UK Royal Marines’ Swap SA80 A2 for C8 Diemaco

 UK Royal Marines' Swap SA80 A2 for Colt Canada C8 Diemaco (courtesy wikipedia.org)

“The SA80 A2 is ‘perfect’ for conventional forces, but specialist services want to see some improvements, according to feedback between Royal Marines serving in Afghanistan and Defence IQ” Infantry Weapons reports [registration required]. The site’s unnamed expert reckons “things are not all rosy for the standard issue SA80 A2 in all situations. In a dry, dusty environment like Afghanistan, ensuring the weapon is clean can prove a challenge and soldiers are known to take a MacGyver-like preventative measure to keeping sand and dirt out at bay elsewhere recognised as the handyman’s godsend: gaffer tape . . .

Tape is also the solution to the problem of the rifle’s “rattle”. Made from pressed steel – essentially a top half attached to a bottom half and stuck together with two pins – the weapon will make a loud metallic clang as the user sets out on patrol. Not such a major issue to conventional soldiers, but for the likes of those requiring a covert approach, it’s unwelcome . . .

Another downside is that it remains incredibly heavy, especially with the addition of the (now standard) Picatinny rail incorporated in 2008. Weight was in fact considered to be of particular concern to the Marines – not in traditional terms of having to carry the weapon but in the fact that it impaired agility when placed in competition against other system.

And then there’s ye olde elephant in the proverbial room . . .

“In Afghanistan, the biggest problem with the SA80 generally mentioned by troops is when you just hit them, hit them, hit them, and they can still open up on you. They’re using 7.62. Of course, having taken a few hits their accuracy may be diminished, but still…” . . .

And the answer is . . . screw the duct tape give us the Canadian-made C8 Diemaco [now Colt Canada] modified M4.

“This is my personal preference. I do prefer it over the SA80 solely because in its own complexities, it’s an easier weapon to use. It’s very docile and it’s a lot lighter. It’s also a change because the SA80 can only be fired one way, from the right rather than the left.

All that said, it’s only a matter of time before NATO forces up-size caliber for grunt work. Or is it?

comments

  1. avatar Jake F. says:

    Sizing up caliber? I doubt it. If I recall correctly there was a study back in the 60’s that said that lethality per soldier was increased by sending more ammunition downrange at the enemy and not necessarily due to the stopping power of the round, and that study served as the impetus for the lighter 5.56 round being adopted.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I agree. But I notice that Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (I can hardly type that without guffawing) will be using an updated version for their work. No doubt Princess Patricia would be pleased.

      1. avatar Ken says:

        William Burke wrote:

        ” But I notice that Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (I can hardly type that without guffawing)”

        Hey, maybe you should look up their history before laughing your ass off. Typical. American.

        1. avatar Doug B says:

          “The institution of Royalty in any form is an insult to the human race.” Mark Twain

        2. avatar BurnOut says:

          Ken- no one’s saying that it isn’t a group of bada$$es; the name is just funny. Get over it.

          We’d all be laughing if the SEALs changed their name to the Rainbow Bright Destructors, too.

        3. avatar Edmund Carrington says:

          I have served with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and can attest to the fact that this regiment is top-notch. Its name is a testament to its history and Canada’s….nothing worth “guffawing” over there.

        4. avatar dubbs says:

          Don’t take it so seriously. We “yanks” respect our “canuck” neighbors. We rib you because you guus are just as “american” as we are, but you hang onto to your Brit And french roots. Princess Pats own are scrappers with a good history to back it up! Plus every scrap the US gets into, Canada might gripe but they always come along. Interesting, as much as people malign tbe m16/ m4, I rarely see Canadian forces,complianing about their C7/C8 variants.”maybe” canadian soldiers simply keep their Weapons better maintained for a fight?????

        5. avatar Indiana Mike says:

          Typical Canadian. Do 1% of the workload and claim a contribution.

        6. avatar God says:

          My apologies to our Canadian neighbors. We have some really, really stupid idjits in the USA and the conservative ammosexuals are a particularly peculiar subset of dumb.

        7. avatar Joe R. says:

          Ya, thicker skin man, don’t enforce the panty-bunching comment by letting your panties ‘bunch’. [again, kidding. I once told a Recon Marine that I would have ‘went Recon’ except that I “didn’t want to wear a dress”. And that person very quickly made me apologize : ) but I know, deep in my heart, he still thought it was funny that I had the stones to say it]

          My only comment is Hoorah for the M-4, err I mean the “C8 Diemaco”. Whatever.

