Words: Gaz Perkins
Pics: Snook Snaps and Gaz Perkins
In 2016 Jay Bell and I – along with a few others on the UKSF impressions scene – were trying to figure out how the new L119A2 could be replicated in airsoft; just like we had been doing for over ten years with the A1.
The big difference between the A1 and A2 is the A2’s monolithic upper receiver. This is where the rail and upper are not separate parts as with a conventional M4, but a contiguous unit. Back then and indeed right now, this simply does not exist in airsoft form. So we began to think outside the box.
Jay in his usual belt and braces fashion had been carefully collecting images and resources and began canvassing factories to bring a product to market: a standalone rail, fashioned after the A2’s monolitic upper receiver. This solution would be both photorealistic and compatible with existing builds, without having to replace the entire upper.
As it happened I knew that Angry Gun had made a mounting system for another product which could work for the project we had in mind. Armed with this knowledge Jay spoke to Angry Gun who agreed they would produce the rail, if a retailer would agree to a minimum order.
This was where Jay approached me – as the manager of Redwolf’s UK Office – to see if I could help from a professional perspective. Quite apart from my personal interest in the L119A2, I was sure the project represented an appropriate commerical investment for Redwolf.
So, a deal was agreed where Redwolf UK would help support the rail’s development costs and guarantee a minimum commitment to production, in exchange for exclusive distribution rights for a defined period.
As with everything in business, it was a risk. But Redwolf’s senior management trusted my judgement and as soon as we saw the first night of pre-orders we knew we were right to press ahead.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Back before we begain developing the A2 rail with Angry Gun, I was using a GHK M4. Through personal preference and practicality, I fitted it with a Geissele Mk4 SMR, Ergo grip, Magpul ASAP sling plate and CTR stock.
As it happened, it was pointed out that this somewhat resembled the L119A2 rifle so when the prototype A2 rail was done it made sense to replace the SMR.As the build progressed and I started nailing some of the details, it became evident that the GHK lent itself well to the project due to its ability to take real parts – such as the correct selector, which in airsoft form is a really big problem to find.
I switched the existing Ergo grip, which was black, to the correct tan version which the L119A2 ships with. Next, I found a Colt Canada buffer tube nice and cheap. Then I decided it was time to recreate the reinforced areas between the rail and the upper, which would give the illusion of the real monolithic form factor.
This was done of an evening spent with black Milliput and various craft tools, plus close-up photos of the RS for comparison.
Since then optic mounts, switches and light set-ups have been changed around to get the feel dialled-in. However, whenever I change something it still has to fit into the ergonomic framework I’ve become accustomed to and practiced in. Muscle memory really counts in difficult situations, so I don’t want to wonder where that switch has gone or having to re-adjust my grip while dealing with multiple threats.
The finishing touches will be milling work to the top rail and the engraving of all the required markings. This is something I intend to complete soon, but I’m awaiting my choice of engraver to be ready for the job.
- GHK 10.5” M4 GBB
- GHK 12” UPPER WITH 3.7” BARREL EXTENSION
- COLT CANADA 3 POSITION BUFFER TUBE
- COLT CARBINE BUFFER
- HARD RECOIL SPRING (AIRSOFT)
- MAGPUL ASAP SLING PLATE
- MAGPUL CTR STOCK (TAN)
- NORDIC MARKSMAN EXTENDED CHARGING LATCH
- COLT CANADA AMBI SELECTOR AND DETENT
- G&P AMBI MAG RELEASE (NORGON STYLE)
- ERGO 2 PISTOL GRIP (TAN)
- STEEL REPLICA SUREFIRE 216A FLASH HIDER
- STEEL LOW PROFILE GAS BLOCK (MODDED WITH ALLEN SCREW)
- ELEMENT LA5 PEQ BOX WITH CORRECT STICKER SET FROM JAY (X2 AS ONE ON THE LONG UPPER)
- TRIJICON ACOG TA01 WITH RMR AND LARUE QD MOUNT (PRIMARY OPTIC)
- REPLICA T1 RED DOT WITH GG&G THROW LEVER MOUNT (SECOND CHOICE OPTIC)
- REPLICA M600 SCOUTLIGHT WITH DUAL SWITCH
- MAGPUL AFG2 (GREY) NOT ALWAYS MOUNTED