Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Luke

    But isn’t the Chromed BCG off a Ruger 556, which is piston driven? It receives significantly less residue buildup because there’s no gas going back into the bolt. The NiB BCG is part of a gas impingement system which intentionally pushes gas into the BGC to operate and is very dirty. This doesn’t disprove his point, but an apples to apples (gas impingement to gas impingement) comparison is definitely better.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea, it’s not apples to apples. But the myth that the DI system is so much dirtier than piston really needs to die. That’s a marketing line exclusively.

      Piston ARs are not exceptionally clean. The dirt is coming from back down the chamber as the action opens. Same in the DI. That’s where the far majority of the dirt is coming from in both systems.

      I’d actually argue that of all the ones I’ve seen and used. Piston guns when suppressed are actually more violent, dirtier, less accurate, and are far more likely to be over-gassed.

      The way that some guys tell it, that photo above is of an uncleaned BCG from a piston gun with 10,000 rounds on. The reality is piston guns get plenty dirty.

      • Mack

        I have never shot suppressed but i know for a fact after a cleaning session with my DI gun, compared to my two piston guns, the piston guns are practically spot less. I will never buy a DI gun again.

        • Federalist

          That’s what I thought until I started shooting suppressed: http://emptormaven.com/2013/08/rethinking-direct-impingement-with-the-noveske-300-blk-upper/

          • wclardy

            Way back when I was issued an XM16E1 with a hard-chromed bolt carrier and bolt, there were numerous occasions when it looked more like the NiB carrier group above than the chrome one, so I have to call BS on comparing the piston-drive to the DI for cleanliness.
            On the other hand, one thing I really liked about my M16E1 (at least until some dipstick replaced my chrome pieces with parkerized ones during an overhaul) was that a quick swipe or two of my handkerchief would have it all shiny again.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Yea… And how many rounds are you going through before your “cleaning session”?

          Here John Noveske explains the myth and realities of piston guns:

          http://www.defensereview.com/noveske-rifleworks-n4-light-recce-carbine-john-noveske-interview-part-one/

          • Steve

            He’s speaking only to guns with suppressors in that article, and Mack was not talking about suppressed guns, so not really relevant.

          • Mack

            Thank you Steve, as i stated i have not shot suppressed and in my situation of shooting non-suppressed the piston gun is always cleaner, hands down, no comparison, for somebody shooting suppressed as both of you above mentioned, that is a different case that i can not comment on beings i have zero first hand knowledge. Noveske was talking of shooting suppressed not overall piston vs DI.

            Also jump it don’t matter, i can shoot 5 out of my DI gun and then shoot 5 out of my piston gun and the piston gun will win, every time, i can shoot 5000 out of my DI gun and then 5000 out of my piston gun, Piston will win, Shooting non suppressed, round for round, my piston guns will always be cleaner. Just FYI my hard ware is (Adcor B.E.A.R. Elite, AA piston system with a BHW barrel, and my DI gun is Kies Adj gas block, with BHW barrel and NiB BCG.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Also jump it don’t matter, i can shoot 5 out of my DI gun and then shoot 5 out of my piston gun and the piston gun will win, every time, ”

            But have you *actually* done this?

            Recent experiences from those that actually do shoot that number of rounds have differing opinions. Particularly Arsenal Democracy (as posted on facebook). My experiences match theirs, as on the army side, we flirted with coated BCGs and piston conversions for quite a while to implement them in a PiP, which was abandoned because the conclusion was that they weren’t any better.

            Hell Colt flirted with a piston conversion after the Vietnam War. The conclusions were the same 30-40 years ago as they were now. For pistons to be “measurably” better, the rifle needs to be designed from the ground up to incorporate a piston.

            And that is just with AKs, which are well known for being measurably superior in reliability. The short stroke gas piston AR18 NATO-member copies? Im not throughly convinced theyre more reliable than M4s either.

            So no, im not throughly convinced of the so-called “advantages” to piston conversions.

            DI ARs are known for being extremely reliable, to use Filthy 14 as a example.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Bu bu but… All the magazines say pistons are “better”!! 😉

          • n0truscotsman

            i do know something for a fact though: if its says “vepr” on it, it most certainly *IS* better.

            XD

          • Mack

            Yes i have shot both the guns side by side the same day, very closely to the same round count, 3 gun competition practice and let my buddy borrow my DI gun, so very close to the exact same rounds and im sorry about your expierence, but on my piston guns, i wouldn’t trade either one of them even for a Noveske or Larue. Well maybe i would trade for them just to sell those and buy another piston gun and more reloading supplies.

          • Shawn Thompson

            The fouling comes from wen the bolt opens, on both guns. your claims make one thing obvious to me. you have actually never fired 5,000 rounds without cleaning, either a DI or Piston. for a total of 10K rounds. You are spouting marketing and your own biased whishful thinking. A piston gun is heavier, more parts( that are not interchangeable) do not meet a standar spec like Mil spec does, ar less accurate, and offers no real advantage. Colt tried this 40 years ago and the army has tested it the last decade and found a piston is not worth it. you can shoot 5K rounds through DI and not clean and it will work just as well as a piston. even if it does appear slightly more dirty. piston is a absurdly huge waste of money for performance that is marginal at best

          • Mack

            Yeah so the shit caked on the boat tails is from the bolt opening! with my piston guns i have never had to break out the carbon scraper! also, my piston guns are every bit as accurate as DI gun, especially by adcor bear elite which is way more accurate then i am able to shoot, weight is in the ounces its so marginal, price is within 20 dollars, and who cares about parts interchangeability when both my piston systems come with unconditional lifetime warranty!

            I apologize for your bad experience, but yes i will take a few ounces heavier, just as accurate, more clean rifle every single day of the week and twice on Sundays!

        • The Brigadier

          Me either. I used M-16s in combat and learned early on to clean them every chance I got. I have considered digging up Stoner’s body and hanging him for being such an arrogant idiot, and then the Air Force SAC general who first adopted the weapon who wanted “that space age gun to go along with my new space age F-111.” Jesus is still weeping over that bit of nonsense.

          • Geodkyt

            Um, you realize the issues with the M16s when they first went into combat were ALL caused by the Army doing things to the rifle’s design AND the ammunition that Stoner explicitly told them NOT to do because they would affect reliability?

          • The Brigadier

            Nonsense. Direct impingement is a dirty cycling system and always has been. Its straight line to shoulder recoil is not enough to warrant staking your life on its inherent propensity to jam. The loose action of the AK with its gas piston cycling action would fire in dirt, mud, and water. I don’t care if you shoot match grade ammo in a M-16 A1, A2, or the M4 it’s still a jammer. How many more troops have to die over this? Thank God the military is finally dropping it and adopting the Scar-17S.

          • Geodkyt

            Really? Adopting the SCAR17? To replace the M16/M4 family? When did DoD announce the changeover program? Did they cancel the BRAND NEW MULTI-YEAR CONTRACTS for brand new M4s?

