The L86 LSW (Light Support Weapon) is a Light Support Weapon variant of the L85, featuring a longer barrel, aft-grip for supported shooting, and a bipod. Despite technically being an LMG, the L86's relatively small magazine size and lack of quick-change barrels cause it to be relatively unsuited to a suppressive fire role. However, its longer barrel provides superior accuracy and range, and as a result the L86 is generally employed as a Designated Marksman Rifle by British forces. The L86A1 variant was the initial version of the L86, but like the L85A1, it was plagued by reliability issues, and was upgraded to the significantly more dependable A2 standard in 2000.
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The L86A2 was an LMG in Battlefield Play4Free, purchasable for the medic class for 2999 funds.
— Battlelog description
The L86A2 is a weapon featured in the Battlefield 3: Close Quarters expansion pack and Is unlocked upon the completion of the No Shortage assignment. The L86A2 is a magazine-fed light machinegun, comparable to the M27 IAR and RPK-74M, possessing 45+1 round magazines by default, with all of the attachments available to those weapons, and has the same unlock progression (contrasted to the belt-fed light machineguns, where the unlocks are gained in a slightly different order). With Extended Mags, it has a 60+1 round mag.
It is aesthetically very similar to L85A2 variant but features a much different barrel and a slightly different reloading animation. Additionally, the L86A2's bipod has no unfolding animation, with the bipod already deployed. It is more of a mobile machine gun like the M27 IAR and it goes well with a Holographic Sight, Foregrip, and Heavy Barrel where it will maintain incredible accuracy even at long ranges. It's worth noting the L86A2 is the only magazine-fed light machinegun which gains the additional bonus of reduced vertical recoil from the foregrip.
The L86A2 is an LMG for the Support kit introduced in the Weapon Crate Pack of Battlefield 4. It was added along with the other Weapon Crate weapons to the Community Test Environment on March 30, 2015 for Alpha testing.
The L86A2 in Battlefield 4 is slightly different from that of Battlefield 3, having a reduced magazine count of 30 rounds, whereas the Battlefield 3 version had 45 rounds, a slightly lower rate of fire, and a different ironsights design without illuminated posts. It is otherwise nearly the same as the Battlefield 3 version. It unlocks the standard Western attachments through progression and unlocks Chinese and Russian attachments via Battlepacks.
- The L86A2 was initially called L86A1 after what the gun was modeled on, but it was changed to L86A2 sometime after the trailers.
- The L86A2 benefits slightly more from the Heavy barrel attachment than other magazine fed light machine guns, having a base spread of 0.180 instead of 0.2 degrees.
- Unlike the L85A2, which colors the cheekpiece, grip and magazine, the L86A2 has the metal on the rifle colored when applying a paint.