At the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience, our goal is to be the best. We could have a higher ratio of students to instructors than any competitor worldwide, we could have fewer guns of lower quality, cheaper equipment etc, but our goal is to provide quality. I mention this philosophy because we are very demanding of our partners. We expect excellence and appreciate that it is not cheap. This post is to highlight some of the excellence we have observed.
Let’s begin with a comparison. Over three years ago we purchased two .223 carbines from Alpine Standard Hunting Supply. One was an LWRC M6 that cost about $1600 and one was a Sig Sauer 556 that cost about $1100 and had a cheap red-dot sight on it. Recently (fall 2014), both carbines needed new barrels and a manufacturer’s checkup.
LWRC M6: Tony Scafide, owner of Alpine Standard, called LWRC and said that his client’s gun needed a new barrel because it was worn out and was not shooting well. LWRC apologized for the problem, and sent a free shipping label for return. About 2 months later the carbine was returned with the new barrel and a tuneup. No charge! What wonderfully excellent customer service!!!
Sig 556: I contacted Sig Sauer about their 556 and received a shipping label. I asked that, just like the LWRC, any worn parts be replaced. Three months later the carbine was returned, and my cost was $589 for the repairs. They installed a new rear sight that does not have enough adjustment to be zeroed.
In this example, I did not expect either company to handle the expense of repairs that I was very open and honest about. We use the guns heavily and believe it is fair to pay for repairs. We do hope that companies will appreciate that their guns are being used by thousands of people and will comp repairs, but we do not expect it. Some companies recognize that we will place their guns and other products in the hands of thousands of well-heeled people that make purchasing decisions based on the equipment they use with us.
Sig Sauer was what we expected; a long wait time, a quality repair, and a fair and somewhat expensive price, along with a sight that does not work. Sig has done four things with excellence, the P-226, the P-230, the MasterShop and their training academy. Their Mosquito is a horrible gun, their 556 has a rail that is not properly aligned with the barrel, which makes mounting a scope impossible and they are known in the industry for poor customer service and repairs.
LWRC on the other hand, exceeded our expectations! I remain incredulous and grateful for their incredible customer service! Perhaps it was the personal call from Tony Scafidde, who is a respected leader in the firearms industry that caused my excellent treatment, but I suspect that they treat all of their clients just as well. They share top-tier warranty excellence with very few others.
The M6 itself is a wonderful gun. We use an Aimpoint Magnifier and an ML3 dot on it, and our “newbie” shooters consistently hit the 100, 200 and 300 yard targets. I suspect that with a different optics system, it is capable of much more. One of the great things about this carbine is how clean it is! Most AR platform carbines need to be cleaned every 300 to 500 rounds, but this one goes well over 1500 and then, when we field strip it; we are amazed that it is so clean! It is trouble-free and a great carbine!
Many thanks to LWRC International for a great product and even better customer service and warranty followup!