Who currently makes the best gas-piston rifle in 6.8 SPC at the best price?


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averius
March 10, 2010, 12:47 AM
Which manufacturer currently has the best deals on a gas piston operated 6.8 SPC rifle?

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SHvar
March 10, 2010, 01:50 AM
Look at POFs 415-16 MRR 6.8 spc, its listed at $1975, but the price may be lower at an actual dealer.
An upper made by POF is $1475, that you can order directly from the company if you have a good lower to install it on.
CMMG the 6.8 upper is $729.
LWRC a complete rifle is from $1739-$2400, depends what you want in features.
Im not sure if LMT has the 6.8mm available yet in GP.

dscottw88
March 10, 2010, 01:53 AM
Stag recently released a Piston Rifle, Probably wont be long before they offer a 6.8mm Version. I know there are probably plenty of people offering such a rifle, but Stag is the only company I can think of off the top of my head.

Tirod
March 10, 2010, 10:44 AM
Is a piston an absolute requirement on this shopping trip? It does cost another $400 over direct impingement.

Avoiding that debate, it brings up the other elephant in the room - choosing features that may be less necessary but are expensive. I see a lot of pics, build lists, and proponents of expensive gear. What MOA improvement is guaranteed, or the location of the town they are an entry team member seems to be lacking. It doesn't help the coolest looking ones are accompanied by the statement "I've had it six months but the weather has been too crappy to take it out and shoot it."

????

I have no problem with the 6.8, I've got my stripped lower already for one. For a significant improvement in operation, I'm leaning to a side charging upper from ASA. It fixes the charging handle/forward assist issues I have with the AR design. Having used the M16 for 22 years Reserves, I had no problems with them operating if I kept it lubed up, and when I didn't, a bottle of lube solved it every time. The charging handle/forward assist was more trouble.

It's my view we'd be better off dropping the whole piston retrofit thing, which is expensive, and go for something that actually helps load and fire the weapon in use. It's also cheaper - which on a budget comes out as a win. Higher ergonomic efficiency, less overall cost.

If it's piston, I imagine it's available in 6.8, it's the #1 alternate caliber. 6.8 improves downrange performance, but that piston won't measurably improve it.

averius
March 10, 2010, 11:05 AM
I saw a review of a new Ruger mini gas piston in 6.8 SPc, but when I went to their webiste I could not find such a model.

Has anyone ever seen one for sale or is this somehting in the works by Ruger? I read some comments on this forum that the mini 14s are not very reliable, whats the basis for this?

Shawn Dodson
March 10, 2010, 12:11 PM
Tirod:

I was completely unaware of the side charger upper receiver by American Spirit Arms. If they could design it to lock open without the need to engage the bolt stop with the other hand, perhaps a cutout to accept the charging handle when it's pulled all the way to the rear (similar to an HK MP5) that would be a tremendous improvement. To lock open the bolt one would retract and push up on the charging handle. To release it one would just push down on the charging handle.

Arkady
March 10, 2010, 02:46 PM
Why a piston gun, exactly?

Do you just dislike DI, or do you want the piston because you plan on suppressing the rifle down the road?

If the former, then look at the POF, as previously stated. If you want to suppress it, just get a switchblock from Noveske--they're sold in various configurations depending on caliber and barrel length, for $185, instead of the ~$400 you'll pay for a piston set up.

sgtdevildog
March 10, 2010, 03:07 PM
Don't know if it's the best "deal" or not, but I've got an LWRC M6A2 in 6.8 with a 14.7 PA barrel that I really like. Well made, very solid, very accurate. Ammo's a bit much - but you knew that going in. I don't reload (yet). Rails are a little tight with most of the accessories I've put on - but it was also pretty pricey considering. My prior AR experience was a long time ago - M16A1 in the Corps. I'm having much more fun with this one.

JWF III
March 10, 2010, 04:10 PM
that the mini 14s are not very reliable, whats the basis for this?

Basis is opinion. And laughable at best.

My minis get field strip cleaned... well my oldest a 1975, 180 series was thouroghly cleaned for the first time (while I've had it, ~18 years) about five years ago. My other two (had each around 5 years) have never been detail cleaned by me. They've had about 4-5k rounds through each.

If it said "not very accurate", well maybe. Each of mine shoots minute of torso at 300 yards easily. That does all I will need to ever do with those guns. If I need something more accurate, or more range; well I'll grab a different gun that can handle that job at hand.

