Fixing the LSW?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by CrownImperial, Apr 26, 2009.

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  1. Does anyone think the LSW has any kind of future in the British Army.

    Obviously, it is very out of fasion now and hasn't benefitted from the bounce back in regard for it's little brother.

    But has it really been totally outclassed by the LMG? In terms of section level supportive fire, many would opt for the LMG for it's ability to get rounds down quickly. But the LMG does have the limitations of range and accuracy that the LSW could fill..

    I think the main problem with the LSW is it's round capacity. A true support weapon should surely have a larger capacity than the IWs it is meant to be supporting...

    Could something as simple as manufacturing something similar to the 'C-Mag' give the LSW a new lease of life?
  2. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    I understand the LSW to be re-branded as a "marksmans rifle" for those buggers you just cant hit with a normal one.
  3. The Beta C-Mag was tried during trials, however it was found that the magazine jammed at the last 15 rnds, this was due to the low gas pressure caused by RG ammo, a change to US ammo was suggested, however this was ignored, Beta proposed a 85 rnd C- mag to fill the void, however this was considered too expensive.
  4. With reference to a Marksmans rifle, the HK417 has been purchased for this role, currently being trialled by 3 Cdo Bde in Afganistan.
  5. The big problem is (or at least was) that it split groups when fired on automatic. Instead of rectifying this, the technique of using it as a marksman's weapon on single shot was developed. Unless this was sorted there's hardly any point fitting bigger magazines.

    It's not really very good for sustained fire anyway because it overheats too much.

    Full length barrels for the LMG would be a better idea and donate the LSWs to a Civilian Marksmanship Programme as the US Government do.
  6. Could gunners be issued two lengths of barrel?
  7. For the minimi/LMG? No point.
    Just do a campaign change and replace them as they get worn out. They'd got to A2 and have a slightly differently calibrated sight in theory, probably not required in practice.
  8. How much of a difference would the long barrel make to range & accuracy compared to the short barrel?
  9. It's velocity really. At a lower velocity the round will still get there, accuracy might nit be a problem. However, velocity is down and so effect on targets behind cover is reduced. As this is primarily what you want your Section support weapon to do this can be a problem.

    A longer barrel (within limits) allows the same cartrdige to achieve a higher velocity. That's why LSW has a longer barrel than IW. It's more to do with velocity than accuracy.

    LSW has a reputation for better accuracy but this is more to do with the bipod than the barrel.
  10. Hmmm. Velocity and accuracy.

    A faster round has a shorter flight time and hence less opportunity for wind and gravity to change the point of impact at different ranges. There is also the question of round stability related to spin rate that is directly related to velocity. Therefore a higher velocity round will stay stable for longer and so further.

    However, a faster round is not necessarily more accurate. That's down to the barrel harmonics, precision and support of the weapon
  11. After reading / hearing / seeing all the opinions about the LSW in its' intended role (ie section-level LMG) over the years, I heartily agreed with the obvious issues (no barrel change, mag too small, etc etc). When Minimi was introduced, I jumped on the bandwagon and welcomed it.

    Although I'd handled the LSW, they rarely seemed to leave the bl00dy armoury. Long, heavy and inevitably given to me to lug around for being a crow. (Just like the Charlie G was when I was in during the Jurassic era!)

    Actually used LSW for the first time recently, training in the 'marksman' role and I was impressed. Does everything that the L85A2 does except more accurate from further away. No new system to be procured, supported, (overly) trained on etc. Simple as.

    This concept was further expanded on with a co-operative shoot with the Minimi. Minimi supresses, LSW picks point targets. Minimi stops, LSW picks up the slack until Minimi kicks back in again. Seems sensible to me, but then again I'm a crow.

    Minimi seemed great in suppression role but hopelessly difficult to clean and maintain. Maybe it's just that I've got fingers like pigs' t1ts or maybe it's because I'd love a proper gun in every section like the Gimpy?

    Before anyone starts gobbing-off, yes I'm RAF Regt RAuxAF and I know that many Arrsers believe we should automatically be dismissed as not having any relevent input to the discussion. Yadda yadda yadda.
  12. That makes a lot of sense, is the LSW as a section marksman weapon S.O.P. across the infantry? On another note, I was an LMG gunner on Telic in the dismounted role a while ago, never had any dramas with cleaning/maintenance? What problems were you having in this respect?
  13. AS a 5.56 marksman's weapon I'm not sure that LSW does anything much that IW with a bipod can't.
  14. I think it was more down to our lack of prior exposure to Minimi and the fact that we'd borrowed them from other units.

    Jammed barrel-release catch; feed-pawls causing consternation and various teeny-weeny springs and pins. "Oh fcuk, where/how/why does the (insert mangled PAM description of part) go again?" was a constant cry.

    Much grinding of teeth at having to clean weapons that either hadn't been fired by us and so had been issued 'minging' or had been fired and only ever been cleaned superficially before.

    I'm putting it down to the pigs t1t fingers and unfamiliarity at this stage!
  15. From what I've learned, the Flash Eliminator is to be modified so that the barrel is not secured to the bipod/body extension at the muzzle. This has a beneficial effect on barrel harmonics and accuracy. In the hands of a good shot the new rifle (LSW) will reach out and touch someone at 800m. The section cannot do that without using something much more expensive (and arguably less accurate).

    WRT the HK417, the Royal Marines may be playing with it but they are a different beast and operate with a different budget, i.e the Navy. It's highly unlikely that the Army will spend the big bucks needed to widely introduce the HK 417 when the LSW is demonstrably equal to it.

    I was an LCpl Armourer when the SA80 family were introduced. I have always been impressed with LSW as a long-range rifle (within the limitations of its calibre) and distictly unipressed with the "Support" aspect of its title. The last time we had a mag-fed section weapon we got our asses kicked by an enemy with a belt-fed weapon; hence we went for GPMG at the first opportunity. Even the Soviet Union quickly realised that the mag-fed support weapon (RPK) was waste of space. I touted Minimi to all and sundry. But who listens to LCpl Armourers?