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Thread: Rock and Roll with an L1A1..............

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  1. #1
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    Rock and Roll with an L1A1..............

    There have been a few myths about converting an issue L1A1 rifle to the select fire role. It wasn't THAT simple for the average soldier to make the L1 series of rifle fire automatic, believe me.

    The first method was to try to rotate the change lever around to the 'A' position but this was impossible due to its shape and by being prevented from going past the shaft of the 'PIN, axis, trigger' protruding from the left side, just to prevent this. You could try to cut it short, but it was deliberately hard, just to prevent this so grinding it would be the only option.



    You could try to completely remove the change lever but it was held in place with an akwardly placed split pin. However, even if you DID manage to get it out completely, with your thin screwdriver and snipe nosed pliers, you were stuffed again because;
    the trigger will NOT rotate far enough to the rear to enable .... blah blah... because the PLUNGER, trigger (behind the 'PLATE, grip pistol') is deliberately too long to allow it to be pushed in far enough. And if you DO try to press it in further, the guide hole in the GRIP pistol is too short AND the 'SPRING sear and trigger' (interchangeable...) becomes coil bound as I seem to remember it.

    There was a method, using a matchstick between the rear bent of the SEAR and the rear step of the trigger, but that meant taking the trigger assembly OUT........., and you can't do that without taking the LEVER, change out..... and that's retained by that bloody akward split pin. AND, if you did manage this, on the range without being noticed, you would have a rifle that only fired automatic. Try explaining that away to the range conducting Officer when his fire order was something like '...5 rounds application - at the target in front - , in your own time, - go on!

    You COULD have a select fire L1A1 rifle, but it would have to be an Armourer that did it for you or a VERY astute and mechanically minded soldier, believe me.

    First, you'd have to copy the L2 change lever profile, then remove the trigger plunger an grind .2" from the inner end...., yes, grind it because it's very hard, for that reason! Then you've got yourself a what we Armourers called a 'big Iron'! And when a standard L1A1 lets rip on auto, it REALLY does let rip. But to be truly honest, they shake themselves to bits. For example. The gas cylinder lasts for about a day, due to it continually splitting along the weak flat area where the PIN, fixing, gas cylinder prevents it from unscrewing. Even our L2A1's were little boys trying to do a mans job. They were just heavy rifles......., and not even accurate heavy rifles. There's only one gun that can be a section machine gun and it's not a heavy rifle....., it's a BREN gun

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    Member jeff hamerstone's Avatar
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    Pete ; You hit the nail right on the head with that one!!!

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    Ummmn, Peter, I think you forgot an important point...

    Turning an L1A1 change lever into a "look-a-like" L2 change lever is merely what we would today refer to as "mall commando" or "LCF" (looks cool factor).

    I really don't see the point in trying to mimic the outter profile of the C2/L2 change lever as the important bit is the internal cut in the shaft which allows the trigger to be pulled further than normal.

    Having said that, whoever thought that reinventing the Browning BAR was a good idea, should have designed something superior to the M.1918, let alone something totally inferior to the FN BAR-D
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 04-07-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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    I see what you're getting at L-E, but you have GOT to configure the outer part of the standard L1A1 change lever to the L2 spec before you can even start to configure the internal chamfer. That's because without the external configuration (to clear the protruding left hand side of the PIN axis trigger), you CANNOT rotate it to the 'A' position. And to be fair (and we're nit-picking a bit here really.....) you can chamfer the inner shaft to create greater room for trigger rotation until the cows come home, but if you can't rotate the change lever................, then you ain't got rock and roll!

    A great thread, keep it up

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    Member jeff hamerstone's Avatar
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    Well and correct me if I'm wrong gentlemen, the only way you can change a semi L1A1 to selective fire is to mill the receiver, install an ejector block, and use the correct selector switch. Great Thread!!!

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    Member jeff hamerstone's Avatar
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    And install the safety sear

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    From what you're saying Jeff, it would appear that there might be TWO variants. I am only familiar with the UKicon and Australianicon L1A1 rifle. That is single shot 'R' or safe 'S' only. To change it to automatic, you don't need a safety sear or ejector block as it's already there ..... unless there is a version, maybe a commercial version with an ejector block NOT machined for a safety (or Automatic) sear.

    To convert an L1A1, as issued, you need to change the change lever to the L2 version, or modify what you've got, shorten the PLUNGER, trigger, take two coils off the SPRING, trigger plunger. Then you've got a big iron.

    That's the way to shake your L1A1 rifle to bits in a day.

    Is there a commercial L1A1 machined without the facility for a safety sear Jeff?

    Great thread...............

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    Member jeff hamerstone's Avatar
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    Pete; I'm pretty sure all commercial receivers that are sold have ejector blocks without the cut for the safety sear. Some receivers on the market come without any ejector block installed.

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    Ah, Jeff., you have answered the question. Because without the safety or automatic sear, you can't have auto fire on our UKicon Military L1A1's.

    I modified my standard L1A1 to fire automatic just because as Armourers, we could! I used it on the range quite often during our Armourers range test days. I let rip with a burst of machine gun fire from my L1A1 while stood up in the fire trench. I heard someone behind me say ' .....what the xxxx's he got there! Good fun if you could get away with it!

    It seems as if someone got wise and deleted the auto sear facility on the commercials.

    We were told during our apprenticeships that the auto fire features had to remain on the rifles because every change from the norm meant buying a 'purchase licensing concession' from FN. So little things like folding cocking handles and manual holding open device, UK design flash eliminator, redesign trigger mechanism housing cost a lot of money. As did every(?) modification we did to it up to 25 years afterwards too.

    For our FN MAG 58 GPMG's we had to pay for every modification too. Shame that there isn't a forum for those too. We call 'em GBF's for Great balls of fire!

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    Pete; That is very interesting, thanks for that. I have never made a conversion only because it is illegal and comes with a seven year jail sentence in this country. I have fired many weapons full auto in the army. (even blew my ear drums out on a ma duece). It has always been a hope of mine to fire a L1A1 in the dance mode. I own several versions of the FN though, that I built. One of my favorites is a L1A1 with matching #'s and nice furniture, I even have the original upper that was saw cut, I welded it back together someday I'll make a display gun out of it.

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