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Posted: 11/30/2016 8:10:26 PM EDT
Steve here... Just a quick plug for Superlative Arms gas piston kit. I just put together a 6x45 carbine. My justification on the piston kit was keeping the gas out of the bolt, bolt carrier and receiver, to keep everything clean..
I have 150 to 200 rounds through it and was pleasantly surprised how little I had to clean. Almost like  cleaning a bolt gun. With this kit after shooting I clean the bore and piston then  wipe off the bolt face...done.
In the past, my ar's would have low mileage, because of the extra cleaning involved with the receiver, chamber area, bolt,  and bolt carrier.
Ive been building ar's  on and off for 25+ years for personal use and was always intrigued  by the gas piston on the FNFAL and AK.
Just my 2 cents
Steve
Link Posted: 12/1/2016 12:06:24 AM EDT
[#1]
Good to hear. I've been looking at their kits for an SBR build.
Link Posted: 12/3/2016 8:57:42 PM EDT
[#2]
Link Posted: 12/3/2016 9:35:00 PM EDT
[#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I love my SA kit. No extra weight added. I have it on my 11.5" SBR and it is awesome especially suppressed. Even fits under my KMR.
View Quote


Could I bother you to float a pic of your 11.5" SBR? Exactly what I want to build with the SA kit.
Link Posted: 12/3/2016 10:23:15 PM EDT
[#4]
Link Posted: 12/4/2016 9:34:33 PM EDT
[#5]
Ahhh, thank you. Gives me a visual idea now  I'm not up & up on handguards, which one is that? Thanks for posting.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 12:54:38 AM EDT
[#6]
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 1:09:35 AM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


BCM KMR. If it fits under that then it will fit under most.
View Quote



I plan on a very similar build using the SA kit, so this helps me along. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 11:23:03 PM EDT
[#8]
How much real long term high round count testing has been done with this system and where can I find the results?
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 11:44:12 PM EDT
[#9]
Link Posted: 12/6/2016 8:25:15 PM EDT
[#10]
Will do, thanks.
Link Posted: 12/12/2016 1:11:16 AM EDT
[#11]
Took my rifle with an SA kit out this weekend.  I still need to tweak the gas setting, but it functioned without issue on a mix of wolf gold and random steel cased russian.  Only put 100-200 rounds through it, I think I can open up the gas a bit more. So far I am a happy customer.
Link Posted: 1/12/2017 3:18:36 AM EDT
[#12]
The SA kit works really well on my 458 Socom. Everything went together nicely and gas block adjustment was a breeze. No complaints at all. I don't miss cleaning the BCG at all.



Link Posted: 1/17/2017 8:34:37 AM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The SA kit works really well on my 458 Socom. Everything went together nicely and gas block adjustment was a breeze. No complaints at all. I don't miss cleaning the BCG at all.
View Quote


Wow.  That's a lot of rounds on a 458 SOCOM to save cleaning a BCG.
Link Posted: 1/18/2017 1:59:18 AM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Wow.  That's a lot of rounds on a 458 SOCOM to save cleaning a BCG.
View Quote


I am still working out some loads and some powders don't fully burn so I do get a fair amount of residue everywhere. I on average shoot it every other weekend and run about 50 rounds through it when I do. So yes it helps.
Link Posted: 1/18/2017 10:01:41 AM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

View Quote


what buffer tube are you using? I know the carrier is enhanced but is it worth it to get the PWS buffer tube? or is the enhanced carrier just fine with a regular buffer tube?

just finished a 7.62x39 build and now I am gathering the last parts for the piston build
Link Posted: 1/18/2017 12:08:47 PM EDT
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


what buffer tube are you using? I know the carrier is enhanced but is it worth it to get the PWS buffer tube? or is the enhanced carrier just fine with a regular buffer tube?

just finished a 7.62x39 build and now I am gathering the last parts for the piston build
View Quote


I already had the PWS tube on this before I put the kit on. But I have an Adams Arms kit on a 5.56 with a regular tube and have had zero issues with over 2000 rounds on it. Should be good to go as they look to be almost the same carrier.

