Is the piston AR a "fad"? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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txpitdog
01-24-2010, 17:33
It appears that piston AR's are the new thing or next step. I've read enough about them to understand the potential advantages of the piston system, but with everyone getting in on the 5.56 wagon, I am wondering if it is more of a marketing tool. There's the AK crowd that claims the AR is the jammiest thing since Smuckers; there's the "military buff" crowd that tout all the problems with the M4 and that the army is too cheap to do something about it; and then there's Joe Schmo that wants whatever is new and whatever is on the shelf. Not that these piston uppers aren't quality, but will they REALLY allow us to cram mud in them and then rapid fire a 30rd clip as the AK crowd claims is possible with their beloved spray and pray AK?

Jon_R
01-24-2010, 17:41
If the mud is in the chamber or bolt face piston or no piston it is not going to work.

Overall I think the piston is a solution in search of a problem. Other then keeping the handguards cooler I don't see the advantages. If you need high sustained rates of fire you need a machine gun not a carbine/rifle.

faawrenchbndr
01-24-2010, 17:56
Forst off,...I'm not a fan of the piston. I've been shooting the
M16 & AR15 platform for 25 years.

The piston's main advantage is it keeps the carbon and the heat out
of the chamber. However, does the Average Joe need a piston AR?
I doubt it, I've never had an AR malfunction due to heat/dirty chamber.
I have had magazine related malfunctions.

madecov
01-24-2010, 18:07
Another big problem currently is the lack of interchangeable parts. Every manufacturer is doing something different.

With a standard DI system I can get parts anywhere

Chuck TX
01-24-2010, 18:38
Yes. Until they do it right it's a fad IMO. Trades one problem for another. DI makes the BCG hot, pistons make the handguards heat up. Get rid of both issues and you might have something.

c5367
01-24-2010, 19:10
It seems like the piston arrangement has some advantages in extreme usage situations, but my experience with the good ol' M16A2 suggests that those advantages are in the abstract for the most part.
Admittedly, it might be different with carbine length gas DI systems. That said my Rock River DI carbine was 100%, (but never tortured like my service rifles back in the day) so my personal experience says the piston system is just the latest gimmick to get people to buy new guns. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

My own personal experience with burst equipped and civvie semi-auto DI rifles has me convinced that the DI system works just fine. YMMV, of course.

I suppose if they cost the exact same, I'd opt for a well done piston (LWRC, LMT, etc) because I can see the advantages in the abstract or extreme use situation that my now-nasty-civilian self will never see. But, given the current price differential, those abstract advantages and delusions of tacticool grandeur aren't worth $500-900 to me.

For all those reason Once someone buys my bike (shameless, I know) I'm planning on getting another DI carbine and putting the 5-900 I save toward ammo and range time, which I KNOW will benefit me more than having a piston will.

PlasticGuy
01-24-2010, 19:11
My feeling is that it is a short transition period on the way to a more standardized and permanent solution. Maybe it will be the SCAR, or maybe it will be something else. The key is that there is a lot of people dissatisfied with the AR15, and no clear replacement yet.

RWBlue
01-24-2010, 19:56
It depends on what you want.

I think it might be right for the military to do a piston system. It may allow them to run it a little longer between cleanings.

For me, I will continue to use the DI. It works. I run my gun wet. Theoretically I should be more accurate with a DI. From what I have seen it is easier to adjust subsonic & suppressed fire.

TheChosenOne
01-24-2010, 20:15
Doesn't something have to be popular for at least a small portion of time to be considered a fad? I don't think the pistons have even reached that benchmark.

HogGlocker
01-24-2010, 20:22
Like some counterparts above, I've been shooting this platform for about 20 years or so.

Fad, I say. I've owned civilian Colt, Bushamster, Rock River and S&W.

My issued service rifles have been Colt and FN. FN being my last in A2 form. For a DI burst system in Iraq it most certainly worked and did its job. It allowed me to come home so I've no issues with that system.

I kept it clean and it did its job.

Personally see no reason to get lathered up about a piston rig.

faawrenchbndr
01-24-2010, 20:31
Very well spoken HogGlocker,.........thanks for saving me a bit of typing! :thumbsup:

USMC03
01-24-2010, 20:41
As a frame of reference I have been hosting 2 to 5 tactical training classes a year, every year since 2001. A side from the classes I host I also take other training classes. I've been a full time Police Officer for 14 years, I've been a SWAT cop for 11 years, and I'm a Firearms Instructor for my agency, our Police Academy, SWAT Team, and SWAT Academy. Prior to that I was in the Marine Corps (Infantry / Security Forces).

In the early 60's when the M16 first came on line there were several important people that wanted to see the M16 fail. So troops were told that they didn't have to clean their guns, they used the wrong powder in the ammo (ie. they were suppose to use stick powder and they used ball powder), etc. By doing this the M16 got a reputation as being an unreliable platform.

In my opinion the reason that the direct impingement gas system (DI) has gotten such a bad reputation in recent years is because people go out an buy low end AR's or they try to build a AR from parts from various manufacturers. They end up with a gun that is unreliable and this feeds into the myth that the DI gas system is unreliable.

When I was in the USMC the main malfunctions were caused from shooting blanks and magazine related. I had seen a hand full of other problems, but they were far and few between.

In the training classes that I host and take on my own and from the AR15's that I see in training and qualification courses at work. Colt, LMT, BCM, Noveske, etc. run well. While CMMG, DPMS, Olympic Arms, Bushmaster, Stag Arms, RRA and others have a high number of reliablity problems.


Piston guns. I have seen a lot of piston guns that have had problems. I have never seen a POF make it through an entire class without problems. About half the Sigs that I have seen have had problems. About 1/3 of the LWRC guns I have seen have had problems.

From my experience piston guns

-have a sharper recoil impulse
-they are heavier
-piston system guns are more expensive
-the different piston systems are new and haven't had the time to be as thouroughly tested as the DI gas system
-many of the piston system operate on a slightly different system

Piston systems on the AR15 is a fairly new concept (most within the last decade). The DI gas system in use on the AR15 has been in service for close to 60 years, this has given engineers time to work the bugs out of the DI system. Not the same can be said for the piston systems used on the AR platform.

In my opinion the piston system is not needed on the AR15 and it exists because guys buy lower end AR15's, many of these lower end AR15's are not reliable, and when a shoorter buys or builds an unreliable AR15 it feeds into the myth that the DI gas system is unreliable. DI gas system AR15's are not created equal. There are different levels of quality.

Pat Rogers has a DI gas system BCM upper that had 26,000 rounds through it before it was ever cleaned. Currently it has just shy of 29,000 rounds on it. Read this article for more info:

http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/bcm-complete-ar15-upper-and-lower-receivers/icon-bcm-upper-lower.jpg
03designgroup | BCM Complete AR15 Upper and Lower Receivers http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/reviews/bcm-complete-ar15-upper-and-lower-receivers)


In short I see no need to buy a piston upper. Buy a QUALITY DI gas system AR15 and use quality ammo, quality magazine, lube it, and it will run without any issues.




Just my .02 cents based on my experience.

faawrenchbndr
01-24-2010, 21:03
USMC03,.....thanks for the time and input. :thumbsup:

Have you seen any XCRs show up in any classes?

USMC03
01-24-2010, 21:14
USMC03,.....thanks for the time and input. :thumbsup:

Have you seen any XCRs show up in any classes?


I have only seen one. The guy was having either feeding or extraction problems and ended up switching to an AR less than half way through the course.

I wasn't able find out what types of problems he was having.

Considering it was only one sample I did't feel it was worth mentioning.


