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A local shop just took in a sig 516 piston AR on trade. I know the gentleman that owned it and know that it was fired very little. I can get it for a very reasonable price. Anybody have any thoughts both positive or negative on these rifles? I have plenty of experience with regular AR 15. Just nothing with piston so I'm looking for opinions. Thanks
 

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Can't speak for the SIG version but bought the Ruger SR 556 model and also have the gas tube version of 15 and for my purposes can't tell the difference performance wise. Straight gas system does dump some residue into the action and heat build up there as well, but I tend to do a cleaning job after each use of either type so not an issue. With severe(read combat application) I can see advantages for the piston design but for casual sport shooting, one works as good as the other for me. SIG is generally accepted as a quality product so if that type is desired, most likely a good one.
 

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A solution looking for a problem. At least its made by a major manufacturer...........buy wear parts anyway if you buy it!
 

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I have one, bought it to mount my can on. I like it, runs alot cleaner than a DI gun. If I had one complaint it would be that the gas block is canted so the rear back up sight is half way to one side when sighted in.
 

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I'd replace that gas block with a low profile and attach a forend of your preference.

It's a good reason to pick up an ar builders kit from wheeler or a set of reciever blocks and a torque wrench and roll pin kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd replace that gas block with a low profile and attach a forend of your preference.

It's a good reason to pick up an ar builders kit from wheeler or a set of reciever blocks and a torque wrench and roll pin kit.
I already have the tools. I just wasn't sure about piston stuff as I have not messed with anything yet, and I can get this complete gun for a steal.GI5
 

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I've had a Sig 516 for two years now. Runs like a sewing machine. Runs cleaner & cooler than a DI rifle. Pretty damn accurate too!
 

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None of the current piston guns are adopted by any major entity, and since they are all different, non-standard and Non-Interchangable, you are buying yourself a "Parts Orphan" down the road.

Bad Idea, unless you have a very good reason - like you run a suppressor or full auto - or stock an additional spare gun plus parts for the future. DI parts are standard, interchangable, and they run fine under any scenario a civilian user is likely to encounter - given even a small amount of normal care. Most of the reported DI "problems" come from lousy maintenance in a sandy environment, or trying to use a 7lb M-4 as a 23lb SAW. CC
 
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Col. Colt,not all are proprietary. I'm just getting interested in piston ar's and am currently suffering from info overload because of it. However... CMMG and Stag use a common system between them. The Adams Arms system is in use by several companies. Granted,they aren't overflowing from every nook and cranny like the di system,but the aren't each and every one "proprietary" to a single brand of ar.
 

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The only parts not "interchangable" with a DI weapon are the piston components & the bolt carrier. Every other part is the same as a DI rifle. Bolt, extractor & spring, firing pin, etc. There are no differences in the lowers either.
 
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Thanks for the update, oldandtired! It would be great if there was more standardization.
A couple of small time makers and a few thousand guns in a country of 330 Million does not change my position - it's Still a Parts Orphan design. When the .Mil adopts it, or when everyone uses the same system, I'll revisit my opinion.

And, it does nothing really useful if your AR is a semi-auto - and you even remotely take the care of your weapons any warrior should. If you are too lazy to clean it, well, maybe someone else could make better use of it...... CC
 
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I have a SIG 556R. Still a gas piston design and in 7.62X39 rather than 5.56X45.

Sometimes when I go to the range I shoot 2 or 3 ARs and my SIG. Usually 2 to 4 pistols as well. Maybe even my old Auto 5. This is multiple trips back and forth to the car as I move from one range to another (so I take the younger children - late 20's/early 30's with me to carry stuff).

When I get home I have multiple guns to clean. I don't expect the boys to clean/lube my guns for me so some days it takes awhile.

Anyone with a DI AR15 knows what it takes to clean/lube after a range session. As little as 30 rounds (trying out some new loads, putting a new scope on/sighting in,etc.) leaves them pretty nasty inside. I always take the bolt out of the carrier and clean up the inside of the carrier, the bolt lugs, the pins, etc. Sometimes I spray the lowers out with carb. cleaner, let them dry and then spray new lube in there. Cleaning a barrel is cleaning a barrel.

But the 556R? I break it open (sort of like an AR, remove two pins and separate the upper and lower), remove the bolt and wipe off the front of the bolt/lugs, etc. The upper receiver still has the marine grade bearing grease on the rails (and so does the rear of the bolt/carrier) that I put on it two years ago. That's how clean the interior of the guns is after 30 rounds. I could clean 2 or 3 556Rs in the time it takes me to clean one AR15.

The ARs get my reloads with IMR4198, a pretty clean burning powder. The 556R gets the nasty Russian stuff. Wolf, Red Army, Tula (way nastier than Wolf in my experience) and yet firing the same number of rounds is still way cleaner inside than my ARs.

Will it break some day? Maybe. Anything mechanical/electrical is subject to breaking. SIGs have a very good reputation for a reason. Frequent breakage is not what they're known for.

To each his own. My 556R has replaced my "ultimate build" AR15 as the gun that sits in the corner of my bedroom. The gun that goes on road trips with me. The gun I finally liked enough to break down and buy an AimPoint for.

If I ever buy another semi auto .223 (like for my wife - at least that will be my excuse) it will be a SIG 516 as they are supposed to be lighter than the 556 and my wife thinks my carbine is "heavy".
 

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Col. Colt,I'm gonna give one a whirl. I too wish they were more common,and if they're any good I'm sure they will be. For now I have no problem buying extra "just in case" parts. I tend to do that for most of my favorites anyway. As far as cleaning,yes,I do. I also learned a long time ago to work smarter,not harder. Care to jump to any more conclusions?
 

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Anyone with a DI AR15 knows what it takes to clean/lube after a range session.
Yes. A few minutes with a rag every 3-400 rounds or so and it usually doesn't even need that. Usually just another squirt of oil. 30 rounds is just half-way through the seated rapids in an 80 shot match. The rifle does not need to be spotless to function fine. None of them do.

I clean my M14 service rifle as often (by round count) as my AR service rifles.
 

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old and tired, I wish you the best, and I believe you are buying a sound weapon for your own reasons - which is fine by me. You (or I) may not even live long enough to need any spares!

I don't often jump to conclusions - this is a carefully considered Opinon, coming from having been an Armorer for about thirty years, and having repaired a few LE type weapons. Easy availability of parts has sure helped me. Anything can fail, and eventually will, given enough use and abuse. As long as you can fix it, or have a replacement, it doesn't matter.

At my agency's Annual Refresher Training, I see individual eight year old DI Carbines fire hundreds of rounds in drills without missing a beat - with an occasional squirt of lube, and a quick cleaning at the end of "Patrol Rifle Day", before the next group does it all over again.

I believe the DI problems are greatly exaggerated as a Marketing tool to try to sell "The Next Great Thing" - in both the civilian and military worlds. Nothing new, of course. If DI guns were as worthless the current promoters say, we would not have gotten through the last 40 years with the M16 as our issue weapon.

The FN SCAR is in the same boat with few M16 common parts (or worse, as all the parts come from overseas and can be cut off with an Executive Order), as is Colt's 6940 model (at least the upper), by the way. Until someone makes them "issue", in numbers, I stand by my belief - and the brand is irrelevant.

But I certainly don't mind anyone buying whatever they want - as long as they understand the downside as well as the upside, "you pays your money and takes your chances!" I've been wrong before - and I will be again, I'm sure. Best Wishes! CC
 
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