $1,850-$1,900 range, placing it in a completely different price bracket than its bullpup competitors, some by several hundred dollars. It also places it in the price realm of "top tier" AR rifles such as LMT, Knights Armament, Hodge Defense Systems and Grey Ghost Precision to name a handful.

Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Nicely Made Rifle
All in all the Hellion is a nicely made rifle that shot better than expected while proving reliable throughout our testing.

I am impressed with Springfield Armory and this project with HS Produkt of Croatia. While so many foreign based companies are offering "sporter variants" of their rifles which bear no resemblance to their combat rifle counterparts, Springfield Armory imported a practically intact VHS-2 for the American public. This rifle will likely be a collectors dream, as well as a functioning piece of European combat rifle history (be it more recent history). A big round of applause to Springfield Armory for doing what most will not and providing the American Citizen with likely the closest thing we will see to a mass produced "sporter" variant of the French GIAT FAMAS and H&K G36.

Springfield Armory Hellion Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm
  • Operation: Short-stroke gas with rotating bolt
  • Barrel Length: 16.1 inches 
  • Barrel Twist: 1-7 RH twist
  • OAL: 28.2-29.7 inches
  • Length of Pull: 16.1-17.6 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Feed: Standard STANAG AR-15 detachable box magazines
  • Sights: BUIS with M1913 rail 
  • Price: $1999 
  • Company: Springfield Armory, www.SpringfieldArmory.com
Springfield Armory 5.56mm Hellion Accuracy Chart

If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.

Watch Firearms News Editor Vince DeNiro test the Springfield Armory Hellion bullpup rifle!


About the Authors:

David M. Fortier has been covering firearms, ammunition and optics since 1998. He is a recipient of the Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year award and his writing has been recognized by the Civil Rights organization JPFO. In 2007 he covered the war in Iraq as an embedded journalist.

James Tarr is a longtime contributor to Firearms News and other firearms publications. He is also the author of several books, including CARNIVORE, which was featured on The O’Reilly Factor. His current best-selling novel, Dogsoldiers, is available now through Amazon.

Michelle Hamilton has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security, is a serious student of wound ballistics, military history, small arms design and manufacturing and is a competitive shooter.

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