LWRCI: Building a Better Carbine

posted on August 24, 2018

Top: LWRCI Six8-A5 Razorback II image courtesy Alice Nalepka

Good news travels fast when the right people are in the right places. Friend, Texas lawman and avid hog hunter Todd Huey made a name for himself as a pig’s worst nightmare. Tens of thousands of Texans, and then masses beyond our Lone Star state, also took notice. Huey built quite a following of watchers with quality thermal hog hunts as well as objective thermal and night vision reviews. In one video, and many that followed, I noticed a logo for LWRCI rifles on Huey’s truck, and then began seeing a suppressed LWRCI Six8 in action. I had heard of LWRCI, but hadn’t spent much time at all learning about their offerings, let alone the company.

During an evening event at the 2018 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, Nev., Huey introduced me to LWRCI’s own Adam McMillan. Media relations isn’t lost on McMillan; he invited me to his booth and I met him there the following morning to see the company’s Six8 offerings—rifles aptly named for their caliber-option, the 6.8x43mm SPCII. Between SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, I watched Huey up his feral hog body count and continue to publish thermal and night vision reviews.

Photo courtesy Todd Huey

At the NRA show I spent some time walking around with good friend, fellow hog hunter and world-class UFC fighter, James “The Texecutioner” Vick. Vick happened to mention LWRCI just moments before we ran into McMillan again—perfect timing. With LWRCI and its Six8 now on my radar, I had to take a harder look. While their rifles are extraordinary—more about them further down—there is more about LWRCI than meets the standard black gun fan’s eye. This is quite a special company.

Looking Back
LWRC, the Land Warfare Resource Corporation, jumped into rifle manufacturing in 2008 and soon after, became LWRCI, adding the "I" to infer international presence. The name change facilitated an up-tick in opportunities, and Adam jumped onboard in 2013. For most of us industry folks, Adam and David Golladay have become the faces, so to speak, of LWRCI. Even better, it’s hard to ignore the passion these two gentlemen have for ARs and our shooting heritage overall. 

LWRCI's Adam McMillan with a fan of the award-winning IC-Diadem, an AR built for women based on input from members of The Well Armed Woman. Below, TWAW founder Carrie Lightfoot checks out some of the first Diadems to come off the production line at LWRCI headquarters in Cambridge, Md., in the summer of 2017. 


AmericanRifleman.org images

Stars on the Rise
Adam, whom I engage most often, has truly exemplified LWRCI’s passion, integrity and laser-focused efforts to deliver world-class products and support services. Just five years ago, Adam was a machinist on the shop floor “cranking out 8-inch 6.8 SPC II barrels for a large overseas contract.” Just a year later, he had morphed from machinist to trade show representative, beginning with the 2014 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Ind. His work at the NRA show and subsequent events facilitated his growth into commercial sales, turning into a full-time gig in 2016. Since then he’s been living the LWRCI dream as a territory sales manager, while also managing customer service. He has assured me that LWRCI’s product development has been just as active as his own rise.

A pair of LWRCI ARs await their turn on the line. AmericanRifleman.org images

When he began machining for LWRCI, the company was on its way out of its M6 product line and moving into individual carbine (IC) production. The IC line introduced “fully ambidextrous lower receivers and mono-forged uppers.” At the same time, LWRCI successfully transitioned from vanilla 6.8 SPC II rifles to the Six8 rifles we know and love today, complete with proprietary Magpul 6.8 P-mags. Closely following the Six8 line, LWRCI introduced IC direct impingement (IC-DI) rifles and finally, the company’s wildly popular REPR MKII systems.

For a guy with no previous sales experience to garner the kind of success demonstrated by Adam takes amazing products and solid team members, and Adam has been careful to point out this fact numerous times. “They collect a paycheck but they are consumers first and start with the end in mind,” he said, building the best AR systems in the world. To that end, LWRCI’s drive is admirable and exemplified throughout every element of the manufacturing process, and underscored by the company’s laser-focused pursuit of zero-tolerance quality assurance. In fact, LWRCI’s concentration on the smallest of details, with respect to build quality, and my recent personal experiences behind their rifles genuinely lead me to believe the Six8-A5 Razorback II is a clear shout-from-the-rooftops attestation of those efforts—truly remarkable and among the most reliable systems I’ve had the pleasure of shooting.

