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Talk:Enfield SA80

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Additional Images

L85A1 with standard issue L3A1 bayonet - 5.56x45mm NATO
L85A1 with SUSAT scope and L123 grenade launcher - 5.56x45mm NATO & 40x46mm
L98A2 Cadet GP Rifle - 5.56x45mm

Screen-Used Images

Screen Used L85A1 with SUSAT scope (instead of the Aimpoint as seen in the film) - 5.56x45mm. This is the Hero gun held and used by Chase (Linden Ashby) in Resident Evil: Extinction. The SUSAT fitted to the rifle in this image is of Swedish origin (designed to mount to the Bofors AK 5B as identified by the different mounting base.

Airsoft Images

Airsoft L85A2 fitted with Airsoft L123A2 grenade launcher. This can be distinguished from a genuine L123A2 by the presence of pins on the pistol grip, the location of the front screw on the barrel shroud, and the lack of the wedge shaped piece which partially shrouds the top of the trigger guard on the real launcher.
Airsoft L86A2 - (fake) 5.56x45mm NATO


Too bad I will probably never have the chance to handle one of these-S&Wshooter 01:35, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Ehh... I could live without messing with one. The fact that it is the main battle rifle of the army, but SAS does not use it says a lot to me. I'll follow the highly trained experts who have the choice in what to carry and from what I've mostly read that choice is a M4 variant. Eagleye1022 03:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Seeing as I shoot left-handed, this weapon sounds like it'd be a major pain in the ass for me to shoot. Good thing the U.S. uses M16 & M4-series weapons instead. Orca1 9904 03:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
The British forces are trained to use it right-handed. Yes, its a pain, but it's fairly easy to do, and after a while you get used to it. The A2, and now the newer A2-mk2 are very nice and reliable - just as good as the newer M16 and M4s. One of the reasons the Hereford Gun Club doesn't use the SA80 family is because (aside from the original L85's poor reliability) is because no-one else uses it. (Aside from the defense force of Jamaica and one or two other places). If someone sees them using the L85 (or L86) they can easily guess who's popping in for a visit.
I've shot the SA80A2 pretty extensively in field conditions, and never had a jam with it. It's got a lot of good features as a soldier (short, easy to clean, very slick sling setup), but as a serious shooter there's a lot to dislike. Shitty trigger, hard to reach controls, poor ergonomics in the grips. I wouldn't feel poorly armed carrying one in Afghanistan, but I was much happier with my C7. - Nyles
I found this little bit of information interesting (from a visit to REME's museum and technical museum) - one of the prototypes for the L85 (XL68 I think) was actually left handed. Also, the L86 prototypes had a changeable barrel - it was effectivly a bullpup bren-gun - I wonder why these features never made it into production - time saving I suppose. Spanner
Probably because said feature is unnecessary in an assault rifle. Changeable barrels are used on machine guns because they fire a ton of rounds in a short period of time and rapidly overheat, so switching barrels allows them to keep up the rate of fire without destroying the barrel or waiting for it to cool. An assault rifle won't be firing nearly enough ammo to overheat, so it's not a feature you really need to keep. If you're using standard assault rifles with standard magazines in the LMG role, something's gone badly wrong with your logistics. Chitoryu12 00:50, 14 May 2012 (CDT)

Excessive Variants

This page has too many SA80 variants that have not appeared in any films/games/animes, it needs to be cut down. --AdAstra2009 22:50, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I removed the L98 section and listed their appearance according to each variant.--SB2296 13:22, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Beta-C Compatibility?

Does anyone know if any of the SA80-series weapons, such as the L86A1 & L86A2 LSW variants, can use Beta-C drum magazines? I know they can handle all STANAG box magazines, but the design of the SA80's magazine well makes me wonder wether it could take the Beta-C or not. Orca1 9904 13:04, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

