Perhaps wrapping up what must have been a gun nerd’s dream visit to the UK Royal Armouries National Firearms Centre, Ian at Forgotten Weapons has moved from the main SA-80 rifle into the sub-variants, which is a fascinating topic in and of itself. In this video, Ian has his hands on a Cadet’s rifle which is fundamentally a lever/bolt action SA-80.
Designed as the name implies for cadets, the rifles feature two notable changes from the front-line ready weapons systems. We’ve already mentioned the change to a lever/bolt action weapon, but have not covered the other major and obvious difference – the weapons lack optical sights, instead opting for a “carry handle” set of iron sights. Other minor differences include a lack of flash hider, replacement of the semi-auto system with an oil bottle, and removal of the full-auto selector.
Interestingly, the weapon is largely stock. The bolt carrier, bolt, receiver internals, and barrel are all the same as frontline weapons. The lever/bolt action is welded onto the side of the rifle and by using the combo, provides for excellent primary extraction making up for the camming surface of single-piece bolts common on true bolt action weapons.
For the full details on the rifle, check out the video from Forgotten Weapons below!