No 8 Rifle Replacement

The Number 8 Rifle is a .22 LR bolt action training weapon that has been long in the tooth since ages ago, time for a replacement.

No.8 Rifle
No.8 Rifle

The contract advert says;

Rifles. Number 8 Rifle Repalcement (N8RR), the UK MOD has a requirement to replace the current in-service Number 8 Rifle due to obsolescence.

The rifle must meet but are not limited to the following Key System Requirements (KSRs):

The system shall be able to fire the following current, in-service .22in Long Rifle (.22LR) rimfire cartridges: ‘Round .22 inch ball’ L5A2 (ADAC – 10501-02) and ‘Round .22 inch ball Tenex Ultimate’ L9A1 (ADAC – 10502-02)

The system shall not be able to accept a magazine of any type.

The system shall be based around a manually fed, bolt action rifle that is designed to be fired from the right shoulder.

The system shall have a manual safety catch that is separate from the bolt and trigger action.

The system shall be suitable for firing from the following positions: Prone

The system shall have a discrete, civilian appearance.

The weapon system shall have a modular iron sight sub-system that offers ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ capability.

The system’s peak instantaneous (C weighted) noise level at the firer’s ear shall not exceed 135dBC during firing.

The system shall not be adversely affected when dropped from height in accordance with DEFSTAN 07-85, Part 4, Issue 1, Para 8.14, Para 10.4 (Drop Test).

The system shall pass a DOSG Design Safety Assessment.

It is expected the MoD will purchase 10,000 replacement weapons at a cost of approximately £6m

 

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mike
mike
October 5, 2014 5:34 pm

Blimey, I remember using them when I was in the ATC :D Friday night, down in the TA/Anglian Regiment HQ’s .22 range.

I would have thought they’d go on forever…

as
as
October 5, 2014 5:53 pm

The L98A1 Cadet GP Rifle has a kit to alter it to fire .22LR.
It will then be single shot but firing from a magazine and not what the specs want.

monkey
monkey
October 5, 2014 6:11 pm

Savage® Arms Rascal Series Youth .22 LR Single-Shot Bolt-Action Rimfire Rifles
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Savage-Arms-Rascal-Series-Youth-LR-Single-Shot-Bolt-Action-Rimfire-Rifles/1369819.uts
The Pink Synthetic stock version should make it ‘Civilian’ enough
and ignore the price on display on the advert that’s for Civilians only , ” to you my friend from the MoD, special cheap Military grade at US$1799.99 ( in a whisper) would you like your money in a brown envelope or transfer to your Swiss bank account ?” :-)

TED
TED
October 5, 2014 6:48 pm

:(

Can I have one of the old ones please?

So basically if I can make a brand new No.8 the MoD will buy them.

Shame not to have even just a 5 round mag.

wf
wf
October 5, 2014 7:03 pm

Even the SLR had a .22 kit. Why bother buying a separate rifle when both cadet and service rifles will fire .22?

oldreem
October 5, 2014 7:27 pm

It (N8RR) is for the cadet forces, for whom shooting is (after gliding for the ATC) the No. 1 attraction. Many of us learnt to shoot as cadets with the dear old No.8 (mid-50s, me). It’s only being replaced (as funds permit) because spares are no longer available.
@as and , the L98 with .22LR conversion is an area weapon by comparison – the conversion is a lead-in to firing with 5.56mm, and of course can be used on 25m ranges – access to outdoor 300m ranges is limited for many cadet dets. It is unsuitable for firing the serious cadet target shooting competitions, or as a lead-in to long range target shooting with the 7.62mm L81A2. Incidentally, the L98A1 has been replaced with the L98A2, which is semi-auto.

Ace Rimmer
October 6, 2014 9:14 am

The No.8 had a barrel life of something like 1,000,000 rounds, my first thought was, have they fired that many rounds already?! Definitely the end of an era, the Lee Metford came into service around 1888, does this count as 126 years of continuous service for the Lee action?

Enjoyed firing the No.8 as much as I did the No.4, shame they had to go…

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 6, 2014 9:54 am

Rarely got to fire this one as a cadet, which was a shame, as stealing the ammo was the only source of .22 when I was a kid. And it was relatively easy to get hold of a .22 rifle or a .410 shotgun.

Fired these on the video ranges when in the cadets, which was good fun. Only fired the L98 with conversion kit in the Army on urban CQB ranges.

Fedaykin
October 6, 2014 4:20 pm

During the 90’s when I was a member of 226 Brighton No.2 Squadron I regularly fired the No.8. Lovely rifle with a virtually infinite barrel life due to the soft lead bullets it generally fires. We were lucky to based at Dyke road TA Barracks which had a smallbore range on site allowing regular usage. On a side note the squadron also had a couple of .22lr Martini under lever rifles but I only ever got to shoot them once and that only after begging the CO.

As for predicting what the replacement here, probably virtually impossible at this stage. There are so many .22lr rifles on the market that would meet the requirements. It will probably be down to which manufacture gives the best package offer in the end rather then the particular shooting merits of any particular rifle. It will need to be Cadet proof and I wouldn’t expect any fancy adjustable stocks, after that well lets see.

