Gallery No 39b - Weapons - Rifles

Enfield Rifle/Bren/SLR 7.62

No. 4 Mk I Enfield Rifle

This infantry rifle was also one of the first, full production, standard issue, weapon to utilize the aperture style rear sights, now seen on all modern military rifles. Combining a "ghost ring" style (large aperture) battle sight preset for 300 yards and a flip-up micrometer sight (small aperture) graduated from 200 yds to a very optimistic 1300 yds. The larger "battle sight" made for easier target acquisition in fast moving battle situations, fighting in built up area's (towns and buildings) and in low light conditions. Whereas the micrometer sight provided for more accurate timely, known distance shooting.

Other changes were, the direct to barrel, attachment of the "spike" bayonet, an improved bolt securing catch that required a spring loaded plunger, located behind the charger bridge, to be depressed while inserting or removing the bolt head into or out of, it's raceway. As well as a superior design for adjusting headspace, by use of 4 different lengths of threaded bolt heads. Headspace could now be checked in the field and adjusted by the unit armourer, simply by threading in a larger or smaller bolthead as required. Issued to all airborne forces.

No. 1 Mk III (S.M.L.E.) Enfield Rifle

The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle, or SMLE,was in use in the 1940s (Dunkirk) battles and the North Africa campaigns (however, the No. 4 Mk. I was used by airborne forces in Tunisia).


No. 5 Enfield (Jungle Carbine)

Late in World War II, jungle warfare brought home the necessity of light equipment and simplicity. Though the No. 4 rifle was extremely resistant to rust, mud and rough treatment, it was still heavy and long. It was decided that a light, short carbine was needed to suit the demands of jungle fighting, the quick answer was to cut down the No. 4.

Bren LMG

A gas operated weapon, it fired the same .303 British rounds as the standard Lee Enfield rifle at a rate between 480 and 540 rpm, depending on the model. A disadvantage of the weapon was that its rate of fire was much slower than that of its German counterparts. Also, it only accepted magazines, and so demanded more frequent reloading than did belt fed machine guns. The Bren was typically used with a 30 round magazine that in practice was filled to 28 rounds to prevent jamming. There was also a 100 round drum available for Brens in an anti-aircraft role.

Some considered the Bren too accurate because its cone of fire was extremely concentrated. Its weight also stretched the definition of "light" machine gun, because it was often partially disassembled and its parts carried by two soldiers when on long marches.

Despite these seeming shortcomings, it was popular with British troops who respected the Bren for its high reliability and combat effectiveness. Re-barrelled to 7.62 mm NATO and renamed the LMG, it was used by the British Army until the late 1970s.

Standard FN - SLR 7.62mm

The FN rifle is gas operated, and works on a tilting bolt locking principle. The bolt has to be locked at the moment of discharge in order to contain the pressures generated when fired, and this is achieved by the bolt riding inside a carrier and being tipped down at the rear to lock into a shoulder in the receiver. The “gas operated” designation means that the mechanism is worked by a gas piston within a tube above the barrel, utilising gas bled off from behind the bullet as it passes the gas port. Feed is by means of a 20 round detachable box magazine

SA80 Series

EM2 - 1947 forunner of current S80

SA80 Mark2.

SA80 is the designation for a revolutionary family of assault weapons. On its introduction, the L85 Individual Weapon (IW) proved so accurate that the Army marksmanship tests had to be redesigned. The British Army uses the L85 Individual Weapon that replaced the rifle and sub-machine gun, and the L86 Light Support Weapon (LSW) that produces higher volumes of fire and is effective at longer ranges. An infantry section consists of two four-man fire teams armed with SA80s: three IWs and one LSW

L86 Light Support Weapon

Calibre 5.56 mm
Weight 6.58 kg (with loaded magazine and optical sight)
Length 900 mm
Barrel Length 646 mm
Muzzle Velocity 970 m/s
Feed 30 round magazine
Effective Range 1000m
Cyclic Rate of Fire 610-775 rounds per minute.

