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SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

Although you joke I suspect there may be a reluctance to embark on a project that has only minor improvements when there are several radical changes in technology over the horizon. A betting man in the 70s would probably have risked a punt on careless ammo being the way forward and currently there are folk working on hand held rail guns or other non-chemical explosives to drive a projectile superheated airguns.

How long you wait for the next techno leap is always a question.
One should be careful with small arms, as they're are supposed to operate in any environment, be unbreakable and absent technical support. Your railgun hotline press 1 if you are in contact and the gun is reporting an 'Err' instead of a brrrrp.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
What’s with teh cool kids suddenly using C clamp foregrips? Is this a JSOCism that’s made it’s way across?

That's always bemused me a bit, ever since I saw it being touted as The Next Really Cool Thing in one of those comedy "magazines for elite tactical operators who are operating tactically" I picked up at a DSEi about fifteen years ago, in an article touting some training camp or other for "close protection specialists" trying to get hired in Iraq. (In between puff pieces for "I've been lent this rifle and given lots of ammunition as long as I write about how amazing it is" and "here's a company who will take a perfectly good Glock automatic and turn it into an expensive ornament by milling great lumps out of the slide and digging holes in the frame with a soldering iron, 'cos it's more tactical innit?"

Some of the stuff on the course made a vague sort of sense (issues like wearing what you'd be working in to train in, or applying fire by firing under a vehicle rather than standing behind bodywork and glass) and it did look like a fun way to turn live rounds into empty cases (doubtless expensively), but the trainers were photographed in that weird kung-fu yoga pose of left arm stretched out, twisted over the fore-end, and grabbing it just behind the front sight; which looks... uncomfortable and non-instinctive, and even the author was trying to contain scepticism with "apparently after enough practice..."

Is it just a follow-on from "we used to have vertical foregrips to show we were special, now everyone's using them, we have to be more special"?


In the very minimal CQB training I had, it was all about full front to target, as narrow a profile as possible (i.e elbows tucked in), etc; what’s changed?
Fashion?

My equally minimal CQB (it was early 1990s, to be fair) was about "two of you go in fast right after the grenade detonates, one goes high and the other goes low, fire into anything that might hide an enemy, don't forget you've got bayonets" - probably not really ROE-compliant these days.

But then, shooting pistol as a civilian for a few years in the 1990s saw at least three different "this is absolutely the best way to get rounds on target" stances and styles come through, each attracting their share of followers.

Hence why a fair few pistols in the late 1980 sported this sort of hooked trigger guard :-
1611663129571.png


Then when the fashionable stance changed, they switched to this instead:-

1611663194472.png
 
What’s with teh cool kids suddenly using C clamp foregrips? Is this a JSOCism that’s made it’s way across?

In the very minimal CQB training I had, it was all about full front to target, as narrow a profile as possible (i.e elbows tucked in), etc; what’s changed?
I was taught it as an option - I didn't like it at all. On the C8 before we had foregrips I either used the standard method or held onto the magazine housing(edit: you can get aftermarket grips for the housing) if I needed such a CQB-esque grip.

There again, I have the arms of a T-Rex, and could barely reach the end of the barrel with the stock collapsed.
 
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I was taught it as an option - I didn't like it at all. On the C8 before we had foregrips I either used the standard method or held onto the magazine housing if I needed such a CQB-esque grip.

There again, I have the arms of a T-Rex.
See what you mean
1611663568734.png
 

Faded

Old-Salt
Is it just a follow-on from "we used to have vertical foregrips to show we were special, now everyone's using them, we have to be more special"?



Fashion?

My equally minimal CQB (it was early 1990s, to be fair) was about "two of you go in fast right after the grenade detonates, one goes high and the other goes low, fire into anything that might hide an enemy, don't forget you've got bayonets" - probably not really ROE-compliant these days.

But then, shooting pistol as a civilian for a few years in the 1990s saw at least three different "this is absolutely the best way to get rounds on target" stances and styles come through, each attracting their share of followers.

Like I said it's nothing to do with looking 'special' or 'cool' it's because it works and some people prefer to fire that way whilst others use a more traditional approach.

The days or spray and pray are long gone; it’s now about calm, methodical and accurate shooting in CQB.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Like I said it's nothing to do with looking 'special' or 'cool' it's because it works and some people prefer to fire that way whilst others use a more traditional approach.

The days or spray and pray are long gone; it’s now about calm, methodical and accurate shooting in CQB.
I would say that it has been for decades for those who specialised in it. Given the time, effort, money and freedom to practice afforded to CT teams over the decades, why has it only become common fairly recently? What changed?
 

