Future Perfect: The LCT LCK12/LCK15 Review
We've been eagerly awaiting the chance to review this rifle. We have put off reviewing other AK patterns to make the first one special. This LCT LCK15 is a replica of one of the most fascinating updates to the AK series of firearms in recent memory. For a culture and rifle that rarely updates things unless necessary, this was a chance to check out something that actually brings changes to the table. We were not disappointed. It's worth noting before we begin, that everything we observed here in this review applies to both the LCK15 and the LCK12, as they are functionally identical, save for the magazine. Without further ado, let's get into this gun and see what makes it tick.
The LCK15 is as tough as the iron curtain. With the exception of one loose pistol grip screw that was easily tightened, this rifle has very little wobble. This is a positive and a negative. On the one hand, the dust cover is rock solid. Since it's got picatinny rail for optics, this is very important. On the other hand, the magazine is so stiff to put in, I was worried I would break it as I worked through some basic manipulation drills. Other mags didn't have such a stiff time, and we had pretty good luck using standard AK74 style midcaps from LCT with this rifle once we got to shooting it.
The weight is tremendous. It manages to balance itself well though. Once you have it in your shoulder, you almost forget that you're wielding a massive piece of steel. I typically take umbrage with how front heavy many AK models can be, especially once you start bolting on parts, but this gun even with accessories didn't really start to feel heavy at any point while we tested it.
Ergonomics were about as unexpectedly AK as you could get. Despite how different this rifle looks to a standard AKM or AK74, it really feels like home to a user familiar with those rifles. Little touches like the ergonomic pistol grip, the different iron sights using a rear ghost ring, and the extended safety lever make it more user friendly, but never make it feel like anything more than an AK. Whether or not that's a good thing is up to you.
This gun hits hard, hits fast, and doesn't hide it. Our sample chronographed at 420 FPS on average with our standard .20g BB. This monster made no attempt to hide who it was. It has a loud bark to go along with its bite and you can definitely feel the giant spring as it compresses with each shot. Rate of fire was reaosnable in the teens as expected.
Accuracy and distance was our only real complaint with this rifle out of the box. While getting longer shots with heavy bbs wasn't hard, keeping them accurate was frustrating. The good news, is that this rifle probably reacts the way every other LCT we've ever shot does. Change out the bucking for something softer, lower your FPS to around 350, and it's going to find it's niche. Why these rifles don't come this way out of the factory is another story entirely.
The sights were noticeably easier to point and shoot quickly, but still lack the refinement of AR15 style iron sights. However, the ghost ring was another small touch that did improve the rifle. Ultimately, you'll end up just mounting optics to the top cover anyway, and we found that to be the best solution. The height over bore isn't anything new for AK users, and AR shooters will adjust quickly.
Internally, this gun is powered by a V3 gearbox. Getting it out is actually much easier than a normal LCT AK too. With the exception of removing the dust cover, which requires rotating and removing a pin instead of hitting a release on the back side, it comes out in the traditional way, but access to the necessary screws is made easier overall. We were able to tear this down, photograph it, and rebuild it in a little under an hour.
It is every bit the immaculate gearbox we expected out of an LCT airsoft gun. Grease was just right, shimming was pretty good for factory shimming, though it could be better. Nothing was stripped out or overtly torqued. Much like the exterior of the rifle it's built pretty well.
It is otherwise bog standard though. For all of it's great execution, it does not add anything new to the mix internally. There is no Electronic Trigger, no mosfet, no attempt to innovate internally. Not every gun needs to push the envelope in all places, but it's worth pointing out that internally, you are receiving the same parts as you do in less expensive LCT models.
I've been a very big fan of LCT for a while. They make what I believe to be one of the most well constructed AK rifles on the market. Their G3 is unmatched in realistic quality, even if they can be prohibitively expensive. While other companies do a better job in the AR15 market, LCT is the heavyweight king of Kalashnikov pattern rifles. This begs the question we end every review with. Is it worth the money? At $360 on Airsoft GI, yes. It's worth it, but it's not the best way to spend it. This gun falls into a similar category as the Elite Force MP7 AEG we reviewed several months ago. It is great, I can 100% see why they charge the premium for the updates and changes, but it simply does not put enough performance differential out there to justify the cost. You have to ask yourself if updated aesthetics are enough for you. If what you want is a tactical AK that shoots well, LCT has better priced options. If what you want is an AK12, however, this is the best option on the market.