Don’t forget that they had to ask H&K to fix the L85A1; and they had the most difficult time doing so.
H&K, who is known to have legendary engineers who can manufacture a gun with a rotary action, have burst fire, barely any recoil, fire caseless ammunition, and had an extremely low fail rate WERE STUMPED WHEN IT CAME TO FIXING THE L85A1.
How do you make something so bad that marvels of gun engineering take a look at it, read your request, and say, “Why not just buy something that works?”
In the end, they TRIED to fix it. It still had jamming problems, on top of being a garbage design in every way. Not even afghan rebels wanted to pick them up. Their dirty, mud-caked, blown gas tube AK-47s were more reliable.
Leave it to the British and French to kill anyone who actually knew what they were doing, hire incompetence, and whine about it later. At least with the French, a good design is rare and thus have had time to really consider if killing the engineer is a good idea.
But they SHOULD’VE killed the general who decided to put the Lebel into service. Georges Ernest Boulanger is a moron for jumping the gun on breakthroughs in science and engineering, and NOT capitalizing on their strong points.