During 1970s Singapore Army used US-designed M16A1 assault rifles. In 1976, Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS, now Singapore Technologies Kinetics), began to develop its own assult rifle with aim to supply these rifles for singapore military and for foreign countries. To save time CIS invited some engineers from a British company Sterling Armament, who used to manufacture US-designed Armalite AR-18 assault rifles. As a result the then new Singapore rifle closely resembled the original AR-18 design. First prototypes came out in 1978 and the final design was approved by Singapore military in 1984 under the name of SAR-80. This rifle was used to some extent by Singapore Army and also was exported to some countries, including Croatia.
SAR-80 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon of simple construction. It uses short stroke gas piston that pushes the massive bolt carrier with rotating bolt. The bolt carrier rides on two guide rods. Each rod has a recoil spring around it, gas piston rod has its own return spring. The receiver is made from steel stampings. Pistol grip, handguards and buttstock are made from plastic. SAR-80 uses M16-style magazines. Gas drive has gas regulator that can be cut off completely to safely lauch rifle grenades from the muzzle.
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