Not bashing piston systems on the AR, when the piston system first came on the scene I was pretty excited about them. After some exposure to piston systems and learning more about them I have come to realize that on the AR15 the Direct Impingement gas system is the way to go on the AR15.



Just my experiences base on my first hand, real world experiences.

Blitzer
01-24-2010, 21:16
A progression. Armalite wanted to sell the Government in the first place, the U.S. Air Force pushed the adoption of the M16 through. Look up the story very sick. :puking:

faawrenchbndr
01-24-2010, 21:19
I understand what you're saying Jeff, and I appreciate it.

I had a XCR a few years back, sold it when I could not
get any spare parts from Robinson. It had not shot it but
about 1500 rounds. It was flawless, but about 500 rounds
was the most at a time I ever shot it.

Thanks again,............:supergrin:

Remington700VS
01-24-2010, 21:25
I have only seen one. The guy was having either feeding or extraction problems and ended up switching to an AR less than half way through the course.

I wasn't able find out what types of problems he was having.

Considering it was only one sample I did't feel it was worth mentioning.


Not bashing piston systems on the AR, when the piston system first came on the scene I was pretty excited about them. After some exposure to piston systems and learning more about them I have come to realize that on the AR15 the Direct Impingement gas system is the way to go on the AR15.



Just my experiences base on my first hand, real world experiences.

Gotta love the sweat, blood and experience from these guys at BCM...

Thank you USMC03 for working for BCM and spreading the word about their great products.

USMC03
01-24-2010, 21:29
Gotta love the sweat, blood and experience from these guys at BCM...

Thank you USMC03 for working for BCM and spreading the word about their great products.


I don't work for BCM, I'm not employeed by BCM ..... I'm just a consumer of AR products just like you.



The info I post is information based on my first hand experiences from training classes, work, and competition.

Remington700VS
01-24-2010, 21:33
I don't work for BCM, I'm not employeed by BCM ..... I'm just a consumer of AR products just like you.



The info I post is information based on my first hand experiences from training classes, work, and competition.

Gotta love BCM consistency...

; )

jbremount
01-24-2010, 21:47
I will have to say, IMHO, this is not a fad, this is a "tangible improvement" to the AR platform. Shoot a 30 round clip through the piston gun, take bolt and carrier apart and you can see the difference. The more rounds you shoot, the more you see the difference in the bolt and carrier. The 77gr majic bullet or some majic twist rate may be a fad. The rubber o-ring you can buy a home depot may be a fad, but the piston system brings real improvements to the AR gun. Guys, do you really think the big players in the game such as LMT,HK, Ruger,PWS, LWRC and a host of others are spending this much money and time to promote a fad? Private companies have to make the right decisions as to what products are temporary fads vs possible premanent and tangible improvements. Wrong decision and they lose market share and ultimately have to lay off employees/etc. Would you tell your production managers that the pistons units are just a fad. Would you say, we don't need to make a piston gun, DI will be here forever, and the piston will go away like a bad dream.

Decisions like this is why managers/CEO's make the big bucks.

Kentak
01-24-2010, 21:52
Time will tell, but I'm going to guess that piston systems will have a large enough market for a long enough time to get beyond the "fad" label.

No doubt, a lot of shooters are getting pistons because of the current buzz. Some are getting them because they are genuinely interested in trying a new wrinkle on a traditional platform. Some may conclude there is nothing special the pistons offer for them and migrate back to DI guns. Others will conclude the pistons systems have merit or advantages over the DI's.

Time will tell. I think it's absolutely great that there are so many makers entering segment of the market. The good designs will survive and the others, not so much. It's all good.

USMC03
01-24-2010, 21:52
Gotta love BCM consistency...

; )


Full disclosure:




I am a long time customer of Bravo Company. I am not an employee of Bravo Company. I am not a buisness partner of Bravo Company, I don't own any stock in the company, etc.

Bravo Company is selling a chest harness that I designed. Outside of that relationship, I am a consumer just like everyone else here.

On most of my pics you will see a "USMC03" watermark (those are my personal pics). On pics that show the BCM 03 MSF chest harness you will see the "BCM" and "03 Design Group" logo.

I have told Paul at Bravo Company that he is welcome to use any of my photo that he wants. He has used some of my pics from tactical training classes, matches, and other photos that I have taken for his website and catalog. I have also taken pics of some of his products for his website (this work was done for free ... he would send me the product I would take pics and send the product back to him). Other people like Pat Rogers, Lancelot, and several others across the nation have also contributed pics to BCM's website / catalog.

The reason I have been a long time customer of Bravo Company and the reason I recommend Bravo Company is because you will generally have your order in a week or less. Over the years I have used several different vendors to get parts, numerous times I have place a $500 - $2,000 order with a Company X and waited 4 to 11 months for my order.

With Bravo Company if the item isn't in stock, you can order it. All of my Bravo Company orders have been received within approximately 7 days. Bravo Company has earned my buisness and my respect.


As far as consistancy goes, you will also notice that I recomment Colt and LMT in most of my posts.

Colt offer basically 3 different carbines a) 11.5" short barreled rifle b) 16" barreled carbine lenght gas system c) 20" barreled rifle lenght gas system

LMT offers basically 3 different carbines a) 10.5" short barreled rifle b) 14.5" barreled carbine lenght gas system c) 16" barreled carbine lenght gas system

BCM offers numerous different configurations in 11.5" Carbine Upper Groups, 12.5" Carbine Upper Groups, 14.5" M4 Upper Groups, 16" M4 Upper Groups, 16" Mid-Length Upper Groups, 16" RECCE Upper Groups, 18" SPR Mk12 Upper Half, and 20" Rifle Upper Groups.


All 3 have very close to the same features and same level of quality. I tend to recommend BCM more due to variety and because I don't care for 16" barrels with carbine length gas systems (I prefer a mid-length gas system on a 16' barrel). More info can be found here:


http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/carbine-vs-midlength/icon-carbine-vs-midlength.jpg
03designgroup | Carbine vs. Mid-Length Gas System on a 16" Barrel http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/technotes/carbine-vs-mid-length-gas-system)

http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/midlengths-for-leo/icon-midlengths-for-leo.jpg
03designgroup | Advantages of Mid-Length Carbines for Law Enforcement Officers http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/technotes/midlengths-for-leo)



All of the reviews, after action reports, and information that I have posted on various forums for the last decade was to help other shooters. Same reason I started the www.03designgroup.com website, so I could put all that information in one place. My intent has always been to help other shooters avoid mistakes I've already made and ensure that info I post is honest, untainted, and as technically correct as possible.

I have been the "victim" of bull**** reviews and bad information in the past. I have wasted money on product that didn't live up to the reviewer's claim. I try to ensure that all of the info I post is as solid as possible, wheather I have a relationship with a company or not.

I may have a small relationship with BCM, but I buy my products from Bravo Company just like everyone else here. I also buy from several other vendors.

Flinter
01-24-2010, 21:59
I'm with the other Vets on this one. In the 22 years since I was first exposed to the M16A2, I've not had any mechanical issue with any of them. My current as of the past few years has been the M4 and it's been great also. Yes, the issue type magazine could use some improvements but in all reality mag problems have been few and far between. I will also make this statement of fact. In every instance I've known of where a serviceman has complained about the M16 series over the years, it has been from the kind that you have to constantly babysit and make him/her take care of it (ie keep it lubed right).

Like said above, ain't not weapon gonna run with it's chamber full of mud, not even the AK will do that and I know that for fact. BTDT

I am positively convinced that if there was never another battlefield FTF with the current rifle it still would not out live the rep it got nearly 40 years ago.:yawn:

faawrenchbndr
01-24-2010, 22:08
....Decisions like this is why managers/CEO's make the big bucks.

Look what those "managers/CEO's" did to GM and Chrysler.

The consumer will make or break the piston AR15 platform.
The DI is inherently more accurate, it's lighter, less parts.

The piston driven's chamber is cleaner/cooler.
That is the ONLY positive that I know of.

I perfer the DI system better because I know it
25 years shooting it, works great, if you know how to
clean and maintain it. If you are lazy and do not want to
take the time to clean and more importantly, inspect your
rifles, go with the piston driven weapon.

Remington700VS
01-24-2010, 22:13
Full disclosure:




I am a long time customer of Bravo Company. I am not an employee of Bravo Company. I am not a buisness partner of Bravo Company, I don't own any stock in the company, etc.

Bravo Company is selling a chest harness that I designed. Outside of that relationship, I am a consumer just like everyone else here.

On most of my pics you will see a "USMC03" watermark (those are my personal pics). On pics that show the BCM 03 MSF chest harness you will see the "BCM" and "03 Design Group" logo.

I have told Paul at Bravo Company that he is welcome to use any of my photo that he wants. He has used some of my pics from tactical training classes, matches, and other photos that I have taken for his website and catalog. I have also taken pics of some of his products for his website (this work was done for free ... he would send me the product I would take pics and send the product back to him). Other people like Pat Rogers, Lancelot, and several others across the nation have also contributed pics to BCM's website / catalog.

The reason I have been a long time customer of Bravo Company and the reason I recommend Bravo Company is because you will generally have your order in a week or less. Over the years I have used several different vendors to get parts, numerous times I have place a $500 - $2,000 order with a Company X and waited 4 to 11 months for my order.

With Bravo Company if the item isn't in stock, you can order it. All of my Bravo Company orders have been received within approximately 7 days. Bravo Company has earned my buisness and my respect.


As far as consistancy goes, you will also notice that I recomment Colt and LMT in most of my posts.

Colt offer basically 3 different carbines a) 11.5" short barreled rifle b) 16" barreled carbine lenght gas system c) 20" barreled rifle lenght gas system

LMT offers basically 3 different carbines a) 10.5" short barreled rifle b) 14.5" barreled carbine lenght gas system c) 16" barreled carbine lenght gas system

BCM offers numerous different configurations in 11.5" Carbine Upper Groups, 12.5" Carbine Upper Groups, 14.5" M4 Upper Groups, 16" M4 Upper Groups, 16" Mid-Length Upper Groups, 16" RECCE Upper Groups, 18" SPR Mk12 Upper Half, and 20" Rifle Upper Groups.


All 3 have very close to the same features and same level of quality. I tend to recommend BCM more due to variety and because I don't care for 16" barrels with carbine length gas systems (I prefer a mid-length gas system on a 16' barrel). More info can be found here:


http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/carbine-vs-midlength/icon-carbine-vs-midlength.jpg
03designgroup | Carbine vs. Mid-Length Gas System on a 16" Barrel http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/technotes/carbine-vs-mid-length-gas-system)

http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/midlengths-for-leo/icon-midlengths-for-leo.jpg
03designgroup | Advantages of Mid-Length Carbines for Law Enforcement Officers http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/technotes/midlengths-for-leo)



All of the reviews, after action reports, and information that I have posted on various forums for the last decade was to help other shooters. Same reason I started the www.03designgroup.com website, so I could put all that information in one place. My intent has always been to help other shooters avoid mistakes I've already made and ensure that info I post is honest, untainted, and as technically correct as possible.

I have been the "victim" of bull**** reviews and bad information in the past. I have wasted money on product that didn't live up to the reviewer's claim. I try to ensure that all of the info I post is as solid as possible, wheather I have a relationship with a company or not.

I may have a small relationship with BCM, but I buy my products from Bravo Company just like everyone else here. I also buy from several other vendors.

Thanks, I'm glad thats settled.

Nothing like sponsorship...

Kentak
01-24-2010, 22:22
jbremount,

You make some excellent points. There are *objective* differences between the two systems that seem to be inherent. It's inherent that pistons will keep the BCG and receiver cleaner and cooler. Dirt and heat have long been recognized as problematic to DI functional reliability. DI users say, "Keep it clean and lubed as you're supposed to, and it's a perfectly reliable system." All well and good. But, what's wrong with a system that doesn't require a fastidious maintenance regimen to remain reliable for an extended time in the fight? Isn't that a spec you would choose for a fighting gun?

Yes, it's true the pistons produce heat at the gas/piston interface, but so what? Take the Ruger system, for example. The rail is a perfectly adequate and ventilated heat shield and heat sink. The barrel itself isn't going to get any hotter than a barrel of DI gun.

It's also true that the dirt and carbon you normally see in the BCG is going to be deposited into the piston mechanism. My very strong belief, based on what I'm seeing on my Ruger, is that this dirt is going to be less problematic for a longer period of time than in a DI system. When I finally did clean my Ruger's piston innards, it was easier and more straightforward than on a "wet" and dirty DI system. Nothing I saw led me to believe that I couldn't have left it alone and shot many, many more trouble free rounds.

MrMurphy
01-24-2010, 22:23
What USMC03 said X2,012 or so.

The piston gun is not a "new" idea. They've been around since the '30s. The M1, etc are all piston guns. And designed to be that way. Most piston ARs are generally conversions, which generally, from all reports, eventually fail.

The factory built ones (LWRC, etc) seem to do better, but you're adding parts to a design that was never intended to have them. From what I remember Colt/Stoner actually built some piston prototypes in the 60s and the Army tested them along with the regular ARs. They didn't do anything better particularly.

With live rounds (not blanks) the only malfunctions I've seen while I was in uniform were because of ancient magazines. In several cases, the magazines (with original springs most likely) were considerably older than the shooter.

I watched a kid with a parts-gun M16A2 (older, original M16 Colt lower, FN upper) using an at least 30 year old magazine (20 round mag.....which the gov't hasn't bought since the 70s that i know of) have multiple malfunctions leading him to cuss out the rifle. They swapped to a newer-ish (functioning) magazine and suddenly the rifle ran fine. He shot expert with that rifle and had no further problems.

Use crappy parts or old mags, get crappy results. I never had any particular problem or distrust of my issued M16A2, M4 or anything else, they were properly maintained and the mags were all in good shape more or less. I'd use a piston rifle if it was designed to be one (Sig 550, Galil, etc) but i wouldn't go out of my way to acquire one.

jbremount
01-24-2010, 22:38
Look what those "managers/CEO's" did to GM and Chrysler.

The consumer will make or break the piston AR15 platform.
The DI is inherently more accurate, it's lighter, less parts.

The piston driven's chamber is cleaner/cooler.
That is the ONLY positive that I know of.

I perfer the DI system better because I know it
25 years shooting it, works great, if you know how to
clean and maintain it. If you are lazy and do not want to
take the time to clean and more importantly, inspect your
rifles, go with the piston driven weapon.

We all have our experencies with the AR guns. The experiences that count, and initiated the search for a improved AR were probaly the 8+ years of guys soldiering in the sands, shooting the AR in sandy,dirty conditions, needing to have a AR gun that will fire "realiably while dirty" FWIK, this is the main reason the piston guns came about. There was first a need, then someone began finding solutions. Guys are using Vagisal to put into the carrier of the DI guns. This is not a Fad. The time between cleaning is much extended with the piston guns.

Jer
01-25-2010, 01:40
If the primary enemy of the carbine is dirt/heat then how can a system that cuts down on the presence of both of these within the chamber drastically be a bad thing? I just don't get how people, especially those who have been running these systems for so long can be so cynical when it comes to improvements... no matter how big or small they end up being. Isn't an improvement of any level still an improvement?

