Jump to content


Photo

The British L85 (SA80) rifle


  • Please log in to reply
119 replies to this topic

#21 Dawes

Dawes

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,798 posts

Posted 25 November 2010 - 1904 PM

The L85A2's controversy seem to be well behind it, but it's interesting to note that the M4 is still a subject of much debate in US circles.

#22 Panzermann

Panzermann

    REFORGER '79

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,443 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teutonistan

Posted 25 November 2010 - 2001 PM


Intrestingly the Falkland Islands Defence Force uses the Steyr AUG. They arn't British forces but I would have thought that they would use the same rifle as the British army.

Yes, that does seem odd. Perhaps they assume it's the right gun for the Southern Hemisphere ;)


IIRC the story went like this: the Falkland Island Defence Forces were told by London to buy a bullpup (thinking they buy L85). But those stubborn islanders took the money provided to them by London to buy and trial all the bullpup rifles avaible back then and selected the Steyr AUG. :D

#23 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,184 posts

Posted 26 November 2010 - 0225 AM

It certainly won't be a British-designed gun because the UK no longer has that expertise. It will almost certainly be a proven, off-the-shelf system, maybe with a bit of customisation, because the BA won't want to go through the SA80's horrendous in-service debugging process all over again. It will probably come from HK or FN, or possibly from Colt. Which means that it will very probably not be a bullpup, not because the BA doesn't like them but because the only currently available (or planned, AFAIK) one from those sources is the F2000 with which the BA seems to have arms manual issues.


On the otherhand if they have a convincing case for bullpup and consider there is nothing suitable on the shelf they could issue an RFP making it clear that a new design would be acceptable, a couple being selected after the demonstration phase with the assessemnt phase refining and proving the design.

#24 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,601 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 26 November 2010 - 0405 AM

On the otherhand if they have a convincing case for bullpup and consider there is nothing suitable on the shelf they could issue an RFP making it clear that a new design would be acceptable, a couple being selected after the demonstration phase with the assessemnt phase refining and proving the design.

I would like to think that they would play it that way, and also consider a wider range of sources (the IWI Tavor should be on any shortlist for a new rifle, simply because it's one of the best developed new guns around). However, I suspect what will happpen is that the RFP will not specify configuration, and the shortlist will stick to proven weapons (after all, even the best new designs have required quite a lot of fettling before the customers are satisfied).

#25 shep854

shep854

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,870 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Birmingham AL, USA
  • Interests:Military History, Aviation

Posted 26 November 2010 - 0931 AM

IOW, the AUG. Somehow, Brits armed with FAMAS doesn't compute.

#26 Cutaway

Cutaway

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 97 posts

Posted 26 November 2010 - 0943 AM

Somthing that uses lever-delayed blowback (IE TKB-517, 2B-A-40) for many reasons. Or better with a TDI KRISS in a rifle calibre.

#27 Dawes

Dawes

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,798 posts

Posted 26 November 2010 - 1029 AM

Considering the current controversy over calibers and terminal effectiveness, maybe 7.62x39mm would be a suitable choice :D

#28 Lampshade111

Lampshade111

    Armchair Admiral

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,082 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 November 2010 - 2054 PM

Considering the current controversy over calibers and terminal effectiveness, maybe 7.62x39mm would be a suitable choice :D


I don't think so, supposedly common 7.62x39mm is less effective than 5.56mm as it is less prone to yawing or fragmenting.

#29 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,184 posts

Posted 26 November 2010 - 2113 PM

I would like to think that they would play it that way, and also consider a wider range of sources (the IWI Tavor should be on any shortlist for a new rifle, simply because it's one of the best developed new guns around). However, I suspect what will happpen is that the RFP will not specify configuration, and the shortlist will stick to proven weapons (after all, even the best new designs have required quite a lot of fettling before the customers are satisfied).


As I said, if they have a convincing case for bullpup. Given that there is now considerble awareness of ergonomic issues affecting soldiers, there may be a case. Not forgetting your favourite subject of calibre, suggesting that new designs may be needed. One of the purposes of the CADMID process is to sort out the bugs, including a reliability growth programme if necessary. Designing rifles is relatively straight forward, its not like a nuclear submarine, you don't need a large design team with more computing power than a Google server farm.

#30 bojan

bojan

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 9,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Belgrade, Serbia
  • Interests:Obscure tanks and guns.
    Obscure facts about well known tanks and guns.
    Obscure historical facts.

Posted 27 November 2010 - 0117 AM

I don't think so, supposedly common 7.62x39mm is less effective than 5.56mm as it is less prone to yawing or fragmenting.


Some, but decently designed 7.62x39mm like Yugo M67 fragments and yawns rapidly.

#31 medicjim86

medicjim86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,036 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey, USA
  • Interests:emergency services

Posted 27 November 2010 - 0909 AM

Some, but decently designed 7.62x39mm like Yugo M67 fragments and yawns rapidly.


Well designed bullets in 5.56 and 7.62 also perform quite well. I believe the main advantage thought to be associated with 7.62 x 39 vs the 5.56 offerings is barrier penetration.

#32 Chris Werb

Chris Werb

    In Zod We Trust

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20,894 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orkney, Scotland, UK
  • Interests:But it's got electrolytes! They're what plants crave!

Posted 27 November 2010 - 1242 PM

Designing rifles is relatively straight forward, its not like a nuclear submarine, you don't need a large design team with more computing power than a Google server farm.


