Lithgow Arms Crossover LA101 Rimfire review
The Australian gun maker Lithgow Arms was originally founded in 1912 to produce the SMLE 303 rifle. While they’ve been around the military small arms world for over a century, they are a relative new comer to the commercial firearms market. My introduction to Lithgow began with the LA102 Crossover Center-fire Rifle.
I was impressed with the originality of the Lithgow Arms LA102 Crossover Center-fire Rifle when I reviewed it. Rather than cutting corners and trying to bring a rifle to market at a low price point, Lithgow designed their rifle with a focus on performance. The LA102 was a unique rifle with a beefy well made feel. Before the center-fire LA102, there was the rimfire LA101.
The LA101 doesn’t handle like your typical rimfire bolt action rifle. With the exception of some high end target rifles like those from Anschutz, or the Ruger 77/22, the majority of the US commercial market has grown accustomed to fairly light duty 22 rifles. The LA101 is built like it means business.
Available in 22 LR, 22 WMR and 17 HMR, the test gun shown here is a 22 LR. The three-lug rear-locking bolt has a smart, short throw and cycles fresh rounds into the chamber from the CZ-style detachable magazine. The 21″ hammer-forged barrel is threaded 1/2″-28 and free floated in the polymer stock. All metal surfaces are coated in Cerakote.
The stock is the same dense polymer used in the LA102 center-fire rifle. The length-of-pull is adjustable with a spacer system and the bottom has a hook for shooting from the prone position.
The single stage trigger breaks at just over 3 pounds.
For testing and evaluation purposes, I mounted a Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x56mm scope in Badger Ordnance medium high steel rings. As configured with the scope, rings and Harris bipod, the rifle weighs in at 9.34 pounds.
22s are finicky rifles. Generally, they shoot one or two types of ammunition better than others. Most 22 guys will have a bunch of different ammunition on hand. Unfortunately I’m not most 22 guys and I had only two .22 LR match loads: Wolf Match Extra and Eley club.
All shooting was done prone from a bipod with a rear bag. For a target I printed 1″ dots on waterproof paper from Rite in the Rain.
I had quite a bit of Eley Club, so I shot eighteen 5-shot groups at 50 yards. Average accuracy was .648″ (1.24 MOA).
The best Eley Club group was .376″!
I fired six different 5-shot groups with the Wolf Match Extra. Average accuracy for the six groups was .606″ (1.15 MOA). The best group, .365″ was actually fired by my buddy who wanted to try the rifle out.
Sometimes 22s don’t feed very well. That wasn’t the case with the LA101. With a few hundred rounds down the pipe, I didn’t have one failure to feed or extract.
So what do I think of the LA101?
- Sturdy. The LA101 is built for business. While the bolt throw and travel are shorter than a center fire rifle, the LA101 reminds me of a center-fire rifle in terms of handling characteristics.
- Accurate and precise. With average accuracy just over .6″ for twenty-four 5-shot groups at 50 yards and select groups in the .3″s; the LA101 offers a rifle that will allow meaningful practice for the accomplished shooter.
- CZ Magazines. The LA101 uses a CZ pattern magazine, this is a big advantage. You don’t have to search around for a proprietary unit.
- Fun. I don’t shoot enough rimfire. Until I got behind this LA101, I forgot how much fun it can be.
The Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x56mm scope paired well with the LA101. I would highly recommend it for an application like this.
I had a blast with the Lithgow LA101. I’d like to get a laminate gun in 22 WMR to compliment this one. It is a fun, well built little gun!
The LA101 is imported in the United State by Legacy Sports International. To learn more about the LA101, click here.
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