Earlier this year I wrote about the Lithgow Arms LA101 CrossOver rifle, a Thales Australia and Winchester collaboration. It was unveiled at the end of May at an Australian gun expo. I thought it was about to go into production but apparently the general public had a lot to say about the design and Thales have subsequently made many design changes. Nic Jenzen-Jones sent us a press release from Thales …
Lithgow Arms has finished the design of its LA101 CrossOver rifle, following extensive public feedback.
The Australian-made rifle was first unveiled at the Melbourne SSAA Shot Expo in May, attracting a significant response and plenty of enthusiasm from the sporting shooter community.
Following this, the Lithgow Arms team has implemented several improvements to the rifle:
The CrossOver will be offered in a left-hand version. Many people requested this, and components have been optimised to provide this option.
A visual and tactile cocking indicator has been added, as indicated by the small red pin at the base of the bolt shroud in the picture below. The flats on the bolt handle have also been orientated to improve bolt feel.
The size of the trigger guard has been reduced. Shooters will be able to rest their finger along the guard for a safer and more comfortable hand position.
The ergonomics of the trigger and the safety selector have been improved, as the photo below indicates. Specifically, the sear engagement is fully adjustable and the safety selector is now a rotating mechanism rather than sliding. The shape of the safety now makes it easier to use and provides a positive feel. The trigger shape has also changed, and is now more curved with added texture for improved trigger feel.
The five-round magazine and magazine release catch are now flush fitting, so those who want to shoot from their vehicle won’t snag on the window frame. The CrossOver magazine is free to drop into the hand when the release catch is operated, and the stock now incorporates recesses to allow the magazine to be pulled free if necessary. See the profile below:
The length of pull has been made adjustable between 32.5cm and 35.5cm. Three spacers will come standard with the rifle that will enable these adjustments, as indicated in the picture below
The ergonomics of the stock have been improved. A high quality textured elastomer recoil pad has been fitted. Texture has been added around the pistol grip, and the fore-end is stepped and slightly tapered to the front, and also textured to improve grip:
A dedicated recoil lug has been added for durability and repeatability, while a Lithgow Arms grip cap has also been added:
Graham Evenden, Head of Lithgow Arms, said: “The team spent a significant amount of time analysing all the responses for their practicality, exploring design options and the interaction between components, and then making the final decisions based on all of the above.
“We believe the resulting design makes the CrossOver an attractive rifle for shooters.
“We’re now moving closer to finalising the timetable for when the CrossOver will go into production. We do not yet have a date for when the rifle will hit the shops, but we’re still working towards the first quarter of next year. There’s a similar story with the pricing – while we’re still finalising production we can’t provide an exact price, but we stand by our previous statements that it will be competitive.
“Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed their ideas and opinions – it’s been greatly appreciated.”