The SA80 and its capability

#1
Everywhere I look I read about the SA80 and its faults. Some papers and magazines say its faulty and  has stoppages. I for one have never had a stoppage in 2 yrs. In my eves its the preping and keeping of the rifle that makes it work or not.

Are people flapping over nothing??
 
#2
ive heard some pretty stupid sh!t coming from americans who have never used it like "it falls apart if you dont clean it",ive never had a prob with it but my experiences with it so far have been few and far between.i think the problem lies with journalists sticking their noses into stuff they do'nt understand and changing words to make them say what they want to make the forces look bad and to get a nice big pay cheque in their pocket.also as soon as some fat computer geek hears it and believs every word he spreads it and soon enough every one says its crap before they've even used it.
 
#4
Just thinking the same thing  :eek:

The SA80A1 will jam, misfeed, overheat. I know, it's happened to me on enough occasions.

On a recent live shoot, one of the section LSW's jammed off the very first round, forcing the riflemen to take on that role, till the gunner could get it sorted out.

Maybe the SA80's problems, are batch-specific?

....and I can't remember a stoppage with blank ammunition  :-/
 
#5
Hmm.  No stoppages with blanks - you lucky so and so.  I can think of a fair few occasions -  a platoon attack at the rupert factory where virtually everybody's weapon jammed about the same time - very embarrassing it was too  (never knew C/sgts could turn purple for that length of time and swear without breathing for so long - very impressive :D)

The weapons toss.

Though i will grant you a few lucky sods will get away with never having any faults on it at all - bastards
 
#6
I always made sure my Bayonet was extra sharp and if I could get hold of a buckshee 9mm then all the Better ;D

We never carried them over the water in civvie cars, always HK's and 9mm, not just about the size of the weapon either, just didn't trust the cnuts :mad:
 
#7
I agree with pongo & co.

Although Im not infantry, the A1 was toss! No matter how much you cleaned, looked after, oiled etc it gave me a stoppage approx every 10-20 rounds regardless of ammo types!

Ive recently been issued an A2 (16AAB & all that) Did a bog standard APWT 3 weeks ago and not 1 stoppage!
It appears as though its a vast improvement on the last, but I guess the forthcoming deployment & time will tell.

It's still too heavy compared to other rifles!
 
#8
Throughout my 30 odd years in one uniform or another, I have fired all types of wpn from the venerable .303 to the SA80. I have even seen the rather exotic H & K G11/12, though have never fired it. (Want to, need to!)

The problem with the SA80 family is, you get what you pay for! It is a complicated wpn (by design), cheaply made and was rushed into production.

I can remember being on the SAA instructors course (TA) at Litchfield in '83 when a Welsh guardsman and an SAS chap were both using our range. SAS man had the original version of the LSW whilst the guardsman had the SA80. Chatted with them quite a bit (not allowed to handle wpns, let alone fire.) They were unimpressed with both wpns but said better than the SLR because of the firepower!

Personally, I still prefer the SLR. Unless you had a radio or 'Charle G' and carried the Sterling SMG, all ammo could be used for rifle, LMG and GPMG and at 7.62mm, it had all the range and stopping power you would ever need!

Remember guys, the SA80 was, and still is, a politically appointed wpn. No ammount of money thrown at the problems, real or imagined, will ever cure the most basic of flaws. If the troops don't trust it, we should not use it.

Mate of mine in Basra, told me they (SA80A2) were pants. I guess £90M has still not cured all the faults. Only time will tell whether MOD finally caves in and buys the Steyr, H&K G11/12 or M16A3.
 
#9
fritz

I feel a number of the chaps who have just returned from the sandpit would argue that the A2 performed admirably, and enabled the firer to make accurate shots out to further ranges. (not because its more powerful, but more controlable and better sighted)

I have a straight pull SLR on my FC at the moment and whilst great fun, I remember why I preferred even the A1 to it.

With the SLR an outstanding shot struggled to maintain accurate shots out to 400m regularly. With an SA80 an average to poor shot can achieve the same.

