LWRC PDW – Dynamite Comes In Small Packages

The author and the LWRC PDW

I have been on record as disliking short barreled rifles ( SBR’s), not because I think you shouldn’t be allowed to own one, but because they are ineffective. The velocity loss from chopping a barrel below 16 inches in 5.56 caliber is catastrophic in terms of combat effectiveness, with shorter being exponentially worse. I felt the same way when I was in the Army, and I was totally against 10.5 barrels for Close Quarter Battle, which I taught. However, this week I got my hands on a combination that has made me rethink the value of an SBR.

Combine an SBR with Hornady’s new 75 grain INTERLOCK ammo, and you have a lethal combination. The ammunition is designed specifically to meet the FBI requirements for their short barreled 10.5″-11.5″ 5.56 rifles.

The LWRC PDW with the stock closed. The Hornady 75 grain Interlock ammunition tested in the video is specifically designed for better performance in short barrel rifles.

The first piece in this equation is the gun, the LWRC PDW. The PDW or Personal Defensive Weapon was built from the ground up as the most compact package available. Thanks to its collapsing stock, shortened buffer system, and 8.5 inch barrel, it delivers. The buffer and spring are attached to the shortened bolt, a stroke of engineering genius. The PDW is so small, I can fit it inside my jacket with very little printing. It is almost as small as an MP-5K and is much easier to use.

The simple two position stock snaps open with a light pull, providing rifle like recoil management, in submachine gun size. I wanted to hate this gun, but I can’t. It’s just so darn cute, and it handles like an Italian sports car. Recoil is surprisingly light for a very short system. LWRC obviously tuned the short stroke piston to bleed off the excess gasses, and the result is fantastic. The Enhanced Fire Control Group is far better than mil-spec on the trigger, a nice but often overlooked feature on a gun like this.

Stock fully extended

I don’t fall in love with guns often, but this is one of the coolest platforms I have picked up in recent memory. If you have ever even considered an SBR, this is the weapon of choice. For a briefcase or under the seat of your truck, you are going to love it.

Left side controls.

Right side controls


  • CALIBER:  5.56 NATO
  • BARREL:   8.5” 26.6cm
  • WEIGHT:   5.9 lbs
  • LENGTH:   20.5” – 25.5”
  • RIFLING:  1:7” RH
  • MSPR: $2400

Close up of the LWRC PDW shortened bolt and buffer.

The LWRC PDW breaks down easily for cleaning and maintenance.

To learn more about LRWC, click here.

***Check out GunsAmerica for your next LRWC Rifle***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • ejharb April 4, 2018, 9:24 pm

    300bo and I’m in

  • JoshO March 12, 2018, 12:18 pm

    I’m a big LWRC fan and have had one of their PSDs in 6.8spc forever, but I’m sorry, Clay, the PDW is nowhere near as small as a MP5K.

    I don’t care what wizbang ammo you’re using, 5.56 out of a 8.5″ barrel is not a great choice.

  • Pat March 12, 2018, 12:13 pm

    Man when did GOA get ate up with so many Fudds?

  • R Watts March 12, 2018, 10:09 am

    Interesting but way behind the curve. LWRC still insists on using proprietary bolt/buffer spring, and nothing new, nothing. The better solution is MVB Industries ARC-X PWD stock, the only collapsible stock that takes a mil-spec buffer, which means any bolt, including piston systems. And the rifle breaks open using standard procedures, no fishing the proprietary spring out.
    Save $1200 buy a milspec lower, file SBR paperwork, install a Geissele SSA trigger, install a MVB ARC-X – file. Now (and this is key) for $500 (plus stamps) you can use this one lower on ANY mil-spec upper including piston systems like Adams Arms or Syrac. I did this several years ago when MVB first started business and that one lower and stamp serves a 5.56 10″ piston, a .300BLK 9″ piston, a 7.62×39 10″ gas. When I want, I can put a 14.5″ carbine upper on it as well. Why go to the trouble? Because you can buy a non-stamped mil-spec pistol lower for these multiple uppers and you now have a truck gun that is legal without stamps. Mix and match boys, mix and match. Loved the MVB ARC so much I added it to my Wolf 9mm 10″, which is 1/3 the price of an MPX (but not nearly as cool).

    Also word of warning on LWRC 8″ barrel, some suppressor companies (AAC) don’t warranty under 10″ barrels because 8″ barrel has trouble stabilizing, check before losing a suppressor. My first 5.56 PDW was 7.5″ 1×7 and I had a baffle strike on the suppressor, so learn from words before learning from actions.

    The “new” factor in this article was the unique ammunition would like to see tests on that, but again, according to Hornady specs, this SBR ammo is optimized for 10″ – 11.5″ barrels, not 8.5″.

  • John March 12, 2018, 9:51 am

    I am a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and an Endowment Member of the NRA as well as a former military Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor (SAMI). That being said, I really can’t see a use for a rifle caliber pistol or short barreled rifle in the civilian firearms world. And oh by the way, before the whining starts, an AR-15 is not a military weapon. These Internet Rambos are what the Libs and media see everyday and that is where they get their unsubstantiated negative ideas about average gun owners. If you want to play with military grade weapons, get out from behind the video games and go defend your Country and its Constitution like many of us have.

    • Evan March 12, 2018, 12:10 pm

      ….and this nonsense is why most of us hate the NRA. Stop telling us what we can and can’t own. “Shall not be infringed” is pretty clear to me. I served in the Marine Corps, I fought in Iraq, and I didn’t do it some some asshole could tell me what guns he didn’t (in his limited imagination) think I need.

