“Wait, you guys make guns, too?” I asked the Lancer rep, who had just introduced me to their new .30-caliber line of rifles at the 2014 SHOT Show’s Media Day at the Range.

“Well, yeah, we have been for a couple years now,” came the slightly confused reply. I soon learned of Lancer’s L15 series of 5.56-caliber AR-platform rifles, and the new-for-2014 upgunned L30 series. Given that I had approached their booth solely with the intention of taking pictures of their cool new L7 AWM 7.62x51mm magazines, I was quite surprised.

The L30s are large-caliber AR-type rifles available in a few different calibers and variations. All make use of lightweight free-floated carbon fiber handguards and Lancer’s patented lower, which features an ambidextrous bolt release, oversized mag release, and a modular magwell extension (with three different configurations: standard, tactical, and competition). The L30 series will be available in .308 Winchester, 6.5mm and 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and .243 Winchester. The five variants that will be offered are the Heavy Metal, Designated Marksman, Long Range Tactical, Modern Battle Rifle, and Hunter.

I put several magazines through the L30 Heavy Metal, which was described to me as the “competition” model. It featured an effective muzzle brake that made recoil negligible, and the oversized mag release and ambi bolt release were both very handy. The carbon fiber handguard and stock made the gun feel very light. The gun was paired with a Vortex scope, and after getting my bearings I was easily pinging and swinging the “bad guy” part of a hostage plate at 100 yards with every round. I’m not usually taken away by .30-caliber ARs, but I think I fell for the L30. Not bad for a company that “just” makes magazines. The L30s should be available in late 2014, and I’d expect a price somewhere in the $3,000 range at the lowest.

The L7 AWMs were slick, too. They felt beefy and resilient, and will work in the SR-25, SIG 716, DPMS 308, and LM 308. They’ll be available in five-, 10-, and 20-round capacities with Lancer’s standard host of opaque and translucent polymer bodies. The stainless steel front guard and rear feed lip make them more than capable of standing up to the punishment of .308.

The new Lancer L7 AWMs.
The new Lancer L7 AWMs.

Images by Matt Korovesis, Colin Anthony, and Joe Gregus

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