This all smacks of the anti-polymer handgun talk from long time metal frame shooters saying they were just a 'fad' and really didn't offer any improvements. How did that work out?

TheChosenOne
01-25-2010, 01:44
If the primary enemy of the carbine is dirt/heat then how can a system that cuts down on the presence of both of these within the chamber drastically be a bad thing? I just don't get how people, especially those who have been running these systems for so long can be so cynical when it comes to improvements... no matter how big or small they end up being. Isn't an improvement of any level still an improvement?

This all smacks of the anti-polymer handgun talk from long time metal frame shooters saying they were just a 'fad' and really didn't offer any improvements. How did that work out?

The main problem with your argument is that these designs are not improvements.

Jer
01-25-2010, 02:05
The main problem with your argument is that these designs are not improvements.

Does it not produce less heat and less dirt in the chamber?

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 03:11
Dirt???

I don't know what kind of ammo you use, but none of mine has ever left dirt in the chamber.

As for what you may have mistaken for carbon, that is irrelevant in a well lubed rifle.

I am not worried about heat personally. A recent test with Colt M4's shows that a light under the handguards profile barrel takes about 500 round of sustained fire to get the gun to a catastrophic failure (barrel burst). Not sure how much longer it would have taken in a piston driven gun but the barrel would still be smoking after 500 rounds now matter which system you were using.

I couldn't shoot any of my AR15's fast enough to match that anyways, and if I were in a situation where I needed to throw that much lead, I am using the wrong platform.

The AR15 was never meant to be a machine gun.

The DI has it's own set of advantages over the Piston systems and the "bugs" have been worked out over the course of the past 50 years as someone else already noted.

DI guns have less parts that can break, are lighter, cheaper, and tend to be more accurate. Maintain and lube it well and it will take good care of you.

NeverMore1701
01-25-2010, 05:45
Thanks, I'm glad thats settled.

Nothing like sponsorship...

Why don't you just come out and say what you're really thinking? :dunno:

Graves
01-25-2010, 06:14
Why don't you just come out and say what you're really thinking? :dunno:

The pu$$y foot is a common tactic for the self-proclaimed know it all.

jbremount
01-25-2010, 06:23
This is proably one improvement that did not come from the target range or shooting games. You have to understand where the improvements started ,and that these guys experiences are different than your average day at the range followed by a routine cleaning before dinner.

That said, if we use the H&K416 for an model/example, if the H&K 416 Piston guns were not an improvement, why would the Army SF guys be testing/using them in the sands? Have anyone heard that the M4 was superior to the H&K 416 in a combat situation? An improvement is something that allows them do their job more efficiently, just as the red dot scope allows a person to get hits faster. The piston driven gun allows the gun to fire much longer and more realiably without shooting itself dirty.

I think the (1)time between cleaning for the piston guns is 10 or 15 times the M4 with no,none,nada, not a bit of carbon to deal with, and (2) it fires realiably at extended cleaning intervals as much as 10,000 rounds as it does not shoot itself dirty.

There is no carbon fouling in the bolt/carrier. No need to run the gun wet in a sandy,dusty environment, and constantly add lube to the DI gun's piston to keep the carbon in suspension. No heat to evaporate this lube off the bolt/carrier. How is this not an improvement? IMO, any major AR gun company that is not making a piston AR is getting behind the money curve by not correctly reading the tea leaves.



.

MrMurphy
01-25-2010, 08:09
Lube isn't keeping carbon "in suspension" it's keeping any crap that gets in there (sand, etc) moving somewhere else. CLP will evaporate. Newer, better lubes (Slip 2000, Militec, etc) will not.

faawrenchbndr
01-25-2010, 08:31
We all have our experencies with the AR guns. The experiences that count, and initiated the search for a improved AR were probaly the 8+ years of guys soldiering in the sands, shooting the AR in sandy,dirty conditions, needing to have a AR gun that will fire "realiably while dirty" ......

8 years?! Try TWENTY, I was first there with an M16A2 in December 1990.
Was there eight more times before retirement in 2005.

I'm not knocking the piston driven platform. I am a fan of the DI
because I KNOW it and I'm comfortable with it.

I had a XCR for a while but parted with it when I could not get spare
parts from Robinson. At best it's a bit of a Frankenstein hack job.
Part AK part molested AR15

Jer
01-25-2010, 10:12
When I said dirt I meant carbon but it also helps to be able to not have as much lube which attracts/suspends grim from the outside world if you're in a dry, dusty environment. This is why I didn't simply use the word carbon because it's more than just that. It's any foreign debris that could be present given various circumstances.

As for it not being a proven system we'll just tell all the 100mil people running AK47's that their system is unproven and therefore could be unreliable which will make it an untrustworthy system.

It's an improvement regardless of how much of an improvement you 'think' it is. Just like lots of other things once a standard is adopted across manufacturers as being the best and production costs settle in it will start to phase out DI. It's bound to happen and saying that your AR is just a target gun and not necessary then why are people so hell bent on buying the BEST for this purpose? You'll spend 3x the cost on a lower receiver which is basically the same part because it's 'better' yet a piston system isn't worth it. Okay.

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 13:17
As for it not being a proven system we'll just tell all the 100mil people running AK47's that their system is unproven and therefore could be unreliable which will make it an untrustworthy system.

This is neither here nor there. The piston in an AK is not like the piston systems developed for the AR15. It's an irrelevant comparison.

Like I stated earlier, the DI system has it's own set of advantages that pistons don't have. That's how it is possible that the pistons are not an improvement.

Jer
01-25-2010, 13:59
This is neither here nor there. The piston in an AK is not like the piston systems developed for the AR15. It's an irrelevant comparison.

Like I stated earlier, the DI system has it's own set of advantages that pistons don't have. That's how it is possible that the pistons are not an improvement.

What is your reason for it being 'neither here nor there' as far as a comparison?

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 14:43
What is your reason for it being 'neither here nor there' as far as a comparison?

The piston in an AK is not like the piston systems developed for the AR15. It's an irrelevant comparison.

What is your reasoning for saying that the AR piston makes the AR like an AK all of a sudden? Do you have much understanding of how the AK and the AR DI and Piston uppers work???

Jer
01-25-2010, 15:46
What is your reasoning for saying that the AR piston makes the AR like an AK all of a sudden? Do you have much understanding of how the AK and the AR DI and Piston uppers work???

Yes, I understand how both work as I own both. I'm just saying that some people are SO quick to discount it as a 'fad' when it brings obvious benefits (the only debatable part is to what extent) and has been a system proven in similar fashion to other rifles for quite some time. Just reminds me of the old war vet that 'will take an M1 over any of those new fandangled rifles because it's the best' is all I'm saying. Sometimes change brings improvement on good design. Not always and it's not always night and day improvements but just sometimes...

internal
01-25-2010, 15:57
I don't think its a fad and I love DI AR15's.

I don't think I'll ever own a piston driven AR15 though.

I've shot alot of 5.56/.223 over the last 10 years and DI has never given me a reason to think it won't do what I ask it to do.

If the piston becomes the standard, the DI AR15's will still be priced much better and cost is always a factor for me.

You guys can have your $1500+ Piston AR's, I'm sticking with DI.

Jer
01-25-2010, 16:11
I don't think its a fad and I love DI AR15's.

I don't think I'll ever own a piston driven AR15 though.

I've shot alot of 5.56/.223 over the last 10 years and DI has never given me a reason to think it won't do what I ask it to do.

If the piston becomes the standard, the DI AR15's will still be priced much better and cost is always a factor for me.

You guys can have your $1500+ Piston AR's, I'm sticking with DI.