In theory it should be able to fit and feed from Beta-C mags, but I think the postiton of the Mag-well, given the bullpup configuration of the weapon, would make it impractical to use, given that it would mean the mag would be in the way of your arm when holding the weapon. The Wierd It 14:29, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Anyone remember the old quad-stacked magazines they used to have for the Suomi M31,(http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg52-e.htm), anyone think that we could bring back that concept? Yeah it wouldn't be the 100 rounds in the Beta-C, but it could potentially make any rifle that can accept STANAG Magazines into a light automatic weapon. W190009637
No, i donĀ“t think so, for a LaW use an Ultimax or FN Minimi.-Markost 15:22, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Which is what the Birtish Army has done, replaced the L86A2 with the FN Minimi Para (L110A1) in the LSW role, and using the L86A2 in the DMR role with a conventional STANAG Magazine. The Wierd It 16:08, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd pick the Ares Shrike out of the lot myself. Light weight, compact, dual belt and magazine feed, rifleman accuracy... what more could one ask for? If only they could get the damned thing into widespread production, it would have been a shoe-in for the USMC IAR program. Spartan198 21:02, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be doing pretty well in its new DRM role, although a newer version of the A2 is being released - foreguard replaced with the new RAS-guard (and grip-pod), and the outrigger along the barrel has been removed. Various new optics have been trialed, the ACOG is a UOR, until the new Spectre Elcan can be brought in.
You couldn't really use a Beta C mag in an SA80, espescially if you were wearing a vest. I don't think it would necessarily get in the way of your arm, and it would fit in the mag well, but it would definately get in the way of your chest. Both in the firing position, and the carry - remember with the SA80 sling (slick set-up by the way, I wish you could mount one on a C7) you carry it across your chest. - Nyles
If you fitted a C mag or stacked/clamped magazines into an L85 or L86 the magazine would get in the way of the mag release button and you'd need a screwdriver or multitool to get the mag release to work. The C mag itself wouldn't get in the way of your chest unless you were wearing a vest or rucksack, but it definitely gets in the way of your trigger hand. -HairySteve

New title

Is the new title okay?--SB2296 10:56, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


I'm move several items around this page, as evidently, someone is unable to tell the difference between 1994 and 2008. Soldier Soldier did indeed use the SA80. However, due to the time it was filmed, and the years it was set, it did not use the A2. Infact, because this was several years before 2002 the A2 was not in existance yet. Indeed, some of the problems which resulted with the A2's creation had yet to be found (i.e. poor conditions in sand)

Also, there are one or two blindingly obvious errors, for example, in S.T.A.L.K.E.R, the IL86 is obviously an A1 (inverted for 'coolness'). This is obvious because: a)the cocking handle is round and b)the in-game story details practically state it is the A1...

  • Infact, it appears that most of the TV appearances of the A2 are the A1. Bugs/Stealth, Soldier Soldier, Firefly, Situation Critical, Zero Hour and Battlestar Galactica. These are A1 models used in the show, and because of the Pre-2002 release date of the A2 to the UK armed forces. Dr Who and Ultimate Force are the only TV shows which actually have A2s in them!

Enfield Prototypes

Since these are part of the SA80 family - should they be added?

I'm talking about the late 60's and early 70's models - such as the XL64ES (which has made an appearance, in The Professionals) and the XL70E3 (and others) (Fallout 1 and 2). Use 7.62 NATO and 4.95 British. Latter models used the 5.56 after the US orders NATO to follow suit.

Hell, maybe put the EM-2 in?

I won't to anything until anyone suggests it, but at the moment non of the prototypes have a page/place to link to.

Only if they've actually been used in something. Same reason we don't have the L98s on here. The Wierd It 17:08, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Ah cheers for putting them up. XL70 appeared in a big mod for Fallout 3 (but blue. P90, G3, Desert Eagle and a load of others appeared in it). You might want to put it up, since you've also put Project Reality. But, I'll leave that choice for you.

Quad-Rails Updates

Anyone got a picture of them? -- 01:19, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

after a quick search of the net, it appears most of the ones google has to show are either airsoft replicas with the real thing (STAR & Ares can accept it) or complete airsoft replicas. The BBC had some film of soldiers in Afghanistan talking to the Minister of Defence, Dr Liam Fox (sp?), and one of them handed him the new L86A2 - complete with Elcan Spectre and quad-rails.
I've been looking everywhere for SA80-series weapons with these upgrades, as there's several articles here (such as Project Reality and ArmA II) that could benefit from them. I've noticed that at about the same time the railed forends were introduced is also when they began using TA31F ACOG scopes on the L85A2 in place of the older SUSAT scopes. Images of weapons with these new features are definitely on my wishlist. Orca1 9904 18:53, 17 May 2012 (CDT)
The Daniel Defence railed handguard, ACOG, red dot sight, vortex flash hider and grip/bipod were all nominally introduced together for front line units at the end of 2009, staret of 2010 I think. It also now uses the EMAG but that is a more recent acquisition. Below is a picture of a genuine rifle, not great bu better than nothing. --commando552 19:36, 17 May 2012 (CDT)
L85A2 upgraded.jpg

Where did they go wrong?

