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 SLR / SA80 or M16!

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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   31/1/2011, 21:46

started a new post on my Fox and we can discuss it there if you like! Razz
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   11/4/2011, 01:46

Personally i loved the SLR at least with it you knew that you were going to stop whatever you hit. But with the changes in modern warfare the SA80 was brought in for a number of reasons. I was told at the time the main reason was it was designed more to wound rather than kill (may be wrong). The theory behind this was that it would take another couple of soldiers out of the battle moving the wounded party. Also i believe to bring the ammunition compatibilty more in line with our allies. Again i may be wrong don"t shoot me down in flames this is what i was told at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   11/4/2011, 04:41

TDivers wrote:
Personally i loved the SLR at least with it you knew that you were going to stop whatever you hit. But with the changes in modern warfare the SA80 was brought in for a number of reasons. I was told at the time the main reason was it was designed more to wound rather than kill (may be wrong). The theory behind this was that it would take another couple of soldiers out of the battle moving the wounded party. Also i believe to bring the ammunition compatibilty more in line with our allies. Again i may be wrong don"t shoot me down in flames this is what i was told at the time.
I read somewhere, at the time, that the introduction of the SA80 would allow the infantryman to carry more ammunition. In fact, it was probably all part of this plan for a European army.
When it came to accuracy and durability, there was nothing to touch the .303, in my opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   11/4/2011, 05:31

For information the standard infantry weapon in the Australian Army is the AustStyr SA88.

When an Army Cadet in UK, prior to my Army Apprentice days, we had the pre WW1, Martini Henry 3.10 Cadet rifle. Probably left over from South Wales Borderers at Rorkes Drift. Anybody remember those?

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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   11/4/2011, 15:26

Quote :
the SA80 was brought in for a number of reasons. I was told at the time the main reason was it was designed more to wound rather than kill (may be wrong). The theory behind this was that it would take another couple of soldiers out of the battle moving the wounded party. Also i believe to bring the ammunition compatibilty more in line with our allies

That is exactly what I was told at the small arms school Hythe
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   11/4/2011, 16:25

Then there was the change-over in the Canadian Army from the Bren to what was called the C2 LMG. It was the C1 (Canadian version of your SLR) with a heavier barrel and 30 round mag. The Bren was as accurate as you could get; the C2 sprayed rounds all over the place. If the first round hit the bull, the third round usually creased the outer on the target.
Same story: spread the shots around; the Bren was too accurate. OK, but it sure wasn't fun anymore.

On another note: I always wonder if the Americans were smarter than us in retaining the old M1 for parade purposes. We followed your system, changing the rifle drill from the slope to the shoulder when we got issued the FN C1 and have stayed with it with the C7 (well after my time). Meanwhile you have gone back to sloping arms with the SA 80, but from what I see in pictures and on TV it looks very cumbersome, plus you don't get to rest the rifle on the ground when at the order, or at ease/easy. Comments?
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PostSubject: Long Barrels   11/4/2011, 22:40

I have followed this thread with interest for ages now and there is a popular misconception that the SLR is a long barreled weapon while the SA80 is considered a short barreled one. There is a difference of 15mm in favour of the SLR, hardly a large difference I think you will agree, this is due to the "Bullpup" style of the SA80 whereby the breech is located to the rear allowing reduction in overall length. I prefer the SLR but then I regularly shoot 7.62/.308 using a Parker Hale L81a1 and a Enfield No4 converted to 7.62. I admit I do also use a Winchester model 70 in 5.56/.223 but somehow can't seem to find a load that suits the 1 in 9 twist barrel, Radway green makes it shoot like a twelve bore at 300 yards!!. Years ago I would never have believed I would enjoy hanging around military ranges in the wet and cold when the pub was open, seems old age comes with a little stupidity at times, at least I remember to go on the right days.


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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   12/4/2011, 14:13


The SLR was a cannon !
Although I was trained on the .303, once the stoppages of the earlier models was sorted I became very fond of the SLR, especially when hoofing it around parts of Belfast.
That 7.62 round was very powerful.
Having said that, I did a course at Sennelager on the L 42, only to have it taken away because of bolt problems. When I arrived on location in Andersonstown I was presented with a No 4 (T) what a beauty that was !

