The Leader Dynamics T2 was produced in Australia as an inexpensive rifle for export, and a later variant with a folding stock was submitted in 1986 to military testing with the intent of replacing the Australian military’s FAL rifles. It did well in testing, but not well enough to be adopted. The rifles were available on the civilian market in both Australia and the US for a short time. After Leader Dynamics went under, production was briefly continued by Australian Automatic Arms out of Tasmania as the SAC.

The T2 rifle is interesting primarily because of the way it is manufactured – almost entirely from metal stampings.This makes it possible to build with minimal industrial infrastructure and at minimal cost. Similar in concept to the AR-18, but the Leader is more simplified than the AR. The MkV version was the imported variety from Leader, while the other Marks included two wood-stocked versions, a pistol version, select-fire rifle and select-fire carbine. When AAA took over production they removed the carry handle and designated the guns SAR and SAC.



Australian Automatic Arms SAC with wood furniture (download gallery at high resolution):


Oleg Volk has a couple photos with a Leader, posted here.


  1. As I have 2(Two) of these magnificent rifles I brought one a long time ago at a show for a good price as was astouned by the rifle even more than the 180. Before today I was unaware of the wood stock version as you show very nice you think about parting with it give me a hollar.

  2. The rifle shown in the picture is actually my AAA SPB (Straight-pull bolt). It is similar to the SAR only it has a 20″ barrel and no gas-system.

    It was an attempt to produce a rifle that would comply with Australia’s 1996 Firearms laws, which prohibited self-loading rifles.

    It is a one-off factory prototype and is unusual in having the AR-15 type bolt rather than the triangular bolt.

    AAA were transitioning to the Stoner type bolt and all new rifles were to have it. They made two other prototypes with this bolt, a SAR and a SAP.

    I also own the SAP prototype, which is also built on the original prototype AAA receiver. I was unable to purchase the SAR prototype as I didn’t have the correct category licence for it.

    The production facility was bought by the Australian government and closed down in order to comply with a UN resolution against independent arms manufacturers. At the time AAA was the last non-government arms manufacturer in Australia.

  3. I tripped over this site looking for gun parts, and after several hours of viewing I have to say “Great Work” In 1975 AR15’s and AR18’s were for sale most everywhere in the States. In 1975 I purchased a Colt SP-1 AR15 instead of the AR18 because I did not like what I considered to be “crude” a stamped steel and welded receiver assy. Oh how I wish I had bought the AR18 instead, as it is now a rare and somewhat valuable piece, whereby the AR15 design has become as common as popcorn.

  4. I bought one of these before the first awb desperate to get something and over paid .
    but as I have had it for almost 20 years it has some very nice attributes tough and scratch resistant the alloy receivers on AR’s will scratch up something fierce .
    if it wasn’t so rare I would put a 4 position stock and a picatinny hand guard and cut off the carry handle and scope it. but as it is it will do every thing I need out of a carbine
    and it’s use of stanag mags makes it very compatible with my AR’s
    also it’s nice to have something not everybody else has.
    I don’t know for sure but Wikipedia say’s it had a Parker Hale barrel it is quite accurate
    even with my old eyes

  5. I am looking for spare parts for the Australian Automatic Arms Leader rifle. In particular the 2 piece firing pin that the SAP utilizes. Any and all info would be most appreciated

  6. Can you tell me if the AAA sap came with a folding stock and whether there are any sources to obtain one?

  7. For those of you who would like a configurable non-collector version of the leader or similar AR180, Masterpiece arms is now producing the MPAR-556 which looks to be straight updated version of the Leader. It has the pinned gas block, but features a floated handguard of their design. It also features a folding stock with an AR buffer tube for stock compatibility.

  8. Hi,anybody out there who has an original copy of the handbook or manual that came with AAA T2 MK5 SAR, i would be very interested in getting a copy, i would post a photo of the one i have but not sure if i can post it here, this one is the AUSTRALIAN AUTOMATIC ARMS SAR with a very high serial number in excelant condition, i have downloaded the skematics and diagrams for the sap, but unable at this time to find anything for the SAR which does not have the carry handle like the leader SAC.