I built a CQB LMT MRP piston driven system and it really wasn't much more than a similar MRP upper in the end. With what people pay for some firearms and accessories it's hard for me to understand why people are so against paying a little bit more for a system that will be a little cooler and cleaner in the end and it's magnified if you're running short, suppressed or both.

internal
01-25-2010, 16:22
I built a CQB LMT MRP piston driven system and it really wasn't much more than a similar MRP upper in the end. With what people pay for some firearms and accessories it's hard for me to understand why people are so against paying a little bit more for a system that will be a little cooler and cleaner in the end and it's magnified if you're running short, suppressed or both.

That upper is over $1400 on BCM's website.

What upper's are you comparing that against?

DWhitehorne
01-25-2010, 16:32
I think everyone will have to agree to disagree on this one. I don't think pistons are a fad but an evolution also. There seems to be a lot of experienced people in this thread with valid points on both sides. I have sent as many hours as the next guy sitting on my foot locker in the quad cleaning weapons or having parts lying on a poncho in the sand while scrubbing the M16 bolt. Sometimes these things have to work when they are dirty and it sucks to have to remember to put a couple of drops of CLP in the ejection port during a lul in the shooting. I've been issued A1's A2's and commando or 3, but I just got issued a LWRC 2 months ago. So I'm biased I guess, but I will have it at least 10 more years until I retire. David

Jer
01-25-2010, 16:38
That upper is over $1400 on BCM's website.

What upper's are you comparing that against?

As close to apples v apples as I can get: LMT MRP upper half in rifle length with chrome lined bbl is about $10 MORE than the piston variant. Standard bbl would save you about $100 over the piston MRP but that's not as apples to apples. Either way it's not a HUGE difference the way some will make it sound. I wanted piston for a few reasons and for what I paid I'm quite happy and don't get all the debate. We're not talking about twice the cost or the laughable cost of the new ACR or anything like that. Price the civilian version of the ACR and tell me that it has better performance at almost twice the price over my LMT Piston. We're talking about a couple hundred bucks at most and to me.. it's worth it. Even if it only makes the chamber slightly cooler and cleaner.

internal
01-25-2010, 17:25
As close to apples v apples as I can get: LMT MRP upper half in rifle length with chrome lined bbl is about $10 MORE than the piston variant. Standard bbl would save you about $100 over the piston MRP but that's not as apples to apples. Either way it's not a HUGE difference the way some will make it sound. I wanted piston for a few reasons and for what I paid I'm quite happy and don't get all the debate. We're not talking about twice the cost or the laughable cost of the new ACR or anything like that. Price the civilian version of the ACR and tell me that it has better performance at almost twice the price over my LMT Piston. We're talking about a couple hundred bucks at most and to me.. it's worth it. Even if it only makes the chamber slightly cooler and cleaner.

Well a 11.5" BCM upper with BCM BCG and charging handle is $583 shipped.

Jer
01-25-2010, 17:30
Well a 11.5" BCM upper with BCM BCG and charging handle is $583 shipped.

Yeah, because that's apples to apples, right? This is where the conversation starts to take a turn because someone always knows of a 'deal' that isn't even close to what we're talking about. This is why it's so hard to have these conversations.

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 18:19
Yes, I understand how both work as I own both. I'm just saying that some people are SO quick to discount it as a 'fad' when it brings obvious benefits (the only debatable part is to what extent) and has been a system proven in similar fashion to other rifles for quite some time. Just reminds me of the old war vet that 'will take an M1 over any of those new fandangled rifles because it's the best' is all I'm saying. Sometimes change brings improvement on good design. Not always and it's not always night and day improvements but just sometimes...

If they are an improvement, shouldn't they work more reliably? Just saying...

internal
01-25-2010, 18:36
Yeah, because that's apples to apples, right? This is where the conversation starts to take a turn because someone always knows of a 'deal' that isn't even close to what we're talking about. This is why it's so hard to have these conversations.

We're not comparing $$$ amounts, we're comparing DI vs. piston.

In almost any case, retrofit piston systems and "from the ground up" piston designs are more money.

Either way you're looking at $300-$500 more even on a retrofit system.

Flinter
01-25-2010, 19:21
We all have our experencies with the AR guns. The experiences that count, and initiated the search for a improved AR were probaly the 8+ years of guys soldiering in the sands, shooting the AR in sandy,dirty conditions, needing to have a AR gun that will fire "realiably while dirty" FWIK, this is the main reason the piston guns came about. There was first a need, then someone began finding solutions. Guys are using Vagisal to put into the carrier of the DI guns. This is not a Fad. The time between cleaning is much extended with the piston guns.

I can't think of many situations where Joe would not have time to at least do some minimal maintenance on his weapon. We are professionals and professionals clean their weapons. But in reality, Joes being Joes, you have to stay on their asses to get them to even wipe down their bolts. It's easy, takes about a minute, but they would rather do something else. There are not very many prolonged firefights going on overseas and even then I've not heard of any failures. The piston came about because the AR was dubbed a "jamomatic" back in 1960 something due to many contrived factors, and internet commandos have continually parroted this for the past decade and a half. I've carried an M16A2, trouble free, in jungles, on sandy beaches, in waste deep snow and many a hardwood forrest. I've logged 2 combat tours with an M4 and same story, no malfs. Where are all these malfs in combat coming from?

Jer
01-25-2010, 19:32
If they are an improvement, shouldn't they work more reliably? Just saying...

And now we're just talking in circles because I already stated that if the primary enemies of the AR are heat and carbon then anything that lowered either one would increase reliability. Piston systems lower BOTH heat and carbon in the chamber so therefore they must increase reliability.

We're not comparing $$$ amounts, we're comparing DI vs. piston.

In almost any case, retrofit piston systems and "from the ground up" piston designs are more money.

Either way you're looking at $300-$500 more even on a retrofit system.

Again, you're talking about adding on a part to an existing system compared to a ground up system. I'm comparing two brand new systems from the same manufacturer with all parts being identical save for DI vs Piston to get an accurate comparison and in this case it's about a $100 difference at most.

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 20:09
And now we're just talking in circles because I already stated that if the primary enemies of the AR are heat and carbon then anything that lowered either one would increase reliability. Piston systems lower BOTH heat and carbon in the chamber so therefore they must increase reliability.

Not true.

Jer
01-25-2010, 20:40
Not true.

Again, based on what?

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 20:52
Again, based on what?

Reality.

Jer
01-25-2010, 21:02
Reality.

Yeah, great 'facts' you have there. I'm truly shocked you didn't opt to go with 'because I said so' as a gem of a retort. I love having conversations such as this with people like yourself. On that note I'm out. Enjoy your fact filled discussion and fear everything that is change because it has to be evil.

RMTactical
01-25-2010, 21:07
Yeah, great 'facts' you have there. I'm truly shocked you didn't opt to go with 'because I said so' as a gem of a retort. I love having conversations such as this with people like yourself. On that note I'm out. Enjoy your fact filled discussion and fear everything that is change because it has to be evil.

OK, show us your real world results. I would be very interested in seeing them.

jbremount
01-26-2010, 04:46
This is neither here nor there. The piston in an AK is not like the piston systems developed for the AR15. It's an irrelevant comparison.




Of course it's not an exact duplicate, but similar to the AK and FAL in the way it uses kinetic energy to cycle the bolt/carrier instead of injecting dirty gas into the receiver:

http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_xm15_BCWA3F16M4-GP.asp



http://www.lwrci.com/t-technology.aspx

faawrenchbndr
01-26-2010, 06:45
DaYUmn,....what a train wreck, started out as a great topic, now it's
a jambog. :faint:
The USEFUL information stopped about a page and a half ago.

