Update L85A2

More recently, the automatic rifle L85A2 received in its name a new tsiferku, as well as a number of innovations in the design. Yet weapon it is not accepted for service, and whether tea lovers are silent about this, but the fact that sooner or later the issue of modernization will be raised is as clear as day. The Heckler und Koch company (owns the plant in Notingham) initiated the modernization of weapons and analyzed the operation of the rifle mechanisms in conditions close to those that became the medium of the main combat use of weapons - conditions of Afghanistan. In general, the result was more than satisfactory, the rifle's high reliability with contamination was noted separately. However, experts noted a number of shortcomings, for example, such as increased wear of the weapon and its low mechanical strength. In order to improve the main weapon of Great Britain, the following innovations were proposed.

It was proposed to change the coating of parts experiencing stress in friction. It was also proposed to change the body of the weapon itself in order to increase its mechanical strength, and this will be achieved by changing its shape, which in production means only replacing the stamping cliche. In addition, the trigger mechanism of the weapon was also changed, so the trigger stroke length was changed, as well as the shape of the trigger itself. In addition, it was proposed to install a new flame arrester and replace the standard sight. In general, these changes cannot be called serious work on the modernization of weapons; nevertheless, the rifle’s reliability and durability should increase significantly. However, this can only be judged after the weapon has proven itself on the battlefield. In the meantime, I propose to plunge into the world stories and see where this rifle came from, and what options could be beside it. In general, a brief historical excursion on the history of automatic rifles, which were in service with the army of Great Britain or at least claimed the place and were deservedly (or unfairly) refused.

In the 50 of the last century, the British army abandoned the EM-2 caliber .280 rifle, and switched to a new L1A1, which in its essence was a slightly modified FN FAL rifle chambered for 7,62, manufactured in England under license. This rifle was in service for quite a long time and fully met all the requirements, perhaps no one would have thought about replacing it if it hadn't blown the “wind of change”, which brought the rumor that NATO would switch to a new ammunition of smaller caliber. Having quickly realized what was the matter and how much money could be earned on this, the designers of Great Britain began to develop a new ammunition. The result of their work was the cartridge 4,85х49, which, despite the rather ridiculous almost “pneumatic” caliber, retained its effectiveness at a distance of up to 1000 meters, and the effectiveness was not paper, but real. The weight of a thin, but long bullet was equal to 3,11 grams, it could accelerate to speeds of 900-950 meters per second, which asked her kinetic energy almost under 1400 Joule. But the large total length of the cartridge, and its weight made this ammunition unclaimed. Despite this, high efficiency was noted, and if it were not for the United States in the role of Baba Yaga, which, as we know, is always against, then this very long cartridge could have become the standard of NATO. As a result, as long as there were disputes which cartridge was better created and weapons for the new English ammunition - an automatic rifle from the SA-80 system, which, in fact, was still the same EM-2, but under the new cartridge. The matter even reached the final test of weapons, as a result of which ... Britain surrendered and accepted the 5,56 cartridge, abandoning both its ammunition and weapons for it, and all the time and money spent on it. But those who are interested in the history of weapons of Great Britain will not be very surprised by this turn of events, the fact is that this is not the first or the last example when money flies into the pipe, apparently, such is the fate of all who want to stand out and fight off the herd, let them, even while creating really interesting and promising models of weapons.

The military name of the test rifle was XL 64E5. The weapon at that time even turned out to be arrogant and, not knowing what kind of animal it is, it can easily be confused with some of the latest weapons, however, the lack of a large amount of plastic in the design of the rifle still gives the real age of the weapon. The rifle automatics were built, of course, on the principle of removing some of the powder gases from the barrel, locking took place when the bolt was turned, in general, despite its layout, this rifle was very similar in design to the AR-18. It was also interesting that the bolt grappled with the barrel for the chamber, which reduced the load when shooting on the receiver. Not the last question was the fact that the production of weapons was adjusted with minimal costs, so virtually all the parts were made by stamping, of course, except for the barrel, bolt and bolt, which significantly reduced the cost of weapons. But, as it was already written above, this “toy” did not go into the series.

When it became clear the complete failure of their own ammunition and weapons to it, it was decided to at least partially offset the costs of developing weapons and adapt the rifle chambered for 5,56. The final version of the weapon was presented only in the 1984 year, and it should be noted that it turned out to be not so bad as it could have been, after all the ammunition is the basis, and here it was replaced. The new name of the weapon looked like the XL 70E3. At the root, the new rifle didn’t differ from the previous version, except for ammunition. But a change of cartridge is both a design left without fundamental changes and a complete change in the characteristics of the weapon, so there seem to be few differences, but the parameters are different. The positive qualities of the new rifle were: high reliability even in adverse conditions; ease of maintenance; low cost of production. In this model, immediately provided for the possibility of installing a grenade launcher, which was not in the first version of the weapon. They also made it possible to use wall grenades, which, even in those times, was already somewhat outdated design ideas. Not without a bayonet in this weapon, despite its layout. The bayonet knife itself is not of particular interest, but its sheath had many functions, so they were adapted to cut the wire when combined with the bayonet, and also had a built-in sharpening bar and a small file and most importantly - they had a corkscrew. The changes also affected the weapons shop, whose capacity has become one and a half times larger - 30 cartridges. The rifle was equipped with a SUSAT L9A1 optical sight, and in case of a fourfold sight failure there was a reclining front sight and diopter rear sight at a distance of 200 and 300 meters, which was removable and was stored in the pistol grip of the weapon. Also, for firing in the dark, a four-time KITE night-sight sight could be installed, with a “paper” target recognition capability at a distance of 600 meters.

As noted above, the rifle is built according to a scheme with the removal of powder gases from the bore of the weapon. The gas regulator had three positions: normal opening, wide opening, and also full closure, which is necessary for using barrel grenades. The short stroke gas piston has a separate return spring; as it moves, it opens 4 openings in the gas chamber, through which excess powder gases are removed, which increases the durability of the weapon. The barrel is locked when the bolt is turned to the right, the bolt carrier itself moves along two guide rods fixed in the receiver. There is also a third rod, but it only works as a guide for the return spring. The shutter release handle is located on the right side of the weapon. The trigger mechanism of the weapon is made of a separate prefabricated element, fastened with two pins, and is also held by the butt plate. The translator of the fire regime is located very far from the pistol grip, behind the weapon shop, apparently the calculation is that control will be made with his left hand. Such a rifle was the XL 70E3, better known after being put into service as the L85A1. By the way, about the price of this weapon. One rifle in the 600 $ cost without a telescopic sight, the telescopic sight separately cost the 120 $, the price for a sight with a night-vision device is unknown at that time. Also, on the basis of this rifle, the L22A1 carbine was developed, which was proposed for armament of the crews of armored vehicles, but because of the configuration of the bullpup and the short barrel, the carbine very "threw" up when fired, because it remained only as a prototype. The same fate befell the "training" version of the weapon, which was deprived of the possibility of automatic fire, and was also planned for sale to athletes and hunters. True, a small amount of these weapons still leaked to the market.

Naturally, it was not without negative points in this weapon. So, along with those "diseases" that are inherent in the bullpup layout as an impossibility of firing from the left shoulder due to the location of the window for ejection of spent cartridges in the immediate vicinity of the shooter’s face, it is not quite the usual and in this case not quite convenient arrangement of controls and so on. The weapon has a rather impressive weight in the 4,2 kilogram, although this can be considered a plus, since it is because of the weight that the high stability is maintained when firing with the barrel with a normal length. Also, in the layout, the bulpap is not quite at the location of the handle for releasing the bolt to the extreme rear position, since for this you have to hold the weapon with your left hand for the shank, which is not very convenient provided the center of gravity is shifted very strongly back. It is noteworthy that initially the pen was placed on the left side for the 4,85 chuck, and in the version for 5,56 it was planned on the same place, but the Ministry of Defense insisted on its location. In 1986, a rifle version was proposed in which it provided for the overlap of the reflection path of the spent cartridges, which allowed the use of weapons when firing from both the right and left shoulders without significant inconvenience, but the innovation was never approved and did not receive "good" from above. In view of the presence of all these problems, it was decided to upgrade the weapon, however, the implementation of the solution to this problem was constantly postponed indefinitely.

In principle, the fact that the modernization of weapons was constantly postponed is quite understandable, since later, after the announcement of the amount spent on this, all the hair becomes “peacefully”. Total 36 was spent millions of dollars, and the final modernization of weapons in the army ended only in the year 2000. Of course, that attempts to partially eliminate the shortcomings were before the decision was made to upgrade weapons. So, for example, it was proposed to combine a fire interpreter and a fuse switch, which turned out to be quite difficult at that time, changed the trigger forum, the shutter handle, and so on, but it was all marking time. The final decision on global modernization was made only after the weapon showed its flaws in Operation Desert Storm, precisely on the basis of a report on all the flaws in the L85A1 automatic rifle and the weapons modernization specification was created that included an 32 item. But we will not pass on all of them. In fact, these were all the same wishes that they tried to implement before global modernization. So, for example, the flame arrester was changed, which raised dust pillars when firing from the prone position, separate parts joints were strengthened, which increased the durability of the weapon and so on, that is, there were no global changes, but the weapon was just refined. After the modernization of the rifle and its delivery to the troops from Afghanistan, malicious letters were sent in which complained about the reliability of the weapon and its main combat parameters. It is noteworthy that the reason for this was simply the inability to handle the rifle, and after changing the training program, all complaints abruptly stopped. In general, this moment in the history of weapons seems to me, if not dark, then very vague. This is what needs to be done with a weapon so that it turns from a reliable into an unreliable one, and it also shoots like anyhow? In general, whether the soldiers were armless and tight, or the weapon is so whimsical, if "quietly" was not carried out another modernization.

