PIN-POINT PRECISION

WEAPONS OF WAR

A firearm procured to combat the Taliban could transform section firepower in the British Army.
Former instructor Craig Allen explains how the Sharpshooter Rifle continues to fill a void
BELOW A FIELD-STRIPPED L129A1 WITH ACCESSORIES, INCLUDING BAYONET, BAYONET ADAPTOR, ACOG AND MAGNUM UNIVERSAL NIGHT SIGHT
STUART HILL/MOD
 THE L129A1 PROVIDES MUCH-NEEDED SECTION-LEVEL CAPABILITY AT EXTENDED RANGES. THE SHORT 16IN BARREL AND COMPACT DIMENSIONS MEAN IT IS EASILY CARRIED FOR PATROLLING, BUT THIS HAS SOME TRADE-OFFS
16 AA BDE/MOD

In the summer of 2008, I was embedded with ‘B’ Company, 3/PARA on a surge mission into the mountains of Afghanistan's Zabul Province. Accompanying a routine patrol from our temporary base, everything was quiet until we were engaged with a 'mad minute' of machine gun bursts. Dashing to cover, the rifleman gamely returned fire with their L85A2s, but the 5.56mm rounds simply couldn't carry to that distant ridgeline Our machine gunner eventually worked his way forward to lay down fire and I remember thinking we really could have used a few of the old L1A1 SLRs.

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