This is my rifle. There are NOT many like it

During a firefight in Afghanistan in 2007, British soldier Pte Cole’s SA80 rifle was hit three times by 7.62x39mm bullets! It continued to function and he continued to return fire, despite the fact that the scope, bodywork and pistol grip was ripped off the gun. Express and Star report

The first 7.62 mm Kalashnikov round hit the weapon head on, narrowly missing the barrel and tearing apart the bodywork, while the second blew the sight off and the third smashed into the side, ripping through the inside of the gun and blasting out of the pistol grip.

Miraculously none struck Pte Cole, already wounded twice in the battle, and last night he saw the remains of the weapon for the first time since it saved his life in the Taliban ambush two years ago.

The remains of the rifle is now proudly display at the 4th Battalion HQ.

[ Many thanks to Daniel E. Watters for sending me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Matt Groom

    Hey! The SA 80 IS good for SOMETHING!

  • Joe C

    Thanks for the nice story. When I first read it, I was thinking M4. It was not until I went to the link for a pic of the weapons that I noticed it was an SA80. Might have been the related post underneath.

    • Joe, good point. I have updated the post.

  • Vitor

    Hooray the SA80! I think it’s get more flack than it’s deserved since HK fixed most of it.

  • Texas_Dave

    Gotta Love our English allies,

    What they lack in numbers and helicopters their troopers make-up for in courage and determination…

    Now if only the SA-80 could do something well besides stop bullets….

  • Matt Groom

    Not cool, Texas_Dave! Everybody knows that any Brit worth a…ahem… uniform can beat some Jihadist bastard to death with that worthless hunk of steel they call a rifle! I mean it weighs, like, eleven pounds and I think that’s what they sell for over there!

    • 6677

      800 to upgrade an A1 to an A2, 1200 for a whole new A2.

  • Destroyer

    at least the SA80 is good for something…

  • Louis_92

    Well, don’t know why people are like ‘At least it’s good for something’, it is one of them most accurate assault rifles at the moment

  • never could understand why thay chose the sa 80 i mean realy thire are so many outher good wepon,s out thire if any thing i think thay just wanted a home grown wepon but it took H&K to fix everthing not good brit industrey so go figguer paid by the queen,s disarmed slave,s \ subject,s i mean come on hear you got h&k \ colt\ F&G \ and at least 4 outher companey,s who thay could have licanced from but noooo \\ and as long as were on the subgect what,s the deal with the french no selector on thire primary wepon only auto what brilent mind came up with that o sorry forgot the french millatary bord thay have not surenderd again yet

  • A french follower

    @ Mica
    I don’t know where you heard that Famas has only safety and full auto selector, but it’s clearly a wrong source.
    Famas does have full auto, semi and burst mode so try to be a bit more respectful next time you say wrong things.

  • bob

    @ Mica

    And maybe you should learn to write english before coming up with a bunch of BS.

  • Cahal Mcgirr

    The problem with the adoption of the SA80 was that the contract to produce was a sweetner in the privatisation deal the Thatcher government did. Without the contract for the army. RSAF was any empty shell of a company with little value.