The boxheads and septics have the right idea...

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Manchester_Rogue, Nov 2, 2005.

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  1. HK416

    Seems like a good carbine assault rifle. I wonder why we can't have something that is brand spanking new and obviously one of the best guns available on the market ATM. Instead, we get a half-arrsed gun like the L85.

    OK, I know HK worked wonders making the L85 an extremely reliable rifle...but at what cost?! It's taken 20 years and probably £400 or so per rifle to upgrade to A2 specification--an upgrade, that most would agree, that is/was 20 years too late! Doesn't change the fact that our weapon was made by the lowest bidder and to the lowest acceptible specifications.

    Whereas in America, they are prepared to buy one of the better available weapons for their soldiers to use.

    Does any one else (past/present serving) not feel SLIGHTLY hard-done-by? Surely we deserve the best equipment, not some half-arrsed 'easy on the pennies' piece of equipment?
  2. So you've never heard of the troubled development over the years of the M16/AR15 family then? Why do you think M16 have that handy thumb plunger on the right hand side?

    Many weapon systems have had problems on introduction. The Lee-Enfield series of rifles were plagued with problems (hence the massive range of variants over the years), the AK series still has some flaws, the Steyr AUG had many problems on introduction with the plastics shattering and there are others.

    Yes, the L85 seems to have been significantly troubled over the years for many reasons. Its been expected to operate in environments it wasn't designed for (short sightedness in development) and due the the relatively small number of weapons manufactured its taken longer to iron problems out via the 'end user' product development route as happened with the M16 family.

    Face it, no British government is likely to buy the best weapon for the job, just the best cheapest. As much as we'd all love to have bling kit just like the yanks we haven't got much chance so we have to do what we have always done, counter poor kit with superior training, better drills and being bodgtastic. We do deserve the best kit available for the task in hand but its a small pot of money and all the time people with twisted socks are spending it on specially made office chairs in Whitehall it'll stay small.

    Ok, you can argue that the £400 per unit cost of the upgrade could have gone towards the introduction of a new weapon system but its not just the weapon you pay for. The retraining, a new support structure, even things like the racks to store them in at the armour and the ones in vehicles have to be paid for (some kit still has SLR racks in). Overall the L85 is a good, accurate weapon system that was initially poorly developed. It is now a very good weapon system that does the job and unlike the weapons used by many of our allies come with an optical sighting system. Something fairly simple but not seen on too many run of the mill issued weapons, especially not as standard.

    (THS, current crab and ex-RGJ who would loved to have had one of those nice Minimi's rather than the POS L86A1 he had to carry 'back in the day'.)
  3. This HK416 looks like real hard on material. Only one let down, 5.56mm. The crusade for the perfect weapon will continue for many years to come.

    Question: Are the Minimi and the M249 SAW one in the same?
  4. Yes
  5. Of course I've heard of the problems with the AR-15 weapon family. I am refering to the HK416 which has, according to various sources, taken all the best bits from the AR-15 and turned it into a well thought-out weapon system that is infinately more reliable compared to the direct gas assembly of the AR-15 family.

    I believe it's a case of someone (somewhere) in government wants to save as much money as possible. Whereas I have no problem with this in principle, when it comes down to it the guys at the bottom of the pile (armed forces personnel) are often lumbred with rubbish tools.

    Now, I know what you're saying about every weapon system having its problems, but surely having to put up with the same rubbish weapon for 20 years, to THEN have it upgraded and renovated into something that actually *works* is a bit of a kick in the teeth? I haven't researched into all the history of the L85, but from what I understand, it was rushed into service and ultimately a victim of privitisation (something with Rover mass producing factories rolling these units out with no real quality checks/control)? I could be wrong there.

    Anyway, I was quite content with ye old SLR back in the day. Whereas it had its problems, it was still a well-received weapon so much so that the FN FAL base is the most-sold 7.62mm battle rifle in the world (I believe).

    Weren't we rushing the SA80 into service due to NATO breaking to the Americans' desire for the smaller 5.56mm rifle? Why did we have to produce the weapon system in the first place? Why couldn't we licence-build, say, the American M16 over here (thus keeping jobs and money in the country) instead of adopting a (then) more unreliable SA80 just because 'it's british designed/built'? Maybe there's a history lesson I've missed, but surely that is a good point to ask?

    Gah! I guess politics is one of those things that I will never understand. We were quite content with the Belgium FN FAL (adopted as the L1a1 SLR) using the American 7.62mm. What changed? I don't see a reason why we couldn't have got another foreign rifle and adapted it for our own use (a la ze SLR).
  6. Perversely the HK416 has been developed in part from some of the A2 improvements made to the L85. Also (I believe) the AR15 mechanism was adapted as the basis for the SA80 family.

    I agree with you though, politics gets in the way of good service kit procurement too often.
  7. 6.8x43mm this is a round that looks set to break into the military market. I for one hope so anyway as it appears, from all I have read and heard, to be a very good round.

    HK416 is very good as is the SCAR
  8. Apparantly--and when I say apparantly, this is just what I've heard on the grapevine--most guns will only require minor modifications to accept the heavier 6.8mm round. I remember reading somewhere that the M4/M16 family (for example) only needs a new upper receiver and barrel to accept the newer 6.8mm calibre, and the round will fit in current STANAG magazines.

    Also--again, its just what I've heard/read, may not be kosha--Enfield trialed a 6.2mm cartridge in the early 60's (give or take) against their 4.85mm, the 7.62 NATO and a few others (7mm and 7.62 SOVIET I believe), and their trials suggested that a calibre of ~6.2mm performed on par with that of the heavier 7.62 NATO on ranges upto 600m whilst, obviously, performing nearer that of our current 5.56mm when it comes to the up close and personal stuff. Also the weight was little more than our current 5.56mm.

