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In response to the challenge of the Soviet Dragunov self-loading rifle, the British Army adopted the 7.62mm L42A1 bolt-action sniping rifle in 1970. The L42A1 was deployed in Dhofar and Northern Ireland, but arguably saw its finest hour during the Falklands War in 1982. The harsh conditions of the South Atlantic laid bare the L42A1’s inadequacies and a new company, Accuracy International, won the contract to replace the L42A1 and the PM Rifle, a world-beating revolutionary design, was adopted in 1985 as the L96A1. Progressively upgraded, the L96A1 went on to serve as the British Army’s primary sniper system, being deployed in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The L115A3, chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, joined the L96A1 in the front line in 2008 and since 2012 has been Britain’s standard issue sniping rifle. Featuring full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, this absorbing study assesses the development, combat use, impact and legacy of these three iconic British sniping weapons.

British Sniping Rifles since 1970

  • Steve Houghton

    Sure to appeal to all those interested in military sniping, this study assesses the use of three iconic sniping weapons over five decades.
  • Book Details

    Imprint: Osprey Publishing
    Publication Date: 25-11-2021
    Format: Paperback | 248 x 184mm | 80 pages
  • About the Author

    Steve Houghton, a former soldier in The Royal Green Jackets, has been an avid collector of British sniping weapons and all associated equipment for the last twenty years. He is the author of The British Sniper, A Century of Evolution. This is Steve's first book for Osprey. Johnny Shumate began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University, and now works as a freelance illustrator. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani and Édouard Detaille. Born in Malaya in 1949, Alan Gilliland spent 18 years as the graphics editor of the Daily Telegraph, winning 19 awards in that time. He now writes, illustrates and publishes fiction (, as well as illustrating for a variety of publishers (
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    All rights available
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