Saturday, April 1, 2017

PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol Review

PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol Review

While almost every other manufacturer of AR15s is chasing the entry level price point customer, Primary Weapons System introduced a $2050 fully loaded PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol which of course actually sold out immediately. Never fear PWS has more of these beauties in production. Look at this thing… every inch of this insanely reliable push rod long stroke piston driven AR pistol is dripping with custom and innovative parts.

The MOD2 MK107 should be proof enough that customers are craving something different, something exclusive, and are more than willing to shell out the cash for feature loaded AR15s. Notably PWS is regarded by many as the top tier of high tech combat AR platform with refined innovations and enhancements on nearly every component. PWS has created a long history of delivering super premium AR platforms complete with their famed and super reliable piston system mimicking the AK-47s gas system. This AR15 pistol is loaded with their complete inventory of those premier parts plus some extras exclusive to the pistol.

The Concept of the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol
It is important to first understand that this AR15 pistol is unlike any other. This is not a just a standard AR15 pistol with a cool set of badass receivers and fancy flash hider for a little over two grand. Instead this pistol represents PWS’ latest AR15 platform refinements from the push rod long stroke piston driven MOD1 predecessor. Since the MOD1 introduction, many consider the PWS push rod long stroke piston system as the best and most reliably proven AR15 piston system on the market. PWS’ system is in essence a reduced size AK piston system which is regarded as the most durable and reliable rifle system ever developed. 

PWS modified this design into the AR platform which delivers a push-rod attached to the carrier, a much lighter recoil impulse than other piston systems and a significantly better platform for suppressor use - the MOD2 models feature this same system. Just like the AK maintenance, the disassembly of the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is easy and simple. Break open the upper, removed the charging handle, BCG, and attached long stroke piston, clean the piston and reassemble. Since there is no gas blowback on the piston system, the BCG and upper stay immaculately clean and cool even after 1000s of rounds of suppressed shooting.

These are some very innovative and smart folks at PWS lead by Dean Sylvester - President & CTO PWS. The intent of this pistol was to offer a transitional premier tier firearm which could be purchased and shot as a pistol. If the owner wants to eventually have a registered SBR, this configuration delivers a lot of fun shooting during the long wait for an ATF short barreled rifle tax stamp. Once a tax stamp is in hand, the rearmost cheek brace and guide rods can be easily and inexpensively swapped to a Maxim Defense buttstock all without tools. Of course some people may elect to just leave it as an AR15 pistol to allow more flexibility in ownership and transportation over state lines.

The MOD2 series adds some additional refinements.  The PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 took all the great things about the original PWS MOD1 series pistols/rifles and built on top of that with refinements and additional weight savings through some creative engineering. For example instead of cutting a bunch of holes into the receiver to drop weight they designed the deep weight reduction reliefs into their own proprietary forgings while not opening the internals of the rifle up to debry.

Yes I did say forgings. The receivers on this firearm are not mil spec receivers PWS has milled down nor billet that has been milled, what we have here is a custom forged upper and lower made from PWS’ own proprietary forgings which come out of the forgings with all the reliefs you see featured. For the record that is not a cheap manufacturing path to develop your own forgings, but forging does deliver a stronger part. Forged receivers by their nature are inherently stronger than billet due to hot metal grain structure flowing and aligning to the forging.

The final metal grain structure is not linear, but instead flows with the contours of the shape which in theory delivers a stronger and more durable part. In the process of strategically lightening the receivers they ended up looking amazingly cool. The lower ambi controls are eerily similar to the Sig MPX with ambi-selector and bolt release in the same position. If you own an Sig MPX or MCX, the PWS MOD2 MK107 would be a logical “other gun” to deliver continuity of training. Lets face it, if you own an insanely expensive MPX that feed from $70 magazines, this premium $2000 AR should not put you off.  The lower receiver features an integrated trigger guard, larger flared mag well, and inlets for all the extra ambi-parts. The upper receiver has been trimmed down though the reliefs, but also lightened with the omittion of the forward assist. Other nice touches are beefing up certain areas to increase strength such as near the barrel extension union on the upper and also adding a captured ejection port door pin.

PWS reduced the number of piston gas pressure adjustment points to just three on the MOD2 - the extra fourth tuning setting from the previous MOD1 version was found to be unneeded. To assure the hammer forged ⅛ twist .223 Wylde barrel’s bark was redirected away from the shooter, they attached the PWS CQB brake. I have used this brake on many firearms over the years and personally believe any AR or AK intended to be shot indoors should not be without it. There is magic within that CQB flash hider that I have not found any other muzzle device to deliver.

The bolt carrier group is PWS’ own anti-tilt piston design finished in a lithium embedded salt nitro treatment which is a really quite upgraded and expensive Nitromet finish. The rifle length MOD2 version features an upgraded trigger shoe, however to not bump up the price further on this pistol with a ZEV trigger, PWS elected to instead use a tuned ALG NiBo enhanced trigger group which feels extremely good for a duty trigger. The PicMod handguard is yet another PWS innovation which delivers standard picatinny rails which are also KeyMod compatible - Genius! PWS was able to also skim a few more ounces out of the new handguard design.

