Caliber - 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem)
Capacity - 20 or 30-round magazines
Action - Gas-operated semi-automatic
Barrel - 10.5 inches
Weight - 7.32 lbs. w/ empty magazine
I first started entertaining the idea of building a 5.56mm Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR) in the summer of 2008, when an acquaintance of mine who is an LMT dealer offered to hook me up with a 10.5" barreled upper with charging handle and bolt group at just over cost. I had him place the order, knowing it would take a couple months to fill due to the high demand for LMT products. While I was waiting, I purchased a DPMS stripped lower receiver at the gun shop where I work part-time and sent it to Orion Arms in Minnesota to have it engraved with my name, city and state, per ATF regulations. While they were at it, I had them add my family crest to the side of the magwell, as they had previously done with Calvin's AR. Once the engraved lower returned from Orion (they were quick and did an outstanding job as always), I filed my Form 1 ("Application to Make and Register a Firearm") with the BATFE on 5/30/08. Then it became a waiting game to see if the BATFE or LMT would come through first...
My Form 1 and tax stamp came back on 8/7/08, and the LMT upper arrived on 8/9/08. I assembled the gun using a CMT/Stag Arms lower parts kit, a Magpul CTR stock (later replaced with a VLTOR clubfoot), a Daniel Defense Omega free-float rail, a Midwest Industries SPLP flip-up rear sight, and an Aimpoint COMP C3 in the LaRue cantilever mount I had won at a EAG carbine course a couple months prior. The very next day, the gun got its baptism by fire at the Indiana Gun Owners (INGO) "NFA Day" event.
Update 5/21/09 I recently completed Magpul Dynamics' Dynamic Carbine 1 course using the LMT SBR. I experienced a number of failures to fire (light strikes), which I attribute to some combination of the JP light hammer spring I'm running, and the primers on the PPU ammo. I have run the same spring in my 9mm SBR for years now, and in Calvin's carbine as well, without any problems. I also had several double-feeds. I was running brand-new PMAGs the majority of the time, which would tend to rule out mag-related issues. Additional lubrication reduced but did not eliminate the problem.
Update 8/12/08 I have started a performance log on the
LMT 10.5" SBR, and will provide periodic updates on round count, reliability, parts breakage/replacement and other
statistics. Stay tuned!