SWMP Jan 2015 top Piston-Driven ARs lead
Top 20 Next-Gen Piston-Driven ARs

Top 20 Next-Gen Piston-Driven ARs

These 20 piston-driven ARs are bred to run cooler and cleaner in harsh extremes!

Cleaner. Cooler. More reliable. These are just three advantages cited by people who prefer piston-driven rifles over direct-impingement guns. The Stoner-type direct impingement system traditionally used in the AR-15/M16 platform bleeds off propellant gas from the bore and directs it through a tube to the bolt carrier group, which then cycles the gun. While the direct impingement system can be very reliable, there is no doubt that a lot of fouling can build up on the bolt carrier group.

A growing number of companies now build piston-driven AR-style rifles. These guns use the propellant gas to operate a rod that acts as an intermediary to exert force on the bolt carrier group to cycle the weapon. All excess gas is bled out of the gun well forward of the receiver. This helps keep the guns extremely clean when compared to the Stoner-type direct impingement system.

There is a wide range of rifle configurations available with a piston system. Calibers run the gamut, as do barrel length, furniture and intended use. Here are some of the best piston-driven AR-style rifles on the market today.

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  • Outlaw

    Wow this is a poorly written article, it looks like you guys cut and pasted product descriptions from manufacturers’ websites. How about some real insight into these…and at least mentioning that the PWS rifles are long stroke pistons, far superior to short stroke conversion systems out there.

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  • Don

    You must not have read the article, LWRC has several models mentioned.

  • Mike

    Well that’s disappointing, I was pretty sure i was going to see LWRC in this article.

  • BBQ

    The top piston boom stick in the USA is not listed LWRC. WTF??? Though this article did mention a lot of the inferior products out there. Way to go Tac-Life!

  • Joseph A. Clark

    I’m looking to get the Stag 8L, seeing how I’m a left handed shooter……you can also put a standard right-hand upper on the lower, too….

  • Havok

    It’s nice that Adams Arms made the list 4 times. Seeing as Huldra Arms are all manufactured by Adams Arms.

  • Ty

    Really LWRC inc is not on this list

    • Ty