SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

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 ?
Unless you’ve got sticky pads on your fingertips I think you’ll have diffcult time pulling the catch to safe with your forefinger.
 
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.

There was a vid doing the rounds on Facebook which illustrated this point exactly. IIRC it was 1 Scots doing jungle training, live fire contact drills on jungle lanes. Some of the guys had L85's and some had C8's. They were demonstrating a "contact front", where they'd engage targets, apply safety, peg it back and the next 2 would take over. Rinse and repeat.

There was a noticable difference in the speed between the guys doing it with the 2 different rifles, a significant pause as the safeties were applied before moving. The guys with the C8's just flicked it with their firing hand thumb and were away, the L85 guys were basically paused in front of the "enemy" for surprisingly long time before they moved due to the time it took to apply the safety with the thumb of the left hand and put the hand back where it needed to be on the rifle. Clearly they'd been trained to do this all as a separate step, first.

So an example of poor ergonomics, and the training to get around it, costing potentially dangerous time.

And to bring it back to my "civvy cnut" competition level stuff, at practical matches where you have to reapply the safety to move (which isn't always, but sometimes it's a "house rule"), you can see the effect of the AK vs AR safety on this too, and why some people buy the modified AK safeties which can be operated in both directions with the trigger finger.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
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.
If you do find it, please share.

Although someone will be along shortly to mention the M-16, lack of stopping power, and Top Malo House...
 
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 ?

Cos they have actually RTFM and remember that the safety is applied by pushing it from left to right not right to left? ;)

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Bearing in mind Colt Canada (Diemaco up until 2005) is a subsidiary of Colt USA, surely it's highly unlikely that the UK will enter into a contract to procure it's Armed Forces main personal weapon from a third party manufacturer.

The acceptable answer would be to acquire a licence from Colt to manufacture the weapon on UK soil.
Fabrique Nationale and Heckler and Koch licences were obtained after a bit of political wrangling. Will Colt be as aggreable?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Bearing in mind Colt Canada (Diemaco up until 2005) is a subsidiary of Colt USA, surely it's highly unlikely that the UK will enter into a contract to procure it's Armed Forces main personal weapon from a third party manufacturer.

The acceptable answer would be to acquire a licence from Colt to manufacture the weapon on UK soil.
Fabrique Nationale and Heckler and Koch licences were obtained after a bit of political wrangling. Will Colt be as aggreable?
Who'd do the manufacturing?

Last time I looked, we don't even manufacture 5.56 in quantities.

You have Accuracy International and some other specialists but we've departed from the small arms market.

Guns don't kill people, rappers do, etc...
 
Half a kilo lighter? Presumably to arrive at that figure it's without sights or magazine? L85A1 bare was 3.7kg, SUSAT 0.7kg, giving 4.4kg without a magazine. 4.81kg with SUSAT and loaded (lightweight A1) mag. Figures I'm seeing for the A3 is 4.0kg, which I presume is without sights, and I'd be surprised if that rail weighs less than the early plastic handguard.

L1A1 all-up was 4.3kg for the rifle, 737g for the loaded mag, giving 5.0kg loaded weight.
Yes, empty rifle in each case. 0.9kg for a loaded rifle or 0.2kg if you are comparing a bare L1A1 to a SUSAT’d L85.
Fair point on the rail fore-end, so a latest issue L85 with optical sight might weigh nearly as much as an L1A1 without an optical sight which in my mind isn’t a fair comparison.
Sure you could count all the bells and whistles that you can fit (and frequently are fitted) but if we’d kept the SLR we’d probably want said bells and whistles on that too. Since the base rifle is heavier the tricked-out version would also be heavier.
 
There was a vid doing the rounds on Facebook which illustrated this point exactly. IIRC it was 1 Scots doing jungle training, live fire contact drills on jungle lanes. Some of the guys had L85's and some had C8's. They were demonstrating a "contact front", where they'd engage targets, apply safety, peg it back and the next 2 would take over. Rinse and repeat.

There was a noticable difference in the speed between the guys doing it with the 2 different rifles, a significant pause as the safeties were applied before moving. The guys with the C8's just flicked it with their firing hand thumb and were away, the L85 guys were basically paused in front of the "enemy" for surprisingly long time before they moved due to the time it took to apply the safety with the thumb of the left hand and put the hand back where it needed to be on the rifle. Clearly they'd been trained to do this all as a separate step, first.

So an example of poor ergonomics, and the training to get around it, costing potentially dangerous time.

And to bring it back to my "civvy cnut" competition level stuff, at practical matches where you have to reapply the safety to move (which isn't always, but sometimes it's a "house rule"), you can see the effect of the AK vs AR safety on this too, and why some people buy the modified AK safeties which can be operated in both directions with the trigger finger.

So a training package being supervised by safety staff who insist that the safety catch is applied before moving ? Are those safety staff going to be there in a contact in a real engagement ?
 
Who'd do the manufacturing?

Last time I looked, we don't even manufacture 5.56 in quantities.

You have Accuracy International and some other specialists but we've departed from the small arms market.

Guns don't kill people, rappers do, etc...

BAE Systems is probably the only UK arms manufacturer that would be capable.
 

4(T)

LE
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.

There was a desire in Britain to move to a small calibre intermediate round as far back as the 1880s. They'd always been forced to lag calibre reduction due to logistics and cost even in black powder days (.577 to .450 to .303), and they immediately grasped the possibilities afforded by the increased velocities that came with nitro propellant.

