In the world of black rifles, LWRC International has earned a reputation for building a quality piston-driven rifle. Located in Cambridge, Maryland, the manufacturing facility includes over 50 state-of-the-art CNC machine centers, laser cutting machines, screw machines, robotic welders, and mil-spec coating booths. They are best known for their piston system, which has proven especially effective in short-barrel configurations such as their popular PSD.
The LWRC PSD is a compact M4-platform rifle that is designed for protective details and close-quarters battle (CQB) environments. Having an 8-inch barrel and an overall length of 25 inches, the PSD has been adopted by both federal law enforcement and military units. The PSD is available in both 5.56mm NATO and the more potent 6.8mm SPC. I have been running a 5.56mm PSD for the last six months and have found it to be extremely reliable and accurate.
While the PSD is compact, the British special operations community wanted something even smaller. Several manufacturers, including LWRCI and HK, submitted subcompact rifles for evaluation and, at the end of a rigorous selection process, LWRCI was selected to fill the requirement. The rifle that was designed for the British has been designated as the Ultra-Compact Individual Weapon, or UCIW, and was first displayed at an industry trade show in 2011. When I visited the LWRCI booth, I was impressed with the balance and compactness of the UCIW and immediately requested an upper to test and evaluate. Our test sample was the first unit released for editorial evaluation.