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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by averius, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. averius

    averius Member

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    Which manufacturer currently has the best deals on a gas piston operated 6.8 SPC rifle?
     
  2. SHvar

    SHvar Member

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    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.
     
  3. dscottw88

    dscottw88 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    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.
     
  5. averius

    averius Member

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    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?
     
  6. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    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.
     
  7. Arkady

    Arkady Member

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    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.
     
  8. sgtdevildog

    sgtdevildog Member

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    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.
     
  9. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    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
     
  10. gondorian

    gondorian Member

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

    averius Member

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    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?
     
  12. sgtdevildog

    sgtdevildog Member

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    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.
     
  13. averius

    averius Member

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    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?
     
  14. gondorian

    gondorian Member

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    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?
     
  15. averius

    averius Member

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    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?
     
  16. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    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
     
  17. averius

    averius Member

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    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...
     
  18. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    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.
     
  19. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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    CMMG makes a very reasonably priced 6.8 piston upper.
     
  20. SHvar

    SHvar Member

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    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.
     
  21. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    averius.. Go over to M4Carbine.net
     
  22. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  23. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    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.
     
  24. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  25. averius

    averius Member

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    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?
     
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