Can you guys back your arguments with SOLID data or reviews from
qualified sources?

txpitdog
01-26-2010, 09:41
Thanks to all that have chimed in. It sounds as though the piston system is similar to the full size truck horsepower improvements in the past few years. Even though the 2005 model year truck with 300hp worked just fine, the 2010 model has 305hp and is therefore "better".

Wild Gene
01-26-2010, 10:53
"IS THE PISTON AR A FAD?"

nope.....

sgtlmj
01-26-2010, 12:05
DI works just fine. Just run it wet!

chewybaca67
01-26-2010, 12:09
I believe some thought the same thing of a bored through cylinder on a revolver. Some felt the same way about the automatic handgun, the M-16, etc. I believe it's just an other option. Of course everyone wants produce that option, just like the revolver or pistol. Personally, I like options. I may get a Ruger SR-556 as I only have one AR-15, compared to some who have multiple AR-15s, 2 would more than fulfill my needs.

internal
01-26-2010, 17:11
I found this over at AR15.com, I thought it applies to this discussion.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=2&f=130&t=165511

It explains the operation of how the DI system works in an AR15.

The thing that sticks out in my mind is the fact that a piston system retrofitted to the AR15 platform strikes the BCG off center and in turn can put stresses on the action/receiver that were never present with a DI system.

thisaway
01-26-2010, 17:25
...just because it's new/different, I am interested in it, and would like to see how it performs for myself. It's unlikely I will ever have to carry it into combat, and even if I did, I have four direct-impingement AR15s I would likely choose before the piston jobber.

One thing that I am curious about though, is the amount of lube required to operate a piston rifle. We all know & agree that DI rifles like lots of good lube to keep carbon & particulate fouling in suspension. The piston rifles will not allow so much carbon blow-back into the action, and so should stay cleaner. BUT...will the piston rifles work better/more reliably with lots of lube, just like the DI ARs, even though it isn't keeping as much fouling suspended? Or will they perform better dry? :dunno:

crenca
01-26-2010, 18:22
USMC03,.....thanks for the time and input. :thumbsup:

Have you seen any XCRs show up in any classes?

I have an XCR (in 6.8). Only problems I have had (after 1000 rounds) have been mag related as is par for the course with any black rifle. I know others have gone 5000+ rounds without so much as a patch through the barrel just to see what would happen with no problems. The full piston, 3 lug bolt system is going to be robust unless you have a manufacturing defect...

Kentak
01-26-2010, 19:41
.One thing that I am curious about though, is the amount of lube required to operate a piston rifle. We all know & agree that DI rifles like lots of good lube to keep carbon & particulate fouling in suspension. The piston rifles will not allow so much carbon blow-back into the action, and so should stay cleaner. BUT...will the piston rifles work better/more reliably with lots of lube, just like the DI ARs, even though it isn't keeping as much fouling suspended? Or will they perform better dry? :dunno:

Here's my commonsense take on that--not based on any special expertise beyond knowing what most gun mechanisms require.

Piston designs don't just keep the BCG a little cleaner, they keep them a *lot* cleaner. As far as that part of the gun goes, I would say lube according to the operating environment. If the "run wet" thinking is just for dealing with propellant residue and carbon, then you should be able to back off on the amount of lube considerably. If "run wet" is supposed to help with dusty, gritty environments like the sandbox, then run wet if working in that kind of an environment. If you're shooting in a range or relatively clean environment, then I would lube sparingly with a good gun lube of your choice. Lube the piston mechanism according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

internal
01-26-2010, 20:24
According to that link I left on my last reply, a piston design doesnt seem to keep the chamber any cleaner when suppressed, which is the toughest on any platform.

Pics on on the thread.

Kentak
01-27-2010, 05:31
I found this over at AR15.com, I thought it applies to this discussion.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=2&f=130&t=165511

It explains the operation of how the DI system works in an AR15.

The thing that sticks out in my mind is the fact that a piston system retrofitted to the AR15 platform strikes the BCG off center and in turn can put stresses on the action/receiver that were never present with a DI system.

And, that may or may not be significant. Just to say there are stresses is not to say they can't be handled or will have deleterious effect.

Take the scuffing of the buffer tube due to carrier tilt. What will be the long term effect? Is it self-limiting? How will it affect functioning? Will it cause significant, or only cosmetic, damage?

So, time will tell. Piston systems are still relatively new. But, they are getting shot a lot and will be in the hands of increasing numbers of shooters. I would say that in a year or two we'll know if these issues are a tempest in a teapot or not.

Kentak
01-27-2010, 06:01
I just have to ask--

Many of the back and forth posts here have been referring to "dirt," "heat," and/or "carbon" in the chamber. Don't you mean action, or more specifically bolt/carrier group?

What the hell does "chamber" have to do with differences between DI and piston issues?

glockinthused
01-27-2010, 10:48
Go to utube and Type in ( HK416 vs M4 ). It's in German but does a good job getting the piston idea across. I believe HK was the original inventer of this new ( AR) concept. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

AcenJay
01-27-2010, 10:48
Guys, please read this whole article very carefully, there is great information in it and it may change your mind about thinking whether you ever need a gas piston AR.

http://www.defensereview.com/ruger-sr-556-gas-pistonop-rod-ar-15-carbine-ruger-enters-the-piston-driven-ar-fray/

PlasticGuy
01-27-2010, 11:36
It's stupid to argue that keeping heat and fouling out of your action isn't a good thing. Anybody who would argue that simply has a bias. More heat means shorter parts life, and means that your lube cooks off faster. More fouling means that carbon will accumulate to the point where the action doesn't have room to cycle properly sooner.

That said, some of the piston systems can create new problems. When executed properly, such as in the Sig 550, the AKM, and the AR180, there can be a lot of gain with little loss. In some of the piston AR15's, the piston can create some other issues such as bolt tilt. Common sense dictates that we weigh the gain versus the loss, and decide if it is actually a net gain. I don't think there's a clear answer with the piston AR15's right now. I've seen some amazing durability and reliability from them in classes, but I've also seen a couple of problems that would not have stopped a DI AR15. Ultimately, I believe our service rifle will be piston operated. I'd be willing to bet that it's not one of the piston AR15's, but the piston AR15's might be a good temporary solution until the winner becomes clear. Maybe.

Kentak
01-27-2010, 14:32
Guys, please read this whole article very carefully, there is great information in it and it may change your mind about thinking whether you ever need a gas piston AR.

http://www.defensereview.com/ruger-sr-556-gas-pistonop-rod-ar-15-carbine-ruger-enters-the-piston-driven-ar-fray/

Didn't change my mind--which is still of the opinion that the jury is out and should be out for a while yet. There is simply enough data from the field on all the piston variations and designs. How can you give a thumbs up or down to a whole class of weapons that have considerable differences between them? Real world experience may reveal some piston designs to be duds--which is a reflection only on that design, not all piston AR's. Some may turn out to be gems, and those will likely thrive and, if and when that happens, can be viewed as "proof of concept."

Think about it--virtually all the DI AR-type guns out there are essentially the same basic design, with all the major parts being interchangeable. Yet, we still see proponents or detractors of Brand X or Brand Y, etc. The differences seem to come not from the essentially similar design, but things like quality of parts, selection of materials, and competence of assembly. A bad DI product doesn't condemn all DI guns any more than a bad piston product shouldn likewise condemn the piston AR concept.

The article you cited featured commentary from Noveske, who is skeptical about piston ARs and says they are "just as dirty." Whoa! He then goes on to admit that he tests all guns suppressed, and suppressed guns get a lot of propellant residue coming back through the chamber due to residual pressure in the suppressor.

