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Evaluation: New Hellion 20” and 18” Variants – The Armory Life Acquire US

Springfield Armory provided bullpup followers an amazing new choice after they dropped the Hellion in January of 2022. A descendant in design from the VHS-2 rifle that has served within the palms of Croatian Armed Forces world wide, the unique 16”-barreled mannequin of the Hellion makes for a 5.56mm that may be a mere 28.25” in general size at its shortest with the five-position buttstock collapsed.

For those who just like the Hellion, however wished for an extended barrel, Springfield Armory is now providing two new fashions that could be of curiosity: one with an 18″ barrel and a second with a 20″ barrel and bayonet lug (proven).

This modern kind issue made it extremely maneuverable as a formidable CQB-style firearm whereas additionally retaining the entire fascinating traits of a full-size carbine. That is the first benefit of a bullpup-pattern firearm with the motion situated within the buttstock space and behind the set off.

The Basis

Now, some could say, “go away ok alone” in terms of the event of latest designs on tried-and-true platforms which have happy the unique objectives. But when there’s one factor I’ve realized working on this trade for a couple of many years now, it’s that the firearms group loves choices in terms of their boomsticks.

springfield armory 18-inch hellion review
The brand new 18″-barreled model of the Hellion provides the identical stable basis of options that made the unique gun so in style.

And on that topic, Springfield Armory has finished simply that for Hellion followers by providing two new variants of the rifle — one with an 18” barrel and one other with a 20” tube. And whereas each choices are cool, the latter doubles down on the badassery by actually bringing a knife to the gunfight with a removable bayonet choice. Sure, you learn that proper. 

Diving proper in, let’s begin by overlaying the entire tried-and-true options of the Hellion which have happy bullpup followers and have remained the identical in these two new fashions from the unique 16” model launch of the Hellion.

springfield hellion 20-inch bolt release
Ambidextrous controls are one of many hallmarks of the Hellion line. The 18″ and 20″ fashions proceed this custom. Proven is the ambidextrous bolt launch on the 20″ Hellion.

First off, the entire Hellion fashions are working on a easy and dependable short-stroke gasoline piston system. The piston system at all times runs exceptionally clear in my expertise and likewise helps to make sure low upkeep necessities and longevity in terms of put on and tear on inside elements and barrels.

You additionally obtain a full suite of utterly ambidextrous controls, together with the security selector and non-reciprocating charging deal with, in addition to a reversible ambidextrous choice in terms of the ejection port. The ambi ejection port function is one which I actually thought was neat from the primary iteration of the gun, and is adjustable for both proper or left-handed ejection with out requiring any particular instruments or further components.

[For more information, read How to Reverse the 5.56mm Hellion Bullpup Ejection System here.]

springfield 20-inch hellion pistol grip
Each of the brand new Hellion rifles use AR-compatible pistol grips. The highly-respected BCM GUNFIGHTER Mod 3 grip is customary.

The Hellion line-up features a distinctive five-point adjustable buttstock, which is a pleasant standout function in terms of bullpup designs that often don’t afford that choice. A two-position adjustable gasoline regulator that contains a “regular” and “suppressed” mode selector for these contemplating suppression can be provided all through the road.

As well as, the entire fashions embody some really strong built-in, flip-up iron sights which are built-in proper into the highest of the Picatinny rail. They don’t obscure your view when they’re down, and to deploy them you merely have interaction the spring-loaded buttons to quickly flip them up and mechanically lock them in place. The rear sight peep options a number of distance apertures that you could choose relying on what engagement distances you could be taking pictures.

[Catch the article How Do You Use the Hellion’s Iron Sights here.]

m-lok attachment points on springfield 20-inch hellion
M-Lok suitable attachment factors provide an excessive amount of flexibility for the attachment of a white gentle or different equipment. QD sockets for slings are additionally customary on the Hellion.

The bolt lever launch is situated to the rear of the journal effectively and the magazine launch. Having spent most of my coaching time on conventional carbines, I’m not ashamed to share that that is the one function distinction from my extra conventional carbine assortment that took me the longest to retrain myself to interact when taking pictures the Hellion. However when you get a deal with on it, easy operation and engagement simply turns into a matter of repetition and coaching.

Talking of taking pictures the Hellion and some of the satisfying components that has not modified between the entire fashions that are actually obtainable? The recoil impulse, or moderately the shortage thereof, is ridiculously mushy when taking pictures all three fashions of the gun.

Going Lengthy

Now, to highlight the variations between the brand new 18” and 20” fashions. Past the plain prolonged lengths of the barrels and negligible weight variations, to be trustworthy, I used to be pleased to see that not a lot else was altered, just because all of it works.