L96 Sniper Rifle


Calibre: L96, AW, AW Police, AW Folding: 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 win); Super Magnum: .338 Lapua (8.60x70mm), .300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag
Operation: Bolt Action
Length: 1270mm
Barrel length: 686mm (.338 Lapua), 660mm (.300 and 7mm)
Weight: 6.8kg empty without telescope
Magazine Capacity: 5 round box magazine
Maximum Effective Range: ca. 800 meters for 7.62mm NATO variants, 1100+ meters for Magnum variants

In early 1980's British Army started the search for the replacement of the aging L42 Enfield sniper rifles. Main compettitors were British companies Parker-Hale with their model 82 bolt action rifle, and Accuracy International, with their PM rifle. Eventually, PM rifle won the competition and was accepted by the British Army under the designation of L96
One of the most notorious features of the PM rifle was design of the stock. Instead of the solid polymer or wooden stock, PM/L96 used hollow polymer stock, made from two halves and assembled around aluminium bedding block, that extends to whole stock length. L96 also was equipped with backup iron sights.

AW50F - Bomb Blaster


Made by Portsmouth-based Accuracy International, the new rifle will be used by specialist snipers to dispose of large unexploded bombs from a safe distance. It fires a bullet half-an-inch wide and five-and-a half-inches long – even bigger than the bullet fired by the 19th century Martini-Henry rifle immortalised in the epic film Zulu.

The AW50F fires a range of sophisticated incendiary ammunition which can pierce bomb casings and ignite the explosive filling which then burns harmlessly away. Its advanced design means it has pinpoint accuracy up to three quarters of a mile.

Around 70 of the new rifles will be delivered to specialist units of all three Services as part of a £5 million contract.
The Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Bach, said: “This new rifle is one of the largest calibre British-made rifles ever purchased for our Armed Forces, even dwarfing the famous Martini-Henry, which was a stalwart of the British Army for more than 30 years.


5.56mm Light Machine Gun -FN Minimi

Minimi belt fed 5.56mm Light Machinegun (LMG), is entering service on a scale of one per four-man fire team. The Minimi has been used operationally by British troops in Afgahnistan and Iraq. The Americans use a similar weapon the M249 [SAW] Squad Assault Weapon.

Calibre 5.56mm
Weight 7.1kg
Length 914mm
Feed 100-round disintergrating belt
Effective range 800m
Cyclic rate of fire 700 to 1000 rounds per minute

L115A3 Long Range Rifle .


L115A3 long range rifleBritish snipers fulfil a vital and enduring role on the battlefield, in terms of intelligence-gathering, target identification and eliminating high value targets. This year they have been using a new weapon, 'the best .338 sniper rifle in the world'.

Unveiled earlier this year the L115A3 rifle, part of the Sniper System Improvement Programme (SSIP), is a larger calibre weapon which provides state-of-the-art telescopic day and night all-weather sights, increasing a sniper's effective range considerably.

The first batch of SSIP systems was deployed to Afghanistan with members of 16 Air Assault Brigade in May 2008 with subsequent deliveries being made to training units across the UK.

Designed to achieve a first-round hit at 600 metres and harassing fire out to 1,100 metres, Accuracy International's L96 sniper rifle has also been upgraded with a new x3-x12 x 50 sight and spotting scope.

The L115A3 long range rifle fires an 8.59mm bullet which is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the L96 and less likely to be deflected over extremely long ranges.

Other elements of the Sniper System Improvement Programme include night sights, spotting scopes, laser range finders and tripods.

L115A3 Rifle Parts

1.S&B 5-25x56 Day Scope
Magnifies target up to 25 times allowing the sniper to identify targets more easily.
2.Folding Stock
Reduces the length of the weapon when being carried in a backpack
3.Adjustable Cheek Piece
Allows the sniper to comfortably align his eye with the day scope
Reduces the flash and noise signature, reducing the chances of detection and thus increasing the survivability of the sniper
5.Adjustable Bi-pod
Allows the sniper to support the rifle in a set position while locating the target
6.5-round Magazine
Allows the sniper to fire 5 rounds rapidly while being small enough not to interfere with the alignment
Calibre 8.59 mm
Weight 6.8 kg
Length 1,300 mm
Muzzle velocity 936 m/s
Feed 5-round box
Effective range 1,100 m plus



Accuracy International AS50 sniper rifle (Great Britain)

Caliber: 12.7x99mm / .50BMG
Operation: gas operated, semiautomatic
Barrel: 692 mm
Weight: 14.1 kg empty
Length: 1369 mm
Feed Mechanism: 5 rounds detachable box magazine