    2. avatar Jason says:

      While true, the mentality of combat tactics have changed since the 60’s. Our forces are becoming an army of marksmen, much less reliant on the “dumping ammo” techniques that prompted the caliber reduction. We may well see a caliber upgrade to match the fact that automatic fire is less preferred.

      1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

        Have you actually watched any of the helmet-cam footage from Afghanistan? Most of them are mag-dumps into treelines. It’s all suppressive fire.

        1. avatar Bill says:

          Little of column A, a little of column B.

        2. avatar Joe R. says:

          Transition to Column C:

          40MM HEDP for everybody not “us” 🙂

          Smile, it’s gonna be a good day.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Afghanistan presents a unique engagement environment. It’s actually the sort of place where 50s era battle rifles would actually work well. (Long exposed sight lines, etc…)
    Honestly, can’t blame the brits for going with an M4 clone. I would have insisted on a longer barrel to ensure a 550m performance envelope, but the Brits don’t put as much emphasis on individual marksmanship as the USMC does.
    I wonder if they are getting the A1 version or the burst.

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I don’t think the C series of Diemaco’s ever had burst. The C-7 I was issued in 1992 was like an M-16A2 except it retained the full auto instead of burst (but the butt, handguarrs, flassh-sup, etc were all A2-esque). In the mid-1990s they chopped off the carrying handle, and put on a rail and the Elcan sight, but the full-auto capability remained.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        So, they still insist on that heavy Elcan?

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        Thanks man, not familiar with the Canadian variants. The US version was burst until the A1 rolled around.

        1. avatar Tallbloke says:

          More than likely they will used the Issued ACOG’s. IIRC that picture is of a Dutch Marine.

          C8’s have been in use with many units for a while now. Also I would also expect a up caliber soon. From News reports the SAS etc are going that way. Also the standard unit or Section is using a 7.62 NATO DMR now that they never used to. Engagement ranges do vary in Afghan. For example a couple of friends of mine in 3 para have told of fixing bayonets fairly regularly.

          If only they would start using 300.blk that would make more sense.

      3. avatar eh says:

        I am not much of a shooter, but recently I tried firing my C8 (with elcan) from 600m. It was my first time shooting anything beyond 300m, and while I wasn’t doing anything that good, I still managed to pop a few balloons, and put many more rounds on paper. With some decent practice I think most soldiers should be able to engage targets at 600m at least fairly well, even if doctrine only considers it a section level weapon at that range.

    2. avatar Si says:

      What a load of rubbish i’m sorry my American cousin but you’re special forces are modelled on ours,and as an Ex British Guardsman i can tell you the British Army prides itself on marksmanship. Yes the early SA80 A1 deserved it’s reputation i should know i had one unfortunately but the newer A2 is a lot better.

      The UK i feel has always skimped a bit on their spending on defence & weapons unlike the Americans but as for discipline and marksmanship plus training as soldiers they are second to none YES yo have better weapons would not say any better marksmen but an equal parr

      1. avatar stig884 says:

        ” The UK i feel has always skimped a bit on their spending on defence & weapons unlike the Americans”

        Given that it hasn’t, your feelings are irrelevant. Better weapons, better tech.

    3. avatar Jack h says:

      I think you have it the wrong way round mate. The British armed forces puts a lot higher emphasis on marksmanship eg the marksmanship rifle. The SA80 is an accurate weapon it’s just heavy and outdated. The U.S. Have an average of about 60,000 rounds per kill in Afghanistan. Better than Vietnam but still not good.

    4. avatar Mark Jones says:

      Brits don ‘t put as much emphasis on marksmanship as the USMC? Really, what makes you state that?

      Lt. Col Ret. 40 Commando Royal Marines

    5. avatar stig884 says:

      ” but the Brits don’t put as much emphasis on individual marksmanship as the USMC does.”

      Yes they do, they put even more emphasis on it, hence they are the best marksmen and snipers in NATO.

      What part of British forces being better trained than yours don’t you understand? Get it through your thick skull: British Royal Marines and British Army infanteers are much better trained for far longer, in all areas, than the USMC.

  3. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Whine whine whine. Too heavy. Not enough power. I have a solution. How about re-issuing M1 Garands in 30-06 to the grunts.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I don’t think the M1 can be reissued to the Royal Marines. As it was never issued in the first place to them.

      The biggest drawback to upgunning the service rifles will be the warehouses full of 5.56 already in inventory. The ammo is worth more than the rifles. The M1 was issued in .30 caliber because of the tons of .30 already on hand for the services.

      1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

        Stand corrected…LOL. Ok how about we re-do Lend Lease. We collect the Korean Garands, do a quicky check on them, and ship em off to jolly ole England ! As for the ammo issue, heck, collect all the 5.56 and give it to the CMP. They’ll put it up for sale and it will be gone in a week ! Then get ATK to start kicking up production on 30-06 pronto !!