Well, arguably we got the nuclear submarine right from the outset, but we haven't universally issued our troops a truly UK designed rifle since 1853. Mind you, didn't the Americans give us the reactor tec. for our first SSN?

#33 chino

chino

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,005 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Now in Macau
  • Interests:S2 Branch & Rifle Platoon Runner

Posted 27 November 2010 - 1308 PM

Some, but decently designed 7.62x39mm like Yugo M67 fragments and yawns rapidly.


Yaws, you mean...

Sorry :)

#34 medicjim86

medicjim86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,036 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey, USA
  • Interests:emergency services

Posted 27 November 2010 - 1310 PM

Well, arguably we got the nuclear submarine right from the outset, but we haven't universally issued our troops a truly UK designed rifle since 1853. Mind you, didn't the Americans give us the reactor tec. for our first SSN?


Yup, and nuke launched missle tech too I think.

I Accuracy International Actic Warfare rifle is a superb design coming from the UK, no?...perhaps they might be convinced to take a stab at gas gun?

#35 Dawes

Dawes

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,798 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 1910 PM

I don't know. Is designing a "clean sheet of paper" infantry rifle even possible in today's fiscal environment? The US has had some abortive attempts in the past (Advanced Combat Rifle in the 1980's, XM8 project)that came to naught after much time, effort, and money.

And given the caliber controversy now raging, maybe they should just issue everyone an M14 or L1A1 and be done with it.

#36 nigelfe

nigelfe

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,184 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 1944 PM

Well, arguably we got the nuclear submarine right from the outset, but we haven't universally issued our troops a truly UK designed rifle since 1853. Mind you, didn't the Americans give us the reactor tec. for our first SSN?


Not as I understood it at the time from my uncle who as a thermodynamist had been on the TUBE ALLOYS team, then at Aldermaston and subsequently had a chair at a leading UK university. I distinctly remember him saying of the first US SSN that UK had developed all the necessary technology and could produce one whenever the governement decided it wanted it.

#37 Tony Williams

Tony Williams

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 7,601 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Military guns and ammunition (all calibres)

Posted 27 November 2010 - 2059 PM

Designing rifles is relatively straight forward, its not like a nuclear submarine, you don't need a large design team with more computing power than a Google server farm.

Designing a bolt action rifle is straightforward, but strange things happen to automatic weapons. Judging by the troubles every new assault rifle design seems to have before it is debugged - even from very experienced design teams like HK and FN - getting it right is not as simple as you might expect. And even if it works perfectly on the range, getting it to work perfectly for years in a huge variety of environments while subject to the rough treatment and possibly minimal maintenance of extended combat is a whole 'nother problem.

I think I've mentioned before the first test firing of of the prototype MK19 AGL on auto: after the smoke cleared, it was discovered that the only bits which weren't bent were broken...

Mind you, didn't the Americans give us the reactor tec. for our first SSN?


Yes, HMS Dreadnought had a US powerplant to save time - subsequent RN nuclear subs had British reactors.

#38 EvanDP

EvanDP

    Deus Ex Nukina

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,349 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Interests:SciFi, firearms, Military history, computers, redheads

Posted 28 November 2010 - 0038 AM

[/quote] 
Yes, HMS Dreadnought had a US powerplant to save time - subsequent RN nuclear subs had British reactors.
[/quote]

I think I read somewhere that it was decided to use US equipment and know-how to get the RN's Nuclear Deterrence to sea as soon as possible. It was sort of a gentlemen's agreement to bolster both NATO and the UK.

#39 FirstOfFoot

FirstOfFoot

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,814 posts
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:ISSF target rifle

Posted 28 November 2010 - 0807 AM

Accuracy International Actic Warfare rifle is a superb design coming from the UK, no?...perhaps they might be convinced to take a stab at gas gun?


Not unless you want another hyper-accurate, ultra-robust, but slightly heavier-than-the-competition service rifle...

It was always a small outfit (three designers including Malcolm Cooper, AIUI). Even then, the L96 had a troubled introduction into service - there were problems with slamfires, never pleasant. Part of this was incorrect drills on the part of the firers concerned (i.e. the risk of a double feed if you didn't work the bolt fully forward, and then worked it again; the first round - which didn't engage with the extractor because the bolt wasn't closed - is now sitting loosely in the chamber, and the tip of the second is roundnow being rammed into the percussion cap of the first...)

<vague memories, may be total tripe, this was third-hand info fifteen years ago>

When they ramped up production after winning their first "big" British Army contract, they had to subcontract the manufacture of the firing pins - and IIRC the result was something that was a little bit too brittle at the tip. You really don't want a broken firing pin protruding from the bolt as you close it, the resulting bang will take the bolt backwards through the firer's cheek. It took a couple of accidents until they found and fixed the issue. Bear in mind this may also have been a convenient scapegoat for the user error above...

#40 medicjim86

medicjim86

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,036 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey, USA
  • Interests:emergency services

Posted 28 November 2010 - 0932 AM

I guess a small team of competent designers with solid leadership simply cannot design something so complex as a gas operated rifle :rolleyes: within reasonable budgets and timeframes....it's simply too difficult. A huge contractor full of bloat and corporate inefficiencies is what's needed. Either that or "you simply cannot get there from here".... so why try.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users