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AR15 Rifles, Uppers, Lowers, and Components: ARS Gas Piston Kit review Part 2 of 4 6.8 SPC

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ARS Gas Piston Kit review Part 2 of 4 6.8 SPC

Hey folks!

As promised here is the 2nd part of the ARS Gas Piston Kit review. This will now be a 4 part review as I have added another caliber to the mix. I will get to that later. For now this review will be for the 6.8 SPC with the piston kit. This was by far my favorite of all the calibers that I will and have tested. My personal weapon in 6.8 is a DI 16” mid length and the 16 carbine I tested with the kit is a completely different feeling.

To start off with, Temp was around 45 degrees, windy and rainy. By the time the test was done, the rifle and myself were soaked head to toe. My magazines were even filled with water. I only had 160 rounds on hand for testing of the 6.8. Ammo was a mixture of some hand loads, Remington 115 grain HP, Remington 115 grain FMJ, Silver State Armory 90 grain TNT and Hornady 110 grain V-max. This was done to basically cover most of the factory loadings of the 6.8 SPC. I know there are more, but these should cover most of what is available.

The 6.8 Remington SPC has become a major player in the AR market today. I have been shooting and loading for the 6.8 SPC for about 3 years now. I have tried most every combo from AR to Bolt gun setup and was “blown away” to say the least after shooting the 6.8 in a Gas Piston System. In the previous review I tested the 223 or 5.56. While, with the 223/5.56, recoil did not feel like it was cut down, but more solid and “M14” like, it is the exact opposite with 6.8. With every round fired, it was a great feeling. Granted this was a carbine set up, but I could only imagine what a mid-length or rifle length set up would feel like. If it made this much difference in the carbine system, think of what the mid and rifle lengths would feel like!

Changing out the system from the 5.56 to the 6.8 was very easy. I did this in the field with only the following tools. Muzzle break wrench and an allen wrench. Disassembly and reassembly took about 5 minutes to complete with most of the time spent ensuring that the gas block was properly alined. Break wrench was used of course to remove the muzzle break to allow the gas block to be taken off and put back on and allen wrench was used to remove the three screws that secure the gas block. The entire system, still being attached to the gas block, was taken out and put back together with ease making this a complete universal kit. I had a stripped barrel attached to an A4 upper to speed things along.

As with the previous review I started out loading one round at a time into the magazine, loading from an open bolt and firing to see if the bolt would lock. 10 rounds, loaded from an open bolt and fired locking the bolt back each time. Next I did 2 25 round bump fire magazine dumps to simulate full auto fire. All 50 fired, ejected and fed with no malfunctions at all. I finished off the remaining ammo without a hitch. Slow fire, rapid fire and the last 20 rounds another bump fire. I never let the system cool. 150 rounds, after the 10 round initial test, were fired as fast as I could. The only break was during magazine changes. I had the barrel and Handguards smoking!!!! I immediately pulled the carrier to check and it was still as cold has when installed. I get a kick out of that every time I shoot the Gas Piston System.

I have ran 990 rounds of 223/5.56 and now 160 rounds of 6.8 SPC though the system without cleaning it, other than the barrel. Kit upon disassembly still looks fairly clean with no carbon build up. Chamber and carrier is still well oiled and no trace of carbon on them. I have two more calibers to test in the coming weeks and should be another 300 or so rounds. I don’t plan on cleaning the system, until I have to return it!

For a rap up of this review, I have to say that I am again impressed by this kit. Not having to purchase additional parts to be able to switch calibers is a big plus to the shooter. Keeping costs down is always on my mind as I sure it is the same with most every shooter. If one were to purchase this kit, he or she would be able to switch this with different weapons or calibers with only having to purchase one complete kit.

I was asked in an email a few days ago about a concern on the cost of the kit compared to others. The basic complaint is why spend an extra 380 bucks on this kit to your standard carbine upper bringing the total to well over a grand and not just buy a Gas Piston Upper from the factory. I will answer this as best as I can. To start with I don’t own a single AR-15 that I didn’t build from the ground up myself. This kit comes with all the parts needed for a complete switch out. If you’re a builder, like myself, and building your next rifle you will have to buy a bolt carrier, gas tube, gas block and Handguards. This kit comes complete with all of those. Say the average price on a FA carrier is around 100 dollars, gas block around 65, gas tube around 15 and Handguards for 25, you are spending around 200 dollars for those parts. You get them all in the kit and are only dropping 180 dollars into the kit now. Keeping in mind that the carrier is an anti-tilt carrier that will add more to the cost if you wanted to upgrade. 180 compared to 380 is now closer to what I would want to spend. If your not a builder, then sell the left over parts to someone who is and recoup some of your cost. People don’t buy a piston kit to save money folks, they buy it for the reliability it adds to the weapon and the ease of cleaning. 180 dollars to ensure less cleaning and greater reliably in my opinion is well worth it!! So to the folks with some concern on the cost of the kit hopefully this will help ease your mind and wallet if you choose to be “infected” with the “Gas Piston” disease………

ARS's website is under construction at the moment but if you have any questions about the kit or would like to purchase one, you can call or visit the following sites:

James Bigalow with ARS at 1-253-273-9634 www.ar15solutions.com
Carl with Black Hole Weaponry at 1-509-793-5374. www.blackholeweaponry.com

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  • Submitted
    03/25/2010 03:32 PM
  • Updated
    02/08/2014 11:59 PM


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