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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   13/4/2011, 18:03

I loved the SLR, one hell of a 'man stopper'. To stop any gas stoppages I'd set the gas regulator to zero, it kicked like a mule, but i got used to it. In NI, we used to 'aquire' 30 round LMG mags that fitted a treat, and of course made the weapon look like an AK. !!
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   13/4/2011, 22:55

Only ever fired a SLR on the range,so don`t know if it was a man stopper or not ..Thank god.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   14/4/2011, 16:21

The problem with 30 round Bren magazines fitted to an SLR is that the LMG magazines had a weak spring. It, the LMG, was after all gravity fed with the rounds 'dropping' into the chamber as opposed to being fed up into the chamber like most assault rifles.

A visit to the unit armourer would rectify this as they could chang the spring. The SLR would have been very prone to stoppages if fitted with the LMG mag.

The SLR was indeed designed to stop a man dead. The round hitting a person would rip the body appart due to cavitation. The 5.56mm round just did not have the same velocity and therefore a lesser impact meaning less cavitation which is what does the damage.

Soviet doctrine was different to ours anyway. The shock army tactic was to press forward any attack with no regards to their!!! injured - or ours.

Their third line troops were the first with ambulances, their medics were there to treat superficial wounds only so that the soldier could carry on fighting. Anyone needing casevac or CPR was left for dead - callous but effective which actually meant that it was irrelevant which weapon/round/velocity we used!
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   14/4/2011, 22:13

Themaadone wrote:
The problem with 30 round Bren magazines fitted to an SLR is that the LMG magazines had a weak spring. It, the LMG, was after all gravity fed with the rounds 'dropping' into the chamber as opposed to being fed up into the chamber like most assault rifles.

A visit to the unit armourer would rectify this as they could chang the spring. The SLR would have been very prone to stoppages if fitted with the LMG mag.

The SLR was indeed designed to stop a man dead. The round hitting a person would rip the body appart due to cavitation. The 5.56mm round just did not have the same velocity and therefore a lesser impact meaning less cavitation which is what does the damage.

Soviet doctrine was different to ours anyway. The shock army tactic was to press forward any attack with no regards to their!!! injured - or ours.

Their third line troops were the first with ambulances, their medics were there to treat superficial wounds only so that the soldier could carry on fighting. Anyone needing casevac or CPR was left for dead - callous but effective which actually meant that it was irrelevant which weapon/round/velocity we used!


5.56mm is a higher velocity round than 7.62mm, its the extra energy due purely to the size/weight of the bullet that does the damage, at least that's what my schoolboy science lessons taught me. 5.56 is normally over 3000ft per sec and 7.62 around 2500 ft/sec, bullets are around 55 grains as against 155 grains as a very ball park sort of figure.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   14/4/2011, 22:56

[quote="Themaadone"]The problem with 30 round Bren magazines fitted to an SLR is that the LMG magazines had a weak spring. It, the LMG, was after all gravity fed with the rounds 'dropping' into the chamber as opposed to being fed up into the chamber like most assault rifles.

A visit to the unit armourer would rectify this as they could chang the spring. The SLR would have been very prone to stoppages if fitted with the LMG mag.

I agree, the spring in a "Bren" mag wasn't designed to push rounds upward.

Why put that sort of mag on to a SLR anyway I wonder.
It's 39 years ago now but I know that lugging a longer magazine for hours on end on footsies would've been no fun at all. In fact, as I recall, we squeezed 28 rounds into the SLR mag anyway, until the armourers asked us to desist as the constant removal of the rounds, several times a day was causing undue wear on the magazine lips.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   15/4/2011, 14:49

After checking I see you are right. My memory is playing tricks with me ragrding velocity etc.

Also realised that I forgot to mention - The LMG was an accurate weapon but the GPMG and subsequent squad support weapons were not meant to be 'dead' accurate (pardon the pun hehe) but to spray the general area with suppresive fire.

For sustained accurate fire the tripod would be used with collometer and accurate sustained fire put onto one position. That was the versatility of the GPMG Vs the accuracy of the LMG.

After being unable to move from a position due to suppresive fire from (I think) an RPK.... it works.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   16/4/2011, 16:43

Brum ! 28 rounds in a 20 round mag Wow ! . Us Saracen drivers didnt do much footsies thankfully.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   16/4/2011, 20:35

woody wrote:
Brum ! 28 rounds in a 20 round mag Wow ! . Us Saracen drivers didnt do much footsies thankfully.

The last RCT Saracen drivers I came in contact with were from 7 Sqn.

You weren't one of those maniacs were you ? Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   17/4/2011, 11:34

Saracens where a beast to drive. The riot wings on the side were an interesting addition but I only ever drove one with most having the wings removed. Thats why they called them flying pigs (or so I was told by an RCT Sgt who was i/c our troop).

I had to debus once mind you, when our (my) pig was immersed in flames after a pre planned petrol bomb attack. Getting out and running like F**K and then advancing back towards the vehicle as the PRC was still in it.

That was scary and even the Jocks (SG) were shitting bricks.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   17/4/2011, 12:52

Brum !!!!! A maniac from 54 Sqn.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   3/5/2011, 18:24

Never fired anything in anger, Gott sei Dank, but I reckon I was a whizz on the range and retained an interest in small arms. Here's my sixpennorth......... The Mk4 Enfield was as good as they get for a mass produced weapon. Great bolt action, provided you loaded the mag properly to suit rimmed cartridge cases. The aperture backsight was smaller in diameter than that on the SLR, which led to better accuracy. However, we found that the average dimwit could get more rounds on the target with the SLR, why, I'm not sure. Maybe it was an ability to just point it and not have to fiddle with the loading mechanism.

When we first met 5.56 mm, it was at a demonstration of US weapons. Things to come, they said. THe high velocity round spins when it hits something, the wound is enormous, makes a bloody great hole and can send shock waves up the arteries which rupture vital organs. Well, so did the .303 to some extent, especially after the back end of the bullet was altered. otherwise it would have gone through and not stopped a sword waving Dervish.

Now all this is good stuff provided the opposition don't get something similar. Provided you don't need to hit anything more than 300 yds.away, as anticipated in a North European conflict, a small bullet is fine. It's like the reason why you can chuck a cricket ball further than a marble. So following the lead of the Yanks, NATO went for 5.56 mm, we altered our experimental 0.280 bullpup and the SA80 was born. As a target weapon it was great, drop it in the mud and you could have been better off with the Dervish's sword. Or so I'm told.
However, it was small and compact, better for lugging in and out of an APC. And, yes, a squaddy could carry more ammo, even though the SA80 itself is near as dammit as heavy as the longer range stuff it replaced. And, having the weight at the backend, it's butt-heavy, not finely balanced like the old SMLE.

Now, as I confess, I'm not familiar with war like stuff, but I would guess that a weapon designed for hitting something no more than 300 yards away might be a bit hazardous to carry in a desert where equipment with a longer reach could be desirable. Expert opinion would be appreciated ( but is all this really relevant to a BAOR forum?)

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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   4/5/2011, 09:02

One thing I forgot to mention for those who rate SLR above SMLE.......... I read it in abook (Where else?), it's some time ago & precise figures might be a bit out. Specifications for both weapons determined that accuracy standards had to be met before a weapon was accepted from the manufacturer. I certainly recall that a .303 had be capable of producing a 2" group, an SLR was OK if it could shoot a 4" group. Not sure what the specified range was........ it's either 100 or 200 yards. I don't suppose it matters much if the opposition are well fed and thick round the middle.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   7/5/2011, 22:44

cartav wrote:
One thing I forgot to mention for those who rate SLR above SMLE.......... I read it in abook (Where else?), it's some time ago & precise figures might be a bit out. Specifications for both weapons determined that accuracy standards had to be met before a weapon was accepted from the manufacturer. I certainly recall that a .303 had be capable of producing a 2" group, an SLR was OK if it could shoot a 4" group. Not sure what the specified range was........ it's either 100 or 200 yards. I don't suppose it matters much if the opposition are well fed and thick round the middle.

Tipping my cap to some of the contributors to this site, clearly more qualified than I...

The .303 No 4 rifle, was a development of the Enfield SMLE, to meet the requirements of WW2. Seems to me the SMLE, at that time, was doing OK as it was.

The rifles of that era met the requirements of the battlefield at that time.
My No4 rifle ( deactivated, I hasten to add !) has sights graduated to 1300 yds. Firing at that range, in a European theatre, would be useless against a solitary target. A number of highly trained men, firing perhaps five rounds "rapid" on a target area, would produce a "beaten zone", impossible to cross . As the German army found, in 1914, for example.

The Korean War, fighting against an enemy that advanced regardless of casualties, awoke the powers that be, to the fact that a personal weapon, delivering a high rate of fire and lethaity, was required.

Usher in the SLR. A total beast of a rifle !

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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   8/5/2011, 11:06

It's worth noting Brum that my refs. show the SLR to be sighted to 600 yds. which might prove something. And the earlier 1914 SMLE Mk 3, with the backsight forward of the breech, was sighted to 2000 yds. The local rifle range which was laid out at least in the early 1900s still has a 900yd. firing point, though it's not been used for yonks. It's the old, oft mis- quoted adage that we always train and arm to fight the last war. In 1900 the last war was on the open veldt of South Africa. Same now, I guess, with the SA80. Fine for N.Europe & house clearing, but a bit short on reach for longer ranges.

One early problem I remember with SLR was that old sweats had been brainwashed into telling that a rifle should be adjusted for line by altering the sights into the error, which was fine with the .303 which had an adjustable foresight. When they were confronted with the SLR with an adjustable backsight, they refused to believe the opposite was true. Early demonstrations
in the mess with a snooker cue laid out on the table, and a couple of balls didn't convince. Easy way to remember.......... line the sights up with fall of shot.
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   25/5/2011, 20:14

303 .sten. bren,2 inch mortar 3.5 rocket launcher. energa anti tank grenade, knife fork and spoon , that was the weapons of the 50s, ginger
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   25/5/2011, 21:38

cartav wrote:
It's worth noting Brum that my refs. show the SLR to be sighted to 600 yds. which might prove something. And the earlier 1914 SMLE Mk 3, with the backsight forward of the breech, was sighted to 2000 yds. The local rifle range which was laid out at least in the early 1900s still has a 900yd. firing point, though it's not been used for yonks. It's the old, oft mis- quoted adage that we always train and arm to fight the last war. In 1900 the last war was on the open veldt of South Africa. Same now, I guess, with the SA80. Fine for N.Europe & house clearing, but a bit short on reach for longer ranges.

One early problem I remember with SLR was that old sweats had been brainwashed into telling that a rifle should be adjusted for line by altering the sights into the error, which was fine with the .303 which had an adjustable foresight. When they were confronted with the SLR with an adjustable backsight, they refused to believe the opposite was true. Early demonstrations
in the mess with a snooker cue laid out on the table, and a couple of balls didn't convince. Easy way to remember.......... line the sights up with fall of shot.

With you all the way on that cartav. I found I had to stand and think hard before I could adjust my sights properly.

I was allways struck by the way the SLR seemed to ring like a bell when it was fired.

I remember, after a number of years, the Army woke up to the fact that firing the SLR was causing High Frequency Deafness. and issued us with those daft little earplug-type ear defenders. It was a great relief to me when working on the firing point to wear those Amplivox headset-types.

In the 80s, about 5 years after my demob, I heard from friends in the Irish Rangers that the Army was paying compensation to anyone who had fired SLR before the issue of ear defenders.

To cut a long story short, I got £1000. The trouble was, the word was out and so many put in a claim that the Army stopped payments !
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PostSubject: Re: SLR / SA80 or M16!   26/5/2011, 07:04

So, it was you to blame!!! Rolling Eyes
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BFG/BAOR/RAFG Locations :: Kit and Equipment-
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