View Full Version : SA80 Conversion


Culio
30th Nov 2008, 02:08
Hey guys :ok:

I was wondering if it's possible to somehow modify the SA80 for left handed shooters like me so that you don't get empty cases being dispensed onto you?

Just a thought.....

Cheers,

C.



diginagain
30th Nov 2008, 05:41
In a nutshell - no.

Ben Parkin
30th Nov 2008, 06:24
As diginagain says , It cant be done, also consider if fired left handed you may get a broken nose as well from the pesky cocking handle.
You can train your leftyness out of you when using the rifle, Im a lefty and did just this.

tonker
30th Nov 2008, 08:02
No.

But you could get one of these..


Modern Firearms - FN F2000 assault rifle (http://world.guns.ru/assault/as41-e.htm)

Lurking123
30th Nov 2008, 08:36
Don't you military types call it an L85A2? :ok:

chevvron
30th Nov 2008, 09:36
Unless it's the L98 single shot version of course.

pba_target
30th Nov 2008, 09:42
Factoid of the week - the original design for the SA80 series of weapons (SA80 includes the L85 and the LSW and the L98 cadet bodged single shot thing) included the option to swap everything nasty over to the wrong side for lefties. However this added cost to the weapon so the option was deleted. But if you look at some of the bits in the TMH you can see the concept there still (iirc the bolt release and the mag release are fairly obvious but I havent looked too closely at one for a while!)

rjtjrt
30th Nov 2008, 10:16
"No
But you could get one of these..
Modern Firearms - FN F2000 assault rifle"

Or a Steyr AUG, but I'm sorry, this doesn't really help the questioner.

Spugford
30th Nov 2008, 13:11
Or hold it upside down... ?!!

:rolleyes:

pba_target
30th Nov 2008, 13:11
Or indeed a bog standard M4/M16.... as the cousins were willing to spend a little money...

Zoom
30th Nov 2008, 15:17
To the users of said weapon, how much truth is there in this:

SA-80 - ARRSEpedia (http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/SA-80)

I would like to think that all of its problems have now been sorted out and that it is now an excellent bit of kit, just what our Armed Forces need.............................

glad rag
30th Nov 2008, 16:59
"But you could get one of these..
Modern Firearms - FN F2000 assault rifle"

Nope, when the brown stuff hits the fan you need a gun, that fires a big bullet.

Modern Firearms - FN FAL rifle (http://world.guns.ru/assault/as24f-e.htm)

N Joe
30th Nov 2008, 18:27
Just don't ever call it a gun. I did so once in training and will never forget the ritual humiliation that followed. Was forced to stand in front of the flight with the rifle in one hand and my "gun" in the other, and recite:

This is my rifle, this is my gun.
This is for fighting, this is for fun.

Would probably be called bullying nowadays. Back then it was called education, and it's one lesson I've never forgetten!

N Joe

Laarbruch72
30th Nov 2008, 20:00
^^ Are you sure you hadn't just finished watching Full Metal Jacket?

MightyGem
30th Nov 2008, 21:36
Don't you military types call it an L85A2?
Only if your a spotter.

tonker
30th Nov 2008, 22:25
RJTJRT: If you are going to quote somebody make sure it's all the quote, you seem to have missed the lonely large "NO" as a response to the question.

The question was about firing left handed from a bullpup which i answered, and then gave an example of what bullpup can be fired left handed. You then bring up a Steyr AUG which has nothing to do with the question ie a bullpup!!!

If the heats getting to you down there then get a bigger better hat, but don,t miss quote and deride perfectly factual responses.

hon_bookie
30th Nov 2008, 23:05
Um,

Steyr AUG is a bullpup.

And the M16 / M4 as issued is Right hand ejection only, but Stag Arms do a mirror edition.

Spotter Hat off.

rjtjrt
30th Nov 2008, 23:11
Tonker - take a deep breath. If the rain up there is getting to you take a holiday in the sun.
Fixed.
I can see your point.
I actually wasn't meaning to criticize you - the comment was more directed at me putting forward the Steyr, which was meant to be for general info rather than as an assistance to the original question.
John

tonker
30th Nov 2008, 23:21
Fair enough the Steyr is an Bullpup....cock

OFBSLF
1st Dec 2008, 04:22
And the M16 / M4 as issued is Right hand ejection only, but Stag Arms do a mirror edition.True, but the brass deflector works -- you can shoot the standard M16 / M4 left handed.

Gnd
1st Dec 2008, 08:30
The HK can be used in either hands and is a very good weapon (if you can remember how to put the bolt back together!!) Now that Banner has relinquished some weapons there is a chance the 4 chain can get one for you. There is a down side, the contract for repair and spares finished with the wet place being friendly so it may not be as easy as you would expect Ė but worth a try?

