AR-15 Piston Conversion

This is a discussion on AR-15 Piston Conversion within the SOP forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I haven't tried it yet, so figured I'd throw it out there to see if any of you have tried upgrading your AR15's with the ...

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  1. #1
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    AR-15 Piston Conversion

    I haven't tried it yet, so figured I'd throw it out there to see if any of you have tried upgrading your AR15's with the new piston conversion kit. If you have, what are your thoughts on whether it was worth the effort? My un-educated guess is that it's probably a waste of money if you're not shooting full auto.

    It's easy to understand what the benefits are from a wear and tear standpoint, as well as lower operating temps and less moving parts. For the last 40+ years of engineering put towards making the AR15/M16 more efficient, I can see why It might be a good idea for the M16 but was hoping I might hear from some of you that gave it a go from a civilian level...

  2. #2
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    I don't have the conversion but I do have a piston driven POF AR and love it. Functions great and cleaning it is a breeze as no gas is being pushed back into the receiver so after 500 rounds the bolt looks like it did after it was cleaned except for the bolt face itself of course.

    Supposedly I believe it was Bushmaster that has a piston driven AR upper on sale for $399 right now. Might have been DPMS too. There was a post on the Hide about them. If I see it I will put it here.

  3. #3
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    The big problem with the AR gas piston conversions is that none of the systems are compatible.

    A mid-length gas tube from DPMS, Colt, Bushmaster, etc will work in any AR that utilizes a mid-length gas tube.

    I purchased a gas piston conversion from Bushmaster but returned it when I found out that it was not compatible with any of the forearms that I use.

    If I could own an HK416 upper, I would (only because its the only AR gas piston system that I've heard feedback from people who have used them in combat).
    Fast is fine. Accuracy is final. You need to learn to shoot slow, real fast- Wyatt Earp

  4. #4
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    $499 for a complete upper and $399 for the conversion.

    http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthr ... =15&page=1

  5. #5
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
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    I don't have any personal experience with one, so this is simply my opinion. [/disclaimer]

    But I think you are on the right track when you say they might be a waste of money. If you have not read it, there was a well-known thread stickied at ar15.com about a fellow who fired 5,000 rounds through his AR without cleaning it. He lubed it every time he shot it, but he did not clean it. Ran like a scalded dog.

    Then there is this . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5CQOvdYW6c

    It's 15 minutes (both parts) so I'll give you the executive summary. Fired 1,100 round through a standard, direct gas impingement AR, dunking it in sandy water to cool it every now and then. No issues.

    If it were my money, I would never spend it on a piston conversion for a standard AR. I would consider buying a piston design AR, one designed to be a piston from the ground up, I'm not opposed to piston designs, and I don't think the direct gas impingement design is superior.

    But they are very reliable when properly understood, maintained and operated, and complaints about their inherent unreliability are hugely overblown, IMNSHO. If I had a standard AR, I'd leave it that way. If I had an incredible desire to own a piston AR, I'd buy one made that way. I'll never get a conversion kit.

    That said, I've read positive reviews of them around the 'net. I have no misgivings about them. I just think they are, well, a waste of money. However, being an incurably addicted 1911 handgun tinkerer I would understand if you did get one. Just post a detailed range report with photos, OK?

  6. #6
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    Hi Guys!
    The Drop-in conversion kit contains everything needed to replace the standard gas system on a AR-15/M16/M4 carbine with a reliable, positive cycling direct impingement gas piston system.
    And Carrier is machined from a solid billet of steel with an integral impingement lug to eliminate breakage that can occur with a standard carrier modified for use with a gas piston system.
    Thanks!
    Keep on posting!


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  7. #7
    Senior Member RayaK9's Avatar
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    now that more of the 'kits' are out there, I am hearing rumors about 'breaks' filtering around. Just from the kits, not ground-up receivers. I've just heard of problems with the kit's themselves breaking, and something to do with faliures in the receiver area due to stress/pressure placed on the buffer tube from the operation of the piston.
    If I can get one of our armours to point me in a solid direction, I shall post back.
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  8. #8
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    Haven't got one but generally I've found any kind of retro-fitted conversion kit can be prone to problems. This may be especially so with the huge varieties of AR options out there. Some may be fine, others a nightmare.

    For what it's worth I've shot DI M16's, M4's etc and never had a problem with them. I have also shot HK416's and HK417's. Given the choice I would go with the dedicated build gas piston..

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