Worn Out and well used Weapon Systems ( SA80A2 Afghanistan )

#1
After reading quoates on ammo expenditures by units engaged on operations in Afghanistan will the SA80A2 and other weapon systems we are using actually last much longer ?
I know there is a out of service date planned far away for the SA80A2 but will it actually last that long with the ammont of hammering its taking in Stan ? Are the replacment parts available since the factory shut down and the production stopped or maybe HK will come to the rescue and re-engineer new parts ?
Maybe the .50 Cals are not in this situation as I belive parts are plentiful, a weapon system the boys rely on so much as long as they get good grade ammo for them.
If operations carry on at such a pace maybe an off the shelf replacement for the SA80A2 better be thought about sooner rather than later ?
 
#2
H&K have been supplying us with spares from the time of the upgrade to A2. I am not aware of any shortages of spares but stand to be corrected. You would be surprised at the number of rounds you can put through a barrel. IMHO the A2 is a fantastic weapon and has proved itself but I am not going down that road here, There are plenty of threads on which weapon is better.
 
#3
As a matter of interest, how much life are they getting out of the rifle barrels, ie how much throat erosion is still acceptable before the barrel needs changing?
 
#5
armr617 said:
until it fails cartridge head space, thats a lot of rounds, not sure on figures though
That's a huge amount of wear. Accuracy would be long gone thousands of rounds before headspace was affected.
 
#6
Is it a case of just using the 'go,' no go dies then? A lot of folk keep a very close eye on throat erosion, especially with wildcats. I expect my 5.56 to begin loosing accuracy after about 7 to 10,000 rounds. With cals such as the .338Lm I would expect no more than 3 to 5000 rounds before a barrel change.
 
#8
EX_STAB said:
armr617 said:
until it fails cartridge head space, thats a lot of rounds, not sure on figures though
That's a huge amount of wear. Accuracy would be long gone thousands of rounds before headspace was affected.
Agreed, we can only gauge and visually view the barrel for errosion or damage.
The barrel would be changed when the user failed to achieve accurate grouping as laid down in accuracy and standards.
I know that some of the trial A2's fired in excess of 100,000 rounds, one of which is still at the factory and they still put rounds through it.

There is also a new barrel in the system that has been manufactured by H&K, that is supposed to be better.
 
#9
shortarms said:
EX_STAB said:
armr617 said:
until it fails cartridge head space, thats a lot of rounds, not sure on figures though
That's a huge amount of wear. Accuracy would be long gone thousands of rounds before headspace was affected.
Agreed, we can only gauge and visually view the barrel for wear or damage.
The barrel would be changed when the user failed to achieve accurate grouping as laid down in accuracy and standards.
Would that really happen every time? The standards are pretty low.
shortarms said:
I know that some of the trial A2's fired in excess of 100,000 rounds, one of which is still at the factory and they still put rounds through it.
They probably do but the rifling will be fcuked!

shortarms said:
There is also a new barrel in the system that has been manufactured by H&K, that is supposed to be better.
Even the original barrels were hammer forged, and to my understanding, chrome plated. There's not a lot more you can do to improve on this. Maybe some novel form of rifling? Wouldn't reduce throat wear though. Perhaps heavier chrome plating etc. ?
 
#10
Would that really happen every time? The standards are pretty low.
I was tempted to add, unless the user is a mong. :oops:

They probably do but the rifling will be fcuked!
I only have their word that it was the same barrel, but i hit the target ok. :wink:

Even the original barrels were hammer forged, and to my understanding, chrome plated. There's not a lot more you can do to improve on this. Maybe some novel form of rifling? Wouldn't reduce throat wear though. Perhaps heavier chrome plating etc. ?
I have not seen the new barrel yet or read any information on it so cannot comment on it.
 
#11
I was at the trial in Germany when the A2 brl was tested. It fired 10,000 rds, and was checked for both accuracy periodically (every few thousand rounds if my memory serves me right). The grouping and zeroability was outstanding and hardly effected. The trial was quite demanding, and the rifles went straight to the zero and accuracy part direct from endurance firing. It reassured me it was a capable bit of kit, and I was one of the sceptics (as you do when you wear green and end up carrying the thing!)
I don't think we need worry about the tempo of ops on brl wear.
 
D

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Guest
#12
Seriously doubt if weapons are fired enough even if stayed in country for 5 years and personnel shared them.

Might look a bit rough from having the painted knock off them but they wouldn't be worn out.

I had a Fn Fal made in 1962 - a year older than I was at 17 when I joined and it still had original wooden butt but with a synthetic forestock - superb weapon that worked perfectly...

5,000 to 6,000 rnds through a personal weapon is a huge amount - which would still give 5-8 years life - how many of you fire 500 rounds a month every month through your pw on ops or not - very, very few.
 
