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Old 03-27-2014, 11:35 PM
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Any of y'all have a piston kit? Any of y'all have a piston kit? Any of y'all have a piston kit? Any of y'all have a piston kit? Any of y'all have a piston kit?  
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Anyone using a piston type gas system in their AR?

If you are, do you feel it is better? Why or why not?
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:58 PM
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Wish I could help you out. I did consider buying a Osprey Defense Gas Piston Retrofit Conversion Kit to try out. I also looked an an Adams Arms. What made me balk was that the gas piston kit isn't compatible with a majority of handguards and free float rail systems. Also, I didn't want to have to deal with the possibility of carrier tilt and having futz with even more parts to address it.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:06 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STpLZwQ7Qyg
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:16 AM
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Ive got one in a 5.45X39 carbine..... its ok, other than the special bolt (pads on the back for anti tilt) and bumper where the gas key would be on a std bolt. I bought it because I fire the Russian surplus 7n6 rounds in it, which are still corrosive. I would not bother with one for non-corrosive ammo.....



As an addendum, mine is an adams upper, and the hand guards do have to be hogged out on them to work......

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Old 03-28-2014, 12:45 AM
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I remember reading an article that " some" AR's were developing cracks in the lower after kit was installed. I will try to find article and let you decide for yourself. Be Safe,
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:51 AM
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Rastoff, I have a sneaky suspicion that you enjoy the rabbit holes...
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:41 AM
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Sorry, unable to find the article. I know it had to do with bolt tilt ( I realize that has been addressed in some kits ), but there was also the fact that receivers would crack because of the change in the line of the stress with the piston VS DI. It was prob all a bad dream!! Be Safe,
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:51 AM
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I have an Adams Arms Lite kit (pics) which has made shooting my rifle much more enjoyable, primarily because it has made cleaning my rifle much more enjoyable. I've got about 500 rounds through it since the piston install, and not a single problem yet. I'll be sure to let the community know if something goes wrong though
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyphertext View Post
Rastoff, I have a sneaky suspicion that you enjoy the rabbit holes...
You've found me out! Well, maybe not so much that I enjoy the rabbit hole, but I'm a gun geek. I just love to learn about things I'm interested in. I've been off work for a while now with a broken leg. So, I'm sitting in front of this computer dreaming up new things to explore.

This particular question came because I saw an Adams Arms kit for sale at a reasonable price. That got me thinking about the differences. So,...


About "bolt tilt", wouldn't any bolt do that? Not just the piston ones? I mean, both are basically pushed in the same place. So, I would expect the same issues or lack of issue in either design. Am I off base with that?
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:10 PM
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I have an M&P15 PS (Piston) that is about 4 years old, easily have shot a couple thousand rounds through it, and never had any issues with it. There is no sign of "bolt tilt" in the buffer tube and the BCG looks like brand new. It is by far the best rifle I have ever owned. Some claim the piston system adds weight, and make it inaccurate. My piston cap, rod and spring weigh a measley 6 ounces and it will shoot Quarter size groups @ 100 yds all day long. Some of the accessories that people hang on the front of their AR's weigh a whole lot more that my piston assembly.

I have added a Geissele trigger, Magpul fore end, EOTech HWS that interchanges with a Nikon 3x9 Pro Staff scope.

Cleaning is a breeze...no carbon or fouling on the bolt whatsoever. Whatever residue is on the gas block wipes off with a rag and Hoppes 9. I would buy another one in a heartbeat, but S&W has discontinued making them. Many other manufacturer's are still making and selling piston AR's.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:02 PM
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As far as I know (and maybe something has changed since I have paid little attention to piston systems) there is no standard for a gas piston system. So you're turning your mil-spec rifle into a specialty parts rifle. More moving parts... more weight... no thanks.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:30 PM
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Lee because the OP was asking about a kit, I assumed that he was asking about a conversion kit.

