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Piston AR-15 Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by JW74, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. JW74

    JW74 Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Hello, I'm hoping for some input on a new AR buy. I'm in the market for a new AR in the 16" barrel length. I have narrowed it down to the Ruger SR556 and Sig 516. Both are piston operated and close in price. I wanted to hear from people that have shot both and which one would you recommend? What's good and what's bad about each?

    I currently have a Bushmaster Predator with 20" barrel and scope that I like a lot. It's a great varmint gun but I wanted to add a shorter barreled AR with a collapsible stock that I would possibly put a Eotech on at some point or just keep the iron sights. Thanks for the advice!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  2. G.barnes

    G.barnes Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Why not just get a standard ar carbine. Then all your internal pieces are interchangeable or you could just get a carbine upper to put on your existing lower. I'd get an Adams arms conversion kit then if you don't like the extra weight you can swap back.
  3. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Perhaps for someone shooting a high volume of rounds in a short time, the piston will make a difference in terms of reliable function. But shooting semi automatic in 3 gun or similar, proper lubrication of the bolt and carrier will assure that a properly constructed AR runs just fine. The DI on these rifles is one of the aspects which makes their accuracy potential as good as it is.

    FWIW, unless you have a 3 position lower receiver, just get a good bolt and bolt carrier, a good quality barrel, put them together right, and don't worry too much about it.
  4. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    Both are good, both are accurate, but a bit heavy. I've shot, bot do not own, either.

    Proprietary parts are really the only downfall for piston guns as of late. Most piston AR manufacturers have solved carrier tilt, barrel extension fit, and have made them as accurate as DI guns. There is no solving the extra weight, which some find negligible.

    I'm of the frame of thought that the argument over which platform is more reliable is a Ford vs Chevy discussion. No one wins. But one thing that can't be denied is that piston guns run cleaner: take a DI gun and a GP gun, run 1,000 rounds through both then clean them. The DI will be caked with gunk, the piston will be clean where it needs to be and ready for the next go around.

    My favorite gas piston rifle is Smith and Wessons offering, as its not heavy at all, reliable, and accurate. My BIL loves his. To answer your question: I'd go Sig. They've been making some bang up rifles, and I've talked to several happy 516 owners.
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