Lithgow Arms LA101 CrossOver: First civilian firearm mass-produced in Australia in over four decades

TFB LA101

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.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Dave

    Winchester Aus. is pretty much the worst company they could have partnered with, it pretty much ensures that there will never be enough stock/parts and they will take 3 years to get delivered when they may have a warehouse 15ft from you.

    • Tom

      I agree. I’ve tried to source products through Winchester Australia before and they haven’t even bothered to return my calls or emails.
      I’m excited at Lithgow building rifles in AU and hope it is the first of many!

      • BlaserBoyR93 .

        I wouldn’t be too worried about that.
        If it sells Nioa will have it in there stable by the following year. LOL
        Could have been worse, they could have given it Mialls !

  • The cutler

    Onya Lithgow! How much?

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Not sure yet. They have not announced that yet.

  • FourString

    Nice! If they’re legal in Australia, then they’ll probably be legal in restricted places like California and the UK too (well, they’ve got to be since they’re bolt rifles)! Really dig the curves of that stock.

  • Nigel

    There’s a lot of Buzz among Aussies regarding these.

    I think they will be surprised at the local demand if pricing is sensible.

    Might go to the show and try to get some better photo’s and more information.

  • Julio

    Will it be as good as this: http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/455-precision-trainer/ … or just cheaper?

    • Nigel

      If they build to the same standard as they used to it’ll be equal or better.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I love my 455, but that manner’s stock version is sort of dumb. It’s as heavy as a 308 rifle, and I get that the idea is it’s supposed to be a trainer, but I think the 455 Lux and American are FAR superior buys even for trainer purposes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000321692567 Leigh Rich

    May not come to the USA . Depends where they are made. the last rifle exported was made in North Korea and Vietnam and assembled in AU by Austrailian Arms. The USA ban inmporting them. It was sad however cause i managed to buy one. Beautiful rifle.

    • mikee

      Leigh – Lithgow has no association with Australian Arms or any other Australian company in this arena. Lithgow has always made their small arms in Australia and is part of the Thales group of companies now. In the 1970s Lithgow partnered with Winchester to produce the excellent Winchester 320 series of bolt action rifles. I would be very surprised indeed if Lithgow subcontracted receivers etc., outside of Australia considering the paperwork involved.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      The enfield clone you refer to was made by another company. This is made by Thales, major international defense company, in the Lithgow factory … they are not doing business with North Korea.

  • David Hinerman

    What makes it tactical? “Heavy barrel and a wide forend for bench shooting” doesn’t match my concept of tactical.

    Apparently that word doesn’t mean what I think it means.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      The way that word is used today it means less and less. I saw an ad the other day for tactical socks. That just about peaked my tolerance for that word.

      • David Hinerman

        Oh, good. I’m not the only one who feels that way. Thanks.

        Frankly, this gun looks more like a Scout rifle to me. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.

  • Burp

    I took more photos of the Crossover at the SHOT Expo in Melbourne today
    http://www.shooting.com.au/forum/index.php?/topic/41362-the-return-of-lithgow-saf/page__st__105

  • Mike Knox

    Australia is a real country?

    • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

      Like Canada, its a country entirely made out of Nerf.

    • Mr Silly

      Are you serious Mike- how ignorant you are.

      • Mike Knox

        Wow, a fake intellect and no sense of humour. That’s just pathetic..

        • Mr Silly

          You have issues.

          • Mike Knox

            Look at the mirror and think about it, but not too hard or you’ll get an aneurysm..

  • Tt_ttf

    Nice to see – my dad had a lithgow 22 hornet made from left over 303 actions that was really nice to shoot.

    Nice to see them back in the civilian market even if that takes real guts given the hoops in Australia just to purchase

    Are they still tucked in that valley just outside lithgow?