I assume that factory piston driven AR-15's must be somehow different in the receiver or bolt carrier to counteract carrier tilt. I know the Ruger SR556's bolt carrier end is beveled. Stuff like that.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaPes View Post
Lee because the OP was asking about a kit, I assumed that he was asking about a conversion kit.
I should have mentioned that the Adams Arms kit is identical to what the S&W piston rifles have...I think they were actually supplied by Adams, but not certain.

As far as "Tilt" goes, the piston rod is in direct line with the bolt, so when it cycles the bolt it goes straight back in a horizontal line. Mine shows no evidence of tilt after 4 years of active shooting.

Their web site shows the same parts that are in my rifle:

Carbine Length Piston Kit
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:42 PM
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Nothing wrong with a piston rifle if it came that way from the factory. If it didn't come that way, I would leave well enough alone. Just my two cents.

Customizing a firearm is not a bad thing but there are some things that are best left alone unless you are trying to prevent certain issues like the corrosive ammo mentioned above.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsandman View Post
Nothing wrong with a piston rifle if it came that way from the factory. If it didn't come that way, I would leave well enough alone. Just my two cents.

Customizing a firearm is not a bad thing but there are some things that are best left alone unless you are trying to prevent certain issues like the corrosive ammo mentioned above.
I highly agree. I DON'T DO KITS. I buy what I want for what it is suppose to actually be and actually designed to do what it was intended for.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:20 PM
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Having a piston AR is like having a GI AK.

Dont fix what isnt borken.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:10 PM
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Grabagun lists a M&P 15 PS. One available. But if S&W discontinued it would you still want to buy it?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:58 AM
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I have owned an Adams Arms piston upper which i ran on a M&P lower. No issues whatsoever. I now run PWS piston rifles. They are different in that they are a long stroke piston design (modeled after the AK-47) rather than short stroke design like Adams and most others. I have one in .223 wylde, one in 7.62x39, and one in .308. These rifles are amazing. I like the ability to adjust the gas for shooting suppressed and lots of different ammo. I also like the maintenance or cleaning intervals. I shoot and PWS even recommends several thousand rounds between cleaning. Never had an issue one.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:57 AM
gm272gs gm272gs is offline
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I do use a piston system. I will get my thoughts together and post something with pictures and a good summary. The short story is that I am a believer.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:07 PM
gm272gs gm272gs is offline
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Here's the deal:

If you want to convert your direct gas impingement system to a gas piston system, it is fairly easy to do. I am an apprentice to a master gunsmith, and never refer to myself as a "gunsmith", although he thinks I am He does all the heavy lifting stuff (Like fitting, crowning, threading, etc.) whereas I do all the cleanings, replacement of broken parts, test firing, etc. So when I say "fairly easy to do", I mean from my point of view.

I would counsel the "average joe" against doing it (installing a conversion kit) because I have seen some really bunged-up jobs come into the shop, due to the work of "armchair gunsmiths" who watch YouTube and figure they're good to go. We charge them extra to fix their screwups, so be warned.

All that aside, I can tell you what converting your rifle will get you;

1. A cleaner running rifle. Since it no longer "poops where it eats", the whole upper receiver stays clean. The bolt stays clean. The firing pin stays clean. The only thing that still gets dirty is the bolt face and extractor (and the barrel, of course).

2. A cooler rifle. If you take the handguards off a D.I. rifle and shoot 5 or 6 rounds, you can light a match off the heat from the gas tube (try it, it is pretty neat). If you do that with a piston setup, you can put your hand on the piston rod. It's cold. The entire upper receiver stays cool, as well. Heck, there's no hot gas spraying into it anymore!

3. A more accurate rifle? Nope! The piston system won't change a thing. Sorry! The neat thing though, is that when I changed my rifle over to the piston system, it didn't affect my scope zero. The zero was still right on the money, one day to the next.

