American Rifleman - April 2011 - 68

the british l129A1

The testing protocol was different from the U.S. Army
and Marine requisites. American rifles, such as the
Knights Mk 11 and the M110 SASS (both in the SR-25
family), were developed around match-grade ammunition (M118 and M118LR), which restricts interchangeability with standard M80 ball. The British wanted their
rifle to fire standard Radway Green 7.62x51 mm NATO
L2A2 ball ammunition and maintain consistent hits on
a man-size target at 800 meters. There were three main
areas in which the rifles were scored: the company's
response to the solicitation; the company's technical
and manufacturing capabilities; and the operators'
assessments. In the end, the best rifle had to be made
by a reputable company with the ability to mass-produce military-grade rifles. The design selected as the
L129A1 was the LM&T LM7 7.62x51 mm NATO MWS
(Modular Weapon System).
Lewis Machine & Tool is owned by Karl Lewis, and the
ISO 9001:2008 certified company has its manufacturing
facility in Milan, Ill. The company has extensive experience as a government contractor and OEM manufacturer
for many top defense contractors in the United States
making 5.56 mm rifles and M203 grenade launchers.
LM&T took the industry by storm with the introduction of
the first Monolithic Rail Platform upper receiver (MRP).
Not only were the upper and fore-end machined as one
piece, but the barrel could be removed, and any length
barrel could be installed in different calibers, bringing
the Stoner-designed system to the next level.

The L129A1

The LM&T L129A1 is based on the AR-10 design with
direct-gas operation and a multi-lug rotating bolt. The
U.S. Ordnance Corps tossed the AR-10 on the scrap heap
in the late 1950s, only to see it reintroduced by Gene
Stoner and Reed Knight in the early 1990s. Sadly, Stoner
would not live to see the adoption of his AR-10-as the
SR-25-based Mk 11 and M110 SASS-by America's most
elite soldiers a half century after its initial rejection.
The LM&T's upper receiver is made from a single 7075 T6 aluminum forging, and there are quad

The L129A1 and the commercially offered LM308MWS
(above) employ LM&T's Monolithic Rail Platform (MRP)
receiver. The barrel can be swapped for one of a different length-or even chambering-after removing two
bolts with the supplied inch-pound torque wrench.

STANAG-4694 rails allowing accessory attachment.
All the sides are solid, ensuring zero retention on the
rails, which are numerically indexed. There are also
five mounting points on the upper receiver for quickdetachable sling swivels.
The heart of the LM&T MWS is the quick-change barrel that can be swapped out at the user level. By removing two bolts, the free-floating barrel can be removed
and replaced with one of a different length or even a
different caliber. The L129A1 has a 16"-long stainless
steel barrel rifled in a 1:11.25" twist. Each barrel is testfired with a proof cartridge and then magnetic-particleinspected for stress fractures. The prong-style flash
suppressor is manufactured by SureFire and is capable
of accepting a sound suppressor.
The L129A1 comes with Knight's Armament's new
rear micro back-up iron sight (BUIS), which is adjustable from 200 to 600 meters and is significantly lower
in profile than KAC's previous designs. The folding
front sight is also manufactured by KAC. The charging
handle has the LM&T-designed enhanced charginghandle latch, which is shaped to shield the shooter's
face from gas when the rifle is fired suppressed.
In keeping with the original AR-10 design, the bolt
and bolt carrier are chrome-plated. Chrome is much
easier to clean than most finishes, is corrosion-resistant
and has self-lubricating properties. The rifle uses an
H3 buffer with three tungsten weights. The bolt carrier
has a captive firing pin retainer pin-a major plus when
cleaning a rifle in the desert. A cotter pin is easy to lose
The direct-gas-impingement
L129A1 and the LM308MWS have
bolts with seven rotating lugs, are
chrome-plated and are marked
"MP" after undergoing LM&T's
magnetic-particle-inspection.

64 A

pril

2011

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American Rifleman - April 2011

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