Ultra-Compact SBR: LWRC IC PSD 5.56—Full Review.

The IC PSD in 5.56mm from LWRC provides shooters with a firearm the size of a 9mm subgun but the power of a carbine.

The IC PSD in 5.56mm from LWRC provides shooters with a firearm the size of a 9mm subgun but the power of a carbine.

To learn more, visit https://www.lwrci.com/p-402-ic-psd.aspx.

To purchase an LWRC rifle on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=LWRC.

The public got an extraordinary glimpse into the Presidential Protection Detail, PPD, during the attempt on President Reagan’s life back in 1981. Seconds after the shots, the detail established a perimeter around the President and covered his evacuation. To the surprise of many, a U.S. Secret Service (USSS) agent produced an Uzi submachine gun from a briefcase. This incident, and the now famous photo, illustrates the utilization of low-profile long guns for a protection detail.

In recent years, the changing threat matrix has resulted in many agencies transitioning from 9mm subguns to comparably sized platforms chambered for a rifle cartridge. While some agencies and military units make do with the M4 Carbine, others operate in environments not suited for the M4. What is needed is a submachine gun-sized carbine in 5.56mm. This is exactly where the LWRC PSD (Personal Security Detail) carbine comes into its own.

The IC PSD employs the LWRC patented short-stroke piston system for clean running.

The IC PSD employs the LWRC patented short-stroke piston system for clean running.

SPECS

  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.15 lbs.
  • OA Length: 25″-28.3″
  • Stock: Magpul CTR
  • Sights: LWRCI Folding BUIS front and rear
  • Action: Short-stroke gas piston
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • MSRP: $2,395

Over ten years ago, LWRC introduced the company’s first PSD carbine to meet the need for an ultra-compact in 5.56mm that would replace pistol caliber submachine guns. The original PSD was built on LWRC’s proven M6 platform and patented piston operating system. The PSD featured an 8.5” barrel, and the legacy quad rail. My first experience with a PSD was in 2011, when I wrote a roundup article on SBRs. I requested a PSD upper for the project and paired it with my registered SBR lower. The little gun ran like a top and, at the end of the project, I purchased the upper. For many years, it was my “go-to” SBR for home and car use.

With the stock collapsed, the LWRC is an extremely short 25 inches in overall length.

With the stock collapsed, the LWRC is an extremely short 25 inches in overall length.

The Next Level

The forged aluminum lower employs fully ambidextrous controls.

The forged aluminum lower employs fully ambidextrous controls.

Since that time, the U.S. Army has initiated several programs to improve the existing M4 Carbine. LWRC was one of many companies that submitted proposals for the “Individual Carbine” (IC) program. The goal was to improve the design, reliability, and ergonomics of the legacy M16 platform. The result was the new IC series of rifles that features a fully ambidextrous lower that is ergonomically compatible for both right and left-handed operation. The ambi safety/selector is mirror image on both sides of the receiver as is the bolt catch. The bolt catch on the right side is positioned to the rear of the magazine release button. This position allows it to be manipulated by the trigger finger of a right-handed shooter. The left-side magazine release consists of a large paddle that is recessed and protected by two raised ribs that prevent any accidental release. It is also positioned to allow it to be manipulated by the trigger finger of a left-handed shooter.

The new IC PSD also uses a Monoforge upper receiver that features a low-profile hand guard that is user configurable with sections of Picatinny rail. Both the upper and lower receiver are forged and then struck twice, once before and once after being heat treated.  This processing is known in the industry as “coining” and allows LWRC to maintain extremely tight tolerances. The lower features a flared magazine well for faster reloads and a magazine stop to eliminate over-insertion of the magazine.  All IC rifles also feature LWRC’s large, ambi charging handle.

LWRC is known for their patented self-regulating short-stroke piston operating system.  The piston design eliminates the gas and carbon build up in the receiver and bolt carrier group, and enhances reliability while reducing recoil and muzzle rise. The piston is accessed by loosening two retaining screws and removing the top portion of the rail assembly. The design captures the retaining screws and allows for easy maintenance in the field. Even with the piston gas system, the LWRC rifles retain substantial parts commonality with traditional direct impingement rifles.

