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BROvet04
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Posted: 3/11/2011 4:23:08 PM
Can anyone tell me their experiences with this system?
alfa1
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Posted: 3/11/2011 9:26:22 PM
[Last Edit: 3/12/2011 6:32:50 PM by alfa1]
Some time ago I read Molon's review of the Ares GRX-35 retro kits, liked what I saw and with some trepidation I ordered 5 kits.

I installed them on my M4 clones, 2 J&T, 1 Armalite and 2 Bushmaster uppers.

It is a straight forward install and I had no issues with contacting the barrel at the gas block with the piston housing/spigot as did Molon, however; when installing the kits I became aware that the OP rod clearance or lack of, as desired by Ares needed some attention.

On 1 J&T and 1 Bushmaster there was zero clearance, Ares (from memory) asks for about .030-.050" clearance between the OP rod at rest, fully forward in the gas piston and the face of the bolt boss that it strikes, these 2 had '0' clearance...so sneaking up on them several times I was able to select fit the clearance to .015".

My thinking for the reduced clearance, less acceleration rate, less travel before striking the carrier...means less hammering of both the
OP rod and carrier face, hence more of a push than a hammer strike.

So, how do they function?

Took a J&T, Bushy and Armalite to the range, 100 rds of Q3131A, 100 rds Radway, 100 rds of Guatemalan 84' Surplus

Ran the ammo 10rds each weapon at first then 20 rds till finished, during this little test I had 1 FTF, a Guatemalan round that was a little tarnished.
reloaded the round and it fired as normal. No stovepipes or other issues with any of the ammo, or any malfunction of the platform.

Recoil seemed soft with all ammo, target recovery quick, not any different from the gas configuration. Unlike Molon's exhaustive test, these guns were on target from the get go at 50 yds just as I had remembered them. During my shooting I would break open the weapons and take a look at the bolt's and receiver extension tube looking for that dreaded carrier wear in the mouth of the tube...not even a burnish mark from any rubbing, zip, nada!

At the conclusion of my afternoon of goofin' around, I inspected the carriers and bolts, other than some minute brass dust from the extractor grabbing the brass and what appears to be carbon bleed from some of the surplus primers, they were not dirty but a wipe with a shop rag made them look unused.

There are a lot of opinions, pro and con regarding the retro piston kits, my experience has been very positive. Why did I purchase the Ares Kit? because it, like a few others available do not alter your weapon platform, IS manufactured from good material and if you tire of it, you can re-install every original part. So...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Your Mileage May Vary
Alfa1
BROvet04
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Posted: 3/11/2011 9:33:12 PM
Did your kit have the Bolt Carrier that is larger at the end that goes into the receiver extension to prevent wear, mine does not and I am wondering if this will cause an issue with carrier tilt?
alfa1
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Posted: 3/11/2011 9:37:38 PM
BROvet04,

I will have to look at the carriers and further reply, as my memory serves me, I believe they are larger in diameter at the rear for the last inch of carrier.


Alfa1
CJofFL
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Posted: 3/11/2011 10:21:16 PM
I ordered one direct from Ares with the anti-tilt carrier. After a couple weeks of sorting out a receiver bushing that didn't fit, a missing roll pin, and somewhat slow customer service, I installed it in my Noveske. It went pretty smooth, although the carrier scratched the hell out of the buffer when opening the action, so I sanded down the back of the carrier at 6 o'clock just slightly with some extremely fine sandpaper and that seems to have fixed it.

I only have 400 rounds of American Eagle Tactical XM193 through it, but so far it has worked flawlessly. If it matters, the empties are flying out at 3 o'clock. The bolt head and carrier stay pretty clean, as you'd expect. The front sight and moe handguards get sooty brown. Hope this helps and perhaps I can share more insight when I put more rounds through it.

~Chris

http://www.hkbeltfed.com/aresmoe.jpg
TNRonin
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Posted: 3/12/2011 10:02:35 AM
thanks for that review!
BROvet04
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Posted: 3/12/2011 10:14:07 AM
[Last Edit: 3/12/2011 10:15:14 AM by BROvet04]
Will ARES replace a carrier without the anti tilt feature free of charge? Would rather not ruin my lower! I have heard that the ones without will eat through a receiver extension in no time! Also is the ARES roll pin different than a standard front sight roll pin?
CJofFL
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Posted: 3/12/2011 10:26:57 AM
Originally Posted By BROvet04:
Will ARES replace a carrier without the anti tilt feature free of charge? Would rather not ruin my lower! I have heard that the ones without will eat through a receiver extension in no time! Also is the ARES roll pin different than a standard front sight roll pin?


I don't know. I was in the same boat. I love Rainier Arms and they had it for the same price, so I bought it from them. Unfortunately, it was the older style, but Rainier gladly accepted a return. I believe the older ones lack markings on the carrier and the new ones with the skids are marked with the Ares logo and GXR-35.

The Ares roll pin seems thicker.
BROvet04
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Posted: 3/12/2011 10:32:38 AM
Exactly my position I purchased mine from Rainer Arms (Awesome Place to buy from and always a satisfied customer!). Wonder if they can work something out with ARES to replace the carriers?
alfa1
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Posted: 3/12/2011 1:10:11 PM
Originally Posted By BROvet04:
Did your kit have the Bolt Carrier that is larger at the end that goes into the receiver extension to prevent wear, mine does not and I am wondering if this will cause an issue with carrier tilt?


Okay, this is what I have.

Carrier dims. at the rear end.
Factory Carriers:
Armalite .929"
Colt: .929"
Bushmaster: .9295"

Ares Carriers:
#1: .9485"
#2: .9485"
#3: .949"

Length of the larger OD is .750" from the end of the carrier, with an approximate 30 degree chamfer.
There is a larger diameter area at the very bottom of the carrier approximately .600" wide that has the opening cut to allow
carrier to clear the buffer retaining pin. The dim. is .965" I have an idea why it's there, but for now I will quietly contemplate it's purpose.

I purchased these in Dec of 2010 and during the Holidays, tested them as posted above.


Alfa1
alfa1
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Posted: 3/12/2011 2:01:18 PM
Originally Posted By CJofFL:
I ordered one direct from Ares with the anti-tilt carrier. After a couple weeks of sorting out a receiver bushing that didn't fit, a missing roll pin, and somewhat slow customer service, I installed it in my Noveske. It went pretty smooth, although the carrier scratched the hell out of the buffer when opening the action, so I sanded down the back of the carrier at 6 o'clock just slightly with some extremely fine sandpaper and that seems to have fixed it.

I only have 400 rounds of American Eagle Tactical XM193 through it, but so far it has worked flawlessly. If it matters, the empties are flying out at 3 o'clock. The bolt head and carrier stay pretty clean, as you'd expect. The front sight and moe handguards get sooty brown. Hope this helps and perhaps I can share more insight when I put more rounds through it.

~Chris

http://www.hkbeltfed.com/aresmoe.jpg


Hmmmmm...might I ask what you had to do to get the upper MOE hand-guard on? I have a few sets, but from looking at the upper guard and it not appearing to have adequate clearance at the retainer ring I was deterred from attempting a botch job.


Alfa1
dwhitehorne
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Posted: 3/12/2011 3:40:52 PM
Originally Posted By alfa1:
Originally Posted By CJofFL:
I ordered one direct from Ares with the anti-tilt carrier. After a couple weeks of sorting out a receiver bushing that didn't fit, a missing roll pin, and somewhat slow customer service, I installed it in my Noveske. It went pretty smooth, although the carrier scratched the hell out of the buffer when opening the action, so I sanded down the back of the carrier at 6 o'clock just slightly with some extremely fine sandpaper and that seems to have fixed it.

I only have 400 rounds of American Eagle Tactical XM193 through it, but so far it has worked flawlessly. If it matters, the empties are flying out at 3 o'clock. The bolt head and carrier stay pretty clean, as you'd expect. The front sight and moe handguards get sooty brown. Hope this helps and perhaps I can share more insight when I put more rounds through it.

~Chris

http://www.hkbeltfed.com/aresmoe.jpg


Hmmmmm...might I ask what you had to do to get the upper MOE hand-guard on? I have a few sets, but from looking at the upper guard and it not appearing to have adequate clearance at the retainer ring I was deterred from attempting a botch job.


Alfa1



Yes I would like to know about the moe also. I took the heat shield out of the upper hand guard because it was rubbing a little. Where Ares milled out some of the retaining studs it caused my the heat shield to move around. Here are some pictures of mine. I only have about 6 to 800 round through it. I haven't had any issues. The main reason I got the Ares is because I wanted to keep the stock front sight assembly. David









alfa1
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Posted: 3/12/2011 6:28:00 PM
Alas, I was able to at least to discern the use of a 3/8 tapered 120 grit roll disc an a die grinder, with some attentive efforts and Voila!!
Slot completed with lots of clearance for the gas housing. However; I stopped on hole closer to the front of the hand guard, very adequate.

Thanks CJofFL for the fine pics.


Alfa1
CJofFL
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Posted: 3/12/2011 7:16:34 PM
You're welcome! Yes, you can see what I've done. It's just a slot cut into the top that ends at the back of one of the original slots. I originally didn't have it that long, but I needed to make it longer for the piston parts to have clearance while operating. I did mine after seeing another review where the Ares handguards rubbed. This was a month or two ago.

You'll note, the new piston compatible carbine length moe is out despite what magpul's website says. The new one is part number Mag440. I have 2 on the way!
alfa1
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Posted: 3/12/2011 8:17:34 PM
Thank You Sir for the MOE info, shall get some post haste.

Now on another note, it would be helpful if Ares would follow these posts and review where they position the gas bleed ports on the GRX, depending on how many are needed, it would benefit the
system to vent the gases and waste to the sides and bottom, especially with the MOE. That would make cleaning a breeze, perhaps they will notice.




Alfa1
CJofFL
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Posted: 3/13/2011 1:17:45 PM
These are the scratches, or more accurately "gouges", I was talking about. New Ares kit with a new buffer and this is just from opening the action a few times.

http://www.hkbeltfed.com/scratches.jpg
alfa1
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Posted: 3/13/2011 4:13:07 PM
[Last Edit: 3/19/2011 4:32:40 PM by alfa1]
Yep, it looks like they left a machining burr on the carrier...but you said you got it fixed with a little stoning/sanding. Seems like anymore it doesn't matter what you buy, gun parts or performance pistons you have to inspect it yourself for these types of issues to make sure everything is okay.
The_Evil_One
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Posted: 3/15/2011 4:15:47 PM
[Last Edit: 3/15/2011 5:00:05 PM by The_Evil_One]
Anyone know if this system will work with VLTOR handguards?
Actually I'm gonna go with the AA kit and DD omega piston handguards as it is lighter.
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firemedic2000
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Posted: 3/18/2011 11:55:22 AM
I have had an Ares on y weapon since they came out and have run some where between 3-4K of everything from Wolf to match ammo through it. I have never had a hiccup with it. I just wish Ares sold spare replacement parts.
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Ares Defense
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Posted: 3/18/2011 10:41:35 PM
[Last Edit: 3/18/2011 10:41:52 PM by Ares Defense]
Originally Posted By firemedic2000:
I have had an Ares on y weapon since they came out and have run some where between 3-4K of everything from Wolf to match ammo through it. I have never had a hiccup with it. I just wish Ares sold spare replacement parts.


We do carry replacement parts. Please contact us at 321-242-8410 or email us with your wish list and we'll be happy to accommodate your needs...all items are in stock! Thank you for your continued business!
aresdefense.com
Edvvard
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Posted: 3/19/2011 1:44:37 AM
Would it be possible for one of these ARES kits to be fit under a rifle length LMT MRP upper? I don't know the exact measurements of the upper, but it seems the upper may be able to be modified a bit for this to work. Anyone think it's possible to do without damaging the structure of the MRP upper?
Ares Defense
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Posted: 3/19/2011 9:34:38 AM
Originally Posted By Edvvard:
Would it be possible for one of these ARES kits to be fit under a rifle length LMT MRP upper? I don't know the exact measurements of the upper, but it seems the upper may be able to be modified a bit for this to work. Anyone think it's possible to do without damaging the structure of the MRP upper?


The gas system on LMT's MRP upper receiver is a straight tube instead of the dog legged gas tube on most other AR's. The ARES GXR-35 is designed to fit into a standard block and receiver and compensates for the offset. All is not lost though; LMT does offer a piston kit for their MRP. Thanks.
aresdefense.com
Edvvard
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Posted: 3/19/2011 9:47:16 AM
Originally Posted By Ares Defense:
Originally Posted By Edvvard:
Would it be possible for one of these ARES kits to be fit under a rifle length LMT MRP upper? I don't know the exact measurements of the upper, but it seems the upper may be able to be modified a bit for this to work. Anyone think it's possible to do without damaging the structure of the MRP upper?


The gas system on LMT's MRP upper receiver is a straight tube instead of the dog legged gas tube on most other AR's. The ARES GXR-35 is designed to fit into a standard block and receiver and compensates for the offset. All is not lost though; LMT does offer a piston kit for their MRP. Thanks.


Will your piston fit under a Daniel Defense Lite Rail?