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On the SA80/L85

Every so often on firearms forums I see people talk about how great the L85/SA80 is, and how much of a shame it is that no one sells them in the United States.  They then proceed to claim that if someone were to offer a semi-auto version, they could make a fortune off all the guaranteed sales.

To put it bluntly, they are wrong.  When I was in the Corps, I got to cross train with the Royal Marines.  They got to try out our M16A2s, and we tried their SA80s.  We have the better rifle.  Most of the appeal of  of the SA80 is due to our not being able to buy one.  Other then that, it is crude, heavy, bulky.  The SA80 is around 11 pounds unloaded with SUSAT optic.  While it balances well when shouldered, that is still plenty of extra weight to carry.  This rifle isn’t all that good looking too, the design is rude and crude.  Mag changes are slow and awkward, more so then other bullpups.  If these were to be sold in the U.S., some people would buy them for fun or collection, but most would turn it down due to its weight, poor appearance and controls, and the higher cost of a less common rifle.

On WordPress

While not gun related, I would like to take a moment to thank WordPress for making it so easy to start a blog.  The process has been quick and they have good guides to get you started.  Changing and editing settings, getting a domain, and all these other little things are handle simply and efficiently.  If you are thinking about starting a blog, look into WordPress.com.

On muzzle devices

Various Surefire muzzle devices.

We have a multitude of wonderful options in muzzle devices now for our rifles.  However I have been seeing some odd trends that disturb me.  First I run into many people running muzzle breaks on short barreled rifle (SBR) variants. These short 5.56 rifles only gain marginal recoil reduction, and the cost of a large increase of flash and blast, almost always annoyingly so.  Several of the owners of these short rifles tell me that their rifle is their home defense gun.  I do hope that they never need to fire those rifles indoors with out hearing protection.  Pronged flash hiders are also coming back into style.  These tend to be more effective then closed ended flash hiders, but many will ring like a bell when tapped or as the rifle is discharged.  Sometimes prongs can be bent, or they can bloom like a flower.  I recommend against pronged flash hiders on full length rifles, and on firearms that are going to be used in think brush.  However these pronged flash hiders are an excellent choice for the sub-16 inch .30 cal rifle and for SBRs as they mitigate flash and blast better then many of the enclosed flash hiders.  One last note, some flash hiders have sharp edges, points, and/or barbs for use as a impact weapon.  I highly recommend against these as standard flash hiders work well in that role, and the expensive specialized ones end up just cutting holes in your range bags and cases.