The IC PSD also uses a Monoforge upper receiver that features a low-profile hand guard that is user configurable with sections of Picatinny rail.

The IC PSD also uses a Monoforge upper receiver that features a low-profile hand guard that is user configurable with sections of Picatinny rail.

The Details

LWRC barrels are manufactured using 41V45 steel alloy and are forged from an oversized barrel blank using high-pressure rotary hammers. This process results in near perfect rifling that is molecularly stronger than other forms of rifling. The barrels are also treated with NiCorr that is “more lubricious, harder wearing, more heat and corrosion resistant than normal hard chrome.” The company advertises a barrel life of 20,000 rounds as compared to 6,000-10,000 rounds for standard mil-spec barrels. The one-piece bolt carrier is designed to operate with the short-stroke piston and is also coated with a proprietary nickel coating to prevent corrosion and provide increased lubricity.

The IC PSD also utilizes a shortened buffer tube that combines with the LWRC’s compact proprietary stock.

The IC PSD also utilizes a shortened buffer tube that combines with the LWRC’s compact proprietary stock.

When the IC version of the PSD was introduced, I immediately placed an order through my CLIII dealer. The first thing I noticed was how much smaller the mono-forge upper receiver was when compared to the original quad rail version. The ambidextrous controls on the lower well designed and intuitive to use. The Skirmish iron sights are some of the best on the market in my opinion.The rear sight is a square post with four different aperture diameters that can be selected by rotating the post. The front sight consists of a post that is adjustable for elevation and features a semi-circular guard that is reminiscent of the sights found on an MP5. LWRC’s abbreviated four-prong flash hider aids in keeping the overall length as short as possible.

The Skirmish rear sight is a square post with four different aperture diameters that can be selected by rotating the post.

The Skirmish rear sight is a square post with four different aperture diameters that can be selected by rotating the post.

The IC PSD also utilizes a shortened buffer tube and initially designed the buffer that for the ultra-compact, LWRC UCIW. When combined with the LWRC’s proprietary stock, the IC PSD collapses to a mere 25-inches. LWRC also offers Cerakote ceramic coating as a factory option to the standard black anodizing.  When Cerakote is applied over the top of the standard Type 3 hard coat anodizing, it provides exceptional resistance to both abrasion and corrosion.  Cerakote also has self-lubricating properties that enhance reliability, especially in dry and duty environments.  Currently, the company offers Cerakote in FDE (Flat Dark Earth), OD Green (Olive Drab) and Patriot brown.

It was not until my Form 4 cleared that I had an opportunity to really sit down and examine the little rifle. I was immediately struck by how attractive the little carbine is.  The Patriot Brown upper and lower receivers are accented by the black stock, Magpul MIAD pistol grip, operating controls, and rail panels. The iron sights, barrel, and flash hider are also black, giving the new IC PSD a very serious look. The IC PSD comes standard with a mil-spec trigger with a pull that measured 7 lbs., 8 oz.

Personalized PSD

As with most of my firearms, I modified the PSD to better suit my needs. The first modification was to replace the stock trigger with a Geissele G2S 2-stage trigger. This reduced the trigger pull to a clean 4¾ lbs. with no creep and minimal over travel.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-11-48-08-amThe most critical addition was the installation of an Aimpoint T-1 Micro red dot optic. I used LaRue Tactical’s LT751 absolute co-witness mount. The “I” beam base and low profile works well with the T-1 Micro. I also purchased one of Tango Down’s iO covers for the T-1. The iO cover provides impact protection as well as integral lens covers.

LWRC IC rifles come with a set of Picatinny accessory rail units that install on the upper receiver using pre-drilled, threaded, holes. I installed a small, 2”, section at the 9 o-clock position and mounted a SureFire M-300 Mini Scout tactical light. The Mini Scout features an integral mount and produces 300 lumens from a single CR-123 lithium battery. While the M-300 will accept a pressure switch, I selected to utilize the tap cap for activation. I also ordered and installed optional rail panels to provide a better gripping surface and act as a heat guard for prolonged strings of fire.