20 inch barrel on hellion
The longer 20″ barrel gives improved bullet velocity and vitality whereas additionally permitting for the attachment of a bayonet. Observe the ribbed exterior profile and bayonet lug.

The rise in muzzle velocity from the elevated size of the barrels is inherently a bonus, with out making the firearms considerably much less maneuverable. I discovered the load distinction between the 18” and 20” barely noticeable.

Listed below are the specs: The 18” barrel mannequin measures in at an general size of 30.25″ on the shortest and 31.75″ with the buttstock totally prolonged. It contains a CMV, Melonite-coated barrel with a 1:7” twist, and the carbine weighs 8 lbs., 3 oz.

springfield hellion bayonet
Springfield Armory will quickly provide a bayonet that mounts to the 20″ Hellion. The bayonet is a superb knife and gear that comes with a really useful sheath.

The 20” variant contains a 20″ CMV barrel with a Melonite coating, and a 1:7” twist. Weight of the carbine is 8 lbs., 6 oz., and it has an general measurement starting from 32.25″ to 33.75″. The barrel of the 20” mannequin is exclusive, nevertheless, in that it’s ribbed to help in dissipating warmth. One other actually cool function of the 20” gun is that it has an built-in bayonet lug that’s true to the unique design.

Talking of the unique design, the 20” Hellion is definitely configured very carefully to the unique Croatian VHS-D2, a chosen marksman variant of the VHS design. This barrel size and configuration together with the bayonet lug brings the Hellion 20” very near this actually cool VHS variant — aside from its semi-auto-only operation, in fact.


Listed below are the specs on the brand new Hellion rifles:

Hellion 18″Hellion 20″
Chambering5.56 NATO/.2235.56 NATO/.223
Barrel Size18″20″
General Size30.25″ — 31.75″32.25″ — 33.75″
Weight8 lbs 3 oz8 lbs 6 oz
SightsFlip-up irons & Picatinny railFlip-up irons & Picatinny rail
Inventory5-position collapsible5-position collapsible
Capability30 (one journal included)30 (one journal included)

Vary Time

Taking pictures on the vary was a number of enjoyable. The bullpup design actually makes for a nice and mushy impulse, which is refreshing. You get an amazing sense of enhanced management and diminished muzzle rise when taking pictures this rifle versus most conventional carbines, and in case you are an avid AR-15 shooter like myself it’s neat to combine it up with a unique taste.

springfield hellion 20 inch model with bayonet
The Hellion was examined on the vary with the mounted bayonet with Remington ammo. Each the 18″ and 20″ weapons had been utterly dependable.

I loaded up a magazine filled with Remington UMC Centerfire Rifle .223 55-grain ammo and shot metal from 50 yards away utilizing each an Eotech LPVO and EXPS2 Holosight on the Hellions.

[Be sure to read Best LPVO Scopes for the Hellion if you need a good optic for your rifle.]

Immediately, switching between the 18” and 20” back-to-back, I actually loved each and so they felt very comparable. Nevertheless, if I had to decide on a private favourite for a enjoyable vary session, taking pictures the 20” variant with a bayonet affixed to the top was a hoot if just for fashion factors.

springfield hellion 18 inch barrel
The 18″ barrel mannequin of the Hellion retains a light-weight weight and compact dimension whereas providing a measurable enhance in bullet velocity and vitality.

The bayonet, which will probably be obtainable quickly on the Springfield Armory Retailer, simply match onto the very safe lug, and whereas firing a couple of mags although the 20” rifle with it hooked up, it didn’t intervene with firing in any way. I undoubtedly needed to clear some carbon off the bayonet once I took it off, however should you’re not getting your instruments soiled it means you aren’t utilizing them.


My key takeaway from these two newly dropped Hellions is that there’s really one thing for everyone now on this line. If you’d like an ultra-streamlined and compact bullpup for CQB work, each the 16” and 18” variants are distinctive choices, with the 18” providing a little bit of enhance in muzzle velocity with a minimal enhance in dimension and weight. The 20” additionally affords the rise within the velocity class, together with the ribbed barrel for extra fast cooldown and the bayonet lug for some sharp accessorizing potential.

If you’re seeking to decide up a bullpup, the Hellion line provides you an amazing platform on the coronary heart of every variation, and the selection of barrel size is yours relying on what your use case and magnificence could also be.

No matter which one you select to check out or take to the vary subsequent, I feel you’ll be happy with the efficiency irrespective of the mannequin as a result of one factor is constant between all of them: they’re a hell of a number of enjoyable to run.

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