When I reviewed the PWS Modern Musket Upper, I got some feedback in the comments that I hadn’t been fair in my ammo selection. Specifically, that I didn’t give it a fair shake with heavier projectiles. I got similar feedback from the folks at PWS who basically told me that every gun they’ve ever made has shot XM 855 poorly. So I hit up Dan for some ammo money and bought some better gun food to test. Sure enough, I got better results this time . . .
I ended up shooting seven different types of ammo over the course of my testing from 55 grain all the way to 77 grain projectiles. As I’d feared, the gun fared much better proving that I hadn’t done a thorough test the first time around. My apologies. Here are the targets after cutting, pasting, and running through analysis using OnTarget.
As before, all targets were shot indoors at 50 yards using the same optic, lower, and front and rear rest as before. In case the pictures above are hard to read, the results are presented in a table below.
|Ammo Type||Max (MOA)||ATC (MOA)|
|Federal Premium GM 69 Gr SMKHPBT||1.782||0.737|
|Federal Premium GM 69 Gr SMKHPBT||1.206||0.433|
|Fiocchi Exacta 69 Gr SMKHPBT||1.594||0.672|
|Fiocchi Exacta 69 Gr SMKHPBT||1.977||0.741|
|Fiocchi Exacta 77 Gr SMKHPBT||1.306||0.466|
|Fiocchi Exacta 77 Gr SMKHPBT||1.450||0.562|
|Federal Fusion MSR 62 Gr Spitzer BT||1.947||0.604|
|Federal Fusion MSR 62 Gr Spitzer BT||1.901||0.654|
|Norma USA Match 77 Gr SMKHPBT||1.294||0.511|
|Barnes VOR-TX 55 Grain TSX||3.841||1.418|
|Black Hills Reman 55 Gr FMJ||2.642||0.978|
My original assessment of accuracy said this:
Accuracy * * * *
Because it managed 1.688 MOA groups with fairly cheap brass-cased 55 gr. pills, I won’t give it a three star review. However, it flat out sucked with 62 gr. ammo, and I didn’t even try anything heavier. I’d imagine that it could go sub MOA with a better shooter and some premium ammo, but you’ll still be limited to the 55 gr class of projectiles. I had hoped that the 1:8 twist would stabilize the heavier bullets, but my experience did not show that.
My revised assessment is this:
Accuracy * * * *
The PWS Modern Musket appears to eat cheap PMC for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and consistently turning in sub 2 MOA groups. This is perfectly adequate accuracy for the weekend warrior, and carbine match competitor. However, if you need to stretch the legs a bit, you can shell out a bit more for the heavier loads from Fiocchi, Federal, or Norma and see sub 1.5 MOA groups. This isn’t mind blowing accuracy by any means, but it is more than adequate to warrant a solid four star rating.