Vulcan M-47 Bull-Pup rifle
HESSE ARMS (Vulcan) M-47 Bull-Pup rifle Hesse Arms launched this product on the market in the late 1990s, back when they were the sole importers/distributors in the USA of the Russian-made VEPR semi-automatic rifle system. The M-47 Bull-Pup, as its own name states, was a Bull-Pup conversion of the "HESSE M-47" rifle, this being the name they used to call the VEPR rifles. The weapon adopted many solutions that was too be found already on another bull-pup AK-based sporter rifle, the Chinese NORINCO Type 86S; this led many at the time to guess that them were the same rifle, in fact them weren't: the M-47 Bull-Pup was an all-American bull-pup conversion of the Russian VEPR, not an import. HESSE had simply ripped off from the Chinese rifle some technical solutions to convert an AK in Bull-Pup configuration, and then implemented it on their own. They eventually came out with something that was pretty similar to the Chinese Type 86S, but seen the path they followed, the outcome couldn't be much different. The main differences between the Chinese Type 86S and the Hesse M-47 Bull-Pup are all clearly there to be seen: the barrel is more akin to an AR-15 one (even the flash suppressor is a Bird-cage), the foregrip is not foldable (as it was in the Chinese Type 86S), and the cocking handle is placed backwards on the receiver (the Chinese Type 86S had it moved forward, protected under the carrying handle; the HESSE M-47 Bull-Pup removes the carrying handle itself, replacing it with a MIL-STD Picatinny rail). The BESSE M-47 Bull-Pup used significantly more plastic in its construction than the Chinese Type 86S, though this didn't helped to reduce the weight THAT much. Furthermore, the Hesse M-47 Bull-Pup does NOT features many of the clever commands conversion solutions of the Type 86S; appearently, the HESSE engineers based themselves on the Type 86S rifle only as far as the aesthetics were concerned. The M-47 Bull-Pup was not offered as a conversion kit, it came as a COTS weapon from the factory. The weapon was offered in thecalibers the VEPR were marketed in (.223-Remington, .7'62x39mm, possibly .308-Winchester); what is odd is that, taking a quick glance at the gun, it seems to have some features that would have made illegal to own under the then-valid 1994 Brady Bill. Nonetheless, the weapon had no commercial success so far. TECHNICAL SPECS: CALIBER: 7'62x39mm, .223-Remington (not sure about .308-Winchester) CAPACITY: All VEPR-compatible magazines LENGHT: 12,25 Inches BARREL LENGHT: 17,25 Inches WEIGHT: About 7 Lbs. OPERATION: Gas operated, rotating bolt, semi-automatic action MANUFACTURER: Hesse Arms Ltd., now known as VULCAN ARMAMENT LLC.
Photos and information from: Pierangelo Tendas