Lithgow Arms

Lithgow shops for new stocks, considers hammer-forged chambers and new calibres

Lithgow Arms is considering hammer-forging the chambers of its rifles, and was seen at the US SHOT Show visiting various stock manufacturers as its seeks suppliers for components in its new civilian firearms.

US manufacturers Boyds and Stocky’s were among several potential suppliers of stocks that Lithgow representatives spoke to earlier this year.

Boyds is well known for its laminated timber stocks while Stocky’s produces lightweight carbon-fibre stocks, and both could be considered suitable for current and future Lithgow models.

However, we were unable to determine if the purpose of the trip was to source components solely for Lithgow’s next-generation action or whether the factory is also considering a revamp of the existing LA101 rimfire and LA102 centrefire actions.

Meanwhile, sources have told Sporting Shooter that development of the new .204-calibre barrels has steered the factory towards the option of hammer-forging the chamber as part of the barrel-finishing procedure. 

Barrels are currently cold hammer-forged in new machinery that can handle several barrels at a time, but chambers are then reamed.

Scarcity of reamers to suit the .204 Ruger cartridge may delay the introduction of the new calibre in Lithgow’s LA102 range, so engineers are looking at using a mandril instead.

Our source said this would result in the hammer-forging process turning out complete rifled, chambered barrels that may need little more than a simple finishing process before they would be fitted to rifles. 

If successful, the factory would look at rolling out the process to all its calibres. 

Additional calibres are still on the table for Lithgow.

It is still possible that the LA102 will in future be chambered in .270 and .30-06, but the factory does not currently have suitable magazines, which is the major hurdle to introducing the longer cartridges. 

Other short-action cartridges are being considered but we know of none that have been shortlisted as yet.




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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.