by Daniel O’Dea
We have all seen coverage of Lithgow Arms’ new CrossOver rifles, with the LA101 rimfire variants being well received by Aussie shooters and selling rapidly. There has also been much interest in the just released all-new LA102 centrefire rifles. In late February this year, I was lucky to be among a small group of industry guests to view and shoot the first production series LA102s chambered in .308 Winchester calibre.
The venue, of course, was the Lithgow Small Arms factory in country New South Wales, where we were hosted by agents from Lithgow Arms, as well as the newly appointed sole Australian Lithgow Arms distributor, Outdoor Sporting Agencies. OSA NSW representative Greg Coleman welcomed the new partnership, stating that the Lithgow Arms company and its array of products was an excellent addition and complemented his firm’s current quality offerings for Aussie shooters. Apparently, pre-sales of the new rifles have been very strong, with dealers snapping up all initial models.
A viewing of the series of CrossOver rifles came first before we were given a quick tour of the factory, where the best of modern technology mates perfectly with more than 100 years of traditional firearms manufacturing. We then moved on to the range facilities, where the technical armourer went though some of the rigorous testing and quality checks that rifles carrying the Lithgow Arms brand are exposed to.
The armourer also showed us some of the targets from out-of-the-box production samples randomly selected for testing. They were most impressive. Fired off their machine rests,10-round groups measuring less than MOA (25mm at 90m) were common, with 0.7 MOA anything but a rarity. I am unsure whether most will be able to replicate this accuracy over the bonnet of their ute in the field, but it demonstrates what the rifles are capable of.
At last, we were ushered to the range mound and offered a sampling of LA102s to fire. All these early production rifles were chambered in .308 Winchester, which will be the first calibre release. Later in the year, we will see both .223 Remington and .243 Winchester added to the mix. The .308 Winchester rifles handled suitably and we had little trouble popping the balloon targets set out at 100m.
The rifles appeared agreeably featured and visible design aspects such as the enclosed action with narrow magazine well, which ensures action stiffness and is inherent for good accuracy, all tell a tale. The rifle has a solid round-bodied bolt with three locking lugs for a 60-degree bolt lift. It also has a unique three-position swing safety located off the bolt shroud as another prominent feature. Stocking was ably designed and comfortable on both the synthetic and timber variants on show and the rifles handled and balanced in a good way.
For further information including availability of both the rimfire and centrefire rifles, please contact your local gunshop or visit the Lithgow Arms website.
|Calibres||.308 Win (previewed), .243 Win, .223 Rem|
|Capacity||3- or 4-round detectable polymer box magazine|
|Barrel||560mm cold hammer-forged, medium weight, target crown|
|Twist Rates||.308 Win one in 10″ four groove, .223 Rem one in 9″ six groove, .243 Win one in 11″ six groove|
|Action||High-tensile steel receiver with plate recoil lug|
|Bolt||Three lug with 60-degree bolt lift|
|Trigger||Adjustable 750g to 1.9kg|
|Stock||Synthetic, laminate or walnut|
|Length of Pull||337, 347 to 357mm adjustable (spacers)|
|Finish||Cerakote H-Series titanium to metal surfaces|
|Ambidextrous||Left-handed versions to be available|
|Distributor||Outdoor Sporting Agencies|
|RRP||$1300 to $1500|