Adams Arms Piston System Review | on a Bushmaster ORC Carbine

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Wakesurfingiowa posted on YouTube his Adams Arms piston system review and brought up a common question we get regarding installing our piston system. What is the purpose of the bolt spring and where does it go? He was originally concerned that his bolt carrier was “popping out”. We thought we would share his review and answer the question for others to learn about as well. The video transcription is below.


“Well this is my review of the Bushmaster ORC Optical Ready Carbine and also the Adams Arms piston system for the carbine. I bought this rifle on Black Friday for $650 out the door tax included and it came with a Bushmaster low profile gas block and I took that off immediately, I did not want another rifle with optics on it, I wanted mechanical sights so I took that gas block off and didn’t know what to do and decided to go with a piston system because I have never had a piston driven AR 15. I also decided while this has a carry handle to do away with that and purchase a Rock River Arms flip up rear sight to match this Rock River Arms solid front sight. That being said this review is going to be a review of the Adams Arms system more than the Bushmaster. The Bushmaster is a fine rifle but i’m not really a Bushmaster fan, but I got it for $650 so that’s a pretty good deal. It came stock with this butt set, regular A2 style handguard and the layout as you see it. It came with risers, but those came off because like I said I didn’t want to put optics on it.

I am going to remove the top handguard and show you the Adams Arms system so we will do that now. One thing to note is the handguards that come with the Adams Arms kit, are a little harder to remove than the stock ones, but they aren’t impossible so it’s not that big of a deal. That being said, you will notice that the top one has no heat shield while the bottom was does. The Adams Arms system has a picitanny rail where I placed the Rock River Arms fixed sight on there. To remove the piston system it is pretty easy, you come over here and push the detent down, rotate it 90 degrees counter clockwise and pull. It removes the piston system. It is very easy to pull out; the spring and piston come out very easily. I have coated it in Lubriplate and it seems to be functioning very well. One thing to note is that the piston system on the standard system has to fit in the barrel nut perfectly. It needs to slide perfectly and easily for this to work properly. The one thing that I have noticed is that the delta ring and the delta ring spring if not perfectly aligned, will rub against this piston system causing some friction which can be an issue. That being said, I am going to pull this out and we will break open the rifle and I’ll show you the carrier and the bolt system. Use this to help push the pin out and set it back in here. One thing to note, is I actually called Adams Arms with a question because I thought I had installed it incorrectly; the carrier is now spring loaded so what you will see is because it is spring loaded the carrier pops out so when you replace it back into the lower you have to push the carrier in, in order for it to fit properly. That was very odd for me, not like a standard AR, but I did notice on another YouTube video that this was normal and acceptable for Adams Arms.


So now, since that is all broken out, I will attempt to break this out even further to show you the bolt. So this is the Adams Arms carrier and this is a Bushmaster bolt. They tell you to take it apart. To remove it, field strip it, pull the cotter pin out rotate this and drop the firing pin out with a little tap and the spring that gives the carrier the pop out is placed on the bolt and they request you to remove the rings from the bolt. You do that and everything is good. Reassemble and we are good to go. Looks good! Pop it in with charging handle set. Reinsert the piston system so it indexes itself perfectly to work right. Push the pin in and rotate it back to the 12:00 position. Replace the handguard and carrying handle and away we go.


Overall the system was very easy to install and put together. Took about 15 minutes to do. So that’s my review!”


To clearly answer what the purpose of the bolt spring is and where it goes; the bolt spring goes behind the bolt in the bolt carrier. This eliminates cam pin wear. After the spring is installed you will need to push the carrier in when reinstlling into the lower receiver because of the spring. The “poppinp” of the carrier is completely normal. Thanks Wakesurfingiowa for your Adams Arms piston system review, we appreciate hearing concerns of users and sharing with others.

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