The show stealer this week was the LWRCI PDW, but it wasn’t the only outstanding offering from LWRCI. Until we abolish the unconstitutional NFA, a full sized rifle is a much easier reach for most of us. And LWRCI happens to have that in spades.
Fair warning. The MSRP on the LWRC IC-A5 is definitely in the premium region, and near the top of that. At $2635.75, a rifle had better be very impressive if it still shoots 5.56 as a caliber. The price is hefty, but you get a lot of gun for the coins.
The M6 IC-A5 is built of high-end components, bottom to top. The most obvious difference between this and other AR’s is the spiral fluted barrel. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, it does help the gun cool faster. These aren’t some cosmetic cuts added as an afterthought, they are deep. This also gives a 20% reduction in weight versus normal barrels of the same diameter.
The handguard feels, in a word, solid. It has lightening windows cut it, but there is no flex in the materials. The handguard is 12 inches, with a cut back on top for the gas block. The rounded profile feels good in the hand, and gives the gun an overall nice balance. I also like the LWRCI has opted to use neither Keymod or Mlok for the handguard. Times change, but I think both of them suck. LWRCI encloses multiple rail sections that are attached by screws at threaded holes on the 3,6, &9.
The top rail is continuous back to the receiver. I applaud this seemingly simple design. Flashlight, laser, sling swivel, and bipod- all go at the end of the handguard, and none need to be mounted at an angle.
The bolt release and magazine release are fully ambidextrous, as is the safety. The bolt is nickel boron coated, and slick like deer guts on a doorknob. The charging handle is oversized, and also ambi. The fire control group in our test model is the LWRCI enhanced model, also nickel boron coated. It is light years ahead of a mil-spec model, even with a similar weight of 5.5 pounds.
The operating system is a patented short stroke piston, and it is a winner. Performance wise, it recoiled very similarly to a direct impingement system, which takes some doing. There are maybe three piston systems total in the marketplace that don’t recoil like a train wreck, and I am happy to report that LWRCI is one of them. This gun is very pleasant to shoot, with the reliability of a piston system as an added benefit. It also lacks the front heaviness common with piston guns, the balance of this rifle is impeccable.
As extras go, the IC-A5 has those in spades as well. The sights are H&K style, built in-house. They lock up like a bank vault and are steel, not plastic. The rear uses a simple twist to change from small to the large aperture, which is very fast with a little practice. I am also happy to say that the dimensions are correct, making these sights actually usable. The Skirmish iron sights alone list for $200, similar in price to other premium folding sights.
The color scheme on our test rifle is the newest in the LWRCI line, Patriot Brown. In the weeks I have had this gun, the color has really grown on me. In a world of all FDE, dark brown is a nice, but functional, change. With black controls and barrel, the weapon looks very sharp, and looks do matter.
Performance wise, the M6 IC is a winner. It easily gave me a ½ MOA 100 meter group, with the factory trigger and collapsible buttstock. There may be some more left in there, but ½ inch is very impressive out of a piston gun. Not many can match that, and this gun does it with style.
This is the first LWRCI carbine I have reviewed, and I am very impressed. You can feel the build quality in every piece of this rifle, it almost speaks to you when you hold it. If I was going to be left with one AR for the rest of my life, this would absolutely be one of the contenders.
To learn more about the LWRCI IC-A5 click here.
- CALIBER: 5.56 NATO
- BARREL: 14.7″ (37.3cm) | 16.1″ (40.9cm)
- WEIGHT: 7.0 lbs (3.22kg) | 7.3 lbs (3.31kg)
- LENGTH: 32-35.25″ (81.3-89.5cm)
- MUZZLE THREADS: 1/2×28 TPI
- RIFLING: 1:7” RH