posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:21 AM
I used the L85 for 6 and a half years, bear in mind this was prior to the re-engineering work carried out by H & K in 2002-3.
The biggest bug-bears for the British Soldier are the fiddly working parts once stripped down for cleaning.
The bolt carrier assembly (BCA) consists of several tiny bits that when separated from the BCA, they are easy to misplace in the field if you drop
them during cleaning and if you do that you end up with a useless rifle.
That was one problem, the other is that it aquired a reputation for being prone to jamming.
I'm left handed and pointed out the short-coming on having to fire from my right shoulder, I got told 'tough, deal with it'. I did and learnt to
fire from my right-shoulder from then on in. No problem there.
I was pssed of there wasn't a way of changing the firing ejection mech to the left, but this is impossible due to the design fabrication.
Firing from around walls will mean a left-hand wall edge for a right-shouldered firer will result in a cartridge to the face.
The safety catch placement means that you have to remove your finger from the trigger to release, for many soldiers, this is near-unforgiveable if you
are behind enemy lines/want to move safely while having an edge.
You can, however, flick the safety with your left hand instead, although this only a quick fix on a flawed area of the design.
The biggest pain in the arse is the carbon build-up after firing and the awkward nature of the design means cleaning the cavities is finiky and
tenacious. This itself is partly the fault of the 5.56 ammo propellent which doesn't 100% burn off when fired and the metal finish of the gas parts.
It leaves behind residue, far more than other gun makes.
The SAS / SBS reviewed them and gave a damning verdict that it was fit only for the army shooting team!
I think the fact that only two countries - one S. American country another M.E use them (I think we gave one set away for training purposes!)
The compact design, however is a real boon when jumping in and out of armoured vehicles etc.
I can vouch for the fact that the accuracy and ease of use with regards the sights is v. good.
Paddy makes some very good comments.
With the mods that have taken place I've heard mostly good things on the L85 from serving soldiers who've been in the M.E fighting.
[edit on 6-9-2008 by WatchRider]