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L115A3: The Best Sniper Rifle on Earth?

A sniper in full camouflage shows off the 7.62mm L115A3 Sniper rifle at the Land Combat Power Demonstration (LCPD).

L115A3: Just How Good Is This Sniper Rifle? The L115A3 sniper rifle is known for having the longest confirmed kill in 2009 with a shot that went an astonishing 2,468 meters fired by British sniper Craig Harrison in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He ended up firing three shots total, killing two Taliban militants, and then he took out their machine gun with another round. (Some reports had Harrison firing ten shots total, either way a stunning result). It’s not surprising then that the British military swears by the L115A3.

L115A3 Sniper Rifle Fires Powerful Long-Distance Round

This is just a beautiful and powerful weapon. The British bolt-action Accuracy International L115A3 fires a superior .338 Lapua Magnum round. When compared to the American .308 bullet fired from the U.S. M24 and M40, the Lapua is 60 percent longer with a range of at least 1,400 meters. The Lapua bullet reportedly hits like a .44 magnum. It has a five-round magazine and weighs 15 pounds. It has a foldable stock that allows it to fit in a rucksack – a feature that the American M24 and M40 do not have. The L115A3 has 5-25x superior day-time optics and can be fitted with a thermal scope. The ergonomics are optimized allowing a comfortable and adjustable cheek-to-stockwell shooting position. Costing about $38,000, it can be suppressed to reduce muzzle flash and noise.

L115A3 Sniper Rifle: One Shot, Six Kills?

In 2013, a British sniper using a L11583 Sniper Rifle accomplished another remarkable feat. He fatally wounded six Taliban militants with one shot. This kind of shooting, to say the least, is extremely rare. It happened in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan. There were 15-20 Taliban reportedly planning a suicide mission. One of the militants had a suicide vest. So, the sniper engaged this target first at 850 meters. The bullet reportedly exploded the vest, and six bad guys were killed from the ensuing blast. The same sniper had already managed a successful hit from 1,340 meters with the L11583 in his first shot of his service career.

U.S. Joint Special Operations Command has taken notice and now Delta-force is also using the L11583. If Delta is shooting it, you can bet that SEAL Team-Six also has it in the field.

The LL1583 was introduced in the 1980s. Two-time Olympic shooting Gold medalist Malcolm Cooper designed the original through the company he founded in 1978 – Accuracy International. The champion knew what he was doing, and British Special Air Service started using it to great effect. The sniper rifle was adopted for use by regular British air assault troops who deployed to Afghanistan.

L115A3: More Special Operators Should Use It

Special Operations Forces in other countries are also shooting it. This sniper rifle is so good, it needs to proliferate from just JSOC use. It will likely go to U.S. Special Operations Command and be adopted by Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs, if it hasn’t already. The LL1583 just has too many great features and an unbelievable service record – it shouldn’t be ignored.

1945’s new Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.