Taranis Blog

Angry Gun L119A2 Rails in use…

The Angry Gun L119A2 rails have been released, and have in the past week or so been landing on doormats around the country, and indeed worldwide.

Almost invariably the feedback has been great, and having had a part in bringing them to fruition, I am immensely relieved and gratified to know the community likes them. It really was an effort by the community of airsoft L119 fans for airsoft L119 fans. It’s somewhat surreal, despite having had my own prototype rail for some time, to see the production model cropping up all over on people’s builds.

In total it took about 18 months from the first public sighting of real L119A2s in May 2016 for the product to hit the market. This time included the period taken when several of us were trying to entice manufacturers into looking seriously at the prospect, through early discussion with Angry Gun, the gathering of sufficient information and reference material to allow the design, and discussions between Angry Gun and potential distributors to determine if there was a market for the product. This is where Redwolf UK really stepped up and backed the product where other UK distributors and retailers had been cool on the idea; there RWUK showed foresight, a dedication to deliver an innovative product, and a canny eye for the market, which allowed the whole enterprise to go ahead. From there the product was fully designed, prototyped, tested, refined and then put into production, which was expanded from the initially projected production numbers to meet demand.

I won’t go into specifics, but the popularity of the release has surpassed expectations and it has been a great success. Hopefully this will bode well for more UKSF and L119 related releases in future.

I received my two rails I had ordered from the production run and was pleased to see a couple of the really minor issues I had highlighted with the prototype had been finessed. My rails are currently waiting for base rifles to be added to, but many others on the L119 Owners Club and The Airsoft Diemaco L119 Series Group Facebook Groups have been posting up some truly excellent A2 builds.

While I don’t think anyone has achieved a truly perfect build quite yet, with trademarks, receiver mods, blending, and correct accessories in in one package, a couple are very well on the way and already have rifles which would satisfy all but the most pedantic.

The below are a few of the rifles I have picked out from the groups or which the owners have very kindly sent me information and pictures on – all are stunning builds, and a few varying aesthetics are on show which already displays the variation in function, look and base rifle which is possible. Any who frequent the groups may well recognise all of them, but I wanted to provide a bit of a showcase here.


Andy’s L119A2 on a GHK base.

Andy’s GHK base L119 is the first featured, he has already built a truly excellent L119A1 so I was keen to see how he would deliver an A2 – it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It features all the necessary parts, from the Ergo Grip to the extended charging handle, a TA01ECOS and a Surefire M620v. The whole package looks believably like an issued weapon.


Gaz’s L119A2 with CQB and Carbine uppers, also using a GHK base.

Gaz’s rifle is also GHK based, and features many of the same little details as Andy’s above. Gaz however has opted for the sleeker M600s used on A1s, and features a T1 sight on the CQB upper, a popular choice I also made with mine. Most striking however is the carbine upper, which is really simple and elegant, and again looks like it could have come straight from an armoury. A tiny detail, but a very important one, is that Gaz has modded his uppers using modelling putty to replicate the monolithic IUR, and disguised the join and altered the profile around the ejection port.


James C’s L119A2 on a Marui NGRS base.

James C’s Marui NGRS is a deceptively simple, slick build but if you look closely, many of the key details are there. Trades and the receiver mods should round it out into a build which is absolutely spot on.


James M’s L119A2 is also on a GHK Base.

James M’s A2 is another GHK build, but this time features the much rumoured Surefire Warden, and an offset mount with another M600. A bold paint job unifies all the disparate parts into a convincing modern build, and the beginnings of wear and chipping to the paint make it look authentic. The chunkier profile of the Magpul ACS stock balances the weapon visually and is true to reference material.


Mike’s L119A2 on a Systema PTW base.

