Heckler & Koch Weapon System v SA80A2

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Ard-Elly-o, Dec 15, 2003.

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  1. Q. Why did we not scrap SA80 A1 when we had the chance and buy from the HK Wpn system instead of rehashing to SA80 A2.
    A. Cost of purchase would have been cheaper but a lot of hidden costs in re-racking armouries, re-tooling REME etc and some idle SASC bloke would have to re-write the pams. (This probably swayed the argument or the decision maker had already bought shares first)
    Q. Why did we develop SA80 in ther first place instead of buying off the shelf something decent and tested?
    A. Most MOD procurement tied up with Department of Trade and Industry (DTi) and HMG insisted that UK retained a Small Arms Manufacturing capability thus the production of our most beloved SA80.

    Good points
    Accurate (with SUZAT)
    Standard NATO round 5.56mm

    Bad points (Everything else)
    Poor standard sight (iron)
    Can only be fired from the right shoulder. The main reason why our SF don't normally touch it with a barge pole. (This is probably the worst feature of the weapon) All military weapons MUST be completely ambidextrous and able to be fired from either shoulder so soldiers can make best use of cover without exposing the body to fire.

    HK Wpn System
    Good points
    Complete range of Wpns made by same company (must be cheeper in the long run) bugger the DTi!
    All weapons fully ambidextrous.
    Use standard NATO 5.56 or 9mm
    Heres my shopping list from HK:
    Pistols - P2000 or USP. (I know a lot of people still swear by the Browning) Why are we one of the few armies in the world not to carry a pistol as a second wpn?
    Sub-machine guns - MP5A4 9mm (single shot, 3 rnd burst or full auto) (Completely ambidextrous)
    Assault Rifle - G36 K 5.56mm, 30 rnd mag, dual sighting system. Mounting rail for AG36 40mm Gren launcher or tactical light. folding stock.
    Various versions and sizes including the G36C, 5.56 but the dimensions of a SMG.
    HK33 and 53 Rifles and Carbines
    HK21E and 23E 7.62 GPMGs (very impressive stats) Good to hear comparisons with our GPMG?
    Sniper Rifle - PSG1 7.62mm. Any snipers out there tried it out??
    Grenade Launcher - this is the icing on the cake! HK GMG 40mm Granade Machine Gun. Range up to 2.2k. Linked 40mm ammo capacity 32 rds. Rate of fire 350rds/min. Ammo types - CS, HE, AP, nonleathal and flares.
    Heckler & Koch (GB) have a sales team who are delighted to bring a selection of weapons for you to have a play on a big firing concentration. Can lower moral when the blokes see what procurement should have bought us!!
  2. Sounds like a grand idea to me but as usual the stinking financiers will have the last say.

    Despite the shortcomings that you mentioned, the SA80 is a good weapon as long as it is well maintained. It's main strength is its accuracy at range. A lot of people bleat about getting the M16 but what they don't realise is that it is hopeless at longer ranges. It is designed to provide good firepower at close ranges, a reason why it is so popular with the SF. If they get bumped, they want to put down as much supressive fire to make a tactical withdrawal.

    Once the modifications were made to the SA80, the reliability issues seemed to be ironed out. It would be unrealistic to hope that the treasury would fund the complete replacement. Let's face it, we don't get anything new until the old kit is at least 20 years old.
  3. SMGs are obsolete. 9mm is no good against the 'protected man'. For something dinkier than full-on assault rifles for veh crews, coppers and the like(and G36s are indeed beautiful - but not super-robust for IS duties, buttstroking recruits at Deepcut etc...) you want a Personal Defence Weapon like a HK MP7 or an FN P90 - both vying for NATO endorsement, and both used by lots of Po-lice and SF around the world. Don't know Hereford's view on them, but they're apparently v good at short range penetration without overpenetration and hugely ergonomic.
    But again, v few complaints about A2 from Telic...and having a fully ambidextrus weapon didn't do the Fedayeen much good! Well done everyone! And well done Saddam for his sporting surrender.
  4. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    As an additional answer to the first SA80 question, it was very importantly Not Invented Here (was the Patchett the previous British invented weapon ? What was before that ?) Misplaced national pride or perhaps "we're going to privatise Royal Ordnance how do we keep it afloat for the first few years ? I know, let's shaft the Armed Services"

    To the second question: the various powers that be/were have been trying to foist a bullpup on the Army since......1911 !

    By the way, the rifle will be just as accurate with or without the SUSAT, just the silly iron sights are not the best design and require more training to use.

    Reference the PSG1 and PSG2, they're big & clunky, (so is the L96,) not as accurate as a good Mauser action, they fling nice shiny (and mangled) brass metres away from the firing point and come in a valise about the same size as the Movie Machine. However, the little adjustable tripod is a brilliant bit of kit - for certain prone positions anyway.

    The L96 AI was the brainchild of the late Malcom Cooper, an excellent Bisley shot. Hence it's a great target rifle but a poor weapon for a stalk. The AW is an improvement but there are better all-round weapons around. It depends on the op. Remington 700 anybody ?

    G_B Agree with your ideas on the 9mm. But I do like H&K's last smg - open bolt & in 45 ACP. (Ok, op specific.)

