Wooden furniture SLR last British use?

#1
A thread about 1989 TV series Saracen got me looking it up, and this image came up
SaracenSASBarber.jpg


So the question is, who and when used a wooden furniture issue SLR?
 
#3
I had wood furniture on my SLR from when I joined in 1971 as a boy soldier. I don't remember exactly when it was changed over but when I joined my battalion in 1973, I was using black plastic furniture. I know it wasn't in the question but a further refinement was the introduction of SUIT sights in 1975/76.
 
#4
Still knocking around in the TA in the early 90's.
 

Lacking Moral Fibre

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#5
During the first week of my basic training (1984) we were being taught lesson 1 on the SLR, the Cpl instructor was interrupted with what should have been a good question. "does a black plastic fitted rifle weigh the same as a wooden fitted rifle?" Only the chubby fellow recruit who asked this said GUN instead of rifle.
Never got the answer the Cpl must have forgotten whilst he verbally bounced the lad around the room.
I was far too terrified to ask any question.
 
#7
IIRC the RN was having new replacement wood furniture made into the late 1980s. It was used for the ceremonial detachments, etc. I recall being in one of the HMS Excellent armouries, and there were at least 200 SLRs with quite blond wood on them - not the darker brown usually seen.

I also recall a whole weapon roll being accidentally run over on ex in Germany during the 80s, writing off all the plastic SLRs within. The replacements were delivered straight from whichever BAOR depot to our unit. These were all brand new condition original production wood SLRs - never had been refurbished or used. I think most of them stayed in the green plastic wrapping, so the armoury wallahs could take them back and stroke them...
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#8
I took an early wooden furniture SLR just like in the OP out of pres to travel the roads of West Tyrone and Fermanagh on arrival at 15/19H in February 1976. Loved it, and the troop with a mix of later wooden or plastic furniture seemed strangely jealous. Next six years, Small Metal Gun.

Transferred to RAPC, attached 12 Armd Wksp in November 82. Issued an SLR with nasty plastic furniture. After a few months I was back on SMG.

Posted to the Computer Centre late 1985 with a reputation as an automatic Corpsam choice. Issued an SMG, but every year when Corpsam came round and I got my choice of weapons, I managed an SLR with (late) wooden furniture (but being Worthy Down, remarkably new). Until my last year, 89, when, being demob happy I really had better things to do than Corpsam.

I knew Worthy Down only had SA80s ringfenced for new recruits, untrained on SLR, to do guard. I did an SA80 conversion that year and told the Adjutant I'd only play at Corpsam if I might have a shiny new SA80. Bastid phoned the QM and I had to play. Actually, I didn't get on terribly well and I was back at me desk by Thursday.

Edit. Curse you speelchucker.
 
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#9
I had wooden furniture on my SLR in 89/90 half way through a banner tour we started doing that new fangled one with the catchy name sa80 I believe? but due to a trip to the beach never actually got issued one until went back on banner tour end of 91
 
#10
One of the advantages of the SLR over the SA80 is that you can fire the SLR out of either shoulder. If you fire the SA80 out of your left shoulder you get your cheek ripped out by the cocking handle.

The guy in the OP has his right shoulder in cover (a doorway or similar), and it looks very much to me like he is contemplating stepping out of that cover, thus exposing himself completely, to fire the weapon with it in his right shoulder. He should have the fecking thing in his left shoulder, and he could then fire it with most of his body still in cover.

An*l, perhaps, but I'd rather be an*l than dead!
 
#12
I had one in Juniours1981. As a short arrse with short arms and small hands I struggled a bit at 300m with the shortest plastic butt. Despite that I was a good shot and could group well. My PL Commander got me a wooden SLR to try and my shooting improved at 300m. Best SLR I ever had.

Reasons were the shortest wooden butt with the brass butt plate was slightly shorter than the shortest plastic butt. Pl Cmdr knew that being a shorty himself. The stock was also different slightly. The wooden stock has straight flats compared to the more curved profile of the plastic one. It felt smaller in my hand and easier to hold.

The only other difference that mattered was the rear sight. It had a large aperture leaf for night shooting and the small aperture leaf was smaller than that on the plastic rifle. It was a better sight.
 
#13
Left shoulder SLR I seem to remember was a bit dodgy what with the ejection opening being on the right side!
I fired it left handed for preference throughout my service (till SA80 came in) and never had a problem. But in any event, stand out in the street to fire it with no cover, or risk a hot cartridge bouncing off your cheek while firing left handed from cover? I know which I’d choose!
 
#15
The carrying handle on the OP's photo looks wrong, that one looks like the carrying handle from an FN Fal rifle. Can't say I ever saw a carrying handle like that on an SLR, even the ones with wooden furniture. Mind you these days my memory isn't what it was, hell I can forget what I was going to do even as I'm doing it.
 
#16
In 10 Para recruit cadre at Finchley in 1977 I was issued the one with wooden furniture. All the others had black plastic. I was able to get good groups with it but the action wasn't very reliable - gas-related I think.
 
#17
I had wooden furniture on my SLR in 89/90 half way through a banner tour we started doing that new fangled one with the catchy name sa80 I believe? but due to a trip to the beach never actually got issued one until went back on banner tour end of 91
I thought Banner tours changed to SA80 in 1988 with 1 Royal Scots. I was there in 1987 and plastic SLR furniture was the norm but some were fitted with wooden furniture.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#18
Left shoulder SLR I seem to remember was a bit dodgy what with the ejection opening being on the right side!
I did a left-handed serial of SLR firing at Ballykinler on my NIRTT Course. No problem. The empty case came out pretty much perpendicularly.
 
#19
I was a STAB 86-91. We had three types - all wood (just a few), all Maranyl (just a few) and mixed - mostly Maranyl stocks and wooden foregrips.
 
#20
I am sorry to say that prior to getting the SA80 in 88 I never even saw a wooden stocked SLR. So In my unit it seemed the important factor was to get get the longest butt possible however big or small you were. Maybe the TA didn't warrant the cool version.
 

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