On initial appraisal, I considered the L119A2 depicted in the recently released Manchester video to pretty ordinary. It seemed to display nothing which hasn’t been seen in previous public reference material.
- An old model Surefire FA556SA suppressor appears to be in use
- The Surefire M600 Scout Light appears to be direct mounted
1.0 Old Model Surefire FA556SA Suppressor in Use?
The old model Surefire FA556SA suppressor has been seen on L119A2s previously but both times I’ve seen it, it’s been attached to one of the FDE Duracoted rifles said to be in use with 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment.
This is the first time I’ve seen it elsewhere and it is identifiable in the video stills by its distinctive collar and bold frontal weld line.
You can read more about the old and new model L119A2 suppressors here.
Also of note is this article about a low cost replica of the old model Surefire FA556SA.
2.0 Surefire M600 Scout Light Direct Mounted?
The second hypothesis is a bit more of a surprise: Surefire M600 appears to be direct mounted.
In general this is a popular method of light attachment. You can read more about it in this article about its implementation on a CAG build, by upp3rz_d0wn3rz.
However, many have concluded previously that because the L119A2 upper is monolithic, the barrel and other items would need to be removed to deliver the modification. Therefore it is reasoned that direct mounting would be less likely to happen, because it’s impractical.
I did originally think a light mount could be located on the 6 o’clock rail, but the space is occupied by an AFG2:
Similarly, there is nothing on the forward picatinny segment.
Equally, none of the alternative light mounts and mounting methods we reviewed (e.g. M-Lok) checked out. A mount would – in our opinion – push the light further from the bore, thus not matching what’s depicted in the video. The light seems very much to be tucked in nice and close to the bore.
With all other options ruled out, only direct mounting remains and it does look consistent (see pics below of my own experiment).
Whether barrel removal – and therefore armourer intervention – was indeed required, or whether the exercise could be completed using say, a ball Allen key, I wanted to find out.
I used my HAO L119A2 monolithic upper and an RS Surefire M600DF:
I’m pleased to report that in terms of slot size, position and clearance this assembly absolutely checks out.
However, I do think that barrel removal would be necessary to mount the light. This means that armourer intervention would be required in the wild.
2.1 Alternative Attachment Method?
Lastly, an alternative direct mount technique could be to use zip ties to secure the M600 to the rail. This was considered less likely than the bolt method, but seems feasible.
It also means that the light could be attached or detached without recourse to barrel removal.
Of course, the zip ties would need to compete with heat from the barrel.
A quick and dirty test of this method pulled the light eccentrically so that it did not resemble the reference pics, but seating was solid.
More articles about the real steel UKSF L119A2:
- The original L119A2 primer, here
- GG&G AR15 vertical fore-grip in use here
- Magpul QDM and ASAP QD in use here – part 1
- Magpul QDM and ASAP QD in use here – part 2
- 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 – part 1
- Magpul ACS stock in use here – part 2
- Colt Canada parts – as used on the L119A2 – here
- Manta Very Low Profile Rail Covers here
- S&S Precision Sling Clip – Old Gen – here
- Inforce WML-type lights in use here
- UKSF Newcastle UK incident part 1 – here
- UKSF Newcastle UK incident part 2 – here
- UKSF Nairobi Kenya incident L119A2 parts breakdown here
- UKSF Nairobi Kenya incident Proctor Way of the Gun Sling here
- UKSF Nairobi Kenya incident LaRue RISR here
- UKSF Nairobi Kenya incident Surefire RM45L M620 Scout mount here
- UKSF Belize ‘Jungle Set-up’ L119A2 parts breakdown here