Seeing those prices of piston ARs, I'd go buy three Minis. Or one and at least 1k rounds.

Wyman

gondorian
March 10, 2010, 05:40 PM
Keep in mind non AR-15 pattern rifles like the Robinson XCR, which comes in 6.8spc.

averius
March 10, 2010, 05:57 PM
I've got an LWRC M6A2 in 6.8 with a 14.7 PA barrel that I really like

I have the LWRC PSD in 5.56 and really like it. I considered the 14.7 inch LWRC in 6.8, but paying again that kind of money makes me ill.

what's the recoil on this rifle like?

sgtdevildog
March 11, 2010, 08:17 AM
Recoil is negligible - I don't find it much different (if I remember from that far back) being any different from the 5.56 - now the front end is a bit heavier with the rails and piston system so that may help, but not an issue for me at least.

averius
March 11, 2010, 11:36 AM
Keep in mind non AR-15 pattern rifles like the Robinson XCR, which comes in 6.8spc.

Looks like an interestign platform for a 6.8 SPc, but just as expensive as the other top brands like LWRC...at that price range why buy a Robinson over an LWRC?

gondorian
March 11, 2010, 01:20 PM
There isn't all that much reason to get a Robinson over a LWRC. Maybe if you like to have a folding stock, you could b/c the XCR doesn't have a buffer tube or if you like to ergos better. Averius, have you considered just getting a 6.8 spc upper for you PSD?

averius
March 12, 2010, 12:17 AM
have you considered just getting a 6.8 spc upper for you PSD?

Funny you should ask. I have indeed. I am new to all of this, so I was naive enough to ask a dealer recently whether I could get a 6.8 SPc upper for my LWRC lower...I didnt realize at the time that you dont need an FFL for this..he ignored my question :)

Anyway, LWRC sells 6.8 uppers. However, their uppers on all their models are priced around 1900 dollars. that is roughly 200 dollars less than I can get a complete rifle for. It makes no sense at all to buy just the upper when I can get the entire rifle for a few hundred buck extra. This appears to be the case with LWRC, which is my favorite Ar manufacturer.

Do you know of any good deals on 6.8 SPC gas piston uppers that woudl make sense?

Hatterasguy
March 12, 2010, 12:19 AM
LWRC, I came within an inch of buying one last year. Which is saying a lot since I'm very picky and hate the AR, and oddball rounds.

The quality is their and you will pay for it. But as with everything in life nice things cost money!:D

averius
March 12, 2010, 01:07 AM
The quality is their and you will pay for it

I am sitting right now with my LWRC PSD in 5.56 on one side and the brand new Arsenal sGL 21-76 with picatinny rails that I received today from K-var on the other. I havent fired the AK yet, and its my first AK. As I am sitting and looking at the two rifles, I hope that I didnt make a mistake by ploughing 840 bucks into this AK as opposed to just sucking it up and buying another PSD in 6.8 SPC this time with MRE colors.....I mean the AK looks nice with the picatinny's over the barrel..but its a much heavier rifle..the stock is nowhere near as nice as the magpul..the sights are ..well your AK sites.....trying to figure out what optics would work with this thing is a pain in the .... b/c I just cant even envision what it means to have an optic sitting all the way over the hand guards with my near sightedness...I mean where the hell woudl I put a magnifier on this thing??

so, yes...the LWRCs are as they say -- you get what you pay for. Maybe some day they will bring their prices down to 1500 hundred or so, which will make it that much less painfull to buy them....I've noticed that they dropped in price already.. I got raped on my PSD when I bought it 7 months ago...makes me sick to my stomach to think about it..I paid 2500 not including the ATF stamp tax...Now, you can get the PSD for less than 2100 in 5.56 and for another 100 you can get one in 6.8.

I will never buy anyhtign form the dealer who gave me that price again for sure...

One fear I have is that Obama may reenact the old assault rifle ban and I will be kicking myself for not buying the PSD or any other LWRC at the current rates...

Tirod
March 12, 2010, 11:25 AM
Check with 68forums.com or the piston subforum at arfcom and you will find vendors galore. Some will even be able to sell you a complete piston gun for less than 1900.

The ASA side charger works exactly like the FNFAL, the handle has to be slide back to the front. ASA says you can just leave it, the bolt will pull it forward. Don't forget the AR already has a bolt stop of it's own. Hankering for a HK style setup would actually make it more work - reaching up to disengage the handle from the notch is harder than just pushing the button on the receiver. Your hand goes back to support with less motion.

