First Modern Sniper Rifle: “Green Meanie” L96A1
Russ Chastain 04.05.19
In this video, Ian takes a look at the British L96A1 bolt-action sniper rifle from Accuracy International.
Accuracy International was a small company when it first submitted a rifle for testing by the British military, and they didn’t expect to win. Turns out, they beat the likes of SIG, H&K, Remington, and Parker-Hale and won the contract in 1982.
What set it apart from earlier bolt-action military rifles was its modularity. Parts could be removed and replaced easily, without a lot of laborious hand-fitting in a workshop.
As a company, Accuracy International was almost nonexistent when it won the contract and early production was farmed out to a firm which took some shortcuts and got some folks injured when their rifles fired out of battery due to broken firing pins! Yikes.
This was improved of course, and the rifles were retrofitted with visible firing pins.
Oddly for a military rifle, the side panels that make up the “stock” are actually fragile when removed from the chassis.
Ian goes on at length about the history of the scope use, repeatable zero, and more.
The iron sights, considered to be there for backup purposes, are fairly fancy for backup sights.
I thought it was interesting that a higher percentage of folks passed their sniper training once this rifle was put into use. Clearly, it was a much better tool than the 1940s-era rifle it replaced.
Most of these rifles were, moronically, destroyed by the British government. Fools.
All in all, it’s a good look at a chassis-based rifle that really started a revolution of sorts in terms of sniper rifle construction.