UKSF Impression FAQs – Vol 1

Introduction

In a thread I posted on the UKSF Impressions Facebook group I asked for a few Frequently Asked Questions related to UKSF Impressions which we could try and answer there. I took a few of these, and some which I have noticed posted regularly on that and other groups, such as the L119 Owners Club, and to have tried to answer them below.

I have used the odd bit of information from well informed people, but mostly I have based the answers upon pictured reference material, both public and private. I have avoided referencing things which I have not seen myself.

I am not mates with anyone in any UKSF units, although I do have the odd contact who has interesting information, none of that information is first hand either. The below has been based on careful collection and categorisation and research into evidence, although in some cases the evidence is understandably scant, in others it runs to hundreds if not thousands of images – it may be specifics are not quite right, or there are some noteworthy exceptions evidenced in things I haven’t seen, but I am pretty confident in the broad strokes of the answers below. If you have anything to add or query – get in touch though.

This first volume will be followed by others every so often, please do ask also if you have a question you want addressed in future instalments.

Have UKSF ever used LBT 6094s?

Given the popularity of the LBT6094, and the fact it is a great plate carrier, this question comes up a lot.

Individuals within UKSF, including the SAS, SBS and SFSG have used the LBT 6094 in multicam, although the latter is based on pictures of only one individual.

SBS have been seen using the LBT6094RS version, while SAS have been seeing using the standard version. Dates for usage appear to be from about 2010-2015, however it is hard to be precise.

If using the 6094 in a UKSF kit it would be wise to make sure all the other details are pretty close, to avoid it looking too much like a SEAL kit, and looking at the setups on the few UKSF 6094 pictures about will help greatly in getting the right look and time period sorted.

Taranis Picture Template - 6094

Have L119s been seen with Crane Stocks?

L119A1s have primarily only been seen with the old school CAR-15 style stock, and the later Colt Canada variant of it with the textured surface. Magpul CTRs and ACS stocks become increasingly common in the lifetime of the platform too.

The Crane Stock, or the SOPMOD Stock as it is otherwise known, has been seen however from about the mid-life of the platform. These stocks are uncommon, but have been pictured.

L119A2s have only been pictured with Magpul CTR or STR stocks in FDE.

Taranis Picture Template - Sopmod Stocks

What pistol grips are correct for a UKSF L119?

Lonestar Ordnance Stowaway Grip (commonly called the Storm Grip) is by far the most commonly pictured pistol grip on L119A1s – and is the only example seen on early setups.

Colt A2 standard grips are less common than the above but have been pictured regularly, particularly on mid-life L119A1s.

For later setups, about 2012-2015, more variation in setups and accessories begins to be seen so later era builds can include the below:

Magpul MIAD/MOE type grips, Hogue Overmoulded AR-15 Grip with finger grooves and UTG Model 4 AR-15 Ergonomic Grips do not appear to be particularly common, but have been pictured.

The only pistol grip pictured on an L119A2 is a Ergo Suregrip 2 in FDE. The exact model is abit of a guess, but it’s certainly an Ergo grip.

L119s in use with units other than UKSF (e.g. RMP CPU, RM FPG etc) have only been seen with Stowaway or Colt A2 type grips.

What do UKSF jungle kits look like?

While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and occasional training or operational deployments in the UK have led to UKSF being pictured on several occasions, their training in jungle warfare finds its way onto film much less regularly.

Therefore to get a picture of what they use is a little less straight forward. It combines a combination of using the few pictures available with inference based on how regulars train in jungle operations. Greyed out individuals in the pictures are US MARSOC.

Kit setups appear to be typical light weight uniforms, a mix of Crye and MTP kit, including both shirts and UBACs – the one example pictured in full DPM above predates SFSGs issue of multicam, while the individual in trops is the only pictured example who may well be SAS, while the others are SFSG – so he may have more freedom to look ally (worth noting, the pictures has also been suggested to be a Pathfinder). Headwear is mostly boonie hats, often cut down, while load carrying kit is almost invariably webbing, in many cases it seems to be standard PLCE, although presumably more bespoke options are out there. Comms PPT/Tacmic is on the shoulder, machetes and scarves . There is one guy wearing a Blackhawk Helivest in the picture, and a contact has suggest that the guys have slick lightweight plate carriers in their bags for use in phases where contact is probable – this would be a departure from pictures of USKF in earlier eras where armour wasn’t used in jungle ops.

Weapons don’t hold to any neat categorisation. The SFSG spec L85s pictured for instance forego their PEQ-2s and optics to just run rails and iron sights, while the L119s pictured have a mix of ACOGs and DIS, while some have LA-5s while others do not. L119s are also more commonly the CQB variant, presumably for ease of carrying in dense foliage and due to the very short engagement distances in jungles.

Taranis Picture Template - UKSF Jungle

When did MP5s stop being used?

MP5s have been associated with UKSF since Operation Nimrod, and not without good reason, they were used for many years for CQB and hostage rescue. In recent years however a combination of the fact UKSF have had huge operational experience with the L119 platform, the increasing likelihood of facing adversaries with body armour, and the advances in firearm technology have slowly pushed the MP5 to the periphery.

It is difficult to absolutely categorically pinpoint when the MP5 stopped seeing use. The last images of it in use by UKSF training were 2011, although images showing the Diemaco being used for roles which the MP5 would normally be associated with date from before that point.

MP5s saw use with specialist roles like dog handlers for longer than the rest of the various units using it. 2010-11 would probably represent the last date MP5s were seen pictured, however as early as 2003 Diemacos were being used for some tasks in CT work, and by 2005 they were being carried on raids in Iraq, and later in similar setups for CT training in the UK.