303 itself had been designed as a black powder round, so they already knew by 1890ish that a much smaller nitro round was achievable and desirable. However, war, politics, the Treasury and the US Ordnance Department all blocked progress until the forced change to 5.56 in the 1990s.
 

4(T)

LE
BAE Systems is probably the only UK arms manufacturer that would be capable.


Its a bit ironic and depressing that, in terms of small arms procurement, Britain has essentially regressed to the pre-nineteenth century system of buying in small job lots of firearms and munitions from commercial firms.
 
So a training package being supervised by safety staff who insist that the safety catch is applied before moving ? Are those safety staff going to be there in a contact in a real engagement ?

People will do in combat what they've done in training. It's the whole point of training :)

"train as you fight", "training scars" and all that. There's an old saw about US police officers catching their ejected revolver brass and putting it in their pocket in a firefight. Whether that actually ever happend or not, I dunno, can't find anything definitive in a couple of minutes. But the global point is true that what you train, you'll do live.

And to bring it back to my civvy cnut shooting world, you see it simple things with people training movements by the numbers, choppily with pauses, and then do exactly the same thing on the timer.
 

Boxy

GCM
Just adding my bit...I find cocking the AR type platform really awkward...
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
BAE Systems is probably the only UK arms manufacturer that would be capable.
There are plenty of high-added-value manufacturing, machining and fabricating businesses in the UK that could build weapons. And I mean plenty, and before we get to Industry 4.0.

It doesn't need to be an arms company. A weapon is just a bunch of machined, stamped and moulded bits. You might need some additional security when you've put all those bits together but that's about it; if I gave you a box of 1,000 firing pins for an M-16 what use would they be to you without the rest of the weapon?

A lot of this was discussed in the CR2 replacement thread before that got derailed and binned.

The question is whether you'd open a specific plant to make weapons specifically for an organisation that will be the size of the future British Army. It was a different proposition when we had millions under arms.
 
People will do in combat what they've done in training. It's the whole point of training :)

"train as you fight", "training scars" and all that. There's an old saw about US police officers catching their ejected revolver brass and putting it in their pocket in a firefight. Whether that actually ever happend or not, I dunno, can't find anything definitive in a couple of minutes. But the global point is true that what you train, you'll do live.

And to bring it back to my civvy cnut shooting world, you see it simple things with people training movements by the numbers, choppily with pauses, and then do exactly the same thing on the timer.
Another example, from Finnish Brutality 2019. At the match, there were a lot of Finnish reservists. Part of their training insists that the rifle's pistol grip ALWAYS be held in the right hand, and they never let go of it. One stage had a dummy drag, left to right across the range, with obvious rules on muzzle angles. I held the SLR in my left hand and dragged the dummy with my right: safer, more efficient. The Finns, cos of their training, dragged the dummy with the left hand, with the rifle held across the body, which was awkward to do all of that and keep within the safety angles.

I asked one about it, and he explained that this was due to how they'd been trained, and it's difficult to do anything different on the clock cos it is basically automated in your head.

So sorry if I'm skeptical that people who've been trained to always apply the safety catch in a particular way before moving won't suddenly stop doing that under stress.
 
There are plenty of high-added-value manufacturing, machining and fabricating businesses in the UK that could build weapons. And I mean plenty, and before we get to Industry 4.0.

It doesn't need to be an arms company. A weapon is just a bunch of machined, stamped and moulded bits. You might need some additional security when you've put all those bits together but that's about it; if I gave you a box of 1,000 firing pins for an M-16 what use would they be to you without the rest of the weapon?

A lot of this was discussed in the CR2 replacement thread before that got derailed and binned.

The question is whether you'd open a specific plant to make weapons specifically for an organisation that will be the size of the future British Army. It was a different proposition when we had millions under arms.

That's all true but BAE also have the connections, permits and a close working knowledge of 'End user certificates' to be able to tackle the export of the finished product.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
People will do in combat what they've done in training. It's the whole point of training :)

"train as you fight", "training scars" and all that. There's an old saw about US police officers catching their ejected revolver brass and putting it in their pocket in a firefight. Whether that actually ever happend or not, I dunno, can't find anything definitive in a couple of minutes. But the global point is true that what you train, you'll do live.

And to bring it back to my civvy cnut shooting world, you see it simple things with people training movements by the numbers, choppily with pauses, and then do exactly the same thing on the timer.
This.

I attend a Krav Maga class where, every time we do knife drills, we place the (dummy) knife on the floor for the training partner to pick up. The reason was/is that a policeman who was trained in disarming drills then handed the knife to the person he'd just disarmed because of an automatic - and learned - response. You can guess the rest.

@napier has already flagged thread tangents; is there space for a new thread to discuss SA80 ergonomics and training?

I'm enjoying the discourse but are we coming away from 'Replacing the SA80' and heading towards 'Every reason why we shouldn't have the SA80'?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That's all true but BAE also have the connections, permits and a close working knowledge of 'End user certificates' to be able to tackle the export of the finished product.
I doubt we'd be exporting. It's already a crowded market. Even the French have gone non-domestic. In a world crowded with AR derivatives, who's going to rush to buy the 'SA2030'?

I agree on the tickets to do things but that's not insurmountable, either.

The one thing that we would need is a competent organisation to oversee quality control and brining everything together.

But don't get to thinking that parts manufacture isn't subbed out; I was at a heat-treatment exhibition in the 1990s where there were SA80 firing pins and flash-hiders on a company's stand as Just Another Job.
 

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