AI Arctic Warfare / L96

 British Army L96A1 sniper rifle.
 British Army L96A1 sniper rifle.

 

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare (AI AW 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle.
 Accuracy International Arctic Warfare (AI AW 7,62) 7.62×51 sniper rifle.

 

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Folding (AI AWF 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle, with buttstock folded.
 Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Folding (AI AWF 7,62) 7.62×51 sniper rifle, with buttstock folded.

 

 Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum Folding (AI AWM F 300WM) .300 Winchester Magnum / 7.62x63 sniper rifle.
 Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum Folding (AI AWM F 300WM) .300 Winchester Magnum / 7.62×63 sniper rifle.

 

Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Police (AI AWP 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle.
 Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Police (AI AWP 7,62) 7.62×51 sniper rifle.
photo: Zack Smith

 

Caliber: L96, AW, AW Police, AW Folding:7.62x51mmNATO (.308 win); Super Magnum: .338 Lapua (8.60x70mm), .300 Win Mag,7mm Rem Mag
Operation: Bolt Action
Length: 1270mm
Barrel lenght:686mm (.338 Lapua), 660mm (.300 and 7mm)
Weight:6.8kg empty without telescope
Magazine Capacity:5 round box magazine
Maximum Effective Range:ca. 800 meters for 7.62mm NATO variants, 1100+ meters for Magnumvariants

 

In early 1980's British Army started the search forthe replacement ofthe aging L42 Enfield sniper rifles. Main compettitors were britishcompanies Parker-Hale with their Model 82 bolt action rifle, andAccuracy International, with their PM rifle. Eventually, PM rifle wonthe competition and was accepted by British Army under the designationof L96.
One of the most notorious features of the PM rifle was designof the stock. Instead of the solid polymer or wooden stock, PM / L96 rifle usedhollow polymer stock, made from two halves and assembled aroundaluminium bedding block, that extends through entire stock lenght. L96 alsowas equipped with backup iron sights.
In mid-1980s Swedish armed forces began their own quest for the newsniperrifle, which could survive cold and harsh nordic environments. The AIagainbecome the winner in this race with improved L96 design, named "ArcticWarfare". In 1988 Swedish forces adopted AW rifle in 7.62mm NATOchamberingunder the designation of PSG 90. British Army, in its turn, alsoadopted this improved design under the designation of L96A1, as well asmany other militaries and Law Enforcement agencies around the world. In1998, the Bundeswehr (Germany Army) also adopted the AW Super Magnum rifle chambered in .300 Winchester magnum (German caliber designationis 7.62x67mm) as Scharfschutzengewehre (sniper rifle – german) G22.


Built by Accuracy International of Portsmuth, England, thisline of rifles is among the best in the World of sniper rifles today.This rifle can shot less than 2" (51mm) groups at the distances of 600yards (550m), using boat-tail match ammunition. Arctic Warfare is aline of 5 rifles. Original Arctc Warfare was designed for the Britishmilitary. It gained its designation by special anti-icing features,allowing sniping operations to be carried out under Arctic conditionsas low as -40C (-104F)! Other models are Police (AWP), Suppressed(AWS), Folding (AWF) and Super Magnum (AW SM). Three first riflesdesigned for 7.62mm NATO ammunition, while Super Magnum can bechambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7mmRemington Magnum. AW has a 26" (660mm) barrel, AWP has 24" (609mm). AWSM barrels available in lentths from 24" (609mm) to 27" (686mm). Thestandart scopes supplied by Accuracy International areSmidt&Bender 3-12X variable or the Leupold Mark 4 fixed 10Xscope.

It must be noted that AI discontinued this line of rifles in around 2012; AWM and AW line of rifles was replaced in production by more modern AI AX / AXMC line of sniper rifles.

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