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L86A2 Ammo Capacity


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11 replies to this topic

#1
Cyrax

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But, was the weapon original intended to use a drum mag or similar?

I know it was never designed to be belt fed, but a LSW with 30 rounds can give as much support as a standard assault rifle (although in this case, the L86 does have increased velocity, range and accuracy if i am correct).

The design of the weapon seems to prevent it from having a drum mag, but a snail mag might work?

Just seems a little odd, and unlike any other "major" LSW, and its been bugging me for a while.

#2
M_P

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Waiting for Hubert...:P

I believe a drum mag was developed for it or something, but wait for Hubert.

#3
Hubert

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Ah my friends, come gather round, for I shall tell ye a tale, one that shall rival The Great Bard's farces and comedies...
It was considered.
Enfield contracted Beta out to make some SA80 specific (taller neck to fit the magwell) Beta-C twin-drums for use in the LSW. By this stage, the SA80 project has moved from the XL60 stage (with the LSW being the XL65) to the XL70 stage. These were almost the SA80 as we know it.

Anyway. The XL76 LSW was a vastly different weapon to the XL65.
The XL65 had a removable barrel. Meaning it would be useful in sustained fire.
For reasons known only to Enfield and the then MOD (let's be honest, this is Britain, in the 1970's and the Winter of Discontent so the only options are to save money, time and effort), the XL76 removed this option. Fixed barrel. True, the barrel is more heat resistant than the rifle version, but it isn't removable. Therefore, sustained fire isn't really possible.
Anyway - by the time Beta produced and supplied the magazines, the SA80 project was well into the XL70 stage. Testing was done with the drum magazines (all 200-ish of them). It was decided not to have them issued with the LSW, as they were useless since the LSW couldn't do sustained fire.

There is also one thing to consider - the LSW (at least from the XL70 stage) was never intended to replace the L7 GPMG. It wasn't until 1990 that some berk in the MoD thought it should - the reason? Save money. It was simply intended to give the infantry section a little bit more fire-power. It shared the same ammunition as the rifles, it was only just heavier and bigger, but had the advantage of a longer range and being able to fire quicker than the rifles.
Think of it as the Bren gun. It isn't the Vickers heavy fire support of WW2, meant to give lots and lots of fire-support. It's to give just that little bit extra punch to the squads and flexibility.
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#4
Cyrax

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Ahh so it all makes sense.

The MOD saving money.

The fact that the RAF actually list it as a marksman weapon for the Gunners says it all.

Thanks Hubert, i am now more educated on the matter!

#5
Hubert

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To be fair, there is also the problem that the twin-drum magazine isn't the easiest thing to wield on an SA80 - it *can* be difficult to aim or carry it, because of the bullpup nature. (not impossible, but it isn't something I'd like to do for long periods of time)

Marksman weapons can be support weapons - you're still supporting the squad, only in a different way - accuracy rather than mass firepower.
It's still a DMR for the army as well, however units (and to an extent, the gunners themselves) have a bit of freedom in choosing the LSW or the new sharp-shooter rifle (the L1....something other other. I know there's a lot of 1s and 9s in there!)
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#6
Airsofter123

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L129A1 isn't it? Although from the (very limited) things I've heard it's supposed to be sh1te (guess it's better than us being Americans and trying to pass off the M110 as a sniper?). Also, what's up with the British rubbish naming system? The U.S. has catchy names like M4, we're stuck with things like L115A3...

And wow at the previous post, very informative (also made me very angry, bloody MoD + the politicians who control their budget).

#7
Hubert

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The British naming/designation system isn't that bad.
Infantry weapons have 'L-' for 'land systems, designation...'.
Armoured vehicles have the 'FV-' or 'fighting vehicle, designation...', like the FV432 APC. (with further naming systems like CVR(T) combat vehicle, reconnisance (tracked), as well as names for the armoured vehicles - warrior, scorpion, challenger, etc.)
It can produce complex names, but it's fairly easy to use - it is very unlikely that you'll come across 2 different objects with the same name.

I say this, because in America, you can have multiple things under the same name.
For example - there was a time where if I'd sent a form to the supplies department asking for an 'M3', I could have been given one of many things;
an SMG, a rifle/carbine, a half-track APC, a jeep, a light recon tank, a medium tank or a 105mm howitzer. The whole reason the Brits started giving american equipment nicknames (like 'stuart/honey' light tank, 'Lee/Grant' medium etc) was to avoid mix ups.

As for the DMR - from conversations I've had with some of the army kit testing lads (peccoc? I forget the name), the HK417 was far better and also much more popular - and (rather surprising I know) actually would have been considerably cheaper. But hey-ho the choice has been made, and I haven't heard that many complaints about it.
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#8
Nickona

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so can you get drum mags for L86s?

on the naming topic i find Britains to be very discriptive:

i.e Sterling SMG - Submachine Gun made by sterling

SLR - Self Loading rifle

SA80 - Small Arms 1980

etc. ect. ect.

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#9
M_P

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Ok, try l119a1 :P

But I like the long designations ttbh

#10
Hubert

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Also I forgot to mention this -
Sterling prototyped a magazine for the LSW. Quite useful and good actually. It was (I'm sorry to use a Rainbow 6/CoD term) an 'extended' magazine. A STANAG 5.56 magazine, but holding 55 rounds. Like the drum, it was made in numbers of around 200-250 and tested, but never issued (mostly because it would require a totally different webbing system)

so can you get drum mags for L86s?

Real Steel or airsoft?

Airsoft - yes. If you can find them, Star made an SA80 specific electric-autowind Beta-Cs. About 85 when released several years ago. Haven't seen anyone sell them NIB for a looong time.

Real Steel?
Officially, no. Aside from the 200 that were tested, they never officially saw the light of day.
But remember, this is the British army. A fair bit of kit, no matter how obsolete, useless or 'sold to African nation' it is, some unit armourer will most likely hide it away in the stores.
The L7 Gimpy - was meant to be scrapped in '94. Was it? No. Far from it. Like the M2 .50cal, they were hidden in armouries, awaiting the day that someone realised they'd be needed. I wouldn't be surprised if one or two of those 200 drum mags was locked away. Hell, my uncle was still getting issued with 1916 pattern webbing in the 1970's (admittedly, that was made in such huge quantities in 1916-1920, literally in the millions)

If you guys want, I could write a history of the SA80. Like the one someone wrote about the M4 family a few months back.
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#11
Nickona

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thanks a lot

as for the history well you are the expert :)

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#12
Cyrax

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Hubert, if you got the time that would be an interesting read!

When i went to a PAP recently (Pre ADSC preparation day), the Cpl told us that they would soon be using ACOG's, mainly due to the zeroing in issue associated with swapping between the SUSAT and night vision scope (called?).
He also told us a little about the upgrades that H&K did.

Just a little extra from the horses mouth, so to speak.




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