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Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by brianramirez, Sep 11, 2013.
I have a rra lar 15 ath wondering which osprey gas piston system is right for my rifle
Gas piston conversions offer no benefit over the direct impingement system.
Welllll.... they do unbalance the rifle making them nose heavy.
I wouldn't recomend a piston system on a ar15.
I am by no means the last word on AR related info. My $.02:
I'm one of those who believes that unless one is leaping out of helicopters onto Afghan mountaintops, a piston AR is probably unnecessary. There are some who will argue that even then, they aren't really needed, but that's another discussion. While the kit is, admittedly, clever, I'm not entirely sure what problem it solves. Seems to me, that if one absolutely must go to a piston driven AR, the best way forward is to buy an upper that was engineered with a piston setup from day one. Simply adding parts to a DI setup seems counterproductive.
For a range or recreational gun, I wouldn't bother.
Again, not an expert, just my opinion,YMMV.
I would stay away from piston unless you have money to blow and know how to work on them. My brother in law bought a Bushy with a CMMG piston kit. It's already leaking. Gas will not fail you, as a civilian any possible pros of having a piston system don't apply to you anyways.
If you want a piston gun buy a AK and be done .
Been building piston AR's for quite a time. A lot of the posters put BS comments both pro and con because they haven't had both to compare. I have. Here is my findings on the ones I have experience with, which is ARES, OSPREY, and TNW:
1. They don't care what ammo you use, brass, blanks, or steel. If installed correctly, they will work
2. They don't eliminate carbon, but they can make it accumilate in easier to get to spots
3. They need lube, just like any moving parts. Some systems more, some not so much so.
4. It takes more time to install them than the tubes, but not more skill. If you can install the gas tube, you can install most pistons, unless it involves putting in a proprietary gas block. Then you start getting into a different skill level.
5. If you don't fire a couple hundred rounds or more every time you go to the range, it probably isn't worth the money or effort to put a piston in your AR. If you have a 20 inch barrel, the difference will be less noticeable than a shorter barrel.
6. I wouldn't consider a piston a solution to an AR Malfunction. When I install a piston in the AR, I am usually doing a "start from scratch" build.
I use a slickside upper because I have never seen a piston driven AR need a forward assist. The lack of gas rings makes the BCG ride forward easier. If you are putting in a slide fire, I would suggest adding a piston, but not just because you have FTF. Troubleshoot the problem. $1.00 worth of gas rings is cheaper than a $400 piston system.
7. Piston AR's have a barely noticeable increase in recoil, or so I have been told. I haven't noticed it.
8. They aren't as sensitive to being waterlogged as gas tubes, (yes, I have done the " soak in a pail of water" test with a couple of them) but really, do you need that much reliability?
I am not trying to dissuade or promote the piston, just trying to give both sides a reality check. The ones I have experience with work as advertised, but most of the posters on this forum will not fire enough rounds to really justify the expense.
I've got about 2000 rounds through my di driven midlength bcm carbine. The only things I've done to it is keep it oiled same as I do any other rifle. I use 30w motor oil for lube. Occasionally i take out the bcg and give it a wipe with an oily rag.
Only miss feeds are ones caused by my utg brass catcher sliding forward and obstructing the ejection port.
The piston guns I have are ones designed to be such which include my ruger 44 carbine , m1 garand, m1 carbine, mossberg 930 12ga, ak47 wasr 10/63, and my fn scar 17.
Just not fan of fixing what ain't broke. If a ar15 is not functioning in a reliable manner a piston kit is not going to fix that issue. The gas system is pretty much never the cause of fail to feed fail to eject.
One of my oldest guns is an old colt sp1 slick side that prolly has close to 70000 rounds down the tube and is on it's third barrel. I don't recall ever having a need for a forward assist or gas piston. I shot it a LOT with little to no lube. I also can't recall ever having a jam of any sort with it.
Build a good gun from the ground up using high quality parts and it will function.
To the OP, in your case I really recommend against going with a piston. I build AR's on a regular basis, but I start with the stripped lower, and work my way out. Some end up as DI, some as piston. Every time you disassemble your rifle, you stand a chance of scratching it, which brings the future re-sale value down in the event money get's tight and you have to sell it. I suggest you spend the $400-$500 you were thinking on using for the piston to buy ammo or at least optics. After you have run about 500 rounds through your AR, find someone who has a piston AR and shoot a few through it to compare. Then if you really want to install a piston system, you will have some more knowledge to base your decision. And this is coming from someone who probably has installed more AR pistons than anyone on this forum.
Ever compared the cleaning required? I'm not talking about reliability or anything else, just simply cleaning. I spent a lot of extra money for 1 main purpose. I am really lazy!
Never underestimate my laziness.
/My piston system is cleaner and I'll take that challenge any day.
My Hera Arms 15th Dynamic piston AR is awesome. I have taken it to the range quite a bit after buying it this year. I buy boxes of 140 rounds. All rounds shot are accurate (1/7 twist barrel), and the gun runs flawlessly. I only had one misfeed in the beginning, but that was because I was resting the bottom of the PMag on the table. The gun is very controllable with a light recoil, even while shooting fast. I am happy with my choice, which says a lot when the competition includes Sig Sauer, HK, Oberland Arms and Schmeisser. I keep it wet with Mobil 1 10W-30. I have had no problems and really enjoy shooting. Yes, it is expensive. About 2000 dollars. It is a match rifle though. A few pics....
