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SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

Dad told (1970s NI) of the hood who kept removing the grips from his Browning, and replacing them with gaffer tape wrapped around the frame. Armourer kept bitching about it, eventually the complaints reach the Brigade Commander.

Brigadier asks the important question: "Does he shoot better with the tape on , or the grips?" and on hearing the unsurprising answer, declares that the tape can stay... @Whiskybreath may know more about that one ;)
Damn. Busted. Ok, I admit it. You have to put a piece of plastic between the sticky side of the tape and the body of the gun, though, otherwise it fills up with fluff. It does reduce the bulge of the gun, though; 1cm?. Carrying two x 20rd magazines on the belt rather defeated the point, mind, unless you wore a roomy schnorkel jacket. (I don't think my gun ever went into the armourer's shop during my tours, and I was a good chap and always returned it with the grips on, so the armourer wasn't complaining about me.) So not busted at all ^_^
 
@20% of the population are left eye dominant.
An issue the SA80 sternly ignores.

it was an issue MOD WAS aware of, there was supposed to be an armourers kit to convert to left handed for them what preferred, but naturally, binned to save a few pennies and all shall be right eye dominant.

so, it’s got a rubbish trigger, and forces 1 in 5 users to use their weak eye..... a perfect thing to improve shooting.
I have only seen photos of the left handed SA80, the only difference was the cocking handle was on the left. The safety catch, change lever were also on the left. Only one of the left handed recruits I trained struggled with weapon handling. But then, he was such a mong he could barely fasten his bootlaces. I don't get your obsession with reaching over the weapon, lefty's also had to reach over to cock the SLR. I have used both weapons, but only SA80 on Ops. I never had any real problems with it. Tell us again, your operational experience.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I don't get your obsession with reaching over the weapon, lefty's also had to reach over to cock the SLR.

I'm not a massive fan of SA80 ergonomics, but it's not like the AR design nailed the cocking handle location either. It's awkward at the best of times and really uncomfortable prone.
 

QRK2

LE
I have only seen photos of the left handed SA80, the only difference was the cocking handle was on the left. The safety catch, change lever were also on the left. Only one of the left handed recruits I trained struggled with weapon handling. But then, he was such a mong he could barely fasten his bootlaces. I don't get your obsession with reaching over the weapon, lefty's also had to reach over to cock the SLR. I have used both weapons, but only SA80 on Ops. I never had any real problems with it. Tell us again, your operational experience.

My memory may be at fault but wasn't the SMG cocked with the left hand as well?
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
My memory may be at fault but wasn't the SMG cocked with the left hand as well?
That's how I remember it: right hand always controlling the weapon by holding the pistol grip, left hand reaches across the receiver to pull the cocking handle to the rear.
 

QRK2

LE
That's how I remember it: right hand always controlling the weapon by holding the pistol grip, left hand reaches across the receiver to pull the cocking handle to the rear.

Good, me too. It never seemed an issue, which is why (together with time and age) I wasn't certain, a bit like it isn't an issue with the SA80 series.
 

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
Most of us 'sinister' left handers are better at operating the wrong way around than right handers. We get used to it with musical instruments, pc keyboards, locks on doors etc.

I used to operate the machinery of the SLR with my right hand before shooting left handed on the range. It was awkward, but I'd shot left handed since childhood, so it felt natural.

Operating fully right handed with the SA80 took very little adjustment, with the exception of my legs always trying to go 'the wrong way' when shooting prone. It also forced me to use my dominant right eye more.

Techniques around breathing, trigger pull etc are universal either way around.
 
Another subject is how snipers were used and viewed back in the 90's and how under utilised they were as a company asset,
The army had pretty much done away with snipers in the 70's as it thought that it was a skill that would'nt be needed in BAOR which was the main effort. It was only the Royal Marines who kept the skill alive with the RM snipers course being the benchmark. It only started making a comeback after the Falklands where Argentine snipers had been quite effective.
 
Most of us 'sinister' left handers are better at operating the wrong way around than right handers. We get used to it with musical instruments, pc keyboards, locks on doors etc.

I used to operate the machinery of the SLR with my right hand before shooting left handed on the range. It was awkward, but I'd shot left handed since childhood, so it felt natural.

Operating fully right handed with the SA80 took very little adjustment, with the exception of my legs always trying to go 'the wrong way' when shooting prone. It also forced me to use my dominant right eye more.

