Let’s build Brit bullpup SA80

Boris

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How does the ar180 fit in? you mention near photos of the diffrent bolts shown.
what's common, didn't ar180 have 2 generations.
I love this since not an AR.
what Picton said, AR18 was full auto that was made as AR180 variant in semi only for civilian market.

To add, it's important to remember that Sterling Armament (which made AR18 on license from Armalite) is a different entity from Royal Small Arms Armories at Enfiled (which was tasked to develop SA80), kind of like Springfield Armory and Ruger, Haenel and Walther, same country but two different manufacturers.

SA80 was quiet literally a rip-off from AR-18, and by literal rip-off, I mean Enfield engineers took two AR18s, cut them up and made bullpups as proof of concept. This is one of the samples that was later refined into SA80. It's quiet lietrally AR18 with "Sterling" scrubbed off, a bunch of steel tack welded in and an external coat hanger linkage as a temp solution:

f2.png

The notion that Enfield ripped Sterling/Armalite is a well known fact, that is never formally acknowledged by Enfield. I'm not sure that Sterling could sue, because technically it was Armalite who owned design, but did they had any patents in US as well as UK is another matter. Also Sterling was hoping to get contract for parts, which is a common theme with smaller manufacturers seeking a piece of the pie someone got a hold of.


Enfield engineers requested and got full on Sterling factory tour, with visitors taking extensive notes on machinery and operations. Sterling was hoping for business, but in fact Enfield guys were noting what machinery they needed and how to make their own shit. So not only Enfield ripped-off AR18, it ripped off the manufacturing process to boot. It's like DVDA of the arms business.


SA80 mutated as time went by and revisions / improvements were introduced. AR18/0 still has a lot of commonalities with AR15, more than meets the eye, like some pin locations and distances for vital dimensions. Which parts of it were not reinventing the wheel, or which parts of it were that wheel is just the optimal shape for the task?

Here is the AR18 and SA80 bolts. The slight difference is the dwell time to unlock the bolt that was considered to be the cause of many malfunctions.

f1.png
 

greencobra

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you're killin' me boris, to the point i'm having an internal monologue in my head. but keep up the good work! [thumbsup]
 

Boris

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Excellent.

Please make a gas-cycled shotgun next.
been done before ;), here is the link to the build thread on NES: DIY: Saiga 12 takedown from kit build (first US made! prima noctus Sayegus)

I need to fix some of the photos from the photobucket ... still striking again

I guess there was another build that I never wrote up, but basically taking that same Saiga12 and turning in into bullpup:

f4.png

So it's a gas operated shotgun as a bullpup to match SA80 bullpuppiness! :)
 

Picton

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Enfield had a habit of ripping off their fellow British manufacturers. Just ask Webley, whose Mk IV .38 was "very suspiciously" similar to Enfield's No 2 Revolver in 38/200.

Webley sued, with partial success, and they got the last laugh: Enfield couldn't keep up with WWII production, so Webley got to manufacture their Mk IV .38 for the war anyway.
 

powerman

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what Picton said, AR18 was full auto that was made as AR180 variant in semi only for civilian market.

To add, it's important to remember that Sterling Armament (which made AR18 on license from Armalite) is a different entity from Royal Small Arms Armories at Enfiled (which was tasked to develop SA80), kind of like Springfield Armory and Ruger, Haenel and Walther, same country but two different manufacturers.

SA80 was quiet literally a rip-off from AR-18, and by literal rip-off, I mean Enfield engineers took two AR18s, cut them up and made bullpups as proof of concept. This is one of the samples that was later refined into SA80. It's quiet lietrally AR18 with "Sterling" scrubbed off, a bunch of steel tack welded in and an external coat hanger linkage as a temp solution:

The notion that Enfield ripped Sterling/Armalite is a well known fact, that is never formally acknowledged by Enfield. I'm not sure that Sterling could sue, because technically it was Armalite who owned design, but did they had any patents in US as well as UK is another matter. Also Sterling was hoping to get contract for parts, which is a common theme with smaller manufacturers seeking a piece of the pie someone got a hold of.


Enfield engineers requested and got full on Sterling factory tour, with visitors taking extensive notes on machinery and operations. Sterling was hoping for business, but in fact Enfield guys were noting what machinery they needed and how to make their own shit. So not only Enfield ripped-off AR18, it ripped off the manufacturing process to boot. It's like DVDA of the arms business.