Pious Pilot
1st Dec 2008, 09:55
Just don't ever call it a gun.If you want to rile your typical army barmy character, then it's a gun.
Refuse to call it a rifle for added effect. :ok:

Gravelbelly
1st Dec 2008, 23:28
To the users of said weapon, how much truth is there in this:

SA-80 - ARRSEpedia (http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/SA-80)

I would like to think that all of its problems have now been sorted out and that it is now an excellent bit of kit, just what our Armed Forces need.............................

That arrsepedia entry has enough axe-grinding for anyone. For a slightly more factual and less opinionated view, try:

SA80: MISTAKE OR MALIGNED? (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/SA80.htm)

In summary, the SA80A2 is probably the most reliable service rifle out there, barring the AKM. It's one of the most accurate. It's 400g heavier than the M16, but has a longer barrel (significant for various reasons).

For all the claims of "figure massaging", when they put the M16 through the same extreme desert conditions as they had the SA80A2 (as described in the linked article at Navy News - News Desk - Feature - Testing times for new weapon (http://www.navynews.co.uk/articles/2002/0211/1002111301.asp)), it failed miserably - and did even worse than the SA80A1.

I found my L85A1 to be perfectly reliable, but then I never took it anywhere sandier than Barry Buddon...

NURSE
1st Dec 2008, 23:42
as Far as I remember the French FAMAS can be converted by unit armourer to left handed firing.

Saw a nice pic of someone who did fire L85a2 left handed his split lip and broken tooth was a good lesson in why you listen to the instructor.

Culio
2nd Dec 2008, 00:41
Nurse:

Now that sounds interesting :P

I've been present at a few injuries from weak cadets not being able to take the recoil of an L98 and getting an imprint scar of the rearsight on their eyebrows!

Oh how I laughed :}

XV277
2nd Dec 2008, 10:53
You do have to wonder about the geniuses that thought we eould only fight round left handed corners

Gnd
2nd Dec 2008, 11:17
"You do have to wonder about the geniuses that thought we eould only fight round left handed corners" I think Geniuses should read 'Budget Annalists'

Solid Rust Twotter
2nd Dec 2008, 14:42
Yerssss......

These are the same kind of window lickers who reckon it's OK for three troopers to share a PWC but would be horrified if their carton of tea time biccies were to be cut back.

diginagain
2nd Dec 2008, 15:04
I can well remember the feeling of utter disappointment on first encounter. Fortunately, I never got closer to having to use it in anger than the lesson for fitting the sling. For the remainder of my time in green I used either the HK53 or something smaller and more discrete.

HighTow
2nd Dec 2008, 17:05
Isn't it one of the reasons "they" used to use Diemaco C7's a lot years back. Operational requirements for ambidextrous weapon, etc.

I hated the SA80 because I'm right handed and left eye dominant and never felt I truly got it eyed in trying to shoot right handed. :*

Gravelbelly
2nd Dec 2008, 20:41
You do have to wonder about the geniuses that thought we would only fight round left handed corners

Firstly, that should read "right-hand corners". Think about it.

Secondly, they weren't geniuses, they were realists. I started out on the SLR before converting to SA80 - and I can assure you that doing a quick juggle of the rifle to fire the rifle left handed, or putting the rifle into the left shoulder while handling it right-handed, is best left to armchair warriors. You try it - yes, you might expose slightly less of your body, but you're not actually going to hit anything. You'll be faster around the corner, faster to fire, and actually capable of hitting the target, firing dominant side.

The whole idea is that you are effective with the rifle. The effort required to make every infantryman capable of firing left-handed is far more effectively spent making them better right-handed firers. But I'm obviously far from expert, as those nice men at the School of Infantry kept reminding me on their character-building courses...

Thirdly, you might want to consider that the SMG, the Lee-Enfield, the Bren, the GPMG, and the L96 all come in right-hand-only. Feel free to try operating any of them as a lefty (please explain how to operate the No.4's bolt effectively as a left-hand firer, or to aim the Bren/L4 with anything other than your right eye), and then complain that SA80 was somehow a retrograde step.

Yanito
25th Dec 2008, 21:23
Actually you are incorrect, I have personally fired the SLR, SMG & GPMG left handed without any problem.

The fact that the SA80 can't be fired left handed is enough to disqualify it as a serious weapon. For a left hander this is a MAJOR issue as sending them into battle with a weapon that they feel awkward and clumsy with is dangerous and unacceptable. And NO, you cannot "just adapt" it is not that simple. Most lefties are also left eye dominant.

Truckkie
26th Dec 2008, 11:01
I'm sorry - Military Aviation??????

Wrong site/thread fellas:ok:

ZH875
26th Dec 2008, 12:16
I'm sorry - Military Aviation??????

Wrong site/thread fellas:ok:


Aircrew may carry Pistols, but the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. of the UK use the SA80, so where is your problem with it being on this thread?

pba_target
26th Dec 2008, 12:49
Indeed many of our non-zoomie aircrew do in fact use the SA-80....

