Piston AR LWRC or PWS

Discussion in 'AR Talk' started by LuckyStrike21, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    I want to keep this simple: this is my end of the world gun. I want a piston driven AR.

    Dont say ak-47, I have one
    Dont say good direct impingement AR-15, I have 2, one of them being a Larue OBR predatAR.

    Whats important to me? Reliability with any ammo and light weight.

    I'm looking at two right now. The LWRC M6A2 SPR and the PWS MK116. The LWRC seems to be the more accurate, and the PWS comes in at a few less ounces. Shooting sub MOA at 300 yards is not my concern with this rifle. Lightweight, reliability and the ability to shoot crap ammo is.

    I have and am still considering:
    Bushmaster ACR
    SCAR 16
    Additionally I'm not opposed to thoughts on bullpups such as the Steyr AUG or the MSAR.
    Also the HK 416 upper on a spikes tactical lower.

    Cost is a non issue. However, I refuse to pay knights armament money for a weapon.

    Your thoughts, experience and advice is appreciated.


    Thanks.
     
  2. chameleon

    chameleon XDTalk 4K Member

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    I have nothing to offer you except that I am interested in finding out about a similar weapon. I wish you best of luck on the search and free bump :)
     
  3. Sycraft

    Sycraft XDTalk 100 Member

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    Well, when it was my money, I chose a SIG516 and I'm 100% happy. I wanted an AR, my first, and I liked the idea of a piston gun. The H&K 416 was one I was thinking about for sure, however in addition to not being a fan of the price (though it was within budget), I'm not a fan of the way H&K seems to treat civilian shooters, and the proprietary nature of some parts (like it doesn't work with PMAGs).

    Then I found out about the SIG516. Basically Sig wants in the AR market. Best as I understand, they hired the 416 designer away from H&K to make it. I was everything I wanted in an AR: Piston driven, quad rails, nice stock furniture (Magpul MOE), standard compatible everything (except piston system, those are always proprietary) and so on, all from a manufacturer I trust. Also comes with the features that the "AR snobs" tend to like such as 1/7 twist, M4 feed ramps, chrome lined, hammer forged, barrel, H buffer, and so on. Near as I can tell there is no difference between civilian and LE/mil versions other than the lack of select fire.

    Then the best part: It was $1300 from riflegear.com.

    I was sold, and I love the thing. It works great, is well designed, and I'm confident that should it need repairs, Sig will be around to repair it. So far I've done little to it other than buy it an EOTech, a RVG, and a bunch of PMAGs. Eventually I may give it a new trigger, it ships with the standard mil-spec single stage trigger which isn't bad or anything but could be better. Overall though I like what it comes with stock. Not top of the line custom or anything, but quite nice. I love the quad rails in particular.

    You can see Sig's info on it here. Note that it comes with flip up BUIS these days, not that little red dot. They also have a pretty cool [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFZ3yUMH5IA"]marketing video[/ame] where they beat the crap out of one (that has allegedly already shot 20,000 rounds).

    So that's my two Internet cents. Not long ago I wanted a piston AR, and the SIG516 was what I opted to get. I'm very happy with that choice.
     
  4. Mr. YACYAS

    Mr. YACYAS XDTalk 2K Member

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    Of Piston designs out right now my favorite are the RRA PDS and the Scar 16. Both designs the bolt and the piston are one piece. I find this to be a better system when thinking about end of the world guns because the action requires less parts in order to work. Also I've never been a fan of small springs in the hottest part of my rifle like conventional pistons require. I will say that lack of parts for the RRA PDS and Scar 16 could be problematic for you though.
     
  5. Vandal

    Vandal XDTalk 2K Member

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    I have a PWS Mk114.

    LWRC uses a short stroke and mid-stroke piston system that can be prone to carrier tilt issues and, for a piston gun, is a little harder on parts. I have heard they have some CS issues. Not sure if those ever got resolved. From what I can tell the LWRC guns are essentially a piston conversion type rifle.

    PWS uses an AK style long stroke piston that is part of the BCG and it all pulls out the back upon disassembly. PWS is a newer company to the AR market but in the short time I've had mine I really enjoy it. Its like owning an AR with the DNA of the AK. Very little felt recoil makes for some very fast follow on shots. Since I haven't had mine very long, here is a link to someone who's been beating the crap out of a PWS. The PWS system was intended to be piston driven from the beginning.

    PWS Mk114
     
  6. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Thanks, this is the kind of info I was looking for.
     
  7. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    ok, after further research and some suggestions here, the LWRC is out, and Sycraft, I am a sucker for those torture test videos.

    Vandal, is the handguard on your PWS a midlength? Its hard for me to tell.

    I like the Sig 516. Some things that "seem" attractive are the adjustable gas block and the hammer forged chrome lined barrel. Some things that seem unattractive are the weight 7lb 10oz unloaded, the short stroke gas system, and what looks to be a carbine length handguard, which I dont know that I could put something longer or even low pro, and if I could, could I do it without sacraficing even more ounces.

    PWS seems to have the edge here to me, and I could be wrong in my assumption. Facts that I know are that its lightweight 6lb 15oz (this is way more important than accuracy to me), that it comes with more upgrades, and treated internals (whatever that means). What I dont know is if it is a midlength handguard at a minimum. I also dont know what isonite QPQ treated means on a SS barrel.

    I hold the rifle with my support hand forward, and I dont have incredibly long arms, so a midlength would be sufficient, but the minimum as well. I dont need a ton of rails as I run my rifles pretty slim. At most on this will be a AFG and maybe a flashlight.