The PWS tube I have on there is an older version that I don't think they make anymore. Got them from SKD.

http://www.skdtac.com/PWS-Enhanced-Buffer-Tube-p/pws.109.htm
Link Posted: 1/18/2017 1:12:22 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I already had the PWS tube on this before I put the kit on. But I have an Adams Arms kit on a 5.56 with a regular tube and have had zero issues with over 2000 rounds on it. Should be good to go as they look to be almost the same carrier.

The PWS tube I have on there is an older version that I don't think they make anymore. Got them from SKD.

http://www.skdtac.com/PWS-Enhanced-Buffer-Tube-p/pws.109.htm
View Quote


thanks
Link Posted: 1/18/2017 8:07:38 PM EDT
[#18]
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 8:14:57 PM EDT
[#19]
I think im going to swap out the Adams Arms XLP kit with one from Superlative arms in my 5.45x39 SBR.  The Adams arms is all locked up.  Cant get it apart to clean it.

Anyone fit one of these under a Daniel Defense MK18 rail?
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 9:00:38 PM EDT
[#20]
Link Posted: 1/23/2017 11:06:27 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I think im going to swap out the Adams Arms XLP kit with one from Superlative arms in my 5.45x39 SBR.  The Adams arms is all locked up.  Cant get it apart to clean it.

Anyone fit one of these under a Daniel Defense MK18 rail?
View Quote


Were you shooting corrosive milsurp and if so how long did you wait to clean it afterwards?  It can be deceiving with how well the melonite treating works, but at a certain point it can rust together.  You should be able to get the plunger/piston out with some penetrating fluid, heat, and maybe some vice grips on the knob.  Once removed you need a new piston/plunger from AA or you can attempt to separate the plunger from the piston, but that can be a real PITA.

After shooting corrosive ammo I take it apart and poor boiling hot water on the various components to get rid of any salt.  I find the girlfriend's electric kettle makes heating up the water quick and easy.  The spout is pretty good for directing the water where it needs to go.

Don't get me wrong if you want to switch to the SA setup do it.  My latest have been built with the SA system, no issues, but not sure it would do any better with corrosive ammo.
Link Posted: 1/25/2017 3:29:34 AM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Were you shooting corrosive milsurp and if so how long did you wait to clean it afterwards?  It can be deceiving with how well the melonite treating works, but at a certain point it can rust together.  You should be able to get the plunger/piston out with some penetrating fluid, heat, and maybe some vice grips on the knob.  Once removed you need a new piston/plunger from AA or you can attempt to separate the plunger from the piston, but that can be a real PITA.

After shooting corrosive ammo I take it apart and poor boiling hot water on the various components to get rid of any salt.  I find the girlfriend's electric kettle makes heating up the water quick and easy.  The spout is pretty good for directing the water where it needs to go.

Don't get me wrong if you want to switch to the SA setup do it.  My latest have been built with the SA system, no issues, but not sure it would do any better with corrosive ammo.
View Quote


It's not just the ammo, I have had 4 AA piston systems two of them were the older style and the last two were XLP. The XLP block has always been a pain to get apart no matter the ammo used, even after 200 rounds. The older low profile AA gas blocks never gave me the same problems. The SA block has been way easier to clean.
Link Posted: 1/28/2017 9:57:07 PM EDT
[#23]
.....
Link Posted: 2/8/2017 10:18:29 AM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

View Quote


Hey man, nice build.  This is pretty much exactly what I'm going for as well.  Are you using the clamp on system or set screw?  I was thinking of going with the clamp on just because it's easier to not dimple the barrel, but I was wondering if it would fit.
Link Posted: 2/8/2017 7:07:57 PM EDT
[#25]
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 1:59:18 PM EDT
[#26]
I have an 11.5 and 14.5 upper on hold just waiting for the LEFTY version that the owner said was on the list of future projects...  
I know it could be a while, but I'm being optimistic for a change.
Link Posted: 2/15/2017 7:05:19 PM EDT
[#27]
Just put a Superlative Arms carbine length system on an upper I built-- Larue 12" barrel, Vltor MUR 1A upper, Geissele MK8 9.5" rail. Everything fit together fine. Hopefully I'll be able to test fire soon.

