Any of you AR15 experts, I need your help


March 18, 2005, 02:16 PM
I just bought a brand new AR for dirt cheap from a guy who built it himself. I don't know too much about the rifle or if it is any good so could anybody help me with some info?

The lower is made by PWA, I heard they were bought out by Rock River and it is virtually the same. Is this true? The upper, I'm not so sure about. Just ahead of the front sight it says M1S, HC, and 1/9. Those are the only real markings on the upper. Any help would be great.

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March 18, 2005, 02:25 PM
M1S should be Model 1 Sales, and 1/9 is the twist rate, 1 turn in 9"

Not sure about the twist rate.

As for reviews on quality, the place to go is (

Bartholomew Roberts
March 18, 2005, 02:38 PM
PWA is PacWest Arms, a company that is no longer in business. They do decent work. I wouldn't consider it "virtually the same" as a Rock River Arms lower since PWA generally paid less attention to finish than RRA does; but they are good functioning lowers.

Your barrel is made by Model 1 Sales and is 1/9 twist. The bolt carrier is chromed - which is an extra add-on. I'd guess DPMS; but I would have to look to know for sure.

Model 1 Sales is basically on the "budget" tier of AR building but they have been around a long time under one name or another.

March 18, 2005, 03:01 PM
I've had a PWA lower since 1988. It is well made with no issues about magazines/trigger group parts fitting or bad finish like some other brands of lower receiver. If I had the money, I would have bought a bunch of them before California enacted the ban.

My suggestion is read the FAQs at and take your new toy out for a test drive.

March 19, 2005, 10:36 AM
Model 1 sales sells kits for people to build their own rifles on stripped lowers. It sounds like that's what your seller did; bought a PWA lower and a Model 1 kit and built it up.

With the chrome bolt carrier, and assuming it's a chrome lined barrel, the complete Model 1 kit would cost $525 ( Figure $125 for the stripped lower, and your seller probably paid $650 total for the gun. If you bought it for less than that, and it functions without issue, I'd say you did OK.

March 19, 2005, 12:16 PM
I've heard that PWA was either bought out by, or became LMT, and that PWA lowers are identical to LMT lowers. I have one LMT marked lower and one LCW (made by LMT) marked lower, and both work just fine. The LMT one was factory built.

March 19, 2005, 12:40 PM
Do some careful function tests first.

Make sure he didn't do anything "Funny" either intentionally or accidentally that would cause it to slam-fire or have other safety issues.

March 19, 2005, 02:48 PM
How much is dirt cheap?

March 19, 2005, 04:17 PM
As I know it:

PWA was started in Washington by some ex-Olympic employees. They sold out to Karl Lewis, in IL, who eventually changed the name to LMT.

Karl Lewis joined with Jim Glazier to start Eagle Arms in 1986. LMT was the major supplier for Eagle. In 1995, Armalite restructured with Eagle as a division.

Some of Armalite's employees left to start RRA, and LMT sold them some old PWA-branded lowers to help get them started. Current RRA lowers are made by CMT, who also markets the same machinings with their own markings under the Stag name.

March 19, 2005, 04:39 PM
The HC should be for chrome lined bore and chamber not chromed bolt carrier. I bought a 7.5 inch chrome lined pistol barrel without the bolt and carrier and it says M1S ,HC, 1/9.

March 19, 2005, 06:54 PM
Some of Armalite's employees left to start RRA
I don't know where you are getting your facts, but this is untrue. Rock River Arms started as a custom pistol builder, and the founders were former Les Baer employees.

March 19, 2005, 07:04 PM
Yep, Model 1 Sales upper. They have a website if you want to know what it cost new. I think someone already gave the figuire, not sure if that is right without checking the website but it sounds reasonable.

I have had a few items from Model 1 and they have been fine. Not in the same class as RRA or BM but they worked and I couldn't really find any specific faults. The finish is not as nice as BM or RRA and the lower parts kits do seem to be a little poorer quality than some others I have tried (DPMS) but they are not junk.

Just about any mil-spec AR-15 is going to run you at least $500-600. You really can't build for much less than that so if you paid less than that figure, I think you did fine.

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