.458 SOCOM, .50 Beowulf, .499 LWR


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Tony Williams
March 18, 2005, 03:54 PM
I have examples of all three of these cartridges in front of me now. All intended to do basically the same job: to provide big-bore hitting power in a compact package which enables them to be chambered in an AR-15 action.

I'd be interested in reading informed views of their pros and cons.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk) and discussion
forum (http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/)

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KLR
March 18, 2005, 05:43 PM
Rumor has it, the USCG dropped .499 LWR because it never worked 100%. Something about needing too many modifications to std .223 AR type magazines.

Harry Tuttle
March 18, 2005, 09:11 PM
Alexander Arms used to be partnered with Leitner-Wise


http://www.uscg.mil/hq/mcpocg/1force/gmfn0304.htm
March 2004
.499 LW- update
Due ammunition reliability and unreliable weapon function the .499LW conversion has been discontinued. G-OCU is currently evaluating more traditional weapons the fill the gap between the M-16 and the M240.?

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http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2004/07/
Coast Guard dropped the .499LW in March '04

1100Z SUN 18JUL04. CG Gunner's Mate Force Notes for March 2004.

Recent articles regarding the Leitner-Wise .499 (a rifle which fires a proprietary .499 caliber cartridge in an AR pattern rifle) continue to mention either a Coast Guard order or that the Coast Guard is using the rifle.

According to a knowledgeable firearms expert (who might prefer to not be named here -- if he doesn't mind he can comment), the CG did order eight of the rifles for evaluation purposes in 2003, but rejected the rifle in the first quarter of 2004.

Here's an report from the June '03 Gunner's Mate noting the ongoing testing at the time:

"The Coast Guard is currently evaluating a new weapon for use by MSSTs, HITRON and other units. It is the LW15 .499, it’s based on M-16A2 with an upper receiver provided by the Leitner –Wise Rifle Co of Fairfax VA. This rifle is chambered for the .499 LWR, which is a 5.56MM length strait case with a rebated rim and a .50 cal body diameter. The ballistics is 2200 feet per second with a 300-grain bullet and the weapon currently is being tested with a 12 round magazine."

But, the March '04 Gunner's Mate report the weapon has been dropped from consideration by the CG:

"Due ammunition reliability and unreliable weapon function the .499LW conversion has been discontinued. G-OCU is currently evaluating more traditional weapons the fill the gap between the M-16 and the M240."

Any future articles on the L-W .499 should not mention the Coast Guard (unless it's to mention it declined on the L-W).

Thanks to the expert (whom ACE is honored to count as a regular visitor, at least for weapons/firearms posts) for an excellent documentation job to clarify the situation.

As reported in earlier ACE posts, L-W has sold some of the rifles to private defense firms, one of which patrols the Potomac. ACE wishes the firm the best of luck, but stop mentioning the CG to writers, please.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 20, 2005, 08:48 AM
Actually, it is worth noting that the Airborne blog above also contains a denial that this is true from Leitner-Wise and that LW claims as recently as last month that the contract is still in effect and they are delivering on it, as well as expanding deliveries to the Marines for evaluation in use at vehicle checkpoints in Iraq.

Apparently the new .499LW will use the gas piston system LW developed...

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