Mike’s Systema PTW L119A2 rounds out the selection. It uses the standard A2 accessories of a M620v, LA-5B and Magpul AFG2, with the optic a T1 on GG&G mount. Everything is true to reference material there and really pulls it together into a convincing L119A2 setup. A Magpul pistol grip is the first pistol grip of the selection to be swapped out from the issued Ergo, and so follows on from the increasing variety of pistol grips shown on later L119A1 build – this also neatly deals with the difficulty of making Ergo grips work for PTWs. The use of a Magpul STR stock, much the same as James’ above, balances the weapon aesthetically. What stands out most for me is the simple but effective paint job, with a variety of tans, greens and browns, which looks very realistic, and is unerringly close in colour palette to an actual painted A2 reference picture I have seen.

Beyond those featured above, there have been loads of really great A2 builds cropping up, and I hope to see many more in future.

Thanks to all the above for providing or letting me feature their builds.

Marui NGRS L119A1/A2 Hybrid


As a follow up to my first write up on the prototype L119A2 rail from Angry Gun/RedWolf UK, I thought I would do a piece on how my build with it has developed subsequent to the article, and capture the changes to the Marui NGRS Diemaco in general since it was featured on the much missed Reptile House Blog.

I ran my L119 with two uppers, one CQB 10in variant and another 16in SFW variant. Both these uppers and the lower were very much setup as a modern iteration of the L119.

When I received the L119A2 rail I decided to set it up as an A2 upper on an A1 lower in a ‘hybrid’ setup. It very much represents the successor to my CQB upper in terms of setup, and retains many of the same ergonomic and aesthetic approaches, while both utilising the benefits of the A2 features and reflecting referenced A2 setups and equipment.

NGRS L119A2 4

My primary weapon setups since I started playing airsoft almost 7 years ago have been the L85A2, MP5 and L119A1; None of those platforms is distinguished by being at the current forefront of small arms innovation. While my interest in building weapons to suit impression kits has restricted me from exploring too far, I have been somewhat envious of the Geiselle railed HK416s and Block II M4A1s being used by others into American impressions. A L119A2 being adopted by UKSF, and now being buildable in airsoft form, has at last let me run a setup that is approaching being modern.

Accessory Selection

Both when at milsim/realsim events and skirmishes, I always look to eliminate any excess kit which can encumber movement, interfere with slinging the rifle or snag, so my kit choices are always geared toward both keeping a low profile with the rifle and allowing parts to be removed or altered as quickly as possible.  It is important to be able to do this while still retaining the functionality required of the system, and staying true to reference material for the impression.  As mentioned before, my setups are based on using kit seen in various pictures, or occasionally using brands known to be used, I rarely copy a specific picture exactly, but rather pick and choose from within the reference material to create solutions which work for me.  Much as the real guys will put together individual gear setups from within the kit which is issued to them or can be acquired relatively easily.

The first step therefore was to examine what UKSF correct options would let me run a much slicker setup than that available on my A1s. The first consideration here was the optic. The referenced optics on A2s are a Trijicon TA01ECOS ACOG, an Aimpoint Comp M4 (on standard or GG&G mount) or a Aimpoint Micro T1 (on a GG&G mount). The T1 was a standout choice, it is small and light, which contributed to the setup I was trying to achieve, and it was broadly distinct from an A1 setup, since T1s on L119A1s are much rarer than ACOGs or M4s. Furthermore the real GG&G mount was accessible and replica T1s perform much better and are much more usable for my intended purpose than replica ACOGs.

NGRS L119A2 1

There were few other decisions setup wise. I decided on a Surefire FH556-216A as opposed to the SOCOM flash hider since I prefer the look, while the Element LA-5B is a stock choice for any modern British spec Diemaco. The AFG is well pictured with the real guys, and is also my favourite foregrip, so that was my choice at the front; I went for the older AFG1 variant since I prefer the ‘wings’ on the side and slightly wider profile. A Magpul RSA-QD ensured the A2 upper could interface with the same sling as my A1 uppers, or indeed forego a sling if needed.