        Just was watching some Pacific theater b&w. Watching guys holding up and shooting the BARs in offhand. Check the weight on a fully kitted up BAR. We’re looking at 20 plus lbs.

        1. avatar Julian says:

          No, dammit, we want those Garands HERE!

        2. avatar jwm says:

          +1, Julian. The rifle that should be going to Astan should be a .308. The brits can bring out their SLRs and the US can bring out the M14.

          Leave us old codgers the M1s in case the Afghans invade the US. Dads Army for us.

        3. avatar Sixpack70 says:

          The Garands need to go to my house, not England.

        4. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Korean M1’s belong in the U.S., in my hands. Nowhere else.

          Well, maybe you can have one, too. But that’s it.

        5. avatar Oliver says:

          .30-06 for the UK? sorry .303 please!

      2. avatar wa_2a says:

        @ surplus 5.56: I’m sure the govt. could resell it to the U.S. public, possibly even at a profit.

        I could use some ammo.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          wa 2a. The US government seized a whore house in Nevada because of tax issues. After the government started running it it was possibly the only whore house in the history of mankind to lose money and have to be closed as a loss. The government even sold stock in it and still it went bust.

          What makes you think they could do something as simple as sell surplus ammo and not have it cost taxpayers billions in losses?

        2. avatar jwm says:

          wa 2a. My last response got caught in the filter. I’ll try to clean this one up. You want the government to sell their surplus 5.56 and make a profit. This is the same government that seized a legal house of ill repute in Neveda and promptly lost money on it. Possibly the first time in the history of the world that a bordello didn’t turn a profit. They even sold stock to the public and it still failed.

    2. avatar Bruce says:

      Tommy, how many hikes with a full pack have you taken in combat?

    3. avatar philthegardner says:

      Actually the brits already have a 7.62×51 issue rifle in the L129A1 – which is essentially a Lewis Machine Tool LM308MWS. They are using it as a DMR for force multiplier duties but I don’t see any problems with them upping their order and issuing it more widely… oh and leave those Garands alone! Those seniors have done their service and deserve to live their retirement in proper care. 🙂

      1. avatar Nikolai18A says:

        I dunno brother, the M-1 is like Clint Eastwood: No matter how you try to spin the age, he’ll still fuck you up lol Archaic or no, those bastards were warhorses, and just like our Fathers, I don’t think they’d turn down another charge for Heartbreak Ridge.

        Former U.S Army

  4. avatar Tyler says:

    If the military change to something other than the 5.56mm what would that mean for the rest of us? Would ammo for my AR become harder to find / more expensive?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Eventually. The lines that are set up to meet the governments and the private sectors demands for 5.56 will have to be divided to allow for the production of the new chosen caliber in the volume needed for government conttracts. Add to that the fact that whatever the government adopts and issues becomes an immediate hit with the citizen market. People will suddenly be unhappy with their old 5,56 weapons and want the new, or at least the caliber.

      1. avatar Larry says:

        If they decide they need a new caliber, the best answer all around would be the 300 black out.

        Same lower, same mags, same upper…..just a new barrel. Save a ton of money and get a better round.

        Of course that is a logical answer and we are talking about the US government. They would go with a whole new gun and spend a ton of money to make some political deal for some congressman and his state or um….his highest donor.

        1. avatar Michael says:

          300 blackout would be great for police work. But it lacks the range for military, no better than 5.56.
          Most of the people in the world live in cities, which is where most of the fighting in the future will take place

        2. avatar dubbz says:

          You need to look up the 7.62 x 35- its got NO ” reach”, barely a 400m rd before major bullet drop! Maybe a option for SF troops in a close quarter situation, or for civilians wanting a light 30 cal for HD or pig hunting, but .300 aac is NOT a ” combat round”.

          I have read that Marines were making 400m plus ” head and body” shots with M855a1 ammo and dropping insurgents with little effort from their standard M-16 and M-4 issued weapons.

          Considering the Marines qualify at 500m with a 5.56mm firing rifle, why would you want to handicap them with a round that is less effective past 400m?

          As long as rifle squads and platoons have DMRs in place, the problem is solved. Next combat will be in Asia or eastern Europe( or back in Iraq) so the M-4 will be a better choice there too

    2. avatar Blehtastic says:

      That would be the only time I’d consider new uppers for my AR’s rather than whole new rifles for a different caliber.

  5. avatar Lance says:

    NATO replacing 5.56mm I dont think so the wimps in Europe would complain about recoil too much. I think its a good move SAS did this 10 years ago.C-8is lighter than the M-4 and is a good carbine.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      What did they do to lighten it up? From what I read it’s 99.9% the same gun.

