SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Must say I’ve enjoyed this thread so far and it’s a shame it appears to be descending into the usual b0ll0cks with the entry of a new poster.

I remember through the haze of time some of the justifications supporting the move from the SLR to the SA-80 but I can’t remember and of the battlefield arguments for the change as it’s bloody years ago.

whats the battlefield argument for binning the SA-80 and moving to a different weapon/calibre?

just remembered one of the justifications which was clearly b0ll0cks which was 5.56 will take out more than one soldier from the battlefield as the injured soldier will have to be extracted. Worked well as an argument in Afghan......
A combination of range and body armour.
 
A combination of range and body armour.
What’s the effective range of an SA-80 for a single soldier, and for a section with concentrated fire? Range feels like a weak argument to me - hence the question
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
What’s the effective range of an SA-80 for a single soldier, and for a section with concentrated fire? Range feels like a weak argument to me - hence the question
Never used it but wiki says 3-400m individual and 600m section.

Having shot 5.56 and 7.62 to 600m on the same day, I prefer the latter.
 
Never used it but wiki says 3-400m individual and 600m section.

Having shot 5.56 and 7.62 to 600m on the same day, I prefer the latter.
Struggling to see the argument to change unless it’s the US forcing the issue with a new calibre. We’ve spend a shit load on mods for the SA-80. I’m with the previous poster that suggested it will be around for another 20 years. May not be that long but I can’t see it being binned in the short to medium term. Feels like the justification is too weak
 
Last time the BREN got an outing in a warzone too, in the L4 guise on vehicle mounts. Bet inf armed with LSW as their support weapon were eyeing them up jealously...

Thankful that I got my jimpy back as Brigade decided that LSW was not the tool for purpose.


Sent from my karzi while losing several pounds
 
Last time the BREN got an outing in a warzone too, in the L4 guise on vehicle mounts. Bet inf armed with LSW as their support weapon were eyeing them up jealously...
On my first tour of the Emerald Isle (1988), we worked on occasion with the Royal Artillery. We had SA80, they had 'That Rifle' and Bren LMG, albeit the L4.
 
Forgive me for asking a question that might seem a bit mong but I am genuinely curious. There are many specialists here, who clearly know a great deal about the intricacies and finer details of combat rifles and ammunition and the points in favour and against respective models, and I respect that and find the contributions fascinating.

What I am wondering about however is the big picture in regard to general issue to regular troops, for whom these intricate details are rarely, if ever, important. Does it really matter what model of tried and tested rifle (as opposed to revolutionary new designs) is issued to troops for general use? Has there ever been a case where the quality of rifle made a difference to the ultimate result (not specific incidents, such as Canadians finding their Ross rifles inappropriate for the trenches)? We are always told that Mauser rifles were the finest bolt-action infantry rifles made, how in the hands of Boer trekkers they were lethal, but the Boers lost, as did pretty much all the other armies equipped with Mausers. Is the design of a rifle that important at the end of the day? Is it not the case that any half-decent rifle, if issued in sufficient numbers to well-trained troops, will do the job?

Veterans who used the L1A1 still swoon over it, but if they had been issued with M-14s, H&K G3s or even SKS rifles, would any of the campaigns that the British Army was involved in during that time have ended differently? If so, how?

It's a genuine question being asked of experts, and not trolling.
 
Forgive me for asking a question that might seem a bit mong but I am genuinely curious. There are many specialists here, who clearly know a great deal about the intricacies and finer details of combat rifles and ammunition and the points in favour and against respective models, and I respect that and find the contributions fascinating.

What I am wondering about however is the big picture in regard to general issue to regular troops, for whom these intricate details are rarely, if ever, important. Does it really matter what model of tried and tested rifle (as opposed to revolutionary new designs) is issued to troops for general use? Has there ever been a case where the quality of rifle made a difference to the ultimate result (not specific incidents, such as Canadians finding their Ross rifles inappropriate for the trenches)? We are always told that Mauser rifles were the finest bolt-action infantry rifles made, how in the hands of Boer trekkers they were lethal, but the Boers lost, as did pretty much all the other armies equipped with Mausers. Is the design of a rifle that important at the end of the day? Is it not the case that any half-decent rifle, if issued in sufficient numbers to well-trained troops, will do the job?

Veterans who used the L1A1 still swoon over it, but if they had been issued with M-14s, H&K G3s or even SKS rifles, would any of the campaigns that the British Army was involved in during that time have ended differently? If so, how?

It's a genuine question being asked of experts, and not trolling.

I was only a simple NCO, nothing special. My opinion though is that the fundamental skills and abilities of soldiering are first and foremost down to the training of those in the military, and then the attitudes and behaviours of those doing the leading. The British squaddy will get on with it regardless of whether it is sunny, rainy, hot, cold, day, or night, and they will generally do it with whatever kit they have been issued with for the purpose at hand.
 
Struggling to see the argument to change unless it’s the US forcing the issue with a new calibre. We’ve spend a shit load on mods for the SA-80. I’m with the previous poster that suggested it will be around for another 20 years. May not be that long but I can’t see it being binned in the short to medium term. Feels like the justification is too weak

There are a lot of cogs and opinions in the various procurement chains in the US. All it takes is the right/wrong star rank to adopt a pet calibre and all the kerfuffle of testing and evaluation kicks off. Then you have all the various branches of service who may all want differing calibre thrown into the assessment pot and it creates a real witches brew. Then there is that stuff floating on the top of the brew, SF who have their own cheque books and buy whatever toys they want, thus kicking off interest further down the pot.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Forgive me for asking a question that might seem a bit mong but I am genuinely curious. There are many specialists here, who clearly know a great deal about the intricacies and finer details of combat rifles and ammunition and the points in favour and against respective models, and I respect that and find the contributions fascinating.

What I am wondering about however is the big picture in regard to general issue to regular troops, for whom these intricate details are rarely, if ever, important. Does it really matter what model of tried and tested rifle (as opposed to revolutionary new designs) is issued to troops for general use? Has there ever been a case where the quality of rifle made a difference to the ultimate result (not specific incidents, such as Canadians finding their Ross rifles inappropriate for the trenches)? We are always told that Mauser rifles were the finest bolt-action infantry rifles made, how in the hands of Boer trekkers they were lethal, but the Boers lost, as did pretty much all the other armies equipped with Mausers. Is the design of a rifle that important at the end of the day? Is it not the case that any half-decent rifle, if issued in sufficient numbers to well-trained troops, will do the job?

Veterans who used the L1A1 still swoon over it, but if they had been issued with M-14s, H&K G3s or even SKS rifles, would any of the campaigns that the British Army was involved in during that time have ended differently? If so, how?

It's a genuine question being asked of experts, and not trolling.
Lofty Large, ex-Glosters and SAS, was at the Battle of the Imjin River, where he was captured by the Chinese.

He was very critical of the continued use of bolt-action rifles when the opposition was liberally equipped with automatic weapons.

Whether it would have made a difference at the Imjin is probably moot; the Glosters faced ridiculous odds. That said, Large was 10 times the soldier I ever was with many, many years’ experience.

Every time we talk small arms, the issue of spray and pray comes up. Studies have been counter-intuitive, with aimed shots shown to be far more effective - whatever the psychological effect and impressions of those with often considerable experience.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Never mind Wiki, the pamphlet says 300m and 600m. SUSAT is sighted to 800m, but personally I don't remember firing further than 400m.
Hey - the speedometer on my car goes up to 150mph but good luck with that. :-D

I found 5.56 very difficult to gauge at 600m on a windy day - the big wavy ‘You’re shìt’ arrow featured often. With 7.62 I was still getting a good handful of bullseyes, and that was after a good few years away from rifle shooting.

I’d be interested to see how 6.8 compares.
 
Forgive me for asking a question that might seem a bit mong but I am genuinely curious. There are many specialists here, who clearly know a great deal about the intricacies and finer details of combat rifles and ammunition and the points in favour and against respective models, and I respect that and find the contributions fascinating.

What I am wondering about however is the big picture in regard to general issue to regular troops, for whom these intricate details are rarely, if ever, important. Does it really matter what model of tried and tested rifle (as opposed to revolutionary new designs) is issued to troops for general use? Has there ever been a case where the quality of rifle made a difference to the ultimate result (not specific incidents, such as Canadians finding their Ross rifles inappropriate for the trenches)? We are always told that Mauser rifles were the finest bolt-action infantry rifles made, how in the hands of Boer trekkers they were lethal, but the Boers lost, as did pretty much all the other armies equipped with Mausers. Is the design of a rifle that important at the end of the day? Is it not the case that any half-decent rifle, if issued in sufficient numbers to well-trained troops, will do the job?

