Gun Review: LWRC M6IC

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(This is a reader gun review contest entry, click here for more details.)

By Paul Jeong

Inside an unassuming white cardboard box lies a rifle so superlative it draws comparisons to the legendary Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle. This is the one rifle to rule them all. At least when you’re talking about AR-15s. The LWRC M6IC is Christmas morning in the shape of a rifle . . .

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Terms of Endearment
Six years ago, my wife approved the defense budget for my first rifle. My initial research focused on 16” barreled, direct impingement (DI) AR-15s—the quintessential black rifle. At the time, piston AR-15s started to hit the market from companies such as LMT and LWRC, formerly the Leitner-Wise Rifle Company.

The DI vs. piston debate had yet to reach critical mass on the internet, but the now familiar arguments were already established. The DI system used in M4 and AR-15 rifles was efficient, lightweight, and combat-proven. Piston rifles ran cleaner and more reliably than DI rifles, but were heavier and had proprietary parts that weren’t compatible between manufacturers. And so it goes.

I drank the piston Kool-Aid early. What I couldn’t swallow was the price, which was much higher than similarly configured DI rifles. The first M6 models from LWRC had everything I wanted in a rifle, but at over $2000 MSRP they were out of my budget. After weeks of internal debate, I bought a 16” barreled, mid-length, DI AR-15. It was a great, top-shelf rifle by any definition.

Something’s Gotta Give
At first, life was beer and skittles with my new rifle. I wanted to spend all my time nuzzling it, cheek-weld to cheek. The honeymoon ended when I came home from the range. I spent more time cleaning the rifle than shooting it. I understand a dirty DI rifle can run fine as long as it’s well-lubed, but the obsessive-compulsive in me hated the thought of filthy carbon defiling my Precious.

Eventually my neurotic tendencies and the DI system became irreconcilable. I didn’t want to take the rifle out for a bit of fun because I dreaded what came after—the hours of tiresome cleaning and scraping. And so I gave my DI upper the boot.

I flirted with piston uppers from CMMG and Adams Arms. The CMMG system was robust and accurate, but chunky and lacked refinement. The Adams Arms system was lighter and easier to maintain, but less accurate. I never had reliability issues with either, but something just didn’t click. I was still looking for the One.

As Good as it Gets
After several years and several thousand dollars of uppers and lowers bought and sold, it was time to follow my heart. The stars aligned, assets were liquidated, and I bought an LWRC M6IC. Though this could be considered a classic “buy once, cry once” tale, the years of buyer’s remorse were worth it.

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The M6IC is part of LWRC’s Individual Carbine (IC) family, based on the company’s entry in the U.S. Army Individual Carbine program. Started in 2011, the Individual Carbine program was an open competition to develop a successor to the M4. Design requirements changed repeatedly, leading to accusations that the competition favored select manufacturers. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army shuttered the Individual Carbine program in June 2013, stating that none of the manufacturers met the minimum requirements to continue. In the end, the U.S. Army awarded a $77 million contract for 120,000 M4 rifles to FN Manufacturing.

Despite the U.S. Army’s decision to stick with the M4, we can reap the benefits of the Individual Carbine program with LWRC’s IC rifles. IC rifles feature a fully ambidextrous lower with dual controls for the bolt catch/release, magazine release, and safety. Controls are mirrored on each side for consistent right and left-handed operation. Not only is this great news for lefties, but for also for high-speed users who run malfunction drills and train to shoot with their support hand.

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The trigger group in the M6IC is mil-spec with a Nickel Boron finish. The finish acts as a permanent lubricant, prevents residue build-up, and improves trigger feel. It also prevents male pattern baldness. Maybe.

LWRC rates the trigger pull between 5.5–7.5 lbs. Mine felt on the lower end of the scale. The single-stage trigger breaks crisply following a hint of creep and resets positively after slight overtravel. It’s easily the best mil-spec trigger I’ve handled. I didn’t think triggers could get much better…until I made the mistake of trying a Geissele. Review testing was done with the LWRC trigger, but I installed a Geissele SD-C afterwards.

IC lowers come with a Magpul MOE+ grip and LWRC polymer trigger guard. The MOE+ grip is rubberized and allows for a secure, you know, grip. The trigger guard is enlarged, which seems to be the de facto standard nowadays. It mates nicely with the Magpul grip to eliminate any annoying gap.