If these bullpup rifles are so bad, then what did the designers do wrong that the Steyr AUG, the FN F2000, and the FAMAS do right (just to keep it all European-designed and chambered in 5.56mm NATO)? Why didn't the British Gov't just buy some of the aforementioned rifles for their troops? By the way, if casing ejection is such a problem for bullpups, how much would it cost to license the forward-ejection system (which is patented) of the FN F2000 for the SA80? --Mazryonh 01:07, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

More than it would cost just to drill everyone to shoot right-handed. The Wierd It 10:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
They are not so bad. Having used the A1 and A2, and an M16A4 (I think...A3 or A4) and a(Canadian)M4 in exchange exercises, I would pick an L85 everytime.

The original prototypes that the MoD decided to buy were hand made - and were very reliable - in terms of few jams, few parts broken, etc. The actual production models were mass produced, quickly and cheaply. Cheap mass production will not produce the same level of quality and performance as hand made. "Buy another rifle" ok...well, at the time, only the FAMAS and AUG were avalible on the market. The SA80 project had been running since the mid 1960's, and produced several good prototypes (XL64, XL70E, the LSW, all of them hand made) If you mean why didn't the MoD replace the SA80 in 2000 - think of the costs. New rifles, spare parts, repair kits, training for the armourers, training for the soliders. Considering at the time H&K were British owned, and running out of Nottingham, it was cheaper and easier to simply have the SA80 updated. In the British army you are trained to become right-handed when shooting. No exceptions. Otherwise, firing down range could become...'interesting' with cases being (literally) ejected left, right and centre. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the SA80 family, apart from the weight (especially with the SUSAT). If I was still in service, I'd take an L85 over other assault rifles any day.

You seem to forget that the SA80 series is very unreliable and fragile, including the "improved" A2 models.
No more so than the M16 series. At least the SA80 wasn't sabotaged by the brass. The Wierd It 22:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
@whoever posted before The Weird It - have you ever used them? 'Unreliable' - if you forget to clean or look after your rifle, don't expect it to work. Look after it, like you're taught to at training. Never had a problem with any of the A2s I got asigned, and I used them for four years, and the A1s for 5 years. And fragile? For Christ's sake, most of the rifle is made of steel! The only parts I would call fragile are the plastic pistol grips and foreguards, and that was after some berk ran a landrover over one...
For one, I'm not a big fan of the M16 series ether, the M16 and SA80 both can be very unreliable in actual combat conditions with sand or mud. Secondly, No, I have never used a SA80 because I'm American. Thirdly, I think it's just stupid for a combat weapon needing to be cleaned frequently, I mean come! Keeping a weapon clean in muddy or sandy combat conditions is a Oxymoron. A true combat weapon should not have to be clean to be reliable. Just a question, have you actually used your SA80s in severe combat conditions, with the rain, mud, and sand (Just so I can know, not to be critical or rude). And when you say steel, you mean the cheap stamped-steel the weapon is made out of, I heard it dents very easily and screws up the rifle badly (Interestingly, most AKs are made with stamped-steel too, but of a thicker gauge). I think an assault rifle should be made out of stainless-steel and ultra-tough plastic, that way it will need little to no cleaning at all and it will be extremely durable and reliable. The H&K G36 is the only rifle I know that's fairly close to that, it being made out of anti-corrosive finished steel and tough plastic and it is one of the finest assault rifle systems in the world next to AK series.
Yes, I've used it in 'severe' combat conditions. The A1 had problems - but in the 4 years I used my A2s, I only ever had 3 jams. Yes, cleaning a gun is wasted time, but it has to be done for most firearms. That said - I've chucked my L85 into thick mud for a while and then still been able to fire off a few magazines without problem. The whole "SA80s jam when dirty" and "SA80s are unreliable" stuff was only really true for the A1s. The steel is thin - but not that thin. I have seen dents on L85s - but that was because someone had shot it, when the squaddie carrying it had used it as an improvised flak vest. The L85, whilst dented, was still perfectly functioning. Now, the magazines - the orrigional magazines were made of very thin and awful steel. Those dented very easily, and they did cause problems for the gun - which is why they were replaced. A year or so back I read an article, about what the MoD would replace the SA80 with (in 2025) - the idea was, keep the SA80 design - but rebuild it with the same high-quality polymers and light-wieght, non-corrosive metals used in the G36 (as you mentioned). I liked the idea - but I haven't heard anything since, and quite frankly, haven't bothered looking into it. I agree with you - the G36 is a fine weapon, due to it's materials - but you still have to look after it. If the SA80 was re-designed and rebuilt using the materials of the G36 (or similar), it would be a much better weapon system. I'll agree that the SA80 family has problems - the LSW is useless as an LSW, but is very good as a DMR, the IW is heavy, until recently it was almost impossible to attatch modern 20mm gear to it (I had to screw a strip of RiS to my old foreguard so I could put a foregrip on) - hell, most weapon systems have a downfall or disadvantage - but my point remains. Whilst the SA80 series does indeed have problems - they are fine weapons, and really deserve far more credit than they get. And modern materials could improve the weapon greatly.
Thank you for putting the SA80 in a new light for me. :) So the A1 sucks and the A2 is pretty good, kind of like how the M16 sucks but M16A2/A4 is pretty good. I did not mean you never have to clean the G36 off, but if you get mud or sand in it, you won't have to worry about it. I've seen videos of the G36 (and the HK416) put in to vats of mud and then pulled and fire several mags with out a problem. ;) btw, I still think assault rifles being made out of stainless-steel and plastic is diffidently the way to go. I came up with my own design for a stainless-steel and plastic, 7.62 NATO, 32 round, bull-pup assault rifle. ;)
Yes, a good comparison would probably be the origional M16s and then the updated version (although, we were told right from the start that the SA80 needed cleaning, I suppose it was just to avoid similar problems)

