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UK Royal Marine unit ditches the SA80 for Colt C8

Discussion in 'Equipment & Gear' started by Zarvan, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    The Colt Canada C8 tactical carbine now equips the Royal Marines' 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group instead of the SA80. Source: Colt Canada
    A high-profile UK Royal Marine unit has been re-equipped with the Colt Canada C8 carbine to enhance its ability to protect the Royal Navy's nuclear deterrent submarine base and nuclear weapon convoys.

    The move makes the unit the first British non-special forces unit to completely drop the bullpup L85A2 (SA80) rifle used by the rest of the regular forces. Various UK special forces units already use the C8, which is designated the L119 in British service.

    Details of the re-equipment effort were revealed by the commander of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, Colonel Graeme Fraser, in a briefing document to service members distributed in February.

    He said all of the unit's operational squadrons, which have the task of protecting UK nuclear weapons at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane in Scotland or when they are being move around the UK, had been equipped with the Canadian weapon. The 790-strong commando unit also serves as the Royal Navy's specialist naval boarding unit. The "roll-out of the weapon" had been completed by the end of 2015, said Col Fraser.

    43 Commando already used small numbers of L119s, as well as other specialist weapons such as the H&K MP5 submachine gun, but the move now confirms the L119 as the unit's standard weapon. A senior Royal Navy source told IHS Jane's that 300 more C8s had been purchased to fully equip 43 Commando. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was unable to provide IHS Jane's with the cost of the acquisition.

    The logic behind the move was because the L119 has "reduced ricochet, limited collateral damage" features. Both the L119 and L85A2 are chambered in the NATO-standard 5.56x45 mm round, indicating that 43 Commando will be using a low-velocity round for its L119s.

    The Royal Navy said this was a "one-off" purchase and was not a signal that the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade was going to be re-equipped with new weapon.

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    http://www.janes.com/article/58501/uk-royal-marine-unit-ditches-the-sa80-for-colt-c8
     
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  2. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy ELITE MEMBER

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    The forces have disliked the SA-80 since it was introduced despite redesigns by HK and comprehensive upgrades to the furniture.
     
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  3. Irfan Baloch

    Irfan Baloch SENIOR MODERATOR

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    had a terrible record in gulf war due to jamming
     
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  4. Frogman

    Frogman SENIOR MEMBER

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    What's in service today (and has been for quite some time) isn't what was in service in GWI.

    The L85A1 was reworked by HK into the L85A2 which is by all (informed accounts) a reliable and accurate rifle. The modifications it received during and post HERRICK make it a pretty darn good.

    Every stoppage I have encountered has been the fault of a diffy magazine or rounds, not the rifle. The only real downside with the rifle is its weight (especially with a SUSAT) and the difficulty (it really isn't that hard though) in stripping/assembling and cleaning compared to other weapon systems knocking about.

    43 COMMANDO are well within their rights to swap out the L85 if they feel it's not suitbale for some of the niche (or specialist) roles they are responsible for. This won't be an Army (or Navy erh if you're RM) wide trend.

    Its current config with all Infantry units

    SA80A2.jpg
     
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  5. Penguin

    Penguin PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Dutch Marines, which have been working closely with UK marines for decades, switched to C-7 and C-8 and LOAW a long time ago, as have most of our air and sea mobile units. Dutch commando's later switched to HK-416
     
  6. Desertfalcon

    Desertfalcon PROFESSIONAL

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    I've always had somewhat mixed feelings about the AR-15 platform of weapons, but then I've had mixed feelings about the 5.56mm round in general, as being just on the side of too light and too short ranged for a main battle weapon. However, one can't argue with success and it has been successful, if nothing else. Even countries like Israel which produced the excellent IMI Galil, never got around to making it their standard and fell back on the M-16 family of weapons.
     
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  7. Penguin

    Penguin PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    SA80 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia