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Accuracy International L115

Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle

United Kingdom | 1997

"The L115 sniper rifle is the British Army adaptation of the Artic Warfare Super Magnum produced by Accuracy International."

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 10/25/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Since the age of the rifle, snipers have played a vital role in battlefield actions, covering mission types ranging from reconnaissance, surveillance and precision assault. As such, major military powers of the world have always utilized considerable amounts of financing to train and equip capable snipers within the ranks of their traditional army personnel. The L115 is one such system that - when coupled with a highly trained marksman of the British military - can deliver devastating results from thousands of yards away. This sort of battlefield flexibility becomes a priceless commodity to the modern day warplanner and ensures that the sniper continues to be a pertinent element as a "warfighter of tomorrow".

Adoption of the AWSM as the L115
The British military adopted the Accuracy International AWSM (Arctic Warfare Super Magnum) and the applicable .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge for use as a standardized sniper rifle and applied the family designation of "L115" to the system. The L115 claims a first-round hit against targets out to 600 meters with engagement possible out to 1,100 meters. The optional optics can operate with deadly accuracy in both day and night environments and serve greatly to assist the sniper in ensuring a lethal delivery. Unlike the Accuracy International L96A1 sniper rifle still in use by the British Army (as of this writing), the newer L115 makes use of a heavier 8.59mm caliber cartridge of which five are fitted within the detachable box magazine. The heavier cartridge is said to retard the possibility of the round being "deflected" along its trajectory when fired over long ranges. The 5-round magazine is inserted just ahead of the trigger group through the bottom of the receiver and is deliberately designed as a short protrusion helping to abstain from interfering with the delicate sniper process. The optional Schmidt & bender Day Scope has the ability to magnify targets up to 25x and is fitted along an accessories rail atop the receiver. A bipod is fitted for hands-free forend support and adds stability in the firing process. The stock also contains a shoulder pad for improved user comfort. The receiver maintains the integrated pistol grip with associated thumb-hole and the trigger is protected within an oblong trigger ring. The barrel extends a way out from the gun body.

The L115 Sniper Rifle in Action
The first L115 models to reach the British military were designated as the L115A1. These were fielded with the Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 PM II telescopic sights. The L115A1 found itself in the ranks of the British Army, Royal Air Force and the Royal Marines and went on to see extensive combat actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq beginning in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

The L115A3
By the end of 2007, the Sniper System Improvement Program (SSIP) was enacted by the British Ministry of Defense. Procurement included an improved form of the base L115 and this became the L115A3. Deliveries of the new system took place beginning in May of 2008 and went on to see combat activities in Afghanistan. The L115A3 made use of a S&B 5-25x56 PM II LP telescopic sight with built-in magnification, illumination, focus, parallax, elevation and windage controls. A suppressor was added to the barrel and helped in reducing both muzzle flash and noise while keeping the sniper concealed - even after having fired his first shot. The shoulder stock could now be folded along the receiver side to help improve the weapon's portability on marches and allowed for placement within a backpack for transport. The L115A3 featured an adjustable cheek piece along the top of the shoulder stock which lent itself well for the sniper charged with observing his target for hours on end. Unlike the L115A1, the bipod of the L115A3 was made adjustable and set to preference by the operator himself. Additionally, the L115A3 sported a monopod ("buttspike") along the underside of the stock for improved stability. Other portions of the SSIP as it related to the L115A3 include use of a heavy-duty tripod, spotting scopes and laser range finders - truly making the L115 a complete sniper package.

The L115 as a Record-Setter
It is noted that a British Army sniper, utilizing an L115, recorded the longest sniper kill in history during November of 2009 when he successfully engaged and defeated a pair of Taliban machine gunners at a range of 2,707 yards. The rifle used was of the L115A3 model variety.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The physical qualities of the Accuracy International L115. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
1,230 mm
48.43 in
O/A Length
686 mm
27.01 in
Barrel Length
15.21 lb
6.90 kg
Manual Bolt-Action
.338 Lapua Magnum
5-round detachable box magazine
Iron Sights; Optional Optics
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Accuracy International L115. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
4,921 ft
1,499.9 m | 1,640.3 yds
Notable series variants as part of the Accuracy International L115 Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle family line.
L115A1 - Fitted with Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 PM II/Military Mk II 3012x50 0.1 MIL RAD telescopic sights; utilized by British Army, Marines and RAF.
L115A3 - Improved L115 systems; fielded with day telescopic sights to include night sights, spotter scopes, tripod and laser range finder; fitted with suppressor, folding stock, adjustable cheek piece, buttstock monopod and adjustable bipod.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Accuracy International L115. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Accuracy International - UK
National flag of Armenia National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of modern Germany National flag of Indonesia National flag of Ireland National flag of Israel National flag of Italy National flag of Malaysia National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Norway National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Russia National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States

[ Armenia; Bangladesh; Czech Republic; Egypt; Germany; Indonesia; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Malaysia; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Russia; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States ]
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Image of the Accuracy International L115
Right side view of the Accuracy International L115A3; note bolt handle and optics mount
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Image of the Accuracy International L115
Close-up detail view of the Accuracy International L115A3; note suppressor
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Image of the Accuracy International L115
Left side profile view of the Accuracy International L115 sniper rifle

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Accuracy International L115 Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle appears in the following collections:
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