If they had chosen the FN F2000 (which is a fine rifle in its own right, and easier to aim grenades with given its computerized ballistic curve compensator) then the only direction the brass would be going is down, with the added advantage of easier brass recovery for recycling and whatnot. Still, I guess it's commendable that they made the best of a bad situation, although I wish they took it a little easier on the South Paws over there. --Mazryonh 01:22, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Like I said, one of the original pre-production models was a leftie version. The only reason I assume they didn't make it was cost - considering how many people are right handed, and how many left handed people join the Armed Forces, it probably wasn't cost effective to make two versions of the IW and two versions of the LSW. But, training to use the rifle if you are a leftie isn't that difficult. Just very, very annoying. As for the FN F2000, I'll agree it is a fine weapon from what I've seen (I've never had the pleasure to use one) and the downwards brass was a perfect idea. And it's the British Armed Forces. We usually end up trying to make the best out of shite situations... Spanner

This is a somewhat old article criticizing the SA80 series, but I think I'd like to hear how much of it has been proven false or true by the test of time. [1] --Mazryonh 02:33, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Ah, that takes me back... An interesting read. One of the main 'design flaws' that 'experts' commented on at the time was the lack of a 7.62 round and how the SA80 was fully automatic. Do you know what squaddies were doing in the Falklands War to get their 7.62 SLRs to fire in full (well, burst)? Sticking match sticks in the chamber. Half the 'experts' complaints against the SA80 are old traditionalists who want the British Army to go back to 'ye olde glory days' of the 'mad minuite' with Lee-Enfields. Note of importance - Taking information from ARRSE, like that article did in places, will not end well. It is a joke version of wikipedia, edited by the squaddies and ex-servicemen of the British Army - it generally takes the mick out of anything and everything. It always point out flaws and then exaggerates them. However - I will accept that the L85 does indeed have a problem shooting round left corners. But - I've never faced problems with fumes, like it mentions some have. However, when 25 men are all shooting their rifles whilst in a small room, I have had problems... And 2002 - it was just after the A2s had some out. The unit involved in this (that reported the faults) was one of the RM groups in Afghanistan - it was pointed out that the reason their A2s weren't working was because they hadn't actually cleaned them. As in, ever. 8 years on, with a rigorous and well taught cleaning system and with better internals, the A2 is functioning well - like I said, I only ever had 3 jams in service. The only problem they have now is weight. As the last line from ARRSE says, "the nice new versions aren't that bad, really. However, johnny squaddie is likely to always miss the nice destructive power that the SLR gave him, and so the whingeing will continue for a long time"
The guys in the Falklands were getting full auto FAL's by using captured Argentinian gun-S&Wshooter 11:01, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Never seen, heard or read anything suggesting they used any captured rifles - where'd you find that out? I've only ever seen the '3 match trick' used by the British forces in the Falklands campaign, but I suppose some units may have 'borrowed' the Argentinian rifles. That the SA80 comes as standard with full-auto as an option is good in my books. Spanner
Aren't L1A1 magazines incompatible with FAL magazines? It would probably be a bit confusing if they picked up weapons that looked and felt otherwise identical (aside from the full auto, of course) only to find that their mags wouldn't fit and the captured ammo stocks wouldn't fit their guns. At least it meant that they could capture loose 7.62mm cartridges, which would probably ease logistics since they'd have less worries about running low on ammo if they went a while without resupply. Chitoryu12 01:07, 14 May 2012 (CDT)
Inch-pattern FALs (L1A1/C1A1) are compatible with metric-pattern FAL magaziness, metric FALs are incompatible with inch pattern magazines.--Maxman (talk) 12:48, 27 May 2017 (EDT)

