Strange rear sight on SLR

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Bugsy, Oct 30, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. There was a recent thread on SA80s that mentioned the development of the EM-2, as illistrated here:
    Why I mention this is because in the illustrations on this very admirable Ivan website there's a rear sight thingy on the EM-2 consisting of a sort of concentric tube device.
    Some time ago, I downloaded a Pathe News article about the introduction of a "new" rifle to replace the Lee Enfield. This rifle was the SLR, but in the footage it also had this strange concentric device as a rear sight.
    In this Pathe News article, there was also an obvious change from the rounded sticky-out penising handleof the FAL to the flop-down version that we all know and love on the standard British Army SLR.
    The thing is that all the SLRs I ever fired were fitted with a flip-up leaf rear sight, so this tube thingy must have been lost along the way.
    So my question is (or are): what was/is it and why was it ditched?
    I've had a real good butcher's around the internet on this in the meantime and can't find any answers to my questions. That doesn't mean they're not out there somewhere, but just that I'm too stupid to find them.
    Can anybody provide a helping hand?
  2. I think you are talking about the UNIT sight made by R & J Beck Ltd of Mortimer St, London. (It was the same optic sight used on the EM2) and it was fitted to the X8E2 as one of the British trial FN Fal's. There was also an "emergency " battle sight fitted to the X8E2.

    Not sure why it was ditched, I'll (in true trainspotter style) try and find out.

    Edited to add: One of the FN Fal's that was trialed by the Canadians, the EX2, had the same UNIT sight fitted.
  3. Many thanks indeed for your answer, armr, I really appreciate it. Any other stuff you can manage to dig up would be an absolute bonus, since I'm very interested in the subject!

  4. The Pathe News clip shows an FN FAL, not the later SLR. The UK trials rifle was more or less a standard FN rifle - it had drum or fixed leaf rearsight (fold-down leaf on the SLR), full-auto fire selector (semi-auto on SLR), fixed cocking handle, charger-loading bridge on the topcover (deleted on the SLR), FN-style furniture (lot more ergonomic than on the SLR!), no flash suppressor, and numerous other small detail differences. The survivors of these FN trials rifles lived on until recent times as DP (de-activated) weapons used in TA and Regular SAS selection.

    Pity they didn't trial the FAL against the SA80...... it might have won another twenty years of service!
  5. The 'Enfield' Pattern Room Collection, Now re-located at the Royal Armouries Leeds, since ROF (Royal Ordnance) Nottingham clossed down. It has examples of all the early FM's

    Belgium produced FN's were in fact issued to some units as the SLR 7.62mm Mark One, before the L1A1 was adopted as standard. It was these early Mk1's which were converted into DP rifles for training purposes.

    Note: The Pattern Room Collection is not open to the public, only accredited researchers after a police check!
  6. As an extra bit of trivia, the rear sights on the early versions of the issued SLR were double leaf. Only the front leaf, with a small aperture, folded down. The rear leaf was fixed and had the larger aperture which, IMHO, was better when firing with a respirator. About half a dozen of the SLRs held by my TA unit in 1975 had the double leaf sights but over the following two or three years, all were replaced with the fully-folding single leaf sight.

    The double leaf sights were the same as were on the cutaway FN that we had for training purposes.
  7. All the images I have ever seen of SAS selection had them carrying issue SLR's without slings not FN DP's
    The currant SF selection course has them carrying a SA80 without slings!
    Probably the last time they handle one for a while! (If they are lucky to pass that is)

    Dated, Monday 17th February 2003
  8. Thanks for all the hugely intereresting contributions, chasps, but I really am after more info on this weirdy rear-sight and why it wasn't an issue item on every SLR.
    Anybody got the guff on it?

  9. Perhaps this is of some help, there's no picture with it, but it sounds about right:



    Weapons No 446 to 448

    Sight Unit Lensatic Rifle L1A1
    This sight unit was fitted to the Rifle X8El Type 'B'. Besides the tube sight which covers ranges up to 200 yards, there are also settings for 400 and 600 yards. A 200 yards battle sight is also fitted which is offset to the left.
  10. The "double leaf" rear sight was standard fitment on many FN-FAL "Paratrooper" versions with the folding stock. The leaves were two different heights, allowing for sighting at 200m & 400m(I think), rather than the somewhat wobbly click adjustment on the L1A1.
  11. On the SLR, the double leaf rear sight was fitted on a sliding rail graduated 200-600m as with the single leaf. The small aperture was for accurate shooting while the large aperture was for night time and respirator use.
  12. We got "issued" the double leaf rear site for shooting with the Corps team in 84 /85 at Bisley. Still got mine in the attic. Smaller peep hole for better shooting was the reason given and the larger, we were told was for shooting at night and with the Ressie on.
  13. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Is it still fitted to the rifle ?
  14. Surely that pic is from that bonk BBC series "SAS are you walt enough"

    DP FN's as far as I know with copper coated working parts. I always thought they where ex argie ones ?
  15. Oh bloody heck multi postings here Soz all !