The last substantive update I gave on my Tackleberried HAO L119A2 Systema PTW was back in December 2019, but the refinements didn’t stop there – marginal though they are.
The current version is 2.6.
What’s occurred to me over the months is that I’ve pretty much decided on a set of core (but essentially removable) items like the RS Magpul MOE K2 grip (converted for PTW by Tackleberry), RS Aimpoint Micro T2 and mounting platform, RS Colt Canada Charging Handle (modded by Tackleberry); and Bruno’s 3D printed Surefire FA556SA replica – although I did briefly own an Airsoft Artisan can, which never made it into a formal version of my build.
The other removable stuff is pretty much in dynamic equilibrium, guided by reference pics and the known accessory portfolio of the L119A2. I use the term equilibrium because all later versions of my build are equivalents, with no version failing catastrophically to do its job. It’s got to the point where it’s no longer about optimisation and all about preferences…which sometimes change on a whim. But that’s really why I keep a broad spectrum of absolutely canonical but alternative parts.
If readers aren’t already aware, my canon is contained within the article below. Updated as info emerges, it’s the second most popular article on the blog so far this year and is getting an awful lot of views:
So, this article is a roundup of what’s happened – incrementally – between December 2019’s V2.2 of my L119A2 build and the current V2.6.
Version 2.2 was CLEAN. I’d removed cables, cable tidies and a pressure pad to create a fresh and minimalistic form factor; the AFG2 coming back into use, in place of the BCM vertical grip I’d had on there previously.
This version also saw the debut of a 10” aluminium L119A2 barrel made by HAO, to replace the original steel one which (being of the correct ‘bull’ profile) weighed an absolute ton. The aluminium barrel completely changed the gun’s handling and is highly recommended.
2.2.1 was literally a test of how well I got on with the Magpul MOE SL-K. It’s a great stock which works well with a PC, but isn’t quite optimised for chest rig use – and I mainly wear a rig when I play.
Version 2.3 heralded a raft of changes. The Magpul RSA was swapped out for a Magpul RSA QD and I added a BFG QD sling swivel to a Viking Tactics two point adjustable sling – which replaced the padded version by the same brand. I’d spotted this sling in the reference pics, so I thought I’d give it a try – despite considering myself a die hard padded sling proponent.
Well what do you know? Since switching to the aluminium barrel in V2.2 of my build, my gun is a lot lighter and therefore I no longer need a wider sling – or a padded one, for that matter.
Comfort aside, the 1” wide webbing of the VTAC is very low bulk compared to any pad and just glides over stuff. It feels more like it’s not there, unless you need it. Of course, I replaced the paracord adjuster with a Ferro Pull Tab.
As an aside, Ferro is now making a non-padded version of its signature Slingster – The Naked Slingster. It’s pretty much what I’ve ended up with here, but available to buy as one package – and we already know that Ferro slings are in use with UKSF.
The decision to go to QD at the front end of this build was in no way essential, but it tidied things up and the RSA QD spans a fraction less of the top rail than the non-QD version. I was also sick of the bulky ITW snap hook, which was a pain to attach and detach. The RSA QD also makes the sling hang more to my liking when going hands free.
Of course, the significant change here was getting rid of the AFG2 in favour of a Grip Pod.
Again, this was inspired by a reference pic and a good friend just happened to have one handy for me.
I’ve got to say that although the looks are debatable, it’s an excellent piece of kit for woodland or anywhere you spend time going prone. I’ll be keeping it my kit bag to swap in and out of the lineup depending on circumstances.
Also of note, I swapped out the CTR in favour of my ACS stock. This was partly for looks but also partly for comfort and I really get on well with it, despite the bulk. Needless to say it’s well referenced, although in black.
Here I changed the black Grip Pod for a tan one (which is current British Army issue). The bigger change was less obvious: removing the RS Colt Canada mag catch in favour of an OEM Systema one.
This is because the RS catch is harsh as hell and made changing mags a lot slower. RS Pmag conversions for PTW exhibit a shoulder at the mouth of the mag shell. The rather unconventional Colt Canada mag catch likes to conflict with it, a little while before the mag locks into place – so it’s less smooth movement and more of a wiggle to get the mag to seat.
HAO’s replica of the Colt Canada mag catch gets around this problem with a modified catch shape and by adding depth adjustability. I couldn’t be bothered with the trial and error of making the adjustments, so I went with the tried and tested (and high quality) Systema item.
Back to the CTR stock this time. It’s a constant battle between this and the ACS. The ACS is bulky and heavy – but longer and more comfortable. The CTR is the antithesis.
I also added a Manta Suppressor Cover in the camo colourway. The cover is really just for getting that ‘SD’ look and in fairness does completely change the A2’s appearance.
With 2.5 I retained the Manta can cover but went rather more slick at the front end; the Grip Pod removed (but not discarded) in favour of a Manta Very Low Profile rail cover. This is because I realised that I don’t always want to put my support hand in the same position, every time. It’s really dependent on what position I’m in and the cover I have available.
Also note that I’ve moved the Magpul RSA QD further towards the LA5 replica.
This is the current iteration, where I’ve dropped the can cover until I paint the gun. As mentioned earlier, the Grip Pod will remain in my kit bag until needed and so in a sense is part of this version too.
I’ve got a load of paint in for the paint job, although I’m yet to decide on the colours to use. I also have some Kryptek stencils on the way and my intention is to learn to use them while I’m experimenting with colours.
A parts list follows.
- Tackleberried Systema PTW
- HAO L119A2 full kit
- RS Aimpoint Micro T2
- RS Aimpoint Micro LRP mount
- RS Aimpoint Micro 39mm spacer
- RS Colt Canada trigger guard
- RS Colt Canada six position receiver extension
- RS Colt Canada receiver extension nut
- RS Colt Canada ambi charging handle assembly
- RS Colt Canada ejector port cover assembly
- RS Inforce WMLx Gen 2 white/IR
- RS Magpul Magpul MOE K2 grip
- RS Magpul CTR stock
- RS Magpul ASAP receiver end plate
- RS Magpul RSA QD forward sling mount
- RS Magpul Pmags converted by Tackleberry
- RS Manta Very Low Profile rail panel
- RS Viking Tactics two point adjustable sling with Ferro pull tab
- Bruno’s Surefire FA556SA 3D printed replica suppressor
- Element LA5 with Jay Taranis’ UKSF spec label kit