Now that James Bond has an iron clad set of balls, it’s time he upgraded his arsenal. While there’s nothing uniquely gadget-like about the Primary Weapons Systems MK107P, it does come in a briefcase. Q would be a bit jealous. And a tuxedoed 007 would look sharp carrying the Kenneth Cole case, but to hell with Bond. The novelty of the briefcase evaporates when you pull the trigger. This AR pistol is a surgical tool–it’s better than Bond–the PWS MK107P is exactly what’s right about America.
Ok. By this point, you may get the impression that I like this little gun. True enough. I’ve got a soft spot for a good short barreled rifle, and the AR platform lends itself to being an SBR. Even for someone as large as I am, the SBR makes sense. But going through the hassle of getting all of the paperwork approved is a bitch. Those of us who want the functionality of the SBR without the hassle often gravitate to the AR pistol. The SIG brace on the end of a good pistol is about as good as we can get.
But the PWS isn’t just another bobbed carbine. These people know how to make an AR. There are a lot of companies making ARs these days, more than 200, and telling them apart can get complicated. Some hope that they can convince you of their quality by beefing up the exterior dimensions. Changing some angles. That’s all well and good, but it has to be followed up by attention to detail in the build phase. PWS isn’t reinventing the exterior, but they’re fine tuning the insides. This gun runs incredibly well, and it is one of the most dependably accurate ARs I’ve shot–even with its seven inch barrel.
The appeal of the long stroke piston is clear. The long part allows the round to get the most from the gas pressure before the port allows any of the gases to escape. The piston part keeps things cleaner than your typical AR gas system. So even when you’re using the 7.5 inch version of the PWS, you still get the benefit of clean, consistent, and powerful operation.
How powerful? That’s debatable–but not as a matter of opinion. We have numbers to back things up. Expect speeds to top out at 2,500 FPS, max. The lowest speeds we saw came form the Gorilla Ammo, loaded with 69 grain Sierra Match King bullets (which were also the most accurate). They averaged 2,380 FPS. The steel cased Tula pushed speeds averaging 2,400.
How does that compare to a typical carbine length AR? Those same rounds would be expected to leave the muzzle at better than 3,000 FPS.
The debate comes when evaluating the effective range of a gun like this. 50 yards? Absolutely. 100 yards? No problem. 200 yards? why not? At most, the decrease in muzzle velocity from the short barrel will mean that the round won’t have as much velocity to keep it on course–in other words, the slower moving round, as light as it is, will be more susceptible to wind and gravity. And it won’t have the punch on the downhill side.
Frankly, I could care less. I’m not beholden to a one-gun solution. I know some long range AR shooters, and I respect what they’re capable of doing, but I’m spotty (at best) with long range shooting–and worse when I’m shooting carbines at any significant distance. I look at the PWS as more of a CQB tool. And for this, it kicks ass. The compact design, consistent reliability, and gnat’s ass accuracy make this a devastating option for those moving through or around obstacles.
While I’d like for some of the dimensions to better fit my gangly frame, I can still use the MK107P with great results. In fact, I find that I shoot just a bit faster with it than I do with my carbine. I think this has to do with the gun’s balance. It swings effortlessly, and has no recoil. When you combine this with the light weight, I am getting better split times and more consistent hits on multiple target engagements. Even with the limited 11 inches of LOP, I find I can really run this gun incredibly well.
Did I mention that it comes in a briefcase? It doesn’t have to. While I like the case idea (it makes for a fun first impression), I find the gun to be much more than a novelty. The case has some practical limitations. The interior dimensions are tight. This prevents PWS from cutting sufficient foam away from the top rail–exactly where an optic would go. There’s room in the foam for two magazines, but I can’t remember the last time I only shot two mags worth of .223. And then there’s the neatness factor. I don’t baby my guns, but I felt very selfconscious about roughing up this briefcase, as if that was the important part of the package.
I’m all for the case, though. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m not in favor of the obfuscatory case. Diversion is key. But I’d like to see an option in a subtle Seahorse, or Pelican, that better suits my needs. I’m not putting on a suit unless someone dies. If I were to walk into a group of my friends carry a bazooka, they’d be like “oh, there’s Dave!” If I walked in carrying a snazzy leather briefcase, they’d keel over. Just sayin’.