The AS50 fifty caliber (12.7mm) sniper / antimateriel rifle is the latest development of the famous British company Accuracy International Ltd. First displayed in January 2005 in USA at the ShotShow-2005, this rifle reportedly has been developed especially for US SOCOM users, and is now being tested by the USNAVY Special Operations center. The AS50 is to provide combat operators with highly accurate and rapid aimed fire at extended ranges. To achieve such goal,the AS50 is built around gas operated, semi-automatic action, with "single rear locking" (most probably, this mean a tilting bolt). The two-part receiver is machined from high grade steel, the barrel is free-floated and fitted with effective muzzle brake. Easily detachable buttstock is fitted with recoil-reducing buttpad, as well as with folding rear grip, which also serves as a rear support leg. The folding quick-detachable bipod with adjustable legs is fitted as a standard. Top of the receiver is equipped with full length Pica-tinnytype rail which can accept any compatible scope mount; two additional rails are mounted on either side of the short handguard / barrel jacket. Rifle is fitted with four sling mounts, and can be brought down to basic sub-assemblies within three minutes for maintenance or compact transportation or storage. Rifle is fed using single stack detachable box magazines, which holds five rounds of ammunition.


L129A1 'Sharpshooter' Rifle For UK Forces

The L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle being demonstrated by a British soldier. As shown, the weapon's Picatinny rail system accomodates a folding foregrip, adjustable bi-pod and an ACOG 6x sight.
photo : PA

The rifle, designated the L129A1, is a version of the LM7 as supplied by the US firm, Law Enforcement International (LEI). The L129A1 features a 20-round magazine, retractable stock, rails for mounting scopes and accessories and a 16 inch stainless steel, rapid-change barrel.

The L129A1 will replace the aging 7.62mm L96 rifles in the 'sharpshooter' role ie engaging targets out to 800 meters. Sharpshooters are trained to a grade below snipers, who are typically armed with the .338 caliber L115A3 rifle. While the bolt-action L96 is an accurate weapon it is not as suitable for a soldier assigned to an infantry squad as a semi-automatic rifle such as the L129A1. UK Special Forces (UKSF) sharpshooters use the semi-automatic 7.62mmx51mm HK417, a rifle that was reportedly considered for the new MOD procurement, along with other weapons such as the FN SCAR.

The MOD has reportedly ordered 440 of the rifles for use in Afghanistan. Various news reports have stated that the L129A1 will first be fielded with the Parachute Regiment when they deploy with 16 Air Assault Brigade in the upcoming Operation Herrick XIII, Ocotober 2010.

Further information from - martinexsquaddie

UK selects 7.62 mm Sharpshooter weapon for Afghan ops
Andrew White Jane's Land Reporter

UK forces are to receive a semi-automatic 7.62 mm x 51 mm 'sharpshooter' weapon to combat Taliban forces engaging beyond the maximum effective range of the 5.56 mm L85A2 assault rifle.

In a USD2.5 million deal the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Law Enforcement International (LEI) to supply 440 LM7 semi-automatic rifles.

The urgent operational requirement follows calls from troops on the ground for a weapon that can be comfortably patrolled with, can be rapidly initiated and provide an increased range for contacts out to 800 m.

To be redesignated the L129A1, the gas-operated weapon carries a 20-round magazine, is 945 mm long and weighs 5 kg. It will be manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool Company in the United States, with deliveries expected to begin in early 2010.

Features of the weapon include a single-piece upper receiver and free-floating, quick-change barrels available in 305 mm, 406 mm and 508 mm. It has four Picatinny rails with a 540 mm top rail for night vision, thermal and image intensifying optics. Stock options include fixed or retractable versions.

Industry sources told Jane's that LEI beat competition including Heckler & Koch's HK417 (already supplied to specialist units within the MoD), FN Herstal's SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) and an offering from Sabre Defence Industries.

To date UK soldiers must complete a marksmanship course to become qualified as 'sharpshooters' and are regarded as being a grade below that of a sniper. Following the introduction of Accuracy International's (AI's) .338-cal L115A3 sniper rifle, sharpshooters have been armed with AI's outgoing 7.62 mm L96 rifle. However, the latter's bolt action does not make it a suitable option for a patrolling soldier.

With the majority of contacts occurring at either very close range or at ranges out to between 500 m and 900 m, the "only organic asset" available to responding UK forces in a small-arms capacity is the 7.62 mm General-Purpose Machine Gun, with MoD sources saying that "5.56 mm weapons lack the reach to engage the enemy at those ranges".

"The 5.56 mm is sufficiently lethal at the right range, but troops need 7.62 mm for longer ranges. We should be looking at higher performance rounds with higher lethality at longer range. Research is going to filter into user requirements for the soldier system lethality programme," one MoD source told Jane's .

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