8 Sept 23
“We know that they are lying, and they know that they are lying. They even know that we know they are lying. We also know that they know we know they are lying too. They of course, know that we certainly know they know we know they are lying too as well, but they still lie!
In the USSR, the lie has become not just moral category, but the pillar industry of this country.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
And not just in the USSR!
Bullpups maybe not the trend anymore?
Since 1985 UK’s military forces have been armed with the checkered-reputation SA80 Bullpup Rifle (L85).
This rifle immediately ran into trouble upon first issue, with poor reliability and parts breakage rendering it all but unusable.
The bureaucratic response to innumerable poor reviews was automatic and predictable:
First, complete denial. Then, less convincing denial. Then cover-up. Finally, accusations, career-protection, and finger-pointing. Happens every time some new project goes south!
When they could no longer persuasively deny that the SA80 was a piece of trash, the UK hired H&K to “fix the problems.” H&K then essentially gutted the entire rifle and replaced nearly every part!
Since H&K’s “fix,” the SA80 has actually run pretty well, but the damage has been done!
SA80’s discredited reputation has never revived, and the SA80 has thus never exported. No one wants it. They still don’t!
Just announced is the replacement:
Knight’s Armament KS1 (5.56×45), which looks an awful lot like an H&K 416!
The KS1 features a built-in suppressor and sophisticated optic, and unlike the SA80, the KS1 is actually designed and built by a “gun company” (which don’t exist in the UK any more)
Specifications required that the new UK rifle feature a “conventional layout,” ie: magazine well in front of the pistol grip. No bullpup was considered!
It seems the bullpup layout (magazine behind the pistol grip) was never popular with UK troopers.
So, the SA80 is now history and essentially scrap metal, since the UK can’t give them away!
Interesting that the new rifle caliber recently adopted by the Pentagon (6.8×51, or “277 Fury”) apparently has no following in the UK, nor within the rest of NATO.
Existing bullpups, specifically Israel’s Tavor and Croatia’s VHS2 (Hellion), continue to be issued and popular with local troops. I’ve had both in Classes, and both run well and are very acceptable.
However, the “conventional layout” has its adherents too, as we see.
Final chapter yet to be written!