The IC PSD performed extremely well on the range, with it shooting near 1 MOA groups at 100 yards.

The IC PSD performed extremely well on the range, with it shooting near 1 MOA groups at 100 yards.

While the Aimpoint is a great tactical optic, I wanted to see what the PSD’s accuracy capability was at 100 yards.  I installed a Leupold MK4 2.5-8X36mm M2 tactical scope with a LaRue SPR mount for the 100-yard accuracy testing.

Formal testing consisted of chronograph and accuracy testing of three premium loads.  We tested Hornady’s 55 gr. Urban Tap and 62-gr. Barrier load. The 55-gr. TAP averaged 2,256 fps while the 62-gr. Barrier averaged 2,263.  At 100 yards, the IC PSD proved to be exceptionally accurate with the two loads. The 55-gr. TAP produced a group that measured 1.25” while the 62-gr. Barrier’s group measured 1.14”.

The LWRC IC PSD is a highly refined carbine that is functional, reliable, and accurate.  Whether you are on a protective detail, entry or tactical team, or just someone looking for an SBR for personal defense, the IC PSD will fit the bill.

To learn more, visit https://www.lwrci.com/p-402-ic-psd.aspx.

To purchase an LWRC rifle on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=LWRC.

The IC PSD from LWRC delivers an ultra-compact 5.56mm firearm ready to deliver covert, yet capable firepower.

The IC PSD from LWRC delivers an ultra-compact 5.56mm firearm ready to deliver covert, yet capable firepower.

 

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • ejharb February 2, 2017, 4:09 pm

    I’d say on q public needs one for his 2 door jeep as well if a government agency needs em. Eliminate nfa demension regulations along with suppressors.keep mgs but kill the hughes amendment dead as its author.

    Colin nor has a kill the nfa petition with Whitehouse.gov now that we have a president that would back us.let’s do it!

  • UrbanTiger74 January 17, 2017, 12:10 am

    But wait…SBRs in .223/5.56 won’t be lethal and you won’t get terminal ballistics and you won’t get jacket separation….*SEETHING SARCASM.*

    LOL!

    Curious if the US mil will adopt the short stroke gas piston eventually. It reminds me a lot of the SKS short stroke gas piston system which I feel is so much better than the AK’s long stroke gas piston system. Liking this SBR alot, minus the price. LOL!!!

  • Harold Littell January 16, 2017, 4:20 pm

    Go to a heavier bullet. 75gr Hornady TAP, Superformance or Mk 262. I watched them test 75gr TAP out of a 7 1/2″ DOE rifle. It did more damage in a 10% gel block at 100 meters then a 62gr M855 did from a full size 20″ M-16 A2 at the same range. Go heavy or go 300 BLK, getting a theam here?

  • KurtW January 16, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Lotta scratch for a handicapped 5.56 to get it down to 4 1/2″ longer (in the LWRC’s best case) than a SBRed PS90 with almost twice the rounds per mag. With its AAC M4-2000 mounted, mine’s quietly less than 1/2″ longer than the booming LWRC. At least the trigger is close to a wash – gritty mil-spec 7 1/2 lb (Really?) vs heavier/numb but smoother PS90).
    SMH

    • Steve January 16, 2017, 3:26 pm

      yea, or a 5.56 bullpup that is 26 inches long (only one inch longer than the LWRC is with the stock fully collapsed) with a 16 inch barrel.

    • Joe mama January 16, 2017, 4:49 pm

      Sure thing basement warrior! Did you come to that conclusion from your extensive call of duty playing?

      • joe January 16, 2017, 10:35 pm

        Call of Duty is where people … get weapon overall lengths?
        Get over yourself.

        • Thor January 17, 2017, 10:45 am

          Call of duty is how I met your mom Joe. But she left me because I met someone else while playing halo. I wonder if there\’s a plasma option for this gun?

