Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews (Read 7596 times)

brother7

Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« on: January 07, 2016, 01:35:06 PM »
A n00b looking to buy my first long gun. Thinking about a PWS, either MK114 or MK116.

Did some online research. Read about the AR accuracy vs AK durability debate, which led me to PWS and their long-stroke piston system.
Found a review on Hawaii Reporter by Robert Kay. Am interested to learn the opinion of other forum members.

Also, I understand that Gun Source is the local distributor for PWS. What are the pros/cons of purchasing locally vs elsewhere? Would a cheaper price be reason enough to shop elsewhere?

Thank you in advance.

Resource: Primary Weapons Systems website

Rick

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 02:04:18 PM »
I love my PWS.  Great shooter, very accurate, never had a problem. My only changes to stock were to make it left hand friendly and put a Geissele SSA-E trigger on it.  Support your local gun shops whenever possible and buy from here.

mauidog

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 02:21:02 PM »
I love my PWS.  Great shooter, very accurate, never had a problem. My only changes to stock were to make it left hand friendly and put a Geissele SSA-E trigger on it.  Support your local gun shops whenever possible and buy from here.

Any AR of decent quality will be accurate enough.  The debate over piston versus direct impingement (DI) can be looked at many ways.  One way is, no three gun champ has ever won with a piston gun. All the champs use DI.

Considering the piston models cost upwards of $300 more than the same model in DI, I don't think there is enough to argue one over the other in terms of accuracy.

Cleaning, weight of the gun, and other factors should be considered as well.
An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.   -- Jeff Cooper

ren

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 02:54:07 PM »
many of these "piston" systems use proprietary parts.
A regular AR already has a piston in it and it works fine. Its reliable, accurate and still in service.

https://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=403641

mauidog

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 03:24:13 PM »
many of these "piston" systems use proprietary parts.
A regular AR already has a piston in it and it works fine. Its reliable, accurate and still in service.

https://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=403641

That's good info.  The one point that many people are stuck on is the reliability factor after hundreds of rounds between cleaning.

The original horror stories of needing to clean the M16 or it wouldn't cycle had to do with changes in the ammo specs that were sent to the warfighters.  I forget why, but the powder used was changed, which created a dirtier rifle when fired.  Had they used the correct powder for the ammo, the M16 would have operated as designed, just as the M4 and AR-15 do today with proper ammo.

When I bought my first AR-15, I had the option of a Colt LE6940 with either system.  The piston was $325 more than the one I chose.  I didn't need the thousand rounds between cleanings selling point, nor did I want to deal with non-MilSpec parts.

I've had no problems with the Colt, and at Koko Head rifle range distances, accuracy is just fine!   :geekdanc:
An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.   -- Jeff Cooper

RSN172

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 06:44:35 AM »
Joe Biden says get a double barrel shotgun.

brother7

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2016, 11:30:52 AM »
Primary Weapons Systems MK1 Mod2 announced at SHOT Show 2016. Good thing I waited. :)

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2016, 01:42:36 PM »
The MK 116 is listed at around $2050!  That's a lot of gun! 

You mentioned that this will be your first long gun.  If this was just announced at SHOT, I would think that it would not be readily available for a while.  Right now, the pricing on ARs appear to be pretty good with reports of diminishing availability. 

For a first AR, I would highly recommend a basic one and lots of ammo to shoot and learn the gun.  When I bought my first AR, I had a whole list of things that I wanted to add, modify, etc.  Many of the things that I bought ended up in my box of spare parts and other things never materialized.  My perception of what is "needed" on the gun and what I wanted changed over time, particularly with shooting the gun on the range and in carbine classes. 

Don't get me wrong, I highly encourage people to get a gun that interests them.  Just that close to $2000 is a lot for an AR, at least for me.   :oops:

brother7

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2016, 02:06:24 PM »
For a first AR, I would highly recommend a basic one and lots of ammo to shoot and learn the gun.  When I bought my first AR, I had a whole list of things that I wanted to add, modify, etc.  Many of the things that I bought ended up in my box of spare parts and other things never materialized.  My perception of what is "needed" on the gun and what I wanted changed over time, particularly with shooting the gun on the range and in carbine classes.
Thanks for the input, drck1000. If I decide to buy a basic first gun, would a Colt 6940 fit the bill, at least until I figure out what I really want?

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2016, 02:34:09 PM »
Thanks for the input, drck1000. If I decide to buy a basic first gun, would a Colt 6940 fit the bill, at least until I figure out what I really want?
The 6940 is a monolithic handguard.  That will make it heavier (relatively speaking) and you won't be able to change out the handguard in the future. 

