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Piston system vs Gas questions?

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Old 02-28-2014, 01:30 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot for the info guys, it really helped.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:01 AM   #12
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Also check out PWS if you are still leaning to piston.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by texaswoodworker View Post
The piston system ARs are 99.999% reliable, and keep the chamber a bit cleaner than a DI AR would, but they weight more than the DI ARs and cost a lot more than most DI ARs. DI ARs are 99.998% reliable.

So is a very small amount of extra reliability, and a little less cleaning worth heavier rifle that costs a lot more?

To give you an idea of the cost difference, I built a DI AR out of really good parts, and it ended up being around $1200. Some good ARs can be had for as low as $600-$800. The Ruger SR-556 has a MSRP of $1995. If you just want the upper, it's still $1499.

My friend has a AR with huldra (made by Adams arms) piston upper. With mid length piston/gas system.

It's actually lighter than my DDM4v5.

The DD rail vs his magpul moe handguard adds a lot of weight. Other than that our stocks (STRs) buis (troys) and everything else is the same weight wise.

The only difference is his bolt stays cool to touch after firing and the recoil on the piston seems a bit snappier even with the same length system.

Just thought I'd dispel that myth that it's "ALOT" heavier. People think piston and the idea of that heavy wooden AK clunker gets lodged in their minds. The weight is negligible ...... I'll take big words for $300 Alex. Goodnight all.

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jord1985 View Post
My friend has a AR with huldra (made by Adams arms) piston upper. With mid length piston/gas system.

It's actually lighter than my DDM4v5.
This might be true. I have a DDM4v3, but that's as close as I come to experience with either of these rifles.

What I can say, is that every piston AR I've handled/shot is expensive and poorly-balanced (front-heavy). Maybe I simply haven't experienced the right ones.

But the lack of interchangeability would still deter me some.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:39 AM   #15
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I will eventually get a piston driven rifle but I'm fine with the DIs. Going to give it a year or two and let the bugs get worked out and hope the price comes down. Maybe parts availability will be better as well. My personal favorite is the Barrett Rec7. From what I have read they are one of the leaders in this area.

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Old 03-03-2014, 03:04 AM   #16
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I have DI and piston systems. I have the Adams Arms pistom system and the only thing that is different or not interchangeable is the gas block. That isn't interchangeable with the DI system because it holds the gas valve that makes the system work. I guess you would say that the gas tube isn't interchangeable because you replace it with a rod. The bolt, barrel, stock,hand guard and all the other parts are interchangeable.You can use any bolt in a piston system. There are some systems that use a special bolt carrier. On some of the bolt carriers the place that the rod goes into is cast into the peace rather than bolted on. That may be a weak link. I don't know, I have never had any problems with mine.

As far as price goes, I paid less than $600 for my Adams Arms upper. I got it on sale. Midsouth Shooters Supply has them for $601 and change at this time. I paid $550 and change for my DI upper. So the piston system does cost more.

As far as being front heavy that would have to do with the barrel and hand guard that is on it. The one I have is heavier than the DI system my wife has but she has the thin barrel and I have the light target barrel. Mine is heavier. The only weight difference in parts between the two systems is the rod over the tube and the nob on the gas valve. That might be a OZ.

Cleaning the two systems is like night and day. With the piston system the bolt is no dirtier than a turn bolt. On the DI system you know what has to be dun to clean the bolt and bolt carrier. Brush scrub and soak then repeat till clean. I like and use both systems. Cleaning the piston system is much easier. If it isn't cleaned it will work longer than the DI system not being cleaned. I clean all my guns after each use so that isn't a problem for me.

If I was packing a gun In the field that I couldn't clean for one reason or the other. I would want the piston system. If you are not heating up the parts that move with the gas that make the system work then the parts have to last longer and stay cleaner.

Just my thoughts about the ones I own. I don't know about all the other piston systems that are made. I only own the Adams Arms system and it works well. The DI system that I have and my wife has are great rifles and fun to shoot, but they are a pain to clean after a good range session. I hope that helped answer your questions.

Last edited by Ishooter; 03-03-2014 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:15 AM   #17
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Good advice above. It makes little sense to alter a properly functioning DI upper hoping an Adams piston kit will make it work better. A fool's errand if you think about it. If you're absolutely sure you need a piston AR (after articulating each reason YOU need it) then buy one from a manufacturer known to make good piston uppers/rifles. Most civilian applications do not benefit from a piston AR, however the manufacturer benefits from selling them. Think about that as you read all the ads in the gun rags. There's a reason why they spend so much on advertising! I'd take that money and buy something that you'll clearly benefit from using. Like good optics or ammo.
The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together.
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