Veterans who used the L1A1 still swoon over it, but if they had been issued with M-14s, H&K G3s or even SKS rifles, would any of the campaigns that the British Army was involved in during that time have ended differently? If so, how?

It's a genuine question being asked of experts, and not trolling.

I did an ask around a while back, and the last time a difference in rifle performance could have been said to have a *strategic* impact with similar rifles was the Retreat from Mons and Race to the Sea in 1914 (there's examples of an individual with a rifle breaking a deadlock later, but nothing on a properly large scale where rifle fire still dominated the battlefield). But this is not only what the SMLE *could* do, but what the soldiers were *trained* to do with it: it was certainly the peak of the general standard of British military marksmanship / musketry (as it was still called). If there hadn't been the training to push the envelope to back up what's possible with that rifle, it wouldn't have made a difference: if you don't run it properly, you get no advantage out of it.

There was skepticism when Practice 22 (the 15 rounds in a minute practice tropeily referred to as the "mad minute") was introduced, that it was even possible to train ordinary soldiers to fire that many aimed shots in a minute, particularly as it was a load-5-shoot-5-repeat practice that didn't use the benefits of the 10 round magazine. But this was overcome (partly by instructors demonstrating that much higher rates of fire were possible - the "real" mad minute) and partly by lots of dry training with drill rounds.

And the result was seen in 1914: the professional British left flank slowed down and stopped a much larger German conscript force largely on the effectiveness of their rifle fire: technology backed up by the training to use it effectively.

Now, had the two armies been equipped the other way around? The German doctrine and training didn't permit to get any benefit from the SMLE, and the slowness of the Gew 98, barleycorn sights (and contrary to popular belief, its on average lower accuracy than the SMLE, and that's from German figures, it's not my opinion) would likely have reduced the effective rate of fire trained to down to about 10 aimed rounds from 15, which is the equivalent of 1/3 less riflemen on the battlefield. I suspect this would have had an impact on the outcome of 1914.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I did an ask around a while back, and the last time a difference in rifle performance could have been said to have a *strategic* impact with similar rifles was the Retreat from Mons and Race to the Sea in 1914 (there's examples of an individual with a rifle breaking a deadlock later, but nothing on a properly large scale where rifle fire still dominated the battlefield). But this is not only what the SMLE *could* do, but what the soldiers were *trained* to do with it: it was certainly the peak of the general standard of British military marksmanship / musketry (as it was still called). If there hadn't been the training to push the envelope to back up what's possible with that rifle, it wouldn't have made a difference: if you don't run it properly, you get no advantage out of it.

There was skepticism when Practice 22 (the 15 rounds in a minute practice tropeily referred to as the "mad minute") was introduced, that it was even possible to train ordinary soldiers to fire that many aimed shots in a minute, particularly as it was a load-5-shoot-5-repeat practice that didn't use the benefits of the 10 round magazine. But this was overcome (partly by instructors demonstrating that much higher rates of fire were possible - the "real" mad minute) and partly by lots of dry training with drill rounds.

And the result was seen in 1914: the professional British left flank slowed down and stopped a much larger German conscript force largely on the effectiveness of their rifle fire: technology backed up by the training to use it effectively.

Now, had the two armies been equipped the other way around? The German doctrine and training didn't permit to get any benefit from the SMLE, and the slowness of the Gew 98, barleycorn sights (and contrary to popular belief, its on average lower accuracy than the SMLE, and that's from German figures, it's not my opinion) would likely have reduced the effective rate of fire trained to down to about 10 aimed rounds from 15, which is the equivalent of 1/3 less riflemen on the battlefield. I suspect this would have had an impact on the outcome of 1914.
Having been a cadet and done dry drills on the .303, and then finally shot with it years later, I was surprised when I first picked up a Mauser (this one a Turkish one owned by a neighbour) at how stiff and slow the bolt action was by comparison.

You wouldn't manage some of the snap-shooting that you do in some of your videos with one.

For reference for others, here's what I'm on about - from about nine minutes in (incidentally, @stoatman, I'm not convinced that the use of an Apple Mac is historically accurate :-D ):
 
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