One for SASC: What do the numbers and letters mean?

Discussion in 'AGC, RAPTC and SASC' started by walt_of_the_walts, Feb 25, 2008.

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  1. Not that I've ever given it much thought, and it's not keeping me awake at night, but what does the weapon designation actually mean. ie: What does L85A1, L96A1 mean.

    I have been told that it means:

    L85A1 = Land(LAND?) tested 85 times, Accepted Once 1

    But what does that mean? Or is that bullsh1t?

    Having given it some thought, I am guessing it means:

    L=LAND tested
    85=85th type of weapon trialled/accepted/procured for the Armed Forces
    A1=First pattern accepted for service.

    So, in the MOD pattern Room in Leeds, its like a filing cabinet, 85 cabinets along, shelf A1, a sealed pattern of that rifle as was delivered?

    Any serious or not so serious answers welcome :roll:
  2. I believe it follows the same system as ammunition. Ammunition is as follows:

    The item name is compiled from a Basic name plus various modifiers, under the headings of nature (i.e Shell 155mm HOW) and type (HE).

    Ammunition then receives a model number. This originally consisted of Numbers, Marks, Sub Marks and Stars. In 1952 the system was changed to what we recognise today - the L modelling system for Land service items (with the exception of Guided Missiles that receive a K).

    The L number is advanced only when a change of significant operational significance is made. (thats why the Rifle is L85 and the LSW L86).

    The A number indicates modifications which are logistically, but not operationally significant.

    There are also B numbers which indicate a minor change in design, the last i can remember of these is the Rkt Sys 94mm HEAT L1A2B1.

    Experimental items have a slightly different model no - the L is superseded by an X and the A becomes an E (e.g XL1E1). This allows security sensitive natures to be referred to in documentation and signals securely.

    Bet that made your eyes bleed!!!!!
  3. Cheers Dingerr.

    (Wish I hadnt asked now!)
  4. Cracking answer, quick question, why was the old SLR known as the L1A1 even to the end of its life when it went from wooden furniture to plastic etc but kept the same designation (if it indeed did - not trying to be pedantic, it's just the spotter in me :oops:
  5. I would suspect that the change is so minor that it did not warrant it. If the change had been for example a different grade steel for the firing pin then it would warrant a change due to the firing pin being a critical component.
  6. IIRC there were 54 modifications to the SLR during its service life.
  7. Name them :twisted: