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Discussion Starter #1
So when folks were learning how to handle the SLR, what did the Army teach you about the rear sight? I assume it was flipped down most of the time; at what point were you taught to flip it up? Did you make sure it was up before crossing the LD out of a patrol base or something? Was glancing down to ensure it was still up, a continual procedure while you were moving through the woods or the streets?

Or was it meant to be kept down on patrol and flipped up only when engagement was imminent? And, if so, what was the "procedure" for it? Did you flip it up with your firing hand just before disengaging the safety with your firing thumb?

Inquiring (enquiring?) minds want to know!
 

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I wasn't a British soldier issue a L1A1, but I can tell you the rear sight may have been stowed (folded down) when they were in the arms room. Or, if a night vision sight (NVS) or TRILUX optic was put on the rifle, all other times they were folded up either in the field or elsewhere where they would need to be used quickly to engage

if you search for British soldier in northern Ireland or in other places where they were, they all have their sight folded up, regardless if they were on patrol or kicked back. only time you see them folded down is if they have optics on them, which is the main reason why they made them fold, to clear the optics
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Makes sense.

Just something else to glance down and check while patrolling through thick brush, I suppose.
 

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I wasn't a British soldier issue a L1A1, but I can tell you the rear sight may have been stowed (folded down) when they were in the arms. Or, if a night vision sight (NVS) or TRILUX optic was put on the rifle, all other times they were folded up either in the field or elsewhere where they would need to be used quickly to engage

if you search for British soldier in northern Ireland or in other places where they were, they all have their sight folded up, regardless if they were on patrol or kicked back. only time you see them folded down is if they have optics on them, which is the main reason why they made them fold, to clear the optics
^^^^
THIS.
The Trilux SUIT won't clear the rear sight unless its foldable & folded.
The Gen 1 NV clears by a mile so its the trilux only, My folding rear is actually Indian because its a metric FAL & the Indian rear sight fixes the difference in sigh heights nicely.
3795411
 
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From memory it was the last action of the ‘load’ drill.
Check safety catch,
Fit magazine,
Check rear sight. (Raise sight, but I can’t remember if it was fully rear or 1 click forward)
All done with the left hand, right hand always stays on the pistol grip.
Right hand thumb disengages safety catch. Left hand engages it.

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Discussion Starter #6
From memory it was the last action of the ‘load’ drill.
Check safety catch,
Fit magazine,
Check rear sight. (Raise sight, but I can’t remember if it was fully rear or 1 click forward)
All done with the left hand, right hand always stays on the pistol grip.
Right hand thumb disengages safety catch. Left hand engages it.

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Wow. Left hand engages safety catch? That's a new one...

Thanks! This is the kind of thing I was looking for.
 

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Purely a visually safe part of the drill for any onlooker I presume. If the left hand is near the safety then the safety must be on. Also from the users perspective, if your left hand is on the safety then you must be switching the safety catch to safe. Handy when your brains numbed in the frozen arctic or searing heat of a desert (or a wet Wednesday in the U.K.) ND’s cost money and were very embarrassing.
Because the rear sight could easily have been accidentally moved it was also checked when the weapon was made ‘ready’.

‘Ready’ drill.
Check safety on
Check rear sight
Cock the action.

‘Unload’ drill
Check safety on
Remove magazine
Cock action 3 times
Lock action to the rear
Visually check chamber clear
(Above sequence of 3 known as ‘cock, hook and look)
Release the action
Safety off
Fire off the action
Safety on
Lower the sight.

‘Make safe’ drill is an ‘unload’ followed by a ‘load’

The sight is also checked during the various ‘stoppage’ drills

So basically unless an auxiliary sight is in place the rear sight is always up when a magazine is fitted.

All the above is from memory so I may be ‘off’ in my recall but that’s basically it. Last time I used one was ‘92 when we transitioned to the L85.

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Dragging my memory back to the early 80's I think Fred2892 is correct or near enough.

Incidentally I'm sure that if I had an SLR in my hands today and someone gave the order "ready" or "load" I would do the correct drill solely through muscle memory.
 

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The official Australian drill taught was;

LOAD, physically check safety catch with left hand, withdraw magazine containing rounds from webbing pouch and place magazine on rifle.

ACTION, physically check safety with left hand, pull cocking handle fully to rear and release (let it fly forward under it's own steam, don't ease it forward), raise rear sight and set range.

INSTANT, bring rifle to shoulder and disengage safety with right thumb.

UNLOAD, apply safety with left hand, remove magazine and place it in webbing pouch, tilt rifle to right, pull cocking handle to rear (noting where unfired round lands if/when ejected), with working parts to the rear, rotate rifle anti clockwise and visually inspect boltface and chamber through ejection port. If no round present declare CLEAR. Rotate rifle clockwise back to vertical, ease working parts forward, disengage safety with left hand, pull trigger, engage safety with left hand, reset rear elevation and fold down rear sight, recover ejected live round from ground and replace in magazine.

When carrying out all handling drills the master hand never leaves the pistol grip.Lefties had to reach over the rifle with right hand to operate the safety and cocking handle.

Weapons were normally in the ACTION condition when on patrol, therefore sights were up.
 
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