Jumping_Jack
26th Dec 2008, 14:25
Yanito...second that. You cannot teach eye dominance particularly if there is a significant dominance. I am right handed but very much left eye dominant which is a real pain!! Bring back the SLR!!! :ok:

Wiley
26th Dec 2008, 23:10
please explain how to operate the No.4's bolt effectively as a left-hand firer,Not a lefty myself, but I've watched, (even supervised on the range) a number of lefties who've quite effectively handled a No 1 SMLE firing left-handed.

It looks as awkward as hell, (operate trigger with left hand, rotate rifle about 30 degrees to the left with right hand, reach across top of rifle with left hand, work bolt - [careful not to 'palm' said bolt, a heinous crime often committed by ab initio righties as well] - settle weapon back into left shoulder and take up the firing position, fire).

I've seen more than one lefty consistently get a very good grouping, even on rapid fire, using this kackhanded method.

Re the Bren (thread drift alert): I can recall everyone on the range being highly amused one day when a recruit decided to protect his elbows from the gravel on the range by rolling his shirt sleeves down just below the elbow.

The brief was "at your target, three round bursts", but the recruit in question, (screaming very loudly in pain and alarm), loosed off his whole 28 round mag. in one long burst as the VERY HOT spent rounds all cascaded into the very inviting pocket he'd made for them between his bare skin and his semi-rolled down left sleeve.

The burns he received were substantial and required medical attention.

Truckkie
27th Dec 2008, 08:57
Ooohh, this thread is soooo exciting!:confused:

SUSAT or Iron Sight? Sling or not?

Just can't wait:ok:

The Oberon
28th Dec 2008, 10:40
Maybe a bit off thread and maybe should be in "What are the RAF Regiment for" but I remember being introduced to a rifle for the first time.
A regiment corporal held up the Enfield Mk 4 and said " This is the Lee Enfield Mk 4 rifle, it holds a magazine of 10 rounds and can be fired from either the left or right shoulder. Some lucky people can fire it from both shoulders, they are amphibious ! "

Happy Days.

effortless
28th Dec 2008, 12:03
Ah, the original "Self Loathing Rifle"!

Leon Jabachjabicz
29th Dec 2008, 19:14
The L85 is another waste of taxpayer's money :ugh:

We could have bought lot's of these for the money that we spent on it...

http://www.larsenfirearmsstore.com/images/products/detail/FA556212.1.jpg

It is far superior to the L85 (having used both) and if we had suppressors fitted then we wouldn't have all of the hearing loss claims as well!!!

LJ

hulahoop7
29th Dec 2008, 20:14
Who says?
The gun is now accurate, reliable and gets one shot drops because of the extra bit of barrel length. Supressors have been / are being looked at, but for other reasons other than ear protection.

Truckkie
29th Dec 2008, 20:16
OOOHHHH More gun pictures!:ok:

Gravelbelly
30th Dec 2008, 16:13
Thirdly, you might want to consider that the SMG, the Lee-Enfield, the Bren, the GPMG, and the L96 all come in right-hand-only. Feel free to try operating any of them as a lefty (please explain how to operate the No.4's bolt effectively as a left-hand firer, or to aim the Bren/L4 with anything other than your right eye), and then complain that SA80 was somehow a retrograde step.

Actually you are incorrect, I have personally fired the SLR, SMG & GPMG left handed without any problem.

Not really. Reread the above - I said that they all came in right-hand-only, and unless you ever saw a left-handed variant of the above in service, I'll stand by the statement.

If you fired the GPMG left handed, fine. no real issues, you just have to drop the butt for the load/unload drills, and the No.2 on the gun can snuggle up even closer to your left.

If you fired the SLR left-handed, it's again unsurprising - possible, and only awkward when it came to operating the safety catch or cocking the weapon.

If you fired the SMG left-handed, you're an idiot (or your safety supervisor was). Firing it left-handed was specifically banned in the pamphlet because of some accidents when the blowback from the ejection port injured the firers face (the SMG was cheap, nasty, dangerous rubbish IMHO; if it wasn't trying to ND it was trying to take off your fingertips).

I specifically referred to the No.4 because working a right-handed bolt with your left hand is pants. It's possible, but awkward, and affects rate of fire.

I referred to the Bren because the sights are offset to the left of the weapon (they won't see through that magazine that feeds from the top). Kind of tricky to get your eye to the sight with the butt in the way.

We could have bought lot's of these for the money that we spent on it... It is far superior to the L85 (having used both)

Except that when trialled, the M16 was significantly less reliable than the SA80A2. It was even less reliable than the SA80A1 in the "really cruel" trials in Oman, which says something. Read the link in my earlier post, if you don't believe me.

So; when you say "having used both", are you talking A1 or A2 versions of SA80; with the two weapons used on the range, on exercise, or on operations. I'm assuming you're not talking about airsoft.

When you say "far superior" do you mean control ergonomics (I'll admit that M16 beats L85 there) accuracy (L85 beats M16) reliability (L85 beats M16)?

PS you can put a suppressor on an L85 too, you know...

