UK Designed / Manufactured Small Arms

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by 307, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. 307

    307 War Hero

    Aside from the obvious countless legal hoops to jump through, is there any reason why a company that designs and manufactures small arms could not come into existence and operate from the UK? The fact that we have nobody to rival HK / Colt / Beretta / FN seems ridiculous.

    Given the pedigree that exists in the UK for world leading, break through design and innovation, coupled with an abundance of recent, relevant and expert end user input that would be available to any new design, it seems stupid that we lack the capability.

    So, I put it to you fellow ARRSErs that we form a consortium, there are enough of us here to fund it with relatively little input, a broad background of expertise amongst users and enough operational experience and expertise, to allow the design of something remarkable. I saw that they are inviting applicants for next year's apprentice, I wonder if Alan Sugar would get into the arms business...Amshooters it could be called.
  2. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    for anything like that to work you need a good domestic market first, so you would have to design it, get an american to make you a hundred prototypes then give it out for testing. not so easy.

    Accuracy International wouldn't have gone bust if it had had local grown target shooters to buy its wares. I think the last things we made on our own which was actually any good was the small metal gun and EM-2 which fell victim to politics, everything else was just tinkered with and we cant count the sa80 as that was just cruel.

    and we would have to set up the factory in a bunker with maximum security to satisfy the happy clappys which would make it expensive. FFS we cant even make decent toy guns anymore without questions in parliament
  3. Manroy are building and selling .50s without much issue. The problem is you will never sell a small arm successfully without a domestic market. Frankly there is little chance of that till the US decide what their next bullet will be. SA80 is good enough for delivering 5.56mm to the Queen's enemies for now. No it isn't perfect,but there isn't the money to replace it until the US decide where they are going.
  4. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    not if we can actually supply ourselves with enough of our own stuff. we wil probably end up buying canadian next
  5. If you see a market for gats with a built in fax machine, I'm sure Lord Sugar probably already has some in stock or else could knock some up in no time.
  6. Some clever twat once said that the next war will be fought with nuclear weapons and the one after that with sticks and stones.

    British Arms manufacturing policy was brought into line with this concept by an MoD steering group. That's why we have nuclear weapons available now and we will have sticks when needed, contracts are in place and they will be supplied via stores system 3 supplied just in time! Due to the constraints of the defence budget in a future crisis British Soldiers may be expected to provide there own stones though!
  7. To make most bits of a rifle you just need a decent CNC machine shop, its making the barrels in large number which would be a problem!

    Getting all licenses to make section 5 parts isn't easy to sell the mod you need iso 9001 quality assurance. then you get accountants involved and the whole thing grinds to a hault!

  8. What do you want to manufacture ? theres plenty of sporting shotgun and rifle manufacturers around as well as custom gunsmiths , quiet a few airgun manufacturers as well .
  9. As I pointed out on another forum a while back there simply is not the market here in UK to take on the likes of Remington, SAKO et al.

    The UK is good at building high-class and high-precision and high-priced specialist rifles, but the lower orders on the scale are beyond reach. Remington makes more rifles in one day than the UK 'makes'/assembles in a couple of years. Or, to put things into perspective, I'm reminded that over in Oregon, the eleventh in size state in the US of A - the 3.7 million population are rumoured to have at least one million firearms of one kind or another. Thirty-two of them are 'mine'.

    IMO the UK should stick to what it does best - producing high-quality rifles in small numbers, and leave the big-hitting production lines well alone. Remember that there WERE a couple of makers of standard-style rifles - Parker-Hale and BSA.......where are THEY now? One is a fond memory, although still flogging gun-cleaning brushes, and the other makes toy guns for plotzing tin cans.

  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Erm those tin can toys are made in Turkey/china and imported. H&K were British Owned but there is no reason an outfit cant survive, Manroy being a good example. Sect 5 licensing isnt that difficult, you can do it several ways, sub contract everything and risk QA issues or start as a compoment supplier to the likes of Manroy. A mate of mine does, he turns out parts for the M2 for Manroy.
    Not everything needs a license to build so you can start with the components and build it up from there. Designing a new rifle is all well and good and doesnt need to be bogged down in bullshit but does need to be something that can be done at the same time as making components. We currently lack mass produced rifle experience so starting small would be a very good way to start. Dont think that building an expensive rig will guarantee sales either. Quality costs and an expensive piece of kit can die on the model room floor before making pre production trials.
    You need to consider specifications and the client who in our case is a headless chicken of little intelligence!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Sir - you have made my point for me...and Webley are Swedish, are they not? Axxor?

  12. I know of a complet shadow arms factory that's still there complete with all the bits to produce lee enfields etc.
    It was last time I manged to get in still in good nick.
    It's located under the traing are at the rear of Howe barracks under ground mind you.
    There used to be an entrance under the officers mess this was in the 80s/90s mind you.
    I stumbled on to it when the PSA of old were doing some digging on the are and found a sealed trap door needles to say it was opened and after several Nigs volentered to go in all was exposed .
    It's no dought still there we did find several 303s one witsh ended up on my old mans wall sadly due to the new fire arm laws it was handed in to plod by my thick cousin.
    Aparantly it made munitions as well.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If you want British air rifles buy Air Arms, made at NSP in Hailsham about 5 miles from me. I nearly got a job there once and c=several friends still work there! I believe however that barrels are imported, I dont think we have too many barrel makers left willing to do air rifle barrels as they are very cheap!
  14. the "M4" stoner design is so long in the tooth that you could manufacture those wth no risk of IPR issues. So you don't even need an innovative design.
    And while it isn't the greatest assault rifle design in the world (and is not as good as the SA80A2 IMHO), it is and will remain popular.
    I have no idea of the licensing required to produce weapons so I can't comment, but I do agree with the statements about the domestic market. There are only 4 "customers" in the UK that buy weapons in any great number, Army, Navy, RAF & Police, and three of those aren't buying anything right now. The police buy in very small numbers (if at all) and you would be up against such induistry heavyweights as HK/LMT/SIG and a couple of others. And trust me, it s a cut-throat market place.
    So, yes its possible. As for profitable, not without an awful lot of hard graft at the sharp end.
    Not wishing to burst your bubble, and I would love to see a good british product beating the imported stuff, but I cant see it happening anytime soon.
  15. Colt took HK to court over the 416 and while I can't remember if Colt were successful in that the case did manage to scupper several cotracts that HK had or hoped to win in the US and with countries influenced by US policy.