A basic Colt would be the 6920.  They were also offering some stripped down versions without handguards, buttstock, etc for those people who would change those out anyways.  They were designated the Colt OEM1 and OEM2.  They were retailing for around $800 and complete guns retailing for around $1200.  For a while, you could get them locally for less though, depending on the sale that you caught.

For inexpensive complete uppers, look at Palmetto State Armory.  I bought a complete upper from them last year for a beater gun and it was around $200 shipped.  It's been great so far. 



mauidog

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2016, 02:59:57 PM »
Thanks for the input, drck1000. If I decide to buy a basic first gun, would a Colt 6940 fit the bill, at least until I figure out what I really want?

If you want a gun that

is 100% MILSPEC,
shoots well,
has a monolithic upper,
has a free-floated barrel,
is the one brand Law Enforcement trusts to require their officers carry in many places (including Hawaii),
is made by the company who made the M16A1,
owns the patent on the AR-15,
makes the M4 for the military,
doesn't have the A2 front sight / gas block,
has a quad-rail,
and has good resale value

then a Colt is the one to get.

The quality of cheaper, well-known and respected brands is often just as good as the Colt.  Depending on the features you find most important, another may be better. 

I think if your budget is in the price range of a Colt LE6940, it's a great first AR.  You can trust the quality, take time to learn about how it functions, add a few accessories if you like, and be very happy for a long time shooting it.

One day, when the bug hits you, you'll want to build your own.  That may exceed the cost of a Colt, especially if you buy all the tools  versus borrowing, but you'll understand how the AR works best by building one that works!  In the meantime, you won't be disappointed with the Colt.

I believe mine was about $1,500 just as the Sandy Hook craziness started.  I've added a light, Aimpoint PRO red dot, B.A.D. lever, Ambidextrous safety, an Angled Fore Grip, and a MIAD pistol grip.

If I knew what I know now, and if they had been available at the time, I would have been happier with the Colt OEM2 model.  Buy the gun, pick your own furniture, and save money. I'm a fan of low profile gas blocks with a free-floated barrel, which the OEM2 offers.  This lets me use a longer hand guard which pushes the front sight more forward for a longer sight radius.



An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.   -- Jeff Cooper

pbjtime

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2016, 03:08:58 PM »
Thanks for the input, drck1000. If I decide to buy a basic first gun, would a Colt 6940 fit the bill, at least until I figure out what I really want?

PWS makes very nice rifles and while I have no regrets regarding my PWS purchase, they are expensive.  And so are optics for it (which isn't unique to PWS, but slapping a cheap optic on an expensive rifle just feels like a disservice, at least to me).  There are deals to be had online for the MK114/MK116, but at least with regards to the MK116 Mod 1, PWS appears to have had an earlier release with a shorter rail, then later updated them with a longer rail, so be sure to confirm that you are not being sent old stock.

That said, I agree with drck1000 that a basic AR would be a great starter rifle, so if you can afford it, buy both!  :rofl: If you're set on purchasing a Colt, then I would personally choose a 6920 (assembled or in OEM configuration, depending on your needs) over a 6940.  Either of them would suit you fine, however, if it's within your budget and will leave you with enough leftover for mags and ammo.   :shaka:

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 03:19:13 PM »
SNIP

If I knew what I know now, and if they had been available at the time, I would have been happier with the Colt OEM2 model.  Buy the gun, pick your own furniture, and save money. I'm a fan of low profile gas blocks with a free-floated barrel, which the OEM2 offers.  This lets me use a longer hand guard which pushes the front sight more forward for a longer sight radius.


When I saw the Colt OEMs come out I came pretty close to buying one when I don't even need another.  And when I say I don't "need" another, I already have a handful of ARs and even one 6720 that I bought in 2012 that I haven't even shot yet!  My excuse is that I bought it as a project gun, but never started the project. Haha. 

If I were to get another AR, it would be with the 13" BCM KMR rail for the longer hand guard (like you mentioned) as well as being lighter than quad-rail style handguards.  Like I mentioned above, I don't "need" another, so it's been on the back burner for a while. . .

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 03:20:00 PM »
PWS makes very nice rifles and while I have no regrets regarding my PWS purchase, they are expensive.  And so are optics for it (which isn't unique to PWS, but slapping a cheap optic on an expensive rifle just feels like a disservice, at least to me).  There are deals to be had online for the MK114/MK116, but at least with regards to the MK116 Mod 1, PWS appears to have had an earlier release with a shorter rail, then later updated them with a longer rail, so be sure to confirm that you are not being sent old stock.

