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is a piston ar really more reliable?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by macomb2013, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. macomb2013

    macomb2013 Member

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    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?
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I think those gas guns work pretty good. I'm no tremendous machinegunner but I've never had nor seen one fail.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  3. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  4. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    Shoot a suppressor? Go piston.

    Shoot loud? Save your money.


    Willie


    .
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    How about sending it back to the manufacturer for tending?
     
  6. Warp

    Warp Member

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    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
     
  7. DNS

    DNS Member

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    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.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    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.
     
  9. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    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.
     
  10. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    more things to break that are hard to get parts for when it hits the fan
     
  11. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    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
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  13. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    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.
     
  14. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    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.
     
  15. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I'd depend on the same reliability that G.I.s all over the world depend on. :eek:
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    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
     
  17. yzguy87

    yzguy87 Member

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    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!
     
  18. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    A from the factory piston gun by good manufacturers can be marginally better. I doubt a retrofit kit would be.
     
  19. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Unless you're shooting a very-SBR or a sound suppressor, no.
     
  20. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    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.
     
  21. mnhntr

    mnhntr Member

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    No they are not.
     
  22. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  23. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    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.
     
  24. Warp

    Warp Member

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    If you say so.
     
  25. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    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.

    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.
     
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