Finally the flashlight is perhaps the largest expense beside the weapon, assuming you aren’t using real optics. Based on reference pictures, the Surefire M620V is the salient choice. You could probably get away with the dependable M600 Scoutlight, although it is abit obsolete, it is a much more accessible choice if going for real weaponlights. I have had enough replica flashlights fail that I was loath to not go real, however I really wanted to run a M620V. The chunky aesthetic, lack of a clunky bolt like on the M600, and QD feature all attracted me. To this end I went for a Night Evolution M620V, which seemed a good unit, although the lack of realistic trades annoyed the perfectionist in me, so it got painted immediately.

NGRS L119A2 2

In a very lucky break however, in the space of a week from receiving the replica, I noticed a real M620V head on sale for a very, very good price. Additionally I knew another member of E27 was looking to shift a M620V body, and he very kindly threw in the port for a tail switch. With a Surefire tailswitch scavenged from my bits box, I had a real, working M620 for about £100. I couldn’t find a real mount for it, but I bought a repro mount from a fellow Diemaco builder, and promptly replaced the replica M620V with a real one. Very lucky I grant you, but it does go to show how a combination of patience, research and keeping your eyes peeled can sometimes combine with some good fortune to let you really get the most for your money with builds.


When seen next to the A1 uppers, the A2 will hopefully stand out as a development from them, but also display the similarities in ethos which have been used and tested on the other setups. The A2 most vitally allows a much sleeker setup, the rearward side rails are now slick, and you only have rail where needed, while the much longer free floating rail allows the hand hold to move much further forward and increase stability and decrease the congestion evident in A1 builds with a lot of attachments. It really does work a lot better than the A1, and the silhouette is striking and distinct, which is pleasing for those not wanting UKSF kits to get too generic – while much of the gear choices look rather American nowadays, the rifle retains a rather unique look.

NGRS L119A2 3

This sleekness and the improved ergonomics are the key benefit to the L119A2 over the A1 in airsoft terms. For those hoping the setup will be lighter, it is unlikely to be the case. My L119A2 upper setup here is in fact heavier than the L119A1CQB, at 1798g to 1743g: This includes the fact the A1 has an Eotech 552 and MATech BUIS, while the A2 only has a T1. Without accessories the A2 upper is 170g heavier – That isn’t much at all, it certainly isn’t a heavy rifle and it is well balanced, but it dispels the notion that the sleeker setup will be lighter.

NGRS L119A2 1

I have two further Angry Gun A2 rails in the pre-order, and when they arrive both will be going on full L119A2 builds, rather than the hybrid approach here. These will be much more involved builds and take a great deal longer to get right, however so this setup allows me to get started right away.  I haven’t undertaken any receiver modifications yet to make the receiver itself more accurate, although that is certainkly on the cards in the future, I am considering various options on that front.

I still have one more article planned to write on the Angry Gun L119A2 rail, this one is more of an indulgence detailing my personal build, the final one will be somewhat more technical and give greater detail about the product. I will try and get it out before the pre-orders arrive around end September 2017.

Parts lists below, * denotes replica:

L119A1 Lower:

  • Marui NGRS CQB-R
  • Magpul ASAP Sling Plate (Modded to fit)
  • Laylax Next Gen Recoil Body ( Custom engraved Diemaco trades and cerakoted)
  • G&P Locking Pin
  • Magpul BAD Lever
  • G&P Storm Grip
  • Magpul PTS Enhanced Trigger Guard
  • Blue Force Gear QD Sling Loop
  • Blue Force Gear Vickers 2-2-1 Padded Sling
  • Magpul EMag (Converted with Marui NGRS Internals) or Magpul PTS PMags for Marui NGRS

L119A1 10in Upper:

  • Tokyo Marui NGRS Upper*
  • Tokyo Marui NGRS Front Sight (Modded to remove bayonet lug)*
  • Pro Arms 10in L119 Barrel (Modded for KAC RAS)*
  • Replica Surefire FH556-216A Flash Hider (Modded to accept Angry Gun Suppressor)*
  • Angry Gun SF556 SOCOM Suppressor (Modded to fit FH556-216A Flash Hider)
  • Knights Armament Company RAS
  • AR15 Front Cap (Without M203 cut outs)
  • G&P Barrel Nut/Delta Ring*
  • Magpul RSA-QD
  • Magpul AFG1
  • Magpul Enhanced XTM Rail Covers
  • Element LA-5 (Custom sticker set) *
  • Surefire Scoutlight with KL4 Head (Tactical Optician Lens Protector)
  • Haley Strategic Thorntail Scoutlight Mount (Modded to raise flashlight in line with LA-5)
  • Eotech 552 Holographic Sight and MATech BUIS or Diemaco DIS Iron Sight