Previous offerings from LWRC came with Magpul, VLTOR, or SOPMOD stocks. LWRC designed their own for the M6IC. LWRC’s Compact Stock is a holy union that combines the cheek-weld of a SOPMOD, the negative pitch endplate of a VLTOR, and the lightness of an M4 stock. Quick-detach sling mounts are built in. The stock rides on a mil-spec tube with H2 buffer.

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If you’re reluctant to take the piston plunge, IC lowers are compatible with any AR-15 upper, DI or piston. A polymer buffer under the rear takedown pin eliminates any wiggle with your choice of upper. It’d be a shame to miss out on the advances of the IC lower over some hot air.

The innovations of LWRC’s IC family extend to the upper as well. IC rifles use LWRC’s Monoforge upper. Monoforge uppers combine the strength of a monolithic upper and the adaptability of a traditional upper. The handguard mount, barrel nut, and receiver are machined from a single 7075 aluminum forging to reduce weight and increase strength.

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IC rifle barrels are torqued to the same setting because they don’t use a standard barrel nut that requires indexing to a gas tube/operating rod hole in the upper. This ensures consistent accuracy across IC rifles.
The receiver is an A4 flat-top style upper with minor differences to accommodate the ambidextrous controls on the lower. Forward assist, case deflector, and dust cover are on the right side. The upper has mil-spec Type-3 hard coat anodizing, but factory Cerakote options are available at extra cost.

The M6-IC handguard is an 8” version of the SPR-MOD handguard found in LWRC’s REPR rifles. The handguard diameter feels no thicker than a Wiffle Bat. It’s light and easy to handle with the thumb-over-the-top grip that’s en vogue. A continuous M1913 rail runs the top length of the upper and handguard. The bottom and sides of the handguard are smooth and have threaded inserts to mount M1913 rail sections.

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The M6-IC comes with two 3.5” rail sections and a 2.25” rail section with integral QD sling mount. Additional rails of varying lengths are available from LWRC. Rail sections are mounted with the provided Torx wrench and screws. Though a Keymod version is rumored, I prefer the non-Swiss cheese look of the M6-IC handguard.

The M6-IC spits pills out of a 16”, full-profile, cold hammer-forged barrel with a 1/7” twist and NiCorr (nitride) finish. Nitrided barrels have greater hardness, corrosion resistance, and lubricity than chrome-lined barrels and are reported to be more accurate. All this to say it’s a great barrel you can shoot more ammo through than the rifle is worth.

Capping the barrel is LWRC’s 4-prong flash hider on standard ½-28 threads. Most retailers have a build-to-order option for aftermarket muzzle devices. Mine came with an AAC 51T Brakeout.

The heart of the M6-IC is LWRC’s short-stroke gas piston operating system. The M6-IC has a mid-length gas system with a two-position gas block for normal and suppressed use. The gas block also has a bayonet lug for when things get stabby. It’s a nice gesture, but I imagine the number of people using it is in the single digits.

The piston system consists of a piston cup that fits over a nozzle on the gas block and a two-piece operating rod that strikes the bolt carrier. A return spring on the operating rod minimizes wear on the system. After years of refinement, LWRC’s piston system is one of the best, if not the best, on the market.

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The bolt carrier group is a work of art unto itself. The Nickel Boron coated bolt carrier and key are machined in one piece with beveled edges and chamfers that wouldn’t look out of place on a luxury sedan. The design is meant to eliminate carrier-tilt rather than turn heads at the range. Other than the bolt carrier, all other parts in the bolt carrier group are mil-spec compatible.

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Rounding out the M6-IC upper are the charging handle and sights, which received special love from LWRC as well. The charging handle is ambidextrous with meaty latches for easy racking.

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The LWRC Skirmish sights function similarly to the venerable Troy back-up sights, but add a host of refinements. The side ears of the HK-style front sight are serrated for easy deployment. Both front and rear sights have serrated back surfaces to reduce glare. The dual apertures on the rear sight rotate rather than flip into place. Unlike other back-up sights, this allows the rear Skirmish sight to lie flat on either aperture.

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Easy Rider
Out of the box, fit and finish of the M6-IC is immaculate. Ridges and raised areas on the M6-IC have more of a square profile than mil-spec receivers, giving the M6-IC a rugged, industrial appearance. At 7.2 lbs, the rifle is light and snappy. The small diameter handguard makes the M6-IC a joy to handle. However, the added weight of the piston system and full-profile barrel makes the M6-IC slightly front heavy, which gets worse once you add rails and tactical doo-dads.