    I want the same operational function, ergonomics, and light weight as my Larue predatar, but the reliability of a AK. Not sure this is possible, but I still want it non the less. I still havent ruled out the SCAR and the ACR, but they dont seem as attractive to me as something like the PWS.

    Thanks for your feedback thus far.
     
  8. chupacabrachus

    chupacabrachus XDTalk 5K Member

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    LWRC uses a short stroke system. I'm not sure what a "mid-stroke" is.
     
  9. Vandal

    Vandal XDTalk 2K Member

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    LuckyStrike i will get back to you when i get home from work with more info. The rails are pretty slightly longer than mid-length. They are also replaceable one side at a time Comes with MagPul sights and XT rail covers.
     
  10. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Thanks, I think I'm pretty much sold on the MK116, and that piece of information is my last key ingredient I think. I looked at the MK114, but the pinned flash hider turns me off. I may bite the bullet later this year and spend the time with an attorney to get an SBR and suppressors, but for now, I'd rather not deal with NFA crap.
     
  11. Vandal

    Vandal XDTalk 2K Member

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    Also, if you have questions give PWS a call. Their CS folks are good to work with and answered all of my strange questions.
     
  12. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    thanks, youve been a big help.
     
  13. Sycraft

    Sycraft XDTalk 100 Member

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    In terms of weight, yep, is a heavy little rifle. From hefting it in the store, and it's previous cheaper version (which had plastic hand guards) it doesn't seem to be much heavier than many other ARs with a similar aluminium quad rail setup, but then they aren't light either. It's fine by me but then I don't trek through the forest with it so my usage isn't really weight dependent.

    Don't worry about the short stroke piston thing. In my research I've come to the conclusion that it is mostly just haters hating on it for no reason. They are either DI fanboys or AK fanboys. In the real world, it seems to work just fine and I'm confident with it's operation from a mechanical standpoint (I've taken it all apart and looked at how it works). I'm not saying other piston systems are a bad thing either, just don't get caught up on the type, they all work. Also remember Sig knows pistons pretty well, they do long stroke pistons on their SG550s.

    In terms of rail length, the quad rails are 7-1/4" long from the front of the lower, which means they are 15-1/2" from their tip to the start of the buffer tube. I do not believe there is any way they could be extended as the piston assembly is right in front of them. Works well for me, but then I haul the gun in pretty tight. I am 6'1" but I set the stock to just one click out, and have my RVG about 4 rail positions from the front end. I find it very comfortable. I do like the rails though, they are solid as hell. No movement at all.

    The adjustable gas block is cool. How useful it is for normal use I'm not sure, but it is cool. It has four positions:

    Normal: Just like it sounds, and the only way I've ever shot it.

    Adverse: You can click it over to this with just your fingers. This overgasses the system causing it to hit harder and thus hopefully move if things are stuck. Harder on the parts so not for normal use, but maybe keeps it working in a problem situation. Also maybe if you have really anemic ammo loads (though people say normal works great for even Wolf).

    Suppressed: Cuts down the gas a whole lot for use with a suppressor, since they cause back pressure. Keeps things working well and not stressed. Guy who owns the shop I bought it from who just loves suppressors says it works great (seriously, I think they sell as many suppressors as guns). This one you have to push down a little pin with a bullet or hex tool or whatever to turn to, so you don't do it on accident.

    Off: Shuts the gas system entirely. Your rifle is now single shot, work the charging handle every time. Dunno that it is really that useful, I suppose it would further reduce sound for suppressed fire, but it doesn't hurt to have either. You have to turn it a good bit past the suppressed setting to get to that.

    One other nice minor feature is that in the lower there's a little spring pushed pin that pushes in to the upper. Means you have to squeeze it just a bit to get it closed but it always fits nice n' tight. Nothing major, but cool IMO.

    At any rate, I love mine, it does everything I want and is nicely made. I like to joke it is like the H&K 416, but 100 better... and $1200 cheaper :D. Were I to buy again, I'd make the same choice.
     
  14. buckhorn_cortez

    buckhorn_cortez XDTalk Newbie

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    Melonite surface hardening treatment. Melonite is harder than hard chrome and adds no thickness to the metal as it is not a plating or surface applied finish. This means that the original part dimensions are exactly the same after treatment.

    If you want to look at another nicely designed, well made piston gun that often gets overlooked in the Internet gun forum echo chambers - look at the Barrett REC7. Barrett designed and built the piston system and bolt/bolt carrier. Fewer parts in the piston system, gas vents out the front of the gas plug, piston can be taken out of the front of the piston chamber without removing parts from the gun, custom designed bolt / carrier = no carrier tilt.
     
  15. LuckyStrike21

    LuckyStrike21 XDTalk 4K Member

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    had I read this heated debate on this exact subject over on ar15.com, I prolly wouldnt have posted this question.

    PWS vs LWRCI piston designs? - Page 1 - AR15.COM

    Also, Vandal has a link to the hide showing Dmacks writup on the PWS which is very very in depth, and if it doesnt sell the rifle, I dont know what does.

    I'm definately getting the PWS. I've been calling stores all around the country trying to find one in stock and avoid the 3 month production time wait from PWS.

    Thanks for your help, and buckhorn, I do like the barrett, but in terms of weight and the length of handguard I want, PWS wins. I almost bought a sig 516 yesterday out of sheer convenience that it was at the local gun store, and I'm glad I didnt. the sig is a good weapon, but the features and weight of the PWS has me sold.

    thanks again.
     

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