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Posted: 10/6/2007 10:32:31 AM EST
Ok so I have heard people talk about the differences before. But if anyone out there has used both can you tell a huge difference in shooting them. And what are the major difference s between the two in the way they work. I know they operate differently but what about they way the handle.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 12:56:58 PM EST


I never had THIS happen with a piston gun.

Truthfully, I hear plenty pros and cons being thrown about, and though there is some merrit to both sides, the "debates" usually degenerate into the same kind of stuff as Ford vs Chevy or 9mm vs .45 before long. I have several DI guns and several piston guns and I like them all. When I am doing lots of BETA dumps (for work or play) you can bet I am using a Piston.

I am not here to spark a fire and I am not even wearing the flame suit with tinfoil hat. I just thought you might enjoy the pic. I have made plenty like it.

Jeff Z
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:14:27 PM EST
The recoil is a bit different feeling. My LWRC handles and looks like a regular DI rifle. It does not get as dirty, it does not blow CLP or gas in my face when shooting suppressed or unsuppressed, it does not tend to burn off the lube since the internals never get hot, and while it may handle massive abuse from neglect and full auto better, my full auto shooting is pretty limited and I got bored with letting my rifle shoot unlubed and waiting for it to fail so that is more a theoretical thing that wont apply to 99.9% of the shooters out there. It is a feel good thing like 4150 or CMV steel vs 4140 or having M4 feed ramps or having green followers vs black ones, etc.

In the end it is just a more enjoyable shooting experience for me and while it is hard to justify it based purely on economics it is simply better to me in many ways while having no negative other than price so why not get it? It is like people buying Colt instead of LMT or LMT instead of Bushmaster, etc.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:38:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By Raffica:
www.mggraphics.net/pics/gotheat.jpg

I never had THIS happen with a piston gun.

Truthfully, I hear plenty pros and cons being thrown about, and though there is some merrit to both sides, the "debates" usually degenerate into the same kind of stuff as Ford vs Chevy or 9mm vs .45 before long. I have several DI guns and several piston guns and I like them all. When I am doing lots of BETA dumps (for work or play) you can bet I am using a Piston.

I am not here to spark a fire and I am not even wearing the flame suit with tinfoil hat. I just thought you might enjoy the pic. I have made plenty like it.

Jeff Z


What the HELL happened to that poor carbine!
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:43:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 1:43:43 PM EST by LoneWolfUSMC]

Originally Posted By Raffica:

I never had THIS happen with a piston gun.


I never had THAT happen with an M16. Then again, I use the rifle for it's intended purpose. It would have been difficult for me to carry enough ammo in the field to do that to a gas tube. Sustained full auto is for belt-fed weapons..........or people with more money than sense.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:46:29 PM EST
Solution looking for a problem.

Riflemen aren't supposed to dump 12 magazines in a row.

Piston ARs recoil A LOT more, the difference is VERY noticeable. It's still a 5.56, and therefore not too bad, but it will kick MUCH more.

Pistons were around when Stoner created the AR-10, there is a reason there isn't one in it.

If you want a good piston weapon get an AK, Sig 556, XCR, etc.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:47:27 PM EST
Never had a rifle melt, but I don't bump fire or have auto. Waste of money in my opinion.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 1:59:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:
Solution looking for a problem.

Riflemen aren't supposed to dump 12 magazines in a row.

Piston ARs recoil A LOT more, the difference is VERY noticeable. It's still a 5.56, and therefore not too bad, but it will kick MUCH more.

Pistons were around when Stoner created the AR-10, there is a reason there isn't one in it.

If you want a good piston weapon get an AK, Sig 556, XCR, etc.

Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:02:02 PM EST
They usually do what they advertise. Less heat, more reliable, etc. Lots of folks on here exaggerate the downsides. Still, I don't think that it's worth the cash for a piston upper.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:18:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 2:19:04 PM EST by M4builder]

Originally Posted By kitwulfen:
They usually do what they advertise. Less heat, more reliable, etc. Lots of folks on here exaggerate the downsides. Still, I don't think that it's worth the cash for a piston upper.


