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L96A1 - Black Ops Multiplayer Weapon Guide

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Published on Mar 27, 2011

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This time, we're covering the third sniper rifle - the L96A1.

It the only bolt-action rifle in the game, and is unlocked at level 27.

One of the two British weapons in-game, the L96A1 is the land force's designation for the Accuracy International Precision Marksman, or PM.

Adopted in 1982, the L96A1 entered service with the British Armed Forces in 1985.

The Precision Marksman went up against a few other potential rifles in trials, including the Parker Hale M85, PSG-1 and Remington 700.

The PM eventually came out top, and became the sniper rifle employed by the British force, and was later adopted in a variety of roles by other nations.

The original PM design was improved in the Arctic Warfare version of the rifle, named for its ability to operate in a wide variety of climates.

Available in large number of different calibres and configurations, such as the Police variant, or AWP - with its shorter barrel and black furniture - and the Magnum or AWM, designed for more powerful cartridges, the Arctic Warfare range is an adaptable family of rifles suited to a large range of roles.

Although the AW series of rifles are chambered for a variety of calibres, the L96A1 configuration fires the NATO standard 7.62 by 51 millimetre round.

Magazine capacity in-game is on the smaller end, at 5 rounds. Extended mags will take this capacity up to 10.

The L96A1 is the most powerful of all the sniper rifles - boasting the largest one-hit kill area, and dealing more effective damage per shot than any other non-explosive weapon in the game.

A shot anywhere to the head, neck, chest, stomach - or even the upper arms - will result in a one-shot kill.

This means that only a shot to the lower arms or legs will require a follow up shot.

Silenced, the damage profile is identical to the other rifles - you'll need a head or neck shot to kill.

As a bolt action, you will need to chamber a new round manually with every shot - this limits your rate of fire to a maximum of 60 rounds per minute - or one per second.

If you interrupt the weapon cycling, by sprinting or changing weapons, be warned that you will still need to cycle the weapon before you'll be able to fire.

Recoil is very heavy - when firing, the upward kick will cause you to lose sight of your target momentarily. Given that the bolt-action cycling slows your rate of fire, the recoil doesn't harm second shot accuracy, but can hurt in cases where you need to aim two shots in sequence.

Aim speed is the same as all the snipers - at 400 milliseconds, it's important to stay out of close-range gunfights else you'll be bested by more nimble weapons.

Reload is fairly slow, but seldom an issue if you're in a good position and remain mindful of your remaining count - 3.3 seconds is manageable enough.

By default, the L96 comes with a scope attached - with moderate zoom and crosshair reticle, it's good enough for a wide variety of situations - but there are some alternatives.

When employing the sniper rifles, there's no getting around the fact that they're long range weapons - the slow aim time and high level of precision required means that you'll be at a disadvantage in the open.

That's not to say you'll be unable to kill targets at a closer range - with a carefully placed shot you're deadly at any distance - but care should be taken to avoid any direct confrontation.

If you do find yourself on your own, you may be best falling back to a traditional sniper role - preserving longer sightlines through good positioning, and protecting your rear with a claymore.

Playing as a lone sniper does demand patience, else you'll wind up exposing yourself to a gunfight outside your comfort zone and wind up getting killed.

Whichever tactic you prefer, your accuracy is crucial - and ensuring that your first shot is the kill will prove essential, as the crack of a missed shot will serve as quite the motivation for your opponent to target you with urgency.

If you're in a poor position, or too close to your opponent, you won't get a second chance.

The L96A1 is the most powerful sniper weapon in the game, with the highest potential for a one-shot kill.

This means you have to worry less about hitting a target twice, as with most aimed shot's you'll see consistent performance.

Despite this tolerance, it remains important to be accurate - the slow bolt-action is punishing to those who miss their mark.

The sniper rifles don't really lend themselves to spray and pray tactics - so the slow fire rate encourages good habits, and will force you to be accurate to find success.

It's not an easy weapon to use, but there are few weapons as satisfying when things go your way.

With careful positioning, a clear shot and keen aim - you'll be hidden death, allied to the shadows, one shot, one kill.

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