Had a HK91, it worked ok, but I got real used to the AR over 22 years Reserves.

Lots of forums get asked "What's the best for the money?" What has to be explained to answer the question is "What are you going to do with it, and what do you think it needs to do that job?" The two separate answers don't always agree - some things are counter-intuitive and not the answer at all.

Piston designs are being marketed right now to a cash burning crowd ( there is a rumor of a recession going on,) who are looking to get an different operating system on an AR. I view it as trying to install a 350 Chevy in a Jeep. Sure, it can be done, but the question is why bother? In the case of the piston, there is only at best a small incremental improvement in reputed reliability - something industry pros continue to explain has no basis in real life IF THE PROPER LUBRICATION IS PERFORMED. Other issues seem to offset the idea that reliability is better. First, nobody absolutely guarantees it, period. Considering DI guns have gone thousands, and sometimes 10 thousand rounds with only lubrication, buying a quality weapon will have more influence on reliability.

Another negative is the percieved loss of accuracy with piston systems, which is incremental and probably moot viewed from a battle effectiveness perspective. Nonetheless, they don't claim improved accuracy, just less time off target - in some cases.

Parts availability and spares are another issue. I plan on keeping my AR for decades as I have other possession. Spare parts for maintenance may be hard to find for a gun no longer in production, or a maker completely out of business. At that point, the money in it is useless and wasted for what it's for. I don't plan on throwing a $1k out the window because I can't get a widget to make it run. It's something I do consider about the side charger upper. At least it takes a standard BCG with one small dimple extra drilled in it. I could do that with a dremel in the worst case.

The current big push on piston designs are in anticipation of the Army COTS carbine trials, which may anoint a few more makers as Tier One suppliers on small contract runs. The public will look at those not selected at losers, regardless of the brilliance or worth of the design. If I was buying piston, I'd choose from a winner regardless - they might be in business five years from now. Non-selects often get trashcanned as there is no further potential profit to be made. Which is which, your guess might be better than mine.

Looking for 6.8 is easy, the "BEST" piston nobody knows yet as there hasn't been a lineup side by side on the firing line through 10k rounds and a war. Basically, nobody can answer that with any credibility. The Army hasn't even decided on what "best" means - if they are even considering piston. So far, all they bought was a small batch of SCARs, and I'm not sure 6.8 is easily available while that contract is being filled.

9teenEleven
March 12, 2010, 11:41 AM
CMMG makes a very reasonably priced 6.8 piston upper.

SHvar
March 12, 2010, 01:17 PM
A bit of correction, and clarification on some above statements...

"Piston designs are being marketed right now to a cash burning crowd"
There are alot of products in the firearms world and any other industries that can be considered as being marketed to the the cash burning crowd, heck look at the thousands who buy $1300-$1700 DI colts when you can buy so many products made the same, just as good for less, and dont have pins made in oddball sizes only for their rifle.

"who are looking to get an different operating system on an AR."
Now I agree, something different, something they might like alot more. Or simply because they wanted a piston AR.

"I view it as trying to install a 350 Chevy in a Jeep. Sure, it can be done, but the question is why bother?"
This is an apples to oranges comparison, its more like having a self cleaning oven rather than one that you spend 4 hours after every big holiday scrubbing it.

"In the case of the piston, there is only at best a small incremental improvement in reputed reliability - something industry pros continue to explain has no basis in real life IF THE PROPER LUBRICATION IS PERFORMED."
This I disagree, but then again I own a piston rifle, I have seen the improvements, and the few disadvantages to comparing them.
Its funny during discussions about the advantages in cleaning a piston rifle all of the sudden the guys who said they spend 2-4 hours detailing their DI ARs because its part of the fun of them, now all of the sudden claim that they only spend 15 minutes doing a quick wipe down. Where they said you need to religiously clean them, now they claim that its not needed. Come on...
My problem with the "industry pros"comment is that the only industry pros telling you there is no advatage to the piston rifle are those selling or manufacturing DI rifles at a high profit margin. In order to be an industry pro you must be making money in that industry, not doing it as a hobby or for fun, need I say more.

"other issues seem to offset the idea that reliability is better. First, nobody absolutely guarantees it, period."
I dont know of one issue that causes a lack of reliability in any GP AR aside from a few models that have retrofit kits installed, not many, but a few. Next my GP rifle has the same warrantee that the manufacturer supplies with the DI rifles.

