The MK111 performed well during testing.

Fans of the AR platform tout accuracy and ergonomics. Meanwhile, fans of the AK proclaim a reliability and muzzle energy advantage. What if you could have both? Primary Weapons Systems made exactly that happen with the PWS Mk111 Mod 1-M. It combines the American-friendly AR design and accuracy with the AK’s long-stroke piston system and stout 7.62×39 muzzle energy.

PWS Mk111 Mod 1-M Details

This upper, and a quality 7.62x39mm AR magazine like those made by DuraMag make for a dream come true. With just an 11.85” barrel the Mk111 Mod 1-M upper produces more muzzle energy with less-expensive ammunition than a 16” AR-15 chambered in 5.56x45mm. The caliber was largely regulated to plinking fun with AK’s, yet proves more than adequately accurate for defensive use when put through a modern, US-manufactured barrel. The long-stroke piston system keeps the chamber cleaner and cooler through high-volume firing and makes for considerably less gas in the face when shooting suppressed in comparison to a tradition AR gas-impingement system.

At the 2021 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous we had the opportunity to run the Mk111 Mod 2-M upper (featuring a more stylish receiver and patent-pending PicLock handguard that accepts both Picatinny and MLOK) full-auto and suppressed and the lack of eye-burning gasses was great! If we can burst out full-auto fire while suppressed, you can rest assured that semi-auto fire will be even more pleasant.

The uppers aren’t available as a complete rifle at this time, but only require a pistol or SBR lower and 7.62x39mm AR magazine and you’ve got a compact, powerful option for hunting, home defense, or enjoying time on the range using less-expensive ammunition in a combination that both AR and AK guys have to tip their hats to.

PWS MK111 MOD 1-M Specs

  • Operating System: PWS Long Stroke Piston System, 3 setting Adjustable Gas Regulator
  • Caliber: 7.62×39
  • Barrel Length: 11.85 inches
  • Gas System Length: Carbine
  • Barrel Twist Rate: 1:8
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2204 fps
  • Muzzle Device: PWS Triad 30
  • Upper Receiver: PWS Proprietary Piston Upper, T6 7075 Forged, Anodized
  • Handguard: PWS M-Lok 6.9-inch Handguard (1.7-inch width, 2.25-inch height)
  • Charging Handle: Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle

Look for more on the PWS piston-driven solution in an upcoming issue of Tactical Life Magazine. We’ll get more time in with the platform and include accuracy and reliability testing as well as some option to kit out this upper into a complete ultimate all-around tool.

For even more info, please visit

Up Next

Ruger Birdshead-Style Wrangler Revolvers: New for 2022

If you like affordable single action shooting, check out the new Ruger Birdshead-Style Wrangler...