SA80 mutated as time went by and revisions / improvements were introduced. AR18/0 still has a lot of commonalities with AR15, more than meets the eye, like some pin locations and distances for vital dimensions. Which parts of it were not reinventing the wheel, or which parts of it were that wheel is just the optimal shape for the task?

Here is the AR18 and SA80 bolts. The slight difference is the dwell time to unlock the bolt that was considered to be the cause of many malfunctions.

View attachment 329328
Very interesting.

Now I have some research to do.

I picked up a Armalite AR180B with the polymer frame that takes ar15 Magazines.

So that was my comment on AR180 two versions. I had no idea on the rest.

On the dwell time, is it just a function length the bolt moves relative to amount it rotates to unlock? from the photo the both look to be the same "ramp is same" for those two, or the total amount of travel with longer one being the bottom photo
 

Picton

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Very interesting.

Now I have some research to do.

I picked up a Armalite AR180B with the polymer frame that takes ar15 Magazines.

So that was my comment on AR180 two versions. I had no idea on the rest.

On the dwell time, is it just a function length the bolt moves relative to amount it rotates to unlock? from the photo the both look to be the same "ramp is same" for those two, or the total amount of travel with longer one being the bottom photo
That newer polymer one is, from what I’ve heard, a good rifle. I used to own a Howa 180 and liked it, but it’s not the caliber I like.
 

C. Stockwell

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That newer polymer one is, from what I’ve heard, a good rifle. I used to own a Howa 180 and liked it, but it’s not the caliber I like.
There's a certain joy I experience from shooting a .308/7.62x51 rifle that can't be replicated by shooting a .223/5.56x45.
 

Boris

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How does it shoot?

simple question, big answer. In a nutshell it has potential, I kind of like it, but improvements must be made.

The long version, the upper is what limits accuracy. There are several posters from barfcom claiming 6MOA, even one video of dude shooting irons at 100 for 6MOA. I've done anywhere 3-6 with cheapest Federal and match grades, but this is with SUSAT (4x) and I'm not a crackshot. I don't think that the upper would go much more accurate than that. The barrel is so thin that it has to taper out to make standard AR muzzle thread. Something like this was average at 50 (I'm still recovering after surgery)

27.png


Thicker barrel would be the balls. I can see Brownells wanting to keep this upper light, but on a bullpup, it's not as much of an issue, quiet the opposite, heavier barrel gives more weight to the front better balancing rifle in the grip.

Speaking of parts. It's been over a year since Brownells announced BRN-180, still no parts to be had, which makes sense. They are charging basically 800$ for a square bolt. Aluminum upper is shit, can't change barrel, if I could, I would for something better. The piston setup is about $200, but the whole thing is just not pulling $800. For that money you can find a much nicer upper or just buy an entire AR180.

The patented foregrip "systema" is shit too. Basically an alum tab holds entire forend in place. I had to pry it out when new. A few changes, it's going to be worn out enough, that mounting a laser, never mind optics will be retarded.

Speaking of balance, if you are into LARPing or pointing at squirels (and meese) it's the best thing. Very short, well balanced. Empty, the center of gravity is few inches behind the grip. Add typical forward grip (which actually good in this case) a few fleshlights, lasers ... it's easily balanced at the grip. Even without it all, you can still easily shoot it with one hand, no sweat.

Shouldering is weird ass. I've never shot rifles with SA80 concave butt stock. Since original SA80 buttstock was going to be big, I scaled it about 80%-90% and made a custom piece in the same configuration.
26.png
I don't know how it suppose to work, but when aiming, the dip wanted to be about an inch higher than I wanted it to be, so it was constant struggle sliding shoulder slightly down as it would slip back up. That was constant annoyance and probably shitty grip/groups.

All bullpups have that problem of high scope mount that towers above the cheek weld plane. This is no exeption. If that SUSAT could fold, it would be the next best thing. Otherwise I can pack the whole rifle into 28" range bag which is f***ing awesome compared to all the pain trying to hide a Mosin in a trunk of a car even without bayonet attached.

The trigger is not bad due some magic sauce where basically a stock trigger has 2.5x linkage advantage. While pull is a bit long, the break is very smooth (which l Iike, without feeling of roughness of the stock trigger) The travel can be reduced with a set screw, but I was too f***ing lazy as one can surmise from the absence of safety.


And to top it off with yet another story from the annals of SA-80 development, Britbongs considered making an electronic trigger for SA80 ... let that sink it, especially if you ever had the pleasure to work on British cars or bikes and their wiring harnesses. Yeah, just when you think that shitty rifle has hit the bottom, there is always room to dig deeper.
 
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