Originally Posted by JonM
A piston does not automagically make the carbon spent gasses bits of vaporized lead and copper disperse into nothing. Its deposited in the piston chamber and surrounding area. If you do not clean that stuff out , ever, it will eventually cause failure.
The piston recoil system has been around since before ww2. Its old technology. Saying its new is incorrect. Its just new on a ar15.
The m1 garand and m1a both highly revered will cease to function if the piston doesnt get regular cleaning. No different than the one in the ar15.
If your talking shtf ill take the di system any day. Just yank the bcg wipe it down now and then and it will run till parts break. Its harder to maintain the piston under adverse conditions.
The reason its easy with an ak47 is the piston comes out with the bolt carrier and can be wiped down.
Ruger sr556 the user cannot remove the piston for maintenence. Yes putting more weight up front does change the geometry but in the sr556 no thought was given to that. Pof uses pistons and their guns are very well balanced and user serviceable.
My point is if you want a piston ar15 there are muuuuuuch better guns using that system cheaper or in the same price point as the ruger. I dont care who buys what, if you want a ruger sr556 cuz you think its cool go for it. If you want it cuz you like the looks or the ruger label or the ruger warranty or you just like the gun by all means buy it and be happy.
1. What production shoulder battle rifle used a similar piston operating system before WW2? None, that I know of, on a rifle of the "assault rifle" genre.(There are a lot of obscure rifles out there and I confess that I am no expert on foreign rifles ). The History Channel had a spread on the piston operating system, and its use in production assault rifles was explained as constituting a relatively new, and much better, operating system. Certainly it is new to the AR platform. So at least those guys squarely disagree with you, as does Ruger.
The folks in this thread are an unrepresentative sample of the rifle community, and you all plainly tilt heavily towards the DI system. Nothing wrong with that, but I do think that you have given the OP in this thread a false impression that the opinions here represent some sort of consensus. In reality, this forum is mainly frequented by people who just plain like the original AR platform and seem to have a hostility towards departures from the original Colt. Most rifle enthusiasts with whom I have rubbed shoulders agree that the piston system is just plain better.
2. Nowhere but in this thread have I ever heard anyone say that the piston system does not result in a cleaner-running gun. Because it does. It is very easy to clean the gas venting system in an SR556. A lot easier than cleaning a dirty AR, which I have done maybe a thousand times. The DI system spews all the crud right onto the bolt and all of the key working components of the mechanism. Hard to imagine a dirtier system. The guys in Vietnam found out all about that, as did those of us who followed them. The DI system is dirty. Very dirty.
The piston system was designed to and does get away from this horrible idea of the dirt being pointed at the gun's mechanism. And it succeeds.
3. Saying that Ruger "gave no thought" to the weight of the SR556 is an interesting comment. Did they tell you that? Upon what do you base that? Merely the fact that the weight distribution is different than your beloved DIS AR? In fact, the SR556E version is very similar in weight distribution to a conventional AR because it does not feature a quad-rail, and has a narrower foregrip. Put another way, there are several models of the SR556 which have different weight characteristics. Sounds like Ruger gave it a lot of thought, and gave the user community several choices.
4. Saying that there are "muuuuuch" better choices than the Ruger is pretty judgmental. Your opinion. You should give reasons for the opinion, rather than just the opinion itself, especially to someone like the OP who, unlike you and I, seemed to indicate that he is new to the AR rifle (if I am wrong I apologize. Nothing wrong with being new.) For some of us, the fact that the Ruger SR556 is a Ruger product is a plus. No one stands behind their products better than Ruger does. No warranty -- if something goes wrong with the gun, you just send it in, usually at their expense, no questions asked and no sales receipt needed.
A lot of the guys in this thread and on this forum like "roll your own" ARs. Building an AR is a fun hobby for many, but there are disadvantages too. Like not having a single company standing behind the ultimate product.
Oh well, no one is going to change their mind here. Think I'll go shooting.