Wiley
30th Dec 2008, 16:35
Gravebelly, I think you'll find that the pic is of an M4, and not the earlier generation M16. Quite a different weapon, I believe, particularly in the way all sorts of extra kit can be easily strapped on to it.

Ask any US marine - most will moan at length at the USMC's decision to stick with the M16.

High_lander
30th Dec 2008, 17:43
The M4 has been complained about also. In the case I'm aware of its SOCOM and their 'sneaky sneaky' Brigades- Delta in particular. They complained about the lack of power the round in stopping people and this is the reason for the FN SCAR being around and more importantly- the FN SCAR chambered for the 7.62 round.

If you read Black Hawk Down- Mark Bowden goes back to one Delta operator in particular who complains that the rounds (fair enough- what sound like armor piercing) go straight though the person, and unless you hit a vital organ, they keep running. They were using M4s during Operation Gothic Serpent.

Solid Rust Twotter
31st Dec 2008, 08:15
There's always this beastie and the rest of the family. Rugged, reliable and versatile.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d132/Lardbeast/LM6R.jpg


Still like the FN-FAL though...

Leon Jabachjabicz
1st Jan 2009, 16:33
Gravelbelly

The gun I used for a wee-while was a Diemaco C8 and it beat the pants off of the L85A2. I venture that it was as accurate as the L85 over 300m, but was far better ergonomically (I don't need to be double jointed to cock the thing like the L85!) and when it comes to cost then we could have bought the same amount of Diemacos for all of the costs of the H&K mods to A2 std - as I said Taxpayer's wasted money! I had no stoppages with the C8 and I didn't have to over-oil it every day. My L85 in the same conditions stopped about every 250rds, whereas the C8 was stoppage-less.:D

Finally, I think that the Bullpup layout sucks! The L85 is bloody heavy and when you put a suppressor, tripod and laser sights on it then the thing weighs a bloody ton! And let's face it, the Osprey body armour and all of the other kit weighs a bloody ton as well - no wonder we're breaking legs and twisting knees left, right and centre!:ugh:

So, old fruit, I stand by my original outburst...

LJ:ok:

Gravelbelly
2nd Jan 2009, 23:04
I had no stoppages with the C8 and I didn't have to over-oil it every day. My L85 in the same conditions stopped about every 250rds, whereas the C8 was stoppage-less.:D

That would suggest that you weren't following the correct cleaning regime for the L85, because lots of people on operations have found the exact opposite. Example: TELIC 1, Fusiliers in the fight for Basra, 40,000rds+ of 5.56, total stoppages counted on the finger of one hand AIUI.

Ex NERINE also said otherwise, unless you (as an anonymous user) are impugning an RM SNCO with operational experience...again, read the link that I posted earlier. Navy News - News Desk - Feature - Testing times for new weapon (http://www.navynews.co.uk/articles/2002/0211/1002111301.asp)

(PS guess what was the much less reliable "nearest rival of popular choice", as mentioned?)

Finally, I think that the Bullpup layout sucks!

I don't. It's a better balance when you do have to take a hand off the weapon (e.g. climbing something, changing a magazine), it's shorter overall, it has a much longer barrel for the same length weapon (and correspondingly higher muzzle velocity, and greater range at which 5.56NATO has "significant effect").

It's also easier to use and more accurate in positions other than prone; and by shorter or weaker firers.

Our unit used the FNC for one FIBUA exercise, it was damn awkward by comparison.

The L85 is bloody heavy and when you put a suppressor, tripod and laser sights on it then the thing weighs a bloody ton!

And let's face it, the Osprey body armour and all of the other kit weighs a bloody ton as well - no wonder we're breaking legs and twisting knees left, right and centre!:ugh:

Yup, that 500g difference between a bare M16 and a bare L85 makes all the difference when you're carrying 35kg of kit.

There's always this beastie and the rest of the family. Rugged, reliable and versatile (snip picture of Valmet or similar "improved" AKM with an unfeasibly large magazine)

Rugged, yes, reliable, yes, versatile, err.... except the reason for its reliability is the loose tolerances, hardly conducive to accuracy.

We have a small, professional army. The guiding principle behind the AKM is that it is designed to be distributed cheaply to a large, less-well-trained conscript force. You can disagree with that in principle, but essentially it's the same as suggesting Hawk 200 as the next generation RAF fighter.

(Feeble attempt to stick to an aviation theme).

M16/M4 has its advantages when weight is critical, and can be traded off against the need to engage targets beyond 300m. That may be OK for SF, but not for the bulk of teeth users.

Leon Jabachjabicz
3rd Jan 2009, 01:19
Mate

The C8 is nearly 1Kg lighter (see C8 carbine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diemaco_C8)) you were looking at M16 again and when you add the weighty SUSAT (800g) it is nearly 1.5kgs heavier - if you want to cart about another 1.5kgs then you must be mad :}

But I'm getting the impression that there is no convincing you from my ramblings - next time you see a passing Canadian then give it a go and you might be surprised. Alternatively, you could always ask "them" as they seem pretty convinced about its capabilities over SA80/L85A2 as well (and "they" have the pick of whatever "they" want!).