L119A2 10.5in Upper:

  • Angry Gun Prototype L119A2 rail*
  • Toyko Marui NGRS Upper Receiver*
  • Toyko Marui NGRS CQB Outer Barrel*
  • Toyko Marui NGRS Barrel Base*
  • GG&G Accucam Aimpoint T1 Mount
  • Nuprol Aimpoint T1 Replica*
  • Element LA-5 with custom sticker set*
  • PTS Ergo Ladder rail covers*
  • Magpul AFG1
  • Magpul RSA-QD
  • Replica Low Profile Gas Block (modded)*
  • Replica Surefire FH556-216A Flash Hider*
  • Surefire M620V (Replica mount)

L119A1 16in Upper:

  • Tokyo Marui NGRS Upper*
  • Army Code Diemaco Front Sight*
  • Pro Arms L119 Barrel Extension*
  • Marui NGRS Outer Barrel (Modded to reduce to 10in)*
  • Laylax Reinforced Barrel Nut Base*
  • Replica Surefire FH556-216A Flash Hider *
  • Knights Armament Company RAS
  • G&P Barrel Nut/Delta Ring*
  • AR15 Front Cap (Without M203 cut outs)
  • PTS Ergo M4 Rail Extension*
  • Magpul RSA-QD
  • Magpul XTM Handstop Kit
  • Magpul Enhanced XTM Rail Covers
  • Magpul Ladder Rail Covers
  • Element LA-5 (Custom sticker set) *
  • Replica Trijicon ACOG TA01ECOS (Built from several parts inc G&P Acog, Replica LaRue QD Mount, Replica RMR with side switch, Real Trijicon Bikini Cover, Offset ACOG BUIS, Tactical Optician Lens Protector)*
  • MATech BUIS

Ares L85A2 ‘SFSG Setup’

The SFSG L85A2

The now rather venerable SA80 has had a chequered history, and has undergone a lot of development since its early days.

The original L85A1, the standard assault rifle model with the SA80 family, suffered for many years from numerous problems from which its reputation has struggled to truly recover. The original L85A1 is markedly different from the modern L85A2/3¹, the modern L85 sports a Daniel Defense quad rail, LEI/Brügger and Thomet rail adaptor on top, and Heckler and Koch upgrade, most notable externally is the scoop trigger, comma style charging handle and mag release guard. Additionally the LLM Mk3 and Elcan OS4 LDS with Shield CQC sight above further differentiate the modern weapon.

Many people will also be familiar with the interim solution used for many years in Afghanistan, what was termed the L85A2 TES (Theatre Entry Standard). This configuration for Afghanistan deployed troops in most frontline roles saw the L85A2 fitted with a Trijicon ACOG TA31 with mini RDS mounted on a wing mount, with the ACOG itself mounted on a distinctive cantilever mount. The green polymer handguard was replaced with the Daniel Defense L85 quad rail (in black as opposed to the current FDE), to this was attached the LLM01 laser light module and Grip Pod Systems Gripod. Often a Surefire SA80 flash hider was also fitted. In general this was used as a complete package, however in some cases the transition appears to be somewhat more piecemeal, the LLM in particular saw use bolted to the polymer handguard before the rest of the package was in use.

There was however one other distinct configuration of the L85 which saw use in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and represented something of a precursor to the TES which saw widespread use.

I’m not sure what to call the configuration I refer to, since it was used by UKSF, information on it is characteristically scant.

L85A2 SFSG 2

The above is the famous C-17 SFSG picture. 


