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What Assault Rifle - British Army Should Replace SA-80 A2 With?

This is a discussion on What Assault Rifle - British Army Should Replace SA-80 A2 With? within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Abraham Gubler I wouldn't say that. "Andy McNab" is the real deal. But movies are movies... Most ...


View Poll Results: Replace the SA80 with?
M16 series(also covers HK416, etc) 7 16.67%
AK series(also covers Galil, etc) 2 4.76%
FN SCAR 8 19.05%
FAMAS 0 0%
FX05/G36 8 19.05%
Steyr AUG 4 9.52%
Somthing else 13 30.95%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 22nd, 2012   #76
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Originally Posted by Abraham Gubler View Post
I wouldn't say that. "Andy McNab" is the real deal. But movies are movies...
Most of the specials think he's a knob...

I can give some horror stories about him from where he was hired as a consultant ....

there's quite a few UK specials who also subscribe to my first comment - and dispute his version of events of B2Z

not for a public forum though.....
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #77
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At the end of the day we are all men who like different guns and we will always stand behind our favroite one and will for ever ague. For example I like my m4. It's the weapon I use in airsoft and the weapon I intend to use as an PMC. You guys like what you do and will support it. So happy days to us all.

And remember keep your powder fry and your eye on the target!

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Seriously? Note that the people with Blue Handles are DefProfs - IOW they either have or have had a day job in the military...

so when they're commenting, they're invariably commenting based on their own actual experiences - and in real world situations where they have gotten shot at or shoot back on the job

thats a bit stronger in supporting their comments. airsoft/paintball is not even remotely close to that experience base
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #78
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I just tried to find out something about this rifle compass thing. And discovered a web forum dedicated to movie firearms. Very interesting stuff about the film Bravo Two Zero, which was filmed in South Africa, and many others but no answer about the compass. For example one of the Minimis used in the movie was actually a prototype with a downwards angled wire stock! Didn’t notice that.

Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #79
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It probably "looked cool" on film.

I've never shot the SA80 so can't comment from personal experience but I can speak to the generalities and agree it started off with a poor reputation in terms of build quality, but after it's rework by H&K, it's got a fairly solid reputation in service.The left handed issue doesn't just affect lefties by the way - in CQB, it's not unknown for troops to want to take up a weak hand shooting stance to aim around cover. With the SA80, that's not an option.

For now, we've just chucked a shed load of money at the thing, in terms of sites, rails, UGL, and so forth - we may as well run the thing on til we can pick a winner in quieter times which fits the bill.

There's some interesting developments afoot in firearms, particularly with the telescoped ammunition being explored for the squad assault weapon in the US - if we can hang on for a few more years, we can see if 5.56 still has legs.

There are undoubtedly nicer designs on the market - and picking something that allowed easy calibre changes might be interesting for general use (SCAR springs to mind for instance)

Right now, we're just drawing down from a marathon series of active deployments - let's get the rifles back, buff 'em up, see what we own that works and go from there.

In terms of lethality, I refer folk to the story of a 19 year old private from the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment, who pulled off three kills with three rounds in a rolling contact in Iraq - if you can get that sort of result with any random recruit then 5.56 seems to work when you actually hit what you're aiming at.

The M4 is contentious in itself - it may yet be the shortest lived service weapon in US history since the M14 (in general issue!) - there's certainly plenty of pressure to swap it out in favour of something else. Actually, I'd take a wild guess and bet that the majority of service weapons are subject to campaigns about "wow, get rid of it now, it sucks..." I've certainly heard of US troops handling the SA80 and quite fancying it...
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #80
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I don't know if the M4 (or at least the 5.56mm) will be going anywhere any time soon, considering the US has developed the M855A1, an ammunition type optimised specifically for carbine length barrels that has apparently shown excellent performance next to the standard M855, which was originally intended to be fired from the M16's 20-inch barrel.

Not sure if other 5.56mm users will be taking up the M855A1 specifically but based on that and the USMC's 5.56mm SOST round it seems like the calibre is quite capable of being stepped up in lethality, which I think increases the viability of existing in-service weapons. Certainly replacing the L85A2 with another, similar 5.56mm rifle seems like a tremendous waste of money to me.
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #81
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I just tried to find out something about this rifle compass thing. And discovered a web forum dedicated to movie firearms. Very interesting stuff about the film Bravo Two Zero, which was filmed in South Africa, and many others but no answer about the compass. For example one of the Minimis used in the movie was actually a prototype with a downwards angled wire stock! Didn’t notice that.

Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
Realistically, the compass on the rifle would still be accurate to within a couple of hundred mils - there's not a huge amount of ferrous metal in a rifle. That's still accurate enough to nav off, even in a desert. Still pretty dumb though.
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #82
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My understanding is the events in B20 are disputed and quite severely at some points, sometimes it's not even confirmed most of the firefights even happened. But as it is I don't really know either way and as long as it exists then opinion of him will always be divided. It's why I tried to bring it down to basic firearms knowledge, for all the rumours about lying for profiteering he should still know his guns as a servicemen with nearly 18 years under his belt

Good link Abe!
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #83
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I've certainly heard of US troops handling the SA80 and quite fancying it...
I'd be guessing that they handled the upgraded version

Gen 1 was a dog from all accounts and took some major changes from H&K as part of redevelopment
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #84
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The A1 certainly was - quite a tatty bit of kit, unpleasantly easy to operate magazine release that sat on the inside as the weapon was slung at the chest so it wasn't unusual to see troops in Northern Ireland walking around with the mag taped into place as the fine for losing a live mag vs the risk of being in a contact needing more than twenty or so rounds never balanced out.

