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Monday 19 August 2002

Death to the SA80 [Lurks]

The BBC is reporting that the British Army's SA80-A2 standard infantry rifle is still 'mis firing' even after the £92 million of modifications which have been made to it after complaints on the first model. The SA80 is a bit of a running gag, on one hand is a brave and solid bullpup design that's renowned for being accurate, but on the other hand it's littered with design flaws. The first model had a magazine catch that was notoriously easy to snag on clothing resulting in the magazine dropping out. Then there was the other amusing issue of the choice of plastic dissolving when exposed to the standard issue insect repellant.

Anyhow this new model, the SA80-A2, was introduced this year and saw action for the first time in Afghanistan. It appears that three official failures have been recorded and other servicemen have gone on record claiming that 'the new model still jammed and could not cope with extreme heat, cold, sand or dust.'

This is not good. The SA80 is a symbol of British troops, they look easily as distinctive as the yanks M4s. However I think it's rather a bit more important that your armed forces be equipped with functioning technology ahead of some sort of aesthetically pleasing national icon. I think it's time that they packed it in. It's time to get a proper rifle and there's plenty on the market. I think the choice is clear, the H&K G36 or the Steyr AUG. The former is extremely modern and just being introduced as a national firearm in some European countries, the latter is a well proven rock solid performer but both are modular and so suitable for conversion to support and sniper configurations in the field.

I say it's time to ditch that heavy old jamming piece of shite, how about our troops become renowned for sporting assault rifles that actually work instead. That's bound to give the enemy more pause for thought.

1 comment:

  1. Dogged by continual problems which embarrassingly can't be fixed even after a major repair programme, most disappointing. Whilst the changes in the A2 help, what you've got is a bulky over-complex rifle system that requires a hell of a lot of attention to keep in an operating condition... so arid environments really do fuck things up.You wouldn't believe the tiny parts that come out of the rifle when its stripped. Lose one little pin, you're fucked. Classic mistakes in training that I've witnessed include getting the whole bolt carrier assembly jammed in the rifle body, and putting it back together without the fiddly cocking handle. Still, politics politics... G36/AUG in 5 years would be expensive and embarrassing... OICW within 10 years would kick some serious arse :-)URL: Bloody pen pushers!.Great article in one of the papers this week, reminding that the rifle has so far cost £1200 *per unit* including the 'upgrade'. Lameness! They went on to suggest the G36 or FN's F2000 as ideal replacements - rock on!