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Piston vs DI?


uber Member
My advice. Get one of both, and decide which one you like the most. Then sell the second place / other if that makes things easier for you.

I have both and will sell neither. Both work great suppressed and unsuppressed. Both have fantastic accuracy suppressed and unsuppressed. Both are cleaned every range trip / class. To not clean a tool after use is pure laziness.

For the record, no a DI AR is not a piston driven gun.
I have been and always will be an AK guy. So piston was an easy choice for me when I finally got a semi-auto for a hog hunter. I spent WAY too much and as of next week my can for it has been at NFA in prison for a year. BUT, I took down 2 hogs with this bad boy in FL last year and it (poop) like heaven.
In Kauai I actually had friends that would hunt hogs with just dogs and a knife. :oops:

Anyhow, thanks for everyone's opinions.


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I've got upwards of 3k rounds thru my DI carbine upper, have never cleaned the gas tube or gas block. Only failures I've experienced were cheap magazine follower/spring related.


LEGEN...wait for it... DARY!
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...I was hoping that a piston AR wouldn't have quite as much blowback as a DI rifle when suppressed, but that proved not to be the case!
Doesn't make much difference for how much comes back from the barrel itself, but an adjustable gas port can help with either system.


New member
I prefer the bolt on piston kits over a proprietary piston built rifle. Easy to swap back to a DI if it fails. I've been running both AA piston kits for years. In my bug out bag for my piston setup I keep a DI bolt carrier, gas block and tube, and all tools needed to swap parts if necessary. I have only had an issue with a piston failing once. And had a DI fail on my once too but that was the extractor on the bolt, so not really DI fault.


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I am a FAL fan and love the gas system although I don't currently own one. Technically the piston system is probably "better". Always liked the Daewoo design. That said in 55 years of shooting AR's and M-16's I find no problem with the DI system. I don't find them that difficult to clean and have ran them dirty as hell and they still work. Don't shoot my AR's that much but in Vietnam I probably put a few thousand rounds through an A1 in a single day and never had a malfunction. Just find better uses for my money than the extra cost of a piston AR and I like the simplicity of using all GI parts.