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I know this may upset some folk....

Question

....but it is just my opinion based on anecdotal, and some real world experience....

 

how is it that once a british bit of machinery becomes obsolete, it was the best thing since sliced bread????

 

This is despite years of complaints to the contrary whilst it was ever in service, whether it be an mg midget or a chieften...in fact, some things have been obsolete for years and are still in service...the landy springs to mind

 

*ducks and waits for flak*

 

just some examples:

grandfather went over with yanks on d'day, yes and got pinned down, as part of the effort to gain aerodrome...when they finally got of the beaches with the gear, and captured airfield, they were given a churchill with turret missing as tow vehicle (g'dad was a blacksmith in RAF and had trucks with forges on) it kept breaking down so was given an abandoned renault tank from WWI!!!! ever since then he bought renaults after having rileys, austins etc

loads of friends have landys...and i spend my time doing their sparkying...and theyre always moaning about gearboxes, transaxles, starters, etc.etc....two also have willys and dont use anything else when the sun shines

father (electrician) had a WWII quad (useful but underpowered and too hot as closed) in aden and then a saracen (unreiliable piece of junk he said...and they werenew then)...gave them both back when the FFL 'lent' him a willys of lybian wwII era, for his personal use(he fixed one of their vehicles)...(which he later swapped for a citroen light 15)....

personally I've continually fixed....MG midgets, MGB, moggie 1000s, (oil leak city, crap electrics, brakes as well as shoddy electrics), triumph stag, sprint and hearald (the herald was easily the best of the bunch but others electrics and cooling systems cr*p) capris, escorts, cortinas, (rust buckets and electrics), jag mk II and giant (starter circuits and a heating system designed by a masochist)

 

so when I get the micky taken for liking classic italian gear and relying of fiats most of my working life...dont tell me faults are not character...folk in glass houses...etcetcetc....:cool2::D...hehehe

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we have made some crap to be sure and when you compare our vehicles to the yanks, the difference is obvious but british vehicles have a soul and were built by blokes called albert or ted with little more than a set of whitworth spanners and a 12" bastard file. but you are right. why we chose to build stuff by hand i'll never know but that's part of being british and i think this little island off the coast of europe has done all right for it's self, so i'll stick with the british stuff.

 

mad dogs and englishmen

 

eddy

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well actually they're both vw's but i do feel guilty when i'm driving them, might get a transit and a range rover next time round and fly the flag and besides my mate owns a garage so it'll help keep him busy.

seriously though i was looking at the running gear today on a churchill that i bought and i was thinking why the hell did they build it like that, the wheels are on white metal bearings in a reservoir of oil, not a roller bearing in sight. insane, unreliable, over complicated, over engineered but i still love the churchill, it's part of what makes us different,very very different:D

 

eddy

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The MGB is a fine, simple piece of engineering, a masterpiece no less. Reliable,well made and pleasant to drive. I think this is an unfair comment. Japanese is the only way these days and then I only like Hiluxes and Landcruisers....:-)

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When you look at the Modern British Army of today using

 

MAN Trucks

Austrian Pinzgauers

Hagglunds

 

All readily availabe, tried and tested and work !

 

I remember the birth of the SA 80 Rifle and the billions of pounds spent on its development, I was one of many Soldiers who test fired it and passed back the comments that were ignored...why didnt the Government just shell out and buy the tried and tested American Amerlite?

Edited by Marmite!!

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As far as land rovers are concerned if it goes wrong then i know its easy to fix , land rovers character lies in being utilitarian not complicated so ill take a series or a military defender over any jap ,usa or european 4x4 anyday my neighbour who bought an isuz used to remark why have you bought land rovers they rot and are uncomfortable two weeks later his fuel pump went it had to be ordered in from korea i drove past him in my artic defender and said what the matter your 4x4 off the road ? he looked sheepish and said yeah for 2 months .

 

i rest my case !:cool2:

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When you look at the Modern British Army of today using

 

MAN Trucks

Austrian Pinzgauers

Hagglunds

 

All readily availabe, tried and tested and work !

