is a piston ar really more reliable?


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macomb2013
June 19, 2013, 04:01 PM
I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?

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Certaindeaf
June 19, 2013, 04:07 PM
I think those gas guns work pretty good. I'm no tremendous machinegunner but I've never had nor seen one fail.

Quentin
June 19, 2013, 04:17 PM
I wouldn't buy a piston kit to "upgrade" a standard AR, it won't make it more reliable. If a particular DI AR is unreliable it would make more sense to troubleshoot the problem yourself or take it to a qualified gunsmith who can solve it.

That's not saying all piston ARs are unreliable, just that a piston kit isn't the best way to fix a problem.

For the average person 99% of the benefits of a piston kit is to transfer the gas from one place to another and transfer your money from you to another!

Willie Sutton
June 19, 2013, 04:23 PM
Shoot a suppressor? Go piston.

Shoot loud? Save your money.


Willie


.

Certaindeaf
June 19, 2013, 04:33 PM
.or take it to a qualified gunsmith who can solve it..

How about sending it back to the manufacturer for tending?

Warp
June 19, 2013, 05:45 PM
I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?

I wouldn't.

If you are having reliability problems of any kind with your DI AR it is likely because:

1) You are using sub-par magazines (when in doubt use 30 round Magpul PMAGs)
2) You are using low quality/cheap ammunition, such as reloads or Russian steel case .223
3) You have not properly (adequately!) lubed the BCG (bolt carrier group)
4) You have a dud rifle, probably from purchasing from a less-than-stellar manufacturer, and something on it needs fixed

DNS
June 19, 2013, 06:34 PM
Adding parts you don't need unless your shooting full auto with high round counts. From the tests i've seen done the operating temperature of DI versus piston isn't an issue either.

Quentin
June 19, 2013, 07:59 PM
How about sending it back to the manufacturer for tending?

Something I don't think of much when it comes to ARs and PCs since I roll my own. But yeah, that'll work too.

Shawn Dodson
June 19, 2013, 08:22 PM
Are you going to be shooting hundreds of rounds sustained fire through it at any one time? This is where gas piston shines. If not, spend the money on training and ammo (when it becomes available).

For a direct impingement AR just put a couple of drops of lube in the gas vent holes on the bolt every couple of hundred rounds. This'll keep it running reliably until you have opportunity to clean it.

If you really want a gas piston I suggest you purchase a complete upper rather than a kit.

dprice3844444
June 19, 2013, 08:31 PM
more things to break that are hard to get parts for when it hits the fan

briansmithwins
June 19, 2013, 09:08 PM
If you want AK reliability buy a AK.

For best reliability keep the AR as close to a stock configuration as possible and keep it wet with lube.

Most 'go faster' parts are poorly thought out and/or introduce new problems.

BSW

rcmodel
June 19, 2013, 09:16 PM
Gas piston uppers come with their own set of problems.
The least of which include:

1. Proprietary parts you can only get one place, as long as the company is still in business.
2. Bolt carrier tilt chewing a new place to slide inside the upper receiver besides straight back and forth.

rc

Ar180shooter
June 19, 2013, 09:27 PM
I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?
Solution to a non-existent problem. A well made DI gun will not become more reliable by dropping a piston in, and in fact adding a piston can create several issues that did not exist before. If you really want a piston AR, buy one that's made as a piston gun, such as a POF or H&K 416.

If you want an AR style gun with an AK style gas system, look in to the Sig Sauer 556 rifles. They had early teething issues, but are now quite well made.

dvdcrr
June 19, 2013, 11:32 PM
I think adding a piston system is kind of missing the point. When the m4 is run hard in burst or full auto, eventually extreme heat causes failure, usually the gas tube or barrel is the culprit. A heavier barrel is a bigger heat sink and more rigid, so this helps. If the gas tube is replaced during the piston conversion this could be a plus. But if you are not going to do 20 consecutive mag dumps it doesn't matter just keep DI.

hentown
June 20, 2013, 08:35 AM
I'd depend on the same reliability that G.I.s all over the world depend on. :eek:

Art Eatman
June 20, 2013, 09:09 AM
This is about the umpteenth thread on this subject. :)

From what I've read during these recent years is that there is no real difference in reliability. Way too many people have reported very lengthy strings of shooting, accumulating to thousands of rounds with no problems with either system. That's not just gunzine articles, that's comments here and at The Firing Line.com.

They can't all be liars. :D

yzguy87
June 20, 2013, 09:44 AM
I would say for your intended purpose, it probably wouldn't be more reliable. I'm sure if the rifle was subjected to horrible adverse conditions, a well built piston gun would be more desirable. If I wanted or needed my rifle to play dirty, I definately wouldn't convert it to a piston. I'd go buy a very well built piston rifle.

This is just my .02!

