Picture this, you just walked into a gas station and bought a couple scratch-off lottery tickets. The last ticket you scratch off says you just won $2,000 and you bust out your happy dance right in the gas station. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already planning your next rifle build that instance. There’s plenty of options on the market today for ARs but I’m sure you’re wondering “Matt, what would you pick if you had $2,000 to burn on a new AR?”. I’m glad you asked so let’s dive into it.
PWS MK116 MOD 2
The Primary Weapons Systems MK116 MOD 2 has been a bulletproof reliable system for me over the past year I’ve owned the rifle. In my initial review of the rifle, I put a few thousand rounds through the rifle without any maintenance of any kind. Despite the severe neglect to maintain the MK116, it continued to run without missing a beat or having a single malfunction. This is thanks to PWS’s long-stroke gas piston system in the MK116 that is a hybrid between an AK and a traditional AR operating system.
As a result of this hybrid system, the MK116 is an incredibly soft shooting rifle. If I’m shooting anything 300 yards and closer at various distances, it’s one of the better guns to have just for ease of shooting. The muzzle brake that comes on the PWS is also extremely effective at keeping the muzzle flip to a minimum. PWS has also incorporated fully ambidextrous controls with a magazine release on both sides of the lower as well as a bolt release on the right side of the lower receiver. The price on the MK116 MOD 2 is $1749.99 on their website.
Type-A SPR PRO 10.5 Pistol
The Type-A SPR AR pistol is probably the one gun I carry in my truck over everything else. I have thousands and thousands of rounds through my 10.5″ pistol and it has served me really well. Like the PWS, the Type-A SPR has had zero malfunctions to date despite running everything from match ammo for accuracy testing to steel cased Tula ammo.
Type-A’s two-chamber muzzle brake is fairly loud but very effective at eliminating almost all muzzle flip when shooting. It’s also the same thread pattern as a Silencerco suppressor so I can easily throw my Saker on the gun without changing muzzles. My full review on the Type-A SPR PRO can be found in this link. The price for a Type-A SPR PRO starts at $1,899.99 and can be configured with or without a Law Tactical folder.
SIG Sauer MCX Virtus
Last but certainly not least, the SIG Sauer MCX Virtus is a heavy hitter in the AR Pattern market. This technically wouldn’t be considered a true AR-15 since it has no buffer tube and has a short-stroke gas piston operating system with dual recoil springs inside the receiver. Regardless of this, the MCX Virtus has some unique features while being an extremely reliable rifle. Over the last couple of years, I have tested out a 16 inch Virtus as well as my MCX Rattler with no issues. The dual recoil springs inside the receiver make the rifle a smaller package while offering a soft recoil impulse that’s very controllable.
SIG installed a full-length M-LOK-rail on the MCX Virtus giving the shooter plenty of real estate to add attachments and optics to build a truly unique system. It’s very easy to do a simple barrel swap which gives the MCX a variety of caliber and barrel length configurations to create a rifle exactly how you want it. The MCX Virtus is the most expensive of all three rifles at $1,999.99 but is insanely modular with the ability to tailor the rifle to your specifications on caliber and length.
All three rifles are vastly different from each other and each has its own strong points. If you asked me to pick just one to own I’m not sure I would be able to do that but each is an excellent option for the $2,000 in their own way. I have used each of these AR’s for several thousand rounds and would easily trust my life to each if there was ever a situation where I needed it to defend myself. Let me know in the comments below what you would pick if you were that lucky man with the winning ticket. If you have questions feel free to contact me on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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