The plain truth is folks... the stock on a rifle is a damned waste of space. It adds precious length to the weapon that could otherwise be used on a longer barrel. And so... it is the sole failing of John Browning Moses that he did not see this... and therefore failed to invent the weapon configuration that is only just now beginning to dominate the military world.... the bullpup.
But lets backup. The bullpup design goes way back to 1918 to Lt. Col. Armand-Frédéric Faucon. Honestly... other than the fact that he invented a rifle with the action in the stock... we know basically nothing about this man. We do know that another froggy type... Henri Delacre patented a bullpup type submachine gun in 1936. Wikipedia mistakenly calls this a pistol.
Not really a pistol. That's a submachine gun. Unfortunately we don't know any more about Henri than we do about the Colonel... which is infuriating. Thankfully.. we do know something about the next designers.
A Polish firearm designer fled to England during WWII and went to work for the Enfield at the Royal Small Arms Factory. After the Sturmgewehr 44 had made such an impact on the battlefield... the assault rifle race was on... and that polish designer... having assumed the name Sefan Janson would be leading the charge for the UK. The result as was the EM-2... the next bullpup. It fired a .280 round and was accurate out to about 800 yards.
Now.. you've probably never seen this weapon before... because it never got adopted. See at the time NATO was going through its standardization. The US had introduced a .308 and was pushing hard for it. The brits felt the .308 was to powerful for controlled fully automatic operation... and obviously favored their .280 design. FN-Hestal had also come with a .280... but in a different design. The .308 won out in the end...though in the long run it turns out the limp wristed brits were right... because the .223 we use now is a step down considerably from even the .280.
And from here you know the rest... The FAMAs... the Steyr AUG... all the way to the present object of lust and praise... the Kel-Tec RFB.
But here's what you may not know. Today... worldwide... more military rifles are being ordered in the bullpup configuration than in the standard configuration. China... Canada... Australia... the UK... all use bullpups. A bullpup with 16 inch barrel handles like a sub machine gun... it literally saves 20% on the length of the weapon... and in close quarters and urban combat... that length means everything.
The moral to the story? This is the future boys. If you don't have a bullpup... you're living in the past.