Pics of my side cocking piston AR


July 13, 2014, 05:10 PM
This is to make amends for the blurry cell phone photos I've been posting (dropped my phone a few too many times). I've been looking for the battery charger for my DSLR (still looking) but I remembered I have a pretty good camera on my tablet.

American Spirit Arms side cocking upper. Adams Arms XLP short-stroke piston kit (mid length), Adams Arms low mass bolt carrier, Rainier Arms Select 16" MEDCON barrel.

This one a little out of focus.

The 5-position piston adjustment works just fine 1/2 open (1/4 open suppressed) even with weak Wall Mart Federal (not LC 193). Lightest recoiling AR I've owned.


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July 13, 2014, 06:00 PM
nice pics. how does it shoot?

July 13, 2014, 08:00 PM
I think the side-cocking lever is a great idea; I have never liked the standard AR pattern because of the position of the top-mounted lever. But this however might be a game changer indeed. Now if only Ruger would adapt their models to this, I would likely buy one. I also like the piston concept as well.

July 13, 2014, 08:28 PM
Sweet rifle! I like the side charging idea too; my FD308 is a side charger. I think the side charging handle is much more functional.

July 13, 2014, 08:58 PM
What are the advantages to side charging??:confused:

July 13, 2014, 09:47 PM
Are the dimes for size comparison or is that just to show how gangsta you are?:p

Does the bolt release get in the way?

July 13, 2014, 09:51 PM
Awesome! I am interested to know what the overall weight of the rifle is. Also, what forend is that? I've been wanting to replace my bulky DD 14 Lite for a while :uhoh:

I think the advantage of a side-charging upper is that you don't have to try grabbing at a potentially small handle that is in front of your face.

Are those the Duek knock-off canted sights you can get for 20 bucks off amazon? I have a set, love 'em :evil: (Just checked, they're only $17 now WITH free shipping :eek:)

For those who aren't aware, this review on Amazon sums up the product:
These are not SIMILAR to the DUEK SIGHT SYSTEM, they are a blatent patent rip off and WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!...-Bonbon

July 14, 2014, 12:08 AM
The side charger allows a greater choice of raised cheek buttstocks, since you don't have to have clearance for the charging handle. It is a more ergonomic location for use.

On the down side, you do have a second location that foreign debris can enter the action, but it appears that there is no dust cover that can snap in place to shield it.

I'm guessing that the dimes are covering serial numbers.

July 14, 2014, 10:44 AM

Nice looking set-up you have there. Interesting side cocking design.

July 14, 2014, 10:54 AM
Image links no longer work, at least not for me.

July 14, 2014, 11:24 AM
rbernie, I can see them just fine; maybe check your browser settings?

And yeah, the dimes are definitely there to cover the S/ least I would hope ;)

July 14, 2014, 11:32 AM
Are the dimes for size comparison or is that just to show how gangsta you are?:p

Does the bolt release get in the way?

The dimes are covering the serial number and my trust name and address (the lower is a registered SBR as I own several short barreled uppers) I found it economical to trick out one lower and use it with all my uppers.

The side cocker is not compatible with the standard Magpul BAD lever so I am using the Phase 5 instead. The lever does not hug the top of the trigger area as closely as the Magpul and I had some concern about it blocking a quick shot upon first shouldering the gun. It has never happened. I'm giving it more time to see if it will ever be an issue. There is room to bend it upward a bit.

I was not going for match accuracy with this build. I have a 20" SDM-R upper that shoots as well as (probably better than) I do (2/3 MOA @200) for precision work. I have not yet grouped this rifle (110F temps take the fun out of range days) but I am not worried. Rainier Arms guarantees 1 MOA.

Have I answered all the questions? Oh wait, the rail. That is the KeyMod edition of the Sampson Evolution, one of the thinnest and lightest rails out there. I'm a huge fan. ASA has their own signature line of Evolution rials but they are not the new KeyMod type. I had to file the anti-rotation tabs a bit to fit the ASA upper, Interestingly in a different place than I had to for my oversized Sun Devil billet upper on my SDM-R build.

Edit: I missed the question about the backup sights. They are the (currently $17 ( GDT clones of the Dueck Defense sights. I plan to use them as fixed sights (my right radius is higher than military so the ranges would be off). These are great sights, the only problem seems to be that they get a little wobbly when turned up past 400 yards and I wonder about POA shift and repeatability. No idea if the Duecks do that. I will be using them fixed however, and they are tight when set to shorter ranges. What ever you do, do not buy Duecks for $50-$100. You will get GDTs with Dueck markings silk screened on and counterfeit Dueck packaging,. However, the sights are so good I doubt most people will know they've been scammed. Don't get greedy and just buy the GDTs sold as GDTs for ~$20 and you will not be disappointing.


PS. The downside to the side cocker are an entry path for dirt (although the ASA has a very thin slit, less than other designs and a lot less open area than an open ejection port) and THE CO$T. The big advantage is to be able to operate every control with the gun shouldered without having to more your head away from the optic.

PPS. I noticed that Window's built-in photo editor introduces a lot of pixilation when reducing resolution from 3264x2448 to 800x600.

July 16, 2014, 08:42 PM
Very nice rifle!

I've always like side-charging rifles like the SCAR or Tavor. With your AR's side charging handle, I don't see any other downside as long as your not throwing this rifle around or crawling in the dirt.

Outlaw Man
July 17, 2014, 01:36 PM
Great looking rifle!

I thought the piston system was supposed to eliminate all the shortcomings of a direct impingement system, such as debris in the chamber. :neener:

Seriously, the opening is so much smaller than the ejection port, I doubt you'd see any discernible effects.

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