    Delta Force, (amongst others,) when on aircraft entry don't carry an smg - they use two 1911A1's. God bless John Moses !
  5. Maybe someone can correct me but some info I recived a while ago said that due to some imperfections in the l85 the ammunition we are using is no longer quite the same as the bog standard NATO stuff. Different grain?? change in propelant?? Apparently a lot more expensive? To get the same accuracy. I know this is true with US due to different barrel twist etc. Could someone confirm if we are having to use more costly ammo???
  6. Maybe wrong but when the Late Great Olympic Gold winning Malcolm Cooper designed the L96 I believe he found best results using 'Lapua' ammo.

    It ain't cheap stuff, for sale in Fultons for around £29 per 100

    Can't imagine a sniper snapping off link to use in his sexy rifle, then again I'm not one so what do I know
  7. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Never mind the fact that the ball in link isn't as good, it can also get you charged ! Stripping 4BIT is now a no-no from H&S - modifying/interfering with ammunition !

    Can't we lock these loonies up ?
  8. Sniper ammo is made to a higher spec than 4 BIT. Normally it is 185 gr boat tail spitzers, ie pointy one end and tapered at the other. It is designed to be more cosistant, so theings like batch numbers become important.

    I am not a great fan of self loaders for long range accutacy as the action is too flexible. A sniper does not need the fast reload of the SA action.

    The good thing about the L96 is that they are finally up rating it to .338 Laupa. Bigger heavier bullet for better down range preformance.

    We arent going to get a new rifle because to the bean counters one rifle is as good as all the others. A2 with a susat is the best we can hope for. The sooner iron sights are in the bin the better.
  9. Unless you're in the Jungle or v close country...Funnily enough Pathfinders were using iron sights in Kosovo with SA80, as they preferred them for snap-shooting/breaking contact type drills for getting out of OPs and what have you.
  10. The interesting thing is that when the Bundeswehr went out looking for a sniper rifle (and this is the Germans, several million participating target shooters, and a kneejerk opposition to buying foreign small-arms) they ended up buying the Accuracy International AW. Namely, the L96, but in .300 Win Mag.

    And this, AIUI, was after trying to fiddle the selection procedure; the original selection came up with the AW, so they reran the trial, had one German firm turn up with a near-copy of the L96, only told the Accuracy trials team about some ...errr.... crucial requirements changes at the last minute, and then had to watch as a hastily-modified AW won the competition ...again.

    Note that the Model PM (the AW's forebear) had as its first customer... Hereford.

    The Remington is, as I understand it, a pretty good all-round action, but it's round. The AI action is flat-bottomed (it's similar to the Borlo that Malcolm Cooper used to use). If you bedded a Remington into aluminium, you might get good results, but it's finding the right stock that's the problem. You can actually put a Remington 700 into an AI stock, these days. Although why you'd want to.......

    Anyway, the M24/M40 that the Americans use is a Remington 700 action bedded into a wooden stock. Cute, light, but subject to moisture; watch the Bisley target lads get all finicky when their rifle gets wet, and hear the cries of "water in the bedding".

    The top target shooters (i.e. World Championship level) are now moving to aluminium stocks; certainly, they suffer the baggage handlers at Heathrow somewhat better than wooden stocks :( in that sense, Malcolm Cooper was fifteen years ahead of the game.....

    ...Minor nit, while Malcolm Cooper was a Bisley shot, it was mostly from that shed structure at the left-hand side of the Century range 300m point. That's the 300m (rather than 300yd) firing point for the ISSF bigbore types. As for "excellent Bisley shot", try "twice Olympic Gold medallist, and still regarded around the world as possibly the best rifleman of recent years".

    The tragedy is that he died a couple of years ago from a brain tumour. The new 50m range at Bisley (built for the Commonwealth Games, but also used for the Army/TA/Inter-Services SB TR Championships) is named after him.
  11. Accuracy International (his firm) used to be the UK dealers for Lapua ammo (not sure whether they still are; they've given up on the 0.22LR stuff) so he perhaps was biased :)

    Anyway, Lapua target stuff was a damn-sight better than RG sniper ammo; these days, if you want really good 7.62 (or anything; lots of 300m shooters use 6mm these days) you go to people other than Radway Green ....... or so I am assured by my coach, who makes large calibre ammo for sale ;)
  12. It was a sad day for British Shooting when Malcolm Cooper died, Accuracy international was taken over by his wife Sarah I believe, who was also an Olympic shot.

    No idea whether they still trade
  13. Good to hear all the interesting and expert views on this subject. Pity some of you didn't work for procurement!

    When are MOD going to wake up to the fact that the best, all terrain, air portable, extreme weather risistant, self repairing asset they have is the British soldier!

    The number 1 priority in procurement should be to provide the British soldier with the best possible equipment at all times. That should mean procuring new equipment before the previous version becomes obsolete.

    Certainly our personal clothing and equipment has improved significantly over recent years with CS95 and PLCE but there is still a lot of penny pinching compared to some other armies.
  14. there still trading based in portsmouth latest line is a target rifle aimed at cops and civillians not quite as roughy toughy as the aw so cheaper and quicker to produce but relatively
    unfortunatly they don't have a factory outlet shop :twisted:
  15. Anyone played with the new pistol designed to comply with UK firearms legislation?

    about a grand and only a single shot free pistol, but its recognised by UIT so GB can at least compete in one of the pistol events