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1945-Now: British Army Weapons going downhill?

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posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 01:45 PM
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After 1945, Britain wanted a new assault rifle to replace the Lee Enfield rifle so they developed the 7mm Enfield EM2 Bullpup, Cancelled due to NATO standards so they needed a 7.62 rifle, The L1A1 Self Loading Rifle(SLR).

The SLR was a direct licenced copy of the Belgian FN FAL rifle but only capable of semi auto fire, Was a sucessful weapon, accurate and hard hitting towards the enemy but it was also very bulky and clumbersome, especially to those crammed in small spaces. Officers used Sterling 9MM SMGs instead of the bulky SLRs until about 1990

In the 1970s, Enfield designed another bullpup rifle, The XL70 with a 4.85mm round, Again cancelled due to NATO standards but it lead to a rifle that came a decade later, The Enfield (Now Royal Ordnance) SA80 Bullpup.

The SA80 5.56 Bullpup has replaced both the SLR and Sterling SMGs.
Still in service now, It is a very accurate rifle but it has had problems when used in combat, Safety catch problems, Jammings, and further problems too. The weapon has now been revamped and some say it is sucessful, some say it is the same.

The Armalite/Sterling AR18 was also roumoured to be the SLRs replacement when the 5.56 round was introduced to Britain.

The Sterling SMG was the postwar Sten Gun Only issued to officers, Sucessful but was replaced by the SA80 in 1990, Still manufactured in India and used by thier Army.

The Browning Hi Power pistol, Belgian designed pistol still used now

The 7.62 Bren Gun, Sucessful weapon but only used 30 round magazines, Same like the AK47 rifle so what was the point of the Bren?
Does not sound like a true machine gun.

The FN MAG 7.62 GPMG, Another Belgian designed weapon still in use now, Good service record its even replaced the US Army M60s

Looks like we have had more Belgian weapons than anything else.




posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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With respect whats the point in this thread?



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by Browno
The SLR was a direct licenced copy of the Belgian FN FAL rifle but only capable of semi auto fire, Was a sucessful weapon, accurate and hard hitting towards the enemy but it was also very bulky and clumbersome, especially to those crammed in small spaces. Officers used Sterling 9MM SMGs instead of the bulky SLRs until about 1990


Yes, I can confirm the SLR was a good weapon. I still couldn't hit a barn door though lol

According to the Rockapes who tried to teach me to shoot, the SLR was able to be converted to fully automatic - I wasn't sure how, although I was told, but it was some time ago (almost 15 years ago now).

During the Falklands War, many soldiers reequipped themselves with captured Argentinian FN-FAL - the same rifle (as Browno said), but with fully automatic.


Originally posted by Browno
The 7.62 Bren Gun, Sucessful weapon but only used 30 round magazines, Same like the AK47 rifle so what was the point of the Bren?
Does not sound like a true machine gun.


It wasn't a true machine gun, in the same sense that the GPMG is. It was a section support weapon, I think each section had one (may have been per platoon, maybe someone else knows?). Introduced in the 30s, it was an awesome weapon, as most infantry still carried bolt action rifles. But I have been told it was solid, and reliable, and accurate. A friend of mines dad carried one during the Malay Emergency in the 50s, and was quite effective. My grandad, who served in both the Suez campaign (chasing Egyptians down the canal as they threw away all their US equipment as they ran!), and in the Mao-Mao uprising in Kenya, says it was a great weapon, as long as the guy operating it was built like a brick s**thouse!

[edit on 11-2-2006 by tek_604]



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 03:20 AM
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You seem to have answered your own question with regards to british small arms. You have demonstrated that the amount of firepower available at section level has steadily increased over thel last 60 or so years. The only real glitch was the SA80A1, and I can say from experience that the A2 has ironed out almost all of the problems with this.

L1A1 SLR - yes it was big and bulky, but it was normal in comparison to its peers at the time (G3, M14 etc). It was reliable and very hard hitting. The british chose to have the weapon as a semi-automatic as the use of full auto was very minimal in the british section level doctorine at the time.

Sterling - Only issued to troops who were unlikely to have to fight other than self defence. Even at section level they could be used as a stop gap between the short range pistol and the bulky SLR. Useful in OIBUA

Bren - Not really comparable to the AK47, as the Bren fired either .303 or 7.62 (depending on version), which are much more powerful rounds than the 7.62x39 fired from the AK. The bren gave a degree of accurate, controlable automatic firepower at section level. Bear in mind that later it was often combined with the L7 GPMG.

L7A1 GPMG - possibly the most useful weapon ever given to any infantry section in the world ever. 7.62mm NATO from a 200rd belt flying at 900rpm. Usually one per section, combined with the SLR. This more than made up for the lack of automatic fire with the rifle.

Current section level weapons are the SA80A2, LSWA2, Minimi Para model LMG, HK UGL (underslung grenade launcher).

My section carries as follows -
2 X SA80A2
2 X LSWA2
2 X SA80A2 + UGL
2 X Minimi LMG

How ever many HE grenades each (usually 2), plus what ever smoke or WP we may need. Pistols if we can get them

There's usually 1 or 2 94mm LAWs in there as well.

Depending on the type of job we're on, this is often augmented with a machine gun team or a sniper/sharpshooter team.

Compared to the 1945 version of a few SMLEs and a Bren, I think we're doing OK.

[edit on 12-2-2006 by PaddyInf]



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