New Ares GXR Gas Piston Retrofit Kit

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Ares’ GXR kit has been around for ten years now, giving gun owners a competitively-priced and simple way to convert their AR15/M4 carbines. Now they’re releasing an updated version of the popular kit which they say offers even better performance to gun owners than the original. Ten years ago the GXR kit was first used and praised not only by the general public but by service members in Afghanistan, proving its ability to function in a hot, sandy climes. Ares has been in business for nearly two decades and has stated they believe equally in the importance of safety, quality, and performance.

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From Ares Defense:

ARES Defense announces the release of an update to its innovative ARES GXR™ Gas Piston Retrofit Kit for AR15/M4 Carbines. Now in its 10th year of production, the patented GXR™ set the standard for customers wishing to economically convert their direct-gas impingement carbines to a reliable gas-piston system without removal of the factory front sight housing. Instead, the GXR™ simply replaces the factory gas tube and bolt carrier common to most AR15/M4 carbines with a robust, short stroke tappet system and patented anti-tilt bolt carrier with integral impact lug. The result is a cooler, cleaner and more reliable operating system over the legacy direct-gas method of operation found in most standard AR15 or M4 carbines. ARES Defense’ latest upgrade to the GXR™ kit includes a travel limiter to prevent piston over travel which may occur due to increased back pressure when the system is used in conjunction with efficient sound suppressors.

Benefits of the GXR™ Gas-Piston Retrofit Kit Cleanliness: The most obvious benefit of converting an AR15 or M4 carbine to the GXR™ gas-piston system is that the externally venting piston energizes the bolt carrier by the action of a steel pusher rod, thereby preventing excess propellant gases and heat from entering and fouling the action of the weapon or vaporizing its lubricants.

Performance: The patented high-mass bolt-carrier with anti-tilt features inhibits receiver and buffer tube wear that exists with many other gas-piston products. Additionally, the GXR™ gas cylinder contains the metering orifice that regulates the amount of gas necessary to operate the weapon. Since the GXR’s metering orifice is actually smaller than the original gas port in the host weapon’s barrel; a weapon assembled with the GXR™ gas-piston system will usually experience a reduced cycle rate than the weapon previously displayed, unaffected by the potentially eroded port of the original barrel and extending its service life. The patented high-mass bolt carrier supplied with the GXR™ kit offers a longer dwell time to unlock the bolt, providing sufficient time for the chamber pressure to drop to acceptable levels and an opportunity for the obturated cartridge case to contract from the chamber wall for reliable extraction.

Longer Weapon Component Life: A high cycle rate as experienced with gas port erosion may cause premature and sometimes catastrophic failure of critical weapon components. Accordingly, the slower cycle rate provided by the GXR™ may extend weapon component life over the legacy direct-gas system.

Cost and Safety: The GXR™ can be retrofit to almost any AR15, M16, XM177, CAR-15 or M4 carbine without requiring replacement of the entire weapon or upper receiver assembly. Retrofitting to the OEM upper receiver means that the original upper receiver, bolt, barrel and barrel extension remain the same as was originally supplied with the host weapon, which ensures that the weapon’s head-space and the pedigree of these critical safety components are not compromised with parts of unknown origin.

Compatibility: The GXR™ is rearward compatible to the very first M16’s procured by the US Government during the Vietnam War, meaning that virtually any AR15, M16 or M4 weapon can benefit from the GXR™ gas-piston upgrade.

Low Risk and Easy Installation: The GXR™ is readily installed in approximately 10 minutes without the need to remove the weapon from service and the procedure is completely reversible in the event that one wished to sell their carbine in its original direct-gas configuration and install their GXR™ Gas Piston Retrofit Kit into their next carbine.

Accuracy: Weapons configured with the GXR™ retain near pre-conversion accuracy.

“For almost 18 years, ARES Defense has specialized in developing and manufacturing premium rifles, parts and accessories for military, law enforcement and responsible civilian shooters. When we first began shipping our GXR™ gas piston retrofit kits in 2005, some of the first users aside from experienced civilian shooters looking for the next best thing, were folks who identified themselves as State Department air crew members serving in Afghanistan,” says Chris Wagner, Director of Military Sales for ARES Defense. “That is a huge responsibility and one that everyone at ARES Defense takes very seriously. Whether we’re building a product for the civilian market or the military market, we put the same level of importance on quality, performance and safety because we never know who may be upgrading their rifles with our products, what their mission in this world may be, or where our products may end up being used.”

Specifications: Caliber: 5.56mm NATO Weight: Gas expansion assembly weighs 2.5 oz over legacy gas tube Barrel Length Compatibility: 10″ – 16″ Handguard Compatibility: Magpul® MOE®, DiamondHead® VRS, Daniel Defense Gas-Piston Omega, others 100% Made in the U.S.A. Patents: US 7,779,743 – US 8,056,460 – US 8,109,193 – US 8,166,864

Take a look online:



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • MR

    What’s with the lack of links, today? Is my phone just not displaying them, is everyone else seeing them?

  • Bro-Ham

    Soooo… the gas piston rage is still a thing yeah? I’ll stick with DI because:
    1) dirty things don’t scare me
    2) I like the smell of carbon
    3) If I want a piston gun, i’ll get something that was specifically designed for that action

    • Squirreltakular

      I may be wrong, but I can’t help feeling that the ongoing development of kits like this is stifling small arms innovation. If you’re going to put a piston in it, just build a new rifle…

  • Vitor Roma

    It would be cool to have a comparison/torture test of this one and the osprey kit.

  • Ted

    Curious to know if this upgrade will also offer better handguard compatibility than before. The kits normally limit the handguard that can be used with them, but do not mention this in literature…

  • Vhyrus

    Or… you could buy an AK…

    AUGH! NOT THE FACE!

  • marathag

    Take a look online:

    Link missing?