The AR-15 is the single most popular rifle model currently in use by civilians in the United States. This isn’t just a review of another AR-15, it’s a review of a new approach to the entire type of firearm.
Re-thinking the AR-15 platform is a not a trivial exercise. It involves starting from scratch, considering the entire purpose of that type of rifle from the point of view of function. Everything is up for grabs: operating system, ammunition, barrel, rail system and the entire front end. If it’s time to re-build the AR-15 from the ground up, go all the way.
War Sport Industries of Robbins, North Carolina, has done exactly that. Their offering is the LVOA-C, an AR-15 model that is intended, and named, for low-visibility operations applications (LVOA) in a carbine package. It is designed as a tactical firearm with a difference.
The basic specifications: 7 lbs. unloaded (7½ lbs. with a 30-round magazine) and an overall length of 35½ in. (32¾ in. with a closed stock). The carbine has a 16¼ in. match-grade barrel with a 1:8 right-hand twist. The stock is a B5 Systems enhanced SOP-mod stock in low-visibility green with a Magpul XTM foregrip. It uses ambidextrous fire controls and magazine release. A “Top Hat” compensator comes standard. The War Sport LVOA-C is chambered for the .223 Wylde, but more on that later.
Overall, the War Sport LVOA-C has a unique profile, based on its proprietary barrel shroud. This is due to the integral muzzle brake/flash suppressor, the heart of the low-visibility design of the firearm. A “rail bungee” (shock cord) is also integral to the design – it is meant to be a tactical weapon, after all.
The LVOA carbine uses a direct gas-impingement (DGI) operating system, based on Eugene Stoner’s original design. There may be some shooters who will take exception with that choice, but, considering that the entire firearm has been considered as a new re-make of the AR-15 rifle platform, this is obviously a deliberate, considered decision.
Then there is the choice to chamber for .223 Wylde. This a forward-looking design developed by Bill Wylde of Greenup, Illinois, which allows a firearm to accept both the .223 Remington cartridge and the 5.56x45mm NATO round; it preserves the accuracy of the civilian round (particularly in match barrels), while helping to eliminate pressure and reliability failures with the more powerful military round.
War Sport Industries has shown strong leadership in firearm design and manufacturing since their founding in 2007. They are famous for their precision barrels, ammunition and military textile manufacturing, but their LVOA-C is destined to make them famous as visionary gunmakers. Considering that one of the items on the company’s value statement puts it – “we have no room for the status quo” – they’re just the one to come up with a new approach to the AR-15 platform.