Words and Pics: The Geardo Crow
L119A2 is the designation for the rifle and carbine currently issued to certain elements of U.K. Special Forces (UKSF).
Introduced in 2015, it was first verified in the public domain from photos taken during Exercise Winchester Accord in 2016.
These pictures became prolific in the UKSF impression community and sparked many people’s interests in creating their own replicas.
The more modern design elements of the L119A2, including the semi-slick monolithic rail and improved furniture, were implemented to improve the ergonomics of the rifle; and also increase its capability through features like its free-float barrel.
Hands On with the Real L119A2
My first experience with an issued L119A2 was being handed one to use, whilst playing enemy for some gentlemen down in Hereford.
The rifle I was given was outfitted with an ACOG TA01 and a length of bungee cord for a sling – hardly representative of how they are usually equipped.
Some readers may have seen this reference pic of the 10″ A2 I used:
Even with this spartan loadout – no LA5 or light up front – it was very clear that the A2 is a front heavy weapon; partly due to its thicker, more accurate barrel. As someone used to the balance of an SA80, it was certainly a shock to the left arm.
Whilst we only shot simunition, it was noticeable in a force-on-force environment how pointable this rifle is, and it fits well into close quarters fighting.
As a short-barrelled AR-15 it is hardly reinventing the wheel, but as a weapon system for those who blow down doors and give people very rude awakenings, it is nice to see that they have a very capable tool in their armoury.
My L119A2 Build
My L119A2 started its life as a Tokyo Marui NGRS Mk18, as I’m sure many others did too.
Throughout the build I haven’t strictly stayed within the lines of what “has been seen”.
As a rule of thumb, squaddies at all levels buy their own kit. For this reason, I believe that anything on the rifle that can be changed with a screwdriver and a set of Allen keys is fair game, and that the rifle will still be an L119A2.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the BCM Gunfighter range, and have tweaked my build in order to use the parts that I want or find most comfortable.
Now, while I don’t subscribe to the cult of “has been seen”, I have seen BCM – which may be important to readers looking for that extra bit of justification to break the mould.
Items like optics and aiming devices seem to stay constant on the real rifles, and so I kept my T1 (later T2) and LA-5 in line with what was accepted as kosher.
The only missing pieces that I believe really detract from my rifle’s “A2 status” are the trademarks and other milling work required for the receivers, but these are details I can live without and have no plans to get them done any time soon.
Sourcing the Parts
When I was originally putting the build together, I was away in South Sudan. This meant I had time to find parts, and a healthy excess in the bank to fund the project.
Most parts were easy enough to find, and by the time I was home I had accumulated just about everything to get it built overnight. Since then I decided to get an Aimpoint T2 replica for the A2 and relegate my T1 to my L119A1.
This provided a challenge in finding a replica with the correct dimensions, and an Aimpoint LRP mount. Jay, who runs the Taranis Blog, was kind enough to point me to where he got his T2, and I eventually found an LRP mount in Europe that wouldn’t cost me a whole kidney (it ended up being about half of one).
Conclusion and Next Steps
Until something new and shiny takes my fancy, I would say that my A2 is done. Now that it’s working again, I’m hoping it’ll actually get used.
It’s been a long road getting it to where it is now, and yes, a BCM pistol grip is on the wish list; but unfortunately the unforgiving TM motor angle has made this impossible.
Something I’m definitely looking into is a replacement endcap for my Artisan suppressor – one that will securely hold my tracer unit in place.
- TM NGRS
- Angry Gun L119A2 Rail
- Ace1Arms AP T2 Replica
- Aimpoint LRP High Mount
- C&C Tac Wilcox 0.93” Riser
- Repro MBUS Pro Sights
- Battleaxe BCM Stock
- G&P LMT Grip
- Laylax Sling Plate
- FMA Trigger Guard
- True North Arms Cocking Handle latch
- Element LA-5 w/ Jay’s stickers
- Surefire M600 Scout
- Night Evolution Dual Switch
- BCM Gunfighter Mod.3 Grip
- Magpul RSA
- Airsoft Artisan SF-556RC Suppressor
- Ferro Concepts Slingster
- Converted RS E/Pmags
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More articles relating to the L119A2:
- The original L119A2 primer, here
- GG&G AR15 vertical fore-grip in use here
- Magpul QDM and ASAP QD in use here
- 15.7″ L119A2 upper in use here
- Surefire FA556SA Suppressor here
- GG&G Aimpoint T1 mount in use here
- Magpul MS3 sling in use here
- Magpul ACS stock in use here
- Colt Canada parts – as used on the L119A2 – here
- Manta Very Low Profile Rail Covers as used on the L119A2 here
- UKSF Newcastle raid pics part 1
- UKSF Newcastle raid pics part 2
- UKSF Nairobi Kenya incident L119A2 parts breakdown here
- UKSF Belize ‘Jungle Set-up’ L119A2 parts breakdown here
- Confirmation bias (and the HSP Thorntail offset light mount) here
- UKSF Ecosystem: S&S Precision Sling Clip – Old Gen – here
- Inforce WML-type lights in use here