Piston Madness!

Finally, we have a new piston-operated AR-15!  I can’t believe we got along with only being able to choose from the H&K 416, Barrett 468 … errr, REC7POF / Bushmaster, Ruger SR-556, Colt 1020 … whoops, you can’t have one, the Titan Defense 416 clone, SIG’s 516, the design I shot last year at carbine class that I can’t find any info on now, the CMMG design, the Adams Arms drop-in unit and probably a handful of others I’ve forgotten.

And if you decide to stray off the Stoner reservation, you may also select from the SIG 556, the various AUG clones, the FN 2000, the FN SCAR-L and the Robinson XCR.

That said, I am enthused about the S&W version, not because I’m more confident in their particular design, but because the marketing power and weight of the S&W rollmark  makes this rifle the front runner to achieve market dominance and force some level of standardization to a confused marketplace.

On the third hand, I am yet to be convinced that the usual AR shooter requires a piston gun.  The only reason I would choose one is if I regularly ran the gun with a suppressor.  Otherwise, and this is some gen-u-ine gun-guru wisdom I’m about to drop on y’all, but if you want a truly reliable AR, get a 20″!  A 20″ rifle with a rifle length gas tube, a chrome lined chamber and bore, a correctly dimensioned 5.56 NATO chamber, a correctly aligned gas tube with staked carrier key screws, using Magpul PMAGs, and a fresh extractor spring with black insert will be as reliable a rifle as you could ask for.  The gas piston assembly offers additional parts and points of failure, extra weight and bulk, but somewhat cleaner running.  Contrary to hopes, heavy use seems to disprove the idea that piston operation extends bolt life in short barreled guns that see a lot of full-auto fire.

Direct impingement gas system rifles are successfully used by every military unit and police department that actually matters on Earth.  If you think you know rifles better than all of those guys put together, knock yourself out!

9 thoughts on “Piston Madness!”

  1. Editorial comment: the Smith and Wesson uses the Adams Arms upper, with some modifications designed by SW. Adams Arms will also be implementing the design changes on their non-SW branded uppers.

  2. Direct impingement gas system rifles are successfully used by every military unit and police department that actually matters on Earth. If you think you know rifles better than all of those guys put together, knock yourself out!

    You know, except for all the folks that use FALs and AKs. Which are: Piston systems…

    😉

  3. “but if you want a truly reliable AR, get a 20″! ”

    +1

    I vastly prefer the 20″ bbl AR’s but I am looking forward to your review of the MP-15’s. As far as carbines go the MOE seems to be the best value out there. Much like an “everything you need, nothing you don’t” situation. (Well, except the 20″ barrel. )

    BTW, does the MOE have the ability to attach picatinny rails in the handguard holes as with the VTAC model?

  4. 20″ barrel AR’s are the cream of the crop. Shot the hell out of my M16A2 some twenty-plus years ago as a young Marine grunt without any problems. Also, the longer tube delivers the velocity needed to make the 5.56×45 a more effective round. Plus, remember two words: Fix Bayonets!

  5. Heh. My most enduring memory of my military experience with the M-16 was the time I spent scraping carbon out of tiny hard to reach places.

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