Upgraded LSW

Does anyone have any photographs, videos or anything showing the supposed new version of the LSW, using the Daniel Defence rail system, and having the outrigger/bipod system changed? If not I think it should be removed from the article, as I suspect it is pure conjecture.

- It is somewhat extraneous info, but I don't see what it hurts, really. We've had similar 'extra' info posted about movies and shows on their respective pages. StanTheMan 18:50, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with information like this being on here, its just that I am fairly sure in this case it is wrong, as I have heard hide nor hair about this upgrade except on this entry. Even in the rare cases when you see the crow cannon being used these days, it is just the standard A2 version, maybe with an ACOG if you are lucky.
Boom: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/01/03/latest-l85a2-model/ Looks kinda ugly if you ask me --yocapo32 20:18, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
That isn't the LSW, but the regular IW with the current array of mods.-- 20:22, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The only photo I've ever seen of one with the new rail system is property of the BBC, and was used in an item about the defence budget/cuts in November. As in, it was part of a film. There are photos of the new Elcan update (only on an L85 so far), taken at an arms fair in London, 2009, when the company announced that the MoD intended to have the Elcan Spectres by 20...11 I think. Spanner

Ok, I've found a photo of the current L86, (Pre-Elcan Spectre Optic upgrade) with an ACOG. Still can't find the pic with the Elcan, but this should do. (Since I do not own the photo I'll link you to the forum, 10 post down on page 12) http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=87669&page=12 --Spanner


Just a small niggle, but contrary to what the article currently says, the current issue SA80 carbine is the L22A2. The confusion comes from the fact that the L22A1 version was made but never widely issued, if at all, and I believe that this version is what is labelled as the L22 prototype in the article. I'm not sure if the original version was designated as the L22A1 at the time or whether this is a backronym, but current official MOD documents refer to the current version as "CARBINE, 5.56, L22A2", and this is backed up by the Light Weapons group at the UK's Defence Academy at Watchfield, who claim to have possibly the last remaining L22A1. Does anyone know something I don't meaning it shouldn't be changed? Commando552 22:16, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

No, you're right, it and all linked pages should be changed. The issue weapon is the L22A2 according to restricted documents and receiver markings, though you will find an image of a carbine (not either of the earlier prototype attempts either) marked 'L22A1' from which this misunderstanding has arisen. Even if one example of an 'A1' does exist, this does not change the fact that the issue weapon is the A2. Big les 18:02, 17 May 2012 (CDT)

L64 Service?

I could be wrong, but my understanding of the Wikipedia article was that the XL64 actually saw service with the Brits from the 1960s to 1980s. Is this true, or am I just mis-interpreting things? 05:25, 19 November 2010 (UTC) To my knowledge during that time it was L1A1's and M16 types, as the rifles for squadies, and other weapons for support troops, MGs, Snipers and the like.

Most likely limited service for field testing. The Wierd It 09:35, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

The information surrounding this is difficult to find, and conflicting at best. Different books say different things, and hell, the British Army's technical museum (REME) and the ordanance museum (RA) say different things. The (X)L64 (and XL65 LSW)did see field testing in the very late 60's to mid 70's (around '78 the 5.56mm XL70- series arrived). There are a handful of photos showing this. Did it see combat service? Well, a handful of sources have suggested that the Royal Marines/SBS used the L64 and XL70 in the Falklands - however, I have yet to see proof that they did. The XL70E3 did see service in Northern Ireland. The M16 only saw service with one unit at the time IRRC, - the Paras, in Northern Ireland - the date for the photos I have been shown is 1982 - the M16 never saw mass use in the British forces. Spanner

It's off-topic in any case, but at least 6000 AR15 and M16 rifles were purchased for issue, primarily for jungle warfare and SF. Depends what you mean by 'mass'. Big les 18:04, 17 May 2012 (CDT)

L85A1 flash hider

In the top screenshot for the L85A1 (the rifle with the iron sights) it is fitted with a shorter flash hider. I've never seen this kind of flash hider on an L85A1, does anyone know if this was ever fitted, or is this some kind of modification to the L85A1 to fit a permanent inside the barrel BFA? --commando552 09:06, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

