Which is better, Pinned or Clamp gas block on an AR?

This is a discussion on Which is better, Pinned or Clamp gas block on an AR? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Another forum that I belong to this topic came up. Which is better? Having a pinned gas block, or a clamp on (no pins, no ...

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Thread: Which is better, Pinned or Clamp gas block on an AR?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Which is better, Pinned or Clamp gas block on an AR?

    Another forum that I belong to this topic came up.

    Which is better? Having a pinned gas block, or a clamp on (no pins, no set screws), and why.

    To me a pinned is the way to go, as it keeps it in place and does not put any pressure points on the barrel, but I am just regurgitating what I have gleaned from reading here and other places. I have no technical background on the matter.
    Sticks

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I have also heard that pinned is the way to go. Also, the lit for my DD M4V5 had some section on why they chose to pin the gas block.

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    Member Array ZOMBIEvs42's Avatar
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    in my experience, either. its just a different way to do the same thing, sure, you can get super technical with math magic and theory to explain why one is better than the other, but unless your shooting bench rest out to a mile and beyond, either will last you forever.
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    Member Array Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Pinned is what the military uses, but I do recall one manufacturer testing the clamp-on style and the pin that keeps the barrel centered vertically in the receiver failed before the front sight base became misaligned. Short version, you'll ruin your rifle before the clamp-on FSB becomes a problem.

    EDIT: My mistake, it wasn't a manufacturer, it was MilitaryMorons.com
    See about 3/4 down on the page.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Pinned and make sure it's done correctly.
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

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    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    There's absolutely no question that the clamp on gas block are the worst ones to use. The best is a front sight block with two pins. Next would be a low profile gas block pinned. A low pro gas block with loctited set screws AND a dimpled barrel is pretty much just as good as long as you're using an extended rail that covers the gas block. The only time I've ever seen a low pro exposed was the earlier SR15's from KAC. I had two with no issues, but I don't remember if they were pinned or set screwed.

    Anyway, my preference is a front sight block that's cut down to fit under an extended rail, which is how my 6921 will be set up once I get the BCM rail.

    I can't stress enough to stay away from clamp on gas blocks.

    --- to be clear, I owned one that started to leak and I know of a number that have failed. It's the only gas block I've ever personally seen fail.
    Last edited by jonconsiglio; January 22nd, 2014 at 09:38 PM.
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    Member Array MacReady's Avatar
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    Pinned is always going to be stronger, however, if your gas block is a low profile type and is under a free floated hard guard or something similar, then I'd say it's pretty well protected from potentially being "knocked around" and getting off center. I ran one of those YHM clamp on gas blocks on a dissipator upper I built for a while and never had any issues. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the clamp on Armalite A2 site I put on the front of the barrel. That thing broke off after the rifle fell over on the hardwood flooring in my old apartment.

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    Member Array rugerdude12's Avatar
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    I have a 15 inch troy rail on my AR so the gas block is well protected but I am running a YHM low pro gas block that is a clamp and uses Alan screws to tighten down, I just dabbed them with blue Loctite and locked it down. To me it seems very strong and I cant get it to twist or move back and forth and I've had roughly 500 rounds through it now without a problem. After hammering out the old gas block pins I decided I wanted a clamp because it is so much easier (factory pins are tapered and press fit and take a lot of force to get them out) just in case I ever do any other work like a fluted barrel, it won't be to awful taking it off. Mine cost me a whopping $23,a good pinned YHM is probably $50-$70. However I'm not an "operator" doing special missions, I'm an average joe who has an AR and likes to go shooting on the weekends.
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    Senior Member Array munch520's Avatar
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    FSB, pinned, and then clamp on would be best to worst.

    Whenever I know I need a low pro gas block, I'd just prefer to get a barrel with FSB and shave it down. Cheaper and stronger.
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    Member Array sammage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munch520 View Post
    FSB, pinned, and then clamp on would be best to worst.

    Whenever I know I need a low pro gas block, I'd just prefer to get a barrel with FSB and shave it down. Cheaper and stronger.
    This has been my method so far, and it just works.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    This is what I figured the answers was going to be, I just needed confirmation from those in the know.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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