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This year at SHOT Show pistol-caliber carbines were a big deal with a lot of new and expanded options, but LWRC International is going all-in with a new series of short-barreled rifles called the SMG. The SMG uses proven Heckler & Koch UMP magazines and will be offered in 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
LWRCI will source and distribute magazines for their users, so availability will not depend on H&K. Much of the design is compatible with AR parts including the pistol grip and most importantly, the fire control group.
The SMG uses a proprietary upper that houses the recoil system which allows the SMG to employ a folding stock. The ejection port clears the stock and the rifle can be fired with the stock folded. Thanks to the in-house design all of the controls are ambidextrous or reversible, including an ambidextrous safety selector, magazine catch and bolt catch. The forward charging handle is reversible for left-and right-handed users.
The SMG has a monolithic, modular handguard that lets users mount optics as far forward on the rail without having to worry about any shift in zero. It’s a tall flattop rail and accessories like red dot sights can be mounted directly to the SMG without risers. The handguard sports new grip panels, available for other LWRCI guns, to provide a better grip surface other than rails.
LWRCI expects to have them on the market by July of this summer with a price to be determined in the $2,200 range.
Another new product in the works for 2016 is the LWRC CSASS. Designed to meet and exceed military standards, the CSASS is designed around outlines detailed by the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System requirements. The CSASS is a light carbine optimized for today’s hunters and target shooters and of course, military and law enforcement snipers.
The LWRC CSASS is an AR-pattern rifle chambered for 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester with a sub-MOA guarantee using quality ammunition. It has an impressive 20-position gas piston system that not only can restrict gas flow to deal with suppressor backpressure, it can be fine-tuned for specific loads to maximize accuracy.
Other changes to the new design include fully-ambidextrous controls and a standard rear charging handle. Each rifle will ship standard with a Geiselle SSA-E semi-automatic two-stage target trigger.
It’s a super-premium gun that LWRCI expects to have available this June at a price, depending on barrel length, handguard, and finish options of around $4,000.
LWRCI is also bringing a new direct-impingement rifle to the market this year, the LWRC DI. It’s a less expensive alternative to their piston-driven SPR and IC rifles that uses enhanced components the company developed for the Army’s Product Improvement Program.
“We needed to have an entry-level price point,” said company spokesman Dave Golladay. “It’s still not at the bottom, but it is an affordable price point.”
There’s no mistaking this as a budget AR, though, not with features like these. The DI has a long, one-piece Monoforge free-floating handguard that mounts directly to the upper receiver. The handguard can’t rotate and can be used as a direct mount for optics, no cantilever mounts necessary.
Other nice touches include spiral fluting along the 16.1-inch barrel, Magpul furniture, polymer grip panels, an angled foregrip and a grip stop. These accessories are modular and can be adjusted to the individual. It is also fully ambidextrous and uses a standard charging handle.
These rifles are available now with an MSRP of $1,599, about $700 less than their IC series. The guns are also lighter at 6.6 pounds compared to LWRCI’s piston-driven models which weigh upwards of 7 pounds or more, depending on the configuration.