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Basic
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Posted: 8/12/2009 3:42:51 AM EST
I saw the new Ruger and was about to buy when I started thinking why.

What are the advantages of piston operation over gas?

Is it worth the extra money?

Should I just buy a conversion kit?

I have a vintage Colt, I have a bushy with a 14" barrel with a triger job that I shoot competitively and another Bushy set up MOA for hunting.
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Link Posted: 8/12/2009 3:58:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By don5544:
I saw the new Ruger and was about to buy when I started thinking why.

What are the advantages of piston operation over gas?

Is it worth the extra money?

Should I just buy a conversion kit?

I have a vintage Colt, I have a bushy with a 14" barrel with a triger job that I shoot competitively and another Bushy set up MOA for hunting.


For one it runs cleaner... Is it worth it ...I dont know I gues everyone will differ on that.
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Link Posted: 8/12/2009 4:24:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2009 4:26:08 AM EST by Hector45]
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.
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Link Posted: 8/12/2009 5:04:35 AM EST
I think all the hype regarding gas piston is starting to wear off. I am not saying that one is better than the other, we do not need to start another thread on which one is better. There are probably a thousand threads out now like that. I will say that I trust companies like Noveske, Knight and LaRue, they have a great reputation and do their home work (they do not have gas piston systems). However, do what will make you happy it is your money after all. If I wanted a gas piston I would get a SCAR or the ACR ( someday) because these systems were designed from the ground up to use the piston system. .02
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Link Posted: 8/13/2009 5:03:50 PM EST
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Link Posted: 8/13/2009 5:34:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.
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Link Posted: 8/13/2009 5:45:07 PM EST
My personal feeling on the matter is this; If you have an automatic weapon and you shoot it a lot, it is prolly worth it to consider a piston driven system. For a Semi-auto however, i would say save your money. Sure the impingement system is not as clean as the piston system, however it has served the military well for over 40 years now. I am sure it will serve me just fine once a month at the range.
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Link Posted: 8/13/2009 5:47:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.


I've owned a piston AR and what he wrote is spot on. Some systems do a much better job of mitigating that wear than others, but what he said is still true.
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Link Posted: 8/13/2009 5:57:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.

All of Hector45's points are true. Can you name any other piston operated semi-automatic with aluminum raceways? Aluminum is a poor bearing material for a boundary-lubricated friction pair. Sure, it will work fine in lightly loaded full hydrodynamic bearing pair but in a firearm?

DI is what Stoner needed for aluminum upper receiver to work.

One does not need to have a piston conversion to establish these points. Now if you have a steel upper with steel buffer tube...the over-sized rear carriers for piston rifles are nothing more than a bandage to the problem. The reason the carrier is smaller on the rear is to account for misalignment of the upper and lower.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 4:24:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/14/2009 4:26:49 AM EST by oneshot_onekill]
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.

OK...OK... Allow me to elaborate now that I'm not in the bathroom trying to type away on my I-POD. To do this I need to disect the comments. First, the term "Carrier Tilt" has become such a negative catch-phrase when it comes to Piston AR's. It's nothing more than a physical results from the piston rod hitting the carrier key off axis from the centerline of the BCG. The result of which is the BCG tilting downward in the rear as it is driven back into the buffer tube. The BCG is guided by the carrier key which rides along the inside of the charging handle and the buffer spring retaining pin. The downward movement is such a minimal movement for such a short distance that I can't believe it's even considered negative. Given how finnickey our beloved AR's can be when it comes to ammo selection, buffer weight and magazines all contributing to malfunctions, as well as many other factors, I think if carrier tilt was a "real" problem it would also cause malfunctions... It doesn't. To my knowledge there has been no proof that the bolt has any accelerated wear related to the rifle being a piston AR. Although I can appreciate the concern from those who worry about carrier tilt, I'd have to say accelerated bolt wear is a non-issue. At least until someone proves me wrong. Upper receiver wear is experienced when the top of the cam-pin scrapes against the inside of the upper on the way back. This occurs in DI guns also... Another non-issue. Buffer tube wear is caused by carrier tilt so I don't think it should be shown as a seperate issue.

Companies like Adams Arms have addressed and for the most part cured all of the issues mentioned. What really annoys me is the fact that the piston haters call what they've done "Band-aids" on an incurable "problem". I wish they would call it what it is... THE EVOLUTION OF THE AR..... End of rant!

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 5:17:05 AM EST
The gas piston AR-15 is the evolution of the answer to a problem that does not exhist!
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 5:41:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By jnielsen:
The gas piston AR-15 is the evolution of the answer to a problem that does not exhist!


No,No... I don't think it's an answer to a problem. DI guns are fine. I own them too. It's just different. In certain environments, under certain circumstances change was seen as advantageous.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:01:41 AM EST
Hey! I know; let's take a near-perfect design and add some additional moving parts to it! If that is how you want to spend your money, I'm fine with that. But, when you claim "just as good" or "better", you are just plain wrong. Get over it and move on.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:10:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By mrs50sls56:
Hey! I know; let's take a near-perfect design and add some additional moving parts to it! If that is how you want to spend your money, I'm fine with that. But, when you claim "just as good" or "better", you are just plain wrong. Get over it and move on.

I hate to sound like a snob... And I'm relatively new here too... But... Please...

Better yet, enlighten us all on where your expertise in this matter stems from.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:12:41 AM EST
I would not convert a DI system to a piston system...but a piston system built from the ground up to work that way can have some advantages.

The Ruger may fit this bill...

The FN SCAR may also work well given that it was built to work this way from the beginning.

I am not a fan of retro fitting a gun that works perfectly well with a piston.

If you want a cheap piston driven gas system, look into AKs
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:24:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
I would not convert a DI system to a piston system...but a piston system built from the ground up to work that way can have some advantages.

The Ruger may fit this bill...

The FN SCAR may also work well given that it was built to work this way from the beginning.

I am not a fan of retro fitting a gun that works perfectly well with a piston.

If you want a cheap piston driven gas system, look into AKs

Now this is how you post a good response and make your opinion valued!

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:28:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/14/2009 6:34:56 AM EST by AR15KittyKat]
Anyone w/ some engineering knowledge understands AR15 was not designed for piston cause carrier key location piston contact creates bolt carrier tilt due non-center mass pivot point, buffer recoil spring not inline w/ piston action movement.
Other piston designs like M1, M1A, AKs, FN-Scar, HK G36s do not have this problem cause recoil spring & piston action are inline. Bandaid solution to minimize excessive wear for the piston design in ARs are oversized bolt's rear rails (tilt issue),
spring loaded bolt (premature unlocking issue).

I have noticed no one has mention this yet, AKs and M1A pistons design are very reliable due their piston action area were enclosed, minimal dirt & mud intrusion and AK's loose tolerance design,
but piston ARs w/ rail system w/ many vents holes do allow dirt & mud to enter piston action area when operators are crawling thru mud or very harsh enviroments, this may or may not be a problem.

Let's all admit that introducing more moving parts is a potential guarantee for more breakage compared to less moving parts. I am not bashing piston ARs, just pointing out valid facts.
But hey, you you like pistons ARs for extra money, go for it, don't worry what other nay sayers think...
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:47:09 AM EST
I'm sorry if my response was curt, but I get so tired of this "mine's better" bullshit. My "expertise" comes from 40 years using this platform. If you want to be a snob, again, that's your business. Carry on.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:51:05 AM EST
Originally Posted By AR15KittyKat:
Anyone w/ some engineering knowledge understands AR15 was not designed for piston cause carrier key location piston contact creates bolt carrier tilt due non-center mass pivot point, buffer recoil spring not inline w/ piston action movement.
Other piston designs like M1, M1A, AKs, FN-Scar, HK G36s do not have this problem cause recoil spring & piston action are inline. Bandaid solution to minimize excessive wear for the piston design in ARs are oversized bolt's rear rails (tilt issue),
spring loaded bolt (premature unlocking issue).

I have noticed no one has mention this yet, AKs and M1A pistons design are very reliable due their piston action area were enclosed, minimal dirt & mud intrusion and AK's loose tolerance design,
but piston ARs w/ rail system w/ many vents holes do allow dirt & mud to enter piston action area when operators are crawling thru mud or very harsh enviroments, this may or may not be a problem.

Let's all admit that introducing more moving parts is a potential guarantee for more breakage compared to less moving parts. I am not bashing piston ARs, just pointing out valid facts.
But hey, you you like pistons ARs for extra money, go for it, don't worry what other nay sayers think...

From an engineering standpoint I'm sure you're absolutely right. But I know there are those out there that have run TENS-OF-THOUSANDS of rounds, both full-auto and semi-auto, through a "Piston" converted AR and have experienced no more failures than a "DI" AR. Also no failures due to unusual wear caused by the piston system. This is not based on engineering knowledge, physics knowledge or metallurgy knowledge. It's based on getting out there and shootin' the piss out of them.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 6:59:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By politicalamity06:
My personal feeling on the matter is this; If you have an automatic weapon and you shoot it a lot, it is prolly worth it to consider a piston driven system. For a Semi-auto however, i would say save your money. Sure the impingement system is not as clean as the piston system, however it has served the military well for over 40 years now. I am sure it will serve me just fine once a month at the range.


