— Battlelog description
The L86A2 makes its debut in the Battlefield franchise with the Close Quarters expansion pack for Battlefield 3. The L86A2 is a magazine-fed light machinegun, comparable to the M27 IAR and RPK-74M. Like those weapons, the L86A2 possesses 45+1 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 its cousin that was added to the game in Back to Karkand, but with 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.
To obtain the L86A2, players must complete the "No Shortage" assignment. The reqiurements for this assignment are:
- 20 Squad Resupplies
- 20 kills with light machine guns
- 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 has an unused aftgrip behind the magazine, which would actually be used in real life for left-handed shooters
- 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.