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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:23 AM #1
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AR Pistol build

I'm in my waiting period for an Aero M4E1 lower that I want to build into a 5.56 pistol. I will be suppressing it with my AWC Raider and I want to use a piston upper with at least a 10.5" barrel. I've built a couple rifle lowers before but this is my first pistol build. I would like to buy a complete upper after I build the lower. Any suggestions or pitfalls I should be aware of?
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:31 AM #2
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If you have built lowers, a pistol lower is the same. Watch out for PDW braces that require special tubes/springs.



Some will say that the tricky part is the "piston upper." Some are reliable, some not. My AR pistol is standard "DI" and runs fine suppressed. My 0.02 - get a adjustable gas block (SLR) and call it a day. I understand why you want a piston running suppressed, but am not sure that the extra weight of a piston is worth it when you cannot be sure of the reliability.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:33 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danb View Post
If you have built lowers, a pistol lower is the same. Watch out for PDW braces that require special tubes/springs.



Some will say that the tricky part is the "piston upper." Some are reliable, some not. My AR pistol is standard "DI" and runs fine suppressed. My 0.02 - get a adjustable gas block (SLR) and call it a day. I understand why you want a piston running suppressed, but am not sure that the extra weight of a piston is worth it when you cannot be sure of the reliability.
Running a piston AR is a sin.

The Book of SOTAR 1:3.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:41 AM #4
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I'm wanting to use a piston because I've been running the Raider on my rifle for years and it's incredibly dirty. One trigger pull looks like I've fired two mags through the gun. Adams Arms makes a couple of interesting piston uppers with adjustable gas blocks all set up and ready to go. Their reviews are pretty decent too. I know a lot of traditionalists don't care for the piston system for the AR but I can see advantages and disadvantages to both. My build skill level doesn't make me comfortable with building an upper hence the one stop shop for a piston upper with BCG ready to go.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 10:00 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teratos View Post
Running a piston AR is a sin.

The Book of SOTAR 1:3.

I am a sinner.

There is definitely something to be said about a gun that runs clean when suppressed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EODJoe View Post
I'm wanting to use a piston because I've been running the Raider on my rifle for years and it's incredibly dirty. One trigger pull looks like I've fired two mags through the gun. Adams Arms makes a couple of interesting piston uppers with adjustable gas blocks all set up and ready to go. Their reviews are pretty decent too. I know a lot of traditionalists don't care for the piston system for the AR but I can see advantages and disadvantages to both. My build skill level doesn't make me comfortable with building an upper hence the one stop shop for a piston upper with BCG ready to go.

You have not seen dirt until you've run many boxes of 9mm through a suppressed MP5. But I hear you on the dirt factor.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 12:41 PM #6
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You have not seen dirt until you've run many boxes of 9mm through a suppressed MP5. But I hear you on the dirt factor.
Been there done that. Not fun to clean and the armorers were always sticklers (I was also one at one point though).
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Old May 18th, 2020, 05:18 PM #7
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Quote:
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You have not seen dirt until you've run many boxes of 9mm through a suppressed MP5. But I hear you on the dirt factor.
Nothing compares to cleaning an M-60E3, after 2 weeks of running around the boonies, firing over 1K of blanks, and using enough LSA to choke a donkey.

It puts to shame the dirt from a MP-5SD after many days at the range. I know this.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 05:36 PM #8
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Be mindful of "LOP" from the brace not to exceed 13.5 inches. It's not written in stone but there are instances of the ATF charging individuals with possession or manufacture of an SBR because their brace exceeded 13.5 LOP, which apparently the ATF has arbitrarily used to justify it's use as a stock.

Most brace manufacturers have taken this into account, but if you add a folding stock adapter, then you will most likely exceed 13.5 LOP. SB Tactical makes "LOP Limiters" which solve this issue. Also, do not remove or modify the brace strap - Keep the brace 100% stock on the buffer tube to avoid ever being accused of a "redesign".
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Old May 18th, 2020, 06:27 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teratos View Post
Running a piston AR is a sin.

The Book of SOTAR 1:3.
Truth!
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Old May 18th, 2020, 07:33 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EODJoe View Post
I'm in my waiting period for an Aero M4E1 lower that I want to build into a 5.56 pistol. I will be suppressing it with my AWC Raider and I want to use a piston upper with at least a 10.5" barrel. I've built a couple rifle lowers before but this is my first pistol build. I would like to buy a complete upper after I build the lower. Any suggestions or pitfalls I should be aware of?
Drive for show. Putt for dough.


Building lowers is driving.


Building uppers is putting. The money shot.


EODJoe, I've got Adams piston kits for carbine, midlength, and rifle. They're just sitting around. I can let you have one cheap. If you're really interested, shoot me a PM.
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