Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019

[Slickguns Review] LWRCI DI & IC-SPR: Direct Impingement vs Piston

[Review] LWRCI DI & IC-SPR: Direct Impingement vs Piston


Finally, a full Slickguns Review on some of the reputed best ARs currently made.

The LWRCI DI (direct impingement) and IC-SPR (piston).

LWRCI IC-SPR (top) and DI (bottom)

Follow us as my team and I test these two out to see if they are worth their premium price.

We have a full YouTube Slickguns Review right here…

If that helped, be sure to subscribe to our Channel since we’re updating every week with more Slickguns Reviews!

Now let’s get down to even more details in our written Slickguns Review below.

Who Is It For?

  • Someone who wants a great rifle ready for anything out of the box
  • Someone who wants impeccable fit and finish
  • Someone who wants a fully ambidextrous lower
  • Someone from California who wants an AR-15 that looks “normal”
  • Oh yea…and someone who can afford the sticker price ~$1700 for the DI and ~$2400 for the IC-SPR


1500
at Brownells

Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • LWRCI (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing


2250
at Brownells

Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • LWRCI (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Who is LWRCI?

It gets a little confusing since for the longest time they were known as simply LWRC…standing for Land Warfare Resources Corporation.

But now it has an extra I for LWRC International.

Whatever they are called…they burst onto the scene years ago for me with a couple features on Future Weapons (RIP Mack).

They focused on short-stroke gas piston ARs instead of the traditional direct impingement where the dirty gas goes back into the system.

Direct Inpingement Gif
Direct Inpingement Gif

For pistons…only the face of the piston gets the dirty gas.

Ok, this one is of a long-stroke piston of the AK…but you get the picture.

AK Piston, Matt Rittman
AK Piston, Matt Rittman

This makes them run cleaner and cooler. But at the expense of more parts, being a little front heavy, and the possibility of less accuracy because of more moving parts.

For more info check out our Best Piston Uppers and Conversion Kits.

Now that we got through that…let’s move onto the actual Slickguns!

Fit, Feel, & Finish

IC-SPR

First up…their piston AR! Here we have the beautiful IC-SPR.

LWRC IC-SPR
LWRCI IC-SPR

The IC stands for “Individual Carbine,” the contest the US Army held to find its next generation firearm. The IC series is what LWRCI submitted before the contest was scrapped.

The SPR is the non-gas adjustable version. Check out the A5 for the adjustable version.

It’s fit, feel, and finish are perfect.

LWRCI’s upper and lower are double-coined to be in super-spec. And the upper is forged with the handguard attachment…giving it more strength and hopefully an increase in accuracy.

The SPR has a 14.7″ sexily-fluted barrel (that reduces weight by 20%) and a flash hider permanently attached to reach over 16″ so no stamps are necessary.

 LWRCI SPR Flash Hider
LWRCI SPR Flash Hider

The buttstock is LWRCI and provides a great cheekweld in a small profile.

Plus you get some of the best flip up sights I’ve ever seen.

LWRCI SPR Flip Up Sights
LWRCI SPR Flip Up Sights

Let’s go internal…

The BCG has the gas block built in…reducing a possibility of breakage if you tend to use your Slickguns into the tens of thousands of rounds.

 LWRCI BCG
LWRCI BCG

Oh yea…and did I mention the lower is fully ambidextrous? Great for lefties and utilizing the CA compliant model (more on that later).

 LWRCI Fully Ambi Lower
LWRCI Fully Ambi Lower

One thing I didn’t like was the handguard.

LWRCI SPR Proprietary Handguard
LWRCI SPR Proprietary Handguard

Sure, it looks nice and feels great. But it doesn’t have M-LOK.

Like you need to buy proprietary Picatinny rails attached with Torx screws.

It’s 2019…and M-LOK reigns supreme.


2250
at Brownells

Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • LWRCI (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

DI

The DI stands for direct impingement.

LWRCI DI
LWRCI DI

No surprise there.

LWRCI decided it was finally time to jump into the DI game utilizing the same lower and tech of their IC series.

Same thing…no complaints on fit, feel, or finish.

The DI differs internally (of course) but cosmetically it comes with a standard A2 flash hider and no flip up sights.

LWRCI Rifles
LWRCI Rifles

However, it does have some pre-installed panels and a grip that are comfy.

LWRCI DI Handguard
LWRCI DI Handguard

Is that M-LOK?

NOPES.

It only looks like M-LOK.

Ok…enough complaining about the handguards…how do the two shoot?

Shootability & Reliability

In one word…great.

Both of them ran flawlessly through all the hundreds of rounds we tossed through each over two months.

LWRCI SPR Firing
LWRCI SPR Firing

Only complaint is that the magwell started off a little tight but by the end of two range trips was fully broken in.