      • KurtW January 17, 2017, 10:45 am

        Never played COD or similar – I have hardware, not software….. and I have a tape measure, and know how to use it.

        As Steve points out, a bullpup 5.56 can have non-SBR 16″ worth of barrel in a non-SBR 26″ package, if you need the velocity for longer shots. I have AUGs and FS2000s for that, but the Tavor fits as well. MUCH less of the powder is burning outside of the barrel.

        Perhaps you should lay off the COD, though your posturing adds some amusement.

  • Glen-Bob January 16, 2017, 11:12 am

    IMO using an 8.5 5.56/223 BBL is waste of money. If one is going to build on the AR platform consider a 300AAC or 9mm with this barrel length and add a suppressor. The home builder can do this for far less than 2,300. If the gas piston is desired search the web.

  • Paul January 16, 2017, 11:00 am

    Why an SBR, especially 8.5″ 223/5.56?
    Looks awesome but is not the best options, ballistically speaking. I would choose something in .45 or 9mm. Make one in 44 mag and you have my attention..

  • Joseph January 16, 2017, 10:32 am

    I agree with all the previous comments. I am amazed that they went to all the expense and trouble to create such a high quality barrel, then mated it to a 7.5 pound trigger pull.
    The value of the SBR in personnel protection is exposed by the fact that John Hinckley is still alive. Were the Secret Service officers concerned with over penetration in a crowd? Did it take too long to produce it and the president was already in a car? Obviously, their first concern was to protect him. One body-shielded him and another shoved him into a car. But no one neutralized the threat? I think most any cop-on-the-street would have put Hinckley down with a regular duty weapon before the other two had finished getting Reagan into the car.
    BTW Rob, you clearly need an editor. I would be willing to do it for cheap.

  • Jay January 16, 2017, 10:27 am

    Have any of you chronographed the speed of the bullet? I own a LWRC PSD. It hits hard, is accurate, and because the gun is so well balanced it stays on sight. Besides the piston design keeps the chamber and bolt carrier very clean and cool. MPX is great and i love it, but the LWRC is incredibly well designed.

    • JC January 16, 2017, 5:04 pm

      Agreed! I own a number of LWRC rifles and they are definitely quality weapons.

  • Mike Krueger January 16, 2017, 7:41 am

    A Vector in .45 ACP would have superior terminal ballistics than an 8″ SBR 5.56 inside of 100 yards. That 5.56 really relies on speed to get the job done, and a shorty barrel robs it of that.

    Looks neat but if I’m going to the trouble of getting an SBR I’ll spend my money on something else.

    • JoshO January 16, 2017, 12:59 pm

      That’s why this rifle also comes in 6.8spc flavor. I’m surprised the author wasted his time with a SBR in weak titty 5.56×45.

  • Lance January 16, 2017, 3:48 am

    Nice rifle but for $2300 you already felt the need to replace the trigger group, pretty sad in my opinion. Think I’ll stick to what I have and all basic mil spec but suits me just fine. Can make 3 really nice ones for that price.

    • Dawg January 16, 2017, 5:10 pm

      Trust me, from someone who’s been there and done that, your 3 rifles would be crap in comparison. The reliability, durability, and quality of LWRC weapons far exceeds whatever crap you’re used to. There is a reason why professionals buy LWRC. Go back to your basement and play army.

  • Brian January 16, 2017, 3:15 am

    Power of a carbine?? 8.5″ 556 muzzle energy is about equivalent to 9mm out of that length… the only think 556 has going for it is velocity, hack of the barrel and you lose it. Useless gun. Very noisy, lots of blast and flash, heavier recoil. 9mm 8″ is far superior.

  • Sean December 14, 2016, 5:27 pm

    Yes, the “power of a carbine.” I’m sure a 55 grain 5.56 has spectacular terminal ballistics out of an EIGHT AND A HALF INCH BARREL! These SBRs are cool looking but seriously, how is this really better than a good subgun? It has way more recoil, bulkier magazines, tons of blast and will blow your ears out. I would think most people would prefer an truly quiet, truly small, extremely controllable subgun like a MPX or a UMP.

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