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
I won't be the only person who remembers how marksmanship (and, more noticeably, markswomanship) levels went through the roof when we switched from 7.62 to 5.56. Simply because the amount of range time we got meant a lot of people never got comfortable shooting the big and nasty SLR.

So whilst I bow to the more experienced people here, I think we need to be careful we don't go whole-hog procuring a more lethal rifle that counteracts the benefits of the smaller, lighter package. Especially as the likelihood of 90% of users having to fire one in anger is relatively low (and when they do, it's clearly more than good enough for the job for most ranges and targets).

5.56 with improved ammo makes a lot of sense in my eyes, especially in a rear-biased package that takes the weight away from muzzle to help people of lighter musculature holding a target when standing/kneeling. Having used a Colt Commando, it felt very pointy but significantly more nose-heavy than what I was used to with SA80.
 

Faded

Old-Salt
I would say that it has been for decades for those who specialised in it. Given the time, effort, money and freedom to practice afforded to CT teams over the decades, why has it only become common fairly recently? What changed?

The grip? I don't know really. Perhaps the introduction of units like SFSG where knowledge was shared amongst the specialists and then as people went back to units they passed it on.
 
I would say that it has been for decades for those who specialised in it. Given the time, effort, money and freedom to practice afforded to CT teams over the decades, why has it only become common fairly recently? What changed?

A cursory internet search suggests that the practice - whilst with a long heritage for certain weapons - came up alongside the “3 guns“ shooting scene, and from there into the private training facilities lots of US SOF use.
 
I won't be the only person who remembers how marksmanship (and, more noticeably, markswomanship) levels went through the roof when we switched from 7.62 to 5.56. Simply because the amount of range time we got meant a lot of people never got comfortable shooting the big and nasty SLR.
That will be partly down to the L1A1 only being accurate within 3-4 MOA and that most people shoot better with lower recoiling rifles.
 
That will be partly down to the L1A1 only being accurate within 3-4 MOA and that most people shoot better with lower recoiling rifles.
Another issue with that rifle was many soldiers did not have the correct butt length fitted, thus inducing some gun shyness. With the L85 it was a matter of a moment to adjust the eye relief correctly.
 
a lot of people never got comfortable shooting the big and nasty SLR.

I’ve never understood such comments in regards to firing it. It’s quite simply a rifle that requires the requisite drills and as such it’s fine.
 
My only proper experience is with the SA80 A1 and LSW. I got to fire a lot of other weapons but only on the range so I have no experience of really working with them.

I found the SA80 to be an ideal size, it did not get in the way, good for FIBUA, easily stowable in vehicles and ergonomicably very good. It was very accurate (mainly used with SUSAT) and if it was properly cleaned and maintaned it worked very well. I did not however use it in sandy conditions so I have not come across the problems others did.

Unfortunately the LSW as mentioned further up was never employed properly whilst I was in. It was a sprogs weapon, it was seen as a useless GPMG and not something that should be used by the better shots in the section.

I was also perplexed by the lack of commitment to better marksmanship. As long as you could pass the APWT you were all sorted. Never enough range time and very little coaching after we had passed out.
If I remember correctly the US Marines pay an extra $5 per day for those that have gained their marksman badge, they also put more emphasis on target shooting.

Surely a small increase in day rate would encourage blokes to improve (as long as they had the correct coaching and time to do so, even after basic). I realise that range work is not the same as field firing or operational, but you need the basic building blocks in place first.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Having used a Colt Commando, it felt very pointy but significantly more nose-heavy than what I was used to with SA80.
And this is the thing. The concept of a bullpup is a good one. It's the realisation of the concept which is the issue.

The British Army, going right back to the EM-2, has gone after the bullpup as a solution all the way back to WWII, pretty much. It hasn't done that for perverse reasons, or to make life difficult. It wanted a rifle-length barrel in a short package.

Turn this post round another way: if the SA80 had entered service with the build quality and reliability of the A3 version, people would be eulogising about it the way that they do That Rifle.

The world seems to be being taken over by AR clones and derivatives at the moment but I really don't think we've seen the end of the bullpup.
 
Another issue with that rifle was many soldiers did not have the correct butt length fitted, thus inducing some gun shyness. With the L85 it was a matter of a moment to adjust the eye relief correctly.
yes, weirdly, I am not tall by any means, but I found I shot better with an EL butt - the reason.. specs - my sight picture was improved by moving my lens further away from the rear sight.
Of course, this wasn't helped by the continuous reallocation of weapons that happened in R Sigs units throughout my time - you'd get a rifle allocated, zero it, range time, pass APWT etc... 3 months later, find that some dork as decided to reinvent the wheel and change all the weapons around, so the rifle you had meticulously spent time getting zeroed on the range was now someone else's. Please tell me this wasn't a Scaley thing?
 
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