    2. avatar S.CROCK says:

      i could already hear them now. “eww this new 5.57 nato round kicks to much. why do they make us use these large rounds with 56 grain bullets.

    3. avatar int19h says:

      >> NATO replacing 5.56mm I dont think so the wimps in Europe would complain about recoil too much.

      You do realize that most of Europe stuck with full size battle rifles chambered in 7.62×51 for decades after US adopted M16? Heck, Estonians still use Ak4 (aka G3).

      1. avatar Craig says:

        Exactly. America was the first country to adopt .223, while it took Europe another decade or so.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Does that make US the wimps? Laugh.

    4. avatar neiowa says:

      Never going to change to a larger cal. The Obuma agenda to feminize the US Army/USMC requires a rifle the girl wannabe soldiers can pretend to handle. That is NOT and M14/G3/etc size weapon.

  6. avatar ChuckN says:

    I’d take an old FAL before an M4, especially in Afghanistan.

  7. avatar Gregg says:

    N. Tunney, turn in your SA80

  8. avatar William Burke says:

    Using the trigger guard of the grenade launcher as a foregrip – what could possibly go wrong?

    1. avatar Blehtastic says:

      That grenade launcher looks funny to me.

      I am now pissed (again) that my government infringes on my rights to own a grenade launcher.

      I want grenades maybe even more than full auto.

    2. avatar C says:

      I’ll tell you one thing. When it does go wrong, it’ll be spectacular!

    3. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Looking at the tube and the daylight near the end of the “grenade launcher,” I’d have thought it was one of those breaching shotgun attachments.

    4. avatar Paladin says:

      He’s not using the trigger guard, he’s using the integrated foregrip. It has an integrated foregrip because it’s not an M203, that’s the M320.

  9. avatar Fred says:

    Not really news to me, SAS haven’t used the SA80…ever. The Brits do seem to like the LMT .308, although those aren’t as widespread. The general idea of modern forces, as said, is more rounds down range, the lighter 5.56 means they can carry more and send more.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Wait, the U.K. has military forces? For what, invading France? Oh wait, they have a military to enforce civilian disarmament. Carry on.

    1. avatar C says:

      Agincourt wouldn’t play out quite so well with modern weaponry.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      >> Wait, the U.K. has military forces? For what, invading France?

      For the sake of USAF target practice in Afghanistan, apparently.

      1. avatar Mark Horning says:

        Those were Canucks.

        1. avatar C says:

          Now you’re telling me Canada has a military too?!

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Yes, and if memory serves, calling them Canucks is not the best way to get off to a good start with them.

        3. avatar Paladin says:

          @jwm
          We don’t mind too much, heck, we’ve got a hockey team by the same name. That said, yes we do have a military, quite a good one at that.

  11. avatar O.E says:

    Mickey Mouse rifles for a Mickey Mouse outfit.

    NAVY/RAF bought a few of those F-32 Craptors the Yanks were flogging months ago, what makes you believe with any certainty that the Royal NAVY will be purchasing some crummy AR Stoner platform when they have duties which fall outside of this recent poser complex that involves modular weapon platforms and quad railed junk attachments.

    Marines need LGPFMG.

    Marines need amphibious assault craft.

    Marines need mine threshers.

    Marines don’t need a poxy Suburban Terrorists Rifle.

  12. avatar Shenandoah says:

    I keep reading about the lack of knockdown power for the 5.56 round. Hopefully the AI can help me out with this: Does a 75 or 77 gr HP offer noticeable improvement over 62 gr varieties in “lethality”? Is our military already using this round? And does it violate some Geneva Convention gibberish or is that just horsefeathers?

    We can see the difference on paper between the heavier and lighter loads of 5.56, but I’d like to hear from vets who have had first hand experience.

    And is a return to a standard 20″ barrel with 1:7 twist firing a 77 gr 5.56 round being discussed among military leaders?

    1. avatar Conrad says:

      The 5.56 round really has two ways to be really “immediately” damaging (besides hitting vitals), either: it hits something hard like bone thereby quickly transferring the energy of the bullet into damage, or it yaws in flesh and fragments before exiting. The lethality of the 5.56 bullet really depends on it’s ability to be shot and impact the target at high speed.

      I think one of the big problems is the original 5.56 round was designed to be burned through a 20″ barrel. Shot from the now common 14.5″ carbines, it loses a lot of its effectiveness, especially at distance.