Happy Hogmanay

LJ:ok:

PS I heard that the L85A2 mod program cost £92M which would have bought us 250,000 Diemaco C8s (about £400 a pop) brand spanking new!!! Enough for all 3 Services and also 50,000 attrition spares...

Gravelbelly
3rd Jan 2009, 02:19
The C8 is nearly 1Kg lighter (see C8 carbine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diemaco_C8)) you were looking at M16 again and when you add the weighty SUSAT (800g) it is nearly 1.5kgs heavier - if you want to cart about another 1.5kgs then you must be mad http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/badteeth.gif

So, you would advise having iron sights on personal weapons to save weight? How....agricultural. The SUSAT was good for its day (pretty indestructible - I never saw one break) but heavy; that's why ACOG is replacing it. The fair comparison comes from bare weapon against bare weapon. Hence 500g (for a C7/M16).

These days, L85 is deploying on ops with a new handguard, foregrip/bipod, ACOG sight, LLM. Yes, it's heavy, but the same complaint is being levelled at every other rifle when similarly loaded.

If you want a light carbine (M4/C8) then fair enough. But you accept that the short barrel brings with it the lower MV and lethal effect, the lack of adequate heat shielding in the handguard, and (according to Armalite) (http://www.armalite.com/images/Tech%20Notes%5CTech%20Note%2048,%20Barrel%20Design,%20Heat,%20and%20Reliability,%20030824%E2%80%A6.pdf)lower reliability. Weight is a tradeoff; the M16 has a direct gas impingement mechanism, you'd be better with the HK416 (and recent US Army reliability trials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_HK416#Evaluation) indicate that the FN SCAR and HK416 reliability outperforms the vanilla M4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Carbine#M4_Carbine_effectiveness) by orders of magnitude.)


Alternatively, you could always ask "them" as they seem pretty convinced about its capabilities over SA80/L85A2 as well (and "they" have the pick of whatever "they" want!).

Can't comment on them, never worked with them, except that they have a different set of needs. Although US SOF types have discovered that you can break an M4 in about three minutes of automatic fire (http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA317929&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf). Kind of worrying.

Remind where H&K got the expertise to build the G36/XM8 and create the HK416? Oh yes, the L85 program... Remind me who won the US SOCOM SCAR competition? An FN product, not the M16/M4.

PS I heard that the L85A2 mod program cost £92M which would have bought us 250,000 Diemaco C8s (about £400 a pop) brand spanking new!!! Enough for all 3 Services and also 50,000 attrition spares...

Except that by the time you've refitted all of the armouries, vehicles, depots, logistics chain, retrained the armourers, and bought a reasonable spares set, you won't get 250,000 rifles.

Accept it; the British Army (at least, those with recent operational experience) is happy with L85A2. I'm trying to back up my opinion with statistics from reasonable sources (Fort Natick, US Army trials, ArmaLite tech notes, etc). Can you provide anything other than personal preference as a counter-argument?

Al R
3rd Jan 2009, 09:58
Gravel,

Out of interest, and I accept opsec might prevent this being answered, but what magnification is the ACOG being used? Its variable but set at point of order I seem to recall? Brugger and Thomet were touting a mounting kit, or does it fit straight onto the Pika (Pica?) Tinny rail 'as is'? Its a great piece of kit, is ACOG on general issue to teeth arms now?

On a broader note, I agree with what you said about the L85. No complaints from me and it probably wasn't been that long ago that we finally did away once and for all, with SLR cultural and legacy issues which clouded the original introduction. Yes, the early ones did have issues and it might not be the most ergonomically sound device to work with when your mind is in overload, but in terms of accuracy and achieving the aim, it leaves no sour taste in my mouth.

Gravelbelly
5th Jan 2009, 13:30
Out of interest, and I accept opsec might prevent this being answered, but what magnification is the ACOG being used? Its variable but set at point of order I seem to recall? Brugger and Thomet were touting a mounting kit, or does it fit straight onto the Pika (Pica?) Tinny rail 'as is'? Its a great piece of kit, is ACOG on general issue to teeth arms now

Apparently the ACOG is x4. It's also worth reminding ourselves that the existing rail is actually the NATO standard; ACOG comes with a STANAG fit, and it would mean we didn't have to rework all of our CWS. Someone far more knowledgeable than me posted the following description on ARRSE... (http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/p=1874022.html#1874022) there are pictures elsewhere in the thread.

For the curious (and for those wondering about suppressors), there are more pictures on pages 16-17 of the following link to Issue 1 of the DE&S magazine "Desider" (http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8F4E1958-BAB2-4E59-BB71-76D61C28BD1D/0/desider_01_may2008.pdf). (warning - 5MB pdf)

barnstormer1968
5th Jan 2009, 21:57
I find some of the above thread quite interesting. Even though in my day I was a devotee to my SLR (which was older than me, and had wooden furniture), I must admit that the new SA80 (L85 A2 to you light blue) is pretty good. At first the early models had well over fifty faults (all at once, not overall) but surprisingly not many have been mentioned here. As for me, the most annoying was the fact that the early MOD 5.56 mags could drop out far too easily. Another thing was that the SUSAT was not a solid unit and could mist up internally, which may not be too much of an issue in current deployments (I have no up to date knowledge on this point at all).

Anyway that's enough of my ramblings, except to comment on an above description on problems with oiling L85's. If anyone needed to heavily oil an L85 in hot/sandy conditions then they may have no grasp of how the weapon likes to be kept.

I dare not re read my post for fear of sounding like an old fogey, even to myself:8

mini
5th Jan 2009, 23:53
Suprised that during the earlier discussion on LH vs RH etc no-one mentioned the AK47, RH cocking lever always pissed me off...

Oooops :E

The Oberon
6th Jan 2009, 07:24
Just out of curiosity, and having been brought up on the Enfield Mk4, what's all this shoulder changing about when carrying the SA80 at the slope. Not much difference with the weights and changing arms with the Enfield was rarely done.

Gravelbelly
6th Jan 2009, 13:38
Just out of curiosity, and having been brought up on the Enfield Mk4, what's all this shoulder changing about when carrying the SA80 at the slope. Not much difference with the weights and changing arms with the Enfield was rarely done.

At a wild guess, because the length or balance of the SA80 doesn't suit "shoulder arms", or allow resting on the ground at order arms. Perhaps also because the No.4 was long enough that the centre of gravity for slope arms was over the shoulder, and the hand had more of a balancing rather than supporting role.

My excuse is that I was never a tarmac technician... again, a link on ARRSE to someone who knows more than I do. (http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/p=2289078.html#2289078)

Solid Rust Twotter
7th Jan 2009, 08:49
Rugged, yes, reliable, yes, versatile, err.... except the reason for its reliability is the loose tolerances, hardly conducive to accuracy.

We have a small, professional army. The guiding principle behind the AKM is that it is designed to be distributed cheaply to a large, less-well-trained conscript force. You can disagree with that in principle, but essentially it's the same as suggesting Hawk 200 as the next generation RAF fighter.

The Galil family doesn't have those sloppy tolerances found on the AKM, and the larger bipod equipped rifle versions rather than the carbine would be more of an infantry weapon. The carbines are good for tank and chopper crews to stick under a seat. The 50 round panic magazine pictured screws with the balance a bit but the standard 30 round mags work just fine.

Accuracy? Football sized targets at 200m over open sights on a range. Contacts (in my limited experience) occur at shorter range than that so hardly a problem.

Probably cheaper and easier to manufacture than the L85 but may not provide as much benefit to British industry.

STANDTO
7th Jan 2009, 09:01
H&K G36??

works for me!

Gravelbelly
7th Jan 2009, 13:24
The Galil family...

AIUI, the Israelis service rifle selection went like this. Tried FN FAL (SLR, but without all of those sand cutouts in the L1A1 bolt carrier) and had reliability problems in the desert; decided to create a more accurate AKM. Came up with the Galil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Galil). It may be able to hit a football / Fig.12 target at 200m, but then I want to hit one at 400m - and you can do that quite happily with L85 (I've kept my group on a Fig.11 at 600m with L85, but then I'm weird). Oh, and the Galil is even heavier than the L85.

The Israelis then got "a better offer" from the Americans; namely, M16s at a quarter of the price. Lighter and more accurate, and suddenly the well-dressed Golani is carrying an M16.

Decided that they wanted something shorter and handier for all of their work in built-up areas; decided on a bullpup, and came up with the Tavor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Tavor_TAR-21); the quote on the Wikipedia is that "the T.A.R. 21 was found to be significantly more accurate and reliable (as well as more comfortable) than the M4 during extensive field testing". If you look at the TV coverage of the current Gaza unpleasantness, you will see Tavor in the hands of the front-line infantry.

H&K G36 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_G36)

Allegedly, it doesn't do so well in hot conditions when it's firing a lot of rounds. Being mostly plastic. Although it nearly became the new US service rifle (as the XM8 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM8_rifle))

Solid Rust Twotter
8th Jan 2009, 12:19
As you say, the IDF got a better offer and went for the M16. We converted from the FAL to the Galil/R4 around that time and although there were some teething problems with the licence built stuff it did the job pretty well with little or no fuss. I still prefer the FAL myself but then I'm a Luddite.

As for 400m accuracy, never saw the point unless you're a sniper in which case you'd be equipped for the job with something suitable. Never really had the opportunity to use sight settings beyond 300m (rifle equipped with 300/500m rear sight) and most use was around 30-60m, if that. The setting for the current unpleasantness is not that of bush ops, but even urban ops shouldn't require more than 100-200m accuracy unless you're a sneaky bugger sniper. Probably good to have that kind of range in the 'Stan but you're hardly going to come under effective fire beyond that. Larger weapons that can give you a hard time beyond those ranges would probably require air support or a tactical withdrawal until a plan can be worked out to move in closer in any case.