So, let me understand this. He says that when run suppressed, piston guns can introduce "dirt" into the action, just like DI guns. My come back, I guess, would be to say, "...and if you don't run suppressed, or only run suppressed occasionally, what's the problem?"

I don't know about y'all, but I don't own a suppressor, have no intention of owning one, and therefor that is a nonissue for me, as I suspect it is with a whole bunch of civilian AR shooters.

Here's my personal take on this. Until a few months ago, I only owned one AR, a Bushmaster M4gery, which I happen to like quite a bit. I'd been thinking of getting another AR for a while, and even toyed with getting a piston conversion kit from Bushy. I never did because I just wasn't confident enough in the whole "bolt on" method of going piston. (That is not to say their may not be some good ones out there or yet to come). When Ruger came out with the SR-556, I was intrigued and impressed with the interview Mas Ayoob did with Ruger reps, who explained their design approach, and with Mas's hands on review as well.

When I had a chance to get one at a good price, <1400, I took it. So far it's been great and look forward to doing much more shooting in the warmer months to come.

How can I lose? If the gun keeps performing well, I'll have made a great choice in a second AR, which I wanted all along. If it turns out that there are issues with this particular design, or pistons in general, I can always sell it. Sure, I may have to let it go for a couple hundo or so less than what I paid, but that money will have bought me some fun shooting, and it's *always* exciting to get a new gun, hold it, look at it, and shoot it.

So, my advice is don't take this debate too seriously. If you're a piston skeptic, continue to enjoy your DI guns and let the other guys be the guinea pigs. If, on the other hand, you think this might be "the next best thing" since self-contained cartridges and you want a new AR, do your homework and get the piston system of your choice. Enjoy it, shoot it, and have fun.

AcenJay
01-27-2010, 14:56
The article also makes a fair point that the AR-15 design is not really meant to be a gas piston design, being that it is a round BCG moving inside a round receiver tunnel instead of on rails like those designed from the ground up to be gas piston operated, hence the carrier tilt problems and so forth that may come up. It does make some sense. I was also on the gas piston AR bandwagon for a little while when they first started to get popular, but decided to stick to what works and is proven and save some money. Want an AR? Get a good quality DI. Want a gas piston? Get an AK variant, FAL, M14/M1A, those are long-standing, battle-proven rifles. There is more than just a "fad" going on with gas piston ARs, but with gas piston rifles themselves. You see all these new overpriced GP rifles like the SCAR, ACR, XCR, yet there have been some reports of breakage and such with even the more battle-tested new rifles like the SCAR and HK416. What about standardization? Do each of these different gas piston AR-15s use their own proprietary gas piston system and are not interchangeable with each other?

jbremount
01-27-2010, 17:49
The article also makes a fair point that the AR-15 design is not really meant to be a gas piston design, being that it is a round BCG moving inside a round receiver tunnel instead of on rails like those designed from the ground up to be gas piston operated, hence the carrier tilt problems and so forth that may come up. It does make some sense. I was also on the gas piston AR bandwagon for a little while when they first started to get popular, but decided to stick to what works and is proven and save some money. Want an AR? Get a good quality DI. Want a gas piston? Get an AK variant, FAL, M14/M1A, those are long-standing, battle-proven rifles. There is more than just a "fad" going on with gas piston ARs, but with gas piston rifles themselves. You see all these new overpriced GP rifles like the SCAR, ACR, XCR, yet there have been some reports of breakage and such with even the more battle-tested new rifles like the SCAR and HK416. What about standardization? Do each of these different gas piston AR-15s use their own proprietary gas piston system and are not interchangeable with each other?


(1) Suppressors are a big non issue for most of us. The article talks a lot about pistons systems running suppressors. Most of us do not run suppressors. I know some people do, but "most" of us don't have that problem.


(2) The AR-15 carrier rides on rails. It is not a round BCG moving inside of a round reciever tunnel. Ok, some have carrier tilt, but there are fixes to the problem of carrier tilt also. Realistically, no one, I mean "no one" expects the pistons to be 100% perfect at this stage, but most believe the piston guns will get pretty close given time.


AR rails:

http://i47.tinypic.com/311tnhj.jpg

AcenJay
01-28-2010, 09:04
(1) Suppressors are a big non issue for most of us. The article talks a lot about pistons systems running suppressors. Most of us do not run suppressors. I know some people do, but "most" of us don't have that problem.


(2) The AR-15 carrier rides on rails. It is not a round BCG moving inside of a round reciever tunnel. Ok, some have carrier tilt, but there are fixes to the problem of carrier tilt also. Realistically, no one, I mean "no one" expects the pistons to be 100% perfect at this stage, but most believe the piston guns will get pretty close given time.


Fair enough, most here won't be running suppressors, so the gas piston will greatly reduce the need for cleaning. Regarding the rails, of course it has to have those to keep it from spinning around freely in the receiver, still not the same thing as say an AK or any of the new ones like the ACR, XCR, etc., basically the design is really intended for the original DI system rather than being modified for a gas piston. These GP ARs seem a bit more like a novelty to me right now though, more for fun than serious use. Some of them are being tested out there, but I dont' think they've proven completely dependable yet, not to say that the DI is absolutely fail proof either.

deMontacute
01-28-2010, 11:50
FWIW the Taiwanese do not think its a "fad"

http://photo.dtmonline.com/thumbnail/2006/20061021_001/20061021_001_015L.jpg

http://photo.dtmonline.com/thumbnail/2006/20061021_001/20061021_001_032L.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/T91-3_%2865%29.JPG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T91_assault_rifle

That is not to say I am willing to jump on the piston AR bandwagon yet. If a standardized version were settled on, I would be willing, but until then I see more potential in the rifles designed from the ground up with a piston in mind....

ordersman
01-28-2010, 16:00
cant we all just get along

I mean who cares buy what you want - it is pretty common knowledge today who makes junk, who makes middle road stuff and who the top level guys are

I am no vet, I have never been to a "class" or carbine school or what ever

but........

I bought a DPMS as my first AR and it SUCKED after 3 fast mags the gas tube was so red I thought it was going to melt and the rifle would then not eject the casings (quit cycling). I bought it a few years ago with out any research and cause it was the cheapest at the shop, so go figure.

sold the DPMS went about a year with out AR and then couldn't stand it anymore so I went and bought a Colt 6920. It would be like compairing a corvette to a pinto. still have it can shoot as much as I want through it as fast as want and it always works - always

I just today picked up a Stag model 8 cause I just gotta try a piston and it was just over a grand (not that I am rich and laugh at 1000 bucks but its better than 2000 for a LWRC that I might not like and if I don't I will just rrade it off or sell it)

hell i don't know what my point is, I am just tired of hearing about pistons -vs- DI just by what ever but what ever you buy remember YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

remember911
01-28-2010, 19:48
as a frame of reference i have been hosting 2 to 5 tactical training classes a year, every year since 2001. A side from the classes i host i also take other training classes. I've been a full time police officer for 14 years, i've been a swat cop for 11 years, and i'm a firearms instructor for my agency, our police academy, swat team, and swat academy. Prior to that i was in the marine corps (infantry / security forces).

In the early 60's when the m16 first came on line there were several important people that wanted to see the m16 fail. So troops were told that they didn't have to clean their guns, they used the wrong powder in the ammo (ie. They were suppose to use stick powder and they used ball powder), etc. By doing this the m16 got a reputation as being an unreliable platform.

In my opinion the reason that the direct impingement gas system (di) has gotten such a bad reputation in recent years is because people go out an buy low end ar's or they try to build a ar from parts from various manufacturers. They end up with a gun that is unreliable and this feeds into the myth that the di gas system is unreliable.

