SHOT Show: Lancer Systems Aerial Interdiction Rifle and Modular Handguard

I happen to like Lancer Systems a lot. They make my favorite AR mags on the market. I SBR’d their lower because I liked it so much. I run their carbon fiber handguard and fixed stock on another gun, and have a very high opinion of their complete AR-15 and AR-10 rifles.

But these new products? I don’t get ’em . . .

“Lancer’s new L30 AIR (Aerial Interdiction Rifle) was designed to meet the unique demands of engaging targets from an aerial platform. Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, the L30 AIR is equipped with a 14.1″ barrel for an optimal combination of ballistics, weight, and maneuverability within the tight confines of a helicopter.”

Actually, sorry, I do very much get the appeal of an awesome, compact, 8-lb AR-10 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Oh yes.

And this L30 AIR is a very good looking rifle, indeed. I love Lancer’s modular magwells — especially with the giant funnel installed — and the way the receiver flows right into the handguard. Plus the sleek, all-excess-material-removed upper receiver with vented optics rail just looks great.

But the “aerial interdiction” stuff and optimizing an AR-10 specifically for firing from a helicopter? I mean, come on. Isn’t that what mounted belt-feds are for?

Not that helicopter hog hunting isn’t hugely popular in Texas here. It is. But I think I’ll survive without owning a gun designed and named specifically for firing from the sky.

I’m positive the L30 AIR is an absolutely fantastic rifle. I can think of all sorts of shooting I’d love to do with this 8-lb, shorty 6.5 Creedmoor. I’m sure it would be great for 3-Gun or more traditional forms of hunting (though if they’re going to pin a muzzle brake on I’d sure like it to accept a suppressor). But Aerial Interdiction? I mean, come on.

A nice rifle by any other name would shoot as sweet, but Lancer’s new modular handguard seems a tad silly or gimmicky in its very design.

In this case I do get the appeal of an almost instant-detach handguard. For suppressors with locking collars, removing the handguard is often the only way to then install or remove the suppressor if you want it to run at all underneath the handguard.

I suppose I can also see the appeal in getting the best of both worlds: running your suppressor underneath a long handguard but then breaking everything down and putting the rifle in a shorter configuration where the barrel’s muzzle is now the farthest-forward part.

But the two-diameter thing is weird. The whole shebang would look far better if it was the same diameter from receiver to forward end. Most (or possibly all) of Lancer’s handguards clear a standard 1.5-inch diameter suppressor, and if they need to clear larger suppressors then make a larger handguard.

Okay this one is more like it. But why not make it QD at the barrel nut so the entire, one-piece handguard can come off quickly?

I’m afraid I’m left struggling to grasp the appeal of a two-piece handguard. For multiple reasons I’d just as soon not have that big ol’ collar in the middle. The whole thing looks heavy and awkward, and I do like to load up a bipod pretty hard.

What do y’all think? Sound off in the comments as always!

comments

  1. avatar UsedtobePun says:

    A fool and his money are easily parted.

    1. avatar john says:

      full agreement.

    2. avatar little horn says:

      can not agree more. this is incredibly stupid. looks nice, hat the idiotic magwell. actually its really obnoxious looking. another “douche alert” item.

  2. avatar possum says:

    . I would think to get close to optimal ballistics from a 6.5 rifle cartidge, a firearm would need at least a 20 inch barrel?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Ehhh… optimal depends on what you’re using it for. 6.5 CM does WAY better from shorter barrels than most people would expect. I do think 20″ is actually a sweet spot. For instance, Chris took that Alamo Precision rifle (https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/11/chris-heuss/gun-review-alamo-precision-rifles-custom-6-5-creedmoor/) and on the first outing with it hit 3 for 3 at 1,800 yards. With a 20″ 6.5 CM. But even from a 16″ barrel it’s doing pretty freakin’ well. I think I’m going to be playing with a 12″ one fairly soon and we’ll see what kind of velocities that’s good for. There’s zero question about accuracy, only what kind of range you can push that bullet to before it goes transonic and may become unstable (depending on projectile, etc).

  3. avatar I1uluz says:

    How many rounds can it take to need the extra handguard to protect the shooter from burning himself? I know mine gets toasty rather quickly but there must be huge herds of hogs to need warm one up. Why not go with a Proof Research CF barrel to keep the weight off, using a can that extends rearward around the barrel to keep it as short as possible? Or is it designed for some secret squirrel DoD requirement and they are just showing the public for some press talk claiming it’s for aerial hog hunting, vice aerial feral goat rapist interdiction.

  4. avatar FedUp says:

    But does it play Ride of the Valkyries?

  5. avatar SigLife Sailor says:

    Aside from aerial hog hunts, the only use I see for this would be something like the Coast Guard HITRON units, where they lean out of a helicopter and target drug boats outboard engines and steering columns. But they use Barrett .50s for that. Unless they think people are making 1000 yard shots out of helicopters, what’s the point?

  6. avatar Aaron Walker says:

    …Also designed to engage pesky “Foo-Fighters…” LOL. .

  7. avatar God says:

    Have these wonderTARDS ever shot from a choppa other than Call of dOOTY in their moms basement! Very few can hit a barn from a aerial platform unless u gots a minigun and even then i have seen 9 out of 10 miss every target!

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