4. Some folks just have to have them, and some folks think they're stupid (because Eugene Stoner didn't design it that way!). I think both work great. If someone tries to tell you that "piston is better because it's more reliable", I don't buy it, unless they are making the claim that it's more reliable because it's cleaner. It is cleaner, but that difference (of reliability) wouldn't be readily apparent until you shot more than 1,000 rounds, and never cleaned your gun.

I like cleaning my guns. I find it relaxing. If you don't like cleaning your AR-15-style rifle and are tired of scraping carbon off and cleaning gunk out however, get a piston rifle upper or convert your D.I. upper to a piston system. It is a LOT cheaper to convert, and conversion kits are not all created equally.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:31 PM
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Check out this sight:Gas Piston Systems / Ingenuity At Work There are some good vids about the piston system and another about carrier tilt.
I got one in 7.62x39. I got the C.A.P.S. System because I wanted to be able to adjust the amount of gas my rifle gets. Some ammo is underpowered and some is not by having adjustable gas ports I can shoot any ammo with no short stroking.I figured a piston was the way to go because I wanted to shoot cheap dirty Russian Ammo. What sold me on the BRA system was the simplicity of it Plus you can dissamble and clean the whole system by removeing only one pin. Cleaning is a breeze. I have been having a lot of fun with this rifle.
At first I had two uppers and one lower. (My orginal M&P 5.56 DI rifle......and my new 7.62x39 piston upper. I have since built a new lower for the 7.62 upper. Now I have two AR's.

Here are some pics:





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Old 04-29-2014, 12:02 AM
gm272gs gm272gs is offline
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I use something decidedly more simple. It does not require replacing your gas block and can be done in less than 20 minutes. If you look at the first photo (with the handguards on), it is virtually indistinguishable from any other standard direct-impingement service rifle.
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Any of y'all have a piston kit?-01-riflewithhg-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-02-riflewithouthg-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-03-pistonandrod-jpg  
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:12 AM
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After shooting 50 rounds, my D.I. setup would have all kinds of crud in the upper receiver, along with some gritty crud in the lower receiver as well. The bolt and firing pin would both have built-up carbon, which would have to be scraped and brushed off. Now look at the parts after 160 rounds:
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Any of y'all have a piston kit?-05-lowerafter160rounds-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-06-upperafter160rounds-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-07-upperafter160rounds-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-08-boltafter160rounds-jpg   Any of y'all have a piston kit?-09-boltafter160rounds-jpg  

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Old 04-29-2014, 12:13 AM
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Here are the firing pin and bolt, after 160 rounds:
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
About "bolt tilt", wouldn't any bolt do that? Not just the piston ones? I mean, both are basically pushed in the same place. So, I would expect the same issues or lack of issue in either design. Am I off base with that?
Negative, on DI rifles, the bolt unlocks via gas pressure between the bolt and carrier, that's why it has piston rings. The gas key is just a conduit for the gas much like the gas tube.

My only experience with piston driven AR's has been with a couple of LWRC SPR rifles. They are built from the ground up as piston driven rifles and are very impressive. Like others have mentioned, the rifle run very clean compared to DI guns. They weigh a little more and have more moving parts so potentially more things to go wrong.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:52 AM
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Bolt tilt has been an issue in the past. The M16 carrier I use, has a beveled rear to it. See photo, attached. In the foreground is a standard M16 carrier, the one in the rear is the one I use in my piston conversion.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
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After shooting 50 rounds, my D.I. setup would have all kinds of crud in the upper receiver, along with some gritty crud in the lower receiver as well. The bolt and firing pin would both have built-up carbon, which would have to be scraped and brushed off. Now look at the parts after 160 rounds:
Dont forget too. The piston bolt runs almost cold with very little heat built up.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:11 PM
gm272gs gm272gs is offline
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I have other things to add now that I have run my piston system past the 1,000 round mark;

1. Since there is no hot gas bombarding the bolt, bolt carrier, and upper receiver anymore, everything stays clean and doesn't wear as much. Have you ever replaced your gas rings on your bolt? With a piston system, you don't even use gas rings. There's no friction inside the bolt carrier, because there aren't any piston rings to scrape on the inside of it anymore!