      There’s no good way around it. Simply upping the round size like going to .300blk isn’t going to fix the problem — I imagine that would make things even worse at distance since the round would lose velocity quicker due to the larger diameter, go subsonic sooner, and lose stability/accuracy, and make it harder to penetrate body armor.

      At the end of the day we just need more out of the barrel power: design either a cartridge meant to be shot from a shorter barrel, a stronger and faster burning powder, and simply putting more powder in the round.

      The best thing the military has done meanwhile has been to increase the rounds reliability and accuracy, and giving our soldiers quality optics to allow them to be much more effective at distance.

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        Actually no, a .308 round will not necessarily lose velocity faster than a .223. What matters for velocity loss is the rounds ballistic coefficient, most .223 projectiles actually have pretty terrible BCs, .308 projectiles are superior in that regard. Additionally, .223/5.56 and .300BLK do use different powders, the .300BLK actually uses magnum pistol powder if I am not mistaken, meaning it loses very little velocity when the barrel length is reduced.

        1. avatar Conrad says:

          Yes, and that’s because there are direct relationships bullet (grain) weights and their ballistic coefficients, ie. heavier bullets are harder to slow down … but they’re unfortunately also harder to speed up. I was wrong to imply that larger diameter bullets would always slow faster.

          I don’t think the 5.56 NATO cartridge is going to disappear because militaries are going to realize that it is still strikes a good balance of CQB and mid distance engagements, where the combat grunt _really_ needs to be effective… and that money is better spent on developing more effective support systems for all the other various engagement scenarios.

  13. avatar Dave says:

    The big no-no with bullets and the Geneva Convention is using bullets that aren’t full metal jacket, so no hollow points. If the weight of the bullet was concern; I would thinking sniping with a 50 cal would be frowned upon.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      Hague Convention. The Geneva Convention deals with treatment of prisoners.

  14. avatar Murray says:

    In my 20 years with the UK MoD I have had many conversations with civ/mil colleagues on this subject, my conclusion being if you ask Booties what they rally want they will say I want a large calibre automatic weapon (UK SLR) and I want to carry at least 5oo rounds into combat (22 LR) and I want it to hit targets with one shot lethal effect to at least a 1000 yards (Barret 50 ?) and I want it to fire large grenades to at least 400 yards (UK 50 mm Mortar) and it must never fail to feed or eject or break and it weigh less than anyone else s weapon and most importantly look cooler than anyone else s weapon and can you pls issue me with those stylish sunglasses and an anti gravity suit to carry it all?
    We always came to the conclusion, Artillery and aerial weapons generally are the most efficient at reducing OPFOR numbers, but not very portable. Most Infanteers are not Snipers. With Infantry portable weapons, that the machine guns (UK GPMG or Browning 50) killed (which is reflected in our operational doctrine) and rifles generally are about giving our guys a measure of self protection and the confidence to get about on the battle field, so calibre was not particularly important.
    Being generally interested in Logistics we liked the one cartridge concept but not 5.56 (insufficiently effective in an MG), we liked the UK .280 cartridge, capable of reaching a 1000 yards with adequate lethality in a Taden MG (belt fed Bren gun) and capable of controllable automatic fire in an assault rifle (EM2) killed off by the 7.62 NATO.
    The closest modern cartridge to the .280 one cartridge concept being the 6.5 Grendel, it got our vote.

    1. avatar Michael says:

      Totally agree, It has been proved 7mm is the way to go, best modern caliber is 6.5 Grendel

  15. avatar Tarrou says:

    Murray speaks sense. Take an old infantryman’s word for this: The M4 is a compromise weapon, and a good one. It’s light, short, modifiable, low recoil and I never once saw any problem with lethality. In my humble opinion, the human body is pretty wierd, one never knows what it will take to kill someone. Emmet Dalton was famously shot 23 times in Coffeyville, with 44-40s and buffalo rifles, and survived. I do presume no one is going to bitch about the insufficient power of the Sharps? I’ve personally seen a man shot with a Barrett .50 survive almost twelve hours. I presume no one will claim we need bigger infantry cartridges than the .50 BMG? Some people just don’t die easy, there’s no magic bullet. And the 5.56 is light enough to carry a lot of them, which I loved. In a short , shot out gun it’s still point accurate to 600, though in the mountains I preferred a full-length m-16A4. Here’s to the M4, and to my baby, the m-24 when you need to reach out and touch someone. 🙂

    1. avatar Michael says:

      I have seen many GSW, mainly handguns, not much difference in them. Caliber does not matter, shot placement does

  16. avatar Conrad says:

    All this is starting to remind me of the movie, The Pentagon Wars.

  17. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Guess this is why the Mujahadeen prefers good ole 100% reliable 1950s era AK47s.

