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Piston guns. Go ahead or watch and wait?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by outback45, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. outback45


    Apr 22, 2011
    In looking at the new wave of piston ARs, I've noticed that each manufacturer seems to have developed it's own unique system. In the past, one of the beauties of the AR platform has been the interchangeability of parts between guns. Do you think eventually the piston systems will become more standardized or will the manufacturers continue to produce distinct designs that are not compatible? I know you can always throw a piston upper on any lower. I'm talking about parts within the upper.

    Do any of you just think it's best to stick with gas impingement despite possible advantages (if any) of piston guns?

    Curious to hear opinions. Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA

  3. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    I'm not getting into the di vs piston debate. Read up and decide what is better for your needs.

    But to answer the other question, no I don't ever see the various manufactures getting together and standardizing the system. They all think theirs is better and most of them hold patents on there take of it.

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  4. daddysnapmuffins


    Jul 30, 2008
    Just my humble opinion, but I think ultimately the piston will become the standard once it is perfected. I'm sticking with my DI for the time being but I think the day will come when piston systems eclipse DI.
  5. kvon


    Aug 18, 2011
    For now, I don't see a benefit for the extra cost. I'm a boring tried an true consumer, I stick with what works.
  6. outback45


    Apr 22, 2011
    I did search "piston versus gas AR" on this forum, and I came up with nothing.
  7. QNman

    QNman resU deretsigeR Silver Member

    Oct 5, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    I doubt piston systems will be standardized until (and if) it is ever adopted by a military agency.
  8. raven11


    Jan 27, 2009
    The HK416 is really the closest we have seen with the Marines, some ARMY, and some SWAT adopting it ,heck it even got a plug as the weapon that supposedly shot Osama Bin Laden

    but like HK always does they priced themselves out of the market
  9. mixflip


    Mar 4, 2009
    Things to know before you buy a gas piston AR15?

    My personal opinion.... I dont think a piston AR will get standardized unless it gets adopted as the official replacement for the old M16/M4. Until that day, tons of companies will be striving to be cutting edge and next gen.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  10. Kimura


    Oct 17, 2011
    The piston AR isn't that new, it just hasn't really caught on. Proprietary parts has been an issue, as has the cost vs a DI gun and the weight of the rifle. They aren't the wonder replacement for DI rifles many hoped they would be, at least not yet. The bolt carrier group stays cleaner as compared to a DI gun, but piston ARs have had their own sets of problems including carrier tilt issues among others. Advantages? If you're planning on running an SBR with a suppressor and or run full auto most of the time, the piston AR is probably for you. This is where most SMEs say you really see the advantage of the piston over a DI gun.

    I'm not for or against them, but the only piston AR that has proven to stand up under extreme conditions is the HK 416. If you can find one, it will be extremely expensive and rumor has it that the 416 is having problems now as well.

    I think you should get what you want. If you can afford a good piston gun, and you want one, go for it. They are expensive and extremely expensive. Even the civilian version of the 416, the MR556, is I think $2500.00 plus dollars and there aren't a lot of other piston ARs I would consider outside of the HK.
  11. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    Piston operated rifles are both the past and future. Direct impingement was a long running tangent, and will eventually die. It had a good run. It is just not as inherently reliable.

    That said, piston AR15's are not the answer. They will be just a minor footnote in history.

    If you want an AR15, get a DI version. If you want something with a piston, get something that was designed to use one. Don't waste your time and money with hybrids.
  12. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    Plasma burst rifles are exceptionally better.

    Until I get one, I'll stick with a DI carbine for heavy HD and hunting use.
    I DID recently pick up a Adams Arms Tac Elite 14.5" piston upper for a
    range toy. Very low round count, looks NIB,......$650! :wow:
  13. G26man

    G26man OBEY ME!

    Jul 8, 2004
    Piston ARs don't have to be expensive. I had an AR-180b for $600 and loved it. OK it wasn't a true AR but pretty darn close. I'm so mad at Armalite for killing off that design that had so much promise but they just refused to do anything with it, stubbornly saying there was nothing wrong with DI and they were focuing on their real ARs. They gave the AR-180 no respect at all. If they had just made the receiver accept AR barrels and beefed up the polymer hinge area it would have been a very popular alternative to the DI AR. If I had the ability I would purchase the rights and tooling from them and show them how wrong they were.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  14. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    I used to own one, and kick myself for selling it (one of the few guns I miss). I do wish they had made a non "value" version, though- chromed bore, metal lower, folding stock. Basically, like an original that takes normal AR mags.

    However, I think your point is vindicated by how many new designs have copied the AR-18 gas system (G36/XM8, ACR, and a bunch of others). How many new direct impingement designs are we seeing? Don't get me wrong, I love the AR-15, and I think DI is the way to go over a piston with it. That said, if I were designing a combat rifle from the ground up, it would probably use the AR-18 piston.
  15. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005