Members of the French Special Operations unit GIGN. Like most special forces, they do not necessarily use the same firearms as the regular Army; in this case the H&K 416 and 417 are fielded over the FAMAS. (GRH)
The Lewis Machine & Tool LM7 was in competiton with the FNH SCAR-17 (Mk17 Mod 0), the H&K model 417, Sabre Defence’s XR-10 and offerings from Knights and Oberland Arms. When the competition was over, LMT’s rifle was designated as the L129A1. It has been several decades since MOD has changed rifles for the longer range duties, and the new L129A1 is geared towards the 800 meter ranges being encountered in today’s combat environment. The AI .338 bolt action replaced and upgraded the AI L96 7.62mm several years ago. “Sharpshooter” is a completely new role for the British Army. Quick reaction, rapid follow up shots, long range, harder hitting than 5.56mm is the idea for the L129A1, but the sniper rifle is still a bolt action making it unsuited for CQC environments.