My M6-IC did have some teething issues. Early IC lowers failed to lock the bolt back on empty Gen 3 PMAGs. Gen 1 and Gen 2 PMAGs and standard aluminum magazines worked just fine. At first, users blamed the problem on the bolt catch being too short to engage the magazine follower. Turns out that early Gen 3 PMAGs were not designed to Colt-spec. Still, LWRC redesigned the bolt catch to fix the problem.

I don’t own any Gen 3 PMAGs, but I sent my lower to LWRC to replace the bolt catch anyway. Inconvenient, but I had my lower back in less than a week. LWRC paid for shipping both ways, too.

Shooting the M6-IC is even better than looking at it. The mid-length gas system and H2 buffer reduce recoil to a mere suggestion. The AAC Brakeout compensator makes rapid strings and follow-up shots even easier. I felt like I was starring in my own carbine training video. I also learned firsthand that compensators are stupid loud. Use one at the range and you’ll have an audience whether you like it or not.

For accuracy testing, I visited an indoor 100-yard rifle range with electronic target setters that opened nearby. I told my wife to start forwarding my mail there. I shot the M6-IC with the front supported on a rest. Targets were set at 50 yards because I was using an Aimpoint T-1 (2 MOA).

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Average five-shot groups were 2” with Independence (IMI) M193 ammo. My best group of the day was .9” with Hornady 75 gr TAP ammo. No surprise that the 1/7” twist barrel favors heavier bullets. Too bad they’re so danged expensive.

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I wanted to push the rifle out to 100 yards, but the range charged by the hour. I’m confident that with a magnified optic and fully-supported rest, the M6-IC is capable of even greater accuracy.

After I got home, cleaning, or rather the lack of cleaning, was a revelation. The M6-IC disassembles and field strips like any other AR-15, but because the piston system doesn’t dump a hot mess of gas into the rifle, everything inside stays nearly spotless after a range trip. I wiped some oil off the bolt carrier and ran patches through the barrel, but even that seemed unnecessary.

The piston system can be inspected by loosening two captive screws at the front of the handguard and removing the return-to-zero top section. The only place you’ll find grime is under the handguard where the piston system vents excess gas. The piston system is self-scraping, so there’s no need to mess with it. The parts clean easily enough with a brush and some CLP if you’re inclined.

I’m still putting my M6-IC through its paces, but reliability after 300 rounds has been excellent. Brass ejects like clockwork into a neat pile. No stoppages or malfunctions of any sort, but I’ve been pampering it with mil-spec, brass-cased ammo. A better test of reliability would be to run some lupine and ursine steel-cased ammo through the rifle.

Customization options for the M6-IC are the same as any other AR-15, which is to say mind-boggling. I plan on setting up the M6-IC as my general purpose, zombie apocalypse, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI rifle. The M6-IC would be ideal as a hard-use combat or duty rifle. However, it performs and handles so well that it wouldn’t be out of place as a competition or hunting rifle. The M6-IC is a jack-of-all-trades that excels at most.

MSRP for the M6-IC was $2199 when I bought mine in January 2014, though I paid much less. The price sounds steep, but it’s comparable to high-end rifles with fewer features from other manufacturers. You can find an M6-IC for well under $2000 today. Expect to pay $600 for the IC lower alone, but those are harder to come by. The ambidextrous IC lower is the best part of the rifle and would make an excellent platform for any rifle build.

The performance and features of the M6-IC may be beyond the needs of most casual and even professional shooters. High-quality, accurate, reliable, DI and piston rifles can be had for less, but with an M6-IC, you can sleep easy knowing you have the most advanced production AR-15 available. Don’t blame me if you find it hard to “buy once, cry once.” You’ll want to buy more than one, and you’ll keep on crying…crying tears of joy. It’s that good.

Specifications: LWRC M6-IC

Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Rem.)
Action: Semi-automatic
Barrel: 16”, full-profile, cold hammer forged, 1/7” twist, NiCorr finish
Weight: 7.2 lbs
Length: 33.5 inches collapsed, 36.5 inches extended
Capacity: 30+1 with standard AR magazines
Price: MSRP $2199 – readily available for under $2000

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style: * * * * *
Smooth, svelte, and streamlined like a supermodel…or a sexy dolphin. Impeccable engineering and attention to detail. The M6-IC is as pleasing to look at as it is to shoot.