    1. avatar Tarrou says:

      The hajis “prefer” whatever they can get their hands on. It just so happens that the Russians gave away trainloads of AKs for fifty years. I’ve seen hajis with FALs, old M-16s, Lee-Enfields, Dragunovs, ornate six-foot-long homemade muzzle loaders, and yes, a lot of AK variants. And no weapon is 100% reliable, though I grant you the AK is more reliable than the M-16.

  18. avatar Martin B says:

    Wait. Think of the cost. There are thousands if not millions of old SKS rifles in Chinese storage (thanks to Clinton’s Norinco ban) which could be sent to the front to help the troops reach out to the enemy. They don’t break, they don’t jam, and they’re reasonably accurate. The cost savings could be used to raise soldiers’ salaries. And they can carry more ammo in stripper clips than they could 5.56 in mags. Send me the cheque for this solution to your problems in tomorrow’s mail.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Much as I love my Russian SKS no way is the US military going to buy surplus weapons from China to issue it’s troops. And no way in hell Americans are going back to fixed mags with stripper clip reloading.

      The SKS is a great weapon for the citizen that wants a rugged, reliable military grade semi at a reasonable price. But the government just prints more money and throws it at a problem. If they replace or upgrade the ARs it will be at a cost of 3x what the ARs cost.

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      Or the UK could just adopt the M4 and be another customer for the US or Diemaco until they can produce their own (maybe they wont do that either).

      C’mon, everybody’s doing it. Licking the M4 Carbine Toad. 😉

  19. avatar Michael says:

    Now we sorted out the rifle caliber, lets discuss the benefits of 9mm over 45ACP

  20. avatar Murray says:

    The SKS isn’t a good replacement for a modern assault rifle, in a short range or CQB contact you need fire power which isn’t normally found in a clip loaded 10 round rifle, the SKS is a fairly long weapon – try 5 guys getting into a Warrior/Bradley all at once or engaging thro a door with a long weapon and you will start to wish for an old SMG.
    The Sov 7.72 x 39 is not an adequate cartridge to to dominate the Infantry 1/2 kilometre (ask Tarrou), due to its low MV, high drag bullet and rainbow like trajectory. Shooting at a dodging target at 350 yards, before they shoot back with an old Enfield/Nagant or similar is not a good time to be thinking about trajectory.
    Tavor in 6 MPC or 6.5 Grendel, or your light squad MG in Grendel would always have made me happy, as you guys say; just saying!

    1. avatar Indiana Mike says:

      Compare the ballistics. The 7.62×39 is an exact duplicate of an old 30-30 dear rifle. Pointed bullets help a little, but not much.

  21. avatar Bickleigh et al says:

    Remember, it was the yanks who insisted on nato to go for a smallerround wound vs kill circa vietnam that decreased caliber, brits and others wanted to keep the 7.62 but now talk is. 556 isnt cavitating enough for a rag head on crack, so i suppose as much as things change the more hx repeats itself, peace out

  22. avatar chris gill says:

    Seems to me.we should have stuck to our guns,and carried on with the EMR 2 and .280. Instead of giving
    into the wooden planks.We have that half plank Churchill to thank for that!

  23. avatar John says:

    What a non article. This has nothing to do with calibre, or weapon reliability and everything to do with the Gucci argument : “UKSF use Diemaco’s, so we should too as we’re special”

    Shot placement is key, regardless of calibre size, as anyone who bothers to look will learn.
    SA80 A2 is a good weapon, but many try and tar it with the A1 version unreliability brush – having fired M16 and SA80 i’d always take the latter every time – shorter weapon but longer barrel, better sights, less jams.

  24. avatar Michael says:

    Reality is The British will follow he Americans, So we can nick it from their stores while on Operations. The 6.8 went nowhere, the 300 blackout lacks long range lethality.
    My choice would be a Tavor in 6.5 Grendal,

  25. avatar DNA Cowboy says:

    The MOD is looking for a major step up in capability when it comes to issuing a new green army rifle, I expect it’ll be piston-driven chambered in a derivative of the .280 British calibre.

  26. avatar Steven L Sparks says:

    Man. Id like an SA80 It may not be the best but it would be nice to have in my collection

    1. avatar DNA Cowboy says:

      “may not be the best”? Well, although it is a smidgen heavier than the M16 it is the most accurate and reliable western 5.56 on the market.

      ‘Continued testing of the L85A2 in adverse conditions demonstrates its reliability over contemporary rifles, including the M16. Although it is heavier than American rifles, its full-length barrel gives higher muzzle velocities and better terminal performance. Rounds from an M4 will only reliably fragment out to 50–100 metres, while the L85A2 and M16 allowed fragmentation out to 150–200 metres, and the L86A2 has an even longer fragmentation range. ‘
      Williams, Anthony G., SA80: Mistake Or Maligned

  27. avatar Mike says:

    FN – FAL for the WIN !

