First details I’ve seen on the prototype L85A3 (though admittedly I’ve never actually gone looking) so I thought I’d share.
Hopefully they’ll have the sense to go M-LOK in the final iteration, it’ll be a serious kick in the nuts if we get stuck with KeyMod for the next decade. But free-floating the forend definitely needed doing so that’s a plus. Same deal with the ‘safety stop’ on the selector; if those went wrong you could fire automatic without even touching the trigger (very, super, mega rare – but it happened).
Currently the people who use the Elcan LDS have to fit a 20mm adapter to the dovetail rail, which is totally pointless weight and makes your height over bore ridiculous. Current A3 bodies in circulation include a dovetail that’s extended forward to meet the handguard, but I’m yet to see any use for that as there’s no detent holes drilled in to the extended part for proper mounting.
Hopefully they’ll decide between either rail mounted BUIS or the integrated scope BUIS so we’re not carrying both around. Liking the colour change as well, flat black is useless everywhere. What the plan is for people currently using SUSATs I don’t know. Perhaps phasing in the rifles will occur at the same time as swapping SUSATs with LDS for mounting compatibility, we shall see. Right now everybody is deploying with a magnified optic, but there doesn’t appear to be any appetite to spend the money on giving LDS to folks outside of the infantry etc.
Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for a nice, new quick-adjust 2 point sling to replace the terrible old 3 point that blocks half your controls when fitted. Combine that with the EMAGs, freefloat barrel, a forend that’s lighter and slimmer than the current DD offering, a colour that actually works and a few other little bits and pieces, you’ve got something solid to tide us over until the U.S. decides which 6.Xmm cartridge they fancy using come 2030 – or whenever they figure out what rifle to use with the new round they’ll inevitably pick.