This section covers the basic
infantry weapons that a infantry section would have been equipped
Browning High Power
L9A1 9mm Browning HP Pistol
Range: 50m Weight: 1.060 kg (Loaded)
Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. It
is based on ideas conceived and patented in 1922 by American firearms
inventor John Browning, and later patented by Fabrique Nationale
Hi-Power pistol was named for its 13-round magazine capacity.
The Hi-Power had the first functional double-column magazine of 9 mm
rounds, and was capable of holding 13 cartridges, with a 14th loaded
in the chamber. Flush-fit 15 round magazines are now available, as
well as higher capacity magazines which extend past the bottom of the
Sterling Sub Machine Gun
L2A3 9mm Sterling Sub Machine
Range: 200m Weight: 3.5kg (loaded)
Practical ROF: 102rpm
After the war, with large numbers of Sten guns in the inventory there
was little interest in replacing them with a superior design. However in
1947 a competitive trial between the Patchett, an Enfield design, a new
BSA design and an experimental Australian (Owen?)design, along with the Sten for
comparison was held. The trial was inconclusive but was followed by
further development and more trials. Eventually the Patchett design won
and the decision was made in 1951 for the British Army to adopt it. It
started to replace the Sten in 1953 as the Sub-Machine Gun L2A1. The
weapon is constructed entirely of steel and plastic and has a folding
butt which folds up underneath. Although of conventional blowback
design, there are some unusual features: for example the bolt has sharp
grooves around it which cut away dirt in the receiver and help to keep
it clean. The magazine follower, which pushes the cartridges into the
feed port is equipped with rollers to reduce friction and the firing pin
is arranged so that it does not line up with the percussion cap on the
cartridge until the cartridge has entered the chamber.
The Sterling SMG has an reputation for excellent reliability under adverse
conditions and good accuracy. The Sterling can be difficult for left-handed users to
operate, due to the inherent asymmetry of the design. In particular, the
weapon is designed to be used resting on the right side of the body.
However, contrary to popular movie and other contemporary depictions,
the weapon should never be used with the left hand holding the magazine,
rather the barrel jacket should be gripped. Often called a "Small Metal Gun" by
veterans it also stared in the Star Wars Films as the basis for the
Storm Trooper Blaster and some say "couldn't even shoot its way
out of a wet paper bag"
The Bayonet for the L2A3 was the No. 5/55 Bayonet which was also used
with the Rifle No.5 Mk1 which was also known as the Enfield Jungle
Carbine which had been developed during the later years of World War
Two. The Scabbard was almost identical if not the same as the scabbard
used with the L1A1 Bayonet for the SLR.
SELF LOADING RIFLE (SLR)
7.62mmN Self Loading Rifle aka . SLR
Range: 600m Weight: 5.07kg
The SLR owes its design to the Fabrique Nationale
(FN) FAL which was designed in 1946 from the STG-44 as an
Fully Automatic rifle. In the Early 1950's FN FAL was trialed by the
Britsh Army who liked the weapon. After a few design tweaks Enfield developed its own variant of the FAL
in 1957 as the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle (SLR).
It was manufactured using
Imperial measurements which also included minor changes. The early
rifles were fitted with wooden furniture but latter these were changed
to plastic due to decontamination concerns after a chemical attack.
was produced as a semi-automatic only
rifle, where as the original Belgian version could be used fully
automatic. It was known for soldiers to modify their rifle's mechanism
(normally by inserting a matchstick or coke can tab) to allow it to fire
on automatic, resulting in all 20 rounds to be fired at once. From
around 1987 the SLR was to be replaced by the L85A1, but still served until
the late 1990's and was used during the First Gulf War by second
Bayonet, SLR, L1A1
round magazines from the 7.62 mm L4 light machine gun was used
occasionally; but being designed for gravity assisted downward
operation, they were not reliable and had to have the spring
Later production rifles are noted for the availability of unique
optional sights. The first of the optional sights included a folding
dual-aperture day/night sight, commonly known as the "Hythe
Sight". The Hythe sight was developed for close range, dusk and
night use and incorporated two overlapping rear sight aperture leaves,
and a permanently glowing (until radioactively decayed) tritium inserts
in the front sight post for improved night visibility. Also noteworthy
was a unique scope designed specifically for the L1A1 rifle. The scope,
identified as the L2A1 "Site Unit, Infantry, Trilux" (SUIT) is
a fixed-focus 4X magnification scope with an unusual prismatic offset, a
unique inverted tapered tritium illuminated sight post reticule, and an
integral bullet-drop compensation via a two-position mechanical cam.
