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SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

You’ve really no idea have you? The L85 is over half a KG lighter the the SLR. It id ergonomically fine, as been demonstrated in the last 30 years. It also has many great advantages over the SLR, which you simply wouldn’t comprehend as you’ve never had to use it as a daily work tool.

The C8 will replace the L85 to become the British Army’s GS rifle.

It's not ergonomically fine in the slightest. You've been trained to cope. And the most successful part of the project has been the official coping programme to train you to parrot lines like that, and "it's a training issue... you get used to it... it's really accurate (although it's not particularly)... it's world-beating"

I can guarantee a laugh line when I bring up what you have to do to reapply the safety to people who've trained on M16, Stgw 90 etc. And the fact that people think it's normal and OK to have to move your support hand to re-apply it with your support hand thumb proves the outstanding success of the official coping programme.
 
It’s quite easy and straightforward to a professional trained soldier.

Sure. You can be trained to cope with practically anything, particularly if you don't know any different. Just like if the brake in your car was a lever behind the seat you had to pull instead of being the middle pedal.
 
I've got one of these things on the way: this is a much better example of user-focused (instead of designer/manufacturer focused) bullpup ergonomics (granted it's not ambidex), where everything's accessible on the same side of the rifle and the safety can be easily manipulated with the firing hand only, and all the buttons are pushed in the same direction (towards the rifle):

1611309635961.png
 
It's not ergonomically fine in the slightest. You've been trained to cope. And the most successful part of the project has been the official coping programme to train you to parrot lines like that, and "it's a training issue... you get used to it... it's really accurate (although it's not particularly)... it's world-beating"

I can guarantee a laugh line when I bring up what you have to do to reapply the safety to people who've trained on M16, Stgw 90 etc. And the fact that people think it's normal and OK to have to move your support hand to re-apply it with your support hand thumb proves the outstanding success of the official coping programme.

I’m sorry stoaty, that’s just part of being a professional soldier. The main differences here are between purists who’s hobby is shooting and have this beautiful picture of beautiful shots with beautiful weapons and soldiers who use all manner of weapons and equipment. The L85 is an excellent rifle (OK maybe not the A1 version so much) and whats more, it’s proven.

I’m lost with your comment re safety. You don’t have to move your support hand to reapply the safety on the L85. If users are doing that it is wrong and no fault of the weapon.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
It's not ergonomically fine in the slightest. You've been trained to cope. And the most successful part of the project has been the official coping programme to train you to parrot lines like that, and "it's a training issue... you get used to it... it's really accurate (although it's not particularly)... it's world-beating"

I can guarantee a laugh line when I bring up what you have to do to reapply the safety to people who've trained on M16, Stgw 90 etc. And the fact that people think it's normal and OK to have to move your support hand to re-apply it with your support hand thumb proves the outstanding success of the official coping programme.
I think things can be summarised as: we’ve got it to a point where it works but it shouldn’t have taken 30 years.

I was bedded down with an injury in CMH Aldershot when the Paras were first getting SA80s. So, LOTS of SLR and M-16 experience in the ward around me; plenty of Falklands veterans. I was using the SLR, so keen to find out more.

They loved the new weapon. Right-hand fire? Pick your bounds and fire positions more carefully. They were unfazed. Similarly with the ergonomics - unbothered.

Reliability was another matter. That probably came out later.

The point is that it now works and it’s comparable if not superior in terms of accuracy.

All else really is in the past, except in the eyes of some posters here.

Are there better answers out there? Yes. Are many AR-based? Yes. Will we get one? Probably, eventually. Should we? Yes. Should we have 30 years ago? Yes.

I don’t think there’s much to add.

None of this is a dig at you, by the way, @stoatman...
 
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......
If I remember rightly the move from 7.62mm to 5.56mm was based on, at heart, Reichwher research that showed that much of the capability of the rifles and ammo in use was wasted as it was very rare for anyone to engage at those sorts of ranges. Given the Eastern Front experience the decison was made to push for 7.62mm short as used in the Stg 44. When we looked at that research late WWII and did our own we ended up looking at the 7mm in the EM2. The Yanks screwed that up for us.
5.56mm was painted as a sensible move as again, the ranges at which engagements would take place didn't justify the power of 7.62mm long.....

TBH. That was mostly bollacks as the Yanks had moved to 5.56mm due to their obsession with Vietnam.

We generally should have moved to something like 7.62mm short as that had decent power and a decent range for the late 40s and 50s.
 
Sure. You can be trained to cope with practically anything, particularly if you don't know any different. Just like if the brake in your car was a lever behind the seat you had to pull instead of being the middle pedal.

I’ve fired other types rifles and never found it strange or outside the limitations of my body.
 
I’m sorry stoaty, that’s just part of being a professional soldier. The main differences here are between purists who’s hobby is shooting and have this beautiful picture of beautiful shots with beautiful weapons and soldiers who use all manner of weapons and equipment. The L85 is an excellent rifle (OK maybe not the A1 version so much) and whats more, it’s proven.