The photo looks oddly like the Prexis (American civvi market semi-auto) clone of the L98A1 cadet rifle. The PR85 has that flash hider, but I can't remember if the L98s had it or not. I've only ever seen that flash hider on that pic.
Do you have a pic of this, as I have done a search and can only find pictures of the prototype kit, and it appears to use the standard flash hider. --commando552 22:36, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Also, I think I should point this out - the L85 with 40mm launcher isn't real. It's a STAR L85A2 airsoft gun, with ARES launcher. I know this because the photo was first posted on an airsoft site, by someone I know. --Spanner

That makes sense. Have never seen the combination of iron sights and UGL, probably because UGL is only used by front line units, which will always use optics. --commando552 22:36, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
The real give away for me that it was the guy's skirmishing replica was the carpet floor tiles its resting on... As for the PR85, the photo on the sight is different from when I first came across it last year (it now has the real flash hider) One other thought I've had on this - it could be one of the first LSW flash hiders. The last prototype A1 LSWs had similar flash hiders (and were unable to fit bayonets)

So, my thoughts are it could be a prototype. Spanner

Questions about Carbines

Two questions to knowledgeable ones about carbines:

Is L85 Carbine a fictional version made up by AirSoft manufacturers and is there an Iron Sights version of L22 Carbine?

Do you mean the carbine with the handguard from the LSW? I'm not 100% sure on the numbers, but I believe RSOV made around 100 of them as prototypes. They were issued on very limited basis to tank crews. They never (officially anyway) made it into A2 status. They were a fine example of 1980s British engineering (done on the cheap and as quickly as possible!) - they were standard L85s with the barrels sawn off (literally) and the LSW's handguard bolted on. They were cheaper to make than the L22/AFV/SA80K which required new gas block parts. As for the L22 (which is in service in all British Forces under the name SA80K-A2 instead of the usual land 'L' designation), I have honestly never seen them without a SUSAT. That said I can't see the point in them using iron sights, as the gas-block (where the front iron sight on all SA80 types is mounted) has been moved so far back and made flush with the receiver, the front iron sight would be an inch away from the rear sight/carry handle... Spanner

Magazine placement

What benefit does this weapon have with the mag being in the rear instead of in front of the trigger?

This layout is called a bullpup, and the benefit is having a longer barrel in a shorter weapon. The L85 has a slightly longer barrel than an M16A2, but the overall length is about 25% shorter. It is about the same size as an M4 (more or less depending on the stock position) and yet the barrel is about 40% longer. It is a trade off though, as it can only be fired right handed and the the ergonomics are arguably not as good as on a traditionally laid out rifle. --commando552 20:05, 13 May 2012 (CDT)
More specifically, the L85 can't be fired left-handed. Most bullpups provide either a downward or forward ejection of spent casings to make it ambidextrous, or at least allow soldiers to swap some parts around to make it eject to the left, but the L85 has no such provision and all soldiers are trained to fire on their right shoulder. This can become an issue with going around right-hand corners, since you need to expose more of your body to aim if the gun is on the same side as the corner. Chitoryu12 01:07, 14 May 2012 (CDT)
I wouldn't say that most bullpups have forward ejection to make them ambidextrous, as far as I'm aware the only assault rifles that have this are the FN F2000 and A-91. However, more bullpups (not the L85) have ejection ports on both sides of the weapon and by assembling the rifle differently after cleaning or switching a couple of parts can be converted to left side ejection. This solves the problem for left handed users, however this cannot be done quickly so the gun still cannot be used as effectively as a conventional rifle if you want to aim around a weak side corner. The prototypes of the SA80 were made in left handed versions, but when it came to making the final weapon it was decided it wasn't worth the expense of this or making it convertible. As there are relatively very few civilian weapons in the UK most recruits first experience of shooting is when they are taught when they join up, so teaching a lefty to shoot righty is not as big a problem as it would be in a country where more people would already have shooting experience. --commando552 04:37, 14 May 2012 (CDT)
You misunderstood me, though understandably. I wasn't implying that most bullpups are forward ejection, just that most provide some way to be used ambidextrously. For the record, another forward-ejecting bullpup is the Kel-Tec RFB. I still think any bullpup should be manufactured with forward or bottom ejection, since it can be quite a bit more dangerous to go around a right-hand corner if you're not shooting lefty. I actually experimented with it last night to check that I was making a good point, and much more of my body is exposed if I don't switch shoulders since I need to lean farther out. Good tactical sense (as well as good "staying alive" sense) is to expose as little of your body as necessary to things that kill it if you don't have to. It's a bit shameful when soldiers have to take riskier actions due to poor design. Chitoryu12 17:05, 14 May 2012 (CDT)

So would a weapon such as a...M16A2 be a better choice over a...TAR 21?