The MP5K seems to have continued to see use for some time after the full size MP5 was last seen, being used as a PDW with snipers and a concealable weapon. It is presumably still used for these roles.

Do UKSF use Warrior Assault Systems?

As a relatively inexpensive brand with durable, quality kit, WAS are popular among airsofters and often represent the first purchase of ‘proper’ kit for many. WAS also has strong credentials as a ‘real steel’ manufacturer, although many try to paint it as high quality airsoft gear, their plate carriers have been used by CTSFOs and PMCs, who trust their lives to the kit, while their various pouches and accessories are used by many soldiers to supplement issue kit.

Therefore it gets asked a lot to what degree it is used by UKSF.

In short – WAS is not greatly used insofar as plate carriers are concerned, however there are a handful of examples of the RICAS Compact and DCS being used by individual operators within the SAS and SFSG – but we are talking about so few they can be counted on one hand. It is presumed these items were private purchase and represented a perceived upgrade to whatever kit they were issued at the time, likely the Paraclete SOHPC – this does not seem an entirely surprising position to me, since I am no great fan of the SOPHC. With the issuing of Crye carriers they seem to have fallen out of use, and certainly haven’t been pictured for many years.

WAS pouches though have consistently cropped up individual kits, especially with SFSG. Their mag pouches and command panels both seemed to be relatively popular, and while their use has dropped off with greater quality and variety of issue kit, for specific roles they are certainly on the radar of the guys in UKSF – I regularly include their excellent foldable dump pouch on my kits, and judging by pictures a few guys do the same.

Surefire FA556SA Suppressor: The UKSF L119A2 Can — The Reptile House

An excellent and interesting write up on the suppressors being used by UKSF nowadays, a bit of news which really informs future builds.  Something we didn’t know last week.

Thanks to TRH and HRW for sharing and authoring, respectively.

Check out the article on The Reptile House below:

Words and pics: HRW In my quest to clone the L119A1 and L119A2, I have been searching out the appropriate ancillaries used on these guns. It has brought me into contact with some very interesting individuals in the firearms industry, which is allowing me to create clone rifles as if fresh from the factory. I […]

via Surefire FA556SA Suppressor: The UKSF L119A2 Can — The Reptile House

HAO Industries L119A2 Project

For anyone who follows high end airsoft builds, HAO will need little introduction. They are a Taiwanese airsoft company who specialise primarily in parts for the Systema PTW platform, but who are increasingly providing for a wider range.

The airsoft company appears to be an offshoot side interest for a larger commercial entity, and as such HAOs product range is somewhat eclectic, and appears to be driven by the interests of those working there. HAO are also far from prolific, with only a handful of products, and very long development times for products.

What HAO do have is a likely unsurpassed adherence to quality and exactitude in replicating real items. They fill a niche in the market for high end gear to fulfil particular interests.

I do not own any HAO products myself, a combination of the fact that as yet, much of their catalogue hasn’t overlapped with the sort of projects I embark on, and secondly, where they do, the prices are substantial. While I haven’t yet bought any of their products, The Reptile House Blog has covered HAO extensively with first hand reviews of their products and insight into their production processes. The details on ‘TRH Blog article on HAO’s new SOCOM suppressors is particularly interesting.

Until a year or so ago HAO had been on my radar as a company who produced great items which features on several builds I admired, but little more. However after L119A2 pictures became public in May 2016, and I was approaching various airsoft manufacturers to drum up interest in an A2 style rail, a process which eventually culminated in the release of the Angry Gun L119A2 rail, I became aware HAO were also interested in making an A2 rail. I contacted them and they confirmed it was in the works, and I sent a batch of reference photos, however my contact with HAO has been significantly less involved than my discussions with Angry Gun. HAO have on occasion teased progress on the L119 Owners Club Facebook group and I have spoken with them every so often to try and glean a little more.

HAO apparently have acquired one of the L119A2 overrun uppers which were released to civilians to work off. The key difference however between the Angry Gun and HAO L119A2 products is that the Angry Gun is produced as a rail to be fitted to a standard airsoft upper, while HAO are looking to produce an entire monolithic upper, as per the real weapon.

giphy

Angry Gun’s approach, with a clever and solid concealed attachment system, vastly increased versatility, catered for pretty much every platform on the market, and cut costs dramatically. HAOs conversely will be made for only a couple of platforms, namely PTW and GBBR (there is talk of a third, although this would apparently come later). This approach also means a HAO L119A2 upper will be substantially more expensive, and presumably will need to include barrel, barrel nut, gas assembly, and also potentially wrenches etc for actually taking apart the monolithic upper. Various discussions with interested A2 fans have produced a variety of guesses as to the eventual cost of the setup. I don’t think until things firm up, HAO even know at this stage, but it is likely to have a price tag to match the undoubted quality.

One final point to note, is that a monolithic upper may preclude production of the 15.7in variant due to the size of the machines used in production. This was a possibility which was raised early on, although after a long stretch of product development I am unsure if it was still the case.

I will publish further articles if and when I learn more on the project to try and keep people abreast of L119 developments.

The pictures accompanying this article belong to HAO Industries.

HAO Industries:  https://www.haoptwart.com/

 

E27: UKSF Impression Group featured on The Reptile House Blog

Interview: Rich Norman Pics: Snook Snaps and Jay E27 is a UKSF Impression group based in the UK. – E27’s IG bio. As understated as the Regiment they are influenced by, E27 are titans of the UKSF impression scene. A remarkable feat, given that the group formed barely 16 months ago. I have a few […]

via E27: UKSF Impression Group — The Reptile House 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.

1

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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

Introduction

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.

Setup

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