It looks like an AR-15. It shoots like an AR-15. But, is it an AR-15? The Loki Weapon Systems Fighter (LWSF) Patrol Rifle is of course an AR-15. But, LWSF, a small but up and coming company, has greatly improved upon the original design. The result: A rifle that is ideal for the LEO looking for a tough and reliable 5.56x45mm patrol rifle.
The LWSF Patrol Rifle is clearly an improved version of the familiar AR-15, with a better design, stronger materials, and more comfortable ergonomics. Both the lower and upper receivers have been upgraded. The lower is machined from a billet of 7075-T6 aluminum. Loki’s improvements of the Mil-Spec lower include an integrated triggerguard. If you have ever witnessed an AR being built, it wasn’t uncommon for a triggerguard or wing to be broken while pinning the triggerguard—now this design weakness is gone. The complete guard is also oversized for bigger glove fingers.
Loki also changed up the magazine well and frontstrap. The well is reshaped and enlarged, which helps speed a rapid reload. The frontstrap of the lower is reshaped for finger grooves. Regardless of your shooting style, at some point you are likely to have your support hand wrapped around the front of the lower. The grooves provide a sure grip. Loki rounds out the LWSF ergonomics by using the Ergo SureGrip pistol grip and F93 PRO stock. An ambidextrous sling plate is also standard on the Patrol model.
Like the lower, the Loki upper is also machined from a billet of 7075-T6 aluminum. The added rigidity subsequently helps with accuracy. It also increases the durability as the upper and lower do not flex as much. If you look at the sides of the upper, you’ll notice how much thicker it is than a traditional AR-15. Naturally, the upper has a forward assist. Both the upper and lower come in for a Type III anodized hardcoat and Teflon finish. The upper and lower receivers are matched for a reliable fit.
Fitted to the upper is a quality barrel. The rifle tested here has a 16-inch barrel. Of course, other barrel lengths are available. The barrel is a 4150 chrome-moly vanadium alloy per Mil-Spec B-11595. This is the same material the military uses in the M249 SAW machinegun. The barrel is chambered for 5.56x45mm NATO and is rifled with a 1-in-8-inch right-hand twist. The barrel is fitted with an M4 extension for improved feeding of the cartridge from the magazine to the chamber. The barrel receives a nitride treatment. The muzzle has standard 1/2×28 threading for a variety of flash suppressors and muzzle devices. The test sample featured the excellent Yankee Hill Machine 5C2 Phantom suppressor.
One of the things that I really like on the LWSF is the 12-inch modular handguard. The handguard is essentially round with a full length Picatinny rail along the top. Additional segments of Picatinny rail can be mounted around the handguard in 90-degree increments. This means the shooter doesn’t have to lug around heavy and unnecessary rails. The Loki handguard supports the shooter, not just the rifle.