Lithgow Small Arms

Exclusive: Lithgow to launch new models, add more calibres

Lithgow Small Arms will reveal a number of new firearms, some in calibres it has not previously used, later this year as the Australian gun maker begins a new phase in its 121-year history.

New models may include a varmint rifle, a chassis-based rifle and a shorter, lighter sporter rifle, according to sources close to the factory. 

They confirmed that .204-calibre barrels were being planned and that the Lithgow factory was keen to further expand the variety of chamberings it offered. 

All are expected to be on the market this year, the first possibly around the end of winter, but we could not confirm any timeline.

Nor could we get hard information about the rifles beyond that but it is possible to speculate with some confidence about what form the new models may take. 

At this stage it is highly unlikely Lithgow can produce an all-new firearm, which would take far longer to develop, so the new models are almost certainly going to be based on the existing LA102 and LA105 platforms.

The varmint rifle could be created by adding the heavier barrel of the LA105 long-range rifle to the LA102 Crossover, effectively adding weight as well as 5cm (2”) to the length of the LA102’s existing barrel.

Sporting Shooter has learned separately that Lithgow Small Arms has been in discussions with Southern Cross Small Arms, which manufactures the TSP-X chassis and may therefore be a potential candidate to supply a chassis to Lithgow.

If so, this would guarantee Lithgow’s chassis-based rifle would still be all-Australian. 

It is more difficult to pin down what form the shorter, lighter rifle may take. Creating a new stock would be difficult at this stage, mainly because of the cost-effectiveness of setting up to make a unique one in small volume.

Likewise, producing a lighter barrel profile would not be easy without a significant investment by the factory.

However, the existing stocks are not overly heavy and it is easy to shorten a barrel, possibly with the addition of fluting to shave more weight from it.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.