Primary Weapons Systems MK1 MOD 2-M Enhances the User Experience By: Graham Baates


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Primary Weapons Systems is known and loved for its evolution of the AR platform. Externally PWS rifles look similar to an AR, providing familiar controls, handling, and modularity. But inside is where the magic happens. The PWS lightweight, long-stroke piston system brings cooler, cleaner, and more suppressor-friendly handling to the AR operator. Primary Weapons Systems exemplifies this in its MK1 MOD 2-M.

The Primary Weapons Systems MK1 MOD 2-M

An evolution of design that enhances reliability and user experience beyond standard fair. Primary Weapons Systems has also made a name for itself with its Enhanced Buffer Tube and Ratcheting Castle Nut. With the PWS operating system and other parts well-established it was time for the rest of the rifle to evolve. It was time for a lower receiver of PWS’s design.

The MK1 MOD 2-M lower features truly ambidextrous controls, an integrated trigger guard, and a nicely-flared magazine well. Overall, it has a stripped weight (ambidextrous magazine and bolt controls pre-installed) of just 7.6 ounces. It’s a challenge to add functionality without adding weight, and yet Primary Weapons Systems has done it.

The included trigger guard has a total weight below that of a standard AR-15 receiver (8.5oz without a trigger guard, magazine, or bolt catch). PWS accomplished this with some clever engineering and a reminder that it’s not the 1960s anymore. AR manufacturers can do better, and Primary Weapons Systems Did.

The Primary Weapons Systems MK1 MOD 2-M.

Weight savings are accomplished by relieving thickness in non-critical areas. Just how much has been removed from each side is apparent when looking at the trigger and hammer pin areas, which are standard length.  A glance at the pivot pin detent housing also shows how, despite having added features and material for the trigger guard, this is a lightweight lower.

Unlike other “ambi” lowers, the Mk1 MOD 2-M features magazine, bolt, and safety controls on both sides of the gun. In my experience, the value of this goes beyond serving Southpaws. It also extends to the ability to control the bolt with the firing hand without needing to dismount the rifle.

Pair the MK1 MOD 2-M with PWS Uppers for the Full Experience

While the MK1 Mod 2-M lower can be used with any AR-15 platform, it truly makes sense when paired with a PWS upper as an example of what the platform can and should be. Most of us don’t drive carbureted cars with manual steering to the range (unless, for nostalgia’s sake). So, why should we limit ourselves to rifles from that era?

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Primary Weapons Systems MK1 (MK116) MOD 2-M Specs

The Primary Weapons Systems MK1 MOD 2-M.

Operating System: PWS Long Stroke Piston System, 3 setting Adjustable Gas Regulator
Caliber: .223 Wylde
Barrel Length: 16.1 inches
Gas System Length: Mid-Length
Barrel Twist Rate: 1:8
Muzzle Velocity: 2980 fps
Muzzle Device: PWS FSC 556
Upper Receiver: PWS Proprietary Piston Upper, T6 7075 Forged, Anodized
Handguard: PWS PicLok™ 15.0” Handguard (1.7” width, 2.25” height)
Charging Handle: Radian Raptor™ Ambidextrous Charging Handle
Lower Receiver: PWS ambidextrous MK1 MOD 2-M Multi-Caliber Lower, T6 7075 Forged, Anodized, AR-15 Compatible
Trigger: Mil-Spec Enhanced, PTFE Coated.
Trigger Pull Weight: 5.5 – 6.5 lbs.
Buffer Tube: PWS 1.2” Diameter Enhanced Buffer Tube with ratchet lock castle nut and end plate set with built-in QD mount
Buffer: PWS Enhanced H2 Steel Body Buffer
Furniture: Bravo Company USA® Buttstock and Pistol Grip
MSRP: $2,049.95

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