View Full Version : Trying to get new AR-15 upper

06-16-2012, 10:14 PM
So recently, I've been perusing the web looking for a new upper for my AR-15 set up; my current AR is a 24" Remington with a bipod and 3-9 Leupold scope. As you probably would guess, it weighs a ton; this is less of a concern for my being able to carry it around, but more for how much harder it is to shoot [rapidly] offhand with it. Also, I cannot mount iron sights or a foregrip on it and it is chambered in .223 Rem (not 5.56). It is a great hunting/precision rifle, but I can't get any tactical practice under my belt with it.

I have finally come to the decision that it is time for a 16" upper. A couple years ago when I was looking into it, piston ARs were not even remotely comparable in value to equivalent DI uppers. But now, they are slowly becoming standardized (in that nearly every company has one), which means that all the bugs will be worked out pretty soon.

I thought I was set on a Stag Model 8, since it came with iron sights and all for $850. But now I am considering getting an Adams Arms basic 16" midlength, Troy claymore brake, and POF roller cam pin (all of which cost around $700).

Any advice (besides "oh, just get a Bravo Company DI because piston guns are gay and they are heavy and they have no advantages") from experience with these or any piston uppers?

06-17-2012, 6:36 AM
All of my uppers are DI because I don't think the vitues of the gas piston will be used to full potential by me. My analogy is; It's nice to show/ tell your friends that you have a 200 hp motorcycle but it's unnecessary for the average rider on city streets.

I have Stag Arms, Windham Weaponry and Palmetto State Armory in various configurations. All Have performed flawlessly. A 16" lightweight carbine flat top upper with a CH and BCG at Stag is $465 At stag. Palmetto currently has free shipping. There are many options so good luck.

06-17-2012, 8:23 AM
Have you considered getting/building the upper you want with the features you want, and either adding, or building in the piston system? IIRC, you can grab a piston system for ~$250, and you can get an upper for as cheap as $400, or build it for ~$600, then throw the piston in it.

Mines a SOTA, and except for the bolt lugs breaking (known problem with 7.62x39 uppers except for Superbolt's and LMT's) it works great. you can get one with a quad rail for $460 shipped.

06-17-2012, 8:30 AM

06-17-2012, 12:18 PM
riflegear has some uppers they build that look like a pretty good deal if you decide to go with DI

beware though, the piston ar's are actually kind of heavy so if your primary goal is weight savings a DI might be better
also I believe most of the piston systems are proprietary so replacement parts might be an issue

06-17-2012, 9:06 PM
beware though, the piston ar's are actually kind of heavy so if your primary goal is weight savings a DI might be better

Wrong. The Adams Arms upper I'm looking at weighs in at 4.23 lbs, which could only be around 2 or 3 ounces more than an equivalent DI sporter (at most).

My upper is 24" bull barrel on an aluminum free float, which weighs 5.6 lbs without the hunting scope and bipod I have on it. My decision to get a piston upper is predicated mainly on the need to have an easy to maintain gun that I can dump cheap ammo through, mount iron sights onto, and swings quickly.

Like I said before, I didn't need to hear the DI vs. piston argument; I have been researching that for a while now, and I am not convinced there are any disadvantages that a piston gun has compared to a DI gun, except for maybe a couple ounces in the forend (I think that quad rails add unnecessary weight to an AR, but I don't insert my own opinion on a thread when the OP says they want a lightweight quad rail; I will just recommend something I know meets their desires/needs; I will shut up and read if I don't know how to help them).

Anyway, if you disagree with me about DI vs. piston, then you can make your own thread talking about it; I just want to know if anyone here (or their friends) has had experience with either - or preferably both - the Stag 8 or the Adams Arms.