H&K develops smaller-calibre SA-80 assault rifle for training

by Richard Jones

An in-house development by Heckler & Koch (H&K) of a new self-loading .22 Rimfire calibre variant of the standard British Army SA-80 (L85A2) assault rifle, normally chambered for the 5.56x45 mm NATO cartridges, is to enter British service soon, according to two contracts recently awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD’s decision to withdraw from service the long-serving H&K .22 Rimfire calibre L41A1 ‘Kit Conversion’ – originally issued for small-bore training on indoor shooting ranges with the primary L85A2/3 assault rifle and the L98A1 Cadet GP manually-operated version of the SA-80 (the latter also now withdrawn from service) – has left a requirement for a replacement in regular army and in Cadet units, many of which have limited access to outdoor ranges.

The proposed design of the SA-80 0.22 Small Bore Rifle. The rifle may be fitted with either the L9A1 SUSAT optical sight or standard issue iron sights.   (R D Jones)

The proposed design of the SA-80 0.22 Small Bore Rifle. The rifle may be fitted with either the L9A1 SUSAT optical sight or standard issue iron sights. (R D Jones)

H&K’s UK office told Janes that the new rifle is to be based on the L85A2 variant, for which H&K is the fleet maintainer, and has as yet to be allocated an official ‘L’ number nomenclature, but is described as the ‘SA-80 0.22 Small Bore Rifle’. Its system of operation is simple blow-back and the operating mechanism is based on that used in the earlier L41A1 ‘Kit Conversion’, with stripping and assembly of the rifle (apart from the operating system) being the same as the parent weapon. The dedicated magazine is also the same as that used with the L41A1.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/hk-develops-smaller-calibre-sa-80-assault-rifle-for-training

An in-house development by Heckler & Koch (H&K) of a new self-loading .22 Rimfire calibre variant of...

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