The briefcase option can come with the purchase of an upper, or with the complete gun. The Mk107P has an MSRP of $1,945.95. PWS is also selling MK107 uppers and including the case for free–a price that’s hard to beat.
So the briefcase is clearly what caught my eye first. And it is clearly not me. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t you. My mother and father, both straight-laced executive types in the 80s, carried cases like this to work every day of their working lives. But not me. And I’m pretty good at doing layout for cases. One thing that the Bauer Case design misses in the extras. While the lower, upper, and two mags fit well, there is no extra room for a strap, an optic, or a suppressor. With a bit of creative manipulation, there could be extra space cut in behind the grip, and in front of the rear sight. That would allow, at least, for an Aimpoint, and a strap. And there should be finger holes all over this thing.
The real beast in the case is the Sig brace, which isn’t small. While it the crux of the biscuit, here, it is also taking up some serious real estate in the case. A necessary sacrifice, I guess.
Enough about the case. Let’s talk about the gun. First, the basics. It is an AR pistol with a 7.5 inch barrel. The Sig brace gives it a 10 inch LOP. The gun is chambered in .223 Wylde, which means it can handle a wide variety of ammo. The MK1 line is available as a rifle or as pistols, all with varying barrel lengths. The pistols are chambered in 300 Blackout, too.
Weight 5 lbs, 4 oz
Overall Length 23.75”
Barrel Length 7.75”
Muzzle Velocity 2368 ft/sec
Muzzle Energy 772 ft-lbs
Muzzle Device Triad 556
There are several enhancements that PWS makes that are noteworthy. First, they turn their barrels in-house, which allows them to pay closer attention to quality. They’ve redesigned their buffer tubes, and mill them from a solid piece of aluminum. The tube has no castle nut, and has a support that extends into the receiver that cuts out carrier tilt.
The adjustable gas system drives the long piston, which in turn keeps excess gunk and fouling out of the chamber. There are five positions (four for shooting, one for cleaning). The ejection is incredibly consistent. I shot a number of rounds from a standing, stationary position, and the brass pile was neat and tidy.
The other benefits are easy to see. The key-mod forend. The Sig Brace. The Magpul grip, trigger guard, and sights. All of these are basic upgrades on what is already a fine gun. The trigger, though, deserves more attention. It is one of the single best production triggers I’ve ever shot. The break is clean, with no creep or take up. The reset is short. When combined with the flat recoil response, followup shots are incredibly fast. The trigger is a bit heavier than some–it breaks above five pounds–but it is so consistent that it is hardly noticeable.
In short, everything you’d want is here. And when I consider the price, $1949.95, I’m a bit surprised. For one, it isn’t an entry level gun. The trigger. The Magpul furniture. The piston system. The enhanced buffer tube. The break. All of these are things you would expect to pay more for. When combined with the actual quality of the gun, the equation becomes clear.
I mentioned that this is, in my opinion, a close range gun. At 25 yards, it can thread a needle. Check out the photo at right. Five rounds in one hole. I was standing. I was actually shooting rather casually. I’d gone to the range without most of my gear, just to break it in a bit, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I usually have to bench-rest an AR to get one-hole accuracy with iron sights, at just about any appreciable distance. But not this one.
So I backed it up to 50 yards, and finished out the mag. These shots were made the Gorilla mentioned above. Even with the steel-cased Tula, though, I have no complaints.
I shot torso plates at 100, 200 and 300 yards. The 300 yard hits were harder–but not impossible. That’s the limit at my local range, and I didn’t feel compelled to stretch it out farther. The sweet spot is within the practical limits of the iron sights. The really sweet spot is within the practical limits of point shooting. With the 10 inch LOP, I find I’m really jammed up on the iron sights. Even with the modest recoil, I took a couple of blows from the charging handle and rear MBUIS. But if I squared up on the gun and kept my eyes on the target, I could group double and triple taps in center mass. The balance of the MK107P is perfect for fast, functional shooting. It is accurate enough for surgical work, though a bit cramped.
Here’s my take on the whole package. The briefcase is a great start, if a bit limited. There are no limits on the MK107P. If I were in the market for an SBR, this would be my choice. Buy it as is, then register the lower. Replace the Sig-brace with a stock, and have new custom foam cut for the combination. Add a forward hand stop, an Aimpoint, and a suppressor… for an additional grand or so, you would have a system you could use for anything.