Concerning rifle magazines and ammunition issued to Cold War era British Forces.

ugly

LE
Moderator
#61
West Belfast was usually just the single mag on the rifle. Rural ops used to be a bit more flexible, each Bn had its own SOP's, Recce it was just what we wanted for the Operation and usually dictated in the brief, one job I had a 9mm with three mags, as back up to the Rem 870 and a full tube of whatever they gave me.
 
#62
Did school of Inf in 83 the year after the Falklands when the lessons were being digested and disseminated. One of the topics was how much ammo? The answer was as much as you can within the limits. Plus on advance to contact Plt Sgt was given a reserve to stick in his bergen.

They told the story of one trigger happy lad, 2 Para IIRC, who carried 17 mags into action after experience at G Green, fired the lot and still used 5 argie mags he nicked off them. Over 400 rounds that night.

Debate was about weight of fire vs fire discipline. Didn't reach a final conclusion as I recall.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#63
Debate was about weight of fire vs fire discipline. Didn't reach a final conclusion as I recall.
Goose Green was the classic advance to contact against a larger enemy force. In theory we shouldn't have won that battle. We did through a combination of luck and grit (Balls not the mnemonic) and that set the standard. The mountain battles were different, a more classic night time deliberate attack with proper support (within the limits) and coordinated across several features to limit mutual defence.
Fire discipline is great, there however is nothing to say that the para with all of those magazines didn't take aimed shots at actual targets rather than just blat off rounds.
I have partaken in large formation attacks where I haven't fired (live firing ex etc) because there wasn't a target to engage and just to blat off to make noise was dangerous and wasteful.
 
#64
Minor point of curiosity: L1A1 'mags wont fit into a FN unless they have been seriously fettled.

Will FN 'mags fit into an L1A1 without similar treatment?

Just wondering, that's all.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#65
Minor point of curiosity: L1A1 'mags wont fit into a FN unless they have been seriously fettled.

Will FN 'mags fit into an L1A1 without similar treatment?

Just wondering, that's all.
It depends upon the manufacturer, I found FN mags worked ok in the L1A1 (Argentinian ones) and they have a stamped lip that fits in the retaining catch. The SLR Mags might fit, bearing in mind tolerances are just a range of measurements that you should be able to accommodate and the L1A1 mags the lip is on a plate brazed to the front of the magazine, this may put them out of spec in some weapons.
 
#66
It depends upon the manufacturer, I found FN mags worked ok in the L1A1 (Argentinian ones) and they have a stamped lip that fits in the retaining catch. The SLR Mags might fit, bearing in mind tolerances are just a range of measurements that you should be able to accommodate and the L1A1 mags the lip is on a plate brazed to the front of the magazine, this may put them out of spec in some weapons.
Beat me to it.
Basically,metric will fit imperial.
Imperial will not fit metric.
 
#69
AR15 (Not M16) and I carried eighty rounds of M193 on Banner.
Mixed AP, Ball and Tracer.
First magazine was twenty five AP with five tracer at the bottom (for van shoots) the rest ball with a smattering of tracer. One last magazine was my “only ten left” twenty rounder.

The issue 5.56 magazines were odd looking with a riveted front.
When we first got SA80,we were issued Armalite magazines in lieu of RG.Cheap aluminium but in my experience,far more reliable than RG mags,and we preferred them.
I actually still have one somewhere.
 
#70
Minor point of curiosity: L1A1 'mags wont fit into a FN unless they have been seriously fettled.

Will FN 'mags fit into an L1A1 without similar treatment?

Just wondering, that's all.
It depends upon the manufacturer, I found FN mags worked ok in the L1A1 (Argentinian ones) and they have a stamped lip that fits in the retaining catch. The SLR Mags might fit, bearing in mind tolerances are just a range of measurements that you should be able to accommodate and the L1A1 mags the lip is on a plate brazed to the front of the magazine, this may put them out of spec in some weapons.
Beat me to it.
Basically,metric will fit imperial.
Imperial will not fit metric.
I've read that some of the magazines picked up and used in the Falklands would fit, but would only stay in place if held whilst the weapon was being cocked.
 
