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D.I. vs Gas Piston


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I think that it comes down to one of those "opinion" type of subjects. You know, weight/reliability type of thing. After all, the DI style of AR is a very smooth animal. Where as the piston style offers less cleaning for the "guts" part of the beast...and will last longer in between maintenace intervals. Though it does have more moving parts than the other. Meaning.....more mass....meaning more weight.

Each one offers a different perspective. I think that it all comes down to what the "user" needs out of the tool that is being used.

Standard deployment....The standard Di will more than likely suit the individual well.

For more "less than standard" deployments......the piston system has it's advantages.

But as I said......it still comes down to a matter of opinion.

Choose your tool.

Mine would still usually be a 7.62 (It already has it's own weight)

Just sayin...........

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I have both. My 14.5" .223 has a midlength Adams Arms piston conversion in it. My 14.5" 300Blk has a midlength DI with a NiB coated BCG.

Because my DI has a NiB coated BCG, I run it practically dry. The carbon has nothing to stick to. I can clean my DI with a quick wipe from a rag or paper towel.

I can't say one is more reliable than the other. Ive never has an issue with either. The piston system is heavier and more expensive. The DI was easier to assemble/build.

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  • 1 year later...

I just ordered a Adams Arms piston kit with the 14.5 voodoo barrel. I hope it is worth it! I am building this spikes lower with a lot of great goodies. I have a few more parts to order then it is going to be time to buy me a media blast cabinet and a cerakote kit. Even though it is 5.56, and I have not been on here in about 2 years there will be pictures to follow.

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This build consists of a spikes lower, not sure of the upper just yet, some armalite, some magpul , some Battle Arms, some seekings , some KNS Precession and the Adams Arms piston kit with that Voodoo barrel and low mass carrier. I will also be running the H2 buffer. I am thinking the lantic dragon, maybe a Fortis rail if not a Sampson.

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I've found that most pistons seem to have a faster feeling, snappier recoil cycle than DI guns, except for the pws system. It is a very soft cycling setup and I personally prefer it over all other systems.

I cleaned my 556 pws gun out yesterday after almost 2000 rds including a ton of Russian garbage and my lower was basically spotless. Just a few little bits of dirt on the back shelf was all. Wiped of the carrier and put it back together. Very easy.

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I ditched the BUIS and put a PA 1-6x24 on it and then never really shot it for groups... I actually really never shoot it at all.


It's crazy, but I like shooting my .308 a lot more. When I'm shooting my 5.56, I just bang away at steel plates.


It never got a mag release (GAWDAM CALIFORNIA!!!) We only get one exemption, so I'm working on a new build for that. Might as well go crazy if I can only do it once.

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I am worried about accuracy with a 14.5 barrel and this kit. I guess if all else fails then I will order a barrel and use the 14.5 else where


5.56 rifle here?


Don't worry about accuracy from the 14.5" on a 5.56 gun.  Several of us here had a little competition a couple years back, whacking steel at 575 yards, with a mini red dot.  Militarily, in my past life, I'd take the guys to the KD range and have them shooting for groups at the 600 yard targets, with issued M4A1s, both iron sights and Aimpoints. 


What kind of distance are you looking for from a 14.5" barrel, and inside of that question, are you hunting at those distances?  Thinking ethical kill, here.  Gonna have to have the right barrel twist rate and the right ammo out to certain distances.

Edited by 98Z5V
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Yeah 98 I have had my share of military ranges but out to 500 with iron sights with the M16A2. Im not really building this rifle for anything more that just a build. Although hunting with it would not be out of the question. My barrel will be the Voodoo 1-8 middy. I would like at a minimum 1/2-1 inch moa if I could get better that would be great. Ammo used will be off the shelf. I still have not got around to reloading bbbb ut I have bought up a crap load of components and equipment.

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