2. Less heat means less wear. The M16/M4/AR-15 service rifle has a published useful service life of 30,000 rounds. Change it to the right $300 gas piston system, and the service life can be doubled. Yes. You read that correctly. Doubled. With some parts, that number can triple or quadruple. For instance, bolt life is usually stated to be anywhere from 5k to 10k rounds. Barrels typically hold up to 15k rounds or more, and I once broke a lug off a bolt after 12,500 rounds. I wore out a bolt carrier (because i couldn't get even the largest piston rings to seal in it, anymore) after 18,000 rounds. That wear - mind you - was all with D.I. rifles.

3. Over 1,000 rounds with no failures. When my rifle was direct gas impingement, occasionally it would fail to cycle fully (short stroke) when it was dirty. Since putting in the piston system, I have never encountered a problem, even now that I clean it less than I used to. All I clean now is the bore and the bolt face. Nothing else ever gets dirty. I don't even have to take the bolt out of the carrier anymore.

You can't do much about the life of the barrel (except by not heating it up very much) but the piston system will extend the life of everything else by factors of 2, 3, or 4. I have been watching it, and am amazed.

Yeah okay, I have drunk the kool-aid.

I currently offer local LEO & Military personnel, a free installation of the Osprey Defense OPS-416 system, because I believe that it is the best one out there. I think that you'll hear very soon that USSOCOM thinks so, as well.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:51 PM
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I believe you gm272gs!

My only issue is that if I am going to own a piston operated rifle, I want one that was originally designed to be a piston gun not retrofitted to be one. It's sort of like the whole 1911's should all be .45 ACP as JMB designed it to be sort of thing. I'm weird like that.

I have considered two piston operated rifles chambered in 5.56 NATO: IWI Tavor & Sig 556Xi. Since they both cost a pretty penny, I'll be considering them for a long while.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:10 PM
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DThe only piston driven rifle i own is the AK. Because it was designed that way and has many years proven itself reliable. The GI has also proven itself in the ARs since the 60's. Dont fix what isnt broken.

Its like adding DGI to ur AK. Why would u want to mess up something that runs so perfect.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:15 PM
amazingflapjack amazingflapjack is offline
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gas cylinder=cleaner and more dependable-see Kurac.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:54 PM
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I'm did not mean to disparage the piston driven AR's. They displace the fouling to a piston and not back in the action, so the rifle isn't pooping where it eats. I get it. I just am a bit "meh" on the AR-15 right now. Too much tinkering and building took the "fun" out of it.

While I am looking at the Sig 556Xi and IWI Tavor, their cost is a bit tough to stomach. It's hard to save up and spend for another MSR chambered in 5.56 when I have two AR-15's that sling copper jacketed lead downrange like champs.

I'm going through the same thing with pistols. I own just one revolver. I own just one pistol chambered in .45 ACP, one in .40 S&W, and one in 10mm. I own just one bolt action rifle, and just one shotgun. I have some diversity in 9mm, but not in poly framed striker. I have a Glock 17 for my poly frame striker fired jollies. The rest are DA/SA alloy frame 9mm's.

I guess every firearms enthusiast goes through this.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:13 PM
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Too much tinkering and building took the "fun" out of it.
What??? Sacrilege!!! Tinkering and building IS the fun. Well, shooting is fun too.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:22 PM
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The AR-15 was the gateway into a world of "rabbit hole" background knowledge. The AR-15 is one of the reasons I learned to reload / hand load ammo. Maybe it's AR-15 burnout.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:32 PM
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Actually, I get the "burnout" concept. Spend enough time on any one thing and it can happen to anyone.

I have run the gamut. At heart I'm still a shotgun guy. I've probed the depths of all the shotgun rabbit holes. Then I became a defensive pistol shooter. Teach classes and everything. I've dabbled in the AR, but haven't jumped in with both feet yet. I want to do some more long range rifle stuff, but until my leg fully heals, that's a long walk.