In conclusion, to all this I would like to note another interesting fact. Initially, the price of a weapon with an optical sight was equal to 720 dollars, after upgrading one rifle became worth 1700 dollars, and there were no fundamental changes in it. Although with the weapons that were adopted in Britain there were always some “miracles” that were incomprehensible to the rest of the world. Suffice it to recall the Bren machine gun, which appeared in the middle of a competition from another country, and also initially used ammunition that did not meet the requirements of the competition. In general, England is really a very "foggy" territory on the blue ball, which is our planet.

Update L85A2

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  1. +5
    4 October 2012 09: 05
    already the fifth modification of the initially unsuccessful rifle. Isn’t it time to invent something new?
    1. +1
      4 October 2012 09: 18
      No, "lords" are contraindicated to invent))) I think in their case it is better to buy something ready-made, well, they are not lucky, they constantly find a rake on which to step.
      1. Dikremnij
        27 November 2012 01: 02
        I think in the United Kingdom there is also a problem with bribes at the highest level. That is, the problem is not in development, but in kickbacks.
  2. plump
    4 October 2012 10: 37
    How did they fire back, my lord?
    - Oatmeal with milk, sir ...
    1. SenyaYa
      4 October 2012 23: 25
      The British themselves joke "Modernized l85 differs from the previous models in that it shoots!" A very unreliable system!
  3. -5
    4 October 2012 11: 59
    no matter what, it is much more accurate than Kalash, and at the same time it is also reliable. That's just because of the weight (in some cases also by other parameters) it is worse than any other assault rifle adopted by NATO, and all Anglo-American rifles are worse than German ones, Hekler-i-Koch will soon become a monopolist in this area
    1. +2
      4 October 2012 12: 14
      By the way, HuK and finished at the end of L85A1 to А2.
    2. SeregaKep
      4 October 2012 12: 30
      especially "just as reliable", during the "Desert Storm" SASovtsy flatly refused to use the lemon masterpiece because of unreliability and for them they urgently bought an M4!
      how should the L85A1 be "reliable" that the SAS members (they cannot be called inept in handling weapons) agreed to the M4 ?!
      and the cases of reflection of the spent sleeve by the extractor INSIDE THE STEEL BOX is probably also a sign of reliability?
      1. 0
        4 October 2012 12: 49
        So I didn’t seem to write that the serially produced A1 was distinguished by reliability, its initial prototype XL really was not bad, but mass production is mass production. Now I will re-read, maybe I have skipped somewhere.
        1. 0
          4 October 2012 13: 31
          All, hang up. Again, after a sleepless night, kosyachu, I already perceive other people's messages to my account))) Minus soundly, I agree Yes
      2. +1
        4 October 2012 13: 17
        SeregaKep Today, 12: 30
        especially "just as reliable", during the "Desert Storm" SASovtsy flatly refused to use the lemon masterpiece because of unreliability and for them they urgently bought an M4!
        how should the L85A1 be "reliable" that the SAS members (they cannot be called inept in handling weapons) agreed to the M4 ?!
        and the cases of reflection of the spent sleeve by the extractor INSIDE THE STEEL BOX is probably also a sign of reliability?
        Strange that they did not demand such a replacement BEFORE Desert Storm. The M4 is lighter, more convenient, no worse in accuracy, it is always easy to find stores for it and can be equipped with such ponties:
        That's just the most unreliable rifle of NATO can not be more reliable than the most reliable rifle in the UK. Complaints about
        L85A1 began only in extreme desert conditions. And the L85A2 is REALLY as reliable as Kalash, unlike
        L85A1 with her poorer reputation
        1. +4
          4 October 2012 14: 55
          Quote: Sanches
          it’s always easy for her to find stores

          Oh really? laughing I'll reveal a terrible thing: the shops of "M-ki" and "lakhs" are interchangeable, since these are NATO standard magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds. bully
          1. 0
            4 October 2012 15: 24
            Karlsonn Today, 14: 55
            Oh really? I'll reveal a terrible thing: the magazines of "M-ki" and "lakhs" are interchangeable, since these are NATO standard magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds.
            it to heap laughing
      3. fern
        4 October 2012 13: 27

        A good example of reliability l85
        1. 0
          4 October 2012 13: 42
          Well, the trees ... They gave the "killed" weapon, the second one fired normally smile
          So say in dogonku:

          Hands ... Jo ... Below in general, wrote about it laughing
          1. Diesel
            4 October 2012 14: 59
            This AKC is 20 years older than the one on top, so don’t need it here)
        2. +1
          4 October 2012 14: 02
          There, hiking, a problem with the store
    3. +3
      4 October 2012 13: 06
      On the reliability of this rifle, if you compare it only with the model range of Colt automatic rifles. Yes and then not in favor of the English one. Speaking of English soldiers about this weapon: The only thing that is reliable and correctly made in this rifle is its sight.
      At the expense of accuracy of AK assault rifles, from 5,45 to a distance of 500-800m, you can put the entire horn of 20-30 rounds into a growth target when shooting in short bursts (except for shortened versions of AK) With AK-103 I also don’t know from earlier versions. same single fire is inferior only to sniper rifles. Masters of arrows show outstanding performance in accuracy when shooting from AK.
      1. +3
        4 October 2012 13: 22
        What rifle are we talking about XL in the form of a test sample, A1 or A2? Let me clarify that the XL was licked from all sides, as the test sample, A1 showed a bunch of flaws, basically got out because of mass production (to make a couple of weapons actually hand-assembled and press conveyor, feel the difference?) In A2 eliminated a lot of flaws and brought the weapon to a relatively normal state, not without the participation of HuK. Now this company offers another weapon upgrade, apparently the last, since the weapon was not originally adapted for development.
        And about the fact that someone there says something, so you listen to what individuals say about AK, almost with shit, I apologize, they interfere. And why? Because either hands from a well-known place grow where the fastest and the brains are located, or simply succumbed to fashion. So something like that. For a moment, people are fighting with these weapons, of course, you can fight with stoppers, no one argues, but nonetheless.
        1. 0
          4 October 2012 14: 20
          I agree with the last comment scrabler and yes in the latest versions of the L85 corrected the situation with reliability and convenience, but this rifle was initially far from ideal and even more so to the AK. By the way, they had more worthy competitors in the competition.
    4. Fox
      4 October 2012 16: 17
      yes, she’s good ... and so no one needs a damn thing! more precisely Kalash? is that how you determined?
      1. +1
        4 October 2012 19: 12
        in the modern world, if some kind of rifle is better than Kalash, this does not mean that it is good laughing you misunderstood bully
    5. Dikremnij
      27 November 2012 01: 18
      Let's not forget about another leader in weapons manufacturing - the Belgian FNH, this campaign also has many successful and reliable examples.
      And about the accuracy of the SA-80, what will happen to it if the sight breaks or the battery dies in it. It’s better not to shout about the reliability of this weapon - they don’t particularly use this weapon in the 22nd CAC regiment and in the SBS because of unreliability, preferring it to the M4, oddly enough.
  4. +2
    4 October 2012 14: 04
    1: ... The military name of the new test rifle was XL 64E5 ...
    - The prototypes of the new machine under the 4.85mm cartridge were designated Enfield XL-65, and, as the name implies, were created at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock.
    2: ... but because of the layout of the bullpup and the short barrel, the carbine very “threw” upwards when firing, because it remained only as a prototype ...
    - Your untruth: the latest version of the SA-80 family is the L22 carbine (shortened assault rifle), recently adopted by the British armored forces (Royal Armored Corps) as a weapon for tank crews and armored vehicles. (information must be checked hi )
    3: .. So, along with those “diseases” that are inherent in the bullpup layout in the form of the impossibility of firing from the left shoulder due to the location of the window for ejecting spent cartridges in close proximity to the shooter's face ...
    - at the same time, the Britons made swivels on the butt both on the right and left, and the swivel on the forend could be rearranged on the other side, so that it was convenient for left-handed people - WHY? fool I don’t understand this British logic request .
    4: ... The weapon has a rather impressive weight of 4,2 kilograms, although this can be considered a plus, since it is precisely because of the weight that high stability is preserved when firing with a variant with a barrel of normal length ...
    - Again yours is not true: the L85 rifle also has a number of inherent flaws that cannot be corrected, for example, such as the center of gravity that is excessively shifted backward, which leads to a strong upward movement of the barrel when firing in bursts, and the overall overload of the weapon.
    5th: a little more about the modification: In 2000, the German company Heckler-Koch, which at that time belonged to the British concern Royal Ordnance, received a contract for the modernization of 200 L000 rifles (out of approximately 85 issued) in service in the UK. In 320, the first modified L000A2001 rifles began to enter service with the British army. According to official reports, the British finally managed to get a fairly reliable machine gun suitable for widespread use in the army, but the first experience of using the L85A2 rifles in the "anti-terrorist" campaign in Afghanistan in 85 did not bring very positive results. Their study led to the conclusion that weapons were being used incorrectly in the troops, and after the introduction of changes in the instructions and the training program for soldiers, complaints about the unreliability of the modernized rifles stopped. Currently, the L2A2002 rifles are quite actively used in hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they have shown good reliability and high shooting accuracy, not least thanks to the standard SUSAT optical sight.

    Well, now from the category of curiosities: how to quickly determine what is in front of you, "lakha" A1 or A2 ???
    - Look at the magazine ejection button, if there is a restrictive barrier around the button, which prevents you from pressing the button accidentally, then this is the second "goof" fellow
    (This barrier eliminated the bug which in the rifle led to massive losses of stores).
    1. +2
      4 October 2012 14: 25
      Quote: Karlsonn
      Prototypes of the new machine for chambered 4.85mm were designated Enfield XL-65

      Here, Popenker podsokrastil a little, because you can call the weapon a Kalashnikov assault rifle 74 of the year, and you can AK74. In fact, under the 4,85 cartridges models came with the designation XL64E5, under the 5,56 already from the seventieth in the middle.
      Quote: Karlsonn
      L22, recently adopted by the British Armored Forces

      If so then I apologize, I have information that he was abandoned because of the lack of control when shooting.
      Quote: Karlsonn
      back center of gravity, leading to a strong trunk lift up when firing bursts

      Did not you think that everything is relative? smile Here L22 really takes away, and here it is, self-indulgence.
      Quote: Karlsonn
      restrictive barrier around the button

      And I always look at the flame arrester, more noticeable detail.
      1. +1
        4 October 2012 14: 41
        Quote: scrabler
        Did not think that everything is relative? Here L22 really takes away, and here so, pampering.

        I agree, with Britons this problem is best handled - the L86A1 light machine gun fellow .
        Quote: scrabler
        And I always look at the flame arrester, more noticeable detail.

        well then, to a heap - the second "lakh" has a lighter plastic drinks .
      2. +1
        4 October 2012 15: 02
        (peeping out of the trench) scrabler - I will repeat a little and a little complement:
        In the near future, the armed forces of Great Britain may receive a modernized version of the L85A2 assault rifle currently in service, which is now actively used in hostilities in Afghanistan. The experience of combat use revealed good reliability and high firing accuracy, but at the same time a number of drawbacks, including insufficient mechanical strength. The German company Heckler und Koch has developed a new version of this weapon, which has received the designation L85A3, which uses a new coating of rubbing parts, changed the shape of the trigger, cover and a number of other parts, reduced the failure of the trigger and its force, installed a new Vortex flame arrester. Instead of the old SUSAT sight, ACOG is used. The weapon received a new fore-end RAS Quad Rails with Picatinny rails located at the bottom, top and sides, which allows you to mount various accessories on the rifle.

        pictured: L85A3 assault rifle (above) compared to the L85A2.
        1. 0
          4 October 2012 15: 51
          Last sighs rifle smile Still a maximum of years 10 will hold on and bye-bye ...
          1. +1
            4 October 2012 16: 07
            There is an opinion that they are so busy with her out of greed, stupidly slammed 320 000 L85A1 without conducting serious tests, then they yuzali and understood negative , but the loot was spent and the warehouses are packed, well, the "kehler" Britam then belonged to the upgrade (I estimate the size of the rollback) and here it just crushes me - that at that time no one knew about the RIS-tie? that, for the first time, modifying the "lahu" that's all (L85A3, which used a new coating of rubbing parts, changed the shape of the trigger, cover and a number of other parts, reduced the trigger failure and its effort, installed a new Vortex flash suppressor) was not noticeable? or "kehler" back in 2000 decided to split the modification into two stages in order to raise the dough? and why the hell do you need to curtail the production of your own optical sight and start buying from amero? again rollback to the song - let's make everything unified in the NATO armies wink yeah, we’ll do it, only the Amer companies get the benefit from this whole unification.
            Quote: scrabler
            The last breaths of a rifle. 10 will last even a maximum of years.

            I completely agree .
    2. +1
      4 October 2012 14: 31

      also a good example of reliability.

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