SLR Cleaning Kit
offset prismatic design reduced overall length for improved clearance
around the L1A1 action, reduced parallax errors and significantly
reduced the effects of heat mirage from a hot rifle barrel. The inverted
sight post allowed a very rapid target re-acquisition due to the fact
that recoil typically raises the rifle barrel, leaving a clear sight
picture under the inverted pointer, which combined with the pointer's
thick taper promoted the quick target re-acquisition.
Sight Unit, Infantry, Trilux (SUIT), L2A1
relatively heavy, the SUIT scope was also noted for its durability, due
to the very robust construction. It is also noteworthy that the during
the Cold-War, the UK SUIT scope was copied virtually verbatim by the
Soviet Union and designated as the 1P29 telescopic sight. Both the Hythe
and SUIT sight options were commonly found on production UK L1A1 FAL
Infantry Weapon (SA80) "Endeavour"
5.56mmN "Endeavour" Assault Rifle aka. SA80
400m Weight: 4.68kg
Practical ROF: 40-60rpm
Endeavour was the commercial name given
to the Enfield L85A1 that is also known as the Small Arms 1980's or
SA80. The L85 is a selective-fire gas-operated assault rifle that uses
ignited powder gases bled through a gas port above the barrel to provide
the weapon’s automation. The rifle uses a short stroke gas piston
system (the piston travels inside a gas tube located above the barrel)
and a three-position adjustable gas regulator; the first gas setting is
used for normal operation, the second – for use in difficult
environmental conditions and the third setting is used to propel rifle
grenades. The weapon uses a rotating cylindrical bolt that contains 7
radially-mounted locking lugs, an extractor and casing ejector. The
bolt’s rotation is controlled via a cam pin that slides inside a
camming guide machined into the bolt carrier. The weapon fires from a
closed bolt and has a 30 round magazine.
The L85 is equipped with a hammer striking
mechanism and a trigger mechanism with a fire-control selector that
enables semi-automatic fire and fully automatic fire (the fire selector
lever is located at the left side of the receiver, just aft of the
magazine). A cross-bolt type safety that prevents accidental firing is
located above the trigger; the “safe” setting disables the trigger.
When the last cartridge is fired from the magazine the bolt and bolt
carrier assembly lock to the rear. The rifle features a barrel with a
slotted flash suppressor, which also serves as the base for attaching
and launching rifle grenades and mounting a bayonet. Built in a
“bullpup” configuration, with a forward mounted pistol grip. The
rifle was designed to be used exclusively by right-handed shooters since
the ejection port and cocking handle (reciprocates during firing) are on
the right side of the receiver.
the 1980's, L85
rifles used by the Royal Marines, infantry (and other soldiers with a
dismounted combat role) and the RAF Regiment are equipped with a SUSAT
(Sight Unit Small Arms, Trilux) optical sight, with a fixed 4x
magnification and an illuminated aiming pointer powered by a variable
tritium light source. Mounted on the SUSAT’s one-piece, pressure
die-cast aluminum body is a mechanical back-up iron sight that
consists of a front post and small rear aperture. Rifles used with
other branches of the armed forces when not on operations are
configured with fixed iron sights, consisting of a flip rear aperture
(housed inside a carry handle, mounted to the top of the receiver,
replacing the SUSAT sight) and a forward post, installed on a bracket
above the gas block. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage, and
the foresight – elevation. In place of the SUSAT a passive night
vision CWS scope can be used.
