1982 Fender Bullet H2

CRAVE Guitars says…

Thumbs up: Versatile pickup switching and tones, great Telecaster neck, hardware, hugely underrated, affordable vintage, OHSC

Thumbs down: It’s not a Stratocaster, short‑lived ‘student’ model, no body contours, no artist association

Decree: The Bullet H2 is great to play and has a wide range of tones available that makes it more than the sum of its (low cost) parts. The fact that it doesn’t have a classic ‘pedigree’ really shouldn’t put players off

Model Description:

Bridging the gap between Fender’s original student‑level guitars (the offset Musicmaster, Duo‑Sonic, Mustang and Bronco) that had disappeared by 1982 and the Japanese‑made Squier models from 1984 were two short‑lived lines of ‘Made in U.S.A.’ guitars. The first was the up‑market Lead range and the budget end was catered for by the Fender Bullet. The introductory Bullet was the brainchild of Fender designer, John Page, who was tasked with building a quality Fender guitar to a fixed cost. Version 1 Bullets from 1981‑1982 were based loosely on the Telecaster body shape and came in basic and Deluxe forms. Version 2 Bullets from 1982‑1983 were based loosely on the Stratocaster body shape but smaller, without body contours and retained the Telecaster neck of the earlier version. There were 5 guitar models in the line with varying pickup configurations (Bullet, S2, S3, H1 and H2) and 2 basses (30” and 34” scale). Fingerboards were all maple unlike the first version’s rosewood. There were now also more colour options (red, ivory, sunburst, walnut and black) than the red or white Version 1 models. The H1 and H2 featured what look like a humbucking pickup, however, they were actually pairs of single coil pickups with alnico rod magnets mounted back‑to‑back under a single plain cover. This approach was unique at the time and for some unknown reason still remains a rarity today. The advantage is that the switching provides both authentic single coil and humbucking modes in one guitar without needing coil taps or splits. The early 1980’s Dan Smith‑era Bullets are unlikely to be revered in the same way that most other Fender models are, however they still have a small but important part to play in the company’s illustrious history.

Guitar Description:

Well… you don’t see one of these every day, definitely falling into the ‘forgotten Fender’ category. Sticking to CRAVE Guitars’ philosophy of ‘cool and rare’ underdog guitars, this 1982 Fender Bullet H2 is, in my opinion both pretty cool and relatively rare. Largely overlooked by collectors because of the budget student status, it is one that is really begging to be re‑discovered and deserves to be re‑appraised. This example is all‑original and, while not quite in mint condition, it is not far off it. The double cutaway body is presented in resplendent gloss red paint and white plastic, is simpler than a Stratocaster although the lineage is clear and it doesn’t look as odd as you may think, especially with that Telecaster neck. The neck is typically high quality, feels very modern and plays very smoothly, with a flatter radius fingerboard, medium‑jumbo frets and shallow profile. The top‑of‑the‑range H2 model with its twin pairs of dual‑coil pickups result in eight discrete humbucking and single coil tones from the 3‑way toggle and 2 push buttons, making it a very versatile instrument. The budget price belies the flexible range of sounds from the pickups, which was a big surprise. The single coil, humbucking or mixed variations punch way above the model’s perceived weight and there are very few other guitars out there that can do what the H2 can. The uniqueness of the H2 is also probably its downside because it isn’t a classic design and it makes no pretentions about being ‘vintage’ inspired. Anyone who knows CRAVE Guitars’ quirky approach towards celebrating guitar‑dom will understand why the humble Fender Bullet H2 has its honorary place here in the family.


  • Manufactured at Fullerton, California, USA in 1982
  • Stratocaster‑style alder slab body with gloss red polyester finish
  • Telecaster‑style maple bolt‑on neck
  • Original Fender ‘F’ tuners made by Schaller
  • Maple fingerboard with 21 medium frets and black dot markers
  • Nut width 15/8” (41.5mm)
  • Scale length 25½” (647mm)
  • Original chrome hardware
  • Original 3‑ply white/black/white plastic scratchplate
  • Original separate hardtail bridge and through‑body stringing
  • Original pair of dual‑coil covered hum‑cancelling pickups
  • Original 3‑way pickup selector switch, two coil split buttons, pots, knobs and jack socket
  • Original moulded ABS Fender USA hard shell case
  • Weight: 6lb 11oz / 3.0Kg


The body is actually routed for H/S/H configuration to cater for the various pickup permutations. The basic Bullet version used a painted steel pickguard folded at one end to attach the bridge saddles, while the Deluxe versions used a standard 3‑ply plastic pickguard with a separate bridge assembly and through body stringing, similar to a hardtail Stratocaster.

Detail Gallery:

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