How Does a Piston Work?

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So how does a piston work and what are the benefits over a direct impingement system? As we are always striving to educate the public regarding our piston system, we like to share educational videos like this one from Cheaper Than Dirt. The video is a good animation of how the Adams Arms piston system works and the benefit it brings to the user.


“As the Adams Arms Gas Piston System cycles, you will notice the simplicity of the design. There are three different gas settings on the front of the block. Standard, low gas setting for suppressed, and an off position for single shot suppressed shooting. The entire piston system is accessible from the front of the block for ease of maintenance. The patented inverted piston system design ensures consistent volumetric chamber regardless of barrel length or caliber. Using the same principles as a free floating rail, the tolerances between the sleeve and plug allows the drive rod to float freely, keeping the harmonics from being transferred to the barrel and making the Adams Arms piston system the most accurate on the market.
During the function of the piston system, the gas is diverted out of the piston chamber and away from the operator. The forward motion of the sleeve on the plug scrapes off any residual carbon making the system virtually self cleaning. Another benefit of the inverted piston design is that during the cycling function, the flash signature is muzzled within the chamber and eliminates any trace external of the rifle, therefore maintaining the integrity of night optics. The other key benefit in the inverted design is the gasses are redirected 180 degrees to eliminate the super sonic crack commonly associated with conventional piston designs.


The Adams Arms carrier tilt elimination system eliminates the downward motion caused by the rod pushing on the carrier and keeps it consistent center line. the downward push of the rod on the carrier is off set by using our common half inch technology. The rod stroke is a consistent half inch and this is balanced by the spring loaded bolt remaining in the carrier and the skis remaining in the receiver by the same half inch.”
Use the Adams Arms gas piston conversion kit to turn your standard direct gas impingement AR 15 system into a cooler, cleaner running, short stroke gas piston system. The piston system increases reliability while decreasing maintenance. Our XLP Low Profile Gas Block is the perfect height to fit under most manufacturer rails and is available in all length conversion kits. So hopefully we have answered your question “how does a piston work” and convinced you to go piston driven for your next build! Need help with your Adams installation? Click Here.
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