AR-15 Gas Systems

Are piston-driven or direct impingement-based gas systems better?

by Dean Meier

Our Department of Defense might soon begin issuing a replacement for the M4 carbine and, if some people get their way, the entire M16-series as well. Considering most of the proposed replacements are quite similar to already-issued equipment it would be the first time the US military replaced small arms without an an obvious improvement or change associated with the new device.

Most of the proposed replacements to the M16-series, our longest serving rifle, involve changes to the gas system, specifically going from a direct impingement-based design to a piston driven arrangement. Let’s look at the two systems and how they compare.

Read more in our September 2012 issue. Back issues are available.

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