I’m lost with your comment re safety. You don’t have to move your support hand to reapply the safety on the L85. If users are doing that it is wrong and no fault of the weapon.
RTFM :)
1611310139342.png
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
If I remember rightly the move from 7.62mm to 5.56mm was based on, at heart, Reichwher research that showed that much of the capability of the rifles and ammo in use was wasted as it was very rare for anyone to engage at those sorts of ranges. Given the Eastern Front experience the decison was made to push for 7.62mm short as used in the Stg 44. When we looked at that research late WWII and did our own we ended up looking at the 7mm in the EM2. The Yanks screwed that up for us.
5.56mm was painted as a sensible move as again, the ranges at which engagements would take place didn't justify the power of 7.62mm long.....

TBH. That was mostly bollacks as the Yanks had moved to 5.56mm due to their obsession with Vietnam.

We generally should have moved to something like 7.62mm short as that had decent power and a decent range for the late 40s and 50s.
7mm?

We ended up optimising on 4.85mm.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.85×49mm
 

Fair one, but i seem to remember being taught to apply the safety catch by moving the trigger finger under the trigger guard. It was easy enough to do.

Ultimately, even using the left them the weapon remains under control and pointing down range. What’s the issue other than it doesn’t suit you?
 
Fair one, but i seem to remember being taught to apply the safety catch by moving the trigger finger under the trigger guard. It was easy enough to do.

Ultimately, even using the left them the weapon remains under control and pointing down range. What’s the issue other than it doesn’t suit you?

It's inefficient, slow and disturbs the position. It's simply bad ergonomic design that shouldn't need to be coped around.

And what you're taught sounds very odd indeed, requiring you to reduce your control of the wpn due to moving your right hand so as to give it a reach-around...
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
A reminder that the QM's is a relatively serious forum - if you can't be polite and use evidence in support of your points then be prepared to be binned. I'm going to trim out some of the more puerile posts now.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The L85 is an excellent rifle

I wouldn't go that far. It's certainly fine for a general issue rifle but it definitely has its issues, ergonomics being one of the big ones.

The real question is whether any of the better options out there are worth the money and effort of changing.
 
It's not ergonomically fine in the slightest.
It's ergonomically acceptable. Remember: in engineering, "Excellence is the enemy of good enough". The L85 is excellent in the ways that matter (reliability, accuracy), and there's a tradeoff.

If your primary basis for complaint is "I have to move my support hand to apply the safety", then so what? That's not a time-critical activity. What, exactly, is the problem with disturbing the position slightly? You've ceased firing, by definition, and you're no longer in the aim. You've already disturbed it.
 

QRK2

LE
I think things can be summarised as: we’ve got it to a point where it works but it shouldn’t have taken 30 years.

I was bedded down with an injury in CMH Aldershot when the Paras were first getting SA80s. So, LOTS of SLR and M-16 experience in the ward around me; plenty of Falklands veterans. I was using the SLR, so keen to find out more.

They loved the new weapon. Right-hand fire? Pick your bounds and fire positions more carefully. They were unfazed. Similarly with the ergonomics - unbothered.

Reliability was another matter. That probably came out later.

The point is that it now works and it’s comparable if not superior in terms of accuracy.

All else really is in the past, except in the eyes of some posters here.

Are there better answers out there? Yes. Are many AR-based? Yes. Will we get one? Probably, eventually. Should we? Yes. Should we have 30 years ago? Yes.

I don’t think there’s much to add.

None of this is a dig at you, by the way, @stoatman...

There's a Parachute Bn POR from Corporate that is worth a read if you can get hold of it (I can't find it on the web). My recollection was that the were very critical of the SLR and made it clear from their POV that the sooner the new IW came in the better. The reduction in the weight of the ammunition was IIRC their major perceived gain to be made.
 
I wouldn't go that far. It's certainly fine for a general issue rifle but it definitely has its issues, ergonomics being one of the big ones.

The real question is whether any of the better options out there are worth the money and effort of changing.
Change has to come - they've been cannibalising rifles for a while for parts, to keep an ever smaller number of rifles running. And nobody's going to open their chequebook to HK for the astronomical sums it would take for them to tool up to produce more.

In any case, fundamentally what is a rifle? You've got the barrel and working parts (which we'll presume are fit for purpose), something to hang a magazine on, some controls to make the working parts do what you want, and a package to hold all the bits where they need to be and to enable an average human to interact with it to point it in the right direction and squeeze the trigger. Literally all the interesting bits *are* the ergonomics of that package, i.e. how the user interacts with the gubbins that do the dirty work.

This is why so many modern rifles are merely re-packagings of mostly AR15/AR18/AK gubbins in various forms and with various departures from the original.
 
It's ergonomically acceptable. Remember: in engineering, "Excellence is the enemy of good enough". The L85 is excellent in the ways that matter (reliability, accuracy), and there's a tradeoff.

If your primary basis for complaint is "I have to move my support hand to apply the safety", then so what? That's not a time-critical activity. What, exactly, is the problem with moving your support hand? You've ceased firing, by definition.
Pardon ? You have to move your supporting hand to apply the safety catch, which is under the forefinger of most normal sized people ? Why is someone carrying out an incorrect drill ?
 

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