"considering DI guns have gone thousands, and sometimes 10 thousand rounds with only lubrication, buying a quality weapon will have more influence on reliability."
Theres a difference, the few DI rifles that have been tested to 1000s of rds without cleaning without major malfunctions have loads of oil being dumped on their bolts, and inner working every so many rds to keep them working.
Dont get me wrong, I like DI AR rifles, but they have realistic limitations, and their own gas system causes some of those problems, the same one that burns oil, cakes carbon to moving parts, and collects dirt and grit.
At one time I relied upon a DI rifle in war, it worked, but I spent time every day religiously caring for it, cleaning it. My life depended on it, to this day I clean my firearms the same way regardless because its the way I do things.

"another negative is the percieved loss of accuracy with piston systems, which is incremental and probably moot viewed from a battle effectiveness perspective. Nonetheless, they don't claim improved accuracy, just less time off target - in some cases."
This I can agree with, piston rifles make it harder to fire as accurately, DI rifles in comparison would make better weapons for a sniper, much better. Piston rifles require some practice, and some adaptation on the shooters part.

"Parts availability and spares are another issue."
Right now I can buy any spare part from Bushmaster or POF for my rifle, both have been around for a while, in fact bushmaster for at least a few decades. In fact I dont know of many GP AR manufacturers that havent been around and making firearms for a while, aside from LWRC and a few others. BM, S&W, CMMG, Ruger, H&K, have been around.

Realistically, if the guy wants a GP rifle hes gonna get one, he has his own reasons for doing it.

Water-Man
March 12, 2010, 01:27 PM
averius.. Go over to M4Carbine.net

Tirod
March 12, 2010, 02:02 PM
If anything, people buy what they want. Nothing really is going to stop that.

But the long list of disclaimers isn't about how good the gas piston is - it's just another long list of complaints about the DI system. And as said, you "dump enought oil in it," it won't malfunction.

So, you agree that GIVEN ENOUGH LUBE, there is no problem with the gun.

That doesn't make a gas piston inherently superior, just preferred.

And having owned an HK91, not have a piston system at all is one less thing to clean. Noone claims it's a problem, either. I find those who dislike the DI system are the ones who won't operate it with enough lube and who believe that the excessive cleaning demanded in the military is the proper method.

I don't see where spending $400 is going to significantly improve the operation of the AR by adding a gas piston. However, spending that and getting reliable quality parts that don't break will. That does happen and many owners report that.

A more detailed explanation of why gas piston is worth $400 more would go further than repeating the same tired and inaccurate complaints about DI. There are over 10 million made, soldiers rely on them, and many professionals in other countries who can make an educated decision choose them over other systems. I've been no fan in the past, but whether I like them or not, DI AR's and M16's have worked, and worked well for over 45 years.

ny32182
March 12, 2010, 02:27 PM
Looks like an interestign platform for a 6.8 SPc, but just as expensive as the other top brands like LWRC...at that price range why buy a Robinson over an LWRC?

The XCR (starting around 1600 or so) is cheaper than a LW, but as far as your question, points on which the XCR is better:

-Built from the ground up as an AK-like long stroke piston system; not a reverse engineered piston-into-an-AR.
-Uses stronger 3 lug bolt, fixed ejector
-AK-like operating system allows for folding stock.
-Ambi bolt catch
-True Monolithic FF upper
-QD barrel allows for more configurability between lengths and calibers.

1858
March 12, 2010, 03:42 PM
I have an oustanding DGI AR that has been 100% reliable so far but I'd like to make a small point in this discussion regarding POF and the perceived high cost of gas piston ARs. I own two POF ARs (P415 and P308) and I think it's misleading to state that you pay a $400 premium simply for the piston. I will admit that POF ARs are pricey but just look at what you get for the money. The P415 and P308 rifles are packed with so many expensive features with quality that is second to none. In fact, some of those features aren't available from the aftermarket. Once you add up the aftermarket costs of a VLTOR stock, a DD Omega rail (let alone the full-length M.R.R), NP3 coating, one-piece bolt carrier, ambidextrous bolt and mag release, billet aluminum lower, fluted and painted Rock Creek barrel, muzzle brake, anti-walk trigger pins, trigger, grip, barrel nut with heatsink, etc you soon realize that a POF AR is a GREAT deal. Noveske, LMT, LWRC etc are all known to make oustanding, high-end ARs but POF should be in that group too. If you haven't handled a POF you will not appreciate the incredible quality that is so clearly evident. In fact, once you realize what you're getting for the money, you soon realize that they're not just a good value, they're a great value.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/pof/p415_223/415-165-MRR-11SX-223-G.jpg