Accuracy: * * * * *
Excellent practical accuracy with mil-spec ammo and red-dot sights. Expect sub-MOA accuracy with match ammo and a magnified optic.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
The IC lower is fully and truly ambidextrous. Everything feels and works like a standard AR-15 but better. Light, quick to handle, and easy to control. The shooting equivalent of driving an exotic sports car.

Customization: * * * * *
Compatible with the full cornucopia of AR accessories. The slim-profile handguard can accommodate as many or as few M1913 rails as needed.

Reliability: * * * * *
No malfunctions after 300 rounds. LWRC’s piston system is robust and refined. The rifle internals stay clean and cool even after extended use. Probably won’t need cleaning until I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Overall: * * * * *
It’s expensive and probably more rifle than anyone needs, but the M6-IC is the most advanced AR-15 available today. If you could own only one AR-15, this should be it.

comments

  1. avatar Gabe says:

    Indoor 100 yard range!! Where?

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Is there actually demand for an indoor range that long? I get indoor ranges that allow rifles, because, well, people like to shoot rifles without heading out to the country, but that’s more of a backstop suitability issue than a range length issue.

      I would expect a long range shooter or a hunter sighting in a scope would be more inclined to go to an outdoor range for that, anyway.

      1. avatar roger says:

        Here in Northern Virginia theres Elite Shooting Sports. They have 42 lanes, 24 25yd lanes, 10 50yd lanes and 8 100yd lanes. There are always people on the 100yd lanes. Precision shooting guys, hunters, 3gun tactical guys, schmoes like me that just wanted bang away at a little longer distance. Great place to shoot, if youre ever in Gainesville, Va.

    2. avatar James Miller says:

      Frisco Gun Club – Frisco, TX (north of Plano)
      40 – 25yd multipurpose lanes (handguns, shotguns and rifles that shoot 5.56/.223 or smaller)
      6 – 25yd VIP-only multipurpose lanes
      4 – 100yd rifle lanes

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      There are several in Austin, not near as pretty as the one pictured, tho, that looks brand new. Red’s has 10 lanes, all usable from muzzle to 100 yards. I think one advantage is that it keeps the noise down outside, allowing operation in the city instead of a 20 mile drive out of town. Every time I’ve been to Red’s recently, BTW, there has been a waiting list for the range up to an hour long. I love it, people are buying guns right and left and shooting them! Heck, last time there was a guy shaved bald and with all manner of piercings and tattoos, accompanied by a young lady with hair that was 4 different colors, pink, blue, white and yellow. Waiting in line at a gun store and firing range! It’s a new world.

  2. avatar Stan says:

    Great! Another firearm that’s not Kommiefornia legal…..

    1. avatar Scrubula says:

      When they get their way California will look like australia gun wise.
      Most guns outlawed and all of the remaining ones either hidden in people’s basements or being bought on the black market by criminals.

    2. avatar Excedrine says:

      They make Kommiefornistan-legal versions, FYI.

    3. avatar Accur81 says:

      Rifle Gear in Fountain Valley, CA had them. Rahaauge’s (sp?) had them as demo guns. They’re hard to find because they get sold out, but they are here. With the damn bullet button. And reduced capacity mags. Sigh.

  3. avatar jake from detroit says:

    I’m not sure where you guys are in the reader review competition, but this is my favorite review so far. Entertaining, informative, honest, and efficient. Really awesome piece here, author.

    I would think that the guys at noveske would probably argue about your conclusion, however 🙂

    1. avatar Sarge says:

      I agree, very detailed, very informative!

      Note: I prefer the ADCOR defense upper, charging handle can be switched for lefty or righty, superb rail system, and also apiston system! Needing minimal cleaning!

      1. avatar (Retired)SFC Ivan L. Baros Sr. says:

        Yes, I agree, love the ADCOR defense Upper, minimal clean up, and love the ability to switch sides and still able to use original charging handle if desired! A little pricey but to a gun lover….I’ll go without beer for a month to own another, lol!
        Sarge

  4. avatar Sammy says:

    I believe Pat Rogers tested the LWRCs a few years ago and broke numerous parts. Didn’t sound like an impressive report to me.

    2MOA? Not impressed.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Links to the test? I’d be interested to see exactly what parts broke and why.

