Gas piston retrofit or whole rifle

This is a discussion on Gas piston retrofit or whole rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have yet again changed my mind about the do all rifle for my purposes. I went from an M4 to a XCR to a ...

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Thread: Gas piston retrofit or whole rifle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array cuban11182's Avatar
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    Gas piston retrofit or whole rifle

    I have yet again changed my mind about the do all rifle for my purposes. I went from an M4 to a XCR to a Sig 556 to a M1A to a Mini-14 and now back to an M4. I would buy them all but then would have to get a new wife most likely. Anyway. I have seen there are many Gas Piston Retrofit Kits. (Bushmaster, Adams Arms, Osprey). Would it be cheaper to just buy the rifle of my choice and then retrofit, or purchase just an entire rifle that comes with the piston kit? Im thinking my limit would be about 1500. I am thinking a Bushmater or RRA. Still unsure about which one to purchase. Is is cheaper to buy a lower then buy a upper already outfitted with the system? Thanks

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Don't retrofit, unless you see some advantage to the gas system- get the piston package. It will probably be cheaper to order the complete rifle, rather than "halfsies," but you might shop around.

    Someone else may know for sure, but I believe POF is making the piston system for BM, possibly RRA, and a few others...

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    Member Array Bender's Avatar
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    I too am curious about the gas piston retro fit kit. I already have an AR and was thinking about installing the kit for the reliability factor myth.
    Ahhh, what an awful dream. Ones and zeros everywhere... and I thought I saw a two.


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    reliability factor myth?

    Its no myth that the gas impingement system dumps carbon and unburnt powder residue right into the guts of the gun.

    The gas piston system rather uses a piston to drive the bolt, and vents the gas under the handguard.As a result, your have reliability for a longer period, in some cases much longer that you would have otherwise.

    Now here is the kicker. Most clean AR's will shoot anywhere from 10 to 15 mags before beggining to have problems due to a dirty action. The average good ole boy that just puts a few mags though his AR at the range,then takes it home and cleans it will see little advantage to the gas piston system.

    The real benefit comes to those that are in filthy environments, dusty,sandy and live with their guns and fire them in life or death sitations. It its for these reasons that the gas pistons designs came into being...although its not a new concept.

    The Israelis have been using the design for at least 20 years with the Galil, and there are several other weapons with this design. Basically they took the best attitbutes of the AK and blended them into the AR...so that you get the accuracy of the AR with the reliability of the AK...and the system works well.

    With the ARES system that costs 400 bucks, you get a modified bolt, a modified handguard and the parts that are easy to install. Instead, I just made one for myself and it works very well.

    If you get the upper, you will also need a bolt retrofit. The gas key is modified and is some cases is tigged on. I modified my gas key and it eventually bent and tied up the gun,I had to remove it and manufacture a new key which I made from tool steel and hardened.

    If you get the complete gun it will have the gas key retrotfit.

    Pesonally, I would'nt spend the money for a kit. If I was going to Iraq or some other infested country, I probably would. If I were buying another complete AR to compliment the 3 that I already own....I might.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bender View Post
    I too am curious about the gas piston retro fit kit. I already have an AR and was thinking about installing the kit for the reliability factor myth.
    It's not a myth. Bear in mind that the AK was designed for people whose idea of weapons cleaning might consist of peeing down the barrel once a year. Maybe. Given that degree of abuse (or certain environmental issues, as HG mentions), yeah, the piston is more reliable.

    To add to your confusion, I would not have a traditional AR without a drylube coating on all parts. A genuine mil-spec AR is as reliable as anything out, but in the $600-800 range, you'll probably be happier with a piston, long-term. YMMV...

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