Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Well, as you all know... I have been writing about my PWS rifles for some time, over at www.snipershide.com, and I would like to publicly thank Sniper's Hide (LOWLIGHT) for allowing me to post information on a "non-precision" type rifle on a forum that caters to precision shooters.

I started my PWS MK114 thread on "the Hide", as it is affectionately called... back on 03 DEC 10. You can read the thread in it's entirety HERE so, I won't go into much detail. I will say this... I started out my review on the Primary Weapons Systems (PWS) with a little hesitation. My thought process was... "Well, I've been running an AR type rifle in one form or another, for over 20 years. Never NEEDED a PISTON driven AR." Well, that was until I started running this rifle, and running it HARD. (click on pictures to enlarge them)

I have a very unique job, that allows me to train with some of the best SWAT Teams in the State of Florida. This is also a unique position, in that we teach Weaponcraft, but... I am not "issued" weapons. Everything I use on the job, is my own personal kit. So, being that I train Law Enforcement, and we train very hard... I get a unique perspective on what works, and what does not work.

As you read through my thread there on The Hide, you can see how my thought process on the Long Stroke Piston System of the PWS MK1 series rifles... well, it changed. I became a fan. I loyal fan. Not because of kickbacks, or perks, or recognition... but, because I found that this rifle ran, and ran well. It was so reliable, even with little to NO maintenance on it what so ever. The accuracy was also MORE than acceptable for what I was using it for. In fact, it shot well enough to be used as a perimeter / SPR type rifle. In fact, this rifle has had over 23k rounds through it, since I started shooting it back in DEC 10. I was able to turn this group with it, at 100 yards using Black Hills 77 Grain OTM. As you can see in the target, it still shoots sub one inch, even with such a high round count. The optic I was using is the Bushnell Elite 1-6.5 with the BTR reticle. I am using a Geissele SSA trigger in the MK114.

An thus... my love affair with the PWS MK series rifles began. Not only did I become a fan of the rifles, but of the company as well. I made some life long friends with the company, got the honor of attending SHOT with them for SHOT Show 2012, and through my feedback, hopefully helped create a better product for the end user.

Me, with my PWS MK214

My PWS MK114 rifle has been a dream to run, has never given me a moments issue... outside of the extractor claw breaking early on. I wrote extensively on this weapon, on the Hide. So, I won't take up much space here in reference to it.

However, as I continue to shoot it, I have moved on from testing reliability, to using it as a test bed for other things... slings, triggers, stocks, handgrips, optics, etc.

Not long ago, there was an issue brought to light about the PWS Enhanced Buffer Tube... that issue has been addressed, and remedied. There is zero concern in my mind about the issue, and I applaud PWS in how they handled it. You can read about the Buffer Tube issue HERE .

In the end... the PWS MK114 get's FIVE TABS... Definitely Ranger Proof!

DMack Out.


  1. GS * SECURITY ^ PRESENTS !!! ...

  2. Was deciding between the PWS or a Daniel Defense. This did it for me. Thanks!!

    1. I hear LWRCI, although on the heavier side, makes a heck of a reliable short stroke piston. Any thoughts on as to how that operating system rates on Ranger Proofing?

  3. Anonymous... Here's the deal. Other than a few hundred rounds that I have fired through a 10.5" LWRCI SBR, I don't have any long term experience with them. I do have some friends that own them, and those exact friends have also bought PWS rifles for their own various reasons. I can not input an educated opinion on the platform other than this. I tried to get a T&E sample of the REPR to do an honest assessment in comparison to the other AR-10 platforms I shoot often... the company was not willing to do more than a 30 day trial, and during that time, I was not able to do any range time. I have MTT's that I have to conduct, so the 30 day T&E would not work.

    I do have the chance to get a 10.5" LWRCI SBR, to directly compare with my PWS MK110 but, I have a ton of projects in the works right now to add to this blog. I can say, I will never get into conjecture, or opinion on this blog. I will only stage the facts. I have run the PWS rifles very, very hard... and they run. They run, and run and run. I can also directly attest to the customer service that PWS has... I can not do so for LWRCI. For me to compare the two, would not be an honest assessment.

    The internet is FULL of opinion. Fan Boys. Etc... There are tons of threads on LWRCI vs PWS vs XYZ, etc... I for one, have no input on the matter. In my Sniper's Hide thread, a LWRCI owner spoke up... he's an active LEO in South Florida, that bought a PWS MK116 to use, and owns the same platform from LWRCI as well as PWS now. His opinion is listed in his post on the Hide. That seems to be the norm.

    One thing I can say is... the Long Stroke Piston system has been around for a very, very long time. It is very soft shooting. There is no tapping sensation from the operating rod... no springs to worry about, no gas piston to take apart at the gas block to clean. Nothing to fail. It's simple, light and extremely effective.

    I hope this answers your question... sorry if it was "round about".


    DMack out.


  4. I agree completely with your assessment of the pws long stroke system and I am also a convert, having owned multiple high-end platforms from LWRC, LMT, etc. In addition, the time I have spent working with Todd Tuttle and the rest of the guys at PWS has not only been pleasant and fruitful, but I've been able to build what i would really consider to be some of my better industry friendships with them. All around good people with great service and an even better product. -Seamus 1MOA Solutions

  5. Thanks DMack!
    I have been on the fence & doing lots of research over the last few months on what my first SBR build was going to be. I was either going LWRC or PWS but have now decided to go with the PWS MK110. I appreciate your time and efforts of the great review on the Sniper's Hide, it really helped me make an informed decision.

  6. PWS seems to be the 10mm auto cartridge of the AR platform world; such a great thing but under-rated and badly misunderstood. I "grew up" on Dirt Injection operating systems and always believed the DI system operationally vulnerable. My A2 would choke on me with morale flattening regularity and I have an uncle who took grenade fragments and two rounds of ak because his M16A1 needed a touch up at a bad time. Long and the short of it and neglect notwithstanding: the thing needs to run when you need it to. Mechanical issues like carrier tilt seem to have been sufficiently addressed here. The argument against PWS, by the DI crowd has primarily been that accuracy suffers with the long stroke piston. Beyond a certain point this would be a valid argument but, as has been clearly demonstrated by DMack and his T & E of this system, the measurable difference in accuracy is negligabe for the weapons purposes and operational envelope. The way I see it, the extra quarter MOA you could get from a DI is negated, in terms of viability, if the thing quits with any greater frequency. Yeah, KAC makes a great DI, but... gimmie the extra $3,000.00 or whatever it is now and I'll get right on that. From a pragmatic and objective viewpoint the PWS seems to fit the requirements for a CQB to 600yd, rapid engagement weapon system with ease. I just put in my order for a MK216.
    Really, I wanted to extend a sincere Thank You to you DMack. Your efforts to document this system and its relative performance has been instrumental in bringing me into the PWS light. The general lack of information on this platform would, otherwise, likely have caused me to pass it by without an honest look. Thanks for filling the Internet void DMack.

    Vex520ak in Alaska

  7. Just got my PWS MK114 (Gen. 2)
    LOVE IT!!!!
    Can't wait to fire it soon!!
    Aloha from Hawaii!!