 

I remember the birth of the SA 80 Rifle and the billions of pounds spent on its development, I was one of many Soldiers who test fired it and passed back the comments that were ignored...why didnt the Government just shell out and buy the tried and tested American Amerlite?

 

or just jump straight to where we are now - adopting a 7.62mm Armalite;

 

 

 

Dodges...oh look here comes another dodge, followed by another do....snore; about as much character as a Mcburger...

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I'd love to be an auditor of military purchases as in nearly every country procurement is based on a few peoples opiions and not of usability or financial sense. This is both on the military side and the government side

 

I love Land Rovers but I don't know why when I was in the Aussie Army we went for Perenties instead of the off the shelf Toyota Land Cruiser option. The Perenties are perhaps the best of the Land Rovers at least with a decent engine (Isuzu) but they were prototypes when coming into service.

 

We trialled special raincoats that were great, when the 'actual' ones entered service they looked like a cheap boot sale. We went from Black GP boots to Khaki and the new ones fell apart.... many many stories the same so not just the UK MOD.

 

Plus I like Land Rovers as I like fixing things and Land Rovers need fixing :D

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The series Land Rovers were the equal of any four wheel drive vehicle of their day. Their modern day successors cannot hold a candle to the products of Toyota. What is the vehicle of choice of the UN....

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Someone said earlier saracens were unreliable, well, I just drove once round a field with mine tonight and it never broke down once. That is all

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Oh Stable boy, you just missed the point. Yes here comes another Dodge, and another and another, on and on doing any job their asked with no fuss no worry. (Pity the modern US vehicles aren't the same!)

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I'd love to be an auditor of military purchases as in nearly every country procurement is based on a few peoples opiions and not of usability or financial sense. This is both on the military side and the government side

 

I love Land Rovers but I don't know why when I was in the Aussie Army we went for Perenties instead of the off the shelf Toyota Land Cruiser option. The Perenties are perhaps the best of the Land Rovers at least with a decent engine (Isuzu) but they were prototypes when coming into service.

 

We trialled special raincoats that were great, when the 'actual' ones entered service they looked like a cheap boot sale. We went from Black GP boots to Khaki and the new ones fell apart.... many many stories the same so not just the UK MOD.

 

Plus I like Land Rovers as I like fixing things and Land Rovers need fixing :D

I've a 2.8 turbo Isuzui lump in the Range Rover, perfect combanation. Comfortable fast economic well designed with a reliable bomb proof engine. The Disiel Range Rover should always have had!

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well that started the british vs US and the British vs Jap....but what about the rest of europe and the former soviet states...no debate there...?

 

The leopard in trials beat the chally and abrhams, but we ended up with chally 2...oh lets fix the bits that didnt work...and then didnt fix them properly...the army WANTED leopard, and the deal would have meant building it here for LESS thatn what chally costs

 

The VM (yes vm not vw) beat the landy for replacement to certain landy ops...we bought landy, despite the army wanting VM

 

and as for the sa....why would, and should, we buy US...when theres so much better out there for less

 

oh and in answer to the analogy that numbers beat all...ie dodge...the sherman was only good BECAUSE of numbers, wheras ak47 and t34, mp40, mg42, were just good....and of course bren gun (czech):-D

 

are we going to make the same mistakes TSR2 vs phantom....christie vs lloyd...and midget instead of 950 sport spider..hehehehehe:cool2:

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<snipped>

I remember the birth of the SA 80 Rifle and the billions of pounds spent on its development, I was one of many Soldiers who test fired it and passed back the comments that were ignored...why didnt the Government just shell out and buy the tried and tested American Amerlite?

 

So did I - comments like mag releases and tendencies to jam were all duly logged - and ignored.

 

Question we always asked was "Why not tell the twats who thought you could fight a humane war, and the US munitions suppliers trying to offload all their 5.56mm rounds to go to hell and stick with the SLR, just lighten it a bit as other countries did."