That plus the awkward cross bolt selector, the dodgy trigger interrupter, various other parts being sub standard...a dog is being kind - if it was a dog, you'd put it down.

Even so, I've talked to plenty of folk who've used the A1 and quite liked it - horses for courses - if you'd been carrying a shagged SLR, on it's last legs, then an A1 probably looked pretty good by comparison. I've spoken to Black Watch, RMC, and RAF - not an extensive selection but in the main, even the A1 seemed relatively well received by the people who're shooting it, even with it's faults.

A2, different beast again, particularly with ACOG and rails. Even tiny things like the trigger which now appears to be designed to withstand direct impacts from ATGW's never mind the occasional bit of squeezing, the whole weapon looks much more robust and better put together.
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #85
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My understanding is the events in B20 are disputed and quite severely at some points, sometimes it's not even confirmed most of the firefights even happened. But as it is I don't really know either way and as long as it exists then opinion of him will always be divided. It's why I tried to bring it down to basic firearms knowledge, for all the rumours about lying for profiteering he should still know his guns as a servicemen with nearly 18 years under his belt

Good link Abe!
On Bravo Two Zero, Michael Asher does a pretty solid demolition job on both Ryan and McNab's accounts and better yet, the-then RSM for the SAS wrote an autobiog under his own name, which is a fabulous resource for commentary on those books plus Sabre Squadron (written under the name of Cameron Spencer) I can't recall the bloke's name now but he did point out quite simply that in the case of B20, none of the really exciting stuff that happened in the book was mentioned in the after action review, conducted in front of the entire available SAS after their return to the UK.

So, either both men had repressed memories of events which only came out after extensive hypnotherapy by the publishers or....
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #86
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I don't know if the M4 (or at least the 5.56mm) will be going anywhere any time soon, considering the US has developed the M855A1, an ammunition type optimised specifically for carbine length barrels that has apparently shown excellent performance next to the standard M855, which was originally intended to be fired from the M16's 20-inch barrel.

Not sure if other 5.56mm users will be taking up the M855A1 specifically but based on that and the USMC's 5.56mm SOST round it seems like the calibre is quite capable of being stepped up in lethality, which I think increases the viability of existing in-service weapons. Certainly replacing the L85A2 with another, similar 5.56mm rifle seems like a tremendous waste of money to me.
I was thinking about LSAT

Caseless ammo could cut 25 lbs. from gear - Marine Corps News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Marine Corps Times

And yes, taking the A2 and junking it in favour of another 5.56 rifle in the near term...nah...
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #87
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And yes, taking the A2 and junking it in favour of another 5.56 rifle in the near term...nah...
Interesting little nugget of info from earlier in the year.

Supply of Modular Assault Rifle System

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UK MOD has a requirement to acquire a new Modular Assault Rifle System (MARS) for deployment with certain military units from 2014
Although IIRC it's mainly for more civilian roles than military like Police, Home Office + Foreign Office etc so it'll most probably be a replacement for the G36 series for SO19 and the like, it's an interesting development IMO. Not saying that it'll be a springboard for replacing the A2, just that it's interesting
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #88
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On Bravo Two Zero, Michael Asher does a pretty solid demolition job on both Ryan and McNab's accounts
Of course because no one who only speaks Arabic in the Middle East has ever been known to not tell the truth…

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and better yet, the-then RSM for the SAS wrote an autobiog under his own name, which is a fabulous resource for commentary on those books plus Sabre Squadron (written under the name of Cameron Spencer) I can't recall the bloke's name now but he did point out quite simply that in the case of B20, none of the really exciting stuff that happened in the book was mentioned in the after action review, conducted in front of the entire available SAS after their return to the UK.
People who weren’t there always write better accounts of events…

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So, either both men had repressed memories of events which only came out after extensive hypnotherapy by the publishers or....
It is only through the prism of relativism and ignorance that an account that has some questions is turned into conspiracy and untruth. One can give them the benefit of the doubt. They engaged in action inflicted casualties and took them. That the AAR does not cover blow by blow is no surprise especially since in the meantime the patrol commander had been imprisoned.
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #89
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In terms of lethality, I refer folk to the story of a 19 year old private from the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment, who pulled off three kills with three rounds in a rolling contact in Iraq - if you can get that sort of result with any random recruit then 5.56 seems to work when you actually hit what you're aiming at.
Lethality debates tend to be a little bit more complex than that. In this case said Private could probably have been armed with a bolt action .22 and still achieved the same kills for shots. Does that mean we should replace all assault rifles with bolt action .22s? If its anecdotes at 20 paces then there are plenty examples of 5.56mm not getting the job done.

But science shows that standard 5.56 will not fragment at combat ranges (especially via shorter barrels) and without fragmentation or CNS placement has a much lower chance of causing incapacitation as bigger more powerful rounds.
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Old November 22nd, 2012   #90
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Ok, I reckon we should put the B20 debate to bed. It's going nowhere and isn't particularly relevent to the topic at hand anymore.

In regards to the actual topic, unless we see something that offers a significant advantage over the 5.56 and that the US adopts it as a standard calibre there isn't a particularly pressing need to replace the L85A2 + L86A2 and I don't see any major beneficial incentive of doing so especially if we're talking about current designs.
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