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Significant differences are present in the MK1 and MK2 PWS compared to both the direct-impingement operating system and other piston-driven operating systems. PWS product improvements address reliability and performance issues as well as reduced carrier tilt, cam-pin wear, and carrier bounce.
Proponents of piston-driven ARs point to greater reliability in adverse conditions and less reliance on routine maintenance compared to the direct-impingement operating method.
The increasing use of suppressors for private citizens, law enforcement and military highlights another advantage of piston-driven ARs—the ability to adjust the amount of gas siphoned to operate the action.
Suppressor use increases operating pressures a considerable amount, so being able to turn down the gas vented to the operating rod just by quickly turning a knob is a big advantage.
Piston-driven ARs also enjoy a perception of better operating reliability in harsh environments, especially as barrel lengths shrink. The PWS MK1 series represents cutting-edge long-stroke AR design. This is different than the original Stoner-designed gas impingement design as well as the growing numbers of short-stroke piston ARs on the market.