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General Information[edit | edit source]
The L86A1 LSW (Light Support Weapon) is a magazine-fed squad automatic weapon originally intended to provide fire support at a fireteam level. Its barrel is longer than the L85A1 and has a shorter handguard with a support stock with lightening holes protruding from the front holding a bipod. The stock has a shoulder strap and rear vertical grip. The weapon is otherwise identical to the L85 version on which it is based, and the same 30-round magazines and sighting systems are used. Like the L85 rifle, it has a selector on the left side behind the magazine housing, enabling either single shots or automatic fire. The bolt and trigger system are modified, so the gun can be fired from open bolt.
The increased barrel length, bipod and the optical performance of the SUSAT give the weapon excellent accuracy, increased muzzle velocity and further stabilizes the bullet, giving a greater effective range. From its inception, the L86 was a target of criticism on much the same basis as the L85. The LSW has the additional issue (shared by any light support weapon derived from a rifle, for example the heavy-barrel FN FAL) of its inability to deliver sustained automatic fire as it lacks a quick-change barrel, and belt feed.
For a time, the primary use of the LSW shifted to that of a marksman's weapon within many infantry sections, capable of providing precision fire at ranges of over 600 m; however, it was replaced in this role by the Rifle, 7.62 mm L129A1. The role of a light support weapon is instead filled by the L110A2 Light Machine Gun FN Minimi, which is a belt fed weapon with a quick-change barrel.
The L86A1 was upgraded to the L86A2 at the same time as L85A1 rifles were upgraded to L85A2 standards, undergoing the same set of modifications.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
British Soldier carrying L86 from the January 2018 Recap
Media[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Although designed with the Automatic Rifleman Role in mind it became a marksman's weapon in practice until replaced by the L129A1. The L86A2 was phased out of service by the British Army in late 2018.