|“||A heavyweight squad support variant of the L85A2. Feeds from 30 round magazines, but has an incredibly high bullet velocity. Very stable.|
|Weapon Type||Primary Weapon|
|Weapon Class||Light Machine Gun|
|Rank Prerequisites||Rank 43|
|Damage||35 → 25|
|Range||90 max → 160 min|
|Hip Accuracy|| |
|Sight Accuracy|| |
|Magazine Size||30, 31|
|Fire Modes||Auto & Semi|
|Rate of Fire||610 RPM|
The L86A1 LSW ("Light Support Weapon") is a magazine-fed automatic weapon originally intended to provide fire support at a fire-team level. It has a longer barrel than the L85A1 rifle, a bipod, shoulder strap and rear pistol grip, together with a shorter handguard. The extended barrel provides an increased muzzle velocity and further stabilizes the bullet, giving a greater effective range. The weapon is otherwise identical to the L85 version on which it is based, and the same 30-round magazine and sighting systems are reused here. Like the L85 rifle, it has a fire mode selector on the left side of the magazine housing, enabling either single shots or fully-automatic fire.
The L86A1 was plagued by the same problems as its base version, the L85A1 rifle. In fact, the L86A1 was more suitable as a semi-automatic para-sniper rifle rather than an LSW/LMG, due to the poor reliability in full automatic fire, relatively small (by machine guns standards) magazine capacity and the lack of quick-detachable barrels. Current British troops prefer the much heavier and belt-fed 7.62×51mm L7A1 GPMG (a license-built copy of Belgian FN MAG general purpose machine gun), and at the present time, the existing stocks of L86A1 are complemented with the 5.56×45mm FN Minimi belt-fed LMG in the short-barreled Para configuration. The L86A1 will be used mostly as a longer-range aimed fire weapons, while the suppressive fire functions will be conducted using more effective FN Minimi. All L86A1s were later upgraded to A2 versions, at the same time all L85s became the A2 version. Many units of British army use the L86 as a designated marksman rifle.
The L86 LSW is a high damage LMG, with a three-shot kill (3SK) at close ranges and a 4SK at medium to long ranges, comparable to the SKS. Like the other SA80 variants, the L86 LSW suffers from higher recoil in fully-automatic fire and can be hard to control. The rate of fire (RoF) of this LMG is lower than its assault rifle and carbine counterparts, but it is still slightly higher than the M60. Like the other LMGs, the L86 LSW provides a good suppression effect. The magazine capacity is the smallest in-class, with a 30-round magazine. However, the L86 LSW does have a large ammunition reserve of 210 rounds. Even with a low capacity magazine, the L86 LSW has a low mobility but its reload is fairly quick compared to other LMGs. It also is able to switch between semi-automatic and fully-automatic fire.
Usage & Tactics
The L86 LSW is quite an odd weapon to use. The weapon is high-risk, high-reward, with better long ranged performance, and a severe lack of close range performance. The camera recoil in full-auto is moderately high, requiring a set of attachments prioritizing aim stability, for example, Stubby Grip, to increase accuracy whilst firing in full-auto. Recoil per shot, however, is quite low, meaning that it is more optimal to tap-fire or to fire no longer than bursts of three to four rounds at long ranges. However, if one can control the recoil, the L86 becomes extremely efficient, whether as a squad support weapon or as a one-man-army weapon. A good attachment for the L86 is the Muzzle Brake, given the vertical recoil. If a user is extremely precise, it is possible to achieve up to four or five kills per magazine, and the higher damage output allows a user to peek out of cover and kill an opponent with relative ease.
Due to its higher recoil and instability, using it in full-auto at medium range will yield mixed results, as the L86 is still hard to control with recoil-reducing attachments. However, the high damage combined with the moderate RoF results in a fairly low time to kill (TTK), rivaling the TTK of the M60 excluding headshots. This does allow the user to compete at close ranges as long as they remain accurate with their shot placement. The L86 is though outclassed in close-quarters-combat (CQC) by higher damage LMGs which have the ability to 2SK to the head, and other LMGs that sport a much higher RoF, larger magazine capacities and less overall recoil.
