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L119A2: The New British SOF Rifle

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Around 2013, the UK MoD began looking for a new rifle to replace the Special Forces’ L119A1. Those A1 rifles were getting old, and something new was needed – and there was some thought that a new rifle could improve on some shortcomings of the A1 model. The new rifle was produced by Colt Canada (formerly Diemaco), and it was procured in both 10″ and 15.7″ barrel lengths (note that the rifle in this video has a 16″ barrel to avoid being an SBR).

The most distinctive feature of the new L119A2 was the licensed LMT monolithic upper receiver. This was used because it allowed solid mounting of devices like lasers on the side rails. However, it had major shortcomings in terms of heat retention and cleanability. The A2 also now used a MagPul CTR stock, and Geissele triggers (an excellent improvement from the A1’s MILSPEC trigger). The same Surefire suppressors were used, as were the optics form the A1s – the new A2 tender did not include new optic (nor funding for them).

Very few photos are known showing the L119A2. It came into service around 2016 or 2017, and entered public awareness after Christian Craighead was photographed using one in the Nairobi Westlands mall siege in 2019.

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