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/pof/p415_223/415-165-MRR-11SX-223-G2.jpg

:)

averius
March 12, 2010, 08:07 PM
1858
Member



Join Date: July 1, 2008
Posts: 2,356 I have an oustanding DGI AR that has been 100% reliable so far but I'd like to make a small point in this discussion regarding POF and the perceived high cost of gas piston ARs. I own two POF ARs (P415 and P308) and I think it's misleading to state that you pay a $400 premium simply for the piston. I will admit that POF ARs are pricey but just look at what you get for the money. The P415 and P308 rifles are packed with so many expensive features with quality that is second to none. In fact, some of those features aren't available from the aftermarket. Once you add up the aftermarket costs of a VLTOR stock, a DD Omega rail (let alone the full-length M.R.R), NP3 coating, one-piece bolt carrier, ambidextrous bolt and mag release, billet aluminum lower, fluted and painted Rock Creek barrel, muzzle brake, anti-walk trigger pins, trigger, grip, barrel nut with heatsink, etc you soon realize that a POF AR is a GREAT deal. Noveske, LMT, LWRC etc are all known to make oustanding, high-end ARs but POF should be in that group too. If you haven't handled a POF you will not appreciate the incredible quality that is so clearly evident. In fact, once you realize what you're getting for the money, you soon realize that they're not just a good value, they're a great value.


Looks like a very very nice platform...I've looked at them recently at a local gun show, especially one in .308 right next an LWRC REPR....but again the price tag i ouch!!! I do agree that you get all the bells and whistles...

Do you use the .308 POF for hunting?

gondorian
March 12, 2010, 09:06 PM
Maybe we should go back to the beginning and start this thread like any good "which is the best" thread by asking; Averius, what do you intend to do with this rifle?

Zerodefect
March 12, 2010, 09:10 PM
Robinson XCR

1858
March 12, 2010, 09:55 PM
Looks like a very very nice platform...I've looked at them recently at a local gun show, especially one in .308 right next an LWRC REPR....but again the price tag i ouch!!! I do agree that you get all the bells and whistles...

Do you use the .308 POF for hunting?

No I don't. Once I get a load worked up for it, I'll be using it in some 200, 300 and 600 yard matches just to see how it does.

:)

averius
March 13, 2010, 12:12 AM
Averius, what do you intend to do with this rifle?

Frankly, this weapon collection business is a hobbie and a form of therapy for me. I work like an animal 24/7 and this is one of few things outside of work that I enjoy - buying guns that is. I go to the range just about every weekend when I can. I set a budget for myself and try to buy the best stuff I cna for the money -- buy best stuff I meant the most interesting weapons with multi use. For example, what I find interesting about a platform in a 6.8 SPc is that this round appears to be well suited for many things, like defense and hunting. I am really looking forward to starting hunting as a serious hobbie....and I think that a rifle in 6.8 SPc would be a good choise for both target practice and hunting and as a SHTF weapon. I am having a hard time with the costs involved in purchasing a decent gas piston rifle that fires this round....m beginning to consider a mini 14 in 6.8 as a poor man's version of what I really want.

gondorian
March 13, 2010, 12:45 AM
I don't know how good they are but it seems to me that you could easily assemble a 6.8spc gas piston rifle for around a grand based on the cost of an upper. (see here (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=477512&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=649)) About the mini 14, they tend to have a reputation for being inaccurate, but some say the newer ones are much better.

SHvar
March 13, 2010, 02:22 AM
" soldiers rely on them, and many professionals in other countries who can make an educated decision choose them over other systems. I've been no fan in the past, but whether I like them or not, DI AR's and M16's have worked, and worked well for over 45 years. "