            Likewise, you’ve apparantly never read about the widely known history of just how the *Army* screwed up the M16 and 5.56mm ammo by doing pretty much EVERYTHING Eugene Stoner specifically told them not to do?

            You must be new at this. . .

          • Kivaari

            Remember when “The Army” announced it had adopted the HK M8? Changing to a new rifle doesn’t make sense from a cost factor. The M4A1 functions in its role. A clean M16A1 functioned in its role as well. People take care of your gear.

          • Kivaari

            A problem with MOST AK rifles is they have crap for sights. AKs work well, and Valmet and Galil examples have decent sights. They could use a bolt stop and all of them a Galil-style safety lever.

          • Kivaari

            Very true. Stoner designed the AR around IMR powder. The army shifted to ball powder that had calcium carbonate residue and a higher port pressure. That alone caused most of the problems.
            I found the M16A1 to be an excellent rifle. The most common complaint about them was the weakness of the plastic furniture, when thrown into a vehicle the stock could get “holed” and need replacing. It is a fine rifle as is, and a better rifle in the A2+ configuration. People don’t go into combat with a dirty rifle. Don’t be lazy and ignore cleaning your rifle even when all it has done is ride along in a gun rack in the patrol car.

      • HKGuns

        Wrong. Piston rifles are SIGNIFICANTLY cleaner than DI. It appears you’ve never owned or cleaned a piston rifle or you would know this is true.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Heh, yea john Noveske didn’t know crap. LWRC’s new guns aren’t DI. The majority of piston retrofits and their advertising haven’t all but vanished.

          • Mack

            you do realize the ar-15 is basically the only weapon system thats popular that uses the DI system? ALL the new ones are piston… Sig, Scar, XCR, ACR, CZ 805 Bren, AK 12, Tavor, Sar 21, MSBS, QBZ 95, FN 2000. I have not heard of a DI system in a new gun ever. Even the existing military that don’t use the AR 15 use piston guns or roller delayed or something besides DI. L85, Famas, G36.

            So long story short, Noveske may no what hes talking about when it comes to shooting supprressed but when it comes to over all, piston wins, and if a DI and piston gun are even when it come to shooting suppressed but DI loses shooting non suppressed, i know which one i have picked.

          • Gonna have to agree with Jump. Piston systems are way overrated as “make guns clean” devices, much less “make guns work” devices.

            Gunwriters and gun sellers have been pounding this idea into people for years as a way to sell guns (why should I buy Ruger’s two thousand dollar AR when I can just buy a Colt which has the M4 TDP? Oh, I see, because it has The Reliables, Guns N Ammo told me so!).

          • Mack

            A good piston gun is no where close to 2000 now?

            Ruger SR556 – 989.99 http://www.impactguns.com/ruger-sr-556e-16in-black-30rd-5912-736676059126.aspx

            Sig 516 – 1269.99 http://www.firearmsforsale.com/sig-sauer-inc/firearms/rifles/sig516-patrol-ar-15-sa-223-5.56-16in-30plus1-magpul-moe-stk-black/

            AA MId Tac – 973.96 http://grabagun.com/adams-arms-mid-tact-556nato-16-blk-30rd.html

            Colt LE6920 (for comparison) – 959.99 http://www.impactguns.com/colt-m4-carbine-6920-ar15-16in-6920.aspx

            So two of those guns are roughly the same price and will run cooler and will run cleaner non suppressed then the colt ever dreamed of, not because Guns N Ammo told me, not because of the internet, not because of pixie dust, because a it is a fact that the carbon does not get to the action. I know this because of first hand experience.

            You two must really love cleaning?

          • Geodkyt

            Um, almost NONE of the heat comes from the DI gas system. Frankly, the gas that gets blown back into the bolt is fairly cool and low pressure, compared to the chamber. (That’s why that relatively thin walled tube doesn’t explode — EXPANDING gasses lose pressure and cool down when unconfined. . . which occurs about 1/7680th of a second after the gas STARTES to fill the gas tube (when the bullet exits the bore, “uncorking” the barrel group, there is effectively no more pressure buildup).
            The majority of the heat build up in EITHER a DI or a piston driven AR is in the chamber and first few inches of the barrel. Seriously — multiple NATO militaries have done thermal imaging tests and everything.

          • Mack

            Geodkyt if you believe that i would love to see a video of doing 2 mag dumps in a piston gun, instantly take the BCG out of it and hold it in you bear hand, then repeat the process with a DI gun, please post your result after you hand cools down enough to type again. Thanks.

          • Jim88

            Why would you need to take out your BCG after a mag dump, I will never understand. I hope you don’t do this when you are in combat LOL.

          • Mack

            Its for comparison sake, you can’t tell me that heat don’t stress metal, wear down springs, o-rings, all parts in BCG? yeah, DI is not going to leave you out there stranded, but the parts life on a newer piston gun (the ones with the enlarged BCG rear end, and one piece carriers) out last the ones on a DI gun.

          • Geodkyt

            Mack — I guess actual scientific, repeatable tests, done in multiple nations, are less valuable than your anecdotes?

            When I shot my first familiarization fire with the M16 (40 rounds), we were rodded off the line and IMMEDIATELY had to “shotgun” our rifles, rest the upper (muzzle to the rear) on our left shoulder and hold the BCG in our right hands. The drill sergeant said he wanted to SEE daylight before we went to the “picnic tables” to clean them.

            The BCG was uncomfortably, but not painfully, warm. I held it that way for a couple of minutes, while every man in those two firing orders was inspected AND did a “No brass, no ammo!” declaration and ammo pouch check. Then, we reassembled the rifles, did Ready, Port, Arms, and went to the Order.

            When I went to the order, I left skin on the flash hider, got blisters from the barrel, and had to hold the FSH by the very top because it was so hot.

            Which, coinicdentally, maps EXACTLY to the thermal images of hot M16s and M4s from twenty years of testing in laboratories. . .

            Hmmm. . . lab results mapping 1:1 to my personal experience. . . but I should believe marketing hype by companies trying to sell me their product. . . got it.

          • Mack

            I never said any scientific test proving heat? thats from shooting MY two own piston guns, and demonstrating to a few of my friends who were debating on what gun to buy, i showed them after about just 100 rounds through the two guns (i only used 1 of my piston guns) the difference on the amount of sh*t on the DI BCG/bolt AND the considerable heat difference on the BCG, right after shooting those 100 rounds in each gun, (they were taking turns so it wasn’t 100 right after each other) the BCG was still very warm. Piston gun, COOL AS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PILLOW!

          • Geodkyt

            Unless the BCG gets to several hundred degrees (i.e., effectively instant second and third degree burns to flesh), the heat doesn;t do diddly squat to the metal, within the projected service life. Since that service life is about as long as the MAXIMUM life you can expect a barrel to last and still pass serviceability tests, and you should ALWAYS change your bolt when you swap barrels, having a bolt that “only” lasts as long as the barrel isn’t an issue. (BTW, they’ll generally be serviceable considerably longer — but if you’ve gotten 5K out of your bolt group, you got your money’s worth. And at 5K, your average barrel is shot out enough to need repalcing, even if you only feed it M193 and not the harder jacketed Russian ammo.)