And if it matters…the flash-hider on the IC-SPR rings like a tuning fork.

LWRCI SPR Flash Hider
LWRCI SPR Flash Hider

Again, check out the YouTube video for how great they shot.

Accuracy

For a $1700 and $2400 priced rifle I expected at least 1 MOA (1 inch groups at 100 yards) with good ammo.

Sadly…they didn’t deliver.

After breaking in the barrel with a few range trips, I tested the rifle with a Schmidt & Bender 5-25x PMII (Best Long Range Scopes) and sandbags.

LWRCI Groups Testing
LWRCI Groups Testing

I used some of my favorite ammo (Best AR-15 Ammo) such as Wolf Gold, PMC Bronze, American Eagle XM193, and Federal Gold Medal Match.

I fired nice and slow 10 round groups with the same black lower (to keep the trigger consistent).

Speaking of trigger…it’s nickel boron coated…but is not great. I’m sure it’s reliable but I really wish a high-end AR would have some sort of crisper pull.

LWRCI Fully Ambi Lower
LWRCI Fully Ambi Lower

I’d estimate it at 6-7 pounds with some creep.

Here are the results for the DI (which theoretically should be more accurate because of less moving parts).

LWRCI DI Groups
LWRCI DI Groups

About 3-4 MOA with a slight edge to PMC out of the first three plinking ammo brands. Gold Medal was a little smaller at 2-3 MOA.

For the IC-SPR…

LWRC IC-SPR Groups
LWRC IC-SPR Groups

Along the same lines of 3-4 MOA and the slight edge to Wolf Gold. Good thing is I’m not seeing some immense difference between DI and piston.

Now…I took the best plinking ammo picks from each Slickgun and swapped out the lower for my competition Timney 3.5 lb trigger (Best AR-15 Triggers).

Timney Competition
Timney Competition 3.5lb

Here’s the result:

DI and IC-SPR Groups, Upgraded Trigger
DI and IC-SPR Groups, Upgraded Trigger

It did tighten up the plinking ammo…but I see a lot more difference for the match ammo. I’d estimate it at around 1.5 MOA which is decent.

One possible explanation is that the barrel is 1:7 twist which does favor heavier bullets more. All the plinking rounds were 55gr while the Gold Medal is 77gr.

But basically…trigger was meh and so was the accuracy. Still minute-of-man but I expected more.

California Compliant Model

However, a big thank you to LWRC for helping out some Californians who want their rifle as normal looking as possible…aka not going Featureless.

The CA Compliant lowers have a spring-loaded rear takedown pin that allows the upper and lowers to crack ever so slightly.

 LWRCI CA Compliance
LWRCI CA Compliance

That slight distance disengages a pin inside the lower that allows the use of the magazine release.

It works pretty well except when you need to fully take apart the upper and lower halves. Then you have to slowly turn the pin and super-carefully pull it out.

But not all the way or else it comes out of the lower and you have to unscrew your buttstock and castle nut to reinstall…yup I learned the hard way!

By the Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

We shot around 300 rounds through each Slickgun with several types of ammo and mags…and every time it went bang.

Accuracy: 3/5

Not bad if it were half or 1/3 the cost. But for the money…I’d expect more in terms of accuracy and trigger.

Ergonomics: 5/5

Everything felt great…and I’d give it a 6 if I could for the truly ambidextrous lower.

Looks: 5/5

Again…it’s one good looking rifle with perfect fit and paint.

Customization: 3/5

It’s an AR with a Picatinny rail on top so you can add just about anything. But why oh why isn’t there factory standard M-LOK on the handguard?

Bang for the Buck: 3/5

On the high-end of the AR spectrum but I’ll give a few props to the DI for coming with panels and grip…and the SPR for the really nice flip-up sights.

Overall Rating: 3.75

Conclusion

I really wanted to LOVE this rifle.

LWRCI IC-SPR and DI, Ambi Controls
LWRCI IC-SPR and DI, Ambi Controls

And I did until I realized I couldn’t add a sling swivel to the handguard…or utilize any of my M-LOK flashlight attachments.

Then I got a little depressed from the accuracy report.

BUT…if you want a quality feeling, looking, ambidextrous, and reliable AR-15 (in both direct impingement and piston flavors) and can overlook some things…the LWRCI DI and IC-SPR might still be for you.


1500
at Brownells

Compare prices (3 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)
  • LWRCI (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing


2250
at Brownells

Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • LWRCI (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Let me know what you think! And check out some of our favorite AR-15 Upgrades and Scopes/Optics.

A Couple AR-15 Optics
A Couple AR-15 Optics

The post [Slickguns Review] LWRCI DI & IC-SPR: Direct Impingement vs Piston appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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