Shoot & Scoot L96A1 Stock for the APS2

Click here to visit Shoot and Scoot's website
Shoot & Scoot L96A1 Stock for the APS2
project
by Warren

There
can be no doubting the popularity of Maruzen’s APS2 sniper rifle within
Airsoft these days. It has become the de facto sniper weapon of choice
and owners are faced with a steadily increasing array of upgrade options
with which to improve both the appearance and performance of their
weapons.

Into
this arena have entered Shoot
& Scoot
with their replacement stock based on the Accuracy
International L96A1 sniper rifle, the current British Army sniper
rifle.

Purely
as a matter of personal opinion, I have always felt the standard APS2
stock was lacking in any character, being a composite of many stock
designs, as indeed the rifle itself is a distillation of various rifle
features. While there are a number of replacement stocks available,
most notably the Orca, none of these, to my mind at least, gives the
weapon a suitable sense of presence.

The
S&S stock changes that. Constructed from laminated hardwood rather
than ABS or resin-based materials, this is a stock which fills the
hand and thrills the eye. Although of very square cross-section, it
is remarkably comfortable.

History:
But before I go into the detail of the stock, a brief history lesson.

The
current army issue sniper rifle, the L96A1 was derived from a design
by the British gun makers, Accuracy International. Their approach
was to bed the rifle action in a very solid aluminium chassis to ensure
rigidity and accuracy. In order to make the weapon more ‘hand-friendly’
side plates made from a resin material (plastic) are fixed onto the
chassis using a number of Allen head bolts.

The
stock is adjustable for reach and drop and is of a thumbhole design.
This allows a secure yet comfortable grip. In addition to the usual
sling swivels a folding bipod is normally fitted to the end of the
foregrip. The AI rifle is available in a number of chamberings and
can be bought commercially. The standard Army weapon is chambered
for the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round, however the Royal Marines have purchased
44 rifles chambered for the larger and more powerful Lapua .338 Magnum
round (8.6 x 70 mm). This is reckoned to give an effective range of
1200 yards and first hit probability out to 1100 yards. The heavier
bullet (250 grains as compared to 150 grains for the NATO round) also
gives an enhanced anti materiel capability. In addition, AI has now
added a rifle chambered for the .50 calibre BMG (Browning machine
gun) round. The L96A1 is fed from a 10 round magazine positioned immediately
in front of the trigger guard.

The
S&S stock
The
photographs accompanying this review are of one of the prototype stocks,
finish on the production examples being rather better. Additionally,
the trigger guard is now constructed from a single piece of aluminium,
which gives a far neater appearance.

As
mentioned previously, Warren Reynolds of S&S has chosen to construct
the stock from laminated hardwood rather than casting it in resin.
There are a number of reasons for this, however the resulting stocks
are extremely strong and each one is effectively hand-made to order.
The stock itself is a copy of the AI AWM rifle. This is the weapon
used by the Royal Marines chambered for the .338 round. It differs
from the standard L96A1 only at the shoulder, where the stock is cut
away behind the thumbhole to provide a better grip should the firer
wish to use a two-handed hold on the butt when the weapon is resting
on a bipod. The APS2 SV (sniper version) will drop straight into the
stock without fuss and a well has been cut beneath the barrel to accept
the Maruzen magazine. The fit is excellent and the action sits firmly
in the new stock even without the fixing screws being fitted. Immediately
ahead of the trigger guard sits a dummy 10 round magazine which is
permanently attached. Warren had explored the option of using this
to hold spare BBs, however the resulting rattling tended to compromise
the snipers otherwise stealthy approach! Since each stock is made
to order, they can be supplied in the colour and finish of the buyer’s
choice. The olive drab of the original has proved elusive, however
Warren has managed to find an acceptable match. Alternatively the
stock could be finished in black if required, or I suppose pink if
that takes your fancy. Since I expect most users will promptly ghillie
the entire gun, the actual stock colour may be a lesser consideration.

The
original spacers and butt plates from the APS2 are retained to adjust
the reach of the stock and these look very good against the green
of the stock I tested. Warren had fitted a 4 X 32 scope and the APS2
being used had been upgraded with replacement piston, spring etc.

Despite
its rather angular forend, the rifle is very comfortable to hold,
aided by the thumbhole stock. Surprisingly, given the apparent flatness
of the stock, both the gun and the scope fall very nicely to the eye
when brought up to the shooting position. It is a remarkably comfortable
weapon to use – I found the angle of the pistol grip exactly right,
although this may be a matter or personal preference and the overall
feeling of solidity is most reassuring.

With
the action and scope in place, the all up weight is around 8 lbs.
(3.5 kg). This is a nice compromise between accuracy and usability.
While 12lbs of rifle might feel nice in the hand, it does become a
pain if you’re lugging it around for a whole day. It would be unfair
to suggest that a stock alone will dramatically improve a rifle’s
accuracy, however the very fact that this stock sits so well and handles
beautifully undoubtedly will improve overall performance. Gone is
the slightly skinny feel of the original stock (to my mind anyway)
to be replaced with a reassuring solidity. The rifle tested was not
fitted with a bipod – this prototype is one that Warren uses for skirmishing
and reflects his personal preferences – however this option is available
if required.

Conclusions
In truth it is difficult to write a hyperbolic
article about items such as this. It is one part of a whole and
performance is almost totally dependant upon the quality of the
action wedded to the stock. Personally I am impressed with both
the quality of this stock and its appearance. In truth, many of
those interested will be looking for something a bit different
while retaining the functionality of the underlying rifle. Different
this certainly is, and while beauty is as ever in the eye of the
beholder, if I owned an APS2 this stock would be high on my shopping
list.

Warren
can be contacted either on 01796-482582 or via email, info@shootandscoot.co.uk.

Prices
for the L96 stock vary depending on options so it would be sensible
to contact Warren to discuss your requirements.

Site
Links:
TBA

External
Links:
Shoot
& Scoot


Last updated:
Tuesday, April 23, 2002 10:05 PM

Except where listed, all contents are Copyright 2002 ArniesAirsoft




Looking for somewhere?
Podcasts
airsoftology
The Airsoft Discussion
Gorilla Airsoft Radio
Airsoft Medicine
SSMG.se Specialist Swedish Military Experience Group
Subscribe to our news

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

News Feeds
Archives