General Information[edit | edit source]
The L85A2 is a gas-operated, rotating bolt, magazine fed assault rifle. The L85A2 started out as the SA80, which was designed by the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) in the 1970s to 1980s. Designing was complicated, and RSAF had struggled to convert the SA80's cartridge from 4.85 mm to 5.56 mm and a large ejection port occurring in the gun. The SA80 was then adopted by the British Army as the standard service rifle in 1985, replacing the L1A1, the British variant of the FN FAL, and was designated L85A1 Individual Weapon (IW). A light machine gun (LMG)/squad automatic weapon (SAW) variant of the gun was produced, later known as the L86A1 Light Support Weapon (LSW).
The L85A1 was widely criticized for its inefficient semi-automatic mode, poor quality plastic furniture fell apart, the gun was damaged easily, as well as other problems. The UK Ministry of Defense looked into the weapon and tested it, and found the gun to be appalling as it jammed greatly. The German company, Heckler & Koch (H&K), owned by BAE Systems at the time (A massive British defense corporation), was contacted to make an improved version of the L85A1. The result was the L85A2, created in 2000. The L85A2 was more successful and efficient than the L85A1 and was positively received by the Ministry of Defense. The L85A2 continued service in the British Army as of today. The SA80 family has been used since the Gulf War.
The L85A2 is a bullpup rifle, meaning the firing mechanism and magazine is behind the trigger. This bullpup design allows the rifle to be shorter as the barrel is pulled back further into the gun, the L85A2 is seven hundred and eighty-five millimetres long whereas the M4A1, a carbine, is eight hundred and forty millimetres long. The weight of the L85A2, when loaded and having an optical sight attached, is five kilograms. The effective range of the L85A2 is six hundred to eight hundred metres, the round travels at nine hundred and forty metres per second. The L85A2 uses 5.56x45 cartridges.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
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Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The L in "L85A2" stands for Land Service, 85 is the model number, A stands for Mark, and 2 stands for the type of Mark, usually to distinguish itself as developed by German designer and manufacturer H&K.