The DiI-ADEm: First AR Designed For Women, By Women
Written by Barbara Baird for Range 365
The DI-ADEM is the first AR built for women, using input from at least 140 female shooters, and currently is for sale only to those who helped it come into being: members of The Well Armed Woman's 350 chapters across the country, with more than 12,000 members. It’s also the crown jewel of the DI line from LWRCI, a company reputed for making ARs of high quality and substance.
Recently, I and some other gun writers were lucky enough to try it out at the range and talk to the folks involved in creating this cutting edge rifle.
The back story of how this gun came to market begins with a panel discussion involving a select panel of women industry leaders held two years ago at an Industry Summit held in Savannah by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Among those leaders was Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman, which bills itself as "the complete resource for the woman gun owner.”
David Golladay and David Ridley of LWRCI said they were impressed with, not only Lightfoot's non-profit organization but also with her articulate and passionate methods for moving the organization forward.
The left side of the DI-ADEM. You can see the purple trigger, the rifle's only bit of color.
photo by Barbara Baird
In further conversations, Lightfoot and the two Davids decided someone needed to build an AR for women—and that the someone should be LWRCI, a company known for building barrels that still deliver after 35,000+ rounds.
LWRCI took the first step, sponsoring TWAW and its chapter organization and attending two conferences. Representatives from the gunmaker also, and most importantly, talked to women on the range about what they wanted.
Lightfoot then reached out to the women in various TWAW chapters across the country and asked them to help provide input for building this special rifle.
She and her team then compiled a spreadsheet with the results.
Last week, in the LWRCI plant in Maryland, all that work and data gathering came to fruition. A press event was held during which I and a few other folks got to witness the ARs rolling off the line. A group of engineers then posed proudly with Lightfoot and the gun her she and her organization helped create.
Carrie Lightfoot with the all-male team of engineers who built the DI-ADEM.
photo by Barbara Baird
One of the men who worked on the design of the rifle said the whole group of engineers for the project were male, and that they figured they knew what women wanted out of an AR from the start.
But, once the information started coming in from TWAW chapters and women in the field, the engineers had to admit that they didn’t know what women wanted at all.
One of the most surprising things to them was the fact that the women didn’t want any color on the gun, except for the trigger – which is a Cerakote-applied purple, the organization’s color.
Here are the final specs of the DI-ADEM rifle, gleaned from the features the women surveyed said they wanted in an AR:
|action:||direct impingement housed in a lightweight upper receiver|
|overall length:||32 to 35.4 inches|
|forend:||custom-designed slim, compact rail system (uses M-lok rail attachments) plus an angled ergonomic foregrip with QD sling mounting points. Comes with rail panels and handstop|
|bolt carrier:||proprietary LWRCI nickel-boron coated DI bolt carrier group with integrated gas key|
|barrel:||Cold-hammer-forged, NiCorr-treated, spiral-fluted barrel|
|barrel length:||16.1 inches|
|sights:||Skirmish back-up iron front and rear sights|
|stock:||Magpul CTR stock with QD sling mounts and enhanced padded buttpad|
|trigger:||enhanced fire control group with 6-lb. trigger (Cerakoted purple) and an advanced trigger guard|
|buffer tube:||H2 bugger, Mil-spec 6-position buffer tube and spring|
|grip:||custom designed slim grip|
|bonus:||mag well features The Well Armed Woman logo|
|MSRP:||$1499 to TWAW chapter members through Aug. 31; $1899 to general public|
For now, the gun is only available to TWAW members. As of Aug. 31, the rifle will be available to the general public, if there are any from the original limited run of 1,000 left, that is.
A full profile shot of the rifle.
“Even though the engineers may not have understood what was important to women, the instruction was to ‘give them what they want,’” said Lightfoot. “That’s huge in this industry.”
Lightfoot said they worked on the grip with a few iterations and particularly wanted to get the feel and balance right.
“The balance is remarkable … I can tell you that it almost becomes weightless because it’s balanced so well. And the handguard has been designed for a woman’s hand, so that our hands can really wrap the guard and control the gun,” she said.
Along with the plant tour, Lightfoot shot the gun at LWRCI’s private shooting range on Ragged Island. She and several members of the press enjoyed an afternoon of shooting these ARs, along with other new guns in the line, on steel at 100 yards.
“I think the media people really enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to reading what they have to say about this gun,” said Lightfoot.
As a media person, and a seasoned AR shooter, I can attest to the gun’s extremely fine balance and it will not only be a great addition to a lineup of ARs – should you be lucky to own a few by now – but also, it’s the perfect gun for a new AR owner. As for the price, I tend to think that if there are men who want the quality that LWRCI affords in its line of direct impingement guns, then there are women who also will appreciate the features of this gun.
Find out more about the LWRCI DI-ADEM here and see veteran shotgunner Anne Mauro run a mag through it in the clip below. It was actually Mauro's first time behind a semi-automatic rifle, and she definitely makes the most of it.