The Special Forces Support Group was formed during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, building upon earlier experiences which highlighted the requirement for more manpower in special forces’ operations. Previous to the formation of the SFSG 2006 regular troops had supported UKSF operations in a more ad hoc way, such as 1PARAs support of the SAS in Op Barras, however the increasing pace of SF operation and the more specialised nature of the support they needed drove formation of a unit which many consider to be the UK equivalent of the US 75th Ranger Regiment.

SFSG was initially formed from 1PARA, with elements also drawn from Royal Marines and RAF Regiment and it fell under the UK Directorate of Special Forces.

The SAS, SBS and other UKSF units at the time used the L119A1, however the units making up SFSG used the L85A2. SFSG has subsequently adopted the L119A1, and presumably have, or will, transition to the L119A2. SFSGs kit and weapons have become increasingly close to those used by the SAS and SBS.

Initially however SFSG used their L85A2s, with a fascinating package of upgrades.

These upgrades comprised the following.

  • Mini RDS mounted in a custom wing mount by Shield, fixed on top of the SUSAT.
  • Brügger and Thomet quad rail system (There were 4 variants trialled)
  • Various trials flash hiders, and on occasion suppressors.
  • Insight AN/PEQ-2
  • Surefire M600 Scoutlight
  • KAC vertical grip

The above setup is interesting for several reasons.

Firstly, it’s just a bit different, the parts aren’t particularly accessible so, to my knowledge, there haven’t been any airsoft replicas built other than my own. Beyond the fact that this build holds a further appeal in combining my interest in UKSF kit with a love of L85s, and it features in one of the most well known UKSF pictures, the SFSG group posing in front of a C-17.

Secondly, as with my modernised L119A1, I am intrigued by the aesthetic and style of modernising an older platform with the addition of new technology, and the curious decisions and looks it brings about. B&T’s various chunky hand guards, the Shield RDS sight for the SUSAT, and the flash hider give a solid, unique variation on what was the standard British assault rifle setup of the time. Combined with RAVs, Gentex lids and UCP, DDPM and later multicam Cryes, it really contributed to the sense that the rifle encapsulates a period of change. It heralded the long overdue modernisation of the L85A2 platform from a very pre GWOT baseline, captured the transition in kit and role of SFSG from regular, if elite, soldiers toward a special operations role.


SFSG carrying L85A2s in Baghdad.  The soldier on the right was very tragically killed some time later.


Finally, it provided an intriguing insight into the items tested and thinking that took place regarding modernising the L85A2, and the eventual TES package of upgrades. I won’t pretend to know with any certainty to what degree, if any, the programs were officially linked, but it seems very likely the use of the SFSG modded L85A2 fed into the package later adopted by the rest of the infantry. The items replaced, the handguard, optics, laser module and flash hider, are exactly the same, and the use of a 4x optic with a top mounted RDS, a quad rail, and a vortex flash hider is unlikely to be coincidence.

The B&T quad rail variants are all rather clunky when compared to the Daniel Defense, they seem heavy and the method of accessing the gas parts is a bit more cumbersome. The B&T also weighs more, however the quality and durability is far better, it integrates a QD attachment point at the front, a pressure pad space either side, and is absolutely rock solid. I can see why the lighter, and probably substantially cheaper, Daniel Defence rail was adopted, but I think the B&T is a better piece of kit, at least in the Mk2 variant I own. If there’s any demand I might write up a piece on the B&T rails specifically at some point.

The red dot sight on top of the SUSAT is of the mini RDS type built by Shield, and also produced by Trijicon, J-Point and others. It is mounted on a Shield SUSAT mount, which is an incredibly solid bit of kit (it really should be too, given the price). It clamps around the SUSAT and bolts down into the top to replace the iron sight, and provided wing mount protection for the RDS. While again, very solid, in this case it fails to address some of the issues integral to the SUSAT. While I won’t presume to speak to the combat effectiveness of sights about which I know little other than that gleaned from peeking through the odd display model, the SUSAT RDS is about as low as it really feasible for a decent sight picture when using it in CQB, and the combined unit is heavy. The above notwithstanding, it looks rather cool.