So what's the consensus on the bolt spring, or lack thereof? I've read plenty of posts from people who swear it's necessary and an equal amount from those who swear it's a waste.

What say you guys?

-Stooxie
Link Posted: 2/28/2017 4:39:51 AM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Just put a Superlative Arms carbine length system on an upper I built-- Larue 12" barrel, Vltor MUR 1A upper, Geissele MK8 9.5" rail. Everything fit together fine. Hopefully I'll be able to test fire soon.

So what's the consensus on the bolt spring, or lack thereof? I've read plenty of posts from people who swear it's necessary and an equal amount from those who swear it's a waste.

What say you guys?

-Stooxie
View Quote
Here's one Youtuber explaining the function of the spring... sounds like it's good to keep it in the system.  Go to 3:15 to see what he says.
Superlative Arms Adjustable Gas Block AR-15 Piston Kit
Link Posted: 2/28/2017 7:10:09 AM EDT
[#29]
Thanks for posting that! I wasn't talking about the op rod spring, I have no question about that. I was talking about the little spring that AA used on the bolt to keep a little bit of outward pressure on it. 

I've seen explanations ranging from it recreates some the the gas pressure from the DI cycle to it just keeps the BCG from falling out the back when cleaning to it does nothing. 

I guess me question is really can it hurt because issue number 2 is kind of a pain. The BCG is happy to just fly out the back if the upper is separated.

I should add that I did get to test fire and the thing runs beautifully!

-Stooxie
Link Posted: 3/1/2017 7:06:33 AM EDT
[#30]
Ah, the bolt spring... I should have read your post more carefully.  Well, I don't know it's purpose, but I have them on both of my AA uppers.  My SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) is that it is there to ensure that the BCG stays in contact with the buffer at all times.  Maybe this helps with reliability? carrier tilt?  idk.
Link Posted: 3/3/2017 12:08:39 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
My SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) is that it is there to ensure that the BCG stays in contact with the buffer at all times.  Maybe this helps with reliability? carrier tilt?  idk.
View Quote

No, it's not.

I believe the bolt spring is used to help emulate the DI gas pressure that helps keep the bolt locked up in the barrel extension after firing.

Without it, the bolt can start to prematurely unlock while pressures are still high, and that can lead to some issues.  Mainly, wear from friction of the bolt lugs rubbing against insides of the barrels extension lugs/feed ramps.
Link Posted: 3/14/2017 5:28:20 PM EDT
[#32]
Does anyone have any more data on how much the velocity drops when using the bleed off gas function of the superlative arms system.  I just put one on my 6.5 grendel SBR but have only used the traditional part of it where it just cuts the amount of gas feeding the piston, but not bleeding off the excess gas.
Link Posted: 3/14/2017 7:20:10 PM EDT
[#33]
I believe MBELL did some velocity testing in one of his vids.
Link Posted: 3/14/2017 7:27:29 PM EDT
[#34]
Yep, this one I believe

Superlative Arms AR-15 Piston Kit Field Test: Effect on Muzzle Velocity and Sound Suppression
Link Posted: 3/14/2017 7:35:14 PM EDT
[#35]
I just installed mine and had a similar question. Once I got the the gas dialed in, sometimes I was having FTF. I was using American Eagle XM855, and a gen3 PMAG. I had never had any issues before. Being fairly new to building ARs, my concern was lock up, but after doing a little research, I do believe as long as the buffer spring and buffer are at normal milspec link, there should be no lock up issue. With the buffer forced against the rear of the BCG, the bolt is forced to lock up in the barrel extension or at least that is my understanding. I believe my issue may have been lubrication. But still am not sure. Guess I will just have to go but more rounds down range.
Link Posted: 3/16/2017 12:40:50 PM EDT
[#36]
Concerning the bolt spring - I have an AA and a Sup Arms system.  Once I got the Sup system, though i had no malfunctions, I didn't like the way the bolt flopped around so I bought a few springs from AA.  They aren't cheap and shipping is outrageous, but it's worth it to me.
Link Posted: 3/16/2017 7:28:16 PM EDT
[#37]
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 7:51:11 AM EDT
[#38]
My quick review of the SA Piston Kit.

My intentions with this kit were not for "reliability" (DI Guns are just as reliable), it was purely for an ease of cleaning standpoint on a suppressed SBR, as well as less gas to the face.

Set Up
Upper:
Mur-1a
Noveske 10.5 N4 CHF
Geissele 10in FBI HRT mk4
SiCo Brake

Lower:
USM4 Lower
Geissele SSA
VLTOR A5 (H2 w/Emod)
Milspec rifle spring
B5 Grip

I have not tried running this rifle in DI config yet.

Shooting:

Unsuppressed:
This gun was running real snappy. I was hoping it would run closer to a DI gun with heavy buffer wide open... NOT the case. Even after tuning it down in bleed off mode, the initial recoil is the quick snap of the piston to drive the BCG back. Not bad, but definitely a little different. Its been a while since I shot an LWRC, but the LWRC SBR I shot was neither better nor worse, but different than this. The snap on the LWRC is a bit more even all the way through, id contribute it to a bit more moving mass on the front of the gun. This is more of a snap, then the bcg and buffer do their thing and the gun comes nicely back into rest. Id relate it to casting a fishing rod, the whip of the rod then the nice smooth ride of the lure until it hits the water.

Suppressed:
Oh man, throwing a suppressor on it after getting the gun to barely run without it, really sped up the BCG. Ejection patterns moved from a lazy 4:30-5oclock, to a quick 2 o'clock and quality ping off the brass deflector. Recoil impulse confirmed the same. I have to say this system is more sensitive than other comparable DI systems I've used. I was hoping to be able to run it without changing the settings but this gun lives with a suppressor on it, so no big deal, ill tune it to run suppressed and short stroke unsuppressed. Once I had ejection patterns about the 330 I figured id call it good. Currently running the bleed off mode, tuned to run only with the suppressor. The recoil impulse is now very pleasant, stays on target with a nice very slight nearly linear muzzle rise. it is quick, but smooth.

Gas in the Face:
It still happens, but just slightly less. Even with quick double and triple taps, its more of a constant and less of a burst. Instead of shooting, shooting, shooting, BAM eyes water and you taste it as it shoots out at you. Its more contained and released... for lack of a better analogy; its like someone passed gas in the same room.. instead of directly in your face.

Cleaning:
Very pleasantly surprised. Yes the gun still gets dirty. Yes your mags and ammo still get dirty. But after 200 rounds of suppressed fire, the inside of the BCG looks fresh. Requires nothing more than a wipe down of the BCG, Bore, chamber, and re lube.

Overall:
I really like the system after only a couple hundred rounds. Is it worth it over DI? Im still on the fence. There are pros and cons to each. I would like to try a LMT Enhanced carrier and bolt to compare recoil impulses; as running each system would be comparable in price.

Pros:
Runs cleaner
SLIGHTLY less gas to the face
Adjustability

Cons:
More sensitive to gas changes (Anecdotal, but with MY setup I cant run a barely running unsuppressed setting to get a slightly overgassed suppress setting, seems to be one or the other. )
Recoil impulse is different, not bad, just different. (Could be a pro to some?)

I will be running this gun in competitions, and classes. Currently liking it, but id like to try the LMT E-BCG to see where my personal preference aligns. I plan on putting at least a couple thousand rounds down range with each system at some point.
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 8:04:42 AM EDT
[#39]
Nice write up!

I think some of what you are experiencing is related to the short barrel and CLGS. With such high gas pressure exiting the barrel and relatively little dwell time it make sense that you would experience a fairly sharp initial impulse on the BCG and vastly different gas levels for suppressed vs unsuppressed.

-Stooxie
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 10:26:48 AM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Nice write up!

I think some of what you are experiencing is related to the short barrel and CLGS. With such high gas pressure exiting the barrel and relatively little dwell time it make sense that you would experience a fairly sharp initial impulse on the BCG and vastly different gas levels for suppressed vs unsuppressed.

-Stooxie
View Quote
I agree. But id also like to shoot some properly tuned, similarly configured DI 10.5's some more and back to back if able to really have a sense of it. Its been a few months since ive had my hands on one. So its relatively old memories im going off of.
Link Posted: 4/7/2017 10:15:44 PM EDT
[#41]
Is there any info out there on the .300blk compatible retro kits?  My 8.5" is the only DI I have left and I've been thinking real hard about converting it.
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 6:01:32 PM EDT
[#42]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Is there any info out there on the .300blk compatible retro kits?  My 8.5" is the only DI I have left and I've been thinking real hard about converting it.
View Quote
Last time I talked to him, two months ago, he said it was still in the works but close. He sounds really busy keeping up with demand!
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 8:29:15 PM EDT
[#43]
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 1:23:43 PM EDT
[#44]
Awesome set ups.  

Hey, what does the carrier look like?   I know the carrier will be different from DI carrier, but how much difference is there on the underside?   Where the carrier interacts with the trigger group?

I'm thinking about a retrofit piston for my LL and just checking on if it's possible.  I know I'll need it milled, just seeing even if that will be possible.  

Thanks.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 8:00:16 PM EDT
[#45]
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 7:00:19 PM EDT
[#46]
Good news.. I just picked up a DD mk18. I will run the upper side by side to get a feel of recoil impulse, gas, cleanliness etc and then report!

Side Note:

Has anyone experienced some sparks coming from the gas block? im guessing its just self cleaning and spitting out the carbon and unburnt powder (SBR)..
Link Posted: 4/25/2017 6:29:27 PM EDT
[#47]
Couple hundred rounds through each now.

the Superlative Arms kit stays way cleaner.

Gas in the face is just mildly less on the Sup Arms kit.. mildly. One it gets hotter, under rapid fire and the pressure builds, its nearly the same.

I like the recoil impulse of DI better personally. It is also less sensitive, I can run a A5H3 and have a gun that cycles 556 unsuppressed at 4 oclock, then have 230/3 ejection with a can. Its one or the other with the sup arms kit.

That being said;

I won a carbine/2gun competition this last weekend with my sup arms SBR. Its been very reliable and I enjoy it quite a bit.

Hope ive helped!
Link Posted: 4/27/2017 1:05:56 PM EDT
[#48]
I recently purchased one of these kits myself for use on a 10.5" 5.56 barrel.  Barrel is a BA Hanson from Ballistic Advantage, which I found has some proprietary dimensions, so the OP rod was pushing the block too far back from the shoulder.  Had to send in the upper to Tony for testing, and he wound up just cutting the OP rod down a bit.  Everything fits as it should now.

Upper was an Aero M4E1.  After 30 rounds, I saw peening on the barrel extension... not good.  Tracked it down to something in the upper being out of spec.  Took it apart and replaced the upper with a standard non-enhanced Aero upper and problem solved.  Like another poster, I didn't quite trust the bolt being able to move around so much so I put in one of the Adams Arms bolt springs.

It has cycled flawlessly and locks back when it should.  The feel of the recoil is a little different, but not dramatically so.  It is very sensitive to gas adjustment...  on full gas, it was bottoming out an H3 buffer and ejecting at 1:30-2:00.  Adjusting the bleed off one full rotation tamed it.  A half rotation more and it fails to lock back.  After a 200 round session, the BCG was barely dirty.

I picked up another kit with the intention of retrofitting a DD mid-length, but I'm going to try and see if I can get it to work with my suppressed 300BLK build first.  Ordered a pistol length op rod to test with, which I should have before the weekend.  If it works, I'll let you guys know... if not, looks like my middy is going piston.
Link Posted: 5/1/2017 10:56:26 AM EDT
[#49]
Well, that didn't work out...

The SA piston will not cycle with suppressed subsonic 300BLK consistently, just not enough gas.  It did cycle a few times, maybe two rounds in a row at most.  I may try again with some lower weight springs in my JP buffer, but I think it would need the gas port opened up as well.

Here's hoping they get that 300BLK SKU out sometime.
Link Posted: 5/1/2017 3:28:16 PM EDT
[#50]
Update: the mag release spring for the piston lasted about 500 rounds of decently hard use before distorting.

functions flawlessly without it.
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