Looking Forward  
LWRCI is at the top of its game and the future only seems to be getting brighter. Today, roughly 80 to 90 percent of LWRCI’s firearm parts, including uppers, lowers, barrels, gas blocks, muzzle devices, sights, some stocks and most triggers used in production are fabricated in-house at LWRCI on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Cambridge or its sister facility, MaTech (Military Advanced Technology), just 35 minutes down the road in Salisbury. Other stocks, as well as grips, are manufactured by Magpul; REPR MKII rifles feature Geissele triggers. Equally as impressive as LWRCI’s diverse manufacturing capabilities is that 100 percent of the company’s rifle components are American made. 

AmericanRifleman.org images

Labor is also worthy of mention. Combined, LWRCI and MaTech employ roughly 225 pro-2A employees. While Adam’s sales role has bled into customer service over the past couple of years, especially considering his principal focus of establishing and maintaining true world-class-service level support for consumers, LWRCI continues to beat the product development drum. During a recent conversation, McMillian shared his three favorite LWRCI projects:

REPR MKII rifles will soon be offered in 6.5 Creedmoor with Proof Research carbon-fiber-wrapped barrels. Adam was pretty excited about sharing this news—“I’m going to own one!”

LWRCI has a .224 Valkyrie on the horizon. Adam personally jumped on the .224 bandwagon early in terms of the company’s product development process. “Just a few more kinks to work out and we’ll be ready to ship,” he said. “In our LWRCI world, it’s either right or it’s not. There’s no middle-ground but these rifles will be on the market in the near future.”

Adam also said that his personal LWRCI favorite, the SMG-45 he lovingly refers to as “the unicorn,” is making a return. The SMG-45 first appeared at the 2015 SHOT Show, then disappeared, then surfaced again in 2016 and, well, disappeared once more. Adam promises, “It will be on the market in 2019. It’s happening. Stay tuned!”


LWRCI, located on Maryland's historic Eastern Shore, tests its hardware on a nearby private island. AmericanRifleman.org images.


Snapshot: LWRCI Six8-A5 Razorback II
As for my new favorite LWRCI rifle, the piston-driven Six8-A5 Razorback II, it shoots like a dream. Sure, it sounds cliché but if the shoe fits … Alright, that’s cliché, too. Here’s the truth. The Six8-A5 is one of the best carbine-length AR shooting experiences I’ve had in all my years of doing this more than a decade, for inquiring minds). At 100 yards, I managed a .5-inch group using Hornady Black 110-gr. V-Max ammunition—a complete surprise to me, and a welcome one—blame the barrel or the ammo for that. For a 6.8 SPC II with a 16-inch barrel, I expected more abrasive recoil impulse, but it was exceedingly comfortable. And, since I pulled the A2-style birdcage compensator off and added a Silent Legion Multi-Caliber Suppressor, recoil has been even further mitigated; I imagine just about any waist-high kid could manage its recoil (and, of course, noise level) in its current state without trouble.

LWRCI Six8-A5 Razorback II images courtesy Alice Nalepka

Features worth noting about LWRCI’s Six8 masterpiece include proprietary upper and lower receivers designed to optimize 6.8 SPC II cartridge feeding and accept a specially designed Magpul 6.8 P-Mag; LWRCI’s own cold-hammer-forged spiral-fluted, NiCorr-treated barrel; adjustable two-position gas block (suppressed and un-suppressed); LWRCI’s proprietary enhanced fire control group; fully ambidextrous lower receiver and charging handle; LWRCI adjustable compact stock; Magpul MOE+ grip and a LWRCI 12-inch rail system. Tech specs include muzzle velocity average of 2,553, with a standard deviation of 13, and energy at 1,588 ft.-lbs. MSRP is $2,804.

Photo courtesy Alice Nalepka

Additional Reading:
NRA Gun of the Week: LWRCI Six8 Razorback Rifle  
Coming Soon: LWRCI SMG 45 Pistol   
On the Range with the LWRCI Six8   
Shooting the LWRCI M6 IC PDW     


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