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British service rifle is an ABOMINATION!(11 posts)

British service rifle is an ABOMINATION!BikeViking at home
Aug 3, 2002 3:31 PM

I would hope that others would find this as appalling as I do. To send someone into combat with a questionable rifle is a crime, in my opinion. We (the USA) went through this with the M-16 in its various incarnations, yet the lessons remain unlearned. The M-16 is still a questionable rifle as it requires meticulous cleaning. A service rifle should not require such extensive maintenance, it just needs to work!! The AK series has their faults, but functioning when it is REALLY needed is not one of them.

If ANYTHING should work well in combat, first thing should be the service rifle
The Brits and Yanks need to pony up and buy Sig's.firstrax
Aug 3, 2002 7:55 PM
re: British service rifle is an ABOMINATION!weiwentg
Aug 4, 2002 12:58 AM
> We (the USA) went through this with the M-16 in its various incarnations, yet the lessons remain unlearned.

what was the option, buy AK47s?
seriously, I fired M16s too.
How many decades do you need to build a better rifle?jose_Tex_mex
Aug 4, 2002 12:06 PM
The M16 has been around for over 40 years, correct? The rifle is obviously sub par and has been so for some time. If a 4 decades is not enough to build a better gun then it's time to buy elsewhere.

This rifle says more about the ability of contractors to negotiate with the gov't than anything else.
How many decades do you need to build a better rifle?BikeViking at home
Aug 4, 2002 1:26 PM
The problem is that it (M-16) sh!ts where it eats (gas operated system). I understand that its lighter than the piston systems, but the Soviets/Russians have been using the piston operated systems for years and they are no slouches in the small arms industry.

Any more knowledgeable rifle aficianado's out there? I would appreciate your thoughts/experiences.
The Next Generationjose_Tex_mex
Aug 4, 2002 2:06 PM
I think once the M-16 is phased out the new rifle will literally be a quantum leap in technology. If what I have been hearing wrt the soldier of the [not to distant] future is true, your fist mistake will be to even attempt engaging them with weapons.
I think because the light at the end of the tunnel is so close our DOD is going to let the M16 hang on because of logisitics and tradition.
How many decades do you need to build a better rifle?Ironbutt
Aug 4, 2002 3:01 PM
I disagree, and strongly. I carried an M-16 rifle for a year in VietNam and never had a failure. The rifle was accurate within the limitations of a very light, high velocity projectile, and again never failed to function. It may have had to do with the area that I served in, which ranged from triple canopy jungle to the central highlands to Cambodia. I didn't spend too much time in the rice paddies, but enough to get my feet wet. My rifle was in the mud, in water over my head, in every sort of grit and crud that could possibly infect a mechanical device. Never once did it fail to function. The very early versions of the M-16 had some problems with seating the round, but this was found to be an ammunition problem rather than a weapon problem. It was ultimately solved with the advent of the forward bolt assist on the later models of the weapon. On my return vrom VietNam, I was assigned duty at the Combat Development Command Experiment Command and we tested and evaluated many weapons (some of which never entered production in any country) and from a combat veteran's perspective I would rather carry an M-16 in close combat than any other weapon.

A telling sign of the fear that the enemy had for this rifle was that they would booby trap an AK-47, a weapon for which they had plentiful ammunition and pick up an M-16 that they had been able to scrounge off of the field of fire and try to acquire ammunition for it rather than for their own AK. I suspect that if many of the naysayers had actually carried a weapon in armed combat, they would have a different opinion.
re: British service rifle is an ABOMINATION!Matno
Aug 4, 2002 7:57 PM
Well, I'll have to agree that M-16's can be finicky beasts when it comes to reliability. Though I contradict the guy below who says he never had a problem in Vietnam, I can certainly say that his experience was not universal. However, they are an accurate, fun gun, that shoots very well when clean. Where the M-16 excels is in the weight department. The bolt-assist is nice, but it's an add-on that was required to make up for an inherently poor design.

I personally would sacrifice a little weight for greater reliability any day. My choice would be any of the fine weapons built by Heckler & Koch and used by the German military (among others). They are slightly heavier, but have a much simpler, more reliable action. Plus, with the G3 you overcome the M-16's HUGE INHERENT WEAKNESS: the 5.56mm caliber, which was chosen as the NATO standard because it is designed to maim, not kill. What a load of crap. The idea that by injuring one soldier, you "incapacitate" both him and another who will have to aid him is complete balderdash. When was the last time the U.S. fought against an enemy whose soldiers give a dang about picking up another wounded soldier? Certain not any of the Communist countries (of which there are still quite a few, not just China). If the U.S. were to adopt H&K weapons across the board, it would probably be an improvement (except perhaps the handgun department where Sig or possibly Glock would be the best choice - speaking of reliability, I've fired handguns from both of those manufacturers extensively, even empty shells in the magazine feed flawlessly and the reliability and durability of both is nothing short of phenomenal. Of course, the U.S. would have gone with Sig originally over the Baretta if it weren't for the cost...)
There is nothing wrong with the rifle.....Eager Beagle
Aug 5, 2002 2:31 AM
It's the specification it's built to. It's and old (1945ish?) original FN design. It was designed and built to be used in temperate Northern Europe, and when it was brought for the British Army, that was the spec that was being fulfilled - no-one expected it to be deployed for extended periods in very hot climbates, where it suffers. It was requested to fill the role of a light weapon, accompanied by its long-barrel tri-poded counterpart, the LSW. In that combination, it fitted the standard pattern of infranty deployment at the time. It is also a .556 firer, which brings it into line with most of the rest of NATO, or was supposed to at the time. By and large, it's well liked by the troops - it's small, light, very accurate (when used with the SUSAT sighting system), reasonably robust (for a weapon that's made with such a large plastic content), and you can carry a lot of ammo for it. Anyone who used it's predecerssor (the SLR)appreciates these qualities greatly, especially if you have to lug it long distances. It does, hoewever, lack the stopping power of the larger, heavier, round, and it's fiddly to clean, but that's the trade-off.

The problem therefore, lies mainly in it's change of role - it's just not designed to be used in hot, dry, dusty conditions. Something else will have to replace it for desert delpoyments, or there will have to be a lot more, very expensive, modification to it. I would guess the latter, and they have already thrown £94m+ at it in modifications so far.
Guns don't kill people. People kill people!mr_spin
Aug 5, 2002 7:24 AM
I don't see how you can make a precision, shoulder-fired, combat totable, fully automatic rifle that can ever be 100% reliable in ALL combat conditions. Sad, but true.

We can always go back to the Garand.
Aug 7, 2002 6:22 PM
I agree it's a great gun, only problem is getting your thumb smashed! (And having limited capacity, an unnecessarily large cartridge, and a bulky, heavy gun...) However, it's a beautiful classic!