posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 02:23 AM
As I have said many. many times before, the main problem with the SA80 when it was first issued, was the mindset of the troops using it.
Those of my generation who relied on their trusty L1A1 SLR's, The General and LMG, not forgetting the 7.62mm Lee Enfield sniper rifle were, to say
the least, very very unhappy with the introduction of what to all intents and purposes, was a metal stamped and plastic toy.
On live and blank fire exercises, troops went loopy on full auto which led to barrel burnouts in quite a few cases.
On ops in NI and other places, the Mag would suddenly go for a walkabout - unless you attached a bit of string to it.
God I could go on, but it's been done to death.
Then, at long last, somebody took notice of what the end user wanted - they actually listened to the guys on the ground.
The result was the L85A2 and there is no doubt that, with a SUSAT, once again the British Tommy is a force to be reckoned with.
Now the only problem with this weapon, as Paddy has so rightly pointed out, is that it can only be fired from the right should which, in an urban
envirnonment, is a distinct disadvantage.
If BAe/H&K could manufacture the wpn with bolt carrier assy and cam stud on the right, with cam stud rail on the right, we'd have a winner.
As to assumptions that the L85A2 is due for replacement, well there was a grain of truth in that rumour BUT, it referred to the L85A1. In the
end, as I previously posted, the MoD coughed up £95.5M to fix the problems.