      Also, he wasn’t shooting match ammo with a suitable optic for grouping, either. Nor was the rifle even fully supported for that matter. 2 MOA is perfectly acceptable for run-of-the-mill ball anyway.

    2. avatar Stompy says:

      Still not sold on the ar piston fad. For that price one could get JP15 vtac or gladiator. DI done right, better reliability and sub moa.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Still doesn’t change what I said, and still doesn’t change he fact that you’ve offered zero evidence. I’m waiting.

        1. avatar Paul J. says:

          The article referenced was the March 2009 issue of SWAT magazine. I can’t find a link to the article, but it’s referenced in these forum posts. Pat Rogers responds in the AR15.com thread. Reactions to the review and LWRC rifles were generally positive.

          http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=131&t=823403
          http://forum.lwrci.com/viewtopic.php?t=3324&start=150

          Appears the operating rod spring and gas key screws broke and the bolt carrier was flaking. These issues have been addressed in new LWRC rifles.

    3. avatar DBM says:

      Sammy,
      Give the rifle a break. He wasnt shooting with it locked down in a vice. That 2 MOA was on a beanch rest with a 2 MOA AIMPOINT.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      2 inches at 50 yards is 4 MOA. Now you’re REALLY not impressed. I did that once, eventually found out my optics were not adequately settled/tightened, later dropped closer to 1 MOA.

      1. avatar Paul J. says:

        Hey, now, the rifle was shooting sub 1″ groups at 50 yards, so about 2 MOA at 100. If anyone wants to send me a high-powered optic, gun vise, and several hundred rounds of Sierra Match Kings, I’d be more than happy to try and shoot sub-MOA groups at 100 yards and report my findings.

        1. avatar tyrone Tarvin says:

          An ar-15 for $2??? Uncle sam gets our kids out in the field with $700 colt and FN rifles just fine. The AR -15/ M-16 was MEANT TO BE A DI GUN, why people fight that is beyond me!

          Having had actual combat experience as a veteran as well as years on the police force I can’t get this obsession with SHTF like you’ll actually be in some ” mad max” scenario; even if that became a reality, resources would quickly dry up and you would want to stick to left over technology that has stood the test of time- either a true piston gun like an AK variant or the DI. AR-15! As far as this ” cleaning gripe” ?? Any fool knows to keep his or her weapon clean! Even AK variants will fail if not properly maintained!

          Never took more than 15 minutes to ever clean any of my AR-15 rifles and they all function , even my old assed Colt Sp1

      2. avatar BaconLovingInfidel says:

        “The AR -15/ M-16 was MEANT TO BE A DI GUN, why people fight that is beyond me!”

        Because it’s rubbish maybe?

        The original Stoner design was a piston system.

  5. avatar Accur81 says:

    Great review! I only wish you would have had time for a magnified optic.

    LWRCi, POF, and La Rue Tactical make the best ARs I’ve ever shot. If I had to do it over again, I would have purchased an LWRC M6 IC in FDE instead of an SR-556. My piston ARs are easier to clean and more reliable, and my DGI ARs are lighter and more accurate. I’d much rather have an LWRC in combat or as a patrol gun than my current SIG M400.

  6. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Great review, thanks!

  7. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Great review, enjoyed the writing style, it was thorough without being overly excessive.
    Not gonna lie,I got a kick/laugh out of the LOTR references and lupine/ursine 🙂

    Id love to see an Adams Arms piston vs the LWRC piston comparison.

  8. avatar Alex says:

    Love my LWRC SPR. The spiral fluting on the barrel seems to help a bit with the balance issue you mentioned.

  9. avatar seans says:

    Can we stop the whole reliability that a gas piston is more reliable than a DI in a AR. This myth needs to die. One ARs can be run bone dry they don’t like it but they can. A stock SOPMOD M4A1 will run on average over 2000 rounds bone dry. If lubed correctly they can go thousands rounds without cleaning. They actually do better than most pistons in dirty environments due to the overpressure from the DI blasting dirt from the bolt. A piston gun that has the same mechanical clearances as a DI will jam just as much with debris in the action. A gas pistons greatest advantage is sub 10 inch suppressed shooting, and sustained cyclic rate of fire.
    And while I do believe a gun like LWRC is most likely 5 stars in reliability, giving it that after a 300 rounds is like saying a new car is reliable after driving to the gas station and back.