#71
When we first got SA80,we were issued Armalite magazines in lieu of RG.Cheap aluminium but in my experience,far more reliable than RG mags,and we preferred them.
I actually still have one somewhere.
Sounds about right. Guys who "acquired" them from the yanks or various other sources prior to the A2 hung on to them. I remember them as being a silvery colour and straight. Recall the ones I saw as being 20rd ?
 
#72
Sounds about right. Guys who "acquired" them from the yanks or various other sources prior to the A2 hung on to them. I remember them as being a silvery colour and straight. Recall the ones I saw as being 20rd ?
They were a sort of mid grey colour,which would wear off,the one i have is showing quite a bit of wear.The twenty round mags are straight,thirty round mags slightly curved.
 
#73
When we first got SA80,we were issued Armalite magazines in lieu of RG.Cheap aluminium but in my experience,far more reliable than RG mags,and we preferred them.
I actually still have one somewhere.
So have I although I can't remember where or how I got it. I used it on APWTs - as you say, it was more reliable and not so flimsy.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#74
So have I although I can't remember where or how I got it. I used it on APWTs - as you say, it was more reliable and not so flimsy.
Oddly enough when we were issued the rifle in province we were only issued RG mags, the Queens Bn we were working with had old colt ones and were busy trying to swap with us.
Funny eh!
 
#75
In NI four mags of 20 rounds seems reasonable for counter insurgency but for anything more spicy it seems criminally negligent to send men into battle with 80 rounds...
Towards the end of The Troubles in West Belfast, infantry carried 2 x 18 round magazines for That Rifle, on my last BRB tour in ‘87 anyway. An urban firefight by then that required a team to use 144 rounds would have been seen as highly unlikely. On other duties I carried 5 x 25 round magazines of 5.56mm plus up to 8 x 13 round magazines of 9mm plus smoke etc. Note that the requirement was totally different the latter being for an anti vehicle ambush response that needed a very rapid response with a lot of automatic fire. I can’t answer for rural operations as all my tours were urban. In Afghanistan I carried 6 x 28 round magazines for my rifle and 4 x 13 round magazines for my Browning.

I don’temember there being a policy in NI unless Bde mandated one, they probably did.
 
#76
Bandoleer and boxed ammo would be freely available for ops.

Whereas "four mags and a bayonet" was the universal peacetime holding for units (SLR and SMG), it also likely that large quantities of additional magazines would be released for war deployment.

On the BAOR "war outload" exercises I participated in, the amount of kit issued was enormous to the point of being too much to carry - SAA, NBC kit, rations, fuel cans, unit support weapon ammunition (Charlie G rounds, L4 mags, GPMG link, pyro).

(Biggest laugh I had was trying to fit a 1m x 1m cardboard carton containing 200-odd map sheets into my 1/2 FRR LR, on top of 8x ten-man packs and 30x CG rounds...)
Had you mislaid your trailer?
 
#77
From the look of that photo, I’d say they were the wrong way round, and the second one is the WW2 pouch.

Edit. In fact having checked, I’m certain of it.
German WW1 soldiers. Note that the pouches are clearly 15 rounds each:



German WW2 soldiers. Note the pouches are much skinnier:

 
#78
When we first got SA80,we were issued Armalite magazines in lieu of RG.Cheap aluminium but in my experience,far more reliable than RG mags,and we preferred them.
I actually still have one somewhere.
I saw Rodway Green many years later and couldn’t believe how thin they were.
No wonder there were feed issues.
 
#79
With my MI team in Amarah, back in 2011, our six mags were carried in the 3 double mag pouches strapped to our IOTVs plus the seventh in our M4's.

How were the 14 mags carried?
in MOLLE 100 rd saw pouches, 2 fit perfectly
 
#80
Oddly enough when we were issued the rifle in province we were only issued RG mags, the Queens Bn we were working with had old colt ones and were busy trying to swap with us.
Funny eh!
Was that because of capacity ? 20 vs 30 ? or old vs new ?
My recollection was that the US ones were sturdier than the RG ones. They were certainly jealously guarded.
 

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