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 and 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 magazines and sighting systems are reused here. Like the L85 rifle, it has a rate-of-fire selector on the left side behind the magazine housing, enabling either single shots or 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 a 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 7.62mm 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 5.56mm 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.
The L86 LSW is a high damage LMG, it has the capacity to neutralize a full heath opponent in 3 shots at close ranges and 4 shots at medium to long range, comparable to the SKS. Like the other SA80 variants, the L86 LSW suffers high recoil and can be hard to control. The rate of fire of this LMG is lower than its Assault Class and Carbine versions, but it's still slightly higher than the M60. Like the other LMGs, the L86 LSW provides a good suppression effect. The magazine capacity of this weapon is much lower than the other of the same class, with a 30-round magazine. However, the L86 LSW does have a large ammo 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. This gun can switch between single fire mode and full-automatic mode.
This weapon is quite odd to use. The gun model recoil of this weapon is high, and it takes a set of attachments prioritizing Aim Stability (i.e. stubby grip) to handle spraying the weapon at full auto. Even then, you won't want to fire any longer than short bursts of 3-4 rounds at long ranges. However, if you can get comfortable to the recoil, this weapon is extremely efficient, whether as a squad support weapon or as a one-man-army gun. A good attachment for the L86 is the muzzle break, the weapon has mainly vertical recoil. If you are careful, you can get up to 4 or 5 kills per mag, and the nasty damage output allows you to pop out of cover and get a kill before the enemies can really react. Due to its high recoil and instability, using it in fully automatic at medium range to counter a group of cautious Assault Class players will likely have mixed results as the L86 is still very hard to control after attachments are mounted, but high damage and a moderate rate of fire results in a fairly low theoretical time to kill, which can help a player engage targets at closer ranges easier if he/she can aim well.
The player can use this weapon as a DMR by switching it to semi-auto mode. With its capacity of 4-shots-kill at long range, the L86 LSW is just as deadly as the DMRs. By increasing the Accuracy and the Aim Stability stats of this weapon, this LMG become an effective long ranged weapon. The L86 LSW has an extremely high muzzle velocity that makes it essentially a point-and-shoot weapon even at extremely long range. Its high ammunition reserve gives the player less worry about running out of ammo and less stress with sniping. More seasoned veterans usually burst at longer ranges instead of firing semi-auto as the firing rate can result in even lower time to kill and help suppress the enemy better.
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. This gun also excels at counter sniping; on Crane Site this gun can easily shoot down crane snipers from any of the rooftop locations. However, since the M60's damage buff and the introduction of the RPK, the L86 may have lost its role of a pseudo DMR, but the lack of a semi-automatic function on the M60 and the much higher recoil of the RPK may make the L86 more user friendly than the two weapons.
Usage & Tactics
Pros & Cons
- High damage, 3HKO in Close Quarters, 4HKO at longer ranges, 3HKO at any range with headshots.
- Same muzzle velocity and bullet drop as the sniper rifles, great for countering Recon class weapons.
- More mobility than other LMG's like M60 and MG36.
- Very good accuracy and sight stability.
- Because of its good ranged potential and abilities, it can be used similarly to a DMR (Mainly the SKS) by tap-firing or using Semi-Auto at range.
- High ammo reserve.
- Extremely high vertical recoil in stock form.
- High TTK in close quarters due to not having a 2-Headshot KO ability like other guns of a similar firerate such as SCAR-H and UMP45.
- Loud Firing sound like all the SA80 guns in-game.
- Lowest magazine size of all the LMGs.
- Long reload time for a general 30-round magazine gun.
- Due to the jamming issues with the L86 LSW during sustained fire, many units of British army use it as a Designated Marksman Rifle.
- Similar to the M60, 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.
- In real life, the LSW, like all SA80 weapons, is usually equipped with the SUSAT optic for increased accuracy.
- In real life, the LSW has a fire rate of 700 RPM. The lower in-game fire rate of 610 RPM was probably applied for balance reasons.
- This L86 LSW has one of, if not the, loudest firing noises in Phantom Forces.
- The L86 LSW inflicts more damage than other L86 models, probably because of its longer barrel (and hence increased velocity).
- Despite being named an L86A1, the in-game model actually replicates an L86A2, because of its differently-shaped charging handles.
- The L86 has both the fastest reload and the smallest magazine size of all the Light Machine Guns.
- The L86 like most other LMG's in game, has an unusable bipod.
|Primary Weapons||Assault Rifles||AK-12 - AN-94 - AS VAL - SCAR-L - AUG A1 - M16A4 - G36 - M16A3 - AUG A2 - FAMAS - AK47 - AUG A3 - L85A2 - Honey Badger - AK74 - AKM - M231|
|Personal Defense Weapons||MP5K - UMP45 - MP7 - MAC-10 - P90 - MP5 - Colt SMG 635 - MP5SD - MP10 - MP5-10 - AUG A3 Para - Kriss Vector|
|Light Machine Guns||Colt LMG - M60 - Colt LMG - AUG HBAR - MG36 - RPK-12 - L86 LSW - RPK - SCAR-HAMR - RPK-74|
|Sniper Rifles||Intervention - Remington 700 - AWS - BFG 50 - Mosin Nagant - L115A3 - Railgun|
|Carbines||M4 - G36C - M4A1 - L22 - SCAR-PDW - AKU-12 - AK-12C - SR-3M - Groza-1 [NEW!] - Groza-4 [NEW!]|
|Designated Marksman Rifles||MK-11 - SKS - Dragunov SVU - VSS Vintorez - SCAR-SSR|
|Battle Rifles||SCAR-H - AK-12 BR - AG-3 - Henry 45-70|
|Shotguns||KSG-12 - Remington 870 - KS-23M - Stevens DB|
|Secondary Weapons||Pistols||M9 - G17 - M1911 - DEAGLE 44|
|Machine Pistols||G18 - M93R - TEC-9|
|Other||Serbu Shotgun - ZIP 22 - SFG 50 - Sawed Off - Obrez|