The L86 can be used very effectively as a designated marksman rifle when tap firing or switched into semi-auto. With the ability to 4SK at longer ranges, the L86 is just as deadly as the DMRs - matching the shots-to-kill (STK) of most marksman rifles. The L86 LSW also has an extremely high muzzle velocity that rivals the sniper rifles, making it far better at longer-ranged combat than any other LMG. With the right attachments, mainly ones geared to aimed accuracy, the L86 becomes an effective long ranged weapon. Its high ammunition reserve also means players don't have to stress too much about running out of ammunition. More seasoned veterans will usually burst at longer ranges instead of firing semi-auto, as this can result in an even lower TTK than one could achieve with tap-firing alone and it also helps suppress the enemy better. The L86 is also very good at suppression and penetration, which balances out small magazine size. Thankfully, it has a quicker reload time than other LMGs.
The L86 LSW is confirmed by one of the developers of Phantom Forces that they want it to be used as a DMR while remaining its role of an LMG; it's also for rebalancing purposes. This explains the odd characteristics of the L86 LSW. One of the recommended playstyles of this gun is as a sentry; holing up in a building to lay fire down on the enemies below. It also excels at counter sniping; on Crane Site it can easily shoot down snipers from any of the rooftop locations or crane.
Due to the high velocity, controllable rate of fire, and stability, the L86 LSW is a laser at long range combat. It rivals both DMRs and sniper rifles with its high damage and good tap-fire accuracy. It's slower rate of fire, however, as well as it's minuscule magazine size for an LMG and requirement to use recoil mitigating attachments make it less effective at the job of a support weapon than other LMGs. If a user is able to overcome these disadvantages, however, the L86 LSW is an extremely dangerous weapon.
Pros & Cons
- High damage—3SK to the body until ~90 studs and with headshots at all ranges.
- Very good muzzle velocity.
- Higher mobility for its class.
- Very low recoil per-shot.
- High ammunition reserve.
- High suppression.
- Good reload speed for its class.
- High vertical recoil in stock form whilst firing full-auto.
- High minimum TTK up close.
- Headshots do not reduce TTK or STK up close.
- Ineffective torso multiplier.
- Lowest magazine size in-class.
- Somewhat obstructive iron sights.
- The L86 LSW is incorrectly categorized as a light machine gun in-game. In real life, it is categorized as a light support weapon, as the name implies.
- This is most likely due to there being no light support weapon category in-game and because the game's developers likely didn't want to add an extra category for a single weapon.
- In real life, the L86 LSW, like all SA80 weapons, is usually equipped with the SUSAT optic in service to make it more effective at range.
- In real life, the L86 LSW has a firerate of 700 RPM. The lower in-game firerate of 610 RPM was most likely applied for balance reasons.
- The in-game model is an L86A2, because of its different shaped charging handle.
- The L86 has both the fastest reload and the smallest magazine size of all LMGs in-game.
- The L86, like most other LMGs in-game, has an unusable bipod.
- The L86 LSW, along with the SCAR SSR, when fired at an enemy, play loud bullet whiz and crack sounds, normally reserved for sniper rifles. The SCAR HAMR and AUG HBAR also functioned this way. This feature is now outdated due to the new suppression mechanic added in the July 4th, 2017 update. However, the L86 and SCAR SSR still retain this feature.
- Similar to the L22 and L85A2, the L86 LSW has an unused bolt lock.
- The L86 has a grip behind the magazine which is visually similar to the Vertical Grip but has no effect on weapon performance.
- In-game, the grip isn't used, as the gun is held from the front like all the other guns in-game.
|Personal Defense Weapons|
|Light Machine Guns|
|Designated Marksman Rifles|
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