Lithgow Arms’ Premium Bolt Guns Are Coming to the US | SHOT 17

As we wrap up our SHOT Show coverage, we turn to a new company on the US market, but an old name in Australia: Lithgow. This Australian gun company dates back to the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, established before World War I and located in New South Wales. Today, Lithgow brands itself as a high tech manufacturer, advertising its military Atrax bullpup rifle as using a completely novel polymer in the construction of its barrel cradle, for example. Lithgow’s US arm themselves will not be importing the Atrax (that will be handled by Dasan), but rather a line of premium bolt action rifles that have been sold on the Australian civilian market for several years now.

These rifles, the centerfire LA102 and rimfire LA101, form the core of Lithgow’s civilian rifle line. At well over $1,000 MSRP each, both models sit solidly in the premium bolt action rifle market, with the centerfire LA102 competing directly with rifles like the Sako 85 and Sauer 101. Indeed, the LA102 is similar in design to the Sauer 101, having similar receiver architecture and a similar wide-diameter bolt body with radial 120-degree bolt lugs (the LA102 having three lugs, and the Sauer 101 having six lugs in two rows). Unlike the Sauer, however, and more like the lower-priced Tikka T3, the LA102 uses a polymer bottom metal assembly and even uses T3 magazines.

The rimfire LA101 will occupy an odd place on the US market, being one of the very few rimfires on the US market sitting above $1,000 in price. Whether the quality of the LA101 will make up for this high cost or not remains to be seen.

I took the LA102 centerfire to the range on Industry Day, though sadly the range was steel only and out to just 100 yards. However, I found the LA102 to be very easy-handling, and easy to operate quickly.

 

MSRP for the LA101 rimfire is listed at $1,145, with the LA102 centerfire’s at $1,269. They are being imported by Legacy Sports International, and should hit the US market soon.

The LA101 rimfire’s bolt design is incredibly overbuilt for the task. Three lugs!



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


Advertisement

  • Anonymoose

    But are they any good against emus?

    • Tinkerer

      I couldn’t help reading that as “good against emos”.

      • Tassiebush

        Well we don’t have many emos around here these days so I’d say they’re quite effective

      • Anonymoose

        We need to cull those too.

    • Dougscamo

      Daresay that they were designed for the bloody ‘roos…….

    • Tassiebush

      My neighbour used to have a giggle shooting their heads off when he lived up north.

      • Dougscamo

        One more comment and I’m outie….you boys would fit right into the parts of the South (especially), West, and Midwest (US) where the city folks haven’t permanently invaded….

  • El Duderino

    Not sure if the T3 mag thing is all that great. $70 for a hunk of plastic with a spring inside.

    Other than the safety placement it pretty much looks like a T3 to me, so what’s the draw here?

    • Precious Mettle

      Even with every ounce of jingoistic patriotism in my body… Forget the Lithgow, buy a T3.

      They compete directly with the T3 here in the land of Aus, the exchange rate is not favorable. They offer nothing a T3 doesn’t.

  • Tinkerer

    Coming from Lithgow, I would have expected Enfield-style actions.

  • Daniel Philip Cook

    I find their lack of Enfield pattern rifles, disturbing.

  • Joseph Ramon

    Wish you could have gotten more details about the Rimfire.

    I’d be really curious to see how the bottom looks, how it sits in stocks, and how accurate they are.

    • Precious Mettle

      They’re very average and terribly overpriced. Save yourself the trouble and buy a CZ452.

  • Bloke

    Want modern Lee pattern rifles damnit!

    A modern No4Mk2 chambered in 7.62×51 or L42A1 in a synthetic stock matching the 1930s checkered trials versions would be awesome. AIA version tried this and executed it so poorly they went bankrupt. Lithgow could produce something of a good quality that people would be more than happy to fork money over for!

  • HenryV

    Great. That means their supply here will dry up. 🙁

  • Stan Darsh

    Enfield action or GTFO.

  • Ryobiwankenobi

    If the rimfire action with the rear lugs coy let be made centerfire it looks like it would be the right size to handle pistol calibers.

  • Jacob Peters

    A Left Hand Lee-Enfield is sorely needed. Lots of us lefties in the British Commonwealth favor the Lee-Enfield over any other.

  • Sandy McNab

    No iron sights version? 🙁

  • steve s

    Good luck getting one, have had one on order in Australia since early November 2016 and the delivery date keeps getting pushed out “due to military commitments” now due early april 2017 for a la102 in 308 with laminated stock and black ceracote By all reports from those luck enough to own one well worth the wait.