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Old 06-23-2009, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Cleaner AR's

I was watching a show on History channel last night about the M-16 and towards the end they covered possilbe replacement options including the HK-416 which uses an AR-15 lower but has a much cleaner upper. Then doing a quick search I realize, we can't get those in the U.S. or at least I'm not aware of a kit or anything.

I'm wondering what the options are for a cleaner AR-15?

Are the HK-416 style gas operation and the ruger SSR-556 gas piston operation the same thing? Are other options available? I like the AR platform and the virtually unlimited accessories available, I just know how dirty they can get after heavy usage and I'm willing to spend a little more to avoid that.

Thoughts?

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Old 06-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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I am by NO means an AR "expert" but I own and shoot an AR and am a historian. I think you bring up a really good question.

A lot of what makes the latest AR's much more reliable than their earlier counterparts are chrome-lined breeches and better, cleaner ammunition. Plus, a sport-shooter's ability to keep an AR much cleaner via more regular and educated maintenance will go a long way towards making a modern AR, even with its "dirty" gas system, very reliable. I feel that cleanliness and adequate lubrication, along with the use of quality ammunition, allows the modern AR to operate just fine.

There are some AR-savvy people around here and I look forward to their insight and more direct responses to your questions.

Josh

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Old 06-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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I was shooting the new AR at the range this weekend and this guy next to me has seven ARs. One of them he said was a gas piston system? He said it was a very clean system that did not need the high frequency cleaning of his other ARs. Given the ear muffs and the gunfire I did not catch everything he said, so I had the same question. Is there a new operating system for the AR?

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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Yunus - What you are looking at is the gas tube that directs the gas from the barrel back to cycle the action.

Yes, this is a "dirty" operation - but you would have to be slinging thousands of rounds a week through your average AR to get to a point where build up would result in a FTE.

One way to counter act this is to take an average pipe cleaner and run it down the gas tube every once in awhile. Works wonders.

Now, as for the gas piston system, here are the basics....

Yes, the system is cleaner and yes the system is "more reliable" because you now have an operating rod driving the action instead of gas pressure.

The operating rod is encased in a type of gel that keeps it running when super hot and is more along the lines of the AK, where the constant yammering of heavy full auto fire won't cause a problem.

The down side is, anytime you introduce another harmonic to the front end of the weapon, like an operating rod, your accuracy is going to suffer. There is no way around it without throwing thousands of dollars at the problem.

So, while the .416 is an amazing weapon platform, it's not as inheriently accurate as a true, well built, gas driven AR.

Will it still hit Minute of Bad Guy?? All day long, and without issue. Is it worth switching over to a piston driven upper? Sure, if you have about $1500 burning a whole in your pocket and you want a hard core room cleaning gun.

For basic target shooting, putting 500 rounds a month down range, doing some basic cleaning and due dilligence on your weapon - I don't believe it's "needed" by your average shooter.

If I was going to the sandbox, and I knew I was going to be throwing a TON of lead in full auto applications, I would consider taking a piston upper along, but it wouldn't be my primary weapon system.

JD

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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The gas system on the Ar is good. I have seen hundres of thousands of rounds fired them them and no problems.

I was known as the ammo expender in my unit. Meaning that when we had extra ammo I was the one that got to fire most of it because the others didn't like the extra cleaning. What ever Give me all the ammo I burned up I bet 30,000 rounds in 1 day got I loved having PVT loads mags for me LOL.... 3 round burst gets old after about 20,000 rounds. I was going so good one night that the barrel was glowing orange and the gas tube was white hot. still not a single problem out of the gas system.

It is another fix for a problem that wasn't there.

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #6
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Hmm, didn't think about accuracy being affected at all. Since I will use this mainly for target practice and fun, accuracy is important. I guess I will have to judge my laziness and dislike for cleaning vs my enjoyment of being as accurate as I can be for the money.

I don't see the current gas system as a problem just as dirty.
After the barrel is glowing orange is it time for a replacement or was it still accurate afterwards?

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Old 06-23-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Another question while we're on the topic. The manual for the new AR says lubricate with a quality gun lubricant. Do I just use oil, or do some parts get grease?

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Old 09-13-2009, 12:42 AM   #8
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Been using Hoppes gun oil since 1975 without a single issue!!
WD-40 works too. You dont need any thick assembly lubes or anything like that.

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Old 09-13-2009, 01:27 AM   #9
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I would personally recommend that no one use WD-40 for any cleaning purposes in a weapon that is used in any self defense situation.

WD-40 creeps. As much as 24 inches in 24 hours.

That CAN lead to the WD-40 creeping into your active rounds that you have in the mag or in the chamber. Since gun powder is porous, it CAN seep into your powder and it is possible that it might be enough to keep your primer from going "off".

Is this common? No. I do not believe this to be common.

Can it happen? Yes, it has been proven to the extent that the FBI does not recommend their agents cleaning their pistols with WD-40.

But, do as you will in your own lives gents...

JD

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