The SA80 which stands for Small Arms for the 1980’s, is a British Army small arms weapon that has a great deal of controversy surrounding it. Because of the controversy of the SA80, it is a weapon that many like to acquire. The SA80 came with a host of problems, even though it was designed to solve the problems that the British Army was having with its weapons.
Shortly after the development and adoption of the SA80, problems began showing up. When the original SA80 weapons were brought out, there were balance problems, cocking handle problems, issues with the shoulder-butt strap, hard trigger issues and then to put the icing on the cake, the weapon was demonstrated having tape wrapped around the bipod so the legs would not accidentally spring open and injuring the holder. So many manufacturing defects showed up when the weapon was put in service, and it was not until one production line closed and another one began making the weapon, using computer controlled systems that the problems began to improve. Quality jumped and the weapons begin to gain a better reputation and the issues were fixed.
By the 90’s the SA80 would see serious combat for the first time. Unexpected problems came into play at that time because of weather. Unpredictable climate conditions exacerbated already known issues with the weapon. Even after careful scrutiny, it seemed the weapon was not going to make it through the dirt and grime of the Gulf and problem after problem with the magazine kept popping up. Overall the SA80 was a very accurate weapon but just needed some tender care to maintain its technology. Even with the many defects, the performance was good enough to keep it in service.
The end of the 90’s brought many fixes that were ones that were “quick-fixes” and some of the developers tried and tried to get the rifle to malfunction but were unable to do so. Round after round showed a reliable weapon and boosted confidence in the quality. Fix after fix came and eventually most all the problems were eradicated. The biggest, positive move was to get a new production line that could keep up with the technology.
The history of the SA80 was very involved and convoluted. Under normal conditions the SA80 would have surly been thrown out with the first set of problems. Each time the SA80 came out of productions more and more fixes had been worked on. The British Army and the Royal Marines Regiment were able to be equipped with the assault rifle.
Reliability in the rifle began to grow, even in the most adverse weather and environment conditions. More than twenty years after the first rifle was introduced and issued, the SA80 has grown and developed and is now a SA80A2 which satisfies the needs of the Army. The rifle lived through unbelievable scrutiny and political pressures. The SA80 was thought to be so fragile that it could not withstand combat but has adapted to the needs and modified accordingly.
Today the SA80 has been sought after by gun enthusiasts and it is coming up in the world of BB guns. The SA80 is now created to have the same look as the rifle that is issued to the British Armed Forces and can almost pass as the real weapon. Even the cocking of the gun makes the genuine chunking sound that its real counterpart makes. Every time the BB SA80 Gun is fired you will have to cock it again by hand. The SA80 BB gun is truly a fun gun to play with and very realistic.