It really depends on you. Both weapons are battle proven and reliable and they both shoot the same type of ammo and accept the same type of magazines. For a military or police, it depends on which is more cost effective, for personal use, it depends on if you like bullpup weapons or do you prefer a more traditional layout. Excalibur01 23:25, 14 May 2012 (CDT)
I haven't used a TAR-21. But I can say that if your gun gives you the choice of exposing an unsafe amount of your body to gunfire needlessly or getting sprayed in the face by pieces of smoking hot brass shooting out of a chute, something's gone wrong with your design process. Chitoryu12 23:28, 14 May 2012 (CDT)

Change page name?

Wouldn't it be more correct to rename this page as the "Enfield SA80 rifle series"? The actual name for the family of weapons is SA80 as opposed to L85 which is just one particular gun within the series. Also, SA80 is probably the more recognised term to the layman (in Britain anyway, don't know about internationally). --commando552 18:54, 30 May 2012 (CDT)

Can these be found in the U.S...?

... For any reason at all? Literally any reason? Although I doubt it. It is one of my favorite rifles out there and I'd love to handle one one of these days. --PyramidHead (talk) 16:21, 18 December 2013 (EST)

I believe there are only 10 or so genuine full auto L85s (I assume A1s but not sure) in the US, so the chances of you being able to ever fire one there are pretty low (and you would never be able to buy one as they would all be dealer samples). However there is a company called Prexis that at one point made kits to build L85A1 semi auto clones, so you may be able to get hold of one of them but I have no idea how many were made. I believe this image is actually a Prexis replica rather than a real L85A1, as indicated by the different flash hider:
--commando552 (talk) 16:32, 18 December 2013 (EST)
Hm I didn't know that. I'll have to look into those kits you speak of. It's too bad those silly Brits would probably never allow a civilian version of any of their firearms. --PyramidHead (talk) 18:41, 18 December 2013 (EST)
Well it isn't really a question of them "allowing" anything, as centrefire semi-automatic rifles are illegal in the UK there would be basically zero market for it in the UK so why would anybody do it? Furthermore, the demand for a replica of a service rifle that is only used by a handful of countries, particularly one with a (mostly undeserving) poor reputation, it would not be economically viable for a US company to make a clone of it. There is a semi-automatic version of the SA80 known as the L98A2, but this is only for use by cadet forces and even if these did end up being potentially exported at some point I doubt they would be legal in the US, as I believe they basically just removed the selector switch and locked it to semi, so it would be relatively easy to get it firing in FA which I assume BATFE would not be too happy with. Also, just to point out the SA80 weapons are probably the only current weapon system that you wouldn't be able to get one of your own if you were willing to spend the money (or a close copy of anyway). --commando552 (talk) 18:58, 18 December 2013 (EST)
From what I understand from a friend who used to be in the cadets, the L98 is actually manually operated, on account of it omitting the gas system. And it would indeed be quite easy to install the missing components. Jimmoy (talk) 07:43, 19 December 2013 (EST)
I thought the cadet rifles USED to be like that but they've since replaced them with semi auto rifles Excalibur01 (talk) 10:47, 19 December 2013 (EST)
L98A1 is manually operated while L98A2 is a semi-auto version of L85A2. It can be converted into full auto rifle by replacing only three components. Greg-Z (talk) 11:06, 19 December 2013 (EST)
Oh, that makes sense. It has been nearly 15 years since my friend quit, so I guess I just have out of date info. Apologies. Jimmoy (talk) 11:26, 19 December 2013 (EST)
There is a pic of the L98A2 at the top of the page and if you look through the handguard vent holes you can see the gas system, whereas on the L98A1 this space is hollow. I remember using the old L98A1 at school and it was an absolute nightmare. Due to the way the cocking lever cammed for some reason the only way to keep the runner on the lever from tilting and jamming against the rail was to oil the crap out of it, and then as it was totally exposed it would dry out easily or at the first sign of rain it washed out making the gun practically unusable, especially for the younger kids who weren't strong enough to brute force it. The L98A1 also used the older A1 handguards. Saying that, I don't know if it is really correct to call the handguard A1 or A2, as the vast majority of the A2s I have seen of used have had the old handgaurds (never did work out exactly what was going on with that, I think it might be that melting handguards was supposedly one of the A1 problems but it turned out it wasn't so they didn't bother replacing most of them). On the topic of the L98A2, there is actually a design flaw (shocking, right) with the gas block on the original SA80 weapons that means if the spring detent on the front that locks it in the selected position is pointing straight upwards when it is removed, it jams upwards into a hollow inside the gas block which means that it needs to be drilled out by an armourer. I hope they fixed this for the L98A2 (I think this was fixed in the standard A2 conversion but not sure as nobody I know ever tried it to find out) or else they will have a lot of stuck gas plugs. --commando552 (talk) 12:56, 19 December 2013 (EST)