Nice pics, Jager. Any pics without the handguard/rail so we can see the piston assy?
No, I keep forgetting. I will this weekend. That is if a remember. I have been wanted to take new pics anyways. Sorry.
Well thanks guys I guess I don't need this at all
ive got the scar17 and a lot of ar15's the scar is pretty much the same dirt level of a typical ar piston. i spend the same time cleaning both. almost none. yank the innards out. wipe with an oily rag re-lube and off ya go.
in my opinion getting in there with qtips pipe cleaners etc isnt really needed if you keep your firearms well lubed with motor oil under most conditions. the dirt just doesnt really build up and a rag will get it with a quick wipe.
if you use light gun oils like rem oil or frog lube or clp or the like it burns off and leaves bare metal for carbon to stick on. grease is the same issue but under extreme cold you need to use cold weather grease instead of liquid oils so if you do a lot of extreme cold shooting cleaning will be a bit harder.
every now and then ill take one apart give it a good cleaning but thats rare and its more me just wanting to dig around in the innards than the rifle actual needing it,
Jon, in a perfect world, all the manufacturers take the same time and care to put together the AR that Colt, BCM, and the other companies who take pride in their workmanship do. In the real world, those AR's cost about 40 to 50 percent above the 400 to 600 dollar AR's, which are selling for about 800 to 1000 bucks since Sandy Hook sadly. . . Colt AR's of any model are going about 1200 new in my area. SP1's are about 2500. (I know you hear of someone getting a decent deal on a high end AR, but it is the exception to the rule) It was even higher until recently. The lower grade AR mfr's are slapping together the guns like I have seen some armorors do, which is why troops have so many malfunctions, and outsourcing their parts to some billy-jo-bob company which puts out the bare minimum quality product they can get a way with. So in a lot of areas, you end up paying about 1200 to 1800 dollars for a premium AR, which is why I build mine from the stripped reciever up. I spend about an hour mounting the barrel most times, because I want to perfectly center the front sight post and the barrel nut so that the gas tube (or connecting rod) doesn't touch the barrel nut, which can cause problems on either system, and the front and rear sight posts are ligned up so that mechanical zero will get the shooter on the paper if he uses good marksmanship techniques. That is the kind of craftmanship you won't see in the cheaper AR's, but you will in higher end AR's such as Colt, which almost everyone considers the standard. Some AR's, such as Daniel Defense, will rise above that standard. I haven't fired a RRA, which is what the OP said he had, but every word I have heard is that they produce quality product, which is why I recommended against putting a piston in. That, and I thought it might be outside his skill level.
Rra make superb rifles I've got two of em. No issues at all.
I'm not a fan of buying shoddy firearms then spending that 300-400 your "saving" to get it to run right. Been there done it, doesn't make sense. I took one of those low end budget guns I bought stupidly for the wife spent more money getting it to run right did it . Fortunately for me the gun crunch came along shortly after I bought her a bcm and we sold her budget gun for the price of a scar17....
I just try and save folks the pain I went through by recommending they save a bit longer buy a quality firearm and not worry from that point forward. I mean I got super lucky and off loaded one of those 500$ wunder guns for over 4 times its msrp.
What I think started all this crap is that during the Vietnam conflict, Colt was so overwhelmed with orders for the M16's that they started subcontracting a significant amount just to fill the orders, and a lot of rifles got sent with zero QC, and that is where the trouble began. The test rifles went many thousands of rounds with no cleaning and no malfunctions. But the quality control on the guns and ammo going to theater were nonexistent. And I think that set the trend for the different brands stateside. When I was taking the Colt M16 repairers course, we were taught one of the most crucial steps that the lower cost manufacturers get lazy on is the installation of the barrel. If you get it lined up just right, it is extremely difficult to tell when the bolt carrier gas key contacts the gas tube. I cringe when I see an armoror install barrels, then gas tubes. That is why the weapon will have more malfuntions after it has been repaired.
This is true. The first m16's that rolled out weren't chrome lined on the chambers or bores and the us government was not using the powder that was supposed to be used with that type of bore. Compound that with lack of qc and very little to no thought given to supplying the troops with cleaning materials or even oil and its no wonder they had issues. Ak47 won't run like that either. Take away the chromed linings give it substandard powders and no oil no cleaning equipment and they don't work either.
Quentin and I kicked the piston-vs-DI subject around a bit in an earlier thread.
Personnaly, I go back and forth on it sometimes. At the moment I am down to 3 AR's, a 20 inch DI, and 2 16 inch piston guns. One of the piston's is for another Soldier I built for and waiting for her to come up with the money to pay me, and the other is a project build I am posting on another thread. A trick I developed to align the barrel I will share with everyone now. Even though I mostly use gas blocks instead of one peice front sight posts, down the road someone may put a sight post on the rail, so I make sure the barrel is lined as best as I can without a 1000 buck tool. My trick is to wedge two toothpicks on either side of the detente on the barrel that goes into the notch on the upper, then crimp them off before tightening the barrel nut. This isn't a calibrated method, I realize, but it gets it close enough so that you don't end up adjusting the rear sight post to one extreme or another just to get on the paper. I can usually get on the sillouehtte before I start adjusting sights on the removeable sights I use to test fire the rifle. If you are using good marksmanship practice, mechanical zero will put you in the sillouette with an AR I built.