Not convinced infantry rifles need long range accuracy that would warrant the extra training and range time required to make proper use of them in the more specialised role.

Gravelbelly
8th Jan 2009, 14:02
Not convinced infantry rifles need long range accuracy that would warrant the extra training and range time required to make proper use of them in the more specialised role.

Perhaps; except for the fact that anything that is more accurate at long range is by definition more accurate at short range. So while you might not want to use that accuracy knocking down targets at 400m (although a fire support task between sections in a platoon is a good example; how else are you going to suppress a depth position in a hurry?) you might want that accuracy at shorter ranges (to put rounds into loopholes in the building opposite, or through a firing slit 100m away).

Meanwhile (guessing that you're from South Africa) the whole accuracy thing got kicked off when the British Army went up against the Boers and found that good shooting is worthwhile...

Note - edited for clarity... Al R has it right, sorry for any confusion.

Additional thought...
Anyway, this being an aviation forum, and airfields being by definition big flat open spaces where lines of sight extend well beyond 300m, what's wrong with RAF personnel being issued an accurate firearm? Particularly one which (in my experience) it's easier to train people to use than the SLR, and easier to keep them current where marksmanship is not a primary skill. Issuing PDWs or SMGs to ground staff may be "more convenient"; but taking a pistol to a rifle fight is suicide. I suspect that it's one of those "if you ever need it, you'll really need it" pieces of equipment. If the weapon is kept lying to one side because you're working on an airframe, or clipped into the wagon because you're driving, then light weight and compactness aren't really an advantage....

Al R
8th Jan 2009, 16:54
Agree with Gravelbelly. Lets be honest, life in the RAF does not revolve around shooting. So a section of slightly less well qualified tradesmen laying down fire into targets at 100, 200 and then switching to targets at 400 metres are more likely to be successful if the rifle is as accurate as possible. And we need to cover all theatre contingencies, not just the current one(s).

The provision of an accurate rifle is merely the means to an end. There's no point in encouraging marksmanship to the highest level if the rifle is tailored to short ranges. Marksmanship is the basis of all military skills, and from that all else must flow. The Mod plods converted to these in 05, the HK MP7. I can see a need for them to have a shorter wpn.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/MP7-forsvarsnett.jpg/300px-MP7-forsvarsnett.jpg

Truckkie
8th Jan 2009, 18:44
Ooooh! Still more guns:ok:

Compressorstall
8th Jan 2009, 19:57
Can I just have a weapon that fits in the cockpit, has a decent sight and it makes bad guys stay lying down when I have to shoot them? A decent pistol would be helpful too.

birrddog
8th Jan 2009, 22:25
Perhaps; except for the fact that anything that is accurate at long range is by definition more accurate at short range.

Not true.

The factors that influence long range accuracy are a bullets ability to maintain energy to fight wind, atmospheric conditions and gravity.

Typically addressed by bullet shape, weight and velocity's (as typically provided for in larger (>= 7.62) calibers though there are variations to 5.56 (and other small bore) ammo that give increased range, though not offered to a typical squaddie).

Longer barrels help too, but this in itself is not a complete description, as it has to do with twist rate and the ability of the particular propellant to burn completely inside the barrel giving ability to generate maximum energy

A tightly chambered rifle/cartridge combination, of any caliber will be equally as accurate at short / medium ranges.


Meanwhile (guessing that you're from South Africa) the whole accuracy thing got kicked off when the British Army went up against the Boers and found that good shooting is worthwhile...Those big "X mark's the spot" uniforms helped too...

Compressorstall, isn't that called an A-10? Oh wait, you said in, not around the cockpit ;)

Al R
8th Jan 2009, 23:14
Gravelbelly was suggesting that if something is accurate at long ranges, its going to be accurate at short ranges. Thats correct - if something is not accurate at 100 metres, it will be even more off target at 300 metres due to the compounding effect of the lack of accuracy. A bullet which is 'off' at 100 metres does not then rediscover accuracy in the following 200 metres. That is the point which (I think) Gravel was making. If not, apologies.

NutLoose
9th Jan 2009, 01:13
Jumping_Jack (http://www.pprune.org/members/218971-jumping_jack)

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South
Posts: 51


Yanito...second that. You cannot teach eye dominance particularly if there is a significant dominance. I am right handed but very much left eye dominant which is a real pain!! Bring back the SLR!!! http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/thumbs.gif



Whilst a good musket and had an excellent range it always amused me at good old RAF Bruggen in the time of the not so mighty Jag, that if we were ever assaulted from the Air by Paras or the like, all they would need to do was fire off a few rounds to start things off then lie down in the middle of the Airfield and those on the squadrons returning fire would take each other Squadron out for them, 20 Sqn would be shooting across the Airfield at 17 Sqn who would be returning fire, whilst 14 Sqn would have been having their own little tete a tete against 31 Sqn... really a close range weapon such as a shotgun possibly with ball round would have been more effective for site defence......

