Words: John Danter
Pics: Alfred Encallado
Today I played my first game with HAO’s L119A2 monolithic upper – or IUR (Integrated Upper Receiver).
I don’t have a ‘legit’ lower for it yet, so it was mated with my Prime L119A1 lower.
Because it’s got a really serious, solid gundrilled steel outer barrel, when you first handle the IUR it feels heavy.
I have to admit I was worried it would be too heavy to play with. I shouldn’t have been this apprehensive, as OEM PTWs come with a hefty steel outer barrel; so the weight should not have been a concern or a surprise – but it was.
Thankfully when shouldered and in use, it doesn’t feel heavy at all. Quite the opposite. The rifle elegantly snapped up when needed and facilitated rapid target acquisition. Closing with targets – rifle ready up and shouldered – was not an issue.
I particularly love the way the upper feels when in motion. The IUR’s scooped sides coupled with a Manta Very Low Profile rail cover on the 6 O’clock rail give a grip and feel I’ve not experienced before.
I’m used to vertical grips, positioned quite close to the L119A1’s delta ring – or the use of an AFG. But the A2’s narrow, slick front end is a great place to support the rifle in a more direct manner.
If you have small hands like I do you can grip the IUR with ease. This leads to a very comfortable hold and it’s easy to aim and point the rifle. It’s also easy to find the gun’s centre of gravity, as your support hand can move up and down the front end freely. This will be particularly welcome when I add a suppressor, as I won’t need to move a vert grip or AFG – for example – to address the shift in balance.
Activating the laser using the Surefire dual switch on the 12 O’clock rail was also a breeze. I do love a good laser and in daylight, this was used for spotting and conveying to team mates enemy positions.
So, you can see why the A2 is an improvement over the A1 design and the lack of a huge delta ring and heavy barrel nut – made possible by the monolithic upper design – must help handling in one way or another.
I loved the feel of it, anyway.
I will now look forward to a new A2 lower and being able to rebuild my A1 for a nice side by side handling comparison.
It’s early days and maybe it’s all my head, but I do think the A2 nudges it.
Catch up on part one of this article here.