When it comes to AR-15 rifles, two big names come to mind: LWRC and Daniel Defense. Both have their time-tested history in the gun manufacturing business. It is not surprising that they are almost often pitted against each other when it comes to specs and price. Both guns are using direct impingement technologies.
For the uninitiated, Stag Arms blog has a good discussion on its blog about direct impingement as compared to gas pistons. Direct impingement parts are much more accessible, however, they need a while to cool down, unlike gas pistons. Thus, they are cheaper.
I will try to be as informative as I can with this review and hopefully help someone pick between these two gun giants.
LWRC International LLC, previously known as Land Warfare Resources Corporation, was established in Cambridge, Maryland, in the year 1999. For this review, I will focus on the LWRC IC DI Pistol.
The IC DI Pistol has a 10.5-inch barrel and weighs 6.6 pounds. It is also designed with LWRC’s innovative keyless bolt, which helps a lot with the reduction of cost for the maintenance of the bolt carrier group.
The barrel and gas lock are both NiCorr-treated. The barrel is cold-hammer-forged.
According to Smokey Merkeley, in an article written in the Idaho State Journal, Ni-Corr treatment is just one of the many variations of the Liquid Salt Bath Ferritic Nitrocarburizing Non-Cyanide Bath, also known as FNC. This process involves the heat treatment of a metal gun part to create two layers namely iron nitrate and nitrogen diffusion. It is meant to harden the surface without necessarily hardening the core.
Some of the benefits, Merkeley continues, include increased barrel life, corrosion resistance, and velocity, plus a uniform color. However, FNC guns aren’t in production long enough to tell how they are worn down by rounds, so that can be seen as a disadvantage.
Founder Marty Daniel started Daniel Defense from a humble office in Savannah, Georgia, in the year 2002.
I will review the DDM4V7 P from Daniel Defense.
The DDM4V7 P has a 10.3-inch barrel and the MFR 9.0 rail. It is compatible with a wide range of sound suppressors and may be used by both right and left-handed people. It has an anti-gas feature that redirects gas away.
The barrel is a chrome-lined, Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel. It is cold-hammer-forged with a 1:7 Twist.
Chrome lining in barrels can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on who you talk to. No lining gives way to more accurate aims, but you would have to replace your barrel more often than you would with a chrome-lined barrel. It all boils down to preference. I like chrome-lined barrels better.
Both the lower and upper receivers are made with CNC Machined of 7075-T6 Aluminum with Type III Hard Coat Anodized.
In a blog by Cy Manufacturing, anodizing is defined as the process wherein the oxide layer on the surface of metal parts is increased. I liked the idea, even more, when the same post stated that anodizing is environmentally friendly since it does not use heavy metals nor produce toxic waste.
Also, the post lists Type III as the third of three types of anodizing. It is a Sulfuric Acid Anodize, which makes the metal less prone to corrosion and it can also be dyed black. In this portion, DDM4V7 P wins for me.
What should I buy?
So first, for the similarities. Both are built for right and left-handed people, which is a bonus in itself. Both pistols use 5.56mm NATO.
When it comes to grip, the pistol grip on DDM4V7 P gets a little wider at the top while the IC DI Pistol has a stock rubber grip. The grip is vertical for DDM4V7, meanwhile, the IC DI Pistol has more of an angled grip. I find DDM4V7 P a much more comfortable grip with a groove for my fingers.
It comes down to the price. As of this writing, the DFM4V7 P is 2,000$ while the IC DI Pistol costs 1,582$.
For these reviews, I will focus more on the ambidextrous side of the reviews. Being right-handed myself, I could not even imagine what left-handed shooters must feel.
Kevin Creighton, in a post on Shooting Illustrated, has nothing but praises for the Daniel Defense DDM4V7 P. Being left-handed can be quite a disadvantage when it comes to shooting. Thanks to the ambidextrous safety selector feature of the DDM4V7 P, more left-handed people like Kevin can enjoy shooting as much as right-handed people have for decades.
Eric Hung of Pew Pew Tactical, on the other hand, rates the ambidextrous lower of the LWRC IC DI Pistol five out of five in the ergonomic category. He even went as far as claiming he would have given the pistol a six, which is a good sign.
However, reading both of these reviews gave me another perspective. While the DDM4V7 P got nothing but praises, the IC DI Pistol got a less than stellar review. It pretty much echoes what I have concluded during this entire review: that Daniel Defense DDM4V7 P is, indeed, the superior pistol.
If I were investing in a comfortable model, I’d choose Daniel Defense. Although much more expensive, based on the specs I have reiterated above and my preferences, Daniel Defense takes the cake.