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Aussie soldiers using faulty weapons


War Hero
UKSF and certain other army/RM units do not use the M-16 they use the Canadian Daimarco.I couldnt comment on it,however the SA80A2 is the dogs gonads.It has never let me down.Yes its a little heavier than most weapons in its class .But ask any US soldier what weapon they would prefer it would be the SA80A2 over their own M-4 weapon.


War Hero
Further to my last.''Forward assist''is not part of the correct SA80A2 handling drill. It used to be ,but not any more.


War Hero
Deeps said:
Further to my last.''Forward assist''is not part of the correct SA80A2 handling drill. It used to be ,but not any more.

You need to tell the RAF regiment that, forward assist was still part of my weapon handling test on the A2 last month!! PS, I agree I like the A2.


War Hero
sgtpepperband said:
If the SA80 (L85) is so reliable why is still standard drill to slam forward the bolt to ensure it is locked home in the breech ('forward assist')? This requirement is not necessary with any other assault rifle in the world,

Incorrect. The M16A2 requires the forward assist to be used each time a magazine is inserted.


War Hero
What was wrong with the SLR - apart from having different ammunition ? My son-in-law (ex infantry) awore by it.......


War Hero
lsadirty said:
What was wrong with the SLR - apart from having different ammunition ? My son-in-law (ex infantry) awore by it.......

I dont know why the Poms got rid of it but after Vietnam the Australian Army was looking for something more compact and lighter weight than the SLR. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth the ADF adopted the Steyr in 1989. It is an easier weapon to use than the SLR, especially for females.
sgtpepperband said:
Scribes, as I have said in a previous post, I have recently read his book, and make no secret that I have used it as a reference on this thread. But that should not make the information any less relevant, should it?

Whatever his agenda, I think LP's book should be read by anyone serving, or has an interest, in Britain's Armed Forces.

Actually I completely agree, particularly with reference to the slavering beast that is British Aerospace and the government's criminal pandering to its' every desire. So it's a fair cop, guv.
Jarhead said:
Incorrect. The M16A2 requires the forward assist to be used each time a magazine is inserted.

This is true, but at least it's got a built-in forward assist that you can operate with your thumb without having to take one hand off the foregrip and that doesn't require you lean over the weapon to work it.
PartTimer said:
Nutty said:
phil1972 said:
Thanks for that Nutty, I guess it shows it is not just our government that can do a rubbish job of defense procurement. In comparison to the Steyr to the best of my knowledge the the SA80 A2 is well received by those using it in sand pits around the globe. I am sure BAE systems would love to flog them a load.

As I understand it the SA80 had lots of majpr problems with jamming and not liking snow and dust etc. Mabe a Royal can tell us more when ik was first issued.

Loads of articles on Google here is one I just got at random I have not fully read it



Nutty, if you read the bottom of the article you posted you'll see they report that the A2 is now a reliable weapon (it's downsides now being slightly heavier and not ambidextrous). I've had many reports from Royal that's the A2 is a great weapon, and if you don't believe that just have a read of the many threads on ARRSE where current users have consistently reported the A2 as being the dogs dangly bits. Those that used the A1 (and that was a crappy weapon in the early '90s when I used it) keeping on tripping out the same comments, ignoring the mountain of evidence to the contrary. I got my hands on an A2 the other week and I was very impressed.

I made NO suggestion that the curret SA80 Mk 2 which had been sorted out by H & K was not a good and reliable weapon. What I did say that the Aussie weapon seems to have suffered the same fate as the SA80 Mk1 insufficent testing and trials, rushed into action, then denials as to its problems and only when public pressure in the form of bad press came into play did they spend £200,000,000 sorting it out which could have been done at square one. This is now mirrored by the problems the Oz weapon seems to have.

I then asked the opinions of any booties, who may know, what they thought. I have already had the opinion of a close family member who has used the old and new weapon in action and but for Persec reason I do not use his opinions on this forum.

phil1972 said:
Well i got a weapon handling test tomorrow so I will be able to confim it is still required for RN.

Its a requirement for the weapon system - not the service that uses it.

As Deeps confirmed: SA80 A1 wepon drills included forward assist, whilst the correct drills for the SA80 A2 doesnt.

Edited to add: Most people that still carry out the forward assist, do so out of pure habbit.
I don't think it's fair to say the Austeyr F-88 was rushed into service without testing, Nutty. It had been in production for 12 years before the Aussies equipped their first units with it, there were plenty of alternatives to choose from. The Aussies don't buy direct from Steyr, they manufacture them under licence themselves and have several home-grown variants. What they use are not actually AUGs, but their own versions modified to their own spec. Any problems associated with them are of their own making.

