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SAS and the SLR

#1
We all know the SAS get pretty much a free choice on their personal choice of weaponry (M16/Minimi in GW1) but what was their opinion of the SLR during the 60s, 70s and early 80s?

Did SAS patrols generally choose this weapon at all or did they favour smaller weapons with smaller calibre ammunition?
 

BBear

LE
Kit Reviewer
#2
I spoke to an ex hereford man who lives in my village. All I knew was that he was ex-forces and retired (he is in his 60's now). When I go home I mow the lawns/do general gardening stuff as a part time job, and once he found out that I was in he showed me a few photos of him in uniform.

After a few combat indicators I pinged what mob he used to be in. In pretty much every photo of him in green he had an slr, as did most of the guys in the photos. There's one photo in a desert place (Oman?) with him and 5 other geezers, 3 slrs and 3 gpmgs!

Hope this helps.
 
#3
7.62 because of longer ranges encountered in eg. Oman, Djebel etc?
 
#4
Im reading that No mean soldier book by Peter Mcallese and he said that when they got offerd to use what ever weapon they wanted to use all the Ex SAS and British Amy lads choose the SLR and the GPMG!
 
#5
In the Malayan emergency they used the forerunner of the SLR which was the FN,and as somebody has already mentioned,the SLR was widely used in the middle east ops,Borneo saw the use of the AR15's
 
#6
I had an ex-Aussie SAS guy on one of my courses (he had transferred to the RAAF for some reason) who said that if they were doing jungle work one of the team always took an SLR with the barrel cut back.

When I said that it would affect the accuracy, he said that accuracy wasn't the issue, what was more important was the psychological effect of the heavier bullet chewing up the foliage in the vicinity of the enemy - it really made them keep their heads down!
 
#8
In all the time I served (which was 1779 until 1988) I never heard a single British squaddie ever utter a bad word about the SLR. Mind you, a few weren't very happy with the very damp powder we got during the Peninsula Campaign, but that's another story.

But seriously, the SLR was by far the very best weapon the British Army ever had. I can't think why they got rid of it. I f'ckin' loved it!

MsG
 
#10
Bugsy said:
In all the time I served (which was 1779 until 1988) I never heard a single British squaddie ever utter a bad word about the SLR. Mind you, a few weren't very happy with the very damp powder we got during the Peninsula Campaign, but that's another story.

But seriously, the SLR was by far the very best weapon the British Army ever had. I can't think why they got rid of it. I f'ckin' loved it!

MsG
Jesus!!!!!!! How many bars to your LS&GC? :eek:
 
#11
During the Falklands in '82 it was all AR-15s and Colt XM177s if I remember reading rightly (awell as gimpys of course :) ). Must have been a few SLRs used though, quite surprised if there weren't what with the open terrain suiting the L1A1 with its larger round and greater accuracy.

Off topic, but whats the difference between the AR-15 and the M16 A1 that was being used by the Yanks at the time? They both look identical to me.
 
#12
postman_twit said:
Bugsy said:
In all the time I served (which was 1779 until 1988) I never heard a single British squaddie ever utter a bad word about the SLR. Mind you, a few weren't very happy with the very damp powder we got during the Peninsula Campaign, but that's another story.

But seriously, the SLR was by far the very best weapon the British Army ever had. I can't think why they got rid of it. I f'ckin' loved it!

MsG
Jesus!!!!!!! How many bars to your LS&GC? :eek:
How many bars? The medal ribbons's two foot long to accommodate 'em all! I have to wear a special bracket on me left shoulder to support it. :D :D :D :D :D

MsG
 
#13
James51234 said:
During the Falklands in '82 it was all AR-15s and Colt XM177s if I remember reading rightly (awell as gimpys of course :) ). Must have been a few SLRs used though, quite surprised if there weren't what with the open terrain suiting the L1A1 with its larger round and greater accuracy.

Off topic, but whats the difference between the AR-15 and the M16 A1 that was being used by the Yanks at the time? They both look identical to me.
Cocking handle. ??????????
 