    • Nathan March 16, 2018, 8:06 pm

      I’m confused by your comment. In one sentence you refer to the AR-15 as a non-military weapon then propose that anyone wanting to “play” with military grade weapons should join a branch of service, where they use M4 and M16’s. The only difference being semi-auto fire, and the article being about an SBR, so are you saying an AR15 becomes a military grade weapon when you legally SBR one? Your last statement makes you sound as if, because of your service, you are now entitled to something that a video game loving, gun loving, constitutional citizen is not. Evan served and while he doesn’t tell us why, I would hope it had something to do with duty and honor.

  • joefoam March 12, 2018, 9:07 am

    Not my cup of tea, but if it’s yours, knock yourselves out. Have to agree with other comments, this will drive the anti-gun crowd into madness simply because of its looks.

  • ejharb March 12, 2018, 8:48 am

    Make mine .300 blackout,lol
    5.56 stinks on the best day from 20inches.in a sbr?no way.

    • Vanns40 March 12, 2018, 9:50 am

      That’s exactly what I did with mine (300), except I refused to pay the tax so I made it a pistol instead. It is one of my favorite AR’s. I built it from the ground up with an 80% lower, 8 3/4” upper, H3 buffer. It runs like a champ and I consider it the best close quarter AR I have (I’ve got 4).

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn March 12, 2018, 8:16 am

    Ugh.. What a waste of dollars.. I\’d much rather apply the money to a nice hunt somewhere; to paying my annual gun club dues; to ensuring that my ATV and 4WD truck are in good operating condition… Man, with these kinds of silly toys I find it increasingly difficult to defend the Second Amendment.. Rest assured, one day a pistol like this is going to be carried into a public place and spray and prayed and all gun owners will be told by their supporters to defend them in the eyes of the public.. Sometimes I wonder if the reason the government has made them legal is to excite law-makers and the anti-gun zealots into devising and passing draconian regulations that impact all gun owners, not just those who buy these toys.. They even give AR-platform rifle owners a bad rap, too, and that is a real shame…

    • Jay March 12, 2018, 8:46 am

      Jeffery, it’s attitudes like yours, as to why we are in the state of draconian laws! Our Constitutions 2nd amendment does not not stipulate in any way shape of form as to the type of weapon “We The People” can have and it was intended that way, to control our government! The government is not the entity to make things legal or not when it comes to firearms, it’s We The People, The government is and was always intended to be those who served the people, period. They, the politicians, over time have taken the position and voted themselves into a position of lords, monarchs and control freaks for money and power over the people! You are still free at the moment, to spend your money anyway you seem fit but just because less than .01% of our population want to shoot people up does not make any firearm a bad thing as inanimate objects are under control of a person! Automobile accidents, drunks and drugs kill more people everyday than firearms do in a month of Sundays!

      • Pete March 12, 2018, 12:20 pm

        Jeffrey L. Frischkorn is a poser. Rights aren’t conditional, situational, relative, or subject to arbitrary approvals. Especially based on appearance, or any other subjective evaluation.
        I’m sure there are more than a few who would take exception with Ms Frischkorn’s choice of “silly toys” and like to ban any ATV and 4WD truck they find environmentally offensive. Americans don’t care about what you think we “need”. Needs and wants are different, and what Americans “need” is not yet controlled by small minded people like you.

    • ejharb March 12, 2018, 8:52 am

      Go for it Mr fudd.it’s a free country! For a little while longer.
      Just gotta ask how long do you think your right to blast Bambi will last after they repeal the 2nd amendment? I give it a day and your fudd toys will go in the blue dumpster. Enjoy your chains!😀

      • Cincy_Sensei March 13, 2018, 2:53 am

        Sorry ejharb (AND any others of like mind including the Florida #neveragain kids) the 2d Amd does NOT protect hunting firearms, nor hunting sports, nor shooting sports. It protects citizens’ ownership of arms suitable for militia/military duty.

        • ejharb April 4, 2018, 9:33 pm

          Gee guess I wasn’t clear.
          He said he was a big bad hunter and I said his hunting toys would be confiscated after my militia iron. That better?
          We all need to keep schumer and Pelosi from banning all our guns or get ready to truly use the 2a

    • COMANCHE March 12, 2018, 9:33 am

      Here we go again guns are toys and the gun is the reason for mass shootings !- red flag I think this guy needs to have his head examined?

    • Vanns40 March 12, 2018, 9:59 am

      Anyone who says “I find it difficult to defend the Second Amendment…” for any reason, doesn’t defend it at all. They are a charlatan trying to convince us they’re the genuine article. It’s like a politician saying “I support the Second Amendment BUT….”. NO, you don’t support it at all. There are no “buts” in the Constitution. And please, don’t even reference yelling “fire”. That’s a bogus argument and in later life Justice Holmes stated he regretted ever making the analogy because it had been so corrupted from his original intent. By the way, you can, legally, yell fire in a crowded theatre.

    • Matt March 12, 2018, 11:14 am

      That particular firearm appears well-suited to home defense. It is a shame that some hunters and sportsman are so quick to allow government to ban firearms they don’t find useful. This is exactly why we have draconian firearm laws.

      • Pete March 12, 2018, 12:15 pm


    • bbbs53 March 12, 2018, 12:39 pm

      If you have “trouble defending the Second Amendment” you are part of the problem, what part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand? The only fools giving the Armalite Rifle a bad rap are the loonies, not ANY law abiding owner, get it straight. It’s a real shame they let people like you vote!

  • Jon March 12, 2018, 8:00 am

    Hey Clay, gun guys don’t use the word “Cute”.

    • Jay March 12, 2018, 8:51 am

      Sorry Jon, real men aren’t afraid of words and use any damn word they want to and could care less what you think!

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