I have an auto lower, mostly shoot suppressed.

I had a piston, I have shot the 416 suppressed a bunch, No real advantages over DI.


I will stick to DI.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:01:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.

OK...OK... Allow me to elaborate now that I'm not in the bathroom trying to type away on my I-POD. To do this I need to disect the comments. First, the term "Carrier Tilt" has become such a negative catch-phrase when it comes to Piston AR's. It's nothing more than a physical results from the piston rod hitting the carrier key off axis from the centerline of the BCG. The result of which is the BCG tilting downward in the rear as it is driven back into the buffer tube. The BCG is guided by the carrier key which rides along the inside of the charging handle and the buffer spring retaining pin. The downward movement is such a minimal movement for such a short distance that I can't believe it's even considered negative. Given how finnickey our beloved AR's can be when it comes to ammo selection, buffer weight and magazines all contributing to malfunctions, as well as many other factors, I think if carrier tilt was a "real" problem it would also cause malfunctions... It doesn't. To my knowledge there has been no proof that the bolt has any accelerated wear related to the rifle being a piston AR. Although I can appreciate the concern from those who worry about carrier tilt, I'd have to say accelerated bolt wear is a non-issue. At least until someone proves me wrong. Upper receiver wear is experienced when the top of the cam-pin scrapes against the inside of the upper on the way back. This occurs in DI guns also... Another non-issue. Buffer tube wear is caused by carrier tilt so I don't think it should be shown as a seperate issue.

Companies like Adams Arms have addressed and for the most part cured all of the issues mentioned. What really annoys me is the fact that the piston haters call what they've done "Band-aids" on an incurable "problem". I wish they would call it what it is... THE EVOLUTION OF THE AR..... End of rant!



The carrier knocking against the buffer tube caused my unstaked castle nut to come loose, allowing the stock to rotate and the buffer retaining pin to come out from underneath the RET. This caused the weapon to stop functioning.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:04:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By RustedAce:
Originally Posted By politicalamity06:
My personal feeling on the matter is this; If you have an automatic weapon and you shoot it a lot, it is prolly worth it to consider a piston driven system. For a Semi-auto however, i would say save your money. Sure the impingement system is not as clean as the piston system, however it has served the military well for over 40 years now. I am sure it will serve me just fine once a month at the range.


I have an auto lower, mostly shoot suppressed.

I had a piston, I have shot the 416 suppressed a bunch, No real advantages over DI.


I will stick to DI.


Ace,
Again thank you for your service, how much maintenance do you do to your DI in the harsh environment of the sand box...
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:05:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By mrs50sls56:
I'm sorry if my response was curt, but I get so tired of this "mine's better" bullshit. My "expertise" comes from 40 years using this platform. If you want to be a snob, again, that's your business. Carry on.

I respect your expertise coming from years of experience. I also try not to get into the "Mine's better" pissin' match. I would never say Piston AR's are "Better" than DI... Just different. I just get my dander up when people throw their 2 cents in when they really haven't studied the differences... closely, carefully and personally. Or don't even have a dog in the fight.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:11:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By AR15KittyKat:
Originally Posted By RustedAce:
Originally Posted By politicalamity06:
My personal feeling on the matter is this; If you have an automatic weapon and you shoot it a lot, it is prolly worth it to consider a piston driven system. For a Semi-auto however, i would say save your money. Sure the impingement system is not as clean as the piston system, however it has served the military well for over 40 years now. I am sure it will serve me just fine once a month at the range.


I have an auto lower, mostly shoot suppressed.

I had a piston, I have shot the 416 suppressed a bunch, No real advantages over DI.


I will stick to DI.


Ace,
Again thank you for your service, how much maintenance do you do to your DI in the harsh environment of the sand box...


http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=454616
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:18:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By 87GN:
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Originally Posted By Hector45:
Little clarification they both are gas operated, direct Impingement and gas piston.

IMHO the AR15 was not designed to be run as a gas piston system,

this is why you hear about carrier tilt, accelerated bolt, upper receiver and buffer tube wear associated with AR gas piston systems.

Of course some show less than others but most do show a decent amount of wear after the first 100 rnds, the Ruger is no exception.

ETA: the wear usually levels off after the first 100 or so rnds.


I have to ask if you own any piston AR's? I have 2 and I have to say your assessment is inacurate at best. I really don't want to get into a pissin' match...again, but please don't try to speak intelligently about something you have no knowledge of. I'll leave it at that.

