I do not really know what it is. I do not have a clue what I would use it for (though I do know I would not spend $200 for a tax stamp on a $200 gun… probably). And I genuinely have no idea what market they are aiming at.
But good Lord I want one:
No, the video is not all that useful, and, yes, the whole "operators, welcome" tagline is… well… stupid (I mean, realistically, what legitimate "operator" is going to stick a .22LR underbarrel device on his rifle?), but thanks to ENDO (where I found this little gem), the video did provide us some high-resolution looks at renderings of the firearm:
So let us see what we can sort out… First, the ZiP does appear to be a "bullpup pistol", which might just be a first so far as I am aware (aside from such craziness as dropping a Draco AK "pistol" into a CBRPS bullpup stock). I mean, the magazine and feeding mechanism are behind the trigger group, so I can only assume that term fits. Second, it takes standard Ruger 10/22 magazines, which means you can feed this thing anything from the usual 10-rounder all the way up to the BX-25 stick, and, arguably, a 50-round drum… assuming you could still hold it. Third, it ejects out the right side, which is necessary for its SBR configuration (the stock attaches to the top), but could pose problems for lefties. Fourth, I believe those two rods sticking out over the barrel are the charging plungers for the action; I cannot find anything else anywhere else on the gun that would work. Not sure how I feel about sticking my fingers that close to the barrel. Fifth, the trigger seems to wrap around the barrel, which will either solve most of the complaints about bullpup triggers or make it a complete and total nightmare. Finally, and possibly most bizarrely, this little oddity is being produced by USFA – you know, the folks who make positively drool-worthy single-action revolvers. Alrighty then.
Now, as for the "why", in all seriousness, I have to wonder what its final profile will be like and whether or not it would make an interesting pocket gun. 10/22 magazines are a little thick for that already, and this will add even more bulk, but having 10 rounds at your fingertips does have a certain charm to it as well, even if they are .22LR. Regardless of whether it would fit in a pocket, though, with its polymer construction it seems like it would be an outstanding backpacker’s companion, though its SBR stock does seem a bit solid/hefty for that purpose. Aside from that… well, hell, if it actually makes it to market with its $200 pricetag intact, it needs no other reason than "it could be fun".
I already have a test-and-evaluation request in (through their YouTube account, since the contact form on their ZiP Factory website is… broken), so maybe we will be able to find out just how fun it really is.