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Old 07-06-2014, 13:58   #1
weems76
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first piston drive

Hello guys and ladies, I just purchased a Sig Sauer 516 patrol and have about 400 rounds through it with a total of about 600 rounds downrange between 4 shooters. I have left the weapon stock with the exception of a Magpul Miad grip, billet dust cover, billet charging handle and a stubby VFG. For optics I chose an Aimpoint patrol 2moa red dot.

First off the bad....this weapon is heavy, I do not have a proper scale but I'm guessing with optic and VFG we are talking the high side of 10lbs. The 6pos stock has a slight rattle and from what I understand Sig has a slightly different diameter buffer tube than either mil spec or commercial.

Yay the good....because of the aluminum quad rail and the piston drive this gun is heavy; which when coupled with a standard capacity 30 round loaded magazine makes the rifle balance right at the front hinge pin. This is absolutely ideal for me this gun does not feel heavy when shooting fast at steel from 25ft out to 300 yards. The rifle is a joy to shoot, none of the "twisting" recoil impulse and none of the squeaky noises issuing from the recoil spring I have experienced with some other ar15's. The first day I put about 300 rounds through it, when I broke it down for cleaning I was amazed at how clean the this damn gun was, a couple swipes with a bore snake and good to go. The next outing saw another 300 rounds, still clean. This weapon has not malfunctioned a single time so far with Tula, ss109, Barnes X, winchester supreme, and PMC. Bullet weights ranged from 42 to 63.

If I was an actual "operator" and had to lug this thing around all day I would seriously consider a quality Direct Impingement gun with much lighter furniture. As a range gun, varmint gun, LEO patrol rifle, or defense weapon this rifle is perfect.
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Last edited by weems76; 07-08-2014 at 04:41..
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Old 07-06-2014, 14:08   #2
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I really want to add an Adams Arms piston driven AR to my collection someday just for grins.

Glad you're liking your Sig. It's a fine rifle from everything I've heard.
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Old 07-11-2014, 16:35   #3
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I really want to add an Adams Arms piston driven AR to my collection someday just for grins.
I bought a used Adams-conversion upper off arfcom several years ago. I have had no issues that can be blamed on the upper (had a steel-case .223 round stick in it once, but that was because it is cheap ammo).

It feels different than a DI upper, but it is no less fun than my DI rifles.
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Old 07-11-2014, 18:35   #4
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What do you guys think are the advantages of a piston action?
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Old 07-11-2014, 19:15   #5
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What do you guys think are the advantages of a piston action?
None whatsoever.

I do think the OP's avatar is fascinating, however, and would love to see more
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Old 07-11-2014, 21:47   #6
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What do you guys think are the advantages of a piston action?
For the average shooter - little and less, and rarely worth the cost. The disadvantages outweigh most of the advantages, IMO.

Unless you're shooting on a near full auto firing schedule, with a short barrel and/or a can, it's probably not worth it.

If you WANT it, that's fine, but better DI guns can usually be had for the same or less money.
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Old 07-11-2014, 21:54   #7
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For the average shooter - little and less, and rarely worth the cost. The disadvantages outweigh most of the advantages, IMO.

Unless you're shooting on a near full auto firing schedule, with a short barrel and/or a can, it's probably not worth it.

If you WANT it, that's fine, but better DI guns can usually be had for the same or less money.
Short barrel and can are fine DI. Add full auto to the mix and maybe.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:37   #8
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Short barrel and can are fine DI. Add full auto to the mix and maybe.
My SBR is very over-gassed with a can, to the point where I'm seriously considering an adjustable gas block on it.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:53   #9
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Hello guys and ladies, I just purchased a Sig Sauer 516 patrol....

Enjoy your rifle.
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Old 07-12-2014, 20:49   #10
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What do you guys think are the advantages of a piston action?
The rifle will run cooler, that's about all. An advantage when firing burst or full auto all day. Other than that, nothing to get excited over.

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Old 07-13-2014, 08:06   #11
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Piston rifles get just as dirty as DI guns. Just in different places.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:09   #12
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They run much cooler, and much, much cleaner. While I own a DI AR and love it, I absolutely hate cleaning it. For those that like keeping their firearms clean, piston ARs are a boon.