It's not a bad idea to take some time away now and then.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:18 PM
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It's not a bad idea to take some time away now and then.
That's always good advice. I got commitments and responsibilities (financial and personal) that demand more attention lately. I'm starting a new job at the end of the month. <happy dance>

I'm working closely with my doctor to undo as much of the damage my bad eating and exercise habits caused. I could eat anything I wanted in my 20's. Went into "I'm not getting older" denial in my early to mid 30's. Been changing my eating and exercising habits over the past two years and am kicking it up a notch for the summer.

I love the "What if?" SD/HD topics that center around firearms. What I don't talk about is the physical demands of SD/HD in relation what I can and can't do. I can't go Red Dawn if I can't jog a mile without wanting to throw up. LOL.

/end thread hijack...

sorry OP.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:24 PM
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I love the "What if?" SD/HD topics that center around firearms. What I don't talk about is the physical demands of SD/HD in relation what I can and can't do. I can't go Red Dawn if I can't jog a mile without wanting to throw up. LOL.

/end thread hijack...

sorry OP.
This is a very good point. It's a new subject that is rarely talked about. We should talk about it more when considering self-defense.

Besides, it's my thread and I'll hijack it if I want to.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:41 PM
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This is a very good point. It's a new subject that is rarely talked about. We should talk about it more when considering self-defense.

Besides, it's my thread and I'll hijack it if I want to.
Oh yeah...

There is one particularly obnoxious pile of human lard at the club that I had the unfortunate opportunity to run into at the plinking range not that long ago. He endlessly jabbers about being prepared for survival and how he laughs at those who aren't. While sucking on a cig and chugging down a Coke he lapsed into a coughing fit. When he was able to catch his breath I asked him if he was prepared to survive a 10min walk on a hot summer day. I don't think he'll be boring me with his survival babble again.
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Old 05-20-2014, 07:46 PM
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When he was able to catch his breathe I asked him if he was prepared to survive a 10min walk on a hot summer day. I don't think he'll be boring me with his survival babble again.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:25 PM
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This is a very good point. It's a new subject that is rarely talked about. We should talk about it more when considering self-defense.

Besides, it's my thread and I'll hijack it if I want to.
Everyone sees self defense and "prepping" differently...different opinions on just what they are and different physical abilities to "do stuff".

I'm 59 with 4 heart attacks in my past, a chest full of steel keeping various coronary arteries open, have emphysema and diabetes, and horribly abused my body for the first 50-55 years of my life. I'd have problems with ChattanoogaPhil's 10 minute walk on a hot humid day. No, my days of being physically able to be a warfighter are long past, however...

Taking care of myself and mine on my little piece of land IS possible though, and except for electricity we are pretty self sufficient...and, if the time ever came, I have things set up where I could do a pretty good job of defending it.

Home defense...self-sufficiency...prepping...all happen far more above the neck than below it.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:40 PM
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My point is that to be really ready for a SD/HD or any other calamity, I have to be 100% honest with myself about my skill level and physical ability. I am human. I get butt hurt when things get pointed out to me, but I get over it and try to get better. If the problem is physical, I'll put in the effort to do the best I can to my natural and/or physically imposed limits.

I can employ a pistol, shotgun, AR, Star Trek Phaser but I have to put it into context of my surgically repaired shoulder, my cartilage free elbow, my IT career induced touch of carpal tunnel.

I believe if I lie to myself about my skill level or physical ability, my contingency plans will be based on a lie, and it will all fall to pieces. Hardest thing is to be honest with myself about myself.

^ I need sleep now.

*EDIT*

Bob... for your Glock 23, take a look at a Lone Wolf Distributors 40-9 conversion barrel. With that barrel and a few cheap Korean made Glock compatible mags you'll gain ammo diversity. It will give you ammo choices when the next firearms/ammo panic hits.

I have a conversion barrel for my Glock 22 and it works great.
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