1. Introduction

Last week, LBT posted a very cool pic on Instagram. For the specific attention of UKSF fans, the image was identified and posted by Jay Taranis on his L119 Owners Club.

It’s shown below and is the subject of this article.

The LBT Pic – UKSF L119A2

2. Parts list and notes

3. Narrative

There’s been a lot of discussion over this L119A2 (both on Jay’s group and L119 Lovers) because on first impression the setup challenges preconceptions.

For this reason and others, some have concluded that it’s airsoft; some think that it’s military (but not UKSF); some have decided it’s a civilian build.

Along with Jay and the owners of two notable Facebook groups (UKSF Impression/Reference and L119 Lovers), others agree that on balance of probabilities this image is legit.

I’m of the same opinion, so here’s a run through of some of the most basic questions.

3.1. Is it airsoft?

Overall, the receiver is just too perfect, the paint too authentic and the can too battered to be airsoft.

There is a smoking gun, however, spotted by Jay. The upper exhibits nuances unlikely to be rendered in Miliput modelling putty (a popular method by which A2 clone builders mimic definitive features of the monolithic upper).

L119A2 IUR ejector port lug detail

If you look closely at the rear lug which holds the axle for the ejection port cover (red box), the underside exhibits the same slot as the RS (and HAO, which I use in the two pics below to illustrate).

It’s also noticeable on the front lug, though to a lesser degree due to the angle of the photo.

Furthermore, there is no line demarcating the junction of rail and receiver. It’s an illusion, resolved by zooming in.

Eliminating an Angry Gun rail equipped upper then leads us to HAO, but it’s not a HAO upper – although you have to know the HAO well (or have it in front of you) to make that distinction.

The lower, too, has a feature not seen on airsoft lowers to date (although I hear it may be part of HAO’s forthcoming GBB kits).

3.2. Is it a UK spec IUR?

The L119A2 uses a Colt Canada Integrated Upper Receiver (IUR) of a type which is idiosyncratic to the UK. There are other IURs out there, but those too are country specific. The closest to the UK’s is Canada’s, but it’s different enough to be an easy spot.

3.3. Aren’t the accessories a bit weird for UKSF?

The truth is that the build exhibits only two accessories which to my knowledge have not been seen in previous open source L119 pics: the stock and the sling. Once realised, it is difficult to dismiss the LBT pic on the grounds of the A2’s peripherals.

What about the EOtech? It’s known to be in use, although (recently) rarely seen.

The LA5 is evidently real and you don’t see many of those floating about in civilian hands on either side of the Atlantic.

3.4. Why is the can a strange colour?

Basically, it’s been heavily used. The colour is a sign of a long service life – specifically a lot of rounds. Therefore this is no flat range hobby gun. In addition, how many militaries use a SOCOM pattern can?

Same deal with the paint. This is so not a gun of casual use, or one where the paint has been artificially weathered.

4. Further thoughts

I’ve had one of the MFT Battlelink stocks (REVIEW) kicking around for years and whilst it polarises opinion like nothing else, it’s super light, svelte and incredibly ergonomic in use – with an angled butt terminating in a rolled toe. Plus, it has way more cheek weld than its minimalist form factor would suggest.

The Tango Down vertical grip looks like another new addition to the LBT A2 build – lacking paint, like the stock. However, it’s a retro design representing a hallmark of L119s in that they sometimes juxtapose old with new; often incongruously. The TD grip has been seen on A1s but, like the stock, to my knowledge it’s never been seen on an A2. Similarly retro, the Magpul XTM rail covers are new to me for A2 (but not A1). So, it looks like it’s time once again to update my list of L119A2 accessories to include these three items – plus the LBT sling.

Lastly, it’s a nice change to see the EOtech pushed so far forward on the rail. One benefit of the L119A2’s Integrated Upper Receiver (IUR) is the continuous top rail – often referred to as monolithic. This means that unlike a conventional two part rail and receiver, the EOtech is less likely to wander off zero if the front end is smacked.

Talking of getting smacked, I wonder how that chunk was taken out of the Ergo grip?

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