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So here is my deal. I have $900-$1350 to spend on a new AR. I want a multi purpose rifle. I am not sure what to do about piston vs DI. I am not interested in building a gun. Your thoughts are appreciated. I have been thinking: sig 516, pws mk116, stag, daniel defense and Adcor BEAR
 

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you can get a colt 6920mp for that, as well as a decent 1-4x scope and mounts if you shop around.
http://www.ratworxusa.com/pagDetail.aspx?SKU=RW-Colt-LE-6920-MP

I'm a huge fan of the magpul furniture, so figured i might as well get one with the stuf i want already. Don't bother with piston in that price range. Honestly a DI system works perfectly if you clean it every 500-750 rounds or so, no matter what the haters say. Your best bet is to find a used one with a scope or red dot you like. With any luck you can just have them meet you at a range and try before you buy if you pay for ammo or something. I'm not an expert or anything, but i did my research and have had a lot fun with my setup for about 1300 or so.
 

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I vote DD or Stag. Get a basic rifle and add your own stock, rail, etc. - it will usually be cheaper going that route. You're local - I have the tools and can walk you through it if you want. I would stay away from piston - it's nice to easily be able to get every part you might need off the shelf somewhere if you run into trouble later.
 

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WARNING: I'm biased, I only run short stroke gas piston semi-auto rifles.

First some definitions:

Direct Impingement (DI):
A system by which the bolt carrier is driven rearward by impingement of a hot gas burst derived from the burning propellant. The gas burst is delivered to the bolt via a hole in the barrel, then rearward through a tube connected between the gas block and the receiver. The result is some powder residue in the receiver. How much depends on the powder in the cartridge and how clean it burns. Field stripping an AR15 http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...DEFD44CABBC77E4BB8C0DE&view=detail&FORM=VIRE2


Long stroke gas piston:
Long stroke means the piston rod travels the same distance as does the bolt and is attached to the bolt carrier. No propellant gases are delivered to the receiver. Field stripping the AK http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...1D00E5CA72A2209FB11D1D&view=detail&FORM=VIRE2

Short stroke gas piston:

A short stroke piston system strikes the bolt carrier causing the motion to retract the bolt, but is not attached. No propellant gases are delivered to the receiver. Field stripping the vz58 http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...29C013AE29B62C16B5C929&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

The differences in the two systems are clearly visible in the difference between an AK and the Czech vz58. When you tear down the AK you have a long rod attached to the bolt carrier, while to strip the vz58, you only remove the bolt carrier, the rod remains in place in the weapon.

The SIG is a good choice for a gas piston system. Look at CDNN for a lot of inexpensive choices of weapons. They have a good deal on a SIG 551-A1 for $1390. A lot of us here bought our Mx-A1s there. www.cdnninvestments.com Field stripping a SIG 556: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQFQYkKPCY&feature=related


If you want the 5.56, but not necessarily an AR, then look at the new vz58 5.56 at Czechpoint. Milled receiver, gas piston operated, uses NATO mags, right now the 5.56 pistol is $799. The full size is $1140. I shoot a 7.62x39 vz58 (same receiver, different barrel) with a scout scope and with Wolf military ammo get five shot 2.5" groups at 100 yards. The 5.56 with Lakewood is signifcantly better than that. www.czechpoint-usa.com

I hope this helps.
 

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In no particular order colt 6920, spike st-15, bcm, or if you want a 7.62x39...like eth77 said a vz58 is hard to beat. I also like arsenals ak style rifles. Of course ymmv far from my picks.
 

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With Wolf military ammo, I get 5 shot 2.5" groups at 100 yds. I'm reloading and playing with 150 gr Hornady SPs, and the groups are already looking better, but not enough to brag about. If I can get to 1.5" at 100 yds, I'll be a happy camper.
 
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