L85 was trialed in the early 1980's and was issued to BAOR frontline
units from 1987 with some units especially the TA still had not
received the new rifle by the mid 1990's.
first issued a problem arised from the magazine release catch being
depressed when the rifle was pressed against the body causing the
weapons magazine to drop from the weapon sometimes at embarrassing
moments. Another fault was discovered during the First Gulf War where
the Gas plug cover had to be taped shut as it kept on opening when the
weapon was fired. So it was common to see tape around the foregrip.
L86A1 5,56mmN "Engager" Light Support Weapon.
Range: 600m Weight: 6.58kg (Loaded)
Engager was the commercial name given to the Enfield made L86A1 LSW.
Based on the L85 the L86 Light Support Weapon (LSW) is a magazine-fed
automatic weapon originally intended to provide fire support at a fire team
level. It has a longer barrel than the L85 and a bipod, butt strap and rear pistol grip, together with a different design of
hand guard. Its longer barrel gives an increased muzzle velocity and
further stabilizes the bullet, giving a greater effective range.
weapon is otherwise in its operation identical to the L85 that it is based on, and the
magazines and some internal parts are interchangeable.
free-floating nature of the heavy barrel and the optical performance of
the SUSAT gives the weapon excellent accuracy. From its inception, the
L86 has been a target of criticism on much the same basis as the L85
with the additional issue of its inability to deliver sustained
automatic fire unlike a belt fed weapon.
Rifle 5.56mm M16 /AR15
Range: 400m Weight: 3.1kg
Practical ROF: 40-60rpm
Almost as soon as the American Armalite AR-15 was
marketed the British Army purchased a number for evaluation.
Shortly after a batch of about 10,000 AR15 and M16 rifles were
purchased. This order was placed before the US Army adopted the
M16 as there standard rifle.
Both the AR15 and M16 are of the
original design which did not feature the 'bolt forward assist' that was
a feature of the latter M16A1. The rifle was never accepted for
front-line service but it has been used extensively in Belize, the
far east and Northern Ireland, also seeing operational use in the 1982
The weapon was favored by the Royal Marines due to
its lightness and was issued to specialist units. The British army also eventually
adopted the M203 grenade launcher which fits to the rifle in place of
the fore grips. It was slowly replaced in the Mid 1980's by the
Rifle 7.62mm L42A1
Range: 1000m+ Weight: 4.43kg
Practical ROF: Single-shot
The L42 Rifle was the Army's last
connection with the Bolt action Lee Enfield .303 rifles. It is a
Lee Enfield .303 Mark 4 which has been modified and converted into a
7.62mm sniper rifle. Where the stock has been modified to include a cheek
piece and additional sling positions along with an heavier barrel to
take the 7.62mm Nato round.
The L42 was fitted with iron sights as standard but was normally fitted
with a snipers scope L1A1. Specialized ammunition was also used with the
rifle to make it even more accurate. It saw considerable action in
the Falklands war and was finally replaced in the late 1980's by the
Accuracy International L96 Rifle.
L4 LMG Bren
L4A4 7.62mmN Light Machine Gun (LMG) - aka. "Bren"
Range: 1650m Weight: 10.35kg
Practical ROF: 120rpm
With the British Army's adoption of the 7.62 mm
NATO cartridge, the Bren was re-designed to 7.62 mm caliber, fitted with
a new barrel and magazine, and continued in service. It was
as the L4 Light Machine Gun and continued in British Army service well
into the 1990s. The change from a rimmed to rimless cartridge and
nearly-straight magazine improved feeding considerably, and allowed use
of 20-round magazines from the SLR to be used in emergencies. The
conical flash hider was also replaced by a slotted type similar to that
of the SLR and GPMG.