Geronimo45
June 20, 2013, 10:30 AM
A from the factory piston gun by good manufacturers can be marginally better. I doubt a retrofit kit would be.

benEzra
June 20, 2013, 12:01 PM
Unless you're shooting a very-SBR or a sound suppressor, no.

herrwalther
June 20, 2013, 03:14 PM
DI action ARs are very reliable if you keep them clean. If you are the kind of person who doesn't want to give your DI AR a loving cleaning, then go piston. Otherwise just keep your DI AR clean and you shouldn't have any problems. Have never shot a piston AR with a suppressor so I won't speak on that.

mnhntr
June 20, 2013, 03:27 PM
No they are not.

ugaarguy
June 20, 2013, 03:29 PM
Google Pat Rogers Filthy 14. A correctly built DI gun doesn't even need to be kept clean - it just needs to be kept lubed. I haven't run up the round counts he and his group have (but really, who has outside of training groups?), but I have seen good lube have a tremendously positive effect on reliability on some pretty dirty ARs.

Also, using a piston, even a built from the ground up piston upper, isn't going to change the tolerances of those seven little bolt lugs rotating into the bbl extension to lock the breech. All a piston does is move the carbon from the tail of the bolt to the front of the piston. They aren't any cleaner, they just change where the rifle gets dirty.

PabloJ
June 20, 2013, 04:54 PM
I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?
That is of little significance to typical civilian user. The problem with most assault-style weapons is they're chambered for useless to me calibers like 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62x39. If I ever buy another rifle it will be M1A carabine chambered for very useful 7.62x51 cartridge. When one has to pull trigger each time to fire a shot it might as well be a worthwhile cartridge in barrel chamber.

Warp
June 20, 2013, 04:58 PM
That is of little significance to typical civilian user. The problem with most assault-style weapons is they're chambered for useless to me calibers like 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62x39. If I ever buy another rifle it will be M1A carabine chambered for very useful 7.62x51 cartridge. When one has to pull trigger each time to fire a shot it might as well be a worthwhile cartridge in barrel chamber.

If you say so.

JustinJ
June 20, 2013, 05:46 PM
That is of little significance to typical civilian user. The problem with most assault-style weapons is they're chambered for useless to me calibers like 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62x39. If I ever buy another rifle it will be M1A carabine chambered for very useful 7.62x51 cartridge. When one has to pull trigger each time to fire a shot it might as well be a worthwhile cartridge in barrel chamber.

This again? What does this have to do with the OP? And what is the typical civilian user? I see plenty at the range who shoot for the joy of it so how is a far more expensive cartridge superior here? Some use military style rifles for home defense as well. Shooting a .308 indoors, especially from a shorter barrel, is anything but ideal.

I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?

It's way too general to say "piston vs DI"? Which piston system? I'm a big fan of the PWS and from a mechanical standpoint I can see how it would likely offer improved reliability over DI with any barrel length. However, for a semi-auto 16" to 20" barrel the difference in reliability would probably never be observed. Piston systems in general do have the advantage of preserving lube longer and probably are less affected by being run dry than a DI due to far less fouling entering the receiver. As others have mentioned piston systems also offer improved reliability in SBR's and with cans.

briansmithwins
June 20, 2013, 07:02 PM
I shoot paper and steel. What advantage is it to me to shoot harder recoiling rifles with ammo that costs 2-3x? Longer time between shot? Bigger, heavier, more expensive rifles with smaller magazines?

556 works plenty good enough for what and how I shoot.

BSW

Warp
June 20, 2013, 08:58 PM
I shoot paper and steel. What advantage is it to me to shoot harder recoiling rifles with ammo that costs 2-3x? Longer time between shot? Bigger, heavier, more expensive rifles with smaller magazines?

556 works plenty good enough for what and how I shoot.

BSW

Works pretty good defensively too. Lots of excellent bullet/round choices out there for defensive use, if somebody wanted to be set up for that as well

JPG19
June 20, 2013, 09:06 PM
I really want to purchase an piston kit to convert the DI gun into a piston gun, give it more ak like reliability. Is it really necessary? during my time in the military the only time my rifle fail is because of the crappy GI mag(aside from dirt gets into the action), so the ar platform is more reliable then most of the people give it credit for. By converting DI to piston, the action of the rifle is not changed, once dirt get into the action it will probably still cause problem. so is it really worth the money to convert an DI to piston rifle?

Sorry, but you really seem to be arguing with yourself and I just don't understand the question. You say that you really WANT to buy the kit and then ask if it is necessary. You also say you want AK reliability but then state that the AR is much more reliable than people give it credit for. My best interpretation is that you have an AR and the associated illness that accompanies them (the endless need to purchase new gear and accessories). Just spend your money on more useful things such as ammo, training, a good optic, etc.. Whatever you are lacking. In other words, don't waste your hard earned money on a piston system.

macomb2013
June 20, 2013, 10:30 PM
i saw an video on the osprey piston kit, was kinda impressed by it. well i guess i should just kit my in di configuration and spend the money on ammo

justice06rr
June 24, 2013, 03:12 AM
A quality "mil-spec" AR15 from a reputable manufacturer like Colt, LMT, or BCM will be plenty reliable in DI configuration.

Read this thread:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=100162

With proper lubrication, a DI AR15 will run thousands of rounds reliably with good ammo and mags. No need to convert your DI gun to piston. If you want a piston AR, then buy a Piston AR; do not convert it.

Art Eatman
June 24, 2013, 11:55 AM
Good summation and closing statement. Have no fear; this question will arise again as #137 in the series. :D

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