View Full Version : Carbine Piston Uppers...worh it? Same Accuracy?

06-20-2012, 11:42 PM
I have a midlength 16" standard AR-15.
Spike lower and the Upper I have no clue :( I bought it used and the seller said it was ordered online. I cannot find any name anywhere.

Are Carbine length gas piston Adams Arms uppers good? Will accuracy change from my midlength upper?

Ive read that recoil will be a little more pronounced with the gas piston. I also plan on doing a few 3-gun matches, how will this do as far as reliability and sight acquiring? I know the sights are 2" closer if I read correctly.


06-21-2012, 1:33 AM
Do a search, discussed to death already.

06-21-2012, 1:40 AM
Why do you want one?
What do you find lacking in your current upper?

06-21-2012, 1:56 AM
AR Piston v AR DI debate...

I'm going to quote Larry Vickers (http://vickerstactical.com/about-larry-vickers-2/about-larry-vickers/) on this topic (http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=107613).

Piston AR's have their place- to determine if you need one ask yourself four questions;

1) Do I need a barrel length shorter than 14.5 inches
2) Do I need to run my gun suppressed a lot
3) Do I need to shoot a lot of full auto
4) Do I need to shoot a wide variety of ammo

Piston guns have been shown to be superior in those four categories over a DI gun. If you can say no to all four questions a good DI gun will do you fine

1 SIG fan
06-21-2012, 2:35 AM
My lwrci vs my colt...

Piston is sharper felt recoil.
Supposedly slightly less accurate as a result of the recoil. However I seriously doubt anyone could shoot the difference. My lwrci's are tack drivers. The BIG reason I like piston, they are so clean and don't fail. Shooting a few carbine classes around 800rnds there are always a few DIs that jam or fail. Now. To be fair if they were cleaned and super wet to start they wouldn't of had an issue. But for a battle rifle I can't predict how/when it's be cleaned... I feel more confident in a piston. Ofcourse If a part fails, good luck finding a replacement out in the "field" as DI guns share few similar upper parts

06-21-2012, 6:28 AM
I like piston because it is easier to clean. On my Ruger SR556E the recoil is very smooth. I like the way that a piston system spares the BCG. My BCG is literally pristine after a day of shooting. A DI rifle vents the gases right into the BCG.

The downside to piston is the extra weight forward. Some users feel that a DI rifle is better balanced and there is something to that. Also, as others point out, in a SHTF scenario parts for a DI rifle upper are inherently going to be easier to find.

I am only familiar with the Ruger piston system. (Used DI rifles in the Army and elsewhere for a lot of years.) I like being able to adjust the gas system depending on how "hot" the rounds are, although so far everything has worked great on setting 2.

06-21-2012, 6:40 AM
If a DI gun fails in the field you would run into the same problems that you would with a piston gun. If your in the field you cant just order parts. Just be sure you have spare parts for whatever gun you decide to get.

My Adams Arms upper came in yesterday. I purchased a complete upper for what i would have to put into a BCM upper to get it shooting so i thought i would give piston a try. Hopefully its as reliable as everyone says.

06-21-2012, 7:17 AM
We weighed pretty heavily weather or not we wanted to offer a piston system in our rifles. We decided that it was not worth the cost and that the performance increase was negligable at best.

There is a slight decrease in a rifles precision potential with the use of a piston upper. How much varience in precision depends on a number of factors including what type of piston sytem. For most practical shooting the difference in precision is not noticable. If you are a target shooter or shooting at extended ranges the decrease in precision over the DI system becomes apparent.

Piston uppers are beneficial in SBRs and suppressed rifles. The use of an udjustable gas block on a DI system can be very beneficial as well if the user wants to run his/her rifle suppressed.

06-21-2012, 7:26 AM
not worth it IMO. unless youhave to shoot 2000 without cleaning/ I dont like that the piston uppers have no interchangeablility. or standardization.

06-21-2012, 8:49 AM
not worth it IMO. unless youhave to shoot 2000 without cleaning/ I dont like that the piston uppers have no interchangeablility. or standardization.

That's really the main sticking point for me. Piston is a fine system, but without a standard it falls down a little unless you're buying a complete rifle from a major manufacturer. Rolling my own is way less appealing.

If you just want a piston rifle, go for it, but it's not going to do magical things as compared to a DI upper for nearly all purposes (see above, re: the Vickers quote).

06-21-2012, 9:33 AM
For what it's worth, read

I don't mind dirty DI, I actually enjoy the cleaning process, especially the BCG.

06-21-2012, 10:42 AM
GPU vs DI is a Mopar vs Ford vs Chevy dilemna. In my opinion FOR THE AVERAGE SHOOTER it really makes no difference. For my preference if I could only have 1 AR it would be a GPU hands down.
Adams Arms are good to go. I built a GPU using an Adams Arms kit and it has been flawless with any and all ammo I have put through it. I doesn't matter whether it's brass or steel. Even Tulammo cyles perfectly. The best part is cleaning is a snap. Clean the barrel and wipe down and relube the BCG.
When I built the rifle the GPU cost $160 more than the same setup in DI. In my opinion it was well worth it.

06-21-2012, 11:59 AM
I love my 16" LMT MRP Piston. Great accuracy, runs extremely clean, and shoots all ammo without fail.

That being said, I'm not a soldier and I don't run 1,000 rounds while rolling in the dirt between field strips. This at times leads me to want a DI upper for the lighter weight, and dampened recoil (especially with an Ares Armor "Effin-A-Comp").

The right choice depends on what the upper's primary purpose/application will be as both platforms have their pros and cons.

06-21-2012, 12:12 PM
Piston uppers IMHO are not worth the extra weight. Also a mid length upper with the extra 2" distance of the front sight is better for faster sight acquisition. If you want softer recoil to use in 3g try a H2 or H3 buffer and a good comp for faster follow up shots. Depending on you set up a free float mid length rail on a mid or carbine gas system, magnified optic and 45 degree offset iron sight are a good all around option for 3G.