Yes the SLR has awesome stopping power but find me the man that got a 5.56 through the chest that came upto you still wanting a rumble. You don't have to remove someones legs below the neck to remove him from the battlefield.

Maybe Dogmonkey would be better suited to comment on this>
 
#10
I would have to agree with mighty on this despite all the old jokes about not being powerful enough I would not want one up my arse. And as for the keep my bayonet sharp crap get a grip man how many times have British troops had to close to close quarter in the last 20 years maybe once or twice leave that spirit of the bayonet talk to civics. All weapons have fault, have recently read (in a paper admittedly not the best source) that the septics are planning to scrap the M16 model currently in use as it is to long and has no auto selection they are looking into the M4 across the board. The desire for other weapons such as the styre or G3 comes from I believe the wish to play with a new shiny toy which would soon fade leaving every one clamouring for a new weapon
 
#12
Greengrass said:
I would have to agree with mighty on this despite all the old jokes about not being powerful enough I would not want one up my arse. And as for the keep my bayonet sharp crap get a grip man how many times have British troops had to close to close quarter in the last 20 years maybe once or twice leave that spirit of the bayonet talk to civics. All weapons have fault, have recently read (in a paper admittedly not the best source) that the septics are planning to scrap the M16 model currently in use as it is to long and has no auto selection they are looking into the M4 across the board. The desire for other weapons such as the styre or G3 comes from I believe the wish to play with a new shiny toy which would soon fade leaving every one clamouring for a new weapon
Theres this Pap above......from someone who's obviously been there and done that and then this from an earlier forum

http://www.arrse.co.uk/html/modules...c&t=7846&sid=496a998f2afb7e5da61a5ceee53ea192

But if you cant be Arrsed then here

SHIELDED only by a narrow bank of baked earth as bullets flew and a grenade exploded ominously close by, Corporal Mark Byles, 34, glanced at the four soldiers who lay sweating on the ground beside him and knew what they had to do.

“Fix bayonets!” he shouted. “We’re going to assault the positions in front. Are you all up for it?” There were no objections. With the steel in place on their SA80 rifles, the men of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) charged across 600ft of open ground towards the enemy trenches, taking it in turns to stop and provide covering fire while their comrades advanced.

Byles, from Portsmouth, reached the first trench with another corporal, Brian Wood. “I wanted to put the fear of God into the enemy,” he said.
Not a shiny new toy we need....just a decent proven weapon we trust :evil: [/quote]
 
#13
From http://world.guns.ru/assault/as18-e.htm

1994. Adoption of the latest variations of the M16 breed. Those include: M16A3 and M16A4 rifles, with "flat top" receivers, that had a Picatinny accessory rails in the place of the integral carrying handle. The rail can be used to mount detachable carrying handle with iron rear sights, or various sighting devices (Night/IR, optics etc). The M16A4 otherwise is similar to M16A2, while M16A3 has a full-auto capability instead of the 3-rounds burst. Two other newest AR-15 offsprings are the M4 and M4A1 carbines, which are described in the separate article on this site.
 
#14
I'm a fairly new to this malarky but I already have many happy memories of stoppages with rifle 5.56.

My relationship with the rifle got off to an interesting start in that the first time I tried to fire a round it did not function-the firing pin was fucked and I had hardly touched the weapon.
I had a further stoppage on the ranges and a million using blanks. The main problem was not the weapon but the magazines not feeding too brilliantly-if they had been looked after then I'm sure they would not have had any problems but they had been abused by generations of recruits and although we were issued four mags each they frequently changed hands as bombed up mags were placed in a sandbag from which you randomly selected your rounds when on the firing point-you all know the drill.

Fire and manouver drills on one exercise were hilarious, with atleast half the recruits sharing my problem at some point through the course.
 
#15
At the end of the day, the people who make the decisions never have to really rely on the kit, they are to intrested in gettin there MBE's for saving the MOD money, that the government can then spend on the chuffin lazy firefighters!!!!

Its always been the case with the brits from day one, we make do with the shit we've got!! might i say we always do a bloody good job of it too!
It would be nice to get a new gucci shooter, the idea of stabbing someone to death doesn't really appeal to me so i'd like one that works from far away 8O

The old rifle was pump, the new one has had loads of money wasted on it but is better, not good just better.

We should get the Spam's cast off's, if they can use them anyone can!!
 
#16
If it was so bloody good someone other than ourselves would have bought it.


Let's see, what other countries use it?

And then there's the SF boys who can choose....do they use it???



'nuff said really.
 
#17
cdo_gunner said:
If it was so bloody good someone other than ourselves would have bought it.


Let's see, what other countries use it?

And then there's the SF boys who can choose....do they use it???
But its a service rifle surely not designed for SF?

Yes its had its faults, yes its not the best their is but at least its British...... there isn't much left that is.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#18
Hate to bring up this again, but it can still only be fired right of cover......




On second thoughts, I do like to bring it up, it's just the "weapon" I hate...... :evil:
 
#19
Funny, the SA80A1 i had in basic jammed all the time, the one i got at Vimmy Bks was "sweet as" the one i got at JHQ was also "Sweet as" but then at herford i got given a rusty pile o'shite took me and my scotchbrite a week to clean the chuffing thing, and it was forever jamming.

My A1 in Bruggen as reliable and stable and so too was my LSWA1 but had iron sights!

Best gun i ever played with was a LMG and my word was it nice. chuffin' heavy though. i would guess we are going to be stuck with the A2 for some time yet and it wont matter how much harping on we do no one will change it. perhaps TCH should be made to do a stint with the TA inf?

Rincewind
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
mildly gob-smacked that this two year old thread is still going.
Just for background -
I trained on the SLR but never had to carry one all day in anger. Solid piece of kit, especially the ones with wooden furniture! I remember how hard it was to hit a number 12 at 300 metres with the bog-standard sights.

I first fired the SA80 when working with DESO in the 80's and on various occasions since then, including the usual APWT's and exercises. I can remember distinctly the sense of disbelief at how many parts I needed keep track of when field cleaning the weapon in comparison to the old SLR.

I have subsequently trained with and carried the A2, on Op Telic. I also sighted the restricted Evaluation report on the A2 and read it.

CDS Gen Sir Mike Jackson , in his previous appt as CINC LAND wrote a letter which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 2 October 2002, following the exhaustive acceptance tests carried out by the Army on the A2, which I reproduce below:

<< Sir,
Lt Col Patrick Chambers is right to describe the SA80 as an accurate weapons syatem (letters 28 Sept) It's world-beating accuracy has never been in question. He is wrong, however, in deeming the new A2 version to be unreliable. The evidence he adduces is that the official A2 trials were prejudiced in favour of that weapon. This is a wholly unwarranted slight on the integrity of those Service personnel who conducted the rigorous and objective tests and trials described in your defence corespondent's article of the same date.

The results of various comparative exercises, particularly that conducted in rigorous battlefield conditions in Oman over the past 3 weeks, show that the SA80 A2, correctly maintained, is without rival both in accuracy and reliability. Before the exercise in Oman, 68 per cent of the personnel involved questioned the A2's reliability; at the conclusion, as a result of hands-on experience, only 5 per cent questioned the weapon's reliablility.

Gen Sir Mike Jackson
Commander -in Chief Land Forces
Salisbury Wilt.s


The firing group selected for the tests included SF, Marines, Guards and paras.The A2 was put through the mill before it was accepted for further service. One of the interesting parts in the report ( which was NOT published) was how badly the M16A2 actually performed in the same conditions. When it came into service with US forces the troops nicknamed it << the rifle from Mattel >>.

Now, when General Jackson publishes his memoirs, it will be interesting to hear whether ANY political pressure was brought to bear on him to publish that letter - I doubt it. Suspect he would probably have told whoever to poke it anyway.

The rifle is what we have to work with. It's better than it was.....but then, my life doesn't depend on it day in and day out so this is just my 2d worth,FWIW. Seems to me that if you asked guys at Arnhem with a two shilling Sten whether they'd got the right kit for the job they would have laughed, too.

Le Chevre
 

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