Obviously the most noticeable accessory on the PWS MOD2 MK107 is the Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest which works extremely well to deliver a solid cheek weld in a variety of shooting positions. Everyone should be aware that the ATF considers you are constructing a SBR if you shoulder it… so don’t do that….even though I can only speculate it would be quite comfortable shooting the pistol that way. 

The Maxim EXO adjustable cheek rest delivers a lot of functionality, stability, and shooting comfort including only adding 5.5” to the back of the receiver when fully collapsed. The Maxim stock system is fully compatible with any standard BCG should you decide to swap out different caliber upper on this pistol - such as 300 Blackout for hunting or even a custom built direct impingement upper using parts from PWS’s sister company Bootleg, Inc.  

The cheek rest is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch which  works well. The cheek rest can be easily swapped out with an arm brace accessory, or with prior ATF SBR registration, a buttstock in under three seconds using the same paddle latch. It is a very flexible solution which allows the owner to customize how the pistol is shot.  PWS has officially switched from Magpul to Bravo Company furniture. In the case of the little PWS MOD2 MK107, the angle of the Bravo Company grip is excellent for a compact shooting format.

If it was not already enough to have a custom everything AR15 pistol which is regarded as being the the finest piston driven AR platform on the planet, buyers can also look forward to a case full of goodies. Included with the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is an exceptionally well made Crossfire soft case which is more than capable of accommodating many accessories, 1 Lancer 30-round (depending on state) magazine, BCM Keymod Quick Detachable Sling Mount, a set of Keymod RailScales, $50 gift card to, $70 discount card off a Vertx backpack which is sized to fit this pistol, a PWS patch, brochures and manuals. In total, about $300 worth of accessories and coupons is a well appreciated package that lets PWS customers feel the love on a firearm of this caliber.

With the MOD2 version, PWS did drop factory sights off the factory installed equipment list, so some type of optic is needed. I elected for the brand new Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc. This true 1x optic features a button changeable red or green illuminated double circle dot reticle which is freaky fast to get on target, runs on 1 AAA battery, has an etched reticle reticle that is visible even if the battery is dead or removed, a swappable MOA or 5.56 BDC turret, and enormous field of view and stunning clarity which has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The quality of this optic seemed fitting for an AR15 pistol configuration of this quality.

Due to the fun involved of shooting this little setup, I went far….far beyond my typical 400-round testing and did not have one single issues with any ammo tested. As with every PWS rifle I have shot, this little pistol did not disappoint from an accuracy perspective. Swapping out to a 1-6 Lucid scope, the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is more than capable of 1” 100-yard groups with Federal Gold Match or Hornady Match ammo, but back with the Vortex mounted it was fun to bang away on 6” steel all the way out to the 400 yard line. I found the Vortex Sparc BDC turret settings put me on the target and offered accurate holdovers at the extended ranges. Where this little AR15 pistol really shines though are those 1-100 yard range shots where fast shots and quick transitions are needed.

The very cool feature of this pistol is that it is… well just a pistol. So based on your local, you should be able to carry it concealed inside a pack just like you would with your Glock if you have your concealed carry license. PWS does include a discount for a Vertx pack which will enclose the entire PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol, but I did not have one. I did have a Sneaky Bags 27” SPYDER bag which has the look of a tennis racket bag. 

The SPYDER was a perfect single sling pack for the fully assembled PWS pistol with 20-round magazine loaded plus offered a ton of storage for up to two PDW firearms, pistols, magazine organization and plenty of internal MOLLE and hook & loop for customization. Most importantly, this clandestine concealed carry “Sneaky” setup allowed a very fast presentation of the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol.

Where the budget AR15 rifle market is softening, the short barreled PDW AR15 pistol and SBR rifle market is blazing hot. There has been so much un-needed attention to the AR pistol segment from the “Arm Brace ATF re-clarifications”, I am sure some dealers are throwing their hands up on whether to carry any AR15 pistols at all. PWS has side stepped all that with the Maxim EXO adjustable cheek rest while clearly laying out two options for owners - buy and shoot now as a pistol and/or register the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol as an SBR and just swap out a stock.

Aside from all the custom receiver features, the insanely reliable AK-style push rod long stroke piston system, and dense feature set, this pistol delivers a lot of practicality for person, home, and road travel defense. This pistol is targeted toward those that want all the benefits of an SBR without the headaches of going through the long wait and registration process… and want the best AR in the process. It is a headshot capable firearm out to 400-yards that could be carried concealed in a Sneaky Bags 27” SPYDER or Vertx Pack. The PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is an ideal PDW firearm for personal protection without legal headaches and oversight that a rifle or registered SBR might bring … after all it is “just a pistol”.

- Forged Lightweight receivers
- PWS Piston System
- Maxim EXC Adjustable Cheek Rest
- Ambi Selector
- PicMod freefloat forend
- PWS CQB Brake
- PWS Enhanced Piston system Anti-Tilt Bolt Carrier Group
- NiBo enhanced trigger
- 1 $50 gift card to
- 1 Lancer 30 rd. magazine (depends on state)
- 1 $70 discount card for use on the Vertx backpack
- 1 set of RailScales
- 1 MOD 2 Manual
- 1 PWS Die Cut Decal
- 1 PWS Patch
- 1 PWS Custom Soft Case by Crossfire
- Bootleg Inc Product Brochures
MSRP $2049.95


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