I do agree with much of what you stated, when you are trained and used to living with the DI system it has its advantages, you adapt to its shortcomings, and make due, you take advantage of its strong points.
The strong points of a DI system are simply lightweight, few parts, simple disassembly, easy accuracy.
Its weak points are also religious need for maintance, need for loads of lube (and not just any lube either, many will cause worse problems, a recent return from Afganistan told me today that they were stuck with a lube supplied to them to use on every weapon, it caked up the M4 and made it look like you were baking inside of it), sensitivity to grit, dirt, sand, water, mud, etc, excessive heat and carbon buildup during frequent usage.
In a recent discussion with an old roomate of mine who I served in combat with (whos been a long time LEO now). He commented that we should have had gas piston rifles while we were infantryman, it would have made our job easier in many ways. There are times in war that religious maintance is not always realistic, these times are infrequent, but they do happen.
So far the stories Ive heard of GP AR rifles failing or parts breaking are all something that someone told someone, who told someone else, and so on, never firsthand info. Just like the "brand snob" stories so popular here, the other one starts with "well an instructor at a carbine course said....". Yet while calling many carbine course instructors I can never verify any of these stories ever happening.
I appreciate the discussion, and enjoy it, dont take anything the wrong way.
"That doesn't make a gas piston inherently superior, just preferred."
It makes the GP rifle superior or preferred in many environments. For us here at home shooting at the range, cleaning it spotless, then storing it for the week, or carrying it in a vehicle for duty purposes, DI works great. For those soldiers in the desert, in the mud, in the dust, those who operate in or near water, the GP rifle is superior.

Keep in mind that to this day Israel still has many many M4s, and M16s, so do other countries, but they were a better choice than what was available. Now its hard to say, and remains to be seen what will replace them.
POF is a great deal for the price.
I just recently bought an upgarde part for mine from POF, their customer service is great (the roller cam pin). This was a one of the parts Im currently waiting for to add as an upgrade. The anticipation of new gun stuff being sent....
Have a nice day.

averius
March 13, 2010, 02:55 AM
I don't know how good they are but it seems to me that you could easily assemble a 6.8spc gas piston rifle for around a grand based on the cost of an upper. (see here) About the mini 14, they tend to have a reputation for being inaccurate, but some say the newer ones are much better.

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Last edited by gondorian; Yesterday at 11:50 PM. Reason: Add link.


Thanks very much for this info. That's the cheapest gas piston upper option that I have seen and I am very excited about this possibility. CMMG is offering this upper for 725 which pticewise actually leaves plenty of room for a decent lower as well...I mean I can get a POF lower (which supposedly is one of the best available) for something like 400 and have a complete 6.8 AR for 1100 or 1200 depending on what other options I chose..that's pretty amazing considering the costs of all a finished LWRC or a POF. It also gives me a new project to occupy my time with...I've never built my own AR.

Has anyone here used the below listed upper from CMMG? Is this quality stuff or junk?

"CMMG AR-15 M4 LEP II Gas Piston Upper Assembly 6.8mm Remington SPC 1 in 11" Twist 16" Barrel WASP Melonite Treated Chrome Moly Matte with M4 Handguard, Flash Hider Pre-Ban"

I've never before assembled an upper with a lower from different manufacturers...will any AR 15 lower work with this? for example an RRA or STag ?

averius
March 13, 2010, 03:02 AM
I've also read some recommendations on "Titan Armory/AR Performance" uppers in 6.8, but I cant figure out whether this is a DI or a GP system. If anyone here is familiar with Titan Armory, please share your experiences/thoughts on the quality of their product and let me know whether this is a DI or a GP system.

LRS_Ranger
March 13, 2010, 08:59 AM
I have an LWRC M6A2 in 5.56 and it is one of the most high quality weapons I have ever handled. My plan is to get a PSD upper in 6.8 if I can find a good price on one. I would like to wait and see if the 6.8 stays or winds up being a fad. I have also handled and fired a POF. It also was impressive. Either would be an excellent platform. Not that others wouldn't be either, but these are the only 2 high end systems I have shot that I know are also offered in 6.8.

As far as the debate on if a $1800+ gun is worth it, here is my take. A quality firearm will last your lifetime. Spending an extra $800 dollars now and getting something that is really high quality; you won't regret it in 10, 20, even 30 years.

As was previously said, they come with options that would cost $$$ in the aftermarket world. Mono freefloating rail, premium barrels, Troy BUIS, VLTOR stock etc. When you factor all that in, the rifle starts looking a lot cheaper. Look at some high quality DI guns, and the prices start getting very compariable.

