B5 Systems

DSEI 17 – H&K Upgrades to British L85A3

H&K displayed a production version of the new L85A3 Mid Life Improvement project upgrades for the British MoD. Operationally, the weapon still works the same. The upgrades involve integrating a full length Picatinny rail along the top of the handguard and receiver. You’ll also note the HKey Mod on the hand guard which features a new receiver attaching system to offer a free float barrel.

Additionally, the weapon is now Flat Dark Earth.


25 Responses to “DSEI 17 – H&K Upgrades to British L85A3”

  1. cj says:

    for the love of god just lay this disaster to rest. you can’t polish a turd…

    • Jim says:

      But you can roll it in glitter…

      Joking aside the A2 was a vast improvement on the A1, then again it wouldn’t be hard to improve on it.

      However the A2 is still tarnished with that brush, the A2 is what the weapon should have been.

    • Hobbs says:

      Yes you can. The U.S. rollout of the M16 was just as bad or worse. Now, several hundred million dollars and 50+ years of taxpayer funded R&D later, that turd has been thoroughly polished into what is considered a world class weapon. Having received barely a fraction of the attention from the government and literally zero private sector work, the L85A2 is really not that bad, and the A3 looks even better.

      If you threw as much time, money, and effort as the US government has thrown behind the M16 into pretty much anything else, I bet that you’d come up with a pretty decent outcome. Hell, I bet even a dismal stinker like the Chauchat could have been tweaked into a passable combat weapon with that kind of government and Commercial sector support.

      • Ed says:

        Big difference there Roy Hobbs! Stoner’s AR was fine, the “Big Army AKA DoD” fuct up the original design by not chrome lining the barrel, switching to a different type of powder, not knowing how humidity and tropical environment will affect corrosion, then they don’t even issue any cleaning kits or training because “they” thought it wouldn’t need it! Waaaayyyyyyyy big difference!

      • Linz says:

        No way!
        For a start, AR15 got through the trials OK- the SA80 did not…even under laboratory conditions.
        Next, other nations that were early AR15 customers (Australia, UK etc) did not have the problems the US did- other than some initial concern about 5.56x45mm.

    • Chris says:

      The A2 is a great bit of kit. Yes I’ve used it. The A1 had it’s faults but so do many first versions.

      • cj says:

        Chris , I’ve been in the infantry for 9 years and I’m well versed in the A2 too. It’s fucking awful so god knows how bad the A1 was! My unit was one of the first to get the L129 and I made dame sure I had it for my last 2 tours.
        You just can’t say the A2 is a great but of kit until you’ve used something else.
        If you like your assault weapons with loose lowers, shot through barrels causing keyhole strikea and wobbly sight rails, the SA80 IS your go to piece. I like mine to pack a punch and work however.
        GPMG and L129 for me!

        • If your TMH was wobbly, barrel shot out and rail loose, your unit armourers are either doing a shockingly poor job or (hopefullu) just being failed by the supply chain for parts. Every rifle must be maintained, doesn’t matter if it’s AR or SA80 family or anything else, they require attention and fixing from time to time and that’s what the entire annual servicing system exists for. Any firearm’s barrel will get shot out and any 2 receivers will wear and get shaky, but you put a gun with problems like that on my table I’ll have it singing again no problem.

        • Bobby davro says:

          Wow well done for 9 years, the a2 is fine bit of kit, the biggest problem is the user and all these fucking kids who want to be sf and cut around with deimarcos like they’re the big dick, having been in for 22years and been around a bit I’ve used pretty much every weapon in the arsenal so yes I can quantify the a2 and the carbine as good weapon systems particularly the carbine suppressed get a few more years under your belt kid and see the world before shooting someone down

  2. SShink says:

    Looks like they did upgrade the trigger guard…to card-stock from paper.

  3. Paul says:

    That’s got to weigh at least 10 lbs in that configuration right?

  4. George says:

    Can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter

  5. Lt M says:

    So happy I don’t have to lug that monstrosity around anymore. A2 was a major improvement on the A1 but that didn’t change the fact it’s a heavy rifle to begin with. That new KeyMod hand guard looks just as heavy as the Daniel Defense one, but I suppose being free float is some consolation.
    Much prefer my C8 IUR – lighter, handier, simpler manual of arms and way more ally!

  6. Default.mp3 says:

    Is that actually KeyMod, or HKey? Looks a little off to be regular KeyMod.

  7. DSM says:

    Joint exercises with the RAF Reg’t back in the 90s and we got to work with their L85s and L86s a little. The Bullpup thing was weird at first and the manual of arms was hard to get down but after getting used to it I actually started to like it a little. I mean it’s a beast but it was accurate and I loved the SUSAT. This was before M4s and ACOGs so for us it was a leap forward.

  8. I’ve never actually touched an L85 let alone fired one, but there’s stuff on the internet that says it sucks so that’s what I’m going to regurgitate everywhere ad nauseum.

  9. That is one polished turd! I love bullpups but damn if that is a seriously outdated design and not user friendly. “I wish I had more hands, I’d give this four thumbs down.” I am Rick James BIATCH!

  10. Arthur says:

    I always read that the ‘conversion’ to the A2 cost the government a billion or more. As rightly pointed out on here, that should always have been to proper specs. Steve Raw’s, “The Last Enfield” is an absolute gem and remains a ‘must read’.
    I remain amazed that the costs was a billion, making me ask where the hell the other 975 million was spent on?
    Living in Phoenix, Arizona, I’d love to own one and show it off among the shooters over here.

  11. Mike the Bike says:

    The L85A2 has more rounds between failures than the M16/M4 family. It has the advantage of a full length barrel in a compact outline, thus ensuring terminal effects of the bullet remain effective out to three times the distance seen with the M4.
    Both systems have their good & bad parts but both overall do the job asked of them when taking into account the less than optimal ammunition.
    It’s way past time NATO moved to an intermediate round in the 6.5-7mm bracket, then build rifles to use it.

  12. Roo says:

    Lots of people slate the A2, however it’s actually a very good weapon and liked by the troops (the ones who matter anyway – infantry). This A3 looks quite sexy, although I don’t see any real positives. Unless it saves significantly on weight (weapons biggest flaw), it’s a waste of time.

    Also, we appear to have lost RIS/RAS rails on the side? So the limits mounting the in-service LLM.

    Still, great weapon overall, so I imagine the A3 will do well, but I’d argue that this amount of development, it would be more effective to just replace the weapon – even with an off the shelf option.