An end of an era really, many a collector will be hoping these are released onto the market rather then cut up. For the civilian collector/target shooter spares and maintenance is less of an issue then for the Cadet forces.

oldreem
October 6, 2014 5:53 pm

The cadet forces shooting fraternity has had a substantial input to the SUR, keeping it down to essentials, but reasonable accuracy is a must – otherwise competitions start becoming lotteries and interest quickly wanes. Some of the N8RR requirements are MoD imposed. There are numerous .22 competitions for cadet units, besides the .22 classification test – see http://www.ccrs.org.uk/competitions/small-bore-22/

Peter
Peter
October 6, 2014 9:44 pm

Lack of spare parts, bah. Just ask this chap and he’d gladly make the spares.
http://www.efdrifles.com/index.php

I really do hope that the No 8’s go up for sale. Given the ratio of ex cadets who shoot to the number of rifles available i’d think it’s entirely plausible that the MOD could sell the entire lot of the rifles and recoup at least the original acquisition price.

While my memories of the good old Lee Enfield are doubtlessly extremely rose tinted, it’s a Lee Enfield and therefore somehow manages to endear itself to anybody and everybody who fires it…

chris ridgers
chris ridgers
December 12, 2014 12:59 pm

pity they want no magazines…it would make the move to the L98A2 alot easier. give the cadets something they can use instead of just a poor replacement, that is all they ask, something they can use for basic grouping practices to competition use… good sights are a must.

oldreem
December 12, 2014 3:33 pm

Target rifles don’t have magazines – to ask for one would undoubtedly rule out some contenders. The cadet representatives didn’t ask for one. Accuracy is far more important. The 7.62mm Cadet Target Rifle (L81A2) doesn’t have a magazine either. Resale potential of No.8s has been flagged up to the system.

Chris Ridgers
Chris Ridgers
December 12, 2014 4:44 pm

the replacement rifle will have to be good enough to do both for the cadets, grouping and application. this will only be achieved with good sights…not sure a magazine would be a disadvantage for target shooting…. the old 303 was very accurate and it had a magazine, again bolt action? and it also lasted a very long time.

Alex
Alex
July 2, 2015 1:26 pm

It should be replaced by the colt M4 rifle, cool looking, fun and safe.

http://www.waltherarms.com/m4-carbine/

ATC CI
ATC CI
November 21, 2015 9:41 am
Reply to  as

The L98 A1 went about 5 years ago, we’re on the A2 now and I think all the A1’s have been disposed of. Also it is not “subtly civilian in appearance” so fails on that side of the spec as well. Personally I feel that if they still work then why replace for the sake of it (which is what seems to be the case, certainly I’m not aware of any safety fears as there were with the L81A1 cadet target rifle and I work with the weapon).

ATC CI
ATC CI
November 21, 2015 9:42 am
Reply to  as

Although I will admit I’m not a fan of the No. 8 as I feel it’s badly balanced in comparison with other weapons e.g. the L98.

John Hartley
John Hartley
November 21, 2015 11:43 am

I would go for the Ruger 10/22. It is “civilian looking”. OK its semi auto with a rotary mag, but if you are going to get a teenager interested in cadets/military, then you are going to have to trust them a little bit. Given the current recruitment troubles, anything that brings a teenager to the forces, is a good thing in my books.

as
as
November 21, 2015 12:31 pm

I wonder if we could get Ruger the make a 22lr version of there No.1 single shot rifle for us?
It is closer to the spec they want but is not bolt action.

as
as
November 21, 2015 2:18 pm

Problem solved :- CZ 452 Scout
Delivered from the factory with a single-shot adapter.
http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-452-scout-22lr-beech-single-shot-adapter/

They are about £200 pound each so a nice big order maybe we could get that down to £175.

mr.fred
mr.fred
November 21, 2015 2:50 pm
Reply to  Alex

Alex,
What’s safe about that?

Ruger 10/22s are very common, cheap and have a truckload of aftermarket modifications in existence which could be used to make them in almost any shape you like, to match your service rifle.
Personally I would advocate a version of the service rifle in a small, low power, calibre. This could then be used for cadets, initial training and civilian shooting competitions. .22 rf or even some of the even weaker firearms that have little propellant other than the primer. But that would have to be part of a coherent policy and a new rifle.

Fedaykin
November 21, 2015 6:39 pm

Hartley @mr.fred

This is a defence contract based upon a government tender document. If Ruger tried to submit the 10/22 then it would be rejected for failing to meet the requirements. If the MOD accepted the 10/22 as an entry they would be open to protests and even legal action from other manufacturers.

Having shot the No.8 and having experienced cadet shooting along with being a CSR shooter now I can say with complete certainty the 10/22 is not what is wanted or needed.

The role of the No.8 and its replacement is to introduce teenagers to the sport of shooting, unlike the US the vast majority of those teenagers will never of even held a gun let alone shoot it. The idea is for it to be easy to use, teenager proof and affordable. This will be the stepping stone to the L98A2. Being a magazine less single shot keeps the drills simple which is exactly what is needed when introducing the cadets to the sport.

John Hartley
John Hartley
November 21, 2015 11:35 pm

Fed. Then change the requirement. The trouble with the public sector, is that when it makes a bad decision, it then sticks to it, regardless of criticism. Most private concerns are much more nimble & willing to ditch a bad plan, if a better idea comes along.