I posted this in in my own LJ as a reference for some fiction I'm working, but I thought the gang here would appreciate this as well.
~The AWM (Arctic Warfare Magnum) is a sniper rifle manufactured by Accuracy International. It is also known as the AWSM (Arctic Warfare Super Magnum), which typically denotes the .338 Lapua Magnum version.
Royal Marines with L115A1 rifles.
British Army L96A1 sniper rifle
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare (AI AW 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Folding (AI AWF 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle, with buttstock folded
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum Folding (AI AWM F 300WM) .300 Winchester Magnum / 7.62x63 sniper rifle
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Police (AI AWP 7,62) 7.62x51 sniper rifle
German Army AWM-F, designated G22
A Dutch ISAF sniper team displaying their Accuracy International AWSM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and Leica/Vectronix VECTOR IV laser rangefinder binoculars.
Caliber: L96, AW, AW Police, AW Folding: 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 win); Super Magnum: .338 Lapua (8.60x70mm), .300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag
Operation: Bolt Action
Barrel lenght: 686mm (.338 Lapua), 660mm (.300 and 7mm)
Weight: 6.8kg empty without telescope
Magazine Capacity: 5 round box magazine
Maximum Effective Range: ca. 800 meters for 7.62mm NATO variants, 1100+ meters for Magnum variants
In early 1980's British Army started the search for the replacement of the aging L42 Enfield sniper rifles. Main competitors were British companies Parker-Hale with their Model 82 bolt action rifle, and Accuracy International, with their PM rifle. Eventually, PM rifle won the competition and was accepted by British Army under the designation of L96.
One of the most notorious features of the PM rifle was design of the stock. Instead of the solid polymer or wooden stock, PM / L96 rifle used hollow polymer stock, made from two halves and assembled around aluminum bedding block, that extends through entire stock length. L96 also was equipped with backup iron sights.
In mid-1980s Swedish armed forces began their own quest for the new sniper rifle, which could survive cold and harsh Nordic environments. The AI again become the winner in this race with improved L96 design, named "Arctic Warfare". In 1988 Swedish forces adopted AW rifle in 7.62mm NATO chambering under the designation of PSG 90. British Army, in its turn, also adopted this improved design under the designation of L96A1, as well as many other militarys and Law Enforcement agencies around the world. In 1998, the Bundeswehr (Germany Army) also adopted the AW Super Magnum rifle chambered in .300 Winchester magnum (German caliber designation is 7.62x67mm) as Scharfschutzengewehre (sniper rifle - german) G22.
Built by Accuracy International of Portsmouth, England, this line of rifles is among the best in the World of sniper rifles today. This rifle can shot less than 2" (51mm) groups at the distances of 600 yards (550m), using boat-tail match ammunition. Arctic Warfare is a line of 5 rifles. Original Arctc Warfare was designed for the British military. It gained its designation by special anti-icing features, allowing sniping operations to be carried out under Arctic conditions as low as -40C (-104F)! Other models are Police (AWP), Suppressed (AWS), Folding (AWF) and Super Magnum (AW SM). Three first rifles designed for 7.62mm NATO ammunition, while Super Magnum can be chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7mm Remington Magnum. AW has a 26" (660mm) barrel, AWP has 24" (609mm). AW SM barrels available in lentths from 24" (609mm) to 27" (686mm). The standard scopes supplied by Accuracy International are Smidt&Bender 3-12X variable or the Leupold Mark 4 fixed 10X scope.
Source world.guns.ru and Wikipedia