 

I seem to recall a comment recently on the news from a UK (?) commander to the effect that the Talibans 7.62mm AK's were out-ranging the 5.56 rounds of the US and UK forces

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i liked the sa 80, the susat sight was great, shame it was a silly little round the same size a .22 air rifle

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i've also fired the ak47, nice and simple but zero marks for accuracy

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The answer to most purchases for the military is the dreaded P word. Why by a twenty five year old knackered design Attack Helicopter that even it's home country are phasing out, when cheaper more efective modern designs with a lot of upgrade life were available? And as for the Chinook replacement argument! The British Army never used to be proud, if someone else had a good idea or pice of kit, we copied it, or nicked it!

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ArtistsRifles

So did I - comments like mag releases and tendencies to jam were all duly logged - and ignored.

The SA80 order was let only to make it possible to privatise the ROF in the 1980s but as to "why we didn't use the M16" the British Army in the 1960s was the largest user of of M16 other than the USA -most weapons being used by Ghurka regiments but quite a few were used in N.I. by British batallions.

 

Question we always asked was "Why not tell the twats who thought you could fight a humane war, and the US munitions suppliers trying to offload all their 5.56mm rounds to go to hell and stick with the SLR, just lighten it a bit as other countries did."
Don't realy get the Humane War comment- and FYI the SA80 was incompatable to U.S. ammunition until post M16A2 mods came into service- different rifling standards- it is compatable with weapons used currently M4 etc. As to the SLR I can't think of any lightened FAL, the L1A1 is actually a lightened FAL consider the Israeli service versions including the awful H.B. version.

 

I seem to recall a comment recently on the news from a UK (?) commander to the effect that the Talibans 7.62mm AK's were out-ranging the 5.56 rounds of the US and UK forces
I personally would take that with a pinch of salt -British Army always complains adversely about the relative quality of their own kit compared to the enemy- they did it in N.I. when one officer showed a AR15 (U.S. Commerical -ie cheap version of an M16) to the press and said "I wish we had this piece of kit" being oblivious of the 250k stock of M16A1 already held by the MOD.

 

As the the AK range how did the officer distingush between a spent 7.62mm x39 or a 7.62mm x 54R or even a reload 7.62mm x 57 (ie russian bullet fitted to a .303in round).

 

Historically (and I would recommend Tony Williams excellent site for this) the 7.62mm x52 NATO was basically a shortened 30.06 -a result of improved propellant so in effect it could never be a good assault weapon cartridge. The British had succesfully developed an excelent weapon and cartridge in the shape of the 7mm EM2 only to be stabbed in the back by the 1951 British Govt and to a lesser extent poor support from the Canadians.

 

eddy8men

i've also fired the ak47, nice and simple but zero marks for accuracy

..........i liked the sa 80, the susat sight was great, shame it was a silly little round the same size a .22 air rifle

depends how you fire an AK, on repetition is it fairly good up to about 300metres -typical Russian non existant sights, but pointless on full auto -like almost everything else- try using a FAL on full auto. The modern susat sight is the only thing worth keeping -as to the calibre yes its .22 in theory- and there was a .22 rimfire insert for M16 rifles for inital training, but you would not want to see the damage a .223 can do at battle ranges because of the tumble home effect- whereas a 7.62mm x39 even with the modified M65 bullet tends to either punch through or stop dead.

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This is my take on it.

 

Firstly the SA80. It is a good accurate weapon, but you had to keep it well oiled and clean for it to work properly and not rust to bits. The 5.56mm round is designed to tumble when it hits the body and it's better not to kill the enemy as a wounded soldier takes up valuable resourses looking after the injured. The 7.62 is a larger round and that's why it has further range, but you are likely to be killed being hit by one at 300yds rather than being injured by a 5.56mm.

 

On the British vehicle front. The Land Rover is a very good vehicle. It's easy to repair and the parts are relitively cheap. As far as rust goes, well the jap stuff is even worse. I've got a Hilux I imported from Japan 5 years ago and I've had replace the head as it was cracked, Radiator etc. It's cost me around £3,000 to get right whereas the Defender I've got has been a stalwart in the 12 years I've had it. Sure I rebuilt the axles and replaced all the brakes (calipers, hoses, discs etc) but that was through choice not nessecity.

