Belfast 1978 - soldier (aiming) holding magazine in standing position

Never had a single issue poking my eye out with the leaf
Whereas I could tell my grouping was getting better, because the chips gouged by the sight ramp outta the right hand lens of my specs got clustered closer and closer together . . .
.
 
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I can understand why.

It was a vile little sh!thole in the 1990s.

Even when the Paras weren't there.
Still not improved much. I dare say some of the names you’d remember from then are still knocking about. They’ve just rebranded from PIRA to whichever IRA is currently on the go. Always had the feel of a “border town”. Just 20 miles too far out. No longer has a cop shop though. That’s now a brand new housing block. Not sure if that’s an improvement.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Whereas I could tell my grouping was getting better, because the chips gouged by the sight ramp outta the right hand lens of my specs got clustered closer and closer together . . .
.
I got issued two pairs of John Lennon gas glasses, one with flat flexible arms that passed around ears without breaking the respirator seal, the other, armless, attached to the nose of the respirator, and came and went therewith.

The former were great for shooting, plus my own photochromics ("they're not sunglasses, sir, they're prescription glasses") didn't end up with a closely grouped set of chips.

Probably didn't help, the Skins instructor who told me that 5 on the gas regulator was better then 7 cos you'll never ever get a stoppage, it didn't occur until years later that he might have just said that for sh¡ts and giggles and to see an intake with bruised cheeks.

Didn't GAF. The Figure 11s always went down and I was quite happy with a solid recoil. SA80 course just before I left (because I was on the shooting team, even if I only had six months left and could never hope to fire one in anger), felt like an air rifle in comparison.
 
No longer has a cop shop though. That’s now a brand new housing block. Not sure if that’s an improvement.
When I think of the man-hours we devoted to covering building work on/around that little fortress . . . .

. . . . . and somebody must have had their work cut out when time came for knocking it down!!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
You're welcome.
Obviously only for wear under a respirator or on the range with rifle! No chipping worries with Small Metal Gun that was my personal weapon for virtually my whole career.
 
When I think of the man-hours we devoted to covering building work on/around that little fortress . . . .

. . . . . and somebody must have had their work cut out when time came for knocking it down!!
The sheer number of former SF bases that have now been abandoned and sold/gifted in recent years has ensured that local contractors now have their ripping out and deconstruction down to a fine, and very quick art. Didn’t take too long for Coalisland cop shop to disappear and become flats. Many of these former bases have been turned into housing, community buildings, playgrounds and the like. Dungiven RUC station is now a church building. Mortar proof roof, blast walls, all still intact. The local neighbourhood peelers now patrol such areas in soft skinned, liveried cars instead of being dropped off by chopper and dandering around the square with a multiple or two of squaddies in support. Still not perfect peace but a fcuk load more progress than I’d personally have ever thought possible when I did a Banner tour around the same time you mentioned.
 

Euclid

Old-Salt
And is holding the mag to stop a local scrote nicking it while his field of view is narrowed.
I recall in NHSM and FWR having a piece of para cord black nastied to the base of the magazine and a clip (cut from a piece of ‘58 webbing) at the other end that hooked onto the metal bit of the carrying handle to avoid exactly that. Plus of course rifle sling around wrist.

(PS . The big FO sight is an IWS which did have a high pitched whine when you switched it on. Replaced by Kite IIRC)
 

Actingunpaid

Old-Salt
Second Mag?
Lucky sod! (Belfast 1975)

Second mag?
Where's 3 and 4? (S. Armagh 1991)
71/72 Empty magazine on rifle,second mag with 5 rounds (in case of Aliens landing) in ammo pouch with yellow card.Used to feel like a right mong unloading an empty rifle in the rifle range.
 

Euclid

Old-Salt
71/72 Empty magazine on rifle,second mag with 5 rounds (in case of Aliens landing) in ammo pouch with yellow card.Used to feel like a right mong unloading an empty rifle in the rifle range.
And don’t forget M79, LMFG, GPMG , 200 rounds of link, plus M16 per 3 team multiple in S Armagh.
 

Euclid

Old-Salt
I think M79 was first issued 1976.
No idea how many were ever fired in anger. I recall an ‘ND’ in XMG in 1984. A round being fired into a derelict building during the night on a tedious cordon because there was a ‘gunman in it, honest’ . That was followed by several hundred rounds on 7.62. Spiced up the night that was for sure.
 
Whereas I could tell my grouping was getting better, because the chips gouged by the sight ramp outta the right hand lens of my specs got clustered closer and closer together . . .
.
Never heard of varying butt lengths on your rifle?

No - me neither until I'd been using that rifle for years. Contact lenses are for winners mind, by that stage.
 
71/72 Empty magazine on rifle,second mag with 5 rounds (in case of Aliens landing) in ammo pouch with yellow card.Used to feel like a right mong unloading an empty rifle in the rifle range.
Standard West Belfast and environs in the mid-80s was two magazines of 18 rounds each for the 'ordinary' foot patrollers. More 'windswept and interesting' tasks in cars included 4 x 30 rd mags for the HK53 plus 6 x 13 rd mags for the 9mm pistol plus smoke grenades etc. I've never understood this but some people carried far, far less in the 'plain clothes' (emphatically not 'undercover') role as if it meant you were somehow not trying it on.

Crazy.
 

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