  28. avatar ghost says:

    Just being a cranky old man, I don’t care what the military uses anymore. Just give me an M-14, a pick-up loaded with 7.62 rounds. Back the truck up to the firing position, I’ll take it from there.

  29. avatar lowell says:

    NATO will never change it’s round again until the advent of reliable caseless ammo. What’s in use right now does everything that’s needed and it does it well enough that swapping out now would simply not be worth the cost, except for extreme specialty units like snipers. The wall of diminishing returns has been hit head on.

    Oh, and going to a Canadian company for an American assault rifle? This is as close as Brits get to admitting being wrong. And it’s telling that they are deliberately replacing a bullpup with a conventional rifle.

  30. avatar Will says:

    Having read all the comments I’d have to conclude that insomnia is rubbish. And will throw this in to bait “Technically, in the mid-1970s, the 4.85×49mm round was seen as superior to the then existing version of 5.56mm M193 round in use by the US”

  31. avatar Can't shoot straight says:

    Bring back the F A L nice weapon. Got to like that 7.72mm

    1. avatar Albert Hall says:

      Trouble was at the time that it was just two powerful for the foreseen Urban Environment and FIBUA [Fighting IN BUILTUP AREAS] JUst as example the FAL 7.62 [ or the Self Loading Rifles [7.62. SLR] as it was known in the UK would pass through over SIX human bodies, A 9inch wall or a 26inch tree-trunk. Not vthe best of things to happen in that Urban Environment. The 5.56 NATO Standard round is designed to Shatter thus reducing it’s potential for collateral damage. Much like AirMarshalls use a pretty much non-lethal 9mm Parabellum round. A hit from an SLR 7.632 was potentially fatal through body-shock anywhere I’ve seen the result and a torso hit pretty much exploded the target at short/medium range with standard ‘ball-ammo. [as a technical note the muzzle velocity of the 7.62 Round was give or take 3000 FtSec. The muzzle velocity of the standard NATO 5.56 round is about 3300 FtSec but it has less than a third of the energy in ft/pounds at range. There is a a definite move towards higher calibres However it’s complicated by operational requirments that is moving towards the ‘horse-for-course’ theories. It’s possible that future Infantry will have to be specific trained with theatre suitable weaponry in the Musketry arena. In some ways that’s already the case . Mind you it complicates the ‘Poor Bloody Infantry Life’ don’t it just. I also see thet there is some amusement from some of our friends across the point at some of the Regimental Titles in the UK and Canadian Armies. Those ‘titles’ were originally THE REGIMENTA COLOURS’ or a rallying point around a well visible STANDARD [or in FRANCE an EAGLE STANDARD] on a confused Battlefield without communications to speak of Some of those titles reflect hundreds of years of history and Empire. After a suceesful campaign those colours were awarded ‘Battle HONOURS . much like a Unit Citation. Some of those HONOURS stretch back centuries and recognise Battles from India, Canada [mostly against the French but on at least FOUR OCCASIONS when the Americans tried, not very successfully to invade across the HUDSON and got their Colonial Arses well and truly kicked] THe Greater Empire Waterloo, the OTTOMAN EMPIRE, MESOPOTAMIA, CHINA STATION, HONG KONG, MALAYA, BURMA AND the FAR EAST and the BORNEO, ABYSSINIA, EGYPT, SUDAN, PALESTINE, SOUTH AFRICA, RUSSIA and the CRIMEA The list is endless. The BRITISH have one of the longest histories of eventual victory, [and some would say ‘glorious defeats] against the odds as do the French and it’s in the REGIMENTAL NAMES that this is regognised and which are stll a rallying point. In the meantime it’s interesting that the US Marine Corps have adopted most of the UK and Canadian Rank Structure is it not?? AS have most of the Old British Empire. !!

  32. avatar Can't shoot straight says:

    7.62mm. OMG!

  33. avatar ericsson says:

    you guys are like little kids

  34. avatar D Shadle says:

    I shoot often, and a lot of it longer range. Ideally a mid size mag well, a beefed up bolt and carrier, and say, something firing a 130gr 6.5x50mm with a 3100FPS out of an 18 inch barrel would make for a very potent and doable goal for a new service rifle. the round would be capable of 800m easily, and the ballistics would be very good for it. Even something so minor as the change would seem would have marginally more recoil, yet much more punch in close to medium ranges. Add in a 2 round burst of a very high cyclic rate and a 500 RPM rate, or there abouts would make it controllable and comfortable to shoot. I would happily use a setup like this, since it could be slightly smaller than an AR10, and I have fired many rounds of .260 REM from mine, and even fired a full auto version with no problems controlling it. I know it had a heavier barrel, and compensator on it, which helped. I always marvel at the capability of the 6.5mm rounds. They have a higher ballistic coefficient and punch much deeper into targets than a 5.56, Most of the development for the round has been done by hand loaders, and it would be a nasty surprise for anyone on the receiving end. It would be possible that something like this could replace a DMR, just by changing to a 22 inch barreled upper and better optics.

  35. avatar Albert Hall says:

    I was an armourer in the RAF for some fifteen years and reached Sergeant rank. Partbof my job description was training others in small arms skills from .22 match to GPMG. I once had the pleasure of traing some USAF Air Police in the use of sub-machine guns. They were being posted to VietNam at the time [that dates me somewhat!] and apparently some of them were bgeinnbg bissued with Austrailian Owen Guns. These were very similar to the UK STERLING GUN [ they used the same 9mm Parabellum, the same magazine but the magazine was unusual in that it projected VERTICALLY upwards] and was blow-back operated from an open – breach. The problem we had with the Yan Cops waqs that we could NOT break them of the habit of blowuing a whole mag at a time. The never did really pick up on the double tap, short burst or single shot. Later in life I joined the UK Army Reserve for a number of years and recieved severeal briefings at Army Intelligence centre in ASHFORD KENT. Mostlybthese were about IRA activity, and the such. But I remember one that gave us an assessment od the various NATO FORCES serving in Germany and carried out byb the American High Command. This study ranked UK [ and Canadian] Infantry all things being equal as FIVE TIMES as effective man-for-man as the US Army and ditto for UK armour. This was not a criticism of the courage of the GI but was a serious criticism of US Officer and Senior NCO selection and training. AS for weaponry. I used the SA 80 for years and could easily pull a four inch group at 200 metres. Strangely the Army Infantry Reserves were better trained in Musketry than were the Regular Army [we were trained actuually by Royal Marines rather than the regular Army. Meanwhile out in Afghanistan tiime and time again the US Army was outgunned and outranged by the Terry Taliban using single shot LEE-Enfield .303 and it’s hand modified 7.62 [0.300] variant. The No4 Lee-Enfield has long been acknowledged as the finest infantry Rifle ever issued . Read about the ”OLD CONTEMPTIBLES’ from WW1 who with Lee -Enfields held up an entir German Army from entering Paris. It is true that like most Armies in the world the British Army neglected MUSKETRY training preferring ”lead down the range’ to absolute accuracy. They have since realised that you can with a heavier calibre like the .303 or the 7.62 mm with the correct musketry training turn pretty much every infantryman into a competent ‘ sniper’. READ SNIPER ONE by a British Army Sniper Sergeant from m the PRINCESS OF WALES ROYAL REGIMENT. He had about a score of ‘snipers’ in FALUJAH in IRAQ and they kept with their comrades a whole Army of Disidents at bay> When they were finally relieved after a seige of over six months they had, it is estimated that they had accounted for upwards of a thousand of the enemy whilst only having lost TWO deaths of their own and one of those was caused by, above all things a bleddy road barrier falling on his head!. However the musketry skills of the UK infantry -of -the-line is amongst the highest in thw world a certainly betterr thatnn the US Army [not my assessment but the assessment of the US Army. You onmnly have to consider the training of the British Forces. The Royal Marines at least 33 weeks with maybe a years pre-entry training. The Infantry at least 24 weeks before specialisation and the longest of all the ROYAL AIR FORCE REGIMENT GUNNERS before specialisation. Whilst I see the reasoning behind the RM and the PARAS using the DIEMARCO because it’s lighter and can be fired from either hand NOBODY can argue that it is more accuarate than the SA80 MK2 Accuracy is the reason it has a very heavy barrel and heavy barrel means that it stays ‘on-target’ between shots. I know it’s accurate out to 400metres because I’ve shot it!! By the way apart from being ‘double -handed’ the actual mechanism of the SA80 is directly from the Diemarco Colt rotating bolt family. It’s imnteresting that ALL Arlies are reconsidering the question of small calibre.’ [the Russians have gone down to 0.177 inch Calbre. The most common problem for GI’s was not ttheir actuall rifles but they had some very bad ‘ fouling’ ammunition. The Ameican issue standard rifles, unless things have changed, could not use NATO standard 5.56 high performance ammo though NATO assault rifles COULD use American ammo albeit with reduced performance inn terms of accuracy and range

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email