Saturday, January 06, 2007

Toys I need: Leitner Wise AR15 piston driven uppers

Recently I packed up some