            And if your BCG DID reach those couple of thousand degrees, it would cook off the ammo almost instantly — both the chambered round (the chamber is ALWAYS hotter than the BCG), AND the top round in the magazine (because it is resting RIGHT AGAINST THE BCG!) Now, we all know that 4-5 mags in quick succession raise the chamber to the temps that can cause cook offs within 10 seconds for the chambered rounds. But when was the last (or, Hell, the FIRST) time you’ve heard of an M4, M16, or civilian AR15 of any model that cooked off the top round in the magazine? Because if the BCG is getting hot enough to do ANYTHING to the steel, it’s already hot enough to ignited the propellant sitting in the brass cylinder in direct contact with it. . .

            Physics and metallurgy play no favorites.

          • Mack

            Easy buck, when did i say anything about that much heat? just said it gets hot, hot enough where your not going to be wanting to hold on to it. I don’t care what you say, heat plays with metal, making it weaker, thus no matter how slim, increasing chance for failure, also heat loves to play with springs, which also happen to be made out of metal. Springs wear out quicker. Not to mention you never have to worry about gas rings in a piston gun.

          • The Brigadier

            You are arguing with a mouse gun fanatic. He was trained using one and can’t fathom that other designs are better. Fanatics are all the same. I was trained in the military with both a M16 A1 and a 1968 M14. The M16/M4 is an extremely accurate rifle, but I’ve seen enemy shot by one get up and leave the field. I have never seen an enemy shot by a M14 get up period.

            The Scar 17S has been purchased by our military. Its first been purchased for all the Socom units in every service. Once they are all trained then it will be purchased for every other fighting unit regardless of the service. Its got the same direct straight line recoil as the M16/M4, its a gas piston cycling action and best of all it shoots 7.62 X 51 NATO. Geodkyt can keep his M4 wife and I hope they both live happily ever after. When the next civil war or revolution starts, I am going to fight it with a SCAR-17s and it going to have that new 19″ match grade barrel FN has been promising. Several after market barrel makers are now offering that barrel. See ya on the battlefield. I will be one of the ones leaving it.

          • Geodkyt

            Dude, the SCAR-H (MK 17 MOD 0) (BTW, “SCAR 17S” is the civilian, semiauto only variant) was purchased to replace the variety of 7.62x51mm NATO AR10 designs. The SCAR-H is one of the finest 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifles ever made, and is superior to having a bunch of disparate AR10s that cannot be refitted to specific barrel lengths as easily (without swapping the entire upper).

            The 5.56x45mm SCAR-L version was rejected by SOCOM (and, aside from the Navy, they are planning on eliminating them from inventory), for other reasons, becuase of severe overheating issues. Generally speaking, among SOCOM troops who HAD the option and were familiar with BOTH the SCAR-L (MK 16 MOD 0) and the M4A1 chose to take the M4A1.

            SCAR-H will be used for specialized roles, with an option to convert the 7.62x51mm NATO rifle to 5.56mm as needed. It is still a specialty rifle, for specialized applications. One of those specialty roles is to function as a 5.56mm carbine for snipers when they aren’t using the 7.62x51mm long barrelled markman rifle, without requiring them to carry two rifles around. (It allows them to REALLY cut back on the amount of 7.62x51mm they carry around in favor of a LOT more 5.56mm for defense, compared to just carrying the “sniper” rig AND a 7.62mm CQB rig, with 7.62mm for both.)

            That’s why the Army just awarded contracts for millions of dollars to update the M4s in inventory — it certainly wasn’t to get them ready to be scrapped. It’s because the M4 is sticking around for the foreseeable future. It ISN’T going to be replaced by something that is only incrementally better.

            We AREN’T going back to 7.62x51mm NATO as our primary rifle round. Period. That ship sailed decades ago, and for damned good reason. (We can argue whether 5.56x45mm is a great choice – that’s a different issue; but 7.62x51mm NATO has too many downsides to be a realistic contender for the main rifle round of the line infantry.)

            The weight, cost, and logistical issues with using the SCAR-H with the 5.56x45mm conversion as a primary issue rifle for line troops are apparant to anyone who has seen, or even read about, similar conversions.

          • Geodkyt

            The point is that heat high enough to damage the metal – even slowly – is high enough to cause instant destruction of human skin, and near instant cook offs of ammo.

            If you don’t have THAT much heat, you AREN’T damaging the BCG or springs, anymore than leaving your gun in full sunlight on a summer day in Arizona (which WILL get it hot enough to cause instant burns) will wear out the springs from heat.

          • Mack

            When you have done auto body for as long as i have, which happens not to be very long, i already know that even sanding a panel, though not creating lots and lots of heat, can make the metal do strange things. Temperature reacts to metal, no matter what. Any fluctuation any temp changes in metal, ANY fluctuation! in a DI gun, it goes from heat to ambient temp to heat to ambient temp. piston gun, it stays at ambient temp. If you have ever put on steel siding and flushed up the nails or didn’t allow expansion gaps you will know temps play with metal! If you want metal to last as long as possible, keeping it in the most stable environment will allow it to stay at its natural state. The heat changes in a DI system are not going to make the carrier warp and crack up after a round of shooting, but it will wear out the metal faster, or amplify a stress crack that could cause a failure at the wrong time, if you know about murphys law you will know “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and will go wrong at the worst time”. I am going to do everything i can, no matter how minute, long as there isn’t any pitfalls to have my rifle last as long as it can.

            You just said heat to cause instant burns would cause cook offs, so by your logic, nobody out in Arizona is going to be able to leave ammo laying around or where going to have a freaking firework show with cartridges cooking off everywhere.

          • wclardy

            The only thermal imaging that I will vouch for is having seen that skinny little tube glowing cherry red for its full length on an M16A1. Admittedly, that was after dumping hundreds of rounds of tracer on full-auto (literally dumping — it was either expend them all or repack the rounds for turning back into the ASP).

          • Kivaari

            We had to weigh our empties before we could leave Fort Lewis. For the M60 we had to collect the links as well. You could only be off a few percentage points, or have to go through inspection.

          • n0truscotsman

            technically, the AR15 is “internal piston operated”, per armalite technical note #54 http://www.armalite.com/images/Tech%20Notes%5CTech%20Note%2054,%20Gas%20vs%20Op%20Rod%20Drive,%20020815.pdf

            Im not sure when the last true DI gun was created. Maybe the S Korean K3…or the French mas 40 or ag m/42. Im sure im missing plenty.

            Another thing to consider too is that despite a plethora of external piston operated guns available, the M4 and M16 have become more popular at a unparalleled level in our history and countless special operations forces prefer them, despite their conventional forces having another rifle.

            It could be because we churn them out at “PPS43 WW2-timeline” levels and can do it cheaply. Or it could be due to the fact that despite testing other weapons, our own elite forces revert back to the M4 again. Battered wife syndrome? perhaps not 😉

          • Mack

            Most popular belongs to the AK family by a mile and a half? And the M4 family is well proven and gets the job done, but so does a good old work truck, sure it will get you there and get the job done, but your cab is going to be filled with dust from flying down gravel roads, why not, when the new truck rolls around that does the same job just a little bit better that you can throw the ac on, not get a mouth full of gravel, and today’s your lucky day, there is a lot of piston guns that are just as cheap as DI guns. Im all for whats not broken don’t fix but I’m also all for, well if it still works identically but saves me some headache time of cleaning my rifle. Why not?

            Also if you want to open the big can of worms of reliabiltiy the military has done multiple torture tests where the piston guns (SCAR, 416, ACR, B.E.A.R. Elite) blow the m4 out of the water.

            Also remind me the countries that the special forces main rifle is different then their piston driven standard issued rifle?

            Because here are just a few that don’t…
            -Serbian and Greece SCAR http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/02/18/serbian-special-forces-fn-scar/
            -Libya AK variant – http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/10/20/libyan-special-forces-adopt-arsenal-ar-m9f-assault-rifles/
            -Brazilian Police 416 http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/08/12/brazilian-federal-police-special-forces-c-o-t-adopt-hk416/
            -Tanzanian Galil http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/07/31/tanzanian-special-forces-iwi-galil-ace-rifle-meprolight-sights/
            – Egypt ARX http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/07/18/egyptian-navy-special-forces-adopt-beretta-arx-160/
            -Kazakhstan ARX http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/05/08/kazakhstan-special-forces-adopt-beretta-arx-160-7-62x39mm/
            -Vietnam Tavor
            -Kenyan Scar
            -Germany 416
            -Austria AUG
            -Australia AUG derivative
            -Switzerland Sig
            -Russia AK
            -China QBZ-95 or AK derivative
            -US SOCOM – Scar
            -India Tavor
            -US Seals-416
            -Czech Bren

            There is only a few that i know that it is there main special forces weapon is a M4
            US
            Iraq
            Canada
            South Korea
            Basically the ones that can get them CHEAP from us.
            US
            Isreal (tavor is coming on strong)

            If you took a beginner and showed them both systems, i know which one they would pick, specially after firing say 1000 rounds with only general lubing.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Also if you want to open the big can of worms of reliabiltiy the military has done multiple torture tests where the piston guns (SCAR, 416, ACR, B.E.A.R. Elite) blow the m4 out of the water.”

            You are either making stuff up or misunderstanding the tests (which ones btw?).

            -The SCAR has well known reliability issues in the field, this is why the Block II SOPMOD equipped M4 still remains in SOCOM service and will continue to do so. the SCAR L is no measurable improvement and is being gradually phased out.

            -The 416 is the same way, although is more reliable than the SCAR. There is no measurable leap in performance improvement with the 416 to justify the substantially increased cost. ARs can be produced for less than 600 dollars a unit. That is huge.

            -The ACR is notorious for its quality control and reliability issues. Alongside the Bushmaster, the Remington military model had its fair share of problems that couldn’t justify its replacement of the M4. Again, the expense too.

            -The BEAR elite, again, has its own set of issues, such as inheriting the flaws of gas piston ARs (carrier tilt) and a steel charging handle excessively wearing out the aluminum slot it rides on. That and the G3 style charging handle concept is vastly inferior to the AR design for a number of reasons. That concept is a technological dead end.

            if you are referencing the 2007 reliability “tests”, the contest was geared in favor of the other platforms against the M4. Furthermore, because the three round burst was interrupted when the carbine ran out of ammunition, it was counted as a “malfunction” (the three round burst must fire three rounds to cycle correctly, or else, you have a single shot rifle).

            Try researching “filthy 14” sometime. That is a typical testament of stoner platform reliability.

            And these are the countries operating M4s and M16s. http://weaponsman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/m16-world-map21.png

            There have also been 8 million plus M16s produced. That’s not counting its cousins, such as civilian ARs and M4s (or Diemco C series). It cannot give you a definitive number because that is impossible to do at the moment, and has substantially increased since December 2012.

            In other words, no other 5.56 platform holds a candle to stoner platform production and sales. This will also continue to be the case in the future.

            “If you took a beginner and showed them both systems, i know which one they would pick, specially after firing say 1000 rounds with only general lubing.”
            I know which ones they *are* picking already. US military aid packages from the largest arms exporter on the planet is a testament to what other countries pick.

          • The Brigadier

            Again you are making the argument that because we can build M4s for $600 its the superior rifle given all of its drawbacks. I agree the SCAR variations are grossly overpriced and if FN is serious about getting its rifle adopted, it has to cut those prices substantially. Economies of scale should do a lot of that, but half the extra expense is just plain greed.

            I remind the Belgian Board of Directors that there are several new designs on the drawing boards of American companies and if you want the SCAR-17s widely adopted before these new ones become reality, you have to come back to Earth. The rarefied atmosphere you have been living in has left you seriously greed addled.

          • n0truscotsman

            I never argued that it was because of the cost, primarily. My argument is that supposedly “superior rifles” havent demonstrated themselves to be superior in reliability during empirical testing. There is certainly nothing superior enough to warrant replacing the m4.

            Yeah FN wont listen to you. Myself and others have submitted a lost of “strong recommendations” to improve the viability of that platform in the future, and so far, nothing.

          • McThag

            Do you realize that the AR isn’t actually direct impingement?

            Have a look that the bolt carrier on an AG42 or MAS49 and you will see that the gas strikes or impinges on (hence the term) a pocket on the carrier’s face and that sends it to the rear.

            The AR has an expansion chamber inside the bolt carrier, and the bolt is a piston. The gas is not striking the bolt carrier, but passing through the gas key and into the chamber inside the bolt.

            Time to stop using the term incorrectly in the gun world.

            As far as popularity goes? I think that the only guns that use the Stoner gas system are AR’s either AR15 or AR10 and their derivatives. And that’s presently most of the 5.56 guns in existence for 50-25% the cost. Which is the real reason they’ve the taint of popularity against piston guns.

            $800 AR or $2,400 SCAR? Quantify three times better than an AR and do it in terms of ammunition I might likely carry before any substantial difference in reliability will surface. Document it, show your work, PROVE the claim.

            Or a claim is all it is. An anecdote.

          • Mack

            Yes i do realize that, you to talk to 99% of people, call the ar 15 DI, just common terminology, even if i didn’t know that notruscotman has pointed it out about 3 times now…

            for prices i was not comparing a scar, look at the prices i posted in the reply to nathan, very marginal difference.

            Also i was not arguing to replace the m4 by any means, logistically, politically, and financially it won’t happen nor does it make any sense to happen. but if you were starting from scratch, and you knew of all the systems we had today there would be 99% chance it would be a short stroke piston of some kind.

          • The Brigadier

            The problem with the AR is that the system blows carbon and nitrates all over the bolt that renders the weapon inoperable after a short time of firing. I don’t care whether or not what you choose to call the system. Stoner called it a Direct Impingement system as though that was superior to a gas piston system. The result was 10,000 troops in Vietnam who first got the weapons died as a result of their weapons jamming. That was more men killed than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, all because of that dirty system. You can rationalize it all you want, but 10,000 American dead speaks volumes about its inherent failure. It still jams.

      • n0truscotsman

        To me, it is a compromise.

        The carbon and heat has to go *somewhere.

        In the case of the traditional Stoner internal piston, it is inside the bolt carrier group.

        In the case of a gas piston, it is on the gas block and piston itself.

        Many see the advantages of taking the gas and heat somewhere else as particularly advantageous (when using a silencer for example), although I disagree because you are increasing mechanical complexity and raising the odds of more stuff going wrong. Personally, i never could fall in love with piston ARs, simply because the existing design is already damn reliable.

        • Mack

          I agree with existing DI are just as reliable, i am saying that i have cut easily an hour out of cleaning with my piston guns (doing a full detail cleaning). My DI gun has never had any hiccups far as reliability, i am not arguing that, just for clean ability, piston wins, every time, non suppressed.

          A DI gun is a GREAT tool, gets the job done, accurate, reliable, won’t let you down. But a piston gun is a better tool in my opinion. Does everything a DI gun does, but does it with longer parts life, less maintenance time.

          That’s the reason all new designs are piston based.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Does everything a DI gun does, but does it with longer parts life, less maintenance time.”

            Im not thoroughly convinced of this, and I’ve extensively used and worked on the SCAR and 416 platforms in the service.

            Throughout the past 5 years, ive also purchased, borrowed, and shot a large number of rounds through damn near every AR piston conversion possible and haven’t been convinced that its higher price, increased mechanical complexity, and more weight (for most models) are worth the tradeoffs with a shorter cleaning time (which is kind of a moot point since ARs dont need to be perfectly clean to operate anyways…just properly lubricated)

            The reason why newer guns are piston based is because the AR18 short stroke piston is considered a low risk, tried and true system. These newer weapons also have their fair share of glaring flaws that im not going to get into, for the sake of keeping on subject and the post relatively short.

            Conversely, there is a reason why the M4/M16 is THE most popular and numerous 5.56mm weapon in service right now and will only gain in popularity.

          • Mack

            if a piston gun is comlex for you, you shouldn’t be around guns. Also price is moot, as you look at the price comparison i gave nathan. As i said earlier, AK has the most numbers out there by a LANDSLIDE. You don’t hear any countries saying there adopting the M4 as there new service rifle. I would love for you to open up these glaring flaws that are directly related to the piston system and not QC or inferior materials.

          • n0truscotsman

            You misunderstood my usage of “complex”.

            Complex as being used in a mechanical/engineering context, in which the more mechanical parts are used, the more likely there is a failure or malfunction. The internal piston AR is already very simple. Just a gas tube. The piston IS the bolt and bolt carrier group.

            The price on pistons just isn’t the street price of the gun. It is also the cost of maintenance and parts. Since the AR platform has yet to meet any kind of standardization (perhaps with the exception of the 416, which is the closest form of “standardization” among gas piston ARs), there is the costly issue of proprietary parts.

            “As i said earlier, AK has the most numbers out there by a LANDSLIDE. ”

            Indeed, they do, but this is “moving the goalposts”.

            For 5.56 caliber weapons, the M4/M16/AR (stoner platform) is indisputably the most popular and is becoming even more so.

            “You don’t hear any countries saying there adopting the M4 as there new service rifle”

            You really have to be asleep at the wheel to reach that conclusion. http://weaponsman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/m16-world-map21.png

            That is nothing to downplay to say the least.

            Since the cost of stoner rifles has decreased significantly between US and Canada, they will only become more popular.

            “I would love for you to open up these glaring flaws that are directly related to the piston system and not QC or inferior materials.”

            That is moving the goalposts again. QC and “misapplied” materials equally applies as it did with the M16 during its founding.

            But here we go (and this is hardly an exhaustive list)

            1.) The QC problems with the SA80

            2.) The bulkiness and fragile construction of the G36 (not to mention the inherent flaw of having a polymer receiver and medal trunnion block. That’s a issue quite explored here)

            3.) Confirmed rumors of carrier tilt and excessive receiver wear on HK 416s and other gas piston AR conversions.

            4.) The abomination that is the INSAS (which was covered quite extensively here at TFB)

            5.) The QC issues with some American made SIG rifles
            6.) The well known laundry list of issues with the SCAR family, such as delicate design/components, shearing of bolts, and POI shifts.

            7.) Pretty much the larger overall weight and monetary expense of 5.56 gas piston carbines when compared to the M4/M16.
            So in conclusion, many nations that are seeking new carbines are seeking 5.56 and the M4/M16 for a reason. Theyre considered just as reliable as the other carbines, but have superior modularity, are lighter, and, most decisively, are less expensive.

          • Mack

            Yes i did misunderstand you, i apologize, yes they have more parts, but in my experience the pay off is greater then a few more moving parts that in my experience have added or even reduced weight. Just my main thing, is why a system that runs on the shit where you eat concept?

            The world map of Ar15 in use has nothing to do with what you were claiming. You said special forces, which i proved that more countries don’t use that plat form, also there is more countries that their main service weapon is something else then AR15 family.

            You just pointed out QC and inferior materials for most of you check list?
            1. HK came in a completely turned the SA80 around
            2. A lot of those quite explored were rumors, i would love to see an actual article by military saying other wise?
            3. At the infancy of piston ar, this statement is so true, now that 99% of Piston ar makers have tweaked designs, carrier tilt is minimal to nothing.
            4.QC
            5.QC
            6.I don’t have experience or knowledge on this one so i won’t comment.
            7. That’s what happens when something runs out of patent. Even Stoner knew the piston system was a better idea why do you think his next gun was a short stroke piston?

          • wclardy

            Mack, not to pick on you, but Gene Stoner addressed the tilt issue along with a several others when he borrowed the grease gun’s twin-guide-rod design for positively controlling the bolt carrier’s motion while also allowing a whole lot more internal room for crud and mud to get pushed out of the way. On the AR-18, having the guide rods parallel to the axis of the piston minimized the lever-arm for any tilt (AR-15s use the runners on the lower left and right of the bolt carrier as the primary support/guide, with almost the full height of the bolt carrier as a lever arm).

          • Mack

            Agreed 100% ar 18 piston system is better then a ar 15 retro fit. handsdown, eliminates a lot of headaches. But i have two ar 15 piston guns, one has demonstrated zero tilt, the other wore through the finish and has stopped there. So i think modern ar 15 retrofits have figured out to eliminate tilt or make very minimal. I have not tested nor shot every one out there, but from what i can understand almost all the company’s now offer once piece BCG and enlarged BCG to help.

            In my experience, now that the piston kinks have been worked out, it is an improvement over the original ar 15 system.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Just my main thing, is why a system that runs on the shit where you eat concept?”

            I could see why one would think that is a bad idea. Theoretically, it would have the disadvantage of heating up the bolt carrier, which should cause unreliability due to thermal expansion, friction, and the lube drying out because of heat.

            Experience wise, this is not the case for some reason.

            The few other DI rifles that have seen service (and the AR platform is not even a true DI technically) have been known to be robust and reliable rifles.

            “The world map of Ar15 in use has nothing to do with what you were claiming. You said special forces, which i proved that more countries don’t use that plat form, also there is more countries that their main service weapon is something else then AR15 family.”

            I said armed forces/military, which special operations forces are part of.

            I posted the map because of what I said a day ago, “there is a reason why the M4/M16 is THE most popular and numerous 5.56mm weapon in service right now and will only gain in popularity.”

          • Mack

            Agreed, it is the 5.56 most popular gun. But that map is skewed, all of those countries may use the weapon is limited roll but their main weapon and their special forces go to weapon is not the ar 15 for over 3/4 on that map.

          • wclardy

            I find it ironic that you limit your definition of the “Stoner platform” to just the AR-10/AR-15 design (ignoring the AR-16/AR-18 and Stoner 62/63 designs), while touting the “modularity” and low cost of the AR-15 design as being inherent to the design. The low cost is solely a byproduct of multiple, competitive sourcing as applied to a product requiring extensive complex machining operations.

          • n0truscotsman

            Did you see my previous posts?

            The reason why i refer to it as the “stoner platform” is for two reasons.

            1.) Its easier to say than M4/M16/AR15/C8/etc

            2.) Calling it DI, as i posted earlier, is incorrect. http://www.armalite.com/images/Tech%20Notes%5CTech%20Note%2054,%20Gas%20vs%20Op%20Rod%20Drive,%20020815.pdf I just call it “stoner system” because its more correct than DI

            3.) The subsequent “stoner designs” were not nearly as successful. Furthermore, the AR18 was not Stoner’s own design, being based off of his AR16 (and the relatively unknown AR12), which was only gas piston due to armalite selling the DI system production rights to Colt.

            Given the ubiquity and most numerous AR-type rifles, they are best defined as “stoner’s system”.

          • wclardy

            Mack, NOBODY has adopted the M4 (or the M4A1) as a service rifle.
            It’s a flippin’ carbine, not a rifle. If you don’t know the difference, ask somebody who’s been around the infantry since before the current unpleasantries.

          • Mack

            You got me on that one, i was referring to the family M16/M4, but I’m sure you got the drift.

          • wclardy

            I thought I did, which is why I didn’t break out the 4X4 “Instructor’s Assistant” I reserve for the numbn*ts who really think the M4 is the standard for rifles or that 150 meters is long range.

          • wclardy

            A couple of quibbles:
            First, the U.S. military is *the* singular reason for the ubiquitousness of the M16/AR-15 design — it’s all many veterans have known, and we’ve been very generous at giving the danged things away to allies.
            Second, Stoner’s primary reason for using a gas tube instead of a piston was to save weight — nothing to do with reliability. I would consider it pretty significant that his subsequent designs (where manufacturing costs and reliability trumped weight-saving) *all* moved to a piston-based system.

          • n0truscotsman

            1.) Indeed. The fact that the US is the largest arms exporter on the planet definitely helps. The US superpower counterpart, the Soviet Union, was the reason why the AK is the worlds most popular assault rifle. 200 years ago, the Brown Bess was the most common muzzle loading rifle.

            2.) I never argued that stoner’s internal piston was for “improved reliability”, but you are absolutely correct: it was intended to save weight and did precisely that (and made a helluva accurate fighting rifle whose recoil impulses directly in line with one’s shoulder; stoner really did his homework).

            3.) No doubt, although I think this had much to do with the patent going to Colt more than anything. The reason the AR16 and AR18 never took off is because the existing “AR15” worked well enough and the US couldn’t justify a replacement after the vietnam war. Hell they couldn’t justify a replacement a year ago just before they canceled the Individual Carbine Competition.

          • Mack

            “1.) Indeed. The fact that the US is the largest arms exporter on the
            planet definitely helps. The US superpower counterpart, the Soviet
            Union, was the reason why the AK is the worlds most popular assault
            rifle. 200 years ago, the Brown Bess was the most common muzzle loading
            rifle.

            2.) I never argued that stoner’s internal piston was for
            “improved reliability”, but you are absolutely correct: it was intended
            to save weight and did precisely that (and made a helluva accurate
            fighting rifle whose recoil impulses directly in line with one’s
            shoulder; stoner really did his homework).

            3.) No doubt, although I
            think this had much to do with the patent going to Colt more than
            anything. The reason the AR16 and AR18 never took off is because the
            existing “AR15″ worked well enough and the US couldn’t justify a
            replacement after the vietnam war. Hell they couldn’t justify a
            replacement a year ago just before they canceled the Individual Carbine
            Competition.”

            You basically just made my argument with this reply here. the piston system is the better system of the two. I am NOT saying the piston is god’s greatest gift to the earth. i am saying that it is a improvement over the DI or (or internal piston system for you trolls) Only reason its in big numbers is we are the super power, we picked that system first before the other better piston systems came along, so it didn’t make sense for us to switch, but if were starting from new and Stoner presented us with an AR 18 with the kinks worked out and the AR 15 with the kinks worked out, we wouldn’t even know what an AR 15 was.

          • n0truscotsman

            Quite clearly, im not making your argument for you.

            Piston conversions have been exhaustively tested and it has been determined they add nothing to the table. Even the 10th special forces group, comparing the 416 to the Mk 18, found the 416 no more mechanically reliable.

            For a piston to be measurably superior, the AK being an example, it needs to be designed from the ground up, not converted.

            Ever hear of the “Rhino”? that is a post-Vietnam era conversion kit for the AR. Short stroke piston. Then the Colt Model 703 which was first tested in 1969 if I recall my history correctly.

          • Mack

            Yeah, you kinda are! you were arguing it is the most popular 5.56 because of superior design to piston, you contradicted that by saying it is because of super power, which is true. Then you were arguing that the piston system isn’t superior, but then you contradict that saying the reason the piston system wasn’t adopted was because the m16 was fully established and it wouldn’t make sense to spend millions of dollars for a marginal improvement.

            All i have been arguing the whole time, the piston system has pulled in front of the Stoner ar 15 operating system.

            Piston does everything the DI gun does, does it cleaner (shooting non suppressed as 99% of shooters do), comparable weight with DI, comparable price.

            You can not tell me the receiver of a piston gun is not cleaner/cooler then a DI gun shooting non suppressed. Thus making it easier to clean.

          • n0truscotsman

            Re-read my comments. US industrial capacity certainly helps. Combine this with cheap production costs and the fact that no 5.56 caliber carbine is objectively better in terms of killing bad guys, makes for a family of rifles that will become immensely more popular.

            Im saying that piston systems HAVE been tried. multiple times. The 416 wasn’t the first kid on the gas piston AR block. There is a reason why we haven’t moved away yet.

            I agree that gas piston guns have cooler bolt carrier groups and upper receivers, although the heat goes somewhere, and this is at the gas block and piston itself. I can understand the perception that it would be superior in terms of reliability, but this hasn’t been the case as such systems have been exhaustively tested after the Vietnam War and now.

          • Mack

            Only recently has piston systems actually been advantageous. Also the only reason DI is still around, is because it would cost way to much change. Don’t you find it kind of odd that the army is even fielding ideas of new guns? that ALL happen to be piston guns, trying out new guns with SOCOM, special forces and the likes. Obviously the Military sees there could be an improvement out there, just because its not leaps and bounds ahead doesn’t mean its not an improvement. Hell, even Colt thinks there is something in piston guns seeing they just purchased LWRC. For mister Jump saying piston is dying is dead wrong. for colt to spend that much money a strictly piston company says something. Open your eyes, it may not be the greatest thing ever, but piston guns are a step in the right direction. Agreed heat goes somewhere, to a gas block same place gets hot on a DI gun also. I find cleaning my piston, a walk in the park compared to trying to clean my BCG. For the tenth time, DI gun is a GREAT gun, will do everything you ask of it. Todays piston gun does all those exact same things, plus runs cooler, and is easier that once a year you detail clean your guns. Beings now they come in very close to same weight and very close in price, i don’t know why you would pass up the advantages. The only knock i see on piston guns which would be your only argument would be handgaurd selection. DI guns have that all beat to hell. But don’t you worry, they’re working on that too, and piston guns will even be on equal grounds on that.

          • wclardy

            Ironically, the reason that the AR-18 never took off was because of the Japanese Constitution.
            Howa was the only manufacturer of the AR-18 when the M16 was in trouble due to reliability problems, and the Japanese constitution expressly forbade selling arms (including American-designed arms being manufactured under license in Japan) to any nation at war. Even the sale of a small test sample was considered unconstitutional, so a product-improved version of the M16 was the only 5.56mm option available in 1966 or so, which led to the 100,000-rifle order for the XM16E1 in 1967 (if I’m keeping my years straight).
            And with powder fowling causing reliability problems for the M16, the Army was very interested in the piston-operated AR-18, with its stamped receiver and promise of reduced production costs sweetening the interest. In other words, if there had been AR-18s available for competitive testing prior to the number of M16s in the inventory topping 200,000 rifles, you might be referring to the AR-18 as the “stoner platform”.

          • n0truscotsman

            I read that about Howa and the AR18 somewhere, but I cant remember where specifically.

            That is purely hypothetical in my opinion. The M16s issues were worked out before the AR18 was even considered to be a viable option.

          • The Brigadier

            Don’t forget he was using a tiny weighted bullet and a substantially smaller cartridge than the battle proven 7.62 X 51 NATO cartridge. That had as much to do with the lower recoil as the straight line path of the bolt. He couldn’t do it with a more powerful .30 caliber cartridge and he did try.

            That smaller cartridge has been disliked by millions of servicemen who had to take that mouse round into battle, me included. Yes it tumbles and rips and its slightly more accurate, but the delivered shock is substantially less than the “.308” round.

            It’s Newton greatest equation applied to ballistics: F=MA, where mass is the bullet weight in grains and Acceleration is the muzzle velocity of the weapon. Compare the resulting Force in both the .223 and the .308 and you will become a convert soon enough.

          • Geodkyt

            Um, the 7.62x51mm ball round actually uses LESS of it’s force (which is, as you note, greater in total) on a human target at anything under several hundred meters. It simply doesn’t yaw FAST enough (as with ALL spitzer bullets, it starts to yaw immediately on impact with a liquid medium like meat, but it doesn’t yaw fast enough to have any significant effect before exitiung the back of the target) to make good use out of it’s greater energy before exiting the body, leaving LESS destroyed tissue behind than a similarly located hit from a 5.56mm. (Scientific facts, readily replicated experimentally — whereas the plural of “anecdote” is NOT “anecdata”. But I’ll note that, in Mogadishu, the 7.62x51mm rounds from the M60s suffered a higher rate of “failures to stop” than the 5.56x45mm M855 ball. As predicted ten years earlier from actual scientific tests.)

            Force delivered to the scenery BEHIND the target isn’t actually damaging the target itself.

            The 7.62x51mm M80 ball round simply has too much penetration in meat to be as effective as 5.56x45mm at the ranges the overwhelming majority of infantry firefights have consitantly taken place at since 1914. (This shouldn’t be surprising — the round inherited a requirement from the late 19th Century to be capable of “killing or incapacitating a horse at 1000 yards” by virtue of the fact it was supposed to meet the performance of the .30-06, which was supposed to meet or exceed the performance of the .30-03, which was supposed to meet or exceed the performance of the .30 Krag, etc., etc.).)

            That’s why they developed the MK319 MOD 0 round for 7.62x51mm, to enhance critically needed lethality at close ranges, especially behind intermediate barriers. . . but it is very expensive (compared to ball), and isn’t suited for general issue as the standard rifle round. It was designed for and optimized for use in a 16″ carbine for CQB.

          • n0truscotsman

            On the account of AARs ive participated in and personal experiences, the 5.56 works just fine. It is unwise to judge the performance of all 5.56 based on the experiences of M855.

            It is my understanding the A1 is quite the beast. I know that Mk318 and 262 are nasty buggers in particular. Im fairly certain Hornady’s line and anything else outside the military realm is equally mean.

            Back to the AR16, it was 7.62 NATO and the later AR18 became 5.56. It was obvious at that point that 5.56 wasn’t going anywhere.

          • RayRay4242

            Less maintenance time? Cuts an HOUR out of cleaning? Your choices in rifles are one thing but your perceived level of cleaning needed for these rifles is way too high. Ease of cleaning is last on the list as far as a “better rifle” goes. And I’d be willing to bet you haven’t shot your DI rifles to the point of needing actual replacement parts making both of your listed advantages irrelevant. You just spent more money on rifles that let you over-clean them quicker.

      • Airman596

        To illustrate what JumpIf NotZero is talking about, check out this video. MAC runs several piston driven rifles suppressed and full auto. Watch the gas as it’s shooting out of the magazine. Gas goes EVERYWHERE when you shoot suppressed. Piston driven rifles don’t help much when shooting suppressed.

      • Hyok Kim

        Sounds like with DI, the dirt is on the floor, whereas in piston guns, the dirt is under the carpet.

    • n0truscotsman

      Check out Robar’s (NP3) comparison. It shows a larue BCG which is chromed i believe.

  • Gallan

    Also chromed BCG requires oil which dries up and catches dirt. While the Nib doesn’t need oil.

    • Nick Pacific

      NiB definitely needs oil.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        AR15 parts made out of any materials definitely need oil. 🙂

  • RickH

    Well since he’s just surmising, and hasn’t had any failures, his article is basically nothing. So, what’s the problem?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Pretty much this. I’ve run phosphate, chrome, and NiB. Given the choice, NiB from a reputable company, every time.

      They all get dirty, that COULD lead to failure. NiB doesn’t stay looking new like chrome but that doesn’t mean anything.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I have a NiB BCG that when ultrasonically cleaned looks just like the above. It’s not dirt on it still, it’s just stained.

    The coloring on NiB changes with heat and prolonged chemical exposure. When I pull it from the tank it’s squeaky clean in every book and cranny, but it looks like the photo above.

    They stain easily! Big deal?

    • opie

      I bet some mothers mag/aluminum polish would remove the staining. I see this post as a useless space filler. I see no hard evidence of failure. Maybe if they showed a video of failures in the rifle or pictures of the coating chipping off might have been useful

      • JumpIf NotZero

        mothers mag/aluminum polish would remove the staining

        Agreed with you, but that’s on the list of things I would never ever bother doing. My guns are not pretty things 🙂

    • bunny

      If you are using any copper (brass) in your ultrasonic cleaner, you could be just copper platting the nickle.

    • raz-0

      Yes they discolor, but stuff also sticks to them. If it didn’t you wouldn’t have to clean it. They will fail, just like every other coating will. What the interval is is what would matter, and nobody is putting out hard numbers in controlled head to head studies.

      I’m going to argue if mil-spec parkerizing lets me shoot 1500+ rounds of dirty nasty wolf, I’m not really going to give a crap if NiB is better. It appears not to flake, so it doesn’t go on my don’t even consider list, but I’m not paying extra for it. It’s not magic, and shiny doesn’t equal better in my book. In my various setups I have the usual mil-spec stuff, some NiB stuff, and some melonite QPQ stuff. they all seem reasonable, and they all need cleaning at regular service intervals that are in the 1000+ round area. (Honestly, about 1200 rounds is my limit for wanting to handle the stuff for visual inspection, so it gets cleaned sooner than that).

      • n0truscotsman

        “I’m going to argue if mil-spec parkerizing lets me shoot 1500+ rounds of dirty nasty wolf, I’m not really going to give a crap if NiB is better”

        Exactly my point also.

        Manganese Phosphate works. I’ve seen some bolt carriers with a ridiculous amount of rounds through them during their life cycle and they still work.

    • Rob in Katy

      WMD told me not to use Hopps or other cleaner with a Nitro base, it bonds to the Chrome and stains.

  • Mack

    Piston vs DI?

    You could have a fouling magnet for the BCG in the piston gun and it would still be cleaner then the DI. Not much of a direct comparison.

  • lol

    So, a dirty NiB bolt is shown as *possible* evidence of a *possible* malfunction that *may* occur in the future. Mind you this is a bolt with a very shiny coating which makes every discoloration (that’s what it is) highly visible.

    How about this: I post an image of a dollar bill that *possibly* makes me a millionaire after *possibly* investing in the right company in the future.

    Is TBF becoming some kind of rumor mill, or are you guys just running for the exact opposite of a Pulitzer prize?

    • Federalist

      Linked post notes that failures have been experienced by others. Quick search (e.g., http://jobrelatedstuff.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=505180) shows people experiencing sticking with NiB BCGs.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Nice spam link?

        I think I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met outside of formal training that had properly lubed ARs. I hold zero confidence for some internet random to be able to tell me that a coating is good or bad. That said, I’m at approx 8k on my NiB bolt and carrier, over three different barrels, still the same extractor, preventative replaced extractor spring once. I have seen zero evidence of anything but discoloration.

      • n0truscotsman

        Eh, in defense of NiB, I dont always trust AR15.com members that are often less than forthcoming about some of their “tests” and “experiences”.

        They undoubtedly ran them dry as a bone, which WILL cause them to fail.

  • n0truscotsman

    I never could justify any coated BCG simply because the existing one works. They work very well. I never could see a measurable improvement in performance with nickel, chrome, or NP3 coatings in the AR15, maybe with corrosion resistance…

    But, with the “documented” problems associated with NiB, im very skeptical. With anything in the AR, if you run it without lubrication, it will inevitably fail. Its doesn’t matter what Fail Zero or Robar markets.

  • nadnerbus

    so the piston BCG accumulated less dirt than the DI BCG? Not the best comparison.

  • Ergo

    hasn’t this been beat to death with the ugly stick? Sulfur stains the nib coating. It doesn’t affect the function or lubricity of the nib coating.
    Besides everyone knows the ultimate coating for an ar15 bcg is evaporated dispersion of unicorn tears.

  • Renegade

    Look upon the comment section Nicholas (Nick?) and see what you have wrought…

    • Nicholas C

      Glad I could bring debate and conversation to TFB haha. Information and knowledge is never bad. This is why we share this information. All i did was repost some interesting information that one guy collected and documented.

  • Waldorf

    Piston BCG vs DI? By that logic my phosphate coated piston BCG is better than a DI NiB BCG.

  • Justice

    A chrome PISTON BCG vs a DI NiB BCG is hardly an even comparison…

  • Saleen9165

    I shoot mostly suppressed, and my most heavily used gun has a NiBo BCG. After several thousand rounds with normal cleaning between range sessions I noted the BCG was quite a bit darker than when it was first installed (still ran very smooth though). A dab of flitz on a paper towel and the residue was GONE.

    A regular BCG would have the same residue (perhaps even more with it’s less slick surface), but no one surmises that it might build up to the point of failure because the color is the same so it doesn’t change.

    DI or GP shoot the same ammo and produce the same by-products by combustion. The DI system puts some back in the bolt to operate the system, the GP design dumps it under the handguard / rail.

    Which one is easier to clean?

    Which one is lighter?

    Which one has less moving parts?

    GP is a solution in search of a problem for me, but to each his own.

  • Chris

    In my experience NiB coatings are like skin, when warm the pores open up, and close when cold. This is why NiB BCG get dirtier after time. Unless one cleans within an hour after shooting some of that fouling gets trapped in the coating. I don’t see this as being that much of a problem though, because I have shot well over 1000 rnds (I stopped counting after that) and it works just like it did on day one. Rifle gets cleaned after every range visit unless I am camping, then it gets cleaned once I return home. Blame the USMC for my habitual cleaning.

  • 3l3vated

    Hope you guys read. Its a nice write up of the different coatings used on BCG’s

    http://emptormaven.com/2013/08/firearm-action-coatings/

  • firebert

    Great another DI vs. Piston pissing contest. Probably should’ve just compared the NiB BCG to a Y/M Chrome BCG both running on DI AR15’s Personally I’m going to wait until NiB proves itself. On my most recent build I spent extra time searching for a chrome BCG and only found options by RRA and Y/M as opposed to the plethora of NiB BCG that recently hit the market.

  • t

    Wow.. really? all of this arguing over THIS?

    someone needs to come back when they have a DIRECT comparison between two DI BCGs.. chrome and NiB.

    My god.. really?

    lets compare apples to blackhawk helicopters and see which one makes the best garden stake..

  • Kivaari

    My question is: Is NiB worth the expense? A BCG costs an extra $100 compared to a standard issue part. Is this material different from the chrome plating that original M16s used, and found chips cutting into the upper receiver?
    I never had issues with original M16A1 rifles or dozens of AR15-type rifles that had proper care.