EAA’s MKA 1923 Bullpup

Brute power, compact package

The EAA 12-gauge bullpup is an attention-grabber. The gun readily gobbles
up both 2-¾" and 3" shells from 5-round steel magazines.

Traditional shotgun designs get massaged and tweaked from year to year but it’s usually pretty darn stodgy out there. The excitement that comes from the introduction of radical new designs now seems to be centered in the home defense and 3-Gun arenas. Witness Mossberg’s surprise development of the Model 590M “Shockwave” or Remington’s introduction of a new Model 870 fed from a detachable magazine.

Now European American Armory (EAA) has joined the party with a 12-gauge, semi-auto bullpup — the MKA 1923. It’s made by Husan Arms of Turkey.

Bullpup-styled firearms have been around since the early 20th Century as gun designers and ordnance engineers in every country have experimented with the concept. It does make a lot of sense by virtually eliminating the separate buttstock and replacing it with the receiver itself. Such design immediately shrinks the overall length of a long gun.

The EAA bullpup is 10" shorter than Holt’s “Tactical 12" pump gun but still sports a longer barrel!

Short’s The Word

To illustrate just how compact the EAA bullpup really is, I compared it to my Ultra 87 — a Chinese knock-off of a tactical-styled Remington 870. The EAA sports a 20″ barrel and has an overall length of 29.5″. My Ultra 87 features a 19″ barrel and an overall length of 39.5″. Even with a 1″ longer barrel, the EAA is a full 10″ shorter overall.

Other than being handier, the MKA 1923 is a very stable shooting platform. Unloaded the gun weighs in at 9.7 lbs. while 5 rounds of 2.75″ or 3″ shells in the detachable magazine bring total weight to just over 10 lbs. Yet it balances perfectly with your hand wrapped around the stock between the pistol grip and the magazine well.

The MKA 1923 is a polymer stocked gun with a sheet metal upper carrying a 14″ Picatinny rail for the supplied A2-style, flip-up iron sights or optics. With the A2 sights installed, the sight radius is 10.5″. The gun really cries out for a red dot or similar optic to optimize its utility.

Bullpups — with a few exceptions — are usually designed for a right-handed shooter and this is true of the EAA. The operating handle and safety are on the left side while the ejection port is on the right. If you switch the gun over to a left-hand position, the ejection port is staring you right in the eye. Not good! In short, it’s a right-handed gun. Other than that, the controls are right where they should be and handy.

The other challenge in bullpup design is the trigger. How do you mechanically link a forward-mounted trigger to a rear-mounted sear and still maintain an acceptable pull? The single-stage trigger of the EAA averaged 11 lbs., 12 oz. on my Lyman electronic gauge.

To put what might seem like a very heavy pull in perspective, I reviewed my notes on previous bullpups I’ve tested and the data was interesting: the Steyr AUG averaged 10.75 lbs., the FN FS2000, 9.5 lbs., and the Century International Arms AK bullpup, 11.5 lbs.

“I don’t think I’ll be carrying it into upland bird covers but it’s a sleeper of a home-defense gun.”

At 25 yards with No. 4 Buck, the MKA 1923 launched a target-shredding lethal pattern.

Gas-System Particulars

Rather surprising was the fact the EAA with its 3″ chamber does not incorporate a self-regulating gas system. The user is in charge of field stripping the gun and switching out a small part called a gas ring. The gas ring installed in the MKA 1923, as delivered, is designed to handle light loads running between 1,200 and 1,300 fps. Included in the choke tube box is a replacement ring stamped “H” for heavy loads in excess of 1,300 fps. The owner’s manual covers the disassembly of the MKA 1923 and the switch-over in nine clear, colored photographs.

The A2-style sights were functional but Holt recommends a red-dot optic for optimum utility.

The short front-mounted Picatinny rail is perfect for mounting a weapon light.

Shooting Impressions

The manual recommends a 75 to 100 round break in period. I ran through a couple boxes of 2 3/4″ Federal field loads and then switched over to 3″ Remington No. 4 Buck (41 .24-caliber pellets at 1,225 fps) — a sensational coyote load and a sound home-defense choice. The pattern it delivered at 25 yards with the full choke tube installed was impressive!
The MKA 1923 fed, fired, extracted and ejected nicely with only one stove-pipe in the first 25 shells fired and there was one failure of the trigger to fully reset. Bullpups are a little bit noisier than conventional firearms because the muzzle is 10″ or so closer to your ears but I otherwise enjoyed working with the gun. Recoil is straight back and fully controllable although I wish the Turks would add a soft, over-molded cheekpiece to the hard polymer stock.

Opening up the shipping box, you’ll find the MKA 1923, two 5-round magazines, detachable front and rear A2-type sights, three choke tubes (F, M, IC), a choke wrench, an interchangeable gas ring for “heavy loads” generating more than 1,300 fps, and the owner’s manual. The total package carries an MSRP of $769.

With its spacey lines, EAA’s MKA 1923 bullpup is an attention-grabber. I don’t think I’ll be carrying it into upland bird covers but it’s a sleeper of a home-defense gun.

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