Why won't you die? L85A3 prototype photos released to public - The Firearm Blog
It appears that our friends at HK have not only just won the French Army’s AIF contract, but are also working on British L85A3 prototype project. It is not without interest that they used the slim line handguard with HKey slots and hexagonal handguard rail locking screw, similar to that of 416. And of course the ingenious quick-release back-ups, in case the Brits would want to ditch them quickly. Why would anyone want to do this? Who knows ... and who cares? And what about the zero? Well, these days no one really uses the irons anymore. The back-ups are just for back-up, ya know?
But the most interesting thing about that - at least from my perspective - is that they finally managed to produce something beyond the HKey Picatinny rail segment, namely the HKey slot mounted sling loop. So now - well not right now, but in a year or two, when they'll actually start to sell it - I'll be able to mount the sling directly to the slim line 417 handguard without the need of using the Picatinny rail first. Wow, just can't believe it (sarcasm intended). A little patience, and the next thing we know, HK may just start utilizing QD swivel sockets. BTW too bad the Geissele 417 rail never materialized.