There IS however a known issue with all versions of the AUG in that if you "ride" the charging handle forward instead of releasing and letting it go forward under its' own steam, it will cause a stoppage. But this is covered in the manual, it shouldn't be happening unless the soldiers can't remember basic drills and I doubt that's the case.

Anyone know exactly what these problems that "plague" up to "70,000" of the Austeyr are? I've heard talk of trouble with the springs, but no clear examples of exactly what's wrong with the springs. If I were a wizened old cynic with a prediliction to suspect biased, poorly researched reporting, I'd suspect that some hack heard that the AUG would jam if you didn't release the charging handle properly and that somehow became "a multitude of problems with the springs".

But I'm not like that. Most of the time.

Edit: Apart from anything else, the Aussies have had the AUG since 1989, bit suspicious that they only noticed problems with it now. Unless it's just bollocks reporting again, of course. Standing by to be corrected.

Like you my only info is from Channel 7 News they do have a quote from the Army:

"Yesterday the Defence Minister Brendan Nelson was unavailable for comment however the Army Chief General Peter Leahy said the documents showed the Army's reporting system for problems was working well"

Who in well honored style ignores the question so neither giving a affirmative or negative answer. Which indicatesa problem may exist.



War Hero
Department of Defence Media Mail List

CPA 274/07 Monday, 27 August 2007


Defence rejects the claims made by Channel Seven that Australian Defence Force
personnel lack high quality weapons and equipment.

Defence believes that Channel 7s ‘investigative report’ is based entirely on
selective and exaggerated use of information gained from a Freedom of
Information Request on 13 August 2007. In responding to this request, Defence
provided Channel 7 with information on faults with ammunition and weapons used
by service personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq during a two-year period between
April 2005 – April 2007.

Contrary to Channel 7s report, the information provided to them highlights that:
* Defence takes weapon safety seriously and responds quickly to all reported
weapon faults and improvement recommendations. The Report on Unsatisfactory or
Defective Material (RODUM) system is an effective, robust and well-used method
of identifying and fixing equipment problems.
* The fact that Defence personnel use RODUMs to report equipment issues
indicates they have a high level of confidence in the system.
* The relatively small number of RODUMs compared to Defence’s total inventory
reinforces the very high standard of weapons and equipment.
* The results achieved by Defence personnel in harsh operational environments in
places like Iraq and Afghanistan bears testimony to their training, leadership,
commitment and equipment.

In response to the specific claims made in the Channel 7 report, Defence
confirms that:

* Since 2005 there have been three RODUMs submitted in relation to the F88
AUSTEYR (Steyr Rifle) - two in 2005 and one in December 2006. Each of these
RODUMs related to minor faults in a relatively small number of weapons.
* For example, the unit which submitted the December 2006 RODUM used 400 weapons
over a four-month operational period. During this time spring kits were
replaced in only 14 weapons.
* This is not excessive and is considered part of the normal repair and
maintenance regime.

Weapon Mounts
* Army currently has serviceable mounts for the MK19 and the other weapon
systems mounted to patrol vehicles.
* These mounts have undergone a number of local modifications to tailor them to
the specific vehicle upon which they are to be employed. They are operating
effectively in Afghanistan today.
* Army is undertaking continuous improvement of this equipment and also working
toward a common mount for all weapon systems.

Sniper Rifle
* The RODUM system identified the barrel cleaner for the sniper rifle was not
cleaning barrels effectively and an alternative was suggested.
* The suggested alternative was found to be unacceptable from an Occupational
Health and Safety perspective.

Contrary to Channel 7s assertion that this decision reflects bureaucratic
interference, it was designed to protect the health and safety of Defence
* A more suitable cleaning agent is being provided that achieves an acceptable
cleaning effect and is safe to use.

Explosive Ordnance (EO)
* More than 10 million items of EO were issued in support of operations during
2006/ 07. Only 44 RODUMs related to EO were reported during this period.

Channel 7 has used the RODUM system to highlight negative aspects of equipment
quality. The fact is that the relatively small number of RODUMs compared to
Defence’s extensive inventory reinforces the very high standard of our weapons
and equipment.

Channel 7s claims are sensationalistic and are designed to mislead the
Australian public about the true state of ADF equipment. The families of
Defence personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t deserve to be alarmed by this
type of misleading coverage.

Defence calls on Channel 7 to review its coverage of the story and present a
more accurate reporting of the facts.

Media Notes:
Audio grabs of Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy are available at:

Imagery of soldiers firing a range of weapons in the Middle East is available

Media contact:
Defence Media Liaison
(02) 6265 3343 or (0408) 498 664

For a free subscription to Defence Direct, the Minister for Defence’s monthly
e-newsletter, please follow this link:


Issued by Coordination and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6265 3343, Fax: 02 62656946

Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at
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