The L4 LMG saw considerable action during the
Falklands war and again went to war during the First Gulf War with
second line units and as the air-defence weapon of the artillery units
and was finally phased out in the late 1990's.
||Bren Mk III
conversion, with Mk I bipod and steel barrel
||Bren Mk III conversion,
lightened bipod and steel barrel
||Bren Mk II
||L4A2 variant with chrome
chrome barrel for Royal Navy
||L4A1 variant with chrome
conversion with L7 dovetail
L7A2 GPMG "The General"
L7A2 7.62mmN General Purpose Machine Gun
Weight: 10.9kg Range: 800m
The L7 is a licensed built FN MAG and is
affectionately nicknamed "the Gimpy" or "The
General" by British soldiers. Following trials of the weapon in
1957, the L7 was adopted by the British forces
as a replacements for the Vickers machine gun in support role and in the
the Bren Gun within the rifle section. Two main variants were designed
for Infantry use, the L7A1 and L7A2.
variants have been developed, notably the L8 (A1 and A2), modified for
mounting in armored vehicles (the L37 variant was developed for mounting
on armored vehicles).
Although intended to replace the Bren
entirely, the light machine gun (re-titled the L4) continued in
use in jungle terrain (especially in the Far East), where there was no
requirement for the medium machine gun role, and with secondary units,
until the adoption of the L86 Light Support Weapon (LSW).
The LSW was
intended to replace both the L7 and the L4 in the light machinegun role,
but dissatisfaction with the L86's firepower and reliability resulted in
combat units continuing to utilize the L7 whenever possible (although
neither it, nor its 7.62mm NATO ammunition were supposed to be issued to
||7.62x51 mm NATO FN MAG
60.20 T3 machine gun
||L7A1 variant; FN MAG 60.20 T6; Improved
feed mechanism and provision for 50 round belt-box
||L7A1 variant; For
mounting in AFV's.
No buttstock. Barrel fitted with fume extractor.
Solenoid-triggered, but with folding pistol grip for emergency
||L8A1 variant; improved feed mechanism
||L7A1 variant; extra-heavy
||L7A1 variant; for remote firing in gun pods
and external mountings
||L20A1 variant; improved
||L8A1 variant; L8A1 breech & L7 barrel
for mounting on AFV's.
Conventional pistol grip & trigger, plus kit allowing
||L37A1 variant; L8A2
based. As above.
||L7A1 variant; for use as a ranging gun on
the Scorpion light tank
||L20A1 variant; for Royal
L1A1 66mm Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW)
Range: 300m Weight: 2.37kg
L1A1 is the British designation for the American M72A1 and M72A2 HEAT
rocket launchers which were first used wholesale during the Vietnam war.
It was designed to replace the venerable 3.5" Bazooka of world war
two fame and was
intended as a 'one-shot and throw away' device. By the 1980's the LAW
66was found to be outdated due to the advancement in Soviet Armour
During the Falklands conflict
it was issued in quantity to the infantry and a new use was found for
the weapon as it was effective
at taking out fire trenches and Sanger emplacements.
84mm MAW "Charlie G"
L14A1 84mm Carl Gustav Medium Anti-tank Weapon (MAW)
aka "Charlie G" seen here fitted with Optical sight
Range: 500m Weight: 16Kg (18.59kg loaded)
The Carl Gustav is the common name for the 84mm
recoilless rifle anti-tank weapon from Bofors Anti Armour AB in
Sweden. The Carl Gustav was first introduced in 1946, and while
similar weapons of the era have generally disappeared, the Carl Gustav
remains throughout the world in widespread use today, and is even being introduced into new
British troops refer to it as the Charlie G. Designed to
destroy the armour of the day, the Charlie G was able to fire three
types of rounds; HEAT, Illumination and White Prosperous Smoke.
This weapon was used to great effect during the Falklands conflict,
nearly sinking a Argentinean Destroyer and was effective against the
heavy machine gun Sangers. It was phased out by the late 1980's being
replaced by the more cumbersome and less versatile LAW 80
94mm Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW
Range: 500m Weight:9.5 kg
Light Anti-Tank Weapon 1980's or LAW80 as it was to become (Later LAW 90
or LAW 94) was a 94mm disposable Anti-tank weapon. Undergoing field trials around 1985 and
it was expected in
service by 1987. Designed to be a one-shot throw away weapon the LAW 80
came with an inbuilt 9mm spotting rifle which was used to aim the
weapon, a sort of "Ping, Ping, Ping....BANG!" approach
to taking out armour. It was conceived as part of a plan to replace the LAW 66 and
the 84mm Carl Gustav as the infantry sections main Anti-Tank defence
weapon. This weapon has proved effective if some what cumbersome and timely in
readying for action.
