UK selects 7.62 mm Sharpshooter weapon for Afghan ops By Andrew White 29 December 2009 The L129A1 will provide UK forces with a sharpshooting capability to combat insurgents out to 800 m (LEI) UK forces are to receive a semi-automatic 7.62 mm x 51 mm 'sharpshooter' weapon to combat Taliban forces engaging beyond the maximum effective range of the 5.56 mm L85A2 assault rifle. In a USD2.5 million deal the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Law Enforcement International (LEI) to supply 440 LM7 semi-automatic rifles. The urgent operational requirement follows calls from troops on the ground for a weapon that can be comfortably patrolled with, can be rapidly initiated and provide an increased range for contacts out to 800 m. To be redesignated the L129A1, the gas-operated weapon carries a 20-round magazine, is 945 mm long and weighs 5 kg. It will be manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool Company in the United States, with deliveries expected to begin in early 2010. More http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdw/jdw091229_1_n.shtml?