    Thanks Anyone,

  9. I posted the accuracy capabilities of the LD T2 SAR on the forgotten weapons Utube range test video of this rifle. The T2 when matched with good hand loads is capable of fine accuracy up to 300 metres. The carry handle seems to have created cause for comment. It is a very stable scope mounting system. I have a 4×40 Nikko mounted on mine. One comment was that the hole at the back of the carry handle that allows the iron sights to be used sighting through the length of the carry handle, optically interferes with the rear aperture iron sight when quick, or snap shooting. When first handling the T2 rifle this maybe a valid point. However, after one becomes familiar with the handling of this little rifle in the field, this rear carry handle hole actually becomes a great quick sighting asset. A 4×40 scope’s field of view is not particularly wide at close ranges thus inhibiting get off quick aimed close range shots. Because the rifle comes to the shoulder naturally its just a matter putting the whole of the rear sight smack centre of the carry handle hole and shoot with both eyes open on pig sized targets up to say 30~40 metres range after they’ve just hit top gear trying to get away. The follow up fire power of the T2 has anchored many a pig with the first iron sighted shot and finished off with a scope aimed second shot to the head before it had a chance to get up using this quick method of sighting. The T2 is far, far quicker to the shoulder than an M16 which we used for a while in Vietnam, but the coal fired ammo gummed up the works plus there were far too many moving parts on the M16 to maintain. An AK47 or the T2 doesn’t have those problems. The T2’s self cleaning gas system just doesn’t need field stripping. I did a LOT of feral pig shooting with our Ex army SMLE .303 which would blow a hole in a pig the size of a beer can and travel on to hit 2 or 3 more in big mobs. However the quick handling of the T2, whilst lacking the hitting power of the .303, made of for it in fire power and magazine capacity. The arcane Australian laws have now outlawed this fine weapon. I do hope manufacture is re-established in the US as its a fine defence weapon and incredibly simple to operate and maintain.

  10. So I have both an Australian Automatic Arms SAP 5.56 Pistol, and recently acquired a Leader Dynamics T2 Mk5 SN:0000100X. Anyway after stripping it fully down to clean out the remnants of the buffer pad, and give it a good pre-first firing (for me) cleaning, I finally got around to taking it to the range. On my first shot the upper swung away from the lower after it chambered the next round. Rather surprising and dangerous! I locked the halves again and the same thing happened. That was enough for me so I made the weapon safe and on releasing the charging handle realized the rear locking tab was coming out of the lower receiver frame lock as the bolt slammed into battery. I noticed the sheet metal locking area was a little rounded away from the BCG rear plate like someone had tried to slap the two halves together to lock the BCG forcefully. I’ve since tapped the lower receiver back to flat, and that reduced the amount it unlocks on battery, but doesn’t eliminate it. I tried the tap it a little further forward to square things up more, and still no joy.

    Anyone have any ideas? Compared to my SAP which locks tight, there’s a gap between the aft ends of the upper and lower receiver where you can see the BCG locking plate.

  11. I have had a AAA SAP 9mm sitting in the back of my safe for a while now only had a mag through it and still registered here in Australia and in as new condition. Has the original box and yellow instruction book that came with it, I can post a few pics up on here if needed and shown how to. Not for sale though she will be in my safe till the day I die 😉 I am though trying to locate a stock that may fit.



  12. Just so everyone knows, there is a brand new reproduction of the Leader Dynamics T2 on the market right now. A heavily modified clone in the form of the MasterPiece Arms MPAR 556. It is a great update on the design and a very welcome addition to the military market, especially with the ad nausum repetition of the Ar-15 platform that has plagued the military rifle Market these past two decades.

    The finer points of the rifle are a bit all over the place. It takes some cues from the FAL FNC, and even the old piston driven Ar-180’s. And it all adheres together quite well. A rugged and reliable and quite accurate revitalization of a nearly forgotten design.

  13. hay guys check out masterpiece arms “new mpar 556” haven’t gotten a close look at one but description sounds like a rifle i have seen before, wonder where….. hummmm ^^^

  14. Help ! I have a Leader MK5 that I purchased back in the late 80’s. The extractor broke years back and I never did fix it. Any ideas where I can get one ?

