LWRC to use the Anniston Army Depot for manufacturing

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LWRC has signed an agreement with the Anniston Army Depot to use its facilities and civilian workforce to manufacturer rifles.

LWRC M6A4 carbine

This will give LWRC significant production capabilities and allow them to make a bid for the improved carbine program. Christian at KitUp reports

“To alleviate the concerns or fears that the Army might have about our production capacity, we’ve entered into a teaming arrangement with the Anniston Army Depot,” officials from LWRC told Kit Up! during a visit to their offices last week. The depot has entered into public-private partnerships like this before, the company tells us, but mostly for large vehicle programs like Strykers and Bradleys.

“Nobody in the small arms industry has ever done this,” says LWRC executive VP Darren Mellors. “What’s the best way for the Army to protect the small arms industrial base? It’s to have the work running through their arsenal and depot system.”

I am surprised the Army would get involved with a private firm, giving them a significant advantage over other small firms in the bid for improved carbine contracts.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Nicks87

    Could this be an early indication that the new replacement for the M4/M16 series rifles will be an LWRC product? I know LWRC already has Govt contracts but I think that the eventual replacment of the U.S. Military’s DI rifles with piston rifles makes a lot of sense.

    LWRC makes great weapons and I feel much better knowing my tax dollars are going to an American company supplying our troops with high quality, top of the line firearms AND providing jobs for Americans.

  • Jay

    Isn’t that kinda like Communism?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Jay, no, public-private partnerships are not like communism. Plenty of non-communist countries have state run firearms manufacturers (although by and large they usually produce poor quality weapons).

  • CBD

    Steve,
    Rafael, IAI and IMI are all government-owned…and I don’t think that they’re accused of producing poor quality weapons.

    Jay,
    See what Steve said. Also, it’s also not communism for governments to support private industry that would otherwise falter, because there’s no reason the Anniston Army Depot (and similar army facilities) couldn’t manufacture their own small arms…

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      CBD, good counter point. In general, state *run* firms produce aweful weapons.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    The Army rents out excess facility space on a regular basis. For example, Alexander Arms rents space from Radford Arsenal. Powell River Laboratories (PRL) used to rent out space from Oak Ridge Laboratories.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Daniel, thats interesting. I did not know that.

  • Rijoenpial

    Hi, guys…

    I don’t think this is any privileged on-point placement of LWRC in the ICP… Let´s not forget that LWRC lost the IAR competition a few months back due to reliability and durability issues… So, that hasty compromising would be a potential shotgun shot in the foot!

    I think that the fact that LWRC has military contracts explains this event… It is in the Army’s best interest to provide the best conditions for having the production quantities and quality they need and demand! If they can provide the conditions and exert partial control over manufacture capabilities and more on-site quality control, then it is good for everyone, LWRC, the Army, the soldiers, etc…

    It says so right there at the beginning ‘To alleviate concerns or fears…’

    I think that LWRC shows great potential, especially with their new 6.8 Ar-15 an 6.8 polymer mag, with dual bolt catches and releases, and if they can improve on quality control, They can be awesome! Their IAR was a great concept that fell short probably because of poor production capabilities!

    Cheers!

  • Lance

    I also agree that LWRC looks like a clear possible winner here. They make a M-4 with all the improvements the Army wants in a M-4 upgrade anyway.

    This whole IC competition is a complete farce. Like the Steve states the Army officially says the competition will be carried out then its up to Army Pentagon staff to decided if its worth purchasing a new weapon which means all this is for is to shut up jerks like Sen. Colburn from criticizing Military brass to stay with the M-4 and With the M-4A1 being bought in ever larger numbers and the Army having competitions to upgrade bolt and bolt carrier and piston system like LWRC is already doing I don’t see the Stoner based weapons going away anytime soon thank heavens.

    Theirs a underline thing here though the Army wants a improved M-4 and LWRC provides one to SOCOM even. Now they are working together to make improved M-4s so maybe the competition is over before it began

  • RollTide

    Good news for the folks in Alabama and Anniston! Just like all Americans we need job opportunities that offer a higher skill level and fair compensation. The best steel is still USA steel. It would be nice if they get the contract to make the m4/16 replacement. I won’t care if they don’t as long as another all domestic company is able to secure the contract. RollTide!

  • Alaskan

    Watch as Colt/FN/whomever files a lawsuit because they didn’t get it first.

  • Casey WY

    I hope the getting involved with the government doesn’t lead to decrease in quality of product…. At least before the end of the summer when I get mine….

  • Lance

    I still dont give too much credit to the IC competition the Fact is the Army is still buying M-4A1s from Colt and it bent on makeing a M-4A2 in the not too distant future so like Daniel said I wouldnt get all hyped up over this.

    The fact is probably we be using a M-4 in one form or another for another 10-20 years.

  • Casey

    I wish this was all happening sooner. I get what ever I get, but I’d love to have an LWRC on my first deployement.

  • Nicks87

    “The fact is probably we be using a M-4 in one form or another for another 10-20 years.”

    Which is absolutely fine by me.

    Most folks that complain about the M-4/5.56 have never fired one or been in combat with one before. Training/shot placement trump weapon/caliber any day.

    However, I would love me a piston gun, much easier to clean and much more reliable on full auto/burst lol!

  • charles222

    Yeah, the old arsenal system was about as far a cry from communism as you can get.

    Although the Army, and military in general, are socialist meritocracies by any definition of those two words. We’re basically a heavily armed European nation with balls. :p

  • charles222

    On state-run arsenals producing “inferior” weapons-yeah, under a quota system like the USSR’s, definitely. But then, hardly anything was built well in that country. The US small arms arsenal system produced exceptionally well-made small arms from the civil war to Vietnam or so. It’s all about the accountability, folks; the USSR never had any, and that was it’s downfall.