LWRC of Springfield, VA features short-stroke piston-operated rifles in 5.56 NATO and 6.8 SPC. (Haven't heard much about 6.8 SPC in a while.)
This page shows how the piston operates.
While David Crane spells out LWRC as "Land Warrior Resource Corporation," the History page at the LWRC says "Leitner-Wise Rifle Company." Whichever. Apparently they are "migrating" the name to what DC says, though it's hard to find that spelled out on their site.
more DEDUCTIONS and REVELATIONS on the evolution of the old Leitner-Wise company in the continuation, for anyone interested (and likes soap operas)
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Business Wire on 09NOV2004 announced:
HOUSTON -- American Security Resources Corporation (OTCBB:ARSC), www.americansecurityresources.com, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with principal shareholders and officers of Leitner-Wise Rifle Company (LWRC) to acquire all the stock of LWRC.
This looks like the result of a serious financial situation (either bankruptcy or approaching bankruptcy), but we can't tell for sure.
In January of 2006, the company was purchased in a Management Buyout by Pat Bryan who is the Chairman/CEO of LWRC and an Army Veteran (according to LWRC's History page)
This is the evolution of the Leitner-Wise company which once offered a .499 LW rifle using a proprietary cartridge, which was quite the sensation when revealed in 2002. The logo is the same as that used by Leitner-Wise (as ACE recalls). If one enters the URL www.leitner-wise.com/, one will be directed to the LWRC site. Here's a 14MAR2004 A-C-E post on the .499 L-W "Mini-50," now apparently defunct. (A company rep on the forum says they will bring it back, with redesigned cartridges and a piston, but it's low priority.) Paul Leitner-Wise apparently sold out, as he's not listed in the LWRC contact list.
Perhaps a member of the current LWRC management will be so kind as to post a comment explaining exactly what transpired, to clarify or correct these deductions. Confirmed facts are preferred.
Fortunately, the .50 Beowulf by Alexander Arms (the head-to-head competitor of the .499 L-W, also proprietary and also made in VA) is still in production. But, the demise of the .499 L-W (which DefRev once considered to have a "very bright future") illustrates the risk of buying a weapon with a proprietary cartridge. If and when there is a new .499, it will probably have a tapered cartridge, and thus will probably not be suitable for the old .499 without at least a barrel change.
On the LWRC forum, "Darren" (presumably the VP, Business Development) mentions the .499 L-Ws sold to the Coast Guard.
"The .499 has been a pain in the ass for us as there are a number of ex coast guard uppers floating around the marketplace. They were made by LMT and the quality is not on par with what we expect."
As ACE reported on 18JUL2004, the Coast Guard canceled the contract due to reliability problems. That pretty much stopped the forward progress of the .499 L-W into the military, and adversely affected its acceptance by LE. "Darren" calls it "a tinkerer's dream>"
The .499 caliber (really just a few thousands less than .500) was selected to avoid problems in some ports which only allow patrol weapons under .50 caliber. This ploy might also get around some state laws expressly prohibiting .50 caliber weapons, at least until they rewrote them.
This 16-page AR15.com forum thread shows the very loooong delay in fulfilling a Group Buy (only partially caused by a fire causing the Alexandria facility to be condemned).
UPDATE: Apparently Paul Leitner-Wise was ousted from LWRC after it was determined he was posting negative comments about competitors' firearms and false excuses for LWRC delivery delays under a pseudonym on firearms boards, as semi-documented in this HKPRO forum thread (read down to find the interchange). Thanks to CH77 for alerting us to this in a comment.
VaDinger: This got out because one AR15.com staff member happened to check IP addresses on the accounts. Then others who had communicated with both Paul L-W and his alter ego Hipfiredgun & others checked into it also. They both came up with the same answer. They were the same person or at the very least posting from the exact same computer.
MisterJG (presumably Jesse Gomez – Vice President, Design and Engineering): "I clearly stated that a link to thread on ar15.com was brought to my attention, I then did some additional research and presented the facts to the CEO. We then contacted AR15 management to provide us with their findings, that along with supporting facts found on PLW's harddrive was cause to end employment. AR15 management worked with us to get to the bottom of what happened."
Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms expressed his disgust at the tactics on his 6.5 Grendal forum:
... many here, myself included, are a little high strung about the antics of Paul Lietner-Wise and his crew. I know that they are now running about claiming misrepresentation by a single individual, but I do not understand how he could have used everyones accounts without anyone looking at the internet and saying "hey I did not write this, WTF is going on".
Did you have any idea the firearms industry could be so "soap-opera"-ish?
1630 DST TUESDAY UPDATE
Firearms historian Daniel E. Watters notes, in a commenet, the major investment Koniag, Inc., an Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA) company, pumped into Leitner-Wise as the major shareholder beginning in 2004, only to see L-W lose nearly $2 Million in 2005 and $2.5 Million in 2006. Koniag took a writeoff to divest itself of L-W in 2006, as noted in its 2006 Annual Report:
This announcement appeared in the April 2006 report to Shareholders:
DEW also provides a link to awards recently given to contractors by the National Small Arms Technology Consortium. L-W only received $10,488.
Where is Paul Leitner-Wise (PLW) now? Don't know, but he has a patent for generating energy from explosions, so perhaps that will be his next hot rock. Maybe the energy created from firing a weapon could be used to recharge the batteries in the scope, eliminating the need for changing batteries or recharging for active troops.