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  1. #1
    Expert clfergus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southeast Indy

    Piston AR Guns good?

    I am thinking about picking up a Piston Driven AR gun like the Ruger SR-556 to replace my Ruger Mini-14.

    I had a Gas system AR once but it was really picky with ammo and jammed more than I liked. I want something that I don't ahve to worry "AS" much about cleaning but has a decent ammount of accuracy.

    Are there any negatives with a gun like the SR-556? It sounds like the perfect defensive rifle aside from the price.

  2. #2
    I am no expert.

    Why lose the Mini-14? They are great little tools that will last longer than most of the plastic guns around. The rifle has been around for many decades and is still a very strong competitor. Besides, I love the wood stocks!!!

    That said, the Ruger SR-556 has a very good reputation. I also personally like the Core15. Sig has a good reputation as does FNH, HK, SCAR, Colt, etc.

    The Core15 gas impingement happily ate the really cheap steel cased ammo, spit it out, and asked for more! Behaved very nicely. Also accepted a very cheap magazine without issue as well as pmags.

    Read alot about piston guns. There are pros and cons. From my reading it appears I would never want to buy an entry level piston gun due to issues they may have of becoming loose after a 1000 or so rounds of shooting. Again, I have no real world experience just internet quarterbacking from reading around the web.

    What about gas impingment systems? They will run less money and can run quite well with tonnes of rounds through them.

    I would also peruse the used guns sections of everywhere. What brands are prevelent on the resale market? Might there be a reason for this? Which pieces can you almost never locate used? Why might that be?

    Hope I have given good food for thought.

  3. #3
    Sharpshooter CBR1000rr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In an eastern valley once the hub of the state.
    The piston driven AR doesn't dump the gas into the BCG leaving it much cleaner. It won't run as hot and will be much easier to clean.

    Get one and give me the Mini....... Seems fair

  4. #4
    I have both, and like the piston. Some guys criticize it, saying (1) DI isn't broke, so don't fix it, or (2) pistons aren't standardized like DI, so you may have trouble with parts, or (3) if your DI gun gas system fails, you have a bolt gun, but if your piston fails, you have an expensive club. I suppose it depends on whether you find any of these arguments persuasive. After using both, I choose my piston rifle way more.

  5. #5
    I don't know about some of the manufacture built Piston guns but if it is an upgrade piston like the Adams Arms kit I have you can still cycle it like the DI guns. It even has a gas off position so you can shoot just one shot at a time if you wanted. So " expensive club." Absolutely not in the upgrade kits I have seen.

    Sure, DI isn't broke but if I can have a cleaner running gun with less time cleaning and jamming, I am all for it.

    Parts, I can see this argument to a point but I would want to order some extra parts ahead of time for my DI gun anyway so I am going to do the same thing for my Piston gun. Including the preppers mindset "1 of anything (put together with parts) is like having none and 2 of something is like having 1. If one breaks you can scavenge parts to get one of them running."

  6. #6
    Grandmaster kawtech87's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I have a Ruger SR-556. I like it well enough but it is kinda a PITA if anything does go wrong, because you have to send it back to Ruger. There is no instructions beyond basic field strip in the manual and it says not to mess with the piston system beyond basic field srtip. So in essence the Piston system is non-serviceable unless its Ruger that services it. Not that it should ever really need it, but on the LWRC models the top rail comes off and allows access to the piston for cleaning and service.

    If I was to do it again I think I would save up the money and get an LWRC instead.

    Ive since bought another DI gun just because they can be totally torn down and put back together by the end user and parts are plentyfull.
    "Over a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    just north of muncie.
    the gas piston firearms work very well, and there cleaner, ive had very few problums with a gas tube, but i do like the piston more.

  8. #8
    Master Tombs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Piston guns are far more complicated and involved to maintain than a DI gun.

    I've never had a malfunction in any DI gun, experienced plenty with piston guns.

    YMMV, just remember hype is hype.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster SERparacord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Amish Mafia Bar
    Ruger 556 is a great rifle.

  10. #10
    There are lots of nice piston ARs out there. They are generally several hundred dollars more than a good DI gun. If you want a piston gun for ****s and gigs..get one. I say get a quality DI gun, lube the **** out of it, shoot it till your our of ammo, enjoy cleaning your rifle..its a bonding experience.

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