#13
It should be noted that when the press quotes small arms ammo usage the vast majoriy would have been fired from MG's of all types. The easy replaced barrels make them a better bet for high volume fire. The rifles proberbly contribute a siqnificant amount, but not to destruction levels.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#14
shortarms said:
There is also a new barrel in the system that has been manufactured by H&K, that is supposed to be better.
By coincedence I had a pizza with a bloke that wanted to know if I wanted to invest $40m in something like this on Tuesday.

The basic concept is that there is a company out there that has prefected a 3 way layering technique for metal that increases its durability about 5,000%. Without getting too technical (but if you've got $15m+ give me a shout) it works like this.

metal item is manufactured and delivered to the company
Level 1 layering is magneto something or other
Level 2 is chroming
Level 3 is a new process with a new chemical which removes the need for grease (lubricant) and it also dissipates heat.
hardened proofed Item is released back to client

What this means is that you'll never need to clean your rifle / MG working parts again (apart from running them under a tap). You'll never need to touch gun oil again and you'll be able to fire a lot more rounds before the weapon starts to melt (and when I say a lot more, I'm talking Vickers SF level).

The yanks, not surprisingly, are on this, I would not be surprised if HK were aware but I am not sure.

It'll make AK47 or A2 reliability seem like a French cannon at Balaclava..
 
#15
Mr Happy said:
shortarms said:
There is also a new barrel in the system that has been manufactured by H&K, that is supposed to be better.
By coincedence I had a pizza with a bloke that wanted to know if I wanted to invest $40m in something like this on Tuesday.

The basic concept is that there is a company out there that has prefected a 3 way layering technique for metal that increases its durability about 5,000%. Without getting too technical (but if you've got $15m+ give me a shout) it works like this.

metal item is manufactured and delivered to the company
Level 1 layering is magneto something or other
Level 2 is chroming
Level 3 is a new process with a new chemical which removes the need for grease (lubricant) and it also dissipates heat.
hardened proofed Item is released back to client

What this means is that you'll never need to clean your rifle / MG working parts again (apart from running them under a tap). You'll never need to touch gun oil again and you'll be able to fire a lot more rounds before the weapon starts to melt (and when I say a lot more, I'm talking Vickers SF level).

The yanks, not surprisingly, are on this, I would not be surprised if HK were aware but I am not sure.

It'll make AK47 or A2 reliability seem like a French cannon at Balaclava..
sounds like ascam, to me...
 
#16
Hello,

the A2 has an expected barrel life of 10,000 rounds.
When the Marines first got them they put 4,000 rounds through them before going to Afghanistan in 2001.


tangosix.
 
#17
tangosix said:
Hello,

the A2 has an expected barrel life of 10,000 rounds.
When the Marines first got them they put 4,000 rounds through them before going to Afghanistan in 2001.


tangosix.
Thinking further about this, when we shoot the civvy service rifle match (which is the same as the Army one) we use about 120 rounds in the course of the day. This is not a very intensive course of fire. On Operational training I would expect (hope!) to shoot about double that in a day.
If we round that to 250 rounds a day then in ten range days on OPTAG that's a quarter of the barrel life gone.

This assumes the rifle is new out of the box when I first get it issued.

That 10,000 round barrel life might be arriving sooner rather than later!
 
#18
But what happens when you fire the 10,000th round; does the barrel sudden break in two and require replacing? Maybe HK only tested the barrel with 10,000 rounds; the probability is that it'll be able to fire many more, and probably will.
 
#19
Bravo_Zulu said:
But what happens when you fire the 10,000th round; does the barrel sudden break in two and require replacing? Maybe HK only tested the barrel with 10,000 rounds; the probability is that it'll be able to fire many more, and probably will.
It'll function for sure. Accuracy will be deteriorating badly though.
Considering how much emphasis is placed on marksmanship these days I suppose no-one cares if they are shot out.
 
#20
Unless things have changed considerably, with records of rounds fired kept for each weapon, no one will notice that the barrels are shot out until they are checked by REME. The poor buggers who are using them will be classed as useless mongs for failing their APWT. I well Remember asking my training Cpl why my rifle (SLR) had little rifling at the throat. His reply: dont ask stupid f**ing questions!

Its interesting to watch how a barrel starts to lose accuracy and how group sizes open up. It can happen a hell of a lot quicker than some would say. Remember as well that its not just rounds expended but the way in which they are expended. Several weeks of training usually results in fairly short periods of live firing. On Ops during contacts a lot of rounds will be exchanged in short order: hot barrels erode quicker than cold barrels.

What it all boils down to is, as ex-stab said the level of interest shown in the troops marksmanship , which if you look at it objectively is or should be the 'trade' of the infantryman.
 

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