Amongst those at the top of my UKSF expert list is UCAP Andy. He knows things. He’s also a very direct, salt of the earth chap who’s done a lot for UK airsoft. I’ve known him since the mid-noughties, prior to UCAP, which he owns. He drove all the way from Portsmouth in a Land Rover (he’s that mil) to collect a Classic Army M15 CQB he bought from me, back in the day. Amongst other businesses, he also runs tactical gear company Alpha2Zulu.
He’s been a CQBR man for some time and his current blaster is the apotheosis of UKSF Done Right.
“Being a collector of all things UKSF and a keen milsim airsofter, I wanted to build the closest airsoft gun possible to the British SF weapon, the L119a1. It’s based on the US M4 and made by Colt Canada – formally Diemaco. The L119a1 is the standard issue weapon of the SAS, SBS and other high end units. With subtle differences to the standard M4, which really set the gun aside, building an L119a1 is easy enough – although getting some of the bits can be a little tricky. As a platform, I used a standard Systema CQBR. This is mainly due to the fact that many RS parts fit without modification.
On the 10” barreled CQBR, the standard foresight is retained. However, the lug for the bayonet is removed to facilitate use of a 6” Surefire suppressor. This would be fitted for the majority of the time, in the wild. The 16” upper has a reinforced foresight fitted, along with a heavier weight barrel of a slightly different design to the CQBR’s.
Both weapons are fitted with a KAC RAS and a genuine one fits straight on the PTW. A Storm grip is also fitted. This is slightly fatter than the standard M4 grip and when not full of motors has a cubby hole for cleaning kit or batteries etc. The stock used is the older style AR-15 version. No fancy Crane stocks or the like, nice and simple. The newer version of the stock, fitted here, has a rough texture. I’ve also fitted an authentic rubber butt pad. The sling plate, unique to the L119a1, is also fitted.
Although not often used for the sake of optics, the L119a1 has its own design carry handle – the DIS. Much thinner and lighter than the standard M4 version with the “D” logo on the rear, these are sought after and really finish off a simple build.
To really finish off *my* build, I chased down a Prime lower receiver with the correct L119a1 trades. Fits like a glove and really makes the project complete. I’ve also fitted the issue Tango Down Battlegrip and Surefire Scoutlight.
I’m not one for fancy internals and special bits and bobs. Other than an etiny board to allow for batteries in the stock tube, the gun is all OEM Systema stuff. I also think it performs well enough as it is, so there are no mods done to it. It has always worked fine.
Once the rifle was built it was painted. Here I was very lucky. I actually got a friend who had done 28 years in UKSF to paint it for me, to match the exact rifle he used in Afghanistan. Watching him paint it was a mixture of excitement and nerves, as it wasn’t like I was going to be able to beat him up if he messed it up! Luckily (for me) he didn’t.
The photos show a PEQ-2a fitted along with a Genuine ACOG; a red dot sight sitting atop. The front wields a Surefire can, which was borrowed for the pictures and returned – sadly!
All in all I’m very happy with it. It shoots well, is easy to use and looks the part!”
Post publication, I received a message from another friend, who shall remain nameless, who knows his UKSF stuff. Funnily enough, I met him at my very first game of airsoft – in 2005 at the old Spectre CQB site, near Hereford:
“One thing I noticed about the L119A1s I looked at in the armouries in Credenhill was that though many were painted, they were ALL immaculately clean. A squaddie will always look after his personal weapon before even his feet.”
I think that says it all.