.

Are Gas Piston AR's worth it?

lostwonlostwon Member Posts: 162 ✭✭✭
edited June 2013 in Ask the Experts
I was just wondering if I should spend money on the system?

Comments

  • llamallama Member Posts: 2,778
    edited November -1
    I'd spend the $ on a weapon designed for gas piston use instead of something added on after the fact.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682
    edited November -1
    It is just my opinion, that the AR was designed just fine, without the piston. Both the piston, and non piston guns have their merits, but I will take the direct gas impingement.

    So, no, I do not believe they are worth it.

    Best
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have never spent my money on an AR, AK, or SKS. Shot plenty but was never impressed enough to own one.

    A lot to be said for designs that don't crap where they eat.
  • rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,626
    edited November -1
    I have several of both and it really depends on what you are looking for.

    For just general shooting a few hundred rounds a month, then either would do. A DI is lighter and has fewer proprietary parts.

    If you are surpressing an SBR, shoot enormous amounts of ammo and hate cleaning a chamber, are left handed, and don't mind the additional expense and weight, then a piston may make more sense.

    They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

    The good thing is that if you have a DI AR, many piston uppers will mount on your AR lower.
  • Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,469 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I own both, and shoot short barrel, suppressed, full auto etc... IMHO; 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    I'll say if you get a real deal on either style, buy it. If you're looking to add a couple-hundred dollar piston addition to an already functioning DI gun? Save the $$.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,772 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Depends what you want to do with it.

    Main advantages of piston system are that they're (supposedly) more reliable in harsh/dirty conditions or when maintenance is neglected, and gun itself runs cooler.

    Disadvantages are increased cost, slight increase in weight, non-standardization between the different piston makers parts/systems, and possible increase in recoil impulse with concomitant reduction in accuracy.

    IMO for 98%+ of shooters who aren't pushing their guns to the limit, and can clean them at will, the conventional direct impingement gas system is perfectly fine. These shooters will see no real advantage with a piston system.

    If you really think you're going to take this gun into the desert and get in a prolonged firefight where you can't clean your gun, then a piston system (or better yet, gun designed from the ground up with a piston system) merits consideration. If you just hate cleaning your gun and never want to do it, a piston system may be better. And yeah, if you're running a suppressed short barrel system, piston may be better.

    And of course you can always swap uppers with any AR-15 platform gun, so its not like you can't have both, or change your mind later, if you really want to.

    quote:Originally posted by charliemeyer007
    I have never spent my money on an AR, AK, or SKS. Shot plenty but was never impressed enough to own one.

    A lot to be said for designs that don't crap where they eat.

    Just to be clear, both SKS carbines and AK pattern guns use pistons, and neither "craps where they eat".

    Whether or not these are "better" than the AR-15, and if so how, has been the subject of 10,000 debates, but I'd just say that each of the three has been tremendously tested and time-proven. Any of them "can" work; they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Edit
    quote:Originally posted by Txs
    quote:Originally posted by beantownshootah
    Disadvantages are increased cost, slight increase in weight, non-standardization between the different piston makers parts/systems, and possible increase in recoil impulse with concomitant reduction in accuracy.Agreed, but in addition you'll have a rifle that to a large degree uses proprietary components. Assuming it's not a safe queen, once that rifle's manufacturer goes out of business the clock begins ticking down on it's life span.

    Yes. . .that's exactly what I meant by "non-standardization of parts".

    How much this "matters" depends on how durable the piston system in question is, and how much the owner shoots it.

    The fact is, these guns last for tens of thousands of rounds, and the overwhelming majority if owners never go anywhere near that amount in terms of rounds put through their guns. In general piston system guns are pretty durable, too, though I don't know if that can be said for all or even many of the AR platform piston conversions.

    In any case, not being able to find replacement parts for your particular system may not be an issue, if you never put enough rounds through it to wear it out or need to replace any parts! If you're concerned about this, you can always buy a few extra parts up front so you'll have them later in case of "emergency".

    In any case, if you are firing tens of thousands of rounds through your gun, the gun itself sort of becomes "disposable" in the sense that the cost of the gun becomes minimal compared to the cost of the ammo.
  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,211 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't know but I'd like to have one with. I remember Bushmaster having a flat top, heavier barreled, AK74 muzzel brake upper. It didn't come with a piston system but it'll be a easy fix. That was before they changed. I'll look in to it since they're starting to become available.
  • TxsTxs Member Posts: 18,801
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by beantownshootah
    Disadvantages are increased cost, slight increase in weight, non-standardization between the different piston makers parts/systems, and possible increase in recoil impulse with concomitant reduction in accuracy.Agreed, but in addition you'll have a rifle that to a large degree uses proprietary components. Assuming it's not a safe queen, once that rifle's manufacturer goes out of business the clock begins ticking down on it's life span.

    On the other hand the direct impingement AR is the small block Chevy of semiauto rifles, with everyone and their brother producing parts.

    Due to this, that milspec AR you purchase today has the potential to live well beyond your lifetime.
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    The gas tube helps an AR with a tight chamber to work well as a single shot. If you want something that cycles you may consider the extra bucks a good investment.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,599
    edited November -1
    The merits to having a piston AR is that you can run a lot more 'dirty' ammo through it and have less issues than a DI gun. It's a known fact the biggest drawback to using an AR is dirty ammo. As they "crap where they eat" it makes for a difficult day of shooting if the wrong powder/load is used.

    The drawback is that, especially in comp guns, piston AR's have generally been a little less accurate. POF, though has shown that a little care and attention during manufacture and design can make a very accurate AR.

    My bottom line is generally not. You won't need it. Use good clean ammo and learn how to break down and clean the rifle quickly and it won't be as much of an issue. Needing to 'shotgun' a rifle in the middle of a firefight is a different story.
Sign In or Register to comment.