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Armalite or PWS

Armalite vs PWS  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Which would you buy

    • Armalite AR 10 Tac 16
    • PWS MK216

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Hey guys, 

Long time troll, really enjoy this forum, lots of info and a good community here. 

i am looking to get into the AR 10 game. My intended use is punching paper out to 300 yards (local range limitations, I know I can reach further since I shoot at that distance with my SBR AR). I will use it for hunting hogs and deer here in the south Texas brush occasionally as well as in Oregon for elk. 

I want it to be fairly handy, so I prefer 14.5" pinned or 16" barrel in .308, and as light as possible. I want it to use PMAGs. I actively don't want an ambi gun (just more to go wrong, and isn't a particularly good training tool since it's not the "norm"), I know I will have a scope on it probably a 1-8 or so, so it needs to be a shooter. I intend to run it suppressed, (dead air sandman S, and custom form 1 cans) a lot so shorter is better for balance and maneuverability and I am thinking an adjustable gas system will be to by advantage. I want a Keymod rail since that's what my other rifles wear. My budget for the gun is less than $2500 but would prefer to spend less. 

I have basically decided against building, I want to be able to flip it if I don't end up loving it, and while I have built ARs and cans, without a mil spec and so many proprietary parts has me worried and I want a warrantee, plus at my price range I haven't found a build list I have liked as well my choices.

I have narrowed it down to two choices. 

Armalite AR10 TAC 16 https://armalite.com/shop/ar-10-tactical-16/  $1600 street price or so

PWS MK216 https://primaryweapons.com/store/product/mk216-rifle/ $2100 street price or so 

So, which would you guys choose, why? 

Look forward to listening and learning. Thanks in advance! 


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The other thing is I would like to SBR this in the future with a second upper that is 12.5, just for grins, handy particularly when suppressed. So access to parts either assembled uppers or parts to build custom are important and another reason why custom build worries me for interchangeability of future components. 

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Interested in responses. I know of no one whom has used the PWS piston system, but if it is like their other products, it will be good.  A year ago I would have said Armalite, but now, I truly don't know. Armalite is a different company since Raley left. It looks like the PWS is ready to be suppressed. How about we invoke The Rule? You buy the PWS and then do a full report!


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Another Armalite guy here to tell you PWS, hate to but the new Armalite isn't the same on the QC front. I would recommend you build the SBR from scratch though, just not enough savings to buy a second upper versus a whole rifle. You might be able to build two complete Aero rifles just like you want them for the price of one PWS and have something with many more aftermarket options.

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Either I am dumb and don't know where to look or my tastes for custom are too expensive. I haven't been able to spec it to my liking for less than 2500 and that doesn't include the tools or a warrantee. 

I did think this was interesting if it was a DPMS pattern. https://www.cdnnsports.com/colt-ar308-competition-rifle-build-kit.html#.WUwAe4UpDYU

buy barrel, bolt and CH and see if I want to change handguard and stock and rock and roll. At least I know most of the parts SHOULD fit.but have fun trying to find another upper. 

Also, JTallen, your right, I would buy/build a second rifle but I like being able to have parts interchange and potentially entire halfs of SHTF...

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I know you don't want to build something, but why not build a new one off the Armalite 13.5" barrel?  You want to run it suppressed - what suppressor are you stuck on that you absolutely must have?  How does that Dead Air Sandman S mount?

Here's how it mounts - how long is that brake?  Bring a 13.5" barrel to 16"?  That's a long brake.  Pin that thing to the 13.5" Armalite barrel, and you have a solution to an issue, without another tax stamp. 


Here's all I could find on it, and where that pic ^^^ came from:


Edited by 98Z5V
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13 hours ago, MeesterMeetch said:

98Z5V, considered that, and if it were as simple as 13.5+2.6 you'd be right, however, what your forgetting is the threaded portion of each and therefore the overlap, so it would be about 15" OAL. I already own the sandman. 

Do you own the mount?  Measure the mount.  I own the barrel, and I'll measure it out for you right now...  You're forgetting shims for mounting, peel washer, crush washer, whatever... 

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Here's the brake that take's the Armalite 13.5" barrel to over 16" OAL.  It's Armalite's competition brake, and measures out at 3.4" long.  Camera angle doesn't show it, but that's the length... 

So, with that said and shown, 14.5" .308 Win barrels are all over the place.  Many, many manufacturers make them.  That, without a doubt, is another solution to this, without another stamp... ADCO can cut and thread any AR barrel you want, as well - you can get a 16" barrel, send the mount with it, and tell them to make the combo 16.1" OAL, for a very reasonable price...




Edited by 98Z5V
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Save yourself some money and stick with PRimary Arms for your optics. Excellent quality. 98 recommended them to me and I am glad he did. You could spend a lot more money somewhere else and not get any better.

Edited by Sisco
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

So I bought a PWS 216 after talking extensively with Stacy at PWS. I had some things come up and couldn't buy a second MK212 upper as well. I finally got the rifle the optics it deserved, a Vortex PST Gen 2 3-15x44, mounted in a bobro mount. I put a Harris bipod on it out front and threaded on my dead air brake and can.  

I will get a full review as I get more range time, but this rifle isn't what I expected.  When I first got it I was frankly disappointed.  It's HUGE and HEAVY, especially with the optics and bipod. I still want a light weight .308 AR with a short barrel for hunting and I do t think PWS is the ticket for that on the basis of weight alone.  For a pack gun in south texas my .300BLK SBR, or a Ruger American Rifle makes more sense from size and weight as well as performance on the relatively small thin skinned local game.


That being said, after a few range trips and getting this dialed, I LOVE THIS GUN. 

Its nutty accurate with the right ammo. If I do my job it LOVES 175 SMKs, and 155 Hornadys.  It was printing 1/2 MOA within the first 200 rounds consistently.  

HOWEVER as many of you know shooting a 308 AR is a bit trickier than shooting a bolt gun.  I am an experienced AR15 shooter so the form wasn't an issue.  I am not used to shooting of a bipod, but that learning curve is easy, not overloading the bipod is key for not opening up groups even on a free floated barrel.  Underloading the bipod made follow up shots slow.  The biggest issue I encountered was heat in two ways, the first was stringing, as the barrel heated, which was easy to do by firing 5 shots groups in short timeframes, caused near perfect vertical stringing.  As I calmed down and slowed down and put 5-8 seconds between shots the groups tightened right up. The second was the suppressor.  It didn't take much more than 10 rounds for mirage to occur, and while staying cool enough to remove by hand after a few minutes of cooling, by the second 5 round group the mirage was bad and caused the group to open up. 

Other suppressor owners know that they add a whole new wrinkle to shooting accurately. They throw off heat, weight, back pressure and barrel harmonics. I love and hate suppressors.  My Dead Air Sandman is great on sound and back pressure and as many other dead air owners have reported they do help tighten groups and have next to no POI shift for on/off.  I did notice the groups were tighter with the can, but where harder to replicate over and over again becuase I wasn't patient enough to let the can fully cool. 

The gas adjustment system was FLAWLESS, FREAKING GENIUS. Easy to operate particularly compared to many AR15 adjustable gas blocks, perfectly consistent. I really liked this feature.  It was easy to adjust on the fly and didn't change as round count increased, unlike other adjustable gas blocks I have used. Switching between suppressed and unsuppressed was easy and fast, something I was never able to do on a DI AR. 

Finally the gun was SUPER SOFT shooting.  Way softer than any other semi-automatic I have ever fired, I attribute this to piston system. The recoil impulse was particularly soft suppressed becuase of the can muffling the noise and the reduced back pressure. 

Overall I like it and I would buy again, but for a DMR role not a pack/hunting rifle or carbine role, certainly not with these optics, but seeing what it can do, I am thinking about getting even higher power glass on this rifle. 

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