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Accuracy International's L115A3 - the best .338 sniper rifle in the world

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November 26, 2008

Image: MoD

Image: MoD

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The sniper is one of the most feared specialists of war and he is one workman who definitely relies on the right tools. There are a surprising number of sniper rifle manufacturers out there, so it’s a big call when one declares itself to be the best .338 in the world, though the raw specifications of the Accuracy International L115A3 sniper rifle suggest there is merit to the claim. The £23,000 (US$34,000) rifle was designed incorporating performance-enhancing features gleaned from international target shooting and fires an 8.59mm bullet which is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the previous L96 and hence less likely to be deflected over extremely long ranges. Put the 6.8kg rifle in the right hands and it can hit a human-sized target from 1400 meters. Even at that range, it hits harder than a .44 Magnum does in the same room.

The muzzle velocity of the L115A3 is 936 metres per second (up from 838m/s) giving it an effective range of 1400 metres compared to the L96’s 800m, and not surprisingly, the Schmidt & Bender day sights now magnify up to 25 times, compared with the L96’s 12 times.

The L115A3s are part of the British Ministry of Defence’s Sniper System Improvement Programme (SSIP), which includes new night sights, spotting scopes, laser range finders and tripods.

The first batch of SSIP systems was deployed to Afghanistan with members of 16 Air Assault Brigade earlier this year and reports suggest the claim of "the best .338 sniper rifle in the world"

Portsmouth-based Accuracy International was established in 1978 by two-times Olympic shooting Gold medallist Malcolm Cooper, and its high-accuracy sniper rifles are in use with military and police forces worldwide including many elite military units (the British SAS and reportedly the US Delta Force too).

In terms of the best .5o sniper rifle in the world, that mantle almost certainly goes to the McMillan Bros Tac-50 used by Canadian Special Forces in Afghanistan that holds the all time record kill at 2430 meters.

The skill of Canadian snipers combined with the fire power of the “Big Mac” made it very dangerous for the Taliban fighters to expose themselves if only for a few seconds. There are many accounts of the 2430 meter kill shot on the net. That's two and a half kilometres!

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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8 Comments

its wonderful machine

Fadhili Bornies M
2nd May, 2010 @ 11:28 pm PDT

I think best sniper is British L115A3 AWM

Sarah Hudson
26th July, 2011 @ 10:11 pm PDT

Like a sniper would wear a beret with a nice shiny cap badge!

Vaughan Williams
1st August, 2011 @ 03:25 am PDT

Wow!This is definetly state of the art technology!

Richard J Eipl
23rd November, 2011 @ 05:26 pm PST

Yeah, won't be long till the police are armed with these beauties and murdering civilians from far, far away instead of real close up! So much nicer when you're never even in any danger and can murder people without having to worry about being charged or even have it known it was you that did the deed! Sweet! But heaven forbid someone kill a cop.

semajretrac
5th January, 2012 @ 11:39 am PST

You need to do your homework before publishing such outrageous claims. Personally I prefer the .416 Barrett. In a second season episode of Future Weapons the host (Richard Machowicz, a former Navy SEAL) engaged in a shooting competition with another sniper. Machowicz achieved a cold-bore first-shot "kill" at 2,500 yards (2,286 m) using a .416 Barrett Model 99 rifle while his competition, using a .50 BMG, required three shots to achieve a "kill". The .416 Barrett Model 99 rifle Mr. Machowicz used during this competition was equipped with a Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) module attached to the telescopic sight.

RESISTANCE
28th October, 2012 @ 03:36 pm PDT

Put up some props on the ranging equip, there has to be some better ones.

Kevin Wheeler
26th January, 2013 @ 11:05 pm PST

Great !!!! just what the world needs , another example of man`s ability to kill one another .......

Mick Perger
7th February, 2013 @ 05:28 am PST
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