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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/28/2003 4:32:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2003 4:38:03 PM EDT by Lockedon]
A while ago, in a post about the Bushmaster Bullpup, the SA80 came up, and how the British supposedly hated it. No reason was given though.
I'd be curious to know what it is about it that they don't like...


Edited to add: Are there any Semi-Auto versions out for civilian sale?
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:09:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2003 5:11:26 PM EDT by _DR]
When I worked in Saudi Arabia on contract in the Riyadh Military hospital, I worked with a lot of Brits and Aussies. Much home-brewed liquor was consumed, and many interesting conversations were had. During one of these I spoke with several Brits who had served witht the TA (Territorial Army, similar to our National Guard). Most said the integrated optics were quite fragile and prone to breakage. They also said the first version, before it was revamped by H&K, was prone to failures and basically a P.O.S. - However they did say the revised version was much improved, though most agreed that the integrated optics were still too fragile. The older men among them said they much preferred the FNCs, FALs and L1A1s that the SA80 replaced. Of course this could have been the liquor and nostalgia speaking. It reminded me of the M16 versus M14 debate we see a lot here in the US. I lost quite a few brain cells during those social gatherings, but there wasn't much else to do in your time off over there.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:27:47 PM EDT
First 3 Google searches: [url]http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/SA80.htm[/url] [url]http://www.guardian.co.uk/theissues/article/0,6512,800480,00.html[/url] [url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/657127.stm[/url]
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:43:09 PM EDT
1: It's an ass-ugly bullpup design. 2: It's particularly ugly even as bullpups go. 3: It's designed by the British. 4: It's about as reliable as a campaign promise. Of COURSE they hate it! But the steel mags for them, which look like an absolutely perfect USGI mag only done in tougher steel, are excellent. CJ
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:46:17 PM EDT
It was actually an H&K design (German), they were contracted to build it for the British Armed Forces.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:54:13 PM EDT
i thought HK was contracted to fix it the second time around.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:55:31 PM EDT
1: It's an ass-ugly bullpup design. 2: It's particularly ugly even as bullpups go. 3: It's designed by the British. 4: It's about as reliable as a campaign promise. 5: The receiver is thin sheetmetal and prone to be damaged easily. 6: About as reliable as a British sports car. 7: Optics suck. 8: Original mags sucked, when used with the SA80. It was actually an H&K design (German), they were contracted to build it for the British Armed Forces. - Nope, it was designed by the British MOD, Ministry of Defense, and after a multitude of problems were reported by the users, the MOD contracted HK to work out the bugs of the original design. The new HK mags are real sweet. It is still a POS and MOD could have replaced all the SA80's with Colt M4's or HK G36's for half the price.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 5:59:54 PM EDT
H&K was contracted to build it a second time around,I dont beleive it was ever their design.The rifle has tighter tolerances than an M16 and I think the design is inherintly flawed seeind as how its still having problems after being rebuilt by H&K but then again the G36 is having some problems also so who knows.I know the first SA80 rifles were built so bad that you could squeeze the receiver and stop the bolt from moving,I think its just crap no matter who makes or remakes it.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 6:26:38 PM EDT
I heard that a lot of Brits liked the SUSAT sight, but I see a lot of footage from Iraq of SA80's with Iron Sights. The Brits should just use the FNC and build it under contract, I'm under the impresion that it's a scaled down FAL.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 6:31:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By model927: H&K was contracted to build it a second time around,I dont believe it was ever their design.
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I stand corrected.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 6:49:15 PM EDT
Thats allright DR maybe if the germans did originaly design it it might have turned out better.
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 6:55:58 PM EDT
Because, as told to me by the head of quality contol at Enfield, "The bloody contraption is a poorly concieved design, enhanced by shoddy construction and overseen by bloody nincompoops!" SD
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 6:59:14 PM EDT
The SA80 feels like it has a brick flying back and forth inside when I have shot it. It works more reliably than it used to, but still is not a good weapon. Jack
Link Posted: 10/28/2003 9:57:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2003 10:01:16 PM EDT by Suburban]
There's a lot of stuff on the SA80 at google rec.guns Basic impression I got was that the A2 version is greatly improved. Still, I don't think I'd trust one with my life. The reliability tests were done by the government that spend countless millions on the things. Sorry, forgot the URL to rec.guns http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&group=rec.guns
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 12:52:52 AM EDT
Not meaning to be a smart as$ But where have you been since 1980? Everybody in the Firearms world know that the SA80 has been a POS since 1980. Everybody in the Firearms world has been keeping track of this weapon and its Various incarnatiuons and the British have already spent a Bilion Dollars and still Cant Fix this Rifle. And in MHO the SA80 is not a ugly Gun , The french FAMAS has got to be the Ugliest Bullpup but what a Gun! Excellent But ugly, then again its French.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 7:07:43 AM EDT
"le Clarion" [:)]
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 7:43:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/29/2003 7:59:02 AM EDT by Manic_Moran]
[url]www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/SA80.htm[/url] was referenced earlier, probably the best link on the matter you'll find. Be sure to follow the links within the article. The SUSAT sight was considered to be the best thing about the L85, even though it almost doubles the weight. The weapon itself is also inherently accurate, so basically if you could get the thing to shoot, you were going to hit whatever you were aiming at. The photos you see of troops using just the iron sights are not infantry types. SUSAT is standard for all line infantry troops, but not for anyone else. Too expensive, I guess. Apparently the L85A2 is a huge improvement, and reports coming in from Afghanistan and Iraq seem to indicate greater reliability than the M-16/M-4 rifle. (I know, this is going to go down as heresy in this board!), and the SAS are reportedly re-evaluating the rifle given recent performance. The problem is the stigma that the rifle earned over the last 15 years or so (i.e. the L85A1 was a bloody disaster) is going to be very hard to get rid of. It happened to the M-16, I'm sure it'll happen to the L85 as well. What I'm curious about is why the Falklands TA went with AUGs instead of L85s.. Seems like a compatibility issue to me. No civilian versions available for sale to my knowledge, though I guess the L98 version might be legal. Being manually operated, however, it takes some of the fun out of it. [Edit]. Browsing through the group linked above, it seems some L85s did make it across the water. Pay a lot of money if you can find them though. Most of the links you can find on that rec group are pre-2003 though, and so written without the practical results of the A2 in the desert. And personally, I rather like the look of the weapon. Not to mention also, with the longer barrel compared to the M-4, you don't seem to hear many complaints about the 5.56mm not doing enough damage to the target coming from the Brits. NTM
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 8:09:11 AM EDT
The rifle doesnt like adverse conditions, especialy blowing sand, It jams like a bitch. It has no tolerance for it. The sight was to fagile for military use. I broke one on my SA80 second day on the Falklands. I swapped it for an L1A1 with a trilux sight, Its not nostalga its a stronger gun. Never liked the SA80, they should have given us M16'S. But thats just an Ex Brit servicmans point of veiw.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 10:16:47 AM EDT
I always thought of the bullpup to be a neat concept, but I sure wouldn't want a double charge or undiscovered squib going off when I was shooting it!
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 12:08:46 PM EDT
The SA80 was designed by committee at a cost of around $1 Billion. It has (believe it or not) an incredible 9 point clearing process as live cartridges can find their way up and above the bolt and then chamber when the bolt has closed - there have been numerous incidents of British troops being shot by weapons that for all intents and purposes, were clear. I can't add much to what's mentioned above and the SA80 is not something you would want to rely on in a combat situation. Every one I've ever tried has jammed in use. The L86A1 LSW (Light Support Weapon) was supposed to be a heavy-barrelled, sustained fire verion but the barrel warped so much in full-auto use, that they are restricted to semi-auto only. H&K carried out a $98 Million refit of the weapon, the Royal Marines used them in Iraq and the SA80 let them down again - the polititians of course, blamed the Marines saying they (the Marines) should have cleaned them more in the field. Bit difficult in the middle of a fire-fight.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 12:31:13 PM EDT
Originally posted by Spiffy3: And in MHO the SA80 is not a ugly Gun , The french FAMAS has got to be the Ugliest Bullpup but what a Gun! Excellent But ugly, then again its French _______________________________________________I could'nt agree more.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 12:43:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 1:00:52 PM EDT
I saw a program about the Royal Marines training on the His/Disc. channel, and near the end they were on a live fire winter exercise. You could see them fire a couple rounds then start clearing and banging the rifle with their hand. Then they'ed fire a couple more rounds and do it again. It was ovious the rifles were not functioning well for most of the guys.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 7:48:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/29/2003 7:49:28 PM EDT by Suburban]
Originally Posted By Manic_Moran: Most of the links you can find on that rec group are pre-2003 though, and so written without the practical results of the A2 in the desert.
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[url]http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=bbj46n%24e5e%241%40grapevine.wam.umd.edu&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fhl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DISO-8859-1%26safe%3Doff%26q%3Dsa80%2Bvs.%2BM-16%26btnG%3DGoogle%2BSearch%26meta%3D[/url] (Damn! That's a lotta link.) I don't know about desert reliability, but I seem to remember some good info and links to SA80 PDFs.
Link Posted: 10/29/2003 8:22:01 PM EDT
Lets face it, The Brit's have had a serious hadi cap for decades and it is getting worse. The populas are not allowed to have military weapons, and do not have the right to invent something by making a sample to give to the army for evaluations. There is no porogram to help or encourage that type thing like we have in the USA. The history books show that the only Brit weapon before the SA80, and that actually was reliable in function was the sten gun, and that cost $5.00 bucks during the WW2. The other weapons like the Enfield, Fal, etc. all had thier origins elswhere. Thank God we don't have the Restrictions on private ownership that the poor Brit's do. Thier industry for military optics. lasers, etc. are not allowed to have a real weapon in the plant for engineering, just toy guns. All real handi caps, and it shows. Germany dosn't have a fraction of the restrictions and they lost the war. Go figure! Jack
Link Posted: 10/30/2003 5:19:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 3rdtk: Lets face it, The Brit's have had a serious hadi cap for decades and it is getting worse. The populas are not allowed to have military weapons, and do not have the right to invent something by making a sample to give to the army for evaluations. There is no porogram to help or encourage that type thing like we have in the USA. The history books show that the only Brit weapon before the SA80, and that actually was reliable in function was the sten gun, and that cost $5.00 bucks during the WW2. The other weapons like the Enfield, Fal, etc. all had thier origins elswhere. Thank God we don't have the Restrictions on private ownership that the poor Brit's do. Thier industry for military optics. lasers, etc. are not allowed to have a real weapon in the plant for engineering, just toy guns. All real handi caps, and it shows. Germany dosn't have a fraction of the restrictions and they lost the war. Go figure! Jack
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You're right and it's a real shame. Back in the sixties and even today the shed's of England are filled with great back yard engineers/craftsmen who build some amazing bikes and cars. I'm sure they could build some nice guns if the were allowed.
Link Posted: 10/30/2003 7:16:34 AM EDT
The FNC is NOT a scaled down FAL. The CAL is more of a scaled down FAL. The FNC uses the rotating bolt of the AK47 and M16 mags. Gas tap is from the FAL. From the sandbox..
Link Posted: 10/31/2003 10:54:36 AM EDT
I spoke to a Brit during the Land Combat Expo in Heidlberg Germany a couple of months ago. He said the infantry regiments really like them now that HK has redesigned them. Combat-Diver, I just finished an Advanced Urban Combat Course from ISTC, with some one who knows you. Rick said to say Hi. And by the way your IM box is full.
Link Posted: 10/31/2003 12:34:29 PM EDT
As an odd side note .. someone said that HnK was a german company ... they are actually a British Aerospace Company.. Iam not lying .... they were bought up in the 80's if I remember my dates ... they *HK* were contracted to provide solutions or stop gaps to problems with mag, mag releases etc etc etc. I know some Brits that are still serving and they are crossing their fingers. the rifles are said to be fixed ... but who knows ... remeber the M16 had plenty of teething trouble to .. it took a second version to make that rifle viable ... they only time I handled an SA80 was short lived after 4 rounds the Mag dropped out of the mag well ...... that was in Suffield a large british base in Canada one of the main problems with this type of defense procurement is that the nation building the item tend to hold on to long to the pride instead of looking for logical or more cost effective alternatives.. the SA80 cost alot more than planned ... as did the challenger becuase of this type of pride issue .. we all sufer from some form of not made in the "usa" "canada" or etc etc etc I seem to remember the Friction that was created when the Marines wanted to adopt the FN mag ... not made in the USA came up there as well ... but that was a while back now even the Army has them ... Ive never heard of an SA80 in private hands... but iam sure there is some out there ...
Link Posted: 10/31/2003 7:22:48 PM EDT
Weapons procurement should never done by anybody other than SGT's. Am I wrong?
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 4:59:48 AM EDT
I've never fired one but I handled one briefly at a British outpost in Kosovo in 2000. The Brits their hated the weapon and would have gladly traded it for any M16. This was obviously before the HK improvements - I still think the gun is a POS. HK does excellent work but much can you do to a design that was born for failure. I've also seen Royal Marines with M16's and M4's. It doesn't take much hard thinking for them to switch over to another weapon. I think the reason the British government insists on keeping the SA80 is a matter of national pride - having their own design. Maybe their socialist country should wake up and release that they've scared away almost all gun enthusiasts and creative thought that might create a genuine British weapon that works from the start. I'm not crazy over Eastern Bloc weapons but I would much sooner take an AK,SKS, or old reliable boltaction over anything the Brits have created of late.
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 5:16:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2003 5:18:52 AM EDT by Sylvan]
Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER: I spoke to a Brit during the Land Combat Expo in Heidlberg Germany a couple of months ago. He said the infantry regiments really like them now that HK has redesigned them. Combat-Diver, I just finished an Advanced Urban Combat Course from ISTC, with some one who knows you. Rick said to say Hi. And by the way your IM box is full.
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10th Group? Combat Diver, you are/were 10th group, too, aren't you?
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 5:25:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NM6: As an odd side note .. someone said that HnK was a german company ... they are actually a British Aerospace Company.. Iam not lying .... they were bought up in the 80's if I remember my dates ... they *HK* were contracted to provide solutions or stop gaps to problems with mag, mag releases etc etc etc. I know some Brits that are still serving and they are crossing their fingers. the rifles are said to be fixed ... but who knows ... remeber the M16 had plenty of teething trouble to .. it took a second version to make that rifle viable ... they only time I handled an SA80 was short lived after 4 rounds the Mag dropped out of the mag well ...... that was in Suffield a large british base in Canada one of the main problems with this type of defense procurement is that the nation building the item tend to hold on to long to the pride instead of looking for logical or more cost effective alternatives.. the SA80 cost alot more than planned ... as did the challenger becuase of this type of pride issue .. we all sufer from some form of not made in the "usa" "canada" or etc etc etc I seem to remember the Friction that was created when the Marines wanted to adopt the FN mag ... not made in the USA came up there as well ... but that was a while back now even the Army has them ... Ive never heard of an SA80 in private hands... but iam sure there is some out there ...
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There are about 20 converted auto SA80s in Canada.
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