New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023

First photos: new Lithgow centrefire rifles revealed!


Leaked pictures reveal the first two new rifles from Lithgow Small Arms are a shortened, lightened sporter and a chassis-based rifle, and sources say they will both make their public debut this weekend at the Wild Deer Expo. 

Two variations of the sporter rifle have been produced, one with the lightest barrel profile ever fitted to a modern Lithgow centrefire.

New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023
This new Lithgow rifle has a much lighter barrel profile, and it is cut to 20″

The other has a medium-weight barrel that has been fluted to reduce weight, and in both cases the barrels have been shortened to 20 inches.

Both are built on the LA102 platform and have fluted bolts to further reduce weight, and the bolt handles are fitted with oversize knobs.

The one-piece Picatinny rail of the standard rifle has been replaced by two-piece mounts, again to reduce weight.  

The fluted barrel and its action have been finished in a grey Cerakote, the other in olive. 

New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023
This version of the new Lithgow sporter has a medium-profile 20″ barrel but it has been fluted to reduce weight

Our source told Sporting Shooter the rifle was created to offer stalking hunters a lighter alternative to the standard LA102, which is considered overweight for the purpose.

He said the lightweight barrel was only 16mm in diameter from muzzle to just in front of the chamber.

“We removed 500 grams from the barrel’s weight,” he said.

“You put it in your hands and just feels right,” he said. “You hold it under the magazine and it’s perfectly balanced.”

New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023
The TSP-X chassis is Australian-made

As we suggested might happen, the chassis rifle uses the highly regarded TSP-X aluminium chassis designed and built by Australian manufacturer Southern Cross Small Arms. 

Lithgow has chosen a 10-round Magpul magazine to go with it. 

It uses an LA102 barrel shortened to just 18 inches and fitted with a muzzle brake. The medium-weight barrel of the LA102 would be perfectly effective in this role.

The rifle will fill a gap in the range between the standard LA102 and the heavy-weight LA105 — in terms of weight, purpose and price. 

New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023
The chassis rifle has an LA102 barrel shortened to just 18 inches and fitted with a muzzle brake

At this stage there is no mention of which calibres might be chosen for either model, nor whether they may use calibres beyond the current Lithgow offerings of .223, .243, 6.5CM and .308.

As we revealed recently, Lithgow Small Arms will expand its range of calibres in the near future.

The rifles both appear to be ready for production but Lithgow wants to get public feedback on them before confirming final specifications and getting the production line into action. 

Lithgow’s management is confident, however, that the new models — the first in several years — will be well received and will reinvigorate interest in the brand. 

Our source said the new projects have “created a buzz” in the workforce at the factory. 

New Lithgow Small Arms rifles for 2023
The new rifles are on their way to the Wild Deer Expo for their public debut

It is unlikely we will see the rifles in gun shops before August but if you are keen to get one we suggest you speak with your dealer about ordering one as soon as possible. 

The Wild Deer Expo is being held this weekend at Warragul in Victoria. 

 

 

 


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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.

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