British SA80 Rifle – Why the Hate?

View Latest Activity

Home Forums The Armory – Gear and Equipment Weapons British SA80 Rifle – Why the Hate?

Viewing 11 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #125789
      Max
      Keymaster

        Never had an issue when I ran one.

      • #125797
        dave37
        Participant

          I, like 99.8% of all American shooters, have never even laid eyes on an SA80 in the flesh, let alone fired one. But I have always heard bad things about it, and I can offer an opinion as to why it might have a bad reputation with US shooters.

          Apparently the SA80A1 had significant reliability problems, which is why H&K was hired to rework it into the A2 version. Not really that surprising, as it was sort of a new departure for the Brit small arms industry – new caliber, new bullpup configuration.

          Similarly, as everyone knows, the M16 was a new concept in American small arms, and it had a disastrous debut in Vietnam. The problems with the M16 were corrected by the end of Vietnam, but the bad reputation stuck around for a long time. I know that, as a shooter in the 90s, the AR15 was not the dominant semiautomatic rifle platform at all, because it still had a reputation for unreliability. As many people bought AKs, Mini 14s, FALs, or HK91s as bought AR15 variants. God help me, I believed the hate about the AR15 to the point that I paid $1200 for an M1A in 1998, and tried for YEARS to make that godawful heavy stupid thing shoot.

          To my memory, the AR15 didn’t really get rehabilitated in the mind of the shooting public until after the AWB expired in 04. There were some significant improvements made to the platform, specifically M4 feed ramps and the almighty PMAG, that eliminated the reliability problems, and allowed the AR15 platform to become the market-dominating behemoth that it is today. Enough American shooters got to use one, and discover that it really did not deserve the bad rep it had from the early Vietnam era.

          Essentially, a bad initial reputation is REALLY hard to shake. The SA80A2 may be a fine platform, but American shooters have not had the experience with it to erase the negative publicity.

          Just my perception of why the SA80 might get so much hate.

          HEAT 1 2017
          Intro to CQB 2017
          Texas HEAT 2 2018
          Operation TeaSinker 2019
          Combat Leader Course 2019
          Team Coyote
          Team Rekkr
          Team Cowbell

          • #125843
            Max
            Keymaster

              Yes to the issues with introducing the AR into Vietnam. But in all the books I read on SOG, they never had an issue with the CAR15. They loved that rifle.

          • #125802
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              People get too wrapped up in gear!

              Their weapons choices are even worse. :wacko:

              Sure I have preferences, but in reality I can make almost anything work. It’s the user, not the crap he carries.

            • #125842
              RobRoy
              Participant

                I believe a few weeks ago someone posted a video from some Brit Sneaky Pete outfit and they were running Stoner platforms.

                • #125844
                  Max
                  Keymaster

                    Colt Canada was the preferred weapon source for UKSF once they went beyond the standard M16. They had the Demarco M4, not sure what variant it is now.

                    SFSG, which is under special forces but is basically 1 PARA and some Royal Marines, are armed with the SA80 as far as I am aware.

                • #125851
                  RobRoy
                  Participant

                    Some chaps exiting an IFV with fixed stock Stoner platforms about midway thru the video, unless my vision has completely crapped out.

                  • #125856
                    hellokitty
                    Participant

                      You should be trained and proficient in every common weapon in your AO. In the US that would be the AR-15 and the AK-47(74). If SA80s were common here I would have one and train with it. All of them are just tools. All of them are lethal in trained hands.

                      HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                      HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                      FOF X3
                      OPFOR X2
                      CLC X2
                      RIFLEMAN

                    • #125857
                      dave37
                      Participant

                        You should be trained and proficient in every common weapon in your AO. In the US that would be the AR-15 and the AK-47(74). If SA80s were common here I would have one and train with it. All of them are just tools. All of them are lethal in trained hands.

                        Preach it, reverend!

                        HEAT 1 2017
                        Intro to CQB 2017
                        Texas HEAT 2 2018
                        Operation TeaSinker 2019
                        Combat Leader Course 2019
                        Team Coyote
                        Team Rekkr
                        Team Cowbell

                      • #125886
                        rampantraptor
                        Participant

                          I hate the SA80 because I can’t buy one stateside 🤣

                        • #125909
                          Lloyd
                          Participant

                            Like Dave, I have never seen one in real life… But the whole “bullpup” thing is a turnoff to me. Shot and handled a Steyr AUG 20 years ago and my first thoughts were that it balanced/handled “weird”, and that in the rare event that it blew up, I wouldn’t want that kaboom right up against my head.

                            I have not personally seen guns blow up, but I know several people who have had it happen. They were uninjured… but would not have been, if the chamber was right next to their head.

                          • #125954
                            RobRoy
                            Participant

                              I dislike guns I have a hard time checking the chamber for a live round.

                              • #125969
                                Max
                                Keymaster

                                  Not a problem on the SA80. 7 point check is standard.

                              • #126049
                                RobRoy
                                Participant

                                  Yeah my typing fingers got ahead of my brain on the last post. I own a Steyr Scout Rifle and its chamber is a hazard and takes extra effort to check. And my experience with bullpups is nil and I get my info from people who have tested every bullpup but the Brits’ “the serfs cannot own weapons” version and that is the limit of my knowledge.

                                  And I’m a Stoner platform homer, and have been since my battalion received the A2s back in the day.

                                • #127092
                                  RobRoy
                                  Participant

                                    The expired horse must be beat. I found this article about the Royal Marines doing a re-org/re-fit and a blurb about ditching the SA80 for the Canadian Stoner platform..
                                    https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2019/11/47-commando-raiding-royal-marinesthe.html

                                Viewing 11 reply threads
                                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.