I don't think that a piston system is something that is going to go out of style any time soon. It is true that the DI system is tried and true, and there are going to be a lot of people that say why fix something that works, which is true for civilian applications. For military applications it's a bit different. And it's not just the shooting that dirties it. The blowing moon dust was FAR worse. You get off a Blackhawk and instantly the roters kick up a cloud of moon dust that turns to sludge and cement on anything wet it comes into contact with(like the oil you have dumped into your gun). You haven't really even started your 6 day mission, and you have 10k of infil left to do in the middle of the night, you haven't even shot your weapon yet, and it's already filthy. Plus, in this situation, it's not like you can just sit down and clean it. You might not be able to clean it for quite some time. You might HAVE to shoot it before you get to clean it. It's just a pain in the butt that IMHO, a piston gets rid of. The DI AR works, but if a piston works better, why resist the switch?

averius
March 13, 2010, 03:04 PM
I have an LWRC M6A2 in 5.56 and it is one of the most high quality weapons I have ever handled. My plan is to get a PSD upper in 6.8 if I can find a good price on one. I would like to wait and see if the 6.8 stays or winds up being a fad. I have also handled and fired a POF. It also was impressive. Either would be an excellent platform. Not that others wouldn't be either, but these are the only 2 high end systems I have shot that I know are also offered in 6.8.

I have a PSD in 5.56 which I absolutely love...I too considered and still am considering getting an upper in 6.8 from LWRc...but I relaly cnat find a decent price for oen that would make sense. They tend to run only a few hundred less than a complete LWRC and at that point I might as well suck it up and go from 1900 hundred for an upper to 2200 for a complete system...either way its painful.

1858
March 13, 2010, 03:35 PM
I just recently bought an upgarde part for mine from POF, their customer service is great (the roller cam pin). This was a one of the parts Im currently waiting for to add as an upgrade.

I installed roller cam pins in both POFs and also one in a DGI AR. They're a cheap and functional upgrade. The action feels noticeably smoother and hopefully will avoid wearing a hole in the upper receiver. I started a thread detailing the installation of a roller cam pin in a DGI BCG here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=510084).


I mean I can get a POF lower (which supposedly is one of the best available)

I would agree. I bought a stripped POF P415 lower (Gen 3) and it's a thing of beauty with top quality machining, fit and finish all in a billet package with integral trigger guard. The ambidextrous bolt release is so good that I plan on buying more POF stripped lowers to replace my two Bushmaster lowers. Install a NORGON ambi mag release and you're set. You have a choice in the finish coating too ... NP3 or Teflon. You won't regret buying a POF lower regardless of whether you run a GP or DGI upper.

:)

Hatterasguy
March 13, 2010, 04:24 PM
The XCR (starting around 1600 or so) is cheaper than a LW, but as far as your question, points on which the XCR is better:

-Built from the ground up as an AK-like long stroke piston system; not a reverse engineered piston-into-an-AR.
-Uses stronger 3 lug bolt, fixed ejector
-AK-like operating system allows for folding stock.
-Ambi bolt catch
-True Monolithic FF upper
-QD barrel allows for more configurability between lengths and calibers

So pretty much its a less expensive Sig 550; that hasn't been fielded by any army.


I'll add the HK 416 to the list. But considering what they cost the LWRC is still ahead IMHO.

If money is tight buy a Ruger 556 for $1,300 or so. Can't go wrong with one of them.

averius
March 13, 2010, 05:36 PM
I'll add the HK 416 to the list

From what I understand H & K is having produsciton problems with their civilian versions of the H & K 416 and 417, i think thye clal them the MR 556 and MR 762...They were supposed to hit the civilian Us market last year but they still dont have any for sale.


Can someone explain to me what a "stripped" lower receiver is? I keep reading this term "striped" lower receiver...as opposed to what a compelte one?

When buying a"stripped" lower receiever does one have to be bought through an FFL and be registered as a weapon?

I am under the impression that an upper can be bought directly from a manufacturer w/o a need for an FFL dealer since its not considered to be a weapon..is this right?

I've never actually built a wepon this way so I am not familiar with the regulatory details...

I mean if I buy 3 different uppers for my LWRC PSD..do I have to register anything with any regulatory bodies??

Also, is it possible to get an SBR lenght upper w/o going through a dealer and having to pay the stmap tax on it to ATF? In other words, is an SBR length upper a class 3 weapon?

Welding Rod
March 13, 2010, 05:56 PM
Stripped AR lower requires FFL - It is what comprises "the gun".

"Stripped" just means the lower without any parts like trigger group, mag catch, stock, etc.

Hard for me to imagine a DI AR not being more than adequate for even the most demanding civilian applications.