When i was in the usmc the main malfunctions were caused from shooting blanks and magazine related. I had seen a hand full of other problems, but they were far and few between.

In the training classes that i host and take on my own and from the ar15's that i see in training and qualification courses at work. Colt, lmt, bcm, noveske, etc. Run well. While cmmg, dpms, olympic arms, bushmaster, stag arms, rra and others have a high number of reliablity problems.


Piston guns. I have seen a lot of piston guns that have had problems. I have never seen a pof make it through an entire class without problems. About half the sigs that i have seen have had problems. About 1/3 of the lwrc guns i have seen have had problems.

From my experience piston guns

-have a sharper recoil impulse
-they are heavier
-piston system guns are more expensive
-the different piston systems are new and haven't had the time to be as thouroughly tested as the di gas system
-many of the piston system operate on a slightly different system

piston systems on the ar15 is a fairly new concept (most within the last decade). The di gas system in use on the ar15 has been in service for close to 60 years, this has given engineers time to work the bugs out of the di system. Not the same can be said for the piston systems used on the ar platform.

In my opinion the piston system is not needed on the ar15 and it exists because guys buy lower end ar15's, many of these lower end ar15's are not reliable, and when a shoorter buys or builds an unreliable ar15 it feeds into the myth that the di gas system is unreliable. Di gas system ar15's are not created equal. There are different levels of quality.

Pat rogers has a di gas system bcm upper that had 26,000 rounds through it before it was ever cleaned. Currently it has just shy of 29,000 rounds on it. Read this article for more info:

http://www.03designgroup.com/photo/bcm-complete-ar15-upper-and-lower-receivers/icon-bcm-upper-lower.jpg
03designgroup | bcm complete ar15 upper and lower receivers http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://www.03designgroup.com/reviews/bcm-complete-ar15-upper-and-lower-receivers)


in short i see no need to buy a piston upper. Buy a quality di gas system ar15 and use quality ammo, quality magazine, lube it, and it will run without any issues.




Just my .02 cents based on my experience.
well said

jobob
01-29-2010, 00:37
I have a POF piston upper that has been my main 3gun rifle for the last 3 years. It runs like a Swiss watch. In the time I've had it I've had 4 malfunctions - 3 of them magazine related and one was ammo. I get very consistent 1" groups with it at 100 yards with Fed. AE or Black Hills 55 gr. ammo. At the MGM Ironman match it really shines, because the days on the range are long (6:30 AM to 8 PM, or later), conditions are tough on guns with blowing sand and dust, and the round count it pretty high (not as high as a carbine class, but then what is?). At the end of the day I don't feel like cleaning guns, but the POF just keeps working. I cleaned that rifle last April, then again in October, with about a thousand rounds in between. There was still plenty of lube and the bolt and carrier just wiped clean. That, to me, is the main advantage of piston ARs, because I hate cleaning guns. That POF is just a superbly reliable and accurate rifle.

That said, if I were buying a new match rifle, I would go for a quality DI like a JP or Noveske. For all the reasons usmc03 listed above. For less money I could have had a di gun that was as or more accurate, lighter, probably just as reliable and would have more controllable recoil in rapid fire. My only dissagreement with 03 would be in his assessment of POF rifles, since, obviously, my experience differs.

A friend of mine was a Marine in Vietnam when the first M16s were issued. He absolutely hates the di system, since many Marines died while trying to get thier jammed rifles back in action. I try to tell him that ARs have been vastly impoved since then and they aren't the same rifle, but he won't listen. He thinks the piston systems are God's gift to humanity, and that ARs will soon be history. He has a Robinson Arms XCR and loves it.

So, to answer the question are piston systems a fad, the answer is no. They are popular and will continue to be popular. But they will not replace the di system any time soon either.

jbremount
01-30-2010, 18:35
I have a POF piston upper that has been my main 3gun rifle for the last 3 years. It runs like a Swiss watch. In the time I've had it I've had 4 malfunctions - 3 of them magazine related and one was ammo. I get very consistent 1" groups with it at 100 yards with Fed. AE or Black Hills 55 gr. ammo. At the MGM Ironman match it really shines, because the days on the range are long (6:30 AM to 8 PM, or later), conditions are tough on guns with blowing sand and dust, and the round count it pretty high (not as high as a carbine class, but then what is?). At the end of the day I don't feel like cleaning guns, but the POF just keeps working. I cleaned that rifle last April, then again in October, with about a thousand rounds in between. There was still plenty of lube and the bolt and carrier just wiped clean. That, to me, is the main advantage of piston ARs, because I hate cleaning guns. That POF is just a superbly reliable and accurate rifle.

That said, if I were buying a new match rifle, I would go for a quality DI like a JP or Noveske. For all the reasons usmc03 listed above. For less money I could have had a di gun that was as or more accurate, lighter, probably just as reliable and would have more controllable recoil in rapid fire. My only dissagreement with 03 would be in his assessment of POF rifles, since, obviously, my experience differs.

A friend of mine was a Marine in Vietnam when the first M16s were issued. He absolutely hates the di system, since many Marines died while trying to get thier jammed rifles back in action. I try to tell him that ARs have been vastly impoved since then and they aren't the same rifle, but he won't listen. He thinks the piston systems are God's gift to humanity, and that ARs will soon be history. He has a Robinson Arms XCR and loves it.

So, to answer the question are piston systems a fad, the answer is no. They are popular and will continue to be popular. But they will not replace the di system any time soon either.

I saw a really good write up on the POF piston uppers. The gun went 16,000 rounds before a cleaning! The POF rifle is also designed to not need any lube. What a concept! Are the POF pistons the same as used by DSA and Bushmaster?

http://www.defensereview.com/pof-p-415-gas-pistonop-rod-driven-tactical-ar-carbine-real-low-maintenance/

jobob
01-30-2010, 23:18
I know that POF says they don't need lube, but I lube mine up. It just makes sense when there is metal rubbing on metal!

I think that Bushmaster's piston is under license from POF, but I'm not 100% sure. Don't know much about DSA.

jbremount
01-31-2010, 02:45
I know that POF says they don't need lube, but I lube mine up. It just makes sense when there is metal rubbing on metal!

I think that Bushmaster's piston is under license from POF, but I'm not 100% sure. Don't know much about DSA.



The DSA"s piston gun looks like a POF to me. I like the fact that POF pistons do not have springs.http://www.dsarms.com/pdf/DSAZ4GasTrap.pdf

Darkangel1846
01-31-2010, 13:44
It appears that piston AR's are the new thing or next step. I've read enough about them to understand the potential advantages of the piston system, but with everyone getting in on the 5.56 wagon, I am wondering if it is more of a marketing tool. There's the AK crowd that claims the AR is the jammiest thing since Smuckers; there's the "military buff" crowd that tout all the problems with the M4 and that the army is too cheap to do something about it; and then there's Joe Schmo that wants whatever is new and whatever is on the shelf. Not that these piston uppers aren't quality, but will they REALLY allow us to cram mud in them and then rapid fire a 30rd clip as the AK crowd claims is possible with their beloved spray and pray AK?

Call it whatever you want to call it but there is a good argument for keeping crap from squarting onto the bolt. Now I've never had any problems with the M16 or my ARs, but you do have to keep them clean. Now the military pounded that into my head. I watched one of those demonstrations of the Sig and it was pretty impressive. I also watched a demonstration of the NextGeneration Ceramic coated AR and I was impressed with those also.
I see a big positive for anything that keeps a bolt cleaner or makes a bolt real easy to clean. But thats JMHO.
PS Yes I plan to get a piston driven AR.:wavey: