A poorly researched, badly designed and sloppily constructed weapon, of a layout that generations of designers have been trying to foist on the Army since 1911.
The only outstanding point of the weapon is that it is the most expensive battle rifle available.
It has been kept on purely for political reasons, rather than because it is a good weapon. But in the halls of Westminster political careers deemed to be worth more than brave men's lives.
While the premise of a shorter rifle is laudable, the fact is that this particular 'design' can only be shot from the right shoulder forcing soldiers to shoot from positions without cover thereby putting their lives at greater risk, and negates the British Forces previously unchallenged position as leaders in Urban Operations, (FIBUA/OBUA/MOUT.)
It has previously and erroneously been defined and described as "a good overall weapon" and "undoutably the best weapon series in the world today.... stoppages are all attributed to the rounds.... old magazines would rarely jam with 30 rounds. Do not rate this weapon on what the media says, you have to be like me, live with it and use it regularly to know it." It would be interesting to find out what these gentlemen are comparing the SA80 to.
I too have lived day in and day out with the SA80, but I've also been issued and had many years experience with a large number of other weapons and know their fortés and foibles, and can speak with a certain degree of authority on the subject.
A fairly revolutionary design for its time - the first bullpup that was actually usable. One of the most accurate rifles of the world according to NATO trials.
Its proved itself in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and on various over operations that the British Army has been on.
People generally say this rifle is worst then it is. It is now a pleasure to fire. It was very bad with several problems - all sinse have been sorted out. (By H&K) The people who say the gun is bad generally are "armchair operators" and have no actuall experiance.