Object Title

Centrefire automatic rifle - Experimental SA80 Enfield Weapon System Individual Weapon (EWS IW) wooden mock-up

Centrefire automatic rifle - Experimental SA80 Enfield Weapon System Individual Weapon (EWS IW) wooden mock-up

Date

1970

Object Number

PR.10084

Provenance

Gifted with the Pattern Room by the Ministry of Defence, August 2005

Physical Description

Composed mainly of black painted wood, with some metal components; the barrel, flash suppressor, sling loops, trigger guard, handguard retaining band, faux bolt and return spring, a complete EM-2 optical sight, and two metal reinforcing plates for the magazine well and bolt handle cutout respectively (as well as various pins and screws). There are only two genuine firearm components on the ‘gun’. One is the rubber eyepiece from a Sight Unit, Infantry, Trilux (SUIT) optical sight as then used on a designated marksman basis on the SLR. The fake sight on the mock-up is intended to be the ‘streamlined’ prototype then under development and already known as ‘Sight Unit, Small Arms, Trilux’ (SUSAT - the SUSAT remains in limited use today). The other, intriguingly, is the butt-plate. This is marked ‘D.R. Co.’ (a subcontractor to Enfield) and ‘C.R.1194’ (a drawing number). As shooters of ‘miniature’ rifles will know, this is the butt-plate from a Rifle, No.8; the standard Enfield bolt-action .22LR military trainer still in use by cadets today (though about to be replaced). The mock-up features some moving parts, namely a detachable magazine, sprung moving trigger, functioning safety, a detachable mock SUSAT sight, and unlike any later version of the design, a 1x optical sight (an actual EM-2 ‘UOS’ (‘Unit, Optic, Sight’) built into a pivoting carry handle. This is intended to lie flat alongside the receiver when not in use, but can then be rotated into position when the SUSAT sight is removed. Interestingly, the requirement for an optical sight was at this stage not due to the potential for increased user accuracy, but to the belief that an iron sight base would be too short on a bullpup for effective use. The only markings on the piece are the numerals ‘2105’ in white paint on both sides, and ‘(721)’ over ‘120’ on the right side magazine well. The significance of these is unknown.

Techniques

Wood carving

Materials

Dimensions

GunWeight3.16kg
GunWeight6.97lb
Barrellength20.9in.
Barrellength530mm

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number NVN

Associations