...and there is where I can't see where the piston is any better.

To no one in particular:
Show where it is more reliable,-- not some 'it's cooler' or 'less carbon' statement about how those are supposed to mean it's more reliable,-- but, someone show me how it's more reliable in the real world. The DI has gone 10K in a row without cleaning on semi. (G&A Torture test on 10/3) Show me where the piston improves on that. Then tell me why we'd need to.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:18:52 PM EST
I hear there are downsides (normally from guys who've never shot or even seen one up close), but I haven't seen any myself.

I find them a much better system to run the action off of simple as that. There cleaner running, easy as hell to maintain, need less lube care and seem very reliable overall if there a good design and the rifles put together right.
They seem to do exactly as advertised too, and I wouldn't buy another AR that wasn't piston.

There have been guys that have had a problem here or there with the different brands, but there's not a firearm manufacture out there that hasn't had a rifle or pistol come up short on some QC every once in a while.

Whatever made Stoner decide to go with DI I don't know, but the only thing I can guess is he just didn't do it right.

Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:19:15 PM EST
I will agree the recoil from piston AR's is much sharper than DI systems.

Also, indeed the piston AR system is much cleaner operating than DI. I recently sat down to clean a Bushy piston with appx. 600 rounds of Brown Bear fired, and the bolt, carrier, and upper receiver were much cleaner than what I would have experienced with one of my DI AR's.

Personally, I find the piston system an interesting variation of the AR weapon system: not necessarily better, just different. Piston AR's aren't going to replace my DI AR's, but more piston specimens will likely be added, if for nothing more than the sake of novelty.

.02 -
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:24:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 2:27:13 PM EST by DevL]
Do not lump all piston systems together. My LWRC does not recoil more than my LMT 14.5" did. Facts are facts. To say it recoils more would just be an outright lie. It has a slightly different feel but it does not kick harder into my shoulder or produce more muzzle rise. I cant see how that is more recoil.

I doubt I will own another DI AR unless it is purely to show people why pistons are better by handing them a DI weapon to compare it to.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:28:58 PM EST
When I was side by side firing a S&W MP15T, and a Bushmaster piston, my "impression" was the recoil from the Bushmaster was best described as being "sharper" - not necessarily increased, but certainly of differing character.

YMMV -
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:29:18 PM EST
I find the recoil different, but not neccesarily more.
Either way it's a .223.
For someone to really be bothered by the recoil they need to go man up in my book.



Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:34:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 2:47:51 PM EST by kitwulfen]

Originally Posted By M4builder:

Originally Posted By kitwulfen:
They usually do what they advertise. Less heat, more reliable, etc. Lots of folks on here exaggerate the downsides. Still, I don't think that it's worth the cash for a piston upper.


...and there is where I can't see where the piston is any better.

To no one in particular:
Show where it is more reliable,-- not some 'it's cooler' or 'less carbon' statement about how those are supposed to mean it's more reliable,-- but, someone show me how it's more reliable in the real world. The DI has gone 10K in a row without cleaning on semi. (G&A Torture test on 10/3) Show me where the piston improves on that. Then tell me why we'd need to.


When I say more reliable, I mean more reliable. I just think the difference in reliability is pretty miniscule, and certainly not worth a 2-400 dollar premium for a piston.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 2:36:20 PM EST
I was up in the air about purchasing my second AR-15. Would it be the Bushmaster Modular Carbine or the Bushmaster piston carbine. Hmmmm. I talked to the saleman on the phone and mentioned that the DI version would have parts more readily available especially if the SHTF. But of course he mentioned all the pros that has been mentioned on this thread. I ended up buying the DI carbine. I'm happy with it.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:16:18 PM EST
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:33:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?


My DI AR for both.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:45:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By DemolitionDamon:

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?


My DI AR for both.


Yep.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:53:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?


My ARES piston rifle without any question. Ares transformed my POS DPMS into a true fighter. Approaching 2000 rounds w/o any problem. Prior to ARES, my DPMS jammed too many times. Now no more jams.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:54:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 4:56:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By twl:
Just for clarification purposes, the M16/M4 are piston operated weapons with the piston located inside the bolt carrier and fed gas by the gas tube. This is called the Stoner Gas System.
The main difference is the location of the piston in the bolt carrier, along with some other design features that some people feel is important.


Wait what?

What piston is inside the bolt carrier? The gas operates as a theoretical piston.

Or am I not understanding something?
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:01:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 5:04:03 PM EST by twl]
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:03:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By twl:

Originally Posted By Hemi-Cuda:

Originally Posted By twl:
Just for clarification purposes, the M16/M4 are piston operated weapons with the piston located inside the bolt carrier and fed gas by the gas tube. This is called the Stoner Gas System.
The main difference is the location of the piston in the bolt carrier, along with some other design features that some people feel is important.


Wait what?

What piston is inside the bolt carrier? The gas operates as a theoretical piston.

Or am I not understanding something?


The M16 has a gas chamber inside the bolt carrier, which is sealed by the gas rings on the bolt.
When gas enters this chamber, gas pressure acts on the rear wall of the bolt carrier, driving it rearwards. It also pushes forward on the bolt, but the bolt is in lockup and cannot move forward, so the carrier is driven rearwards exactly as a piston

It is in fact a piston system.

The gas does not just push the carrier at the gas key alone like in previous DI systems.
It expands in the chamber and causes the carrier to behave as the piston.
This is the difference of the Stoner Gas System, and why it received patents as a different type of gas system.


Hrm, I don't know. Maybe, technically you are correct but I don't think I'd ever refer to direct impingement as being piston operated.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:03:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 5:13:57 PM EST by Achilles1]

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?


POF piston AR15. Hands down, but it would matter what the landscape, distances and targets would most likely be. For up close in an urban environment the POF definitely, but if it would likely be more longer distances of 200 yards and out further, in rural setting against enemy likely to be wearing body armor, than my M1A.

Both are great piston actions though.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:07:11 PM EST
No SPPRRROOOOOOIINNNNNGGG!!!!!!!!


Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:07:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:
No SPPRRROOOOOOIINNNNNGGG!!!!!!!!


i123.photobucket.com/albums/o300/GR8T_WYT/gunspeeps009.jpg


God that thing is sexy.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 5:25:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
Ok so rather than getting everyone to argue over a slight more kick related issue let me ask this.

In a real world situation you are in a fire fight wherever, you are shooting at someone to save your life. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?

And for those who are not fighters.....

You and your buddy are out shooting he says if you can make the next 100 shots in center mass within 3min at 50 yard range, he will give you $100,000. and you know he is good for it. Which firearm would you bring with you and why?


I would not care about DI vs piston in the second scenario. I would pick whichever had the better barrel. For the first I would pick my LWRC. In fact I consider my rifle a self defense tool and drive with it in my trunk all the time for just such a purpose.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:08:59 PM EST
If the gas block by the foward sight had a clean out plug for the gas tube it would be easier to clean on the field with a wire cleaner ide think.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:33:35 PM EST
Good lord, the OP was asking how they felt different, not which one is better or if the change is worth it!

Stop hijacking this thread!
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 10:31:31 AM EST
SO performance difference unless you go through 1000 rounds on full auto in 2 min, comes down to a personal level? cause it seems like everyone is worried more about cleaning their guns after shooting than how the rifle actually performs. and while I understand the perks of it, that still never answered my question of which rifle brings a better deck to the poker table when it comes to how it performs in the field
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 10:37:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
SO performance difference unless you go through 1000 rounds on full auto in 2 min, comes down to a personal level? cause it seems like everyone is worried more about cleaning their guns after shooting than how the rifle actually performs. and while I understand the perks of it, that still never answered my question of which rifle brings a better deck to the poker table when it comes to how it performs in the field


Listen, you would NEVER tell the difference.
Shooting at the range when you have things like this on your mind, sure, you'll notice that tiny difference in 'push' or whatever. If you ever have to quickly aim and fire in defense, you won't notice it. There are many more important things to worry about. The guy with the better training and advantage will come out a live not who has the rifle with a 2% difference in recoil.
Anyway, there are parts that make DI AR's have more of a smooth push for recoil. Like the 9mm buffer, MGI buffer, LMT enhanced carrier, rifle length or mid-length gas systems....

This is by far one of the last things that I would worry about. Just get the DI and spend the extra money on ammo.
That's just my opinion.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 10:53:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2007 11:26:29 AM EST by Achilles1]

Originally Posted By Platypus12:
SO performance difference unless you go through 1000 rounds on full auto in 2 min, comes down to a personal level? cause it seems like everyone is worried more about cleaning their guns after shooting than how the rifle actually performs. and while I understand the perks of it, that still never answered my question of which rifle brings a better deck to the poker table when it comes to how it performs in the field


Everyone that's used DI has had their own experiences, but I've had times in the military when the carbon fouling was the clear cause of jams. It gets to the point where it's an extra draw for debris giving it a place to stick to than not and that debris together with it turn into an abrasives effect on the bcg and receiver slowing and stopping up the cycling. Without it I know it wouldn't have had the same effect and that's one reason in itself why I just don't want a DI AR if given the choice. You can add more lube alone sometimes and it clear up it to function fine again, but it's something you wouldn't have to more than likely with a piston AR.

That with the heat poured into the receiver also that drys up lube and can bake on that carbon, making it much more to clean and be rougher on some of the most important componets of the operating system make a DI a very lackluster operating system overall to me.

There's really no benefit to a DI AR these days to me besides a few extra more options that I don't care much about and a little money saved. I'll only buy piston AR's if I want another AR.
It's true though that a normally good running DI if maintained properly can be more than sufficient for the average civi especially if your just going to the range with it and that's mainly what you care about besides being there for a defensive gun of basic use.
I still find it not as good as a piston AR overall and would rather spend the money on an operating system I see as better.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 8:49:30 AM EST
I have been reading this thread (which I predicted would turn off subject in my first post) and some of the postings have me a little confused.

To answer some of the initial questions, "what happened to that gas tube" in the photo I attached in my first post, is a massive overheating problem. I have melted several gas tubes while doing standard T&E and R&D. (That is what I do for a day job. ) This particular one was the result of a BETA C-Mag dump in an M16 that suffered from severe gas port errosion. Too fast + too much = too hot, to put it in simple terms.

On the increased recoil some have experienced, I have yet to find that to be the case in ANY of the piston guns I have been testing. The majority of my time thus far is with the POF-USA system and the Ares SR25 system. I have a few HK 416s coming in too and I'll see how those function, but honestly, it is nothing that has been noticed in our testing to date. I have posted several videos of big mag-dumps in the past and the lack of muzzle rise is no different than with any of the DI system videos I have posted. A good shooter combined with a reasonable cyclic rate and a little experience shooting in this style and these black rifles are quite easy to hold on target. A good muzzle brake combined with a buffer like the MGI Rate Reducing Buffer makes them even more effective and controlable. Recoil, of any kind with 5.56 black rifles has never been a factor to date. I guess I'll just have to keep reading and learning like everyone else because it is new to me.

I posted a video of a 140-round mag dump a month or so ago and it was moved to the "Magazines" thread area. Check that out and you will notice a fairly steady muzzle. The gun is a POF-416 with a 9.25-inch barrel and the magazine is the new Armatac CL-Mag.

I hope this helps!

Jeff Z
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