  15. I had seen an Australian Automatic 556 pistol some time ago with an excellent fix for the random release of the upper from the lower and a folding arm brace.
    The individual stated that it had the same problem of the lower rear receiver backing plate bending from firing impacts, same as reported above by Mat, Jan 6, 2014. He said it was a common problem.
    His solution was to machine a 1/4 inch thick plate to fit in the gap of the frame sides up against the original rear impact metal which had been bending and failing to allow the upper to rest securely in the firing configuration. He milled out a corresponding rectangular cut out to accommodate the upper spring retained quick-release detent lock. After confirming straightening of the bent rear plate and perfect, NON-firing function, the new piece was then welded into place. He reported perfect range function, but added that the spring needed to be replaced with a much firmer one to keep the halves together.
    Additionally, he had milled away a 1/4 circle in the upper left rear corner of the left side of the upper receiver to match the head of a grade 5 roughly 1/8 headed cap screw which he installed (drilled and threaded) into the lower receiver. This combo acted as a secure lock to secure the upper to the lower in battery, yet allowed for quick field disassembly by removing the forward upper-to-lower connecting hinge push-pin. The addition of these improvements rendered the unit bullet-proof where before it would self-release in firing.
    He also machined a small aluminum plate which he secured to the lower in place of the rubber butt piece. To that, he matched up a hinged (folding) arm brace which allowed the piece to be fired both folded or deployed.
    The modifications were all professional, and he was rightfully please with the results. The addition of the arm brace helped balance the weight and steady it for more comfortable, stable and accurate pistol shooting. My opinion was that it made a first-class and professional finished product.
    It is possible that I might still have a pic of it.
    If there is interest, I could look.

  16. I did a lot of work on the T2 and later SAR before the sky fell in here in Oz.

    Common problems were:

    Erratic ejection with case damage, ruptured primers / damaged firing pins and destruction of the buffer pad.

    Conventional wisdom said the ejection problem was due to a shortage of gas, but the damage to the buffer said otherwise. Simple solution was to remove the front-sight / gas-block unit, enlarge the hole that runs vertically between the barrel and the junction at the top and fit a reducer sleeve made from serious steel (I used old push rods from a GM motor that were a convenient 1/4″ diameter. This meant that with M193 ball or equivalent, the system was no longer “over-gassed” and extractor breakage and mangled brass were no longer issues.

    The other major problem was that the striker tip AND its associated hole in the face of the bolt-head were WAY too large. This rapidly led to primer puncture / rupture and the resultant gas-cutting of the striker tip and bolt-face. Solution was to machine the tip of the striker to match the end profile of the AR-15 striker. Part two was a bit more tricky. If the damage to the bolt-face was not too severe, TIG weld the striker hole shut and re-bore to AR-15 dimensions. More “shabby” ones with extensive gas-cutting on the face were counter-bored and a high-grade steel plug sweated in place and then bored to correct spec.

    The later AAA production rifles have fast-twist rifling that will stabilize the longer SS-109 / M855 / F1 ball ammo nicely. Original T2s have 1:12″ twist rifling.

    The 9mm carbines were a very limited production and the ones I saw use UZI mags. Can anyone point me to a source for the 9mm guns manuals for my files. I have an original yellow SAR manual, but nothing for the SAC or SAP 9. A pdf would be OK as it is reference info.

    • I am in New Zealand, have recently purchased an example of the Australian Automatic Arms MP 9mm SMG. This is in new condition, full working order, with buttstock, and stock blank kit. This takes the Colt type modified UZI magazines. My understanding is that this is prototype #5 (it looks like a production item) that two were destroyed in testing and the other two destroyed in the Australian government buy-back of 1996. I would like to find out more about the history of this particular firearm, if anybody can assist.

      • I just watched a movie called Escape and Evasion that has a 9mm AAA carbine in it. There are not all that many armorers in Australia that supply firearms to movies, just a couple so one of them would have more info on it I would think. The weapon was a 9mm with stock and clearly had UZI mags as you could clearly see the stops punched out on the side that would have normally stopped a mag from going into the pistol grip of an UZI too far but served zero purpose on this weapon. Being a weapon with a factory stock on it I’d think it was another of the prototypes.

  17. I see this thread may still be open. I have a question on the shoulder stock. Does anyone know if the AAA SAP was sold with a factory issued shoulder stock?

    @BIRD above mentioned downloading the schematics – where are those available.

    Finally – is the AAA SAP barrel twist 1:7?

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