Australia’s famous Lithgow factory, which originally opened just before the first world war to produce Enfield rifles for British Commonwealth troops, stopped producing civilian rifles decades ago and instead focused on military weapons, such as the Australia/New Zealand variants of the FN FAL and Steyr AUG rifles. I was surprised to learn that Winchester Australia have partnered with Thales (owner of the Lithgow factory) to start producing a new tactical/hunting-style bolt action rifle called the Lithgow Arms LA101 CrossOver. The rifle will be officially unveiled at the Melbourne Shot Expo this weekend.
The rifles feature a heavy barrel and a wide forend for bench shooting. The stock is made of the same injection molded nylon as Australia’s new Thales EF88 (F90) service rifle. The pistol grip is described as “more upright” (I believe that tactical-style guns cannot be exported from Australia, so this might be as close to a “tactical” pistol grip they could make without giving up the option of exporting it).
Initially the Lithgow Arms LA101 CrossOver will be offered in 22 LR, .22 WMR and .17 HMR. These will be followed by a center-fire variant chambered in .223 Rem. and .308 Win.
Hopefully this will be first of many new guns from Lithgow. I don’t know when (or if) they plan on exporting these guns to the USA, but I would not be surprised to see Winchester importing them next year or the following year.
Many thanks to Nigel for the tip.