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Gas piston ar15 worth the extra money?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Hamtaro1085, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Hamtaro1085

    Hamtaro1085 Seattle, WA New Member

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    I'm about ready to buy my first ar15. I've decided to go with stag arms. Only thing is I'm not sure whether or not I should spend the extra money on the piston model. I've been doing a lot of research and everyone that owns the piston system loves it. Or just go with the di models. I choose stag because I'm going to get a left handed ar... Any advice? Pros and cons?
     
  2. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    IMO it's a solution to a non existent problem
     
  3. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    It seem as though it's a fad and helps if you have shorter length rifles,from what I have read.But if the AR is clean and properly cared for,then there shouldn't be a problem.
    So you may be spending $300+ for a fix for and non existent problem,as stated.

    Now I really like the fit and finish of my Stag upper.And from just 1 sighting and break in session,I believe the accuracy will be as promised by Stag.I bought the 6H upper.
    And as you are a lefty,I would say Stag is the best choice since the owner is a lefty.

    But I think you should buy the piston AR and test it out for us.Maybe buy both and do a comparison?
    Just and idea.
     
  4. Dieselfuel12v

    Dieselfuel12v Bellingham Member

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    I know a few people with Piston ar's converted from DI, one shoots about a thousand rounds a week, his guns don't collect dust like most. Both swear by them, and won't go back, so take that for what it's worth with their hands on experience.
     
  5. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    stag left handed ars are great your gonna love it. like Blitzkrieg said "it's a solution to a non existent problem"

    the biggest plus i see with it is it keeps the bolt cooler and cleaner but pretty much runs the same
    in the long run you have to consider replacement parts with the DI its just a gas tube made by several different companies with the piston its a few more parts
    and not many are interchangeable with other piston sets .

    i bought a early piston set that has been redesigned , I run it in my stag lefty if i loose the piston or the pin that holds it in or bend the rod or tube i am screwed replacement parts are expensive only can be bought from 1 place that i know of and may have to wait for them
     
  6. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Milwaukie Active Member

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    DI is the industry standard, for the most part, everyone's parts will interchange with one another. Not true for the piston set ups, everyone's is different from one another....

    I agree with the "solution to a non existent problem" sentiment also, if the piston was so much better, the gun would have been designed with one.
     
  7. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A little background, first. One of my MOS's in the Army was small arms repair. That means I repaired every gun and mortar the Army owned, from bore diameter 4.2" and smaller. By a huge margin, I repaired more M-16's than any other firearm. The gas system was very fragile, and I learned to not trust AR's very much. Still don't.

    After a lot of years, I recently bought a new Bushmaster M-4. Gave me such fits, right out of the box that Bushmaster had me return the gun to them. They replaced the barrel, and it's been perfect ever since. This gun shoots better than any AR I've ever shot or owned, previously.

    Then, along comes along the Ruger SR556. I bought one, and I've gotta say, as much as I've learned to like my Bushmaster, I like the piston-Ruger even more. It runs perfectly, and is unbelievably accurate. The action remains clean, and the gun runs so much cooler. But, this gun is hefty. Maybe hefty is part of why this gun shoots so well.

    So, is there an absolute need for a piston-AR? Maybe not. But I sure do like mine.

    So, the OP's question is a little two-edged.
    Is the piston a worthwhile improvement? Yes.
    Is it worth the huge increase in cost? Probably not.

    Regarding price...The cost of the Ruger has come down quite a bit. I paid $1400 for mine, just a few months ago, and had I waited, I've seen them for $1300. Maybe the price will continue to come down.

    WAYNO.
     
  8. caden08

    caden08 washougal Member

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    Take the extra cash and get a better rifle. IMO
     
  9. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Recently I've had the following fact re-enforced with my gal's carbine build..

    The barrel is the heart of an AR15. Spend as much as you can for the best barrel. A piston conversion kit is at least $200... imagine tossing that towards a better barrel
     
  10. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    ^^^ all the above. Nope.
     
  11. Hamtaro1085

    Hamtaro1085 Seattle, WA New Member

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    I mean... The Piston system is only about 300 dollars more... wouldn't it be worth it in the long run??
     
  12. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    Kind of like buy fancy mag wheels for your hot rod, is it worth it? No. Is it cool? Yes. If you want a piston gun, by all means buy one.
     
  13. WIRED tactical

    WIRED tactical Snohomish County, WA Member

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    I have a Sig556 which is piston driven. I absolutely love it. Never had a malfunction in 1000 rounds and only had to clean it about 4 times because I wanted to. I probably could have not cleaned it since I bought it. The bolt stays so much more clean and even after a few mags is stone cold. Yes, a DI system will work fine if you clean your rifle every once in a while, but my Sig is my go to gun if the SHTF. I wanted a rifle that I could severely neglect if need be and my piston driven Sig556 has met that challenge.
     
  14. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    When the zombies attack, your going to want a piston driven AR!

    The most fragile parts of a full auto M16 are the gas system.. semi not so much....but you must keep it clean.
     
  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Pretty good point there.Wonder if it will ever be standardized?
     
  16. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    pistons are inherently muzzle heavy due to their giant gas blocks and oprod assemblies, inherently innaccurate due to an inability to float the barrel, zero standardization of parts with every individual manufacturer using their own proprietary parts, pistons put a huge strain on the bolt during unlock, are inherently, and by necessity, over-gassed and therefor recoil harder, are expensive, and offer absolutely zero substantiated benefits.

    plop.
     
  17. Hamtaro1085

    Hamtaro1085 Seattle, WA New Member

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    Ok thanks for all the replies guys I've decided to go with a di model 2l stag. I'll use the extra money for accessories.
     
  18. jaweber

    jaweber Yakima Member

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    i dont think so
     
  19. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The consensus here confirms what little I have gathered regarding the "piston craze" that erupted a few years ago. To be brief, "The bloom is off the rose."
     
  20. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    You actually listened and made a logical decision.. that's kinda rare in shooting circles and indeed you now have some extra loot to buy stuff that is useful.. may I suggest that $300 towards a good holo or red dot sight?