    1. avatar Paul J. says:

      Seans, I was summarizing the DI vs. piston debate in my review and acknowledged that DI rifles can run fine as long as they’re well-lubed. Anyone that’s read the “Filthy 14” article can see that DI rifles are reliable even under extreme use.

      http://www.slip2000.com/blog/s-w-a-t-magazine-filthy-14/

      I wish I could’ve done a more extensive test of the rifle, but the only caliber I can afford to shoot 1000s of rounds is 22LR…and even that’s pushing it.

      1. avatar seans says:

        They don’t even need to be well lubed. It’s not good for the longevity of the rifle. But a bone dry rifle that is in spec and clean will go on average over 2000 rounds before it needs lube.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Back in tha day, uncle sugar taught me to clean my trusty M-16 using a bore cleaner which had a small amount of lube in it, and then wipe it as dry as possible, and you’re done. As in, you don’t use solvents to actively remove all lube, but you do not actively oil them either. Pretty easy to fathom, wet captures dirt and turns it to mud. Dry, everything blows on out. I currently have several, my last step cleaning them is to wipe moving parts and the inside of the lowers as dry as possible, they work fine. I have seen people treat them like 1911s, flooding them with more oil every time they changed magazines. What a mess. Obviously, one equipped with a piston system would be totally different, but any DI should be really close to dry.

    2. avatar Sammy says:

      “They actually do better than most pistons in dirty environments due to the overpressure from the DI blasting dirt from the bolt.”

      Yeah, that’s why DI bolts are filthy and full of carbon, and piston bolts are clean with the same number of rounds.

      Can I have a toke of what you are smoking?

      1. avatar seans says:

        On a lubed gun what does carbon due to cause malfunctions. Would love to hear the answer on that. Again on a unlubed gun, you will get over 2000 rounds before the gun will start to fail to cycle.

        1. avatar Mike says:

          If everything else on the rifle is completely equal and you pull it out of the box and just start shooting once the di is no longer lubed it will fail (even if it takes 2000 rounds). The piston will keep firing. This makes the piston more reliable plain and simple. Anytime anyone tries to argue for the di it always makes me Lmfao because there is ALWAYS the word “IF” in their argument. “If you keep it lubed”, “if you keep it clean”, “if, if, if, if”. Plain and simple, take both out of the box and fire to failure, with all other rifle parts being equal other then piston or di, the di fails first 100% of the time.

  10. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Piston or no, this damn LWRC gives me a woodie.

    Unfortunately, I’m about $2000 too poor to buy one. But one can dream (and plot and plan).

    Just not sure it will ever get past the ‘gatekeeper’ in the defense budget. But can’t stop a man from tryin’.

    Good review man. Thanks! Now I’m REALLY jealous.

  11. avatar Abe Froman says:

    I have 2 rifles from LWRC. A 16″ REPR and and 10.5″ M6A2. They are both excellent. As the author says, they are indeed high-functioning works of art. And the bolt carriers are superb. Some may not think a BCG is something to get excited about, but that REPR…man it’s beautiful! And the left-side charging handle with ambi controls…so good! I thought of reviewing the REPR for this contest, but then…lazy. As for accuracy, I can confirm both of my LWRCs like expensive ammo. In the REPR I am getting 1 moa from 168 and 175 SMKs. That is a reasonable thing to expect from an expensive 308. I was getting 3-4moa from the SBR on cheap 556 ammo, which I didn’t love. But with 55gr SBKs it groups inside 1″ at 100 yards. For an SBR, I declare that to be awesome. And this is not mounted to a sled. Just a bipod and a bench. I do love me some LWRC.

  12. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I just got an unexpected bonus at work that would pretty much pay for one of these. And I like the way it looks, I like what I read in the review, in fact, I’m liking this more than any other AR type rifle I’ve read about in the past couple of years. I can’t open the manufacturer’s website at work (filter prohibits looking at guns, but somehow lets me in here ???) so I’m hoping I can get one with something longer than a 16″ barrel. I’d really prefer a 20″ or 22″. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get home to find out.

  13. avatar preston says:

    thats alot of words to say “LWRC, nuff said bub”

  14. avatar Bdk NH says:

    Certainly a beautiful rifle and a well written review. I ain’t buying that the rifle only weighs 7.2 lbs in that configuration though. Was it actually weighed ? I admire these really expensive rifles but can never bring myself to buy one.

