Some of us may be busy with major fixes, improvements and optimization but that doesn’t mean we won’t have the time to introduce a whole host of new toys for you to play with. So get some tea and dig in because today we’ve got something special: The famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) SA80, used by the British Army as the L85 and a multitude of variants. This long-requested weapon is just a single part of the British set we’ll be introducing in the Warzone Update, with a new vehicle and uniform to follow, so stay tuned for more news on that in the future! And now let’s check out the new gun!
It was designed in the 70’s with a strong influence of earlier, late 40’s experimental constructions (the EM-1 and EM-2 rifles), featuring a bullpup design, integrated optics and using a new, experimental 4.85x49mm round. Trials began in 1976, but NATO standardization attempts forced the weapon to be rechambered for the 5.56x45mm round. The new prototypes entered trials in the late 70’s and were adopted as the SA80 in 1985 in three versions: L85A1 (rifle), L86A1 (light support weapon) and the L98A1 Cadet GP Rifle.
In the first years of the weapon’s service, a number of major faults were found, but it wasn’t until the Gulf War when the scale of the issues became clear – The rifle’s performance was disastrous. Troubled development and major production quality issues resulted in an unreliable weapon prone to break, jam and overheat on an almost daily basis, among a plethora of other problems. Tasked with fixing its issues, the German company Heckler & Koch created the A2 version, which greatly improved upon the A1 in almost every manner possible; The SA80 became very effective and reliable, especially famed for its great accuracy. Unfortunately, the bad reputation stuck, and the gun is still commonly considered sub-par even today, regardless of its quality.
In World War 3, instead of focusing on any given variant, we opted to give you the very base weapon – SA80 – which you can configure to fit a number of different playstyles and preferences. A very high rate of fire makes it versatile at short ranges, but thanks to its excellent accuracy (one of the best among assault rifles) and great bullet ballistics (fastest rifle projectile thus far at a whopping 980 m/s) it performs well in a marksman build with a scope and a bipod. Equipped with a drum magazine it can become a very effective medium- to long-range light machine gun akin to the L86.
Be wary of SA80’s heavy recoil which makes fire control a must. Remember: Short controlled bursts! It’s also quite heavy, so it’s more likely you’ll be creating loadouts around this weapon rather than using it as a backup. Lastly, bullpup weapons are infamous for their unpleasant, “creepy” triggers, and that is reflected in a slightly bigger delay between bursts in the 3-round mode. This change was also applied to the MSBS-B.
This is not the only new weapon in testing – We’re currently balancing multiple new guns, some of which are game changers that already gathered considerable fanbases. Stay tuned, there’s more where that came from!