Techniques around breathing, trigger pull etc are universal either way around.
If you are right eye dominant and a left-hander (that is exactly my situation), why were you using the SLR left-handed? It felt all wrong to me (and I am strongly left-handed). Also the SMG and L4 LMG had to be fired right-handed

To be fair, my first ever shoot was with a No 8 rifle - I picked it up left-handed, tried the bolt action and aim and thought "this feels all wrong" - swapped it over and it was immediately more natural.

This comes back to good initial coaching. Before the firer even fires a shot, they should have been checked out for dominant eye; butt length/eye relief and so on.
 

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
If you are right eye dominant and a left-hander (that is exactly my situation), why were you using the SLR left-handed? It felt all wrong to me (and I am strongly left-handed). Also the SMG and L4 LMG had to be fired right-handed

To be fair, my first ever shoot was with a No 8 rifle - I picked it up left-handed, tried the bolt action and aim and thought "this feels all wrong" - swapped it over and it was immediately more natural.

This comes back to good initial coaching. Before the firer even fires a shot, they should have been checked out for dominant eye; butt length/eye relief and so on.

I had nearly 15 years of pre-military shooting that way (left handed) so I had a technique that worked for me and I was confident with.

I was lucky to be dragged up by a Dad with various medals and trophies from Bisley via RM Eastney barracks shooting team. I didn't have the coordination or strength as a kid to shoot rifles the wrong way around (for me) so he just trained me on the rest of the basics and we put in lots and lots of practice from aged 7 upwards.

Pistols I could shoot equally well either hand.

The only shooting I do now is few .270 rounds a year on a mate's work rifle or his .300 win mag. I shoot his stuff right handed as I know where my zero is compared to his with that eye.
 
The army had pretty much done away with snipers in the 70's as it thought that it was a skill that would'nt be needed in BAOR which was the main effort. It was only the Royal Marines who kept the skill alive with the RM snipers course being the benchmark. It only started making a comeback after the Falklands where Argentine snipers had been quite effective.

I was referring to RM in the 90's. I was in L Coy 42cdo in the early to mid 90's and two of the Cpl's in the coy were snipers and very passionate about the role. They were regularly giving lectures to officers and anyone who would listen as to how snipers could be employed as the eyes and ears for Coy / Unit commanders, working around advancing Coy's in the field etc.
It does seem that those efforts (and undoubtably the efforts of many others) have worked, as it looks like the Sniper role is utilised more nowadays.
 
I had nearly 15 years of pre-military shooting that way (left handed) so I had a technique that worked for me and I was confident with.

I was lucky to be dragged up by a Dad with various medals and trophies from Bisley via RM Eastney barracks shooting team. I didn't have the coordination or strength as a kid to shoot rifles the wrong way around (for me) so he just trained me on the rest of the basics and we put in lots and lots of practice from aged 7 upwards.

Pistols I could shoot equally well either hand.

The only shooting I do now is few .270 rounds a year on a mate's work rifle or his .300 win mag. I shoot his stuff right handed as I know where my zero is compared to his with that eye.
Pistol shooting was always a complete mystery to me - I just didn't 'click' 'with it. We never trained for the pistol matches because they did not count towards the Team Championship (Shooting Team logic). if I were ever issued a pistol in bad times and had to use it - the bad guys were FAR too close (Infanteer logic)!
 
I was referring to RM in the 90's. I was in L Coy 42cdo in the early to mid 90's and two of the Cpl's in the coy were snipers and very passionate about the role. They were regularly giving lectures to officers and anyone who would listen as to how snipers could be employed as the eyes and ears for Coy / Unit commanders, working around advancing Coy's in the field etc.
It does seem that those efforts (and undoubtably the efforts of many others) have worked, as it looks like the Sniper role is utilised more nowadays.
Improved rifles . ammunition and portable digital ballistic calculators have made the sniper considerably more effective and valuble , consistent 1 mile shots are realistic if the shooter is trained/conversant.
 
I was referring to RM in the 90's. I was in L Coy 42cdo in the early to mid 90's and two of the Cpl's in the coy were snipers and very passionate about the role. They were regularly giving lectures to officers and anyone who would listen as to how snipers could be employed as the eyes and ears for Coy / Unit commanders, working around advancing Coy's in the field etc.
It does seem that those efforts (and undoubtably the efforts of many others) have worked, as it looks like the Sniper role is utilised more nowadays.
The whole sniper debate is interesting (possibly needs a thread on its own - probably done already - can't be arsed to search).

The 'eyes and ears' function was not properly appreciated by the 'grown-ups'. They thought it was a pair of scruffy mavericks looking very un-military going out to do un-military/un-sporting things like shooting their opposite numbers - it's just not cricket.
 

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