    I am with SeanS on the reliability argument and don’t buy into that nonsense. My personal experiences with a piston gun (sig516) lead me to arrive at the fact that the additional weight, cost, and ammo finicky-ness (which is why they all have adjustable settings) weren’t justified. The additional upper body strength/stamina required to handle the extra pound up front in a day of actual training was noticeable to me and impacted my mobility and shooting.

    1. avatar Paul J. says:

      Bdk, I weighed the rifle instead of using the published numbers. A comparable mid-length, DI Daniel Defense M4v5 rifle weighs 6.44 lbs. Not quite a 1 lb difference, but close. Most of that weight difference is up front. The Daniel Defense rifle has a lighter, government profile barrel as opposed to LWRC’s heavier profile barrel. LWRC does offer spiral fluted barrels that gets the weight closer to a DI AR-15. The Daniel Defense also retails for $1819, which is more than what you’d pay for an LWRC M6-IC today.

      There certainly are cons to any piston gun, which you mentioned, but the LWRC M6-IC addresses the more serious ones. They still are expensive and heavier than most DI rifles, but on par with high-end DI rifles while offering more useful features such as the ambidextrous lower.

      1. avatar Paul J. says:

        Scratch what I said about the Daniel Defense rifle’s price. I’m seeing them go for less than $1400 on Gunbroker–about $300 less than what I’m seeing M6-ICs go for.

  15. avatar Accur81 says:

    If I had to pick one of my ARs for a reliability test, it would be my Ruger SR-556. Because of the piston system. If I had an LWRCi or a POF, I would enter that instead. I have more experience with DGI guns than piston guns. I’ve seen M4s, M16A1s, M16A2s, and Sig M400s jam when dirty. As in pretty caked up with carbon after 200-300 rounds. As in I wouldn’t want to have that with my life on the line without a good, thorough cleaning. It’s hard to even get a piston gun dirty. My 6.8 SPC Spec II CMMG M4 LEP II and SR-556 run like tanks. Switch the CMMG to “on” and the SR-556 to “2” and they just flat out run with everything that is SAAMI spec.

    Run a lot of DGI ARs with several hundred rounds and no lube and you’ll get problems. I’d really like to see this 2,000 capable AR that runs without lube. I’d like to know which combination can do that. You can help matters with nickel boron and such but keeping crap out of the action is even better.

  16. avatar Jbug says:

    Uh…did anyone else notice the selector? I assume one of those positions is not functional – what’s the deal?

    1. avatar Paul J. says:

      The third “infinity” position only works in my dreams. And even then I have to be standing in my underwear.

      1. avatar DBM says:

        Paul,
        Rock and Rolls is a hoot but mostly a waste of ammo. The only firearm I’ve every personally fired full auto long burst that was 100% controlable fired unsupported was the SAW. Just point it down range an use it like a waterhose. Best part was uncle sugar was paying for the ammo:-)

  17. avatar Capybara says:

    Liked the review, more like this please. The writer can write (I write for a living), the photography is excellent and he included the right amount of specs and detail without putting me to sleep. I would love to afford this rifle but have to assuage my desires with my $800.00 Windham Weaponry SRC DI. BTW, any long gun can be made California compliant with some ingenuity. Lock the mag, ten round magazines. Yes, it sucks but we can get almost anything we want as far as long guns here. It’s pistols where the state seems intent on choking of all sales.

  18. avatar Sal M. says:

    I saw one of these in my local candy store when I was picking up my Stag. It’s NJ legal and I want one!!! Under 1800 bucks. Great review.

  19. avatar Brad says:

    I’ve owned many tactical rifles and shot even more of them. Constantly running round after round through the harshest of conditions and while I’ve stumbled upon great rifle makers including the hk556, barrett rec7, axts mi556, larues and Daniel defense stuff.. LWRC makes the absolute best rifles in their class. They look incredible and the design only complements the world class quality. But hands down these things out perform even the classiest of assault rifles. If you have the funds and are buying something different you are making a mistake.

  20. avatar Ron Eggleston says:

    Dan, you said this rifle can be had for under 2000. Might that be some where around the Denver Co. area?
    Yea, I know, no such luck. Would you mind passing along a name (s) and e-mail address? Thanks

  21. avatar dr tom moore says:

    looked carefully and found a nib ica5 for 2058$ at a major retailer and they had 20 in stock.it is a buyers market. look forward to not cleaning my LMT slik s steel.

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