That said, I agree with drck1000 that a basic AR would be a great starter rifle, so if you can afford it, buy both:rofl: If you're set on purchasing a Colt, then I would personally choose a 6920 (assembled or in OEM configuration, depending on your needs) over a 6940.  Either of them would suit you fine, however, if it's within your budget and will leave you with enough leftover for mags and ammo.   :shaka:

That's often my recommendation.  Mostly jokingly, but at least 50% serious.   ;D

aieahound

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 03:40:41 PM »
Buy a cheap one like a PSA and the PWS.
(I had Delton, DPMS, PSA etc and they all ran flawless. Never had an AR fail.but I'm not a commando by any means)

Then sell the cheap one for 3 times it's value when Hillary gets elected. :wacko:

Shots69

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2016, 09:04:26 PM »
I purchased the first gen mk114 back before Sandy hook... My first AR. I love it. Repeatedly hammering the plate at 440yds KHSC when they still had the plates. Very heavy compared to a DI gun, but super easy to clean compared to a DI gun for sure... I have shot almost 500rds compared to 60rds on my friends M&P15 sport... Still less crap in my gun. I have recently purchased a Mk220 and am really loving that too. I have a DI gun i put together just to build one... Very nice handling as far as weight, but i really hate cleaning it. But at a little less than half of the price of a PWS,its hard to look away from a good DI gun. If you get a PWS you won't be disappointed except for the weight. The mod2 is lighter but still probably 2lbs heavier than my DI gun. My next full rifle will probably be a Mk116 mod2. But i want to try and build an ultralight AR first.

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2016, 07:58:35 AM »
Buy a cheap one like a PSA and the PWS.
(I had Delton, DPMS, PSA etc and they all ran flawless. Never had an AR fail.but I'm not a commando by any means)

Then sell the cheap one for 3 times it's value when Hillary gets elected. :wacko:
When I mentioned PSA as inexpensive, I forgot to mention that (in my opinion) they build stuff that were good quality, especially for the price.  I partnered the $200 upper with a lower that I built and total cost for the gun was probably less than $350.  Well, probably more if you include the cost of the parts that I had in my extra parts box. 

As for Hillary. . . I bought my 6720 for around $1000 in 2012ish.  After the prices for everything went crazy, I got come crazy offers for it.  Thinking back, I should have sold it and got two to replace it and ammo when the prices came back. 

mauidog

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2016, 08:48:59 AM »
When I mentioned PSA as inexpensive, I forgot to mention that (in my opinion) they build stuff that were good quality, especially for the price.  I partnered the $200 upper with a lower that I built and total cost for the gun was probably less than $350.  Well, probably more if you include the cost of the parts that I had in my extra parts box. 

As for Hillary. . . I bought my 6720 for around $1000 in 2012ish.  After the prices for everything went crazy, I got come crazy offers for it.  Thinking back, I should have sold it and got two to replace it and ammo when the prices came back.

My first build was a 1/2 and 1/2 ..... stripped lower and full upper.  Both halves were from Palmetto State Armory.  Both receivers were cheaper because they were supposed to be "blemished."  I figured for a project gun, I could live with minor cosmetic flaws, but dang if I can see any!

To make sure I didn't mess up the barrel and gas block installations, I bought the blem full PSA upper on sale.  I think together, the two halves were about $450 not counting FFL for the lower.  Looking at their site now, they have full uppers for $200 - $400-ish range.  The blem lower is about $10 less now.  That's the difference between "crazy gun control time 2013" and now :).

I'd recommend these products for a project gun, and installing a lower parts kit is super easy (YouTube can guide you :) ).  The critical part on the upper is head spacing of the barrel, and installing the gas block to line up with the port on the barrel.  Getting a full upper with barrel avoided that.  I did wind up replacing the gas block and hand guard for a low profile gas block and free-floated longer hand guard.

Baby steps  :geekdanc:
An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.   -- Jeff Cooper

drck1000

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2016, 09:14:45 AM »
My first build was a 1/2 and 1/2 ..... stripped lower and full upper.  Both halves were from Palmetto State Armory.  Both receivers were cheaper because they were supposed to be "blemished."  I figured for a project gun, I could live with minor cosmetic flaws, but dang if I can see any!

To make sure I didn't mess up the barrel and gas block installations, I bought the blem full PSA upper on sale.  I think together, the two halves were about $450 not counting FFL for the lower.  Looking at their site now, they have full uppers for $200 - $400-ish range.  The blem lower is about $10 less now.  That's the difference between "crazy gun control time 2013" and now :).