My SFSG L85A2 Build

L85A2 1

In general I much prefer the SFSG version of the L85A2 to the standard TES setup, and using a PEQ-2 for battery storage and a Surefire Scoutlight is also a benefit. I would certainly recommend looking at some of the more unique and rare setups if looking for a cool L85 build without straying into the heresy of Aimpoints and M203s. The depth of research, awesome kit choices and a really special looking replica are a great reward.

L85A2 3

For my build I have used an Ares L85A2 as a base. Fans of the airsoft SA80 platform will all disagree on the best manufacturer, but for me the Ares is the best. It is externally stunning, absolutely bomb proof and runs like a train. My gripe with them is the quality of hop unit and stock inner barrel, but this can be rectified fairly economically to make an excellent unit that doesn’t feel like a toy. In this regard it stands head and shoulders above its rivals.

L85A2 2

Generally it was a fairly simply build to put together in terms of the actual work, and the difficulty came in sourcing the parts and undertaking the research to gather and identify the reference material to build it off.

The HKA2 marking just above the butt pad was engraved with a shallow engraving, while the bolt has had the paint removed. I have also taped a Hogue grip sleeve to the grip to give a more positive feel and wider grip.

The parts list for the upper is as follows, * denotes replica:

  • Ares L85A2 with custom engraving*
  • Ares SUSAT*
  • Shield SUSAT RDS Mount
  • Trijicon Mini Red Dot Sight
  • Brügger and Thomet Mk2 SA80 Quad Rail
  • VFC AN/PEQ-2 Battery Box*
  • Surefire M600 Scoutlight
  • KAC vertical grip*
  • Dytac Surefire SA80 Flash Hider (This isn’t correct but there is no replica of the trials flash hiders)


¹The A2 refers to the rifles which have undergone Heckler and Koch’s upgrade program/fix. A3 rifles are A2s with a couple of smaller modifications, including a longer top rail and altered rear pins. The nomenclature L85A3 has also been used, in a semi-official capacity, to refer to a further package of upgrades to a HK front end, FDE paint job, a ‘more free floating barrel’, integral Picatinny rail and a couple of other modifications. At present this has been prototyped and showcased and is presumably being developed further.



Interview with the S23 Gearmonkey Blog…

Good Guys wear Black – an interview UKSF Impressionista with JW01 Long ago, already then mutual admirers of kits and gears, JW01 and I finally swapped messages over one the most liked photo’s way back on the original Mk I ‘Beer Mat’ giveaway … It was here, whilst already aware of his work I realized, […]

via Good Guys wear Black – an interview with UKSF Impressionista JW01 — s23gearmonkey75

The Taranis Blog

This blog has been unashamedly inspired by a couple of other prominent airsoft blogs of which I am a fan.  I was interviewed for the S23 Gearmonkey 75 Blog and have written a couple of pieces which The Reptile House very kindly featured.

I very much enjoy writing about what myself and others are doing in the hobby, and felt I should start my own blog as an outlet for that.  In some ways, content of gear reviews, opinions and showcases will not be dissimilar to those blogs mentioned above, although I hope to put my own spin on things.  I also hope to include news and impression/build guides, written by myself and any others I can rope in.

Regarding the name, ‘Taranis’ is a Celtic storm/thunder god, and the statue above shows him holding a 6 spoked wheel, his symbol, and a lightning bolt.  I chose Taranis for a number of reasons, the use of a British mythological god is a riposte to the deluge of Spartan and Viking imagery in the hobby, cool as it is, I wanted something that ties in with my love of British kit.  The use of lightning bolts is also picking up on symbolism that features in some UKSF badges, and which we alluded to in the E27 callsign badge.  The 6 spoked wheel is also reminiscent of the radioactivity warning symbol, used in the badge of my skirmish team.

I’ll post up abit more about myself in the About Me section to let people know what I’m about.