In a small press release that got very little attention the Swedish Special Forces chose a new rifle, and it was from an unlikely source. Until recently Sweden has been using a mix of weapons that include several Heckler & Koch rifles including the Model 53, the Model G36C, and the Model 416. They also have a good deal of the Fabrique Nationale FNC, & Sako TRG M-10 in their inventories as well.
Instead of going with the usual major players in the rifle market such as Colt, Fabrique Nationale, Heckler & Koch, or Beretta, Sweden reportedly has chosen Cambridge, Maryland based LWRC International, Inc. To be honest I was shocked that Sweden had some many different types of rifles for their military and special police forces. Standardizing their firearms is a smart move from the financial and logistical standpoint. That doesn’t overlook the improvements in operational ability that will result in the fast majority of their troops and Police Officers being able to train with the same weapons.
The rumor mill has it that the Swedes chose the LWRC M6, in several configurations but all using the LWRC piston driven recoil system. I would assume that they will have a blend of both the full sized M6-G and the more compact M6-PDW for close quarters & security operations. The Swedes have apparently ordered these rifles with a fully complement of accessories and suppressors for testing which inflated the original cost of the rifles per unit from $2500 to a cost of nearly $7000 each.
An interesting conversation could be had as to why the Swedish Government is choosing this time to evaluate and possibly change their weapons. Is it because the Heckler & Koch rifles that make up the bulk of their defense forces rifles are at the end of their service life, or is it a proactive attempt by a usually docile Scandinavian country to bolster its defenses in a new and changing world. In this day and age of extremism growing in Europe will other countries follow Sweden’s led and upgrade their weapons systems across the board? It’s a topic that we can have much debate on, thats for sure.
In the meantime these are the specifications that we are relatively sure about on the LWRC Rifles that are expected to ship to Sweden sometime in Early 2017. I am trying to line up an interview with LWRC at SHOT Show 2017 to discuss this topic and others.
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 10.5” -16″ Available
- Weight: 6.5 lbs – 7.3 lbs depending on barrel length & Accessories
- Muzzle Threads: 1/2 x 28 TPI
- Rifling: 1/7”
- LWRC Proprietary Piston System
- LWRC Cold forged heavy barrels
- Uses Standard AR-15 Magazines
- Nickel -Boron coated bolt carrier group
As we hear more from LWRC on this we will update this article and let you know, but to be honest this time of year most firearms manufacturers seem to go very quiet on the public relations front. I assume this is because of the holiday push for gun sales and the fact most of them are very busy preparing for SHOT Shot 2017 in Las Vegas.
We hope you enjoyed this quick look into what could be a very interesting change in the European military and police culture. It use to be standard that most every agency in Europe was equipped with primarily Heckler & Koch rifles, it would appear that the dynasty of H&K might be ending soon. Tell us what you think will happen in the comments section below.
(Feature Image Courtesy: LWRC International Inc.)