Words: Rich Norman
Since May 2016 when this article was originally published, I’ve done my best to keep it refreshed with L119A2 updates. I’ve learned about these through my own research and from people in the know (some of whom have legit real world contacts).
However, in its original format and with a raft of assumptions it was beginning to creak. So, it’s now August 2018 and I’ve decided to abbreviate and restructure it.
A collection of public in the wild pics is situated at the end.
For me, this article feels truly collaborative.
The below pic of the Colt Canada L119A2 in use with UKSF at Exercise Winchester Accord was originally posted on the L119 Owners Club Facebook group in May 2016, by Jay Taranis; one of the well respected UKSF impression scene aficionados mentioned above.
Below are legacy screenshots from Colt Canada’s website, which were used at the time to cross-reference with the Winchester Accord pic, in order to better understand the composition of the L119A2.
Needless to say, additional information has come to light in the past two years.
Since 2016, it’s been observed that there are two distinct variants of the L119A2. They are popularly defined by their uppers, although the differences between the two concern the kit-out of the lower as well:
- “IUR” – partial RIS; available in 10” and 15.7” barrel lengths
- “Alternative IUR” – full RIS; 10” barrel length only
The L119A2 exhibits a monolithic upper, meaning that the rail and upper receiver are conjoined in one continuous unit. It is referred to as IUR – which means Integrated Upper Receiver.
In 2016, I pointed out that LMT owns the patent on monolithic uppers and that they successfully prevented Mega Arms from marketing their own one-piece upper.
It later became apparent that Colt Canada had officially licensed the monolithic upper receiver design from LMT, as evidenced by the US Patent number shown on the partial RIS ‘Alternative IUR’ L119A2.
See the patent PDF here.
The pic below shows a 2017 UKSF contract IUR, sold commercially by Colt Canada domestically. It is not known whether IURs delivered to UKSF since 2017 have exhibited the patent number. Earlier IURs did not and instead have their serial number displayed in this position.
Common Features – “IUR” and “Alternative IUR”
The following package is thought to be shared by both the “IUR” and “Alternative IUR” versions of the L119A2:
- Magpul CTR stock
- Original Ergo grip
- Geissele trigger group
- Standard trigger guard, or;
- Magpul MOE trigger guard
- Magpul RSA
- 511 VTAC two point sling, or;
- Magpul MS3
- Various Colt Canada ancillaries including QD sling swivel, sling mount and grenade adaptor attachment
- 10″ and 15.7″ barrel lengths
- Surefire FH556-216a flash hider
- Norgon-style Colt Canada ambi mag catch
- Colt Canada ambi charging handle (often has extended ‘tactical’ latch cut down, or replaced entirely)
- Magpul ASAP
“Alternative IUR” Features
- 10″ barrel length only
- Birdcage flash hider
- Standard Colt Canada mag catch
- Standard Colt Canada charging handle
- Magpul ASAP-QD
NATO Stock Number – NSN
The L119A2 exhibits a NATO Stock Number – or NSN – on the right hand side of the mag well:
In the above pic we can just about make out an NSN which exhibits this string:
According to the table below, which was posted in the L119A2 Owners Group on Facebook, the string ending 98 corresponds with the 15.7” model.
However, at this date I would be inclined to use the 98 number on a replica lower for either length upper. This is because, so far, I have only seen lowers with NSN markings ending 98 – regardless of upper. So just being cautious.
The 99 lower may well be out there, or the NSN could have been created and never used. Only time will tell.
Also note that 16” (as related below) is an approximation, not the defined length of the rifle length IUR’s barrel (which is 15.7″).
Custom and Practice
Gaz got in touch with some solid gold observed intel, about the extended latch charging handle.
It turns out that in the wild a lot of UKSF charging handles have been swapped out for vanilla versions, because the extended latch catches on gear. Others have had the latches replaced or cut down and in one case, a BCM charging handle has been identified.
The following illustration was provided by Jay Taranis:
Related L119A2 Articles
The Reptile House
- GG&G AR15 vertical fore-grip in use here
- Magpul QDM and ASAP QD in use here
- 15.7″ A2 upper in use here
- Surefire FA556SA Suppressor here
- GG&G Aimpoint T1 mount here
- Ergo grip here