Thorneycroft carbine

The Thorneycroft carbine was one of the earliest bullpup rifles, developed by an English gunsmith in 1901 as patent No. 14,622 of July 18, 1901. This bolt-action rifle featured a bullpup action in which the retracted bolt slid back through the stock nearly to the shooter's shoulder, maximising the space available in the body of the firearm. The rifle was chambered in the contemporary .303 British service cartridge, and held five rounds in an internal magazine.

Thornycroft carbine
Drawings from original patent
TypeBullpup bolt-action rifle
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Production history
Cartridge.303 British
Feed system5-round internal magazine loaded with 5-round charger clips
SightsIron sights

The Thorneycroft was 7.5 in (190 mm) shorter and 10% lighter than the standard Lee–Enfield rifle used by the British military at the time. However, when tested at Hythe the firearm exhibited excessive recoil and poor ergonomics, and was not adopted for military service.

See also


  • The Lee-Enfield Story. Ian Skennerton. page 89.
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