The L86A1 LSW is a magazine-fed automatic weapon originally intended to provide fire support at a fireteam level. It has a longer barrel than the L85A2 rifle and a bipod, shoulder strap and rear pistol grip, together with a shorter handguard. The extended barrel provides an increased muzzle velocity and further stabilizes the bullet, giving a greater effective range. The weapon is otherwise identical to the L85 version on which it is based, and the same 30-rd magazines (60 round magazines also being available) and sighting systems are used. Like the L85 rifle, it has a rate-of-fire selector on the left side behind the magazine housing, enabling either single shots or automatic fire.
The increased barrel length, bipod and the optical performance of the SUSAT give the weapon excellent accuracy. From its inception, the L86 was a target of criticism on much the same basis as the L85. The LSW has the additional issue (shared by any light support weapon derived from a rifle, for example the heavy-barrel FN FAL) of its inability to deliver sustained automatic fire as it does not have a quick-change barrel, and is not belt fed.
The primary use of the LSW has shifted to that of a marksman's weapon within many infantry sections, capable of providing extremely accurate precision fire at ranges of over 600 m. The role of a light support weapon is instead filled with the L110A1 FN Minimi which is a belt fed weapon with a quick-change barrel. In Project Reality, the L86A2 is the main weapon of the British Marksman class, equiped with a SUSAT scope and bipod, it allows for percise, accurate fire over long ranges. Prior to v1.0, it was also the one of the few marksman rifles in the game to have a full auto firing mode, though is now restricted to semi-auto fire.
- Used by British Armed Forces
- SUSAT & Bipod
- Iron Sights & Bipod