I'd recommend these products for a project gun, and installing a lower parts kit is super easy (YouTube can guide you :) ).  The critical part on the upper is head spacing of the barrel, and installing the gas block to line up with the port on the barrel.  Getting a full upper with barrel avoided that.  I did wind up replacing the gas block and hand guard for a low profile gas block and free-floated longer hand guard.

Baby steps  :geekdanc:
I've seen BCM blems and I couldn't really tell.  I have a Noveske Chainsaw stripped lower blem and one of the OGC counter guys had to look closely to see blems and even then, we were probably guessing.  Haha.  Hell, I my Colt NIB looked more beat up than the BCM and Noveske blems that I've seen.  I don't really care for minor flaws or dings as long as it works.  It will eventually get dinged up through use.  I've had a DD lower that the grip hole was off to the point where it wouldn't fit pistol grips that fit other known quality lower receivers.   :grrr:

I had/have similar thoughts with regards to why I build the lower and went with complete uppers.  That and I am not willing to invest in the tools that I would need to build uppers and I don't envision building them any time soon.  I have shooting buddies that have all the tools, but maybe I'm just lazy.  Haha.  I can also find complete uppers exactly how I want (from BCM) for now.  Maybe when I eventually build my precision AR, I'll look into buying individual components (especially for the barrel) and build.  I also have shooting buddies that love to tinker, whereas I don't really feel the need/urge to.  They are the ones constantly changing muzzle device, rail, etc.  Cool because I get to try out new stuff often.   :D

Surf

Re: Primary Weapons Systems (PWS): seeking opinions/reviews
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2016, 10:59:15 AM »
Without quoting here are a few thoughts,

- The PWS is high priced and the proprietary piston system is not as easily configurable or worked on.  Pistons run cleaner, but as far as reliability they offer no greater advantage when any rifle is correctly maintained and lubricated as all rifles should be, piston or gas impingement.  I personally don't prefer the recoil impulse of pistons and the added weight more towards the barrel or muzzle end of the weapon.  That is partially me being picky, but to me it is also an unnecessary annoyance.  They are generally heavier rifles also when comparing  apples to apples as best we can. 

- I also don't suggest buying the 6940.  Being free floated, they are the most accurate in the 6xxx class of the Colt rifles.  However as others have mentioned it is a monolithic rail and non traditional barrel nut assembly, so your options for future modification is greatly limited.  If you pick up a say a 69xx or 67xx free floating it will improve accuracy performance and will leave far greater options for configurations as experience grows.  Colt rifles and their barrels are pretty darn accurate.  If you don't mind weight or have a bench rifle the HBAR or Heavy Colt barrel is extremely accurate.

- Headspace should not be a big concern when building this rifle if we are choosing quality parts from good manufacturers and buying a complete barrel assembly (barrel and extension).  Headspace is set from the barrel manufacturer between the barrel and extension itself.  You can confirm headspace via simple go or no go field gauges if you feel the need.  Now if you are doing a stripped barrel and separate extension, that is different but almost no one does this, it doesn't make much sense for 99.9% of shooters.

- Manufacturers can only build towards MIL-SPEC.  Unless if a rifle was built directly for a .gov contract and has gone through proper testing and certification from .gov inspectors it is not truly MIL-SPEC.  This is important to understand because MIL-SPEC is thrown around so much that even shady rifle manufacturers claim "Milspec" and it gives a falsehood within the business and to the customers.  Yes buying from a manufacturer that supplies rifles for .gov contracts is generally a better thing.  Also, you can build a rifle that would be better than the specifications or standards set for the MIL-SPEC designation.     

- Assembling AR/M4 pattern rifles are fairly simple when done correctly, but there are definite ways of screwing things up.  Often times rifles may run fine in the beginning and then start showing problems with time and round counts.  Some don't shoot the rifles enough to experience problems so they think they got it right.  Diagnosing and fixing the problems can be the hard part for people newer to doing this.  Beware of youtube.  Hell Brownells themselves on their assembly video were, or maybe still are adding to the problem where they give incorrect assembly instructions in one key area. 

I recently had a guy from the DoD in one of my courses.  He had an "assembled" M4 (personal weapon) done by a guy "at work".  It ran great for about 500-700 rounds of hard use, but kept crapping out as time went on.  Yep, castle nut backed out, rail came loose, barrel was not torqued properly (probably torqued and then backed off or not torqued to proper spec), trigger took a dump and safety started free spinning.  Yes this guy "at work" had also "assembled" several rifles for those within LE and the military and I am going over many of them as I get the time.  This is not singular example but a common problem that I see often.