#14
In the Armoury the SLR/SMG/LMG was a piece of pish to service! Quick oil,run a bore gauge thru it,check firing pin protrusion,work the action & back in the rack.When we got the L85/L861's,nearly every fecking week we were modifying the bloody things!!
 
#15
'60's - SLR x 3 + CAR15 or Remington Wingmaster shotgun (lead scout)
'70's - SLR's predominently (Op Storm)
'80's - SLR's very early, HK G3's replaced thereby keeping a 7.62 'punch'
 
#16
The old man was in during the 70s, when I've asked him about the SLR; he said it was an absolutely excellent weapon. He said that when the Belgian FN (Earlier version of the SLR), was trialed in the 50's it was a fully automatic weapon. When the British adopted the SLR, the problem was that general infantry never used to clean the gas parts properly, and then, in order to get enough gas to recock it, would put the gas plug onto "6", the highest setting; (I assume it had different numbered gas settings), which then would bring more carbon back with the recoil to cock it, thus jamming the weapon further. He said that's why the government gave the army the modified 'SLR' version, rather than the automatic FN. However, when cleaned properly, he say's it's an awesome weapon, accurate to 800 metres, as opposed to the 600 it was said to be accurate to. He said that the problem wasn't with the rifle, it was with the normal soldier who was using it. Aparently the Lee Enfield was still used back then as a (Oxymoron, I suppose), short range sniper rifle. Also used were the Sterling sub machine gun, GPMG, Browning pistol, Sigs, and the the bren gun was used, handy because people would steal the 30 round mag for the bren, and put it on their SLRs.
 
#17
ReadySalted said:
The old man was in during the 70s, when I've asked him about the SLR; he said it was an absolutely excellent weapon. He said that when the Belgian FN (Earlier version of the SLR), was trialed in the 50's it was a fully automatic weapon. When the British adopted the SLR, the problem was that general infantry never used to clean the gas parts properly, and then, in order to get enough gas to recock it, would put the gas plug onto "6", the highest setting; (I assume it had different numbered gas settings), which then would bring more carbon back with the recoil to c*** it, thus jamming the weapon further. He said that's why the government gave the army the modified 'SLR' version, rather than the automatic FN. However, when cleaned properly, he say's it's an awesome weapon, accurate to 800 metres, as opposed to the 600 it was said to be accurate to. He said that the problem wasn't with the rifle, it was with the normal soldier who was using it. Aparently the Lee Enfield was still used back then as a (Oxymoron, I suppose), short range sniper rifle. Also used were the Sterling sub machine gun, GPMG, Browning pistol, Sigs, and the the bren gun was used, handy because people would steal the 30 round mag for the bren, and put it on their SLRs.
No desrespect to your old man. The only reason we never got the fully auto version was cost. They shoot to many bullits. Thats why most of us never got to shoot smg on full auto.

Sorry can't elaberate further im pished and need my bed.
 
#18
I was never in the SAS but I used the SLR quite a bit - wrote one off parachuting, in fact - though never in anger. I thought it was shoddily made compared with the No4 Mk2 and by the time they were replaced they were junk. I can remember taking the first pressure in about 1989 and watching the sight picture change as the upper and lower parts of the thing moved relative to one another.

None of which is to say it wasn't very reliable and effective - in its day.
 
#19
Alec_Lomas said:
'60's - SLR x 3 + CAR15 or Remington Wingmaster shotgun (lead scout)
'70's - SLR's predominently (Op Storm)
'80's - SLR's very early, HK G3's replaced thereby keeping a 7.62 'punch'
In the 80's it was the G3K not G3 that was available in addition to the other wpns in the armoury.
 
#20
postman_twit said:
Bugsy said:
In all the time I served (which was 1779 until 1988) I never heard a single British squaddie ever utter a bad word about the SLR. Mind you, a few weren't very happy with the very damp powder we got during the Peninsula Campaign, but that's another story.

But seriously, the SLR was by far the very best weapon the British Army ever had. I can't think why they got rid of it. I f'ckin' loved it!

MsG
Jesus!!!!!!! How many bars to your LS&GC? :eek:

Probably none- remember it's GOOD conduct :) :D
 

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