If you don't care about keeping you AR clean, there's probably no benefit. People that are into proving their DI AR's ability to run without being cleaned much (and they do), don't care about piston ARs.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:13   #13
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A piston driven upper is NOT cooler or cleaner....anyone that thinks this does not know a hole in the ground from their donut!
The carbon & heat are just deposited under hand guards & not in the upper receiver.
A pistol driven upper WILL require darn good handguard covers and/or gloves.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:14   #14
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Piston rifles get just as dirty as DI guns. Just in different places.
^^^^^^ Nailed it.....
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:19   #15
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What do you guys think are the advantages of a piston action?
There really is no advantage.....it's just different.
As I stated above, they are just as dirty, there is just as much carbon being introduced into the carbine. It is simply just deposited in a different place. The piston guns MAY have a very slight advantage when it comes to reliability when shooting WITHOUT adding lube. A DI carbine has been documented to surpass 14k rounds fired with only very minimal cleaning and additional lube.
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Old 07-13-2014, 16:50   #16
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There really is no advantage.....it's just different.
As I stated above, they are just as dirty, there is just as much carbon being introduced into the carbine. It is simply just deposited in a different place. The piston guns MAY have a very slight advantage when it comes to reliability when shooting WITHOUT adding lube. A DI carbine has been documented to surpass 14k rounds fired with only very minimal cleaning and additional lube.
Filthy 14 went north of 40,000 rounds....
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:36   #17
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Filthy 14 went north of 40,000 rounds....
Damn,......will have to look that up! Did not realize it went that high!

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:57   #18
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Originally Posted by WoodenPlank View Post
For the average shooter - little and less, and rarely worth the cost. The disadvantages outweigh most of the advantages, IMO.

Unless you're shooting on a near full auto firing schedule, with a short barrel and/or a can, it's probably not worth it.

If you WANT it, that's fine, but better DI guns can usually be had for the same or less money.
You hit the nail on the head. The piston action was designed for full-auto weapons to control the cyclic rate and to reduce heat and residual carbon build-up (in some places) associated with full-auto operation. As many have noticed with a full-auto DI weapon, a lot of heat is generated, as is carbon build-up in the gas tube and BCG. Also, they generally have a faster cyclic rate, therefore caused more heat to be generated. There are PROs and CONs about any weapon, but they are based on the user and the purpose for which a weapon is intended. Personally, I have been shooting the M16/AR15 platform since 1978. I like it and it is dependable. I do have a new TAVOR which is great. With its piston action, it is a breeze to clean and the action is nice and solid. Everyone should get one. I will say this, the piston systems in the SIGs and the TAVOR are nothing like the system in the AKs. The AK's system is rather violent in comparison, but it is a robust and effective system. It was the main inspiration for the more refined piston system we have today.
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Old 07-14-2014, 18:28   #19
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not an operator

Hey guys I just wanted to reiterate what I said in my initial post about this new Sig 516. It is MY first piston gun. Over the years I have had original Bushmasters, a Dpms sweet 16, a colt sporter, a Sig m400 and a few more I cannot remember. These were all great guns "except the dpms" and they were all DI. I chose the 516 this time around because my local range master got one, loves it, and recommended it to me.

As far as cleanliness goes, I cannot see how anyone could argue the advantage a piston drive gives you, all dirt blowback and fouling are kept in a contained gas tube, and never get near the action. You know the action, where moving parts work together to deliver a round into the breech and send it on its way. The gun also seems to cycle faster and smoother to me, but I have no actual way of backing up this claim.

To me the only downside of this gun is that it is heavy, with a aluminum quad rail and the piston drive it is a pig. Since I am not an operator and do not see myself having to hump this thing by foot for miles at a time I like it. The added weight makes the rifle more accurate for me. If I needed an AR system to travel with, as I said before I would probably build a very light DI rifle. My opinion is that the piston drive does not make the rifle more reliable, we have over 40 years of data on the DI system. In comparison the piston drive is still in it's infancy.
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Old 07-14-2014, 21:14   #20
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None whatsoever.

I do think the OP's avatar is fascinating, however, and would love to see more
I agree and me too

Congrats OP!
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