left handed rifles

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by captin_thunderpants, Apr 19, 2007.

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  1. does anyone know why we dont have left handed rifles like other armies?.

    seems a bit stupid to me, as i am blind as a bat and have only ever passed about 4 in my career. it's not the hands that are the problem, it's the fact i cant close my left eye so there for i can not seeout of my right eye whilst on the range. thank god for my eye patch.

    always get the pirate jokes on the range all day,
  2. your're in a bit of a mess Cap'n - have you got a wooden leg as well?

    Chimpy/Flash Wah?
  3. ARRR,

    Come show me how ye bury yer treasure, lad!
  4. I was just wondering, surely there must have been some people in the Army before the adoption of the SA80 who couldn't shoot from the right shoulder, but could from the left (because of eye problems or whatever).

    What happened to these people after the SLR was phased out? Were they MD'd? Issued with pistols instead? Or just given an exemption from having to pass their APWT?

    Any ideas?

  5. We do have left handed ones, next time your at the armoury ask to sign one out.
  6. So I'm led to believe, amongst the many reasons SF didn't like the SA80 was because they specified a weapon that could be fired from either shoulder - not as a sop to the south-paws, but out of practicality. Particularly in FIBUA (or whatever the Hell we're calling it these days) natural cover is afforded to a right-hander when engaging targets round a left-hand corner, but with a weapon that can only be fired right-handed, no such cover is afforded when shooting round a right-hand corner.

    As a left hander myself I remember in my infantry days using SLR that our platoon sgt used to try to ensure he had a left-handed rifleman in each section, because in the event of taking fire from the right flank, a left-hander could be dropping rounds on the enemy faster than all the right-handers, who had to turn through 180 degrees to bring their weps to bear.

    Sadly, retention of the SA80 is down to budgets and politics, not practicality.
  7. I shot left handed using SLR but when SA80 introduced I had a rather steep learning curve in shooting right handed. It takes time and a bit of getting used to but I can now just about scrape an apwt pass
  8. Like me they probably know the guy who is running the range, offer to help out in some way during the day, on an admin side of life and not bother with the shoot. and if they do shooot they hust get put down as a pass anyway.

    come on when was the last time anyone really failed any ITD in the army.

    maybe a retest is required sometimes but quanteed to pass.

  9. Left handed rifle or a rifle that you can fire from either shoulder? Not quite the same thing. I doubt if any army has provides a choice of left handed or righted handed rifles.

    As pointed out above, its also a question of which eye is dominant. I often find myself using (or trying to) my left eye whilst firing from the right shoulder.

    The argument against a left shouldered version when the SA80 was introduced was that a left shouldered SLR firer would still achieve an APWT pass on an SA80, so it wasn't a problem.

    I know a lot of people are nostalgic about the SLR, but for the majority of soldiers it was a pig to fire accurately, as witnessed by the amount of time it would take to get the company through their APWT. The SA80 (as we were calling it then) for all its robustness issues was a far easier weapon for all soldiers to fire and our first pass APWT rate went from something like 50% to 100%.

    So, at the time it was a fair argument.
  10. When patrolling in double file we would have the guys on the right with SLR in the left shoulder. In File, we would have one left, one right etc. Especially in close country.

  11. I think that was pretty common, and makes sense, never tested the idea with live rounds though. Might have been entertaining!
  12. That's an interesting one. I reckon if you pressed-to-test on the alternate-shoulder-whilst-patrolling-in-file-thing using all right-handed peeps, you'd find that the right handed guys pointing left would be able to produce accurate fire on an emerging target to the right far faster than the right-handed guys with their SLRs in their left shoulders pointing right. In fact, the guys with the SLRs in the wrong shoulder would, without extensive live-fire training, subconsciously switch to their correct shoulders anyway. In short, it's a pants idea. BTW, that's also what I was taught in basic back in the late 80s. I could get all nostagic about the SLR but I won't.
  13. I got no brief for a SLR nostalgia trip (though a 7.62 round does make bigger holes in people!) :twisted:

    This thread is kinda pointless, unless it's being read by some Grand Fromage who could do something about it. I dunno what the 'life' of the SA80 (or the Plastic PoS, as I like to think of it) is, but I suspect we're stuck with the damn thing for the next 20+ years. :evil:

    I'm no teeth arm type, so I don't known if it's any good, but at least the Australian gat (I think it's called a Steyr, but I could be wrong) can be switched, in a matter of seconds, from right-handed use to lefty-handed use, and it doesn't need an armourer to do it. :wink:

    Shame the boffins that dreamed up the SA80 couldn't have come up with something similar :x
  14. The SA80 is uncompromisingly right-shouldered in basic design, and there's simply no way round it.

    We should have ordered a boat-load of M-16s, as many recommended, but no - certain massive egos in Whitehall had to be indulged.

    With enough practice - and it takes LOTS and LOTS and LOTS - you can train yourself to shoot off either shoulder, and with either eye for aiming.

    Training your eyes is the tough bit, but can be practised without actually shooting. Do not blink your "spare" eye fully closed - that merely causes strain in both eyes. Half-close your "unwanted" eye and concentrate fiercely on sighting with the other one.

    With practice, you can "train" your brain to receive clear sight-pictures from either eye, and eventually even the half-shutting of the unwanted eye can be abandoned.

    It is hellishly tricky at first, but perfectly achievable by anyone with good, young eyesight.

    All the world's finest competitive shots shoot with both eyes open all the time (to eliminate that eye-strain factor). It CAN be done!

    Good luck . . . .
  15. Actually, I can and have put in marksman shoots with SA80 - the marksmanship principles remain the same - I just don't see why I should have to. :evil:

    Last year in Eyerack, I left the plastic PoS tucked up in the armoury and relied on my ambidextrous 9-milly, snug in my US Army issue left-handed thigh holster. You can do the pistol drills left-handed if you practice, it just freaks out the range supervisors! :twisted:

    Thank God I'm a REMF and didn't REALLY need a gat. :roll:

    But returning to my central point - wouldn't we be better having a wep that could be fired from either shoulder :?: