nationalpost.com reports that UK troops charged with protecting the country’s nukes have switched from the home-grown SA80-A2 rifle to Canada’s DIEMACO C8-CQB, a modified M4 produced by Colt Canada. wikipedia.org‘s entry on the SA80-A2 reveals that the “first five years of this rifle’s service were disastrous.” It doesn’t get much better from there . . .
Specific complaints included: the poor quality plastic furniture fell apart and the gun was damaged easily; the magazine release catch was easily knocked accidentally and dropped the magazine; the catch on the housing over the gas mechanism was too weak and constantly popped open, so it had to be taped down; only 26–28 rounds could be loaded in a magazine because the springs were weak, and it also had to be kept very clean and the lips checked for dents; the LSW had a small magazine capacity for its role and overheated after 120–150 rounds fired in bursts; the weapons were difficult to strip and reassemble, with the gas plug easily jamming in place and requiring an armorer to remove; and ergonomic issues related to the safety catch, cocking lever, and the location and stiffness of the fire selector switch.
Now how much would you pay? Well, the UK blessed H&K with £400 per rifle to “remanufacture” 200k SA-80’s. I make that £80m ($112,444,000 at current exchange rates). And yet the UK nuke police still don’t want ’em. Huh.
Back in 2013, we reported that the UK Royal Marines’ Swap SA80 A2 for C8 Diemaco. So, right answer — without getting into the usual caliber debate. Anyway, disarmed Brits should sleep better at night knowing their thermonuclear weapons are being defended by troops with Canadian guns. At a base identified on the map above.