Lewis Machine & Tool LM8MRP Rifle – Improved AR-15?

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Published on: October 11, 2012
Photo: Mark W. Clark

Lewis Machine and Tool Co. (LMT) recently released what it believes is an improvement on the venerable AR-15 design, the LM8MRP. For those who don’t speak LMT code, the LM8MRP is a direct gas impingement AR-15 with a 16-inch barrel that features the company’s latest modular upper receiver or Monolithic Rail Platform (MRP).

Built for Duty

LMT’s LM8MRP is what I would consider a solid “all-around” rifle for law enforcement applications. It combines the best of everything that would be needed or even useful in a patrol rifle and leaves off everything else.

The LM8MRP’s lower receiver, LMT’s standard Defender lower, is a forged AR-15 semi-automatic lower receiver with a single-stage, military-style trigger. The trigger felt solid and clean with little play. The weight of pull was normal for a single-stage trigger and the reset was distinct. This is all indicative of a good combat-grade trigger and exactly what I would hope for in a rifle of this configuration.

For added comfort, the pistol grip has been upgraded from the standard A2 style to an ERGO Grip. In my experience most shooters have a strong preference when it comes to pistol grips. Adding the ERGO as a standard accessory may not be the best option, as many shooters, myself included, would prefer something else. Unfortunately LMT does not offer an option.

The LM8MRP’s stock assembly is a standard adjustable carbine-style receiver extension tube with LMT’s SOPMOD buttstock. This stock is adjustable to six positions and has greatly improved ergonomics over a standard adjustable carbine stock. The comb incorporates two waterproof compartments for storage of batteries or other small items, and there is a robust rubber pad on the back for extra grip and reduced felt recoil. While I don’t know that the storage compartments would be overly useful, I did enjoy the design of the stock and felt it was very light, solid, and comfortable. This is another item most shooters have an informed opinion about, and I feel this stock will please a broad audience.

Moving on to the upper half of the LM8MRP, you’ll find some innovations that set this rifle apart from many others in its market. LMT’s latest variation of its Monolithic Rail Platform upper receiver is now in production and it’s an excellent feature on the LM8MRP.

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