Magazine-Release Fencing On The A1

I've seen pictures of L85A1s both with and without magazine-release fencing and I'm a bit confused as I was lead to believe that the magazine-release fencing was a feature added strictly to the L85A2. Mr. Wolf (talk) 20:08, 27 November 2015 (EST)

The magazine catch fence predates the A2 upgrade. There were a load of minor upgrades to try and solve problems before the big one H&K did, but the magazine release one is the most obvious and the only one that I can remember right now. I believe that the actual A2 upgrade consisted of the following: a new poly amide cocking handle doubling as a case deflector; new magazines that were slightly larger so would actually accept 30 rounds and ran smoother; heavier barrel on the LSW to try and make it vaguely viable in its role; new gas parts made from better steel and the gas plug retention catch was widened so that it was no longer possible to assemble it incorrectly and render the whole weapon US; different barrel extension to guide ejected rounds and incorporate a new bolt head with improved extractor and stronger ejector; hammer weight increased to stop it bouncing causing misfires; reshaped ejection port; underside of bolt carrier was polished to reduce friction from top round of magazine; new stronger firing pin with proper heat treatment; reinforcement added to magazine well to stop it from being crushed; stronger bolt release catch mechanism; better mainsprings to give a slightly slower, more even rate of fire. As you might be able to tell, the A1 still had quite a few issues even after years of tinkering and minor fixes. --commando552 (talk) 05:15, 28 November 2015 (EST)
Thank you for all this info, you don't know how much I appreciate it. It'll probably help other users as well. Mr. Wolf (talk) 00:04, 1 July 2016 (EDT)


Exist? What appereance it got? It got rails?--Dannyguns (talk) 08:21, 29 September 2017 (EDT)

It exists, and H&K have been contracted to build them but don't know when they will start appearing. The main difference is actually the least obvious, which is that they have an entirely new upper receiver with a different kind of welding which eliminates a warping issue that the older guns had on the bolt cam track. The obvious difference to the upper is the integral Picatinny rail (older guns had a different rail that in recent years had an adapter bolted on top), and it has a new H&K handguard with a rail on top that continues on from the receiver rail, a rail on the bottom, and HKey slots on the side for mounting other accessories. The new guns also have a different gas block to allow it to fit under the handguard, and it also now acts as a mounting point for the grenade launcher which now just slides onto the bottom rail and locks through the gas block with a cross pin so any rifle can take a launcher without it having to be fitted by an armourer with a different handguard like before. And lastly, the whole gun is painted that horrible but effective Coyote Brownish colour. Also, you could have just spent 10 seconds Googling it. --commando552 (talk) 09:27, 29 September 2017 (EDT)
Cannot into of search engine!--AgentGumby (talk) 16:17, 29 September 2017 (EDT)

When I searched the only things I found was Italian Forniture and shops.--Dannyguns (talk) 04:29, 30 September 2017 (EDT)

Just for reference, as of March 2018 the British army has started issuing the L85A3 to units, with the first guns going to the Grenadier Guards. --commando552 (talk) 09:58, 18 March 2018 (EDT)

Bolt Release Placement

Since I've never handled one before and I've not been able to find info stating its placement. Where is the bolt release on the SA-80? Is it the green lever on the right side or the black squire button on the left side? Mr. Wolf (talk) 01:12, 26 March 2019 (EDT)

It is the square black knob on the left. The green teardrop shaped thing is the hold open lever (it is positioned and shaped like that because the way you use it is to reach over to run the bolt with your left hand and you push the lever down with your thumb). It has the separate release so that it is closed to hand when you change a magazine without having to reach over. --commando552 (talk) 07:09, 27 March 2019 (EDT)
This is correct, as a side note, the button is pushed down, so that you cannot push it with your shoulder.--JackalUnderscore (talk) 12:44, 20 July 2021 (EDT)

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