23 January 2013

Did Anyone Else Notice This?

My wife is very in to the British Royal Family, and we were watching Prince Harry's BBC interview on his service in Afghanistan as an Apache gunner. When he climbed into the front cockpit of the attack helicopter, I noticed he positioned a very compact carbine next to him.
When I reviewed the footage, this weapon was a rarely seen L22A1 carbine of the standard British assault bullpup rifle, the L85A2! According to some sources, the L22A1 carbine is mainly issued to armored crews, much like the Soviet-era AKS-74U, and it seems now, to Apache crews.
Which it makes sense, if an Apache goes down, the crew would need defensive firepower until the rescue bird shows up. Much of the carbine is covered up, and I couldn't notice what kind of optical setup. Did anyone notice this or am I just odd?


  1. Well spotted. Magazine looks slightly smaller an there's a newer folding fore grip.

  2. Good spot. Would have guessed they would give him a MP-7, but on the other hand, he never wanted prefered treatment.

    The one thing that irritates me is that it is pointing up... I always thought that weapons had to be stored pointed down in a chopper.

  3. It's got the standard British army susat sight. The gun is a bit poop. I'm pretty sure it's a standard 5.56 mag.
    The MP7 is a specialist weapon and I think it's only issued to close protection in the military police. The MP7 is a hard to source round where as the 5.556 is pretty ubiquitous. The theory is that the fewer rounds and magazines you have to source, the easier resupply is.

  4. Looks like a 20 round magazine in the picture with Prince Harry. The British 20 round magazines are curved and don't extend lower than the grip on SA80 weapons.

    Also I don't believe the gun in the other picture is an L22A1 at all. They were made by HK and should have the upgrades that HK incorporated into the L85A2/L86A2, which the pictured gun does not (bolt handle is a dead giveaway). It appears to be some earlier form of SA80 based carbine that predates the L22A1.

  5. What can I say...FWS has some of the smartest readers! Nice show, everyone! The MP-7 would be a better choice...I've held a few airsoft copies of it, but never a L22a1 carbine.