OK...OK... Allow me to elaborate now that I'm not in the bathroom trying to type away on my I-POD. To do this I need to disect the comments. First, the term "Carrier Tilt" has become such a negative catch-phrase when it comes to Piston AR's. It's nothing more than a physical results from the piston rod hitting the carrier key off axis from the centerline of the BCG. The result of which is the BCG tilting downward in the rear as it is driven back into the buffer tube. The BCG is guided by the carrier key which rides along the inside of the charging handle and the buffer spring retaining pin. The downward movement is such a minimal movement for such a short distance that I can't believe it's even considered negative. Given how finnickey our beloved AR's can be when it comes to ammo selection, buffer weight and magazines all contributing to malfunctions, as well as many other factors, I think if carrier tilt was a "real" problem it would also cause malfunctions... It doesn't. To my knowledge there has been no proof that the bolt has any accelerated wear related to the rifle being a piston AR. Although I can appreciate the concern from those who worry about carrier tilt, I'd have to say accelerated bolt wear is a non-issue. At least until someone proves me wrong. Upper receiver wear is experienced when the top of the cam-pin scrapes against the inside of the upper on the way back. This occurs in DI guns also... Another non-issue. Buffer tube wear is caused by carrier tilt so I don't think it should be shown as a seperate issue.

Companies like Adams Arms have addressed and for the most part cured all of the issues mentioned. What really annoys me is the fact that the piston haters call what they've done "Band-aids" on an incurable "problem". I wish they would call it what it is... THE EVOLUTION OF THE AR..... End of rant!




The carrier knocking against the buffer tube caused my unstaked castle nut to come loose, allowing the stock to rotate and the buffer retaining pin to come out from underneath the RET. This caused the weapon to stop functioning.
Well there you have it. Definitely a piston related failure. Although, No offense... But I'm not sure I would admit all that. Unstaked Castle nut, no big deal. But the stock has to rotate quite a bit for the retaining pin to come out. I'm surprised that wasn't noticed before it caused a failure.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 7:20:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By RustedAce:
Originally Posted By politicalamity06:
My personal feeling on the matter is this; If you have an automatic weapon and you shoot it a lot, it is prolly worth it to consider a piston driven system. For a Semi-auto however, i would say save your money. Sure the impingement system is not as clean as the piston system, however it has served the military well for over 40 years now. I am sure it will serve me just fine once a month at the range.


I have an auto lower, mostly shoot suppressed.

I had a piston, I have shot the 416 suppressed a bunch, No real advantages over DI.


I will stick to DI.

Fair enough!

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 8:05:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Well there you have it. Definitely a piston related failure. Although, No offense... But I'm not sure I would admit all that. Unstaked Castle nut, no big deal. But the stock has to rotate quite a bit for the retaining pin to come out. I'm surprised that wasn't noticed before it caused a failure.



Depends on the stock...this one went 1/4 turn as I went from standing to prone, that was enough.
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 8:39:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By 87GN:
Originally Posted By oneshot_onekill:
Well there you have it. Definitely a piston related failure. Although, No offense... But I'm not sure I would admit all that. Unstaked Castle nut, no big deal. But the stock has to rotate quite a bit for the retaining pin to come out. I'm surprised that wasn't noticed before it caused a failure.



Depends on the stock...this one went 1/4 turn as I went from standing to prone, that was enough.

AAHHH... Yep. There ya go. Just not the kind of "failure" I was thinking I would hear about.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 8:40:08 AM EST
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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 8:44:57 AM EST
I suggest that the OP read the patent claims for the DI and various op-rod systems for the AR.

Colt made a piston gun (the Model 703) around 1968. There's nothing new under the sun.

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Link Posted: 8/14/2009 9:11:28 AM EST
From Dan Agakian (Suarez International Staff Instructor)

Q. Are Piston Operated AR's better

A. Sometimes.

If you have to run an AR with a barrel shorter than 14.5inches or run a suppressed AR , this is where there may be bigger real world advantages to a piston system. Piston systems run cooler, require less lubrication (due to not blowing it out of the gun with a DI AR) and generally require less frequent maintenance. They are also generally more "Violent" in operation which may be an aid in very extreme operating conditions like arctic cold.

As a guy who has both types I can say that from my personal perspective at this point I cannot see huge advantages to a piston system on an AR with a 16 inch or longer barrel unless for whatever reason it is unfeasable to lubricate my weapon more frequently. Also, some of the piston retrofit kits are poorly designed. If you decide to go piston, get a quality factory gun from LWRC or HK or get a "Factory Custom Conversion" by PWS.

Nothing wrong with the piston guns if you decide you need one. Just make sure it is a good one.
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