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New Sharpshooter Rifle for UK troops

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posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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It has been announced that the UK has ordered 440 LM7 ruggedized target rifles for use in Afghanistan. The new rifle, designated the L129A1, will be used to engage targets with precision fire in the current 'dead zone' of 400-800m.

The rifle is reported to have out performed other, better known competitors such as the SCAR and the HK417 in the accuracy stakes.

The SA80A2 is performing well at ranges out to 400m-ish, but lacks power in excess of this. The only weapon currently carried by the infantry section that comfortably engages out to 800m is the L7 GPMG, which is a fire support weapon and does not lend itself to precision fire.

The new weapon will be issued to trained sharpshooters. These are qualified soldiers who are trained in sniper-class marksmanship, but without all the other sniper gubbins such as stalking etc. They are currently armed with the L96A1, the military version of the Accuracy International AW. While a very accurate weapon, the L96 is restricted in that it is a bolt action, meaning slower consecutive shots. It is also quite heavy (over 6kg without optics). The new weapon is semi-automatic and fires from a 20rd magazine, allowing for rapid corrections and follow up shots when engaging moving or partially obscured targets at medium to long ranges.

I for one think this is a great idea. Engagements in Helmand tend to be at either sub 100m or over 500m. While the IW is great for these closer range encounters, a dedicated marksman system is needed for anything 400m plus if you wnat to stand any chance of hitting a combat target.

Before all the 'lets issue everyone with 7.62 then' crowd jump on board, just remember we're talking about engaging COMBAT targets, not something on a gallery range. In my experience the ability to shoot accurately decreases massively once the range becomes two-way. Even decent shots struggle hitting targets past 300m in fast-moving combat situations. The 5.56 is fine for ranges that the great majority of shooter actually stand a chance of hitting their target at. This new weapon will give the better shots a more useful weapon for utilizing their skills.

I qual'd as a sharpshooter back in the days when all you had to do was fail the stalk on the sniper course as opposed to attend a designated cadre. I just wish I wasn't a SNCO, then I'd probably get my grubby little mitts on one of these beauties!




posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 08:02 AM
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Any new weapon is always good on the battlefield. With the taliban now putting murder holes in all the walls of compounds now accurate fire is going to be a must.

This disappointed me though..




the L96 is restricted in that it is a bolt action, meaning slower consecutive shots.


I understand that accuracy is going to diminish while bullets are flying over head, but any sniper should be well enough trained to be able to hit the target with one shot regardless if it wounds or kills.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by r3dman
 


At 800 yards, a bolt action is a must.
one shot at a target can take up to one minute, at that range.
the current use of battlefield weapons is spray and pray, which is good for 100 yards or less. one, I repeat one, shot is sufficient unto itself at 800 yards.


[edit on 28-12-2009 by fmcanarney]



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by r3dman

This disappointed me though..



the L96 is restricted in that it is a bolt action, meaning slower consecutive shots.


I understand that accuracy is going to diminish while bullets are flying over head, but any sniper should be well enough trained to be able to hit the target with one shot regardless if it wounds or kills.


This is NOT a sniper rifle. Snipers are currently issued the L115A3 (AI AWM in 8.6mm/.338LM) which is a 5 shot bolt action capable of engaging at 1100m+. Snipers are trained to make the first shot and remain undetected. They generally have a lot more say in the conditions that they take their shot in than the dismounted combat infantryman at platoon level. A sniper will have time to make a proper range estimation, have time to set up the weapon, have the opportunity to adopt a decent fire position and will usually remain undetected during the engagement, reducing stress. They will rarely be firing after exertion and while wearing a full equipment load. Hence the increased accuracy reduced shot-to-hit numbers.

The new weapon is for long range (800m-ish) engagements at platoon level. This almost always means firing while in contact at multiple targets, usually while under fire. Trust me, a moving target that is shooting back at these ranges is hard to hit no matter who you are. In fact, the current probability for a sniper to engage and hit a man-sized target in contact in REALISTIC battlefield conditions in daytime at 800m is approx 30%. this increases to 50% at 600-800m, and 70% at ranges under 600m. That means about 1 hit per 3 rounds at 800m. For the sharpshooter, targets are usually moving, are obscured by cover/smoke, are at unknown ranges, are only visible for a matter of seconds.

