A Review of The PWS MK 114 MOD 1
August 15, 2018 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
Last month I did a review of the Primary Weapons Systems MK111 MOD 2-M and mentioned that this was not my first experience with a long stroke piston AR. I own another PWS rifle, which started my love affair with PWS. This month I am going to give you a detailed review of the rifle that made me fall in love with long stroke system ARs from PWS. I have owned this rifle for over 3 years and have put it through its paces, running it hard. Countless rounds later, I finally feel I am in the position to provide everyone with a very in-depth review of this rifle. Before I talk about the trials I ran my MK114 through, I want to give everyone some background information on the rifle itself.
The PWS MK114 MOD 1 is a long stroke piston AR with adjustable 3 gas settings so the shooter can change the settings depending on if they are shooting with or without a suppressor. The MK114 MOD 1 is equipped with a 14.5in barrel chambered in 223 Wylde, just like the MOD 2 series. The MOD 1 rifles are also chambered in 223 Wylde, meaning they can accept both 223 and 556 ammo and have a 1:8 barrel twist. The upper and lower receivers are forged and the MK114 is equipped with a forward assist unlike the MOD 2 series. The rifle weighs 6lb 12oz unloaded without an optic and/or other accessories. My version of the MK114 is equipped with a free float keymod handguard unlike the MLOK ones the new MOD 1 rifles are equipped with. Having a 14.5in barrel with a pinned and welded muzzle device on it gives the user a shorter option without having to go through all the hoops associated with NFA items. The new MK114 MOD 1 rifles also come fully equipped with BCM furniture and a Radian Raptor ambidextrous charging handle. When I bought my MK114 years ago it was equipped with Magpul furniture, which I personally love.
Like I said before, I have owned my PWS MK114 MOD 1 for over 3 years. The rifle has been run extremely hard during many rifle courses with high round counts. The classes I attended required the user to treat their rifle like a tool, which is its intended purpose. Sunshine or rain the classes went on. The instructors made the users get down and dirty with their rifles; shooting under and over barricades, moving and shooting, and transitioning from rifle to pistol whenever the situation arose. During exercises like that your rifle will get banged up, exposed to the elements of nature like mud, dirt, rain, or grass; all the while still being required to perform. During my first demanding class with my MK114, I was nervous. Even though I had zeroed in and shot it, I hoped it would be able to withstand the punishment of the class. Half way through the class, I realized how awesome the MK114 was performing. It made me realize that PWS spends a lot of time making sure their ARs are built to withstand virtually anything that can be dished out. After that first class, I knew I had fallen in love with the MK114, which made me love the PWS Company. Once I realized the MK114 was a work horse, I decided to push the limits even further with the rifle.
From my early experiences, I found out shooting steel cased ammo in a rifle isn't always worth its cheap price. If you are willing to spend just a little bit more on brass cased ammo, it will save you a lot of headaches. The only rifle I shoot steel cased ammo with on a regular basis is my AK47, which will basically work with whatever ammo you feed it. I have even shot some very old Chinese 7.62x39 that functioned perfectly through my AK. But when I first started shooting on the AR platform, I learned the hard way that, even though you can get a lot of ammo for a cheap price, it may not be worth it in the long run. After that first class though, I became curious and wanted to see how my MK114 would function with some steel cased ammo. So, I bought 100rds and shot every single one of the rounds through the rifle without any issues. Once again, I don't recommend shooting steel cased ammo in an AR, but I wanted to push my PWS even harder. Another time, I went shooting while it was raining and brought my MK114 out to the range. My rifle got extremely muddy at one point so I dunked it in a puddle to wash off the mud, then put a few drops of oil on the BCG and continued to shoot. During that entire experience, I was waiting for a malfunction to occur, but did not experience any on my MK114 unless purposely induced for training purposes. My experience with my MK114 is what started my love affair with PWS and all the firearms they make. They pride themselves on manufacturing firearms you can count on to withstand the harshest conditions and still function flawlessly.
Moving on to present day, I can look back at the time I decided to buy my first PWS rifle based on the recommendations of reliable instructors, and I smile that I was able to find such an amazing company that makes firearms built to take a beating. I currently own 3 PWS firearms and, in a perfect world, I would own everything they make. The MK114 MOD 1 is an amazing choice for law enforcement personnel, hunters, competition shooters, or even just your everyday firearm enthusiast that is looking for a reliable AR15 to use for home defense and/or shooting at the range. The MK114 is an extremely accurate rifle and, when put in the hands of an experienced shooter, can be shot at distances of 500yds or more. I couldn't have been happier with my decision to purchase the MK114 years ago, and I still use it to this very day. As I said in the article I wrote about the MK111 MOD 2-M last month, GTI and PWS have now partnered up. Having PWS as an ATP vendor is an excellent pairing which gives law enforcement agencies the opportunity to be outfitted with their reliable ARs through our ATP Program. So, if you are looking for a dependable and unstoppable AR15, I HIGHLY recommend you check out the MK114 MOD 1. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.