Still the trigger guard did make a good beer bottle opener and the judicious use of a match stick did miracles :p.

birrddog
9th Jan 2009, 01:16
Please refer to my subsequent highlighting of the key words.... he said "more accurate at short range"

As an aside, I know guys who hit prairie dogs at 1000m with 5.56

Gravelbelly
9th Jan 2009, 09:49
First, apologies for a lack of clarity; I've edited the post to add another "more".

A tightly chambered rifle/cartridge combination, of any caliber will be equally as accurate at short / medium ranges.


That may be correct... but while tight chambering is possible for lovingly-treated target rifles using handloaded or match-spec ammunition, it's not the smartest idea on the planet for service weapons designed to cope with high rates of fire, and mass-produced ammo from multiple sources.

Solid Rust Twotter
9th Jan 2009, 12:15
Well, the Boers shot from cover most of the time using what would be termed a sniping rifle today. Modern mobile infantry probably wouldn't operate in that manner unless in ambush which is normally close range (under 100m) ops. Accuracy? Hitting centre of mass at 100m is good enough to attack firing slits and loopholes at the same distance I should think. Besides, you're hardly going to be allowed the time to take careful aim at a 2" firing slit while under fire. It's called fire and movement for a reason....:E

Shooting at keyholes from longer range would require specialised skills and equipment.

As for RAF ops, perhaps you're right. Dedicated infantry would probably see things differently though. As mentioned, the R4/5/6 did the job with minimum fuss, easy to train on and maintain and can be used by both right and left handers with ease (original point of the thread I believe). Compact, pretty lightweight and reliable, it served its purpose well. The R6 can be fitted into a small rucksack so shoving it under/behind a helo seat or clipping it to the wall of a vehicle would be a doddle.

tonker
9th Jan 2009, 13:55
Just post a few of these on a hanger or two:ok:


YouTube - Goalkeeper CIWS Gun System (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nY6nm-6eCzM)


ps And one at the gate

NutLoose
9th Jan 2009, 15:03
Speaking of shooting being lucky and a prat at the same time, this will impress the hell out of you....

Its a barratt .50 sniper rifle he is using.... one seriously lucky individual..

YouTube - Guy hit in head with .50 caliber ricochet (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc)

Gravelbelly
9th Jan 2009, 18:46
Well, the Boers shot from cover most of the time using what would be termed a sniping rifle today.

But weren't they using bog-standard Mausers with iron sights? That's equivalent to a SMLE, and more akin to "standard service rifle" or at best "designated marksman's rifle"

Accuracy? Hitting centre of mass at 100m is good enough to attack firing slits and loopholes at the same distance I should think... . . Besides, you're hardly going to be allowed the time to take careful aim at a 2" firing slit while under fire. It's called fire and movement for a reason....http://static.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif

Maybe not the 2" slit, but firing at a sandbag-sized firing slit at 300m is going to require somewhat better accuracy than "can hit a person at 100m". If you want to suppress, you have to hit. Better to hit with one round than to miss with lots.

As for RAF ops, perhaps you're right. Dedicated infantry would probably see things differently though.

Not necessarily. Speaking as a dedicated infantry type (albeit a STAB) I rather liked being able to hit what I aimed at, preferably as far away from me as possible (and if that made it unsporting because they couldn't shoot back effectively, so much the better). If you outrange the other person, you get to pick the fight.

There is always the standard British (not sure whether it's NATO) definition of the following two concepts: "interlocking" and "overlapping" arcs of fire. Namely, if there are two positions 300m apart, and each position's weapons have an effective range of 150m, you have interlock. If those weapons have an effective range of 300m, you have overlap. If you're trying to create a defensive position, such things are important...

FOG
9th Jan 2009, 20:20
Having fired a bit over 900 rds yesterday out of an M4 w/ACOG, carried and used an M 16A2, M 14 (DMR version) and a short stint with a SLR (Aussie) Iíll give my opinion.

Short version for those who are bored is my #1 choice would be the M 14 followed by the SLR. Both are very good with the overall edge going to the M 14 but by only a slight margin.

I canít prove that the M 4 is less reliable than the M 16 A2/A4 but that is the consensus of myself and other Marines with the M 4 requiring more TLC. Iíve never had a problem with live (vice blank) ammunition that was solved with Slap/Rack/Bang.

Only some fam firing with the SA 80 series. SA 80 w/optics compared to M 16 A2 the SA 80 wins in accuracy. Add an ACOG (or other equivalent optic) and the A4 wins.

Accurate fire out to 500-600 meters has and continues to be utilized by average US Marines on point targets in combat, not just snipers and designated marksmen.

The ability to fire left handed is important in my opinion. There are those who cannot fire right handed, either temporarily or permanently in addition to those with eye dominance issues.

Now I need to go get a good massage for the my legs after the drills yesterday.

S/F, FOG