In the real world one shot one kill is something that is often boasted about but not always achieved.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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Sounds sweet.

www.militaryphotos.net...

Here's a pic.

Seems that everything plus god is going on an AR frame nowadays!

didnt realize that stainless barrels were that "picky". I've always been a "cleaning nazi" on my weapons so its no biggie. Barrel change out at 100 rounds then a cleaning? How can you change the barrell and not affect the point of aim?



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf

Originally posted by r3dman

This disappointed me though..



the L96 is restricted in that it is a bolt action, meaning slower consecutive shots.


I understand that accuracy is going to diminish while bullets are flying over head, but any sniper should be well enough trained to be able to hit the target with one shot regardless if it wounds or kills.


This is NOT a sniper rifle. Snipers are currently issued the L115A3 (AI AWM in 8.6mm/.338LM) which is a 5 shot bolt action capable of engaging at 1100m+. Snipers are trained to make the first shot and remain undetected. They generally have a lot more say in the conditions that they take their shot in than the dismounted combat infantryman at platoon level. A sniper will have time to make a proper range estimation, have time to set up the weapon, have the opportunity to adopt a decent fire position and will usually remain undetected during the engagement, reducing stress. They will rarely be firing after exertion and while wearing a full equipment load. Hence the increased accuracy reduced shot-to-hit numbers.

The new weapon is for long range (800m-ish) engagements at platoon level. This almost always means firing while in contact at multiple targets, usually while under fire. Trust me, a moving target that is shooting back at these ranges is hard to hit no matter who you are. In fact, the current probability for a sniper to engage and hit a man-sized target in contact in REALISTIC battlefield conditions in daytime at 800m is approx 30%. this increases to 50% at 600-800m, and 70% at ranges under 600m. That means about 1 hit per 3 rounds at 800m. For the sharpshooter, targets are usually moving, are obscured by cover/smoke, are at unknown ranges, are only visible for a matter of seconds.

In the real world one shot one kill is something that is often boasted about but not always achieved.


Soz, didnt read the article correctly...Thought was new Sniper weapon not fire support(to much beer), although in the army i served in it doesn't have such a weapon..

I was trained not to get killed when in sketchy situations, not accurate fire on target

Personally i would rather 30 rounds on the target regardless if there missing then 1 or 2 of accurate fire.. 30 rounds are going to keep there heads down and therefore no bullets are coming towards me.

Surely there has to be plenty better semi-autos that would suit better then bolt action?



posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by r3dman
 


One if the key issues that troops on the ground are facing in Afghanistan is their over willingness to blat away their ammo as well as an over reliance on air support. One or two accurate shots should always be preferred over excess as this is not Holywood were nobody runs out of bullets. NATO troops (well US, UK and Canadian) have a hard enough job enough job when the Afghan troops fire all they have in seconds few.



posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by The_Archangel
reply to post by r3dman
 


One if the key issues that troops on the ground are facing in Afghanistan is their over willingness to blat away their ammo as well as an over reliance on air support. One or two accurate shots should always be preferred over excess as this is not Holywood were nobody runs out of bullets.


In theory this should be the case but in reality it comes down to a fine balance between fire superiority (winning the firefight) and ammunition conservation. You do often need to be putting down a suppressing amount of fire to allow other elemnets of your force to move into supporting positions/advance etc. Many of these rounds don't go anywhere near a target, but they do serve a purpose.

This does not, however, mean just squirting away all your ammunition as fast as possible. It means identifying known or probable enemy positions and laying accurate and deliberate fire onto them in order to keep the enemies heads down. A round or two every few seconds from each member of the supporting fire team with the odd burst from the LMG/GPMG is usually enough to support movement until the final stages of the assault. This is where you need to up the rate and keep the enemy occupied to allow your assault element to close in with and kill the enemy.


NATO troops (well US, UK and Canadian) have a hard enough job enough job when the Afghan troops fire all they have in seconds few.


Agreed, although some ANA are getting better. It's when their off their t1ts on weed that things go a bit haywire. They forget what we're trying to teach them and suddenly think they're John McClane, firing off full mags from the hip and all sorts.



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