I like the idea of the 6.8, but am still a bit skeptical about any cartridge other than the 556 being made to work in an AR, and delivering equal longevity and reliability.

averius
March 14, 2010, 03:54 AM
Hard for me to imagine a DI AR not being more than adequate for even the most demanding civilian applications.

I like the idea of not having to clean and lube all the time. Right or worng, I am convinced that the GP system is more reliable, is less likely to fail due to gases fouling up the chamber, and will last me longer in the long run...so I dont mind paying a few hundred extra for all that.

Tirod
March 15, 2010, 12:53 AM
If I was buying a piston, POF would top my list. Not because of the bells and whistles that aren't really part of the system -handguards, billet machining, etc can stand or fall on their own merits. The piston system POF uses seems to make more sense to my limited understanding of the engineering.

But, if it was DI, having all those bells and whistles would make it nearly the same. Don't forget the NP3 and roller pin. All that can be had on the DI platform too. What it comes right down to is whether you want a piston to pop the BCG to the unlocked position, or gas in the bolt.

If cleaning has a relationship to the casual user, then shooting it less means cleaning it less either way. What is interesting about cleaning the AR is that there is what the command culture insists be done, and what Ordnance says only needs to be done. I've worked on both sides of the house, and what the average soldier does to clean the M16 is often excessive to the point of abuse. What makes it easier is to keep it lubricated enough carbon never sticks to it.

Scraping the tail of the bolt might be necessary to keep corrosion from eating it, but since it's a non contact part, it's no worse than rust on the outside of the barrel. Unsightly, but no loss. A search on the M16's used by the Myanmar peoples will show some really beat up, whited AR's - still functioning in a difficult environment decades later.

Not the best way to care for a tool, but the idea that a piston solves all that isn't accurate. Gas still gets in the action when the cartridge is extracted, the piston is now taking the brunt of the heat, and cleaning it still has to be done if it's an apples to apples comparison. Disassembling a piston action isn't all that easier.

I understand the price difference between different models, but the price difference that remains to modify a BCG, add a piston, etc. is still there. If and when the military goes back to an operating rod piston system, the price will come down because of volume, but that is years away. Goes back to the side charger offering more than the piston for my money - but even that improvement is incremental for a recreational AR shooter or hunter. $399 vs. $89 is a big jump, too.

ny32182
March 15, 2010, 10:35 AM
The XCR (starting around 1600 or so) is cheaper than a LW, but as far as your question, points on which the XCR is better:

-Built from the ground up as an AK-like long stroke piston system; not a reverse engineered piston-into-an-AR.
-Uses stronger 3 lug bolt, fixed ejector
-AK-like operating system allows for folding stock.
-Ambi bolt catch
-True Monolithic FF upper
-QD barrel allows for more configurability between lengths and calibers

So pretty much its a less expensive Sig 550; that hasn't been fielded by any army.


I'll add the HK 416 to the list. But considering what they cost the LWRC is still ahead IMHO.

If money is tight buy a Ruger 556 for $1,300 or so. Can't go wrong with one of them.

The design is rather different than a Sig. Both upper and lower. They both shoot 5.56, and that is where the similarities end. The XCR is a "clean sheet" design, with inspiration from several platforms (AK, FAL, and AR) but is not a direct descendant of anything, and carries no legacy weaknesses forward.

None of the rifles in this thread have been fielded by any army.

Tirod
March 15, 2010, 12:54 PM
The SCAR has been purchased. There are photos on the net of SF soldiers using it in training. Those guys don't get 6 week trainups like a Reserve unit, they just go. No reason to think they aren't already in Afghanistan.

The Taiwan Army has used a piston AR since about 1975, and it's gone through three versions. There's a neat thread over on arfcom about it. It's difficult to get pics of the internals because of their security regulations. Recent shots seem to picture M4's a lot with their special units. Hmmm.

I don't find some features as necessarily better when included with a rifle. The less the number of lugs, the more pressure they must resist, and the more mass must be localized. A monolithic upper just means rails for mounting lights and potentially free floating the barrel, which aren't necessary, just nice to have. The military standard is 2MOA for a carbine, putting in more money for accuracy is only getting an incremental result, not a whopping improvement. The mono upper does help in making the assembly a quick change barrel setup - which is nice for special units. The average soldier won't see another barrel in his load, and won't get to swap out. He'll just work with his SDM or the entry team members and play his role, as he does now.

The SCAR requirements for SF use aren't guaranteed to be the COTS carbine trial requirements, which may be a lot simpler. This summers shoot offs will be interesting.

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