 

The Bedfords are still in service as they are such a reliable truck. We had Leyland Dafs in my Regiments but never used them, we always took Bedfords over Leyland Dafs. I will agree that they are far too underpowered. The Russians giving their trucks "proper" engines.

 

I was chatting to a driver yesterday who had to go to a MAN dealer for some work on his TGX 26.440 tractor and he told me that there were loads of MAN Army trucks in the yard of this dealer. He asked why they were there and the guy in service told him they required a repair that was a 40 hour job on EACH truck. He didn't say what the problem was, but with trucks now being run by computers that only spells disaster when they start getting old and need a laptop to diagnose whats wrong with them. Flat battery in a Bedford, no problem, jump start to get the engine running and that's it, no computers to kill the vehicle stone dead.

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stableboy

or just jump straight to where we are now - adopting a 7.62mm Armalite;

MOD will run around like a headless chicken chucking good money after bad- irrespective of who is in government.

 

The Army specialist units already use HK417 and now there is another rifle the L129A1- which "seems" very similar to a HK417 but US made added to which the new sniper rifle L115A3 shoots an 8.59mm cartridge so obviously the old 7.62mm x 52 is not really good enough!

 

The 7.62mm AR10 predates the M16 but was never overly popular- I think one small South American power used it but it was too fragile- which is something that is said about the HK417 -requiring a very high standard of soldiership to keep it in condition.

 

Meanwhile the old Soviet era SVD (Dragunov) goes on and on like the Energizer Bunny.:-(

 

Steve

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LoggyDriver

...... The 5.56mm round is designed to tumble when it hits the body and it's better not to kill the enemy as a wounded soldier takes up valuable resourses looking after the injured. The 7.62 is a larger round and that's why it has further range, but you are likely to be killed being hit by one at 300yds rather than being injured by a 5.56mm.

Fair point, As a "general rule" at 300 yards and under the 5.56mm to the head or the critical torso area of an unprotected person will kill outright -so it is dependant or the ability of the shooter. The 5.56mm really became popular in law enforcement in both civilian and military operational terms because of the over power of the 7.62 nato round, the classic case of an accidental discharge of an SLR in N.I. when the bullet passed through a cavity breeze block wall of a 1950s council style house, passed through another breeze block internal wall through a fridge injuring a civilian, exited through the cavity external wall and stopped by timber fence.

 

I recall a road block party stopping a vehicle dead by taking out the block with an SLR (I would think it was aimed at the driver:-D) something that could not happen with a SA80.

 

I suspect that 5.56 may not be so effective in Afgnanistan because of the varrying relavent distances (remember the M16 was developed for jungle COIN warfare) and that no doubt the insurgents have captured body armour- both NATO and ex Soviet.

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I guess in an ideal world the Forces would have the sub-calibre weapons for house to house work and full calibre for the battle field. Politicians and their drive to save money on defence to waste elsewhere means this is never happening.

 

In the "walk 'n shoot" competitions of the mid to late seventies that we occasionally had against US forces the US rarely won on time or accuracy. The SLR would, as you say in an earlier post, go through what was in front of the target so all we needed was an idea of where the target was behind the obstruction, be it a wall or logs or whatever. The US forces had to wait for the target to pop up unless enough was showing for them to hit directly (rarely happened).

 

The other plus back then to the SLR was that if it came to cold steel the bayonet on the end of an SLR gave a distinct reach advantage over the other side... Not really valid these days - but then it was a source of comfort. I knew people back then who preferred the wooden furniture version over the nylon because as they said - when it came to infighting the weight behind the butt meant one hit was usually enough...

 

On the battle field the thought that just putting someone down takes up more resources is not usually at the forefront of the squaddies mind - he just wants the other side down and out. Preferably permanently.

When dealing with the modern enemy - religious fanatics like the Taliban etc. - I am not sure the Western thinking on wounding tying down resources holds much water given that the enemy is basically comprised of those who think if they pop their clogs in Jihad they have a direct entry to heaven and the seventy virgins or whatever the belief is these days those not believing it usually being the ones miles away from the action in the C&C bunkers.

 

I used to love shooting the SVD - I found it as good, if not better than the Mk IVT's we had at the time.

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