    If the above is completely kosha, then this tells me that the way to go (as far as a comprimise between 5.56mm weight and carrying capacity, and 7.62mm hitting power) would be 6.8mm.

    It'll be about 10-15 years before regular army's accept that round, and when it comes, you can bet your bottom dollar that this will mean the "mark 3" upgrade to our lovely (AHAHAH!!) L85 weapon system. After all, if hearsay holds true, only a new barrel & chamber/boltcarrier (+ all the other gun gubbins in the upper half) needs to be replaced.

    Let's hope that it doesn't cost us another £90million or whatever to upgrade it. Let's also hope that HM Govt. decides to see sense and adopts a brand spanking new weapon system than trying to flogg another 15-20 years out of an already ageing weapon system.
  10. Does the HK416 still have it's bolt recoiling inside the stock like the M16 had?

    And as the Stock and body work where alll one part, if it jamed with the bolt back (Normaly caused by a cartridge not ejecting properly) you had to send it back to the armourer's to fix.
  11. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Yes the carrier does go into the stock.

    The stock and upper receiver are seperate assemblies, as on all the AR15/M16 series.

    I have only seen the jammed carrier you describe once, it was caused by an offr of Her Maj's best reassembling the wpn minus certain parts.
    It was cleared in short order without calling an armourer, the only damage being to said offrs wallet for being a cnut.
  12. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    H&K's free advert on

    The short stroke system on the AR15/M16 series has been used sucessfully by various other manufacturers for some years now.

    So H&K have their own design forend ? That ought to make it much more expensive than any of the other free-floating Pictinny forends already on the market.

    Utter fecking tosh !

    I too think the 416 would be a good upgrade, but there are US firms that have made the same eqpt for some time.
    The whole article just seems to be an advert for H&K.
  13. Hey, I was just searching the net and found this site. I wanted to comment on the 5.56mm round compared to the 6.8mm as well as the M16. The whole thing really is pointless. First, the problems with the AR15/M16s were worked out 30 years ago by switching to a round that didn't use a "sticky powder" that gummed up the weapon. As for the M4 Carbines, well, that's just bad planning by the military. The M4 really was only suppose to be used for clearing buildings where a shorter rifle and closer range makes it very good at killing its target. I don't believe it was ever suppose to be used widely in open combat. That's beside the point anyway.

    If you didn't know this already but a company in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA has developed a blended metal bullet that is being used by private contractors all over Iraq because of its killing power. This website has a great story about the blended metal bullet ( The guy in the story used a 5.56mm round made of this blended metal technology. He shot a guy in the butt and killed him. Now, normally, being shot in the butt doesn't kill you but this guys guts were blown out because of this single round.

    Bigger rounds really are pointless. Advancing the science of the round is the way to go. To bad they illegal under international law.

  14. the H+K 416 is a hybrid of a weapon design.

    its basicly your bog standard armalite (ar-15/m16/m4 ect blah blah) lower reciever, mated to a new upper running the H+K G36 gas system.

    the H+K 417 is the 7.62 version.

    as to the 'sticky powder' issues, eugene stoner designed the AR-15 (m16) to use the new (then) IMR powders, they burned cooler and with less residue.
    at the time the US gov was buying normal 'ball' powder from winchester on a long term contract, so what they did was fill the cases with ball powder and due to the direct gas action of the AR15 design the ball powder propellant fouled the working parts with residue.

    after getting a lot of GIs killed, they modified the design after a few years into the M16a1 with the useless forward assist plunger, this was so if the weapon failed to close bolt properly due to powder residue or dirt in the working parts/chamber, you can force it closed with the forward assist and then fire the round in chamber to clear the weapon. :roll: its a BS of an idea, forcing the round into battery to fire the weapon free.

    the direct gas action was considered the weak point by stoner in his design in reflection, later on his AR18 design he went back to a conventional piston. the SA80 rifle is nothing more than the ar18 in a bull-pup form

    most modern western smallarms use the multi-headed 'stoner bolt' in thier designs, but without the AR15/M16/M4 direct gas pressure unlocking system, using a conventional gas piston instead, SA80, Steyer Aug, H+K G36 are the best known.
    other firearm designs use a copy of the AK bolt design a simpler 2 lug locking system. - finnish valmet, isreali galil, FN fnc, sig 550 ect
    the FN minimi (m249, LMG, C-9 ect) has an AK style bolt.

    the multi-headed stoner bolt is NOT a superior design to the simpler stronger 2 lugged AK type. its far more susceptible to dirt and grit leading to stoppages.

    my 2 cents?
    the best system going at the moment is the newish FN SCAR rifle system, it is the FN FNC bolt (basicly an AK) and you can get it in either 5.56 or 7.62
    my only complaint of it is that it still uses the NATO 5.56 30rd magazine (M16 design) with all its feeding ploblems reguarding its 'curve to straight design, the 7.62 version uses the FN Fal (SLR) mag,

    for a hundred years the british military had the best weapon procurement system going, test all available on the market, buy the design or marketing rights, modify it to requirments wanted and manufacture, thats how we got the martini-henry, the lee-metford, the lee enfield, the Bren, the SLR amd the GPMG, after that firearm procurment procedures seems to have gone tits up.

    edited for spelling and shite grammer, which isnt much of an improvment is it? but then i'm an armourer not an english teacher.
  15. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    A couple of anorack points here, IMR or improved military rifle was the recently owned by Dupont powder company, pretty good stuff but the company was formed shortly after WW1 to supply powder recovered from military contracts. IMR 17 was the powder allowed by the WD as the US could not supply cordite or the Brit nitro cellulose to fill 303 contracts. So the term IMR has been around a long time. The recoil mech from the SA 80 series is really an inverted AR18/180 mech. Spot over!