Again, I side with Paddy.
Terminology is important. Not only to the professional who wants to look good to those 'not in the know', but also to the reader who would like to
believe that the poster knows what he or she is talking about.
For the record, I am a former weapons instructor and have taught Regular, TA and cadet forces for over 25 years. One thing I cannot abide is the
incorrect use of terminology. Let's get the basics right people, and we won't bugger up the more important issues.
The weapon concerned is properly known as The Rifle, 5.56mm L85A1 or The Rifle, 5.56mm L85A2. SA80 is the slang name for both rifles because it was
thought to have originally been manufactured in 1980, which is also incorrect.
Hyperen is correct when he says the weapon has been modified by H&K. It has and cost the British taxpayer about Â£91.5M.
UK Wiz said it is a heavier rifle. I'm afraid I take issue with this. The L1A1 SLR weighed approximately 10lbs 5 or 6 ozs with a fully charged mag on
it and bayno fitted. The L84A1 or A2 with iron sights, mag and bayno fitted, weighs a couple of ounces heavier.
koji_K, see my comment above re SA80 and the L85A1/A2.
Minimi - The L86 is, IMHO, brilliant. I was an LSW gunner for 7 long and eventful years and I enjoyed shooting that baby every time.
People always blame the weapon, never the soldier. I remember when the AR15/M16 was introduced during the beginning of the Viet Nam debacle. THAT also
had stoppage after stoppage - and all because soldiers were too lazy to learn how to clean it properly. Same with the L85A1/2!
HowlrunnerIV - automatic weapons DO work in hot and dusty conditions. I was up in the Djebel in Oman during the 70s with an L1A1 as a personal weapon,
with a 7.62mm LMG at section level and also The General at Plt level.
The L1A1 mags held 20 rounds and the LMG took 30. We only used to load 16 and 26 rounds because of the grit that accumulated in the mags. Another
thing we did with the L1A1 and the LMG, was after we had finished patrolling, we would strip the working parts out and place them on lint free cloths.
The heat of the sun caused the gun oil to ooze from the working parts. We then washed them in hot soapy water, removing all bits of sand and grit,
dried in the sun, then re-oiled. I personally used a gun oil called 009 which I believed was made by Parker Hale.
The General being 75% of our firepower, was treated like he should be, given all the love and attention a General deserves.
As for some Rupert calling the Minimi a 'SAW' well I'm sorry Paddy, but you know what these young subalterns are like!
And Paddy! NOBODY
could have seen Blackhawk Down more times than me.