AR-15 DI vs. Piston
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
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Default AR-15 DI vs. Piston

Alright guys I've been reading every thread I can find on this subject. I am either going to buy a AR already complete or try to put it together my self. Problem is I'm a complete newb to the AR platform. So bear with me please.

I was wondering if anybody has a piston driven riffle AR and are they happy with it? Any problems? Any regrets?

I going to use this gun or guns to try to protect my family and property if the SHTF. My concern is what if gun oil becomes hard to find, it's my understanding the standard AR needs to be ran wet and cleaned often. I don't know if you have to oil it before each use if you have not fired it after a period of time in a vault.

Any one that want to straighten me out please do so. I just am a little worried about accessibility of supplies if I run out.

Thanks in advance guys.

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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If gun oil gets hard to find for your DI, pull a dipstick out of your engine and use the oil on the end to coat your bcg.

I'd only recommend a piston if
1) you anticipate storming the beaches of Normandie.
2) you like doing 100+ rounds mag dumps...often.
3) you don't mind waiting if you ever need replacement parts.

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Old 01-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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4) you don't mind carrying fewer supplies in exchange for the extra weight of your AR
5) you have some inside track to obtain proprietary parts for your piston gun.

I own an LWRC and it's great but it's heavier and parts would be harder to find in the scenario you supplied.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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I see you point on parts seeing that piston AR are not common place.
What is the cleaning schedule of the DI AR. Is it really that bad on having to run wet and just how dirty does it have to get to be a problem to cause a jam or misfeed. I do not plan on any mag dumps.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #5
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Agent and MJ pretty much covered it. And the dipstick trick has been used at least 100 years so don't worry about gun oil! Anyway we used gasoline and engine oil in Nam to clean and lube since you always had that.


I'll add another to the list:

6) You don't mind that your proprietary piston design became an orphan after the great piston shakeout of 2012 (or whatever year). Remember Beta vs. VHS? Windows ME, BOB, Laserdisc? SACD, HD DVD? DLP?

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie_fd View Post
I see you point on parts seeing that piston AR are not common place.
What is the cleaning schedule of the DI AR. Is it really that bad on having to run wet and just how dirty does it have to get to be a problem to cause a jam or misfeed. I do not plan on any mag dumps.

Thanks for the info.
It's not just pistons, it's the proprietary designs of piston ARs. Some will be successful and many will end up orphans as their designers discontinue support due to flagging sales.

There is no set cleaning schedule to the DI AR other than when necessary. Same with lube, keep it lubed properly, read the manual, figure it out like everyone else. It's not rocket science it's common sense.

Google filthy 14 for just how long a DI AR can go without much cleaning. Note I said cleaning, not lubrication.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Alright that made my mind up for me. I be sticking to DI. I was worried that you have to clean it every time you shot 500 rounds through it or it would start to jam.

Let me ask you gentlemen's opinion on the cost of buying one out right vs. building one. Can a fellow save some money building one or is it a wash either way?

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Old 01-10-2012, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie_fd View Post
Alright that made my mind up for me. I be sticking to DI. I was worried that you have to clean it every time you shot 500 rounds through it or it would start to jam.

Let me ask you gentlemen's opinion on the cost of buying one out right vs. building one. Can a fellow save some money building one or is it a wash either way?
I'm no expert by any means but I'd say its a wash check out some of these prices.

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Old 01-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okie_fd View Post
Can a fellow save some money building one or is it a wash either way?
Thats gonna take some homework on your part. It all depends on the configuration you're after. However, there are great benefits from building your own lower receiver at least. Being familiar with all the small parts in an AR's lower will come in handy if you ever have a problem. check this out

A-First-Time-Buyers-Guide-to-the-AR15

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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I own an ArmaLite AR10 DI, and an LWRCI M6A2 piston. Both systems are outstanding, and I like them both equally...but for different reasons. Many of those reasons have been stated already in this thread.

If you buy or build a quality gun, it's my opinion that you will get a lifetime of enjoyment from either type.

Just my opinion, and the concerns raised above re: the piston system are all certainly valid. That said, the reason I even own a piston gun is this...

I'm kind of a clean freak, and tearing down that ArmaLite is a NASTY endeavor. The piston rifle is MUCH cleaner where the bolt carrier group is concerned. And the first time I saw a BCG taken with bare hands out of a "just fired, still smokin'" piston rifle...well let's just say I was sold.

But I have the luxury of owning both. Otherwise, I'd prob just have a DI.

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