ENFIELD XL69E1 LIGHT MACHINE GUN

 ENFIELD XL69E1 LIGHT MACHINE GUN

Following the demise of the EM-2 the 7.62 NATO round enjoyed a brief period of popularity until the mid-1960's when many nations began experiments for a smaller caliber cartridge and rifle. Britain was no exception to this and in 1967 tests were started to find a new cartridge and rifle. They already had the 5.56 NATO round available for testing however the British took a different route, by 1972 they had developed their 4.85x44mm load and the XL64E5 rifle to fire it. Owing much to the prior EM-2 in form and the firing systems of both the Armalite AR-18 and the Stoner 63. The XL69E1 was designed to be a light support weapon version of the standard XL64E5 rifle. Changes from the rifle include the addition of a bipod which is fixed to the frame and not capable of being removed. Plans during the period called for the XL69E1 to be dispersed amongst infantry units at a rate of one per three riflemen. However the XL69E1 came to an abrupt halt when the XL70E3 was designed and the L85A1 was adopted.

Submitted by: PIERANGELO TENDAS