It is of note though that although a similar
weapon is used by the US army, the weapon it replaced, the Charlie
G has now been taken into service by the US Army and several other armed
forces; time to make your own conclusions about the introduction of the
LAW 80 and withdrawal from British service the Charlie G.
Grenade Launchers and Light Mortars
40mm Grenade Launcher M79
40mm Grenade Launcher M79
Weight: 2.72kg Range: 150-400m
M79 grenade launcher also know as "the Thumper," is a
single-shot, shoulder-fired, break open grenade launcher which fires a
40 x46 mm grenade and first appeared during the Vietnam War.
Because of its distinctive firing sound, it earned the nicknames of
"Thumper", "Thump-Gun" or "Blooper"
among American soldiers; Australian units referred to it as the
"Wombat Gun". The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40 mm
rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot,
flechette, and illumination. The British Army originally considered
the weapon as a Infantry weapon but at the time long-term supply
problems meant that the idea was dropped. When the troubles began in
Northern Ireland it was adopted as a Point Defence Weapon for static
locations and for crowd control firing CS gas rounds. It was also used
in Hong Kong and Belize in training for Jungle warfare.
When the Falklands conflict started
it was issued to various units, members of the Welsh Guards were
issued them for use as a close infantry support weapon with at least
one ending up in the Atlantic with a broken firing pin.
Light Mortar 2-inch
and used in World War Two the standard service version of the 2-inch
mortar had a barrel length of 21 inches and could fire a high
explosive bomb weighing 2.25lb out to a range of 500 yards. With such
a short barrel the normal firing method, where the bomb was dropped
down the tube and a pin in the base of the barrel struck the detonator
in the tail of the bomb, would not work so firing was by a small
trigger mechanism at the breech. Originally the 2-inch mortar was
fitted with a large collimating sight with elevating and cross-level
bubbles, but this was soon dropped as unnecessary in a front-line
unit. It was replaced instead with a simple white line painted up the
length of the barrel. The firer only had to line this up in the
direction of the target and fire a number of bombs for effect. Whilst
this method of operation may sound rather haphazard, it worked well
and the practice continued long after the war. The mortar evolved in
other directions too, with the original large base plate being
replaced by a simple curved model, to give it a combat weight of
10.25lb. Due to its small size, and for simplicity the mortar had no
forward strut or bipod like larger designs needed. The barrel would be
held at the correct angle by one soldier while the other loaded and
fired the round. It could achieve a firing rate of some eight rounds
per minute. The bombs were cylindrical with a (perforated) four finned
tail. For the HE projectile an impact fuse was fitted in the nose of
the bomb. The illuminating round weighed 1lb and the smoke round
weighed 2.25lb. A whole range of other ammunition was also developed
including a specialized bomb that cast a lightweight explosive-filled
net over patches in minefields so that it could be detonated to clear
the late 1970's the 2-in mortar was being slowly phased out. Used only
for Smoke and Illumination It was replaced in the early 1980's by the
51mm Mortar L9A1 but continued in service with some units. It was also
issued for use in the Falklands War.
51mm Mortar L9A1
The L9A1 51 mm Light Mortar is a
man-portable mortar which fires Smoke, illuminating and high explosive
bombs. A short range insert device is also used to allow the mortar to
engage targets at a shorter range. Proposals for a new mortar to
replace the aging 2-in started in the early 1970's, by the late 1970's
the protracted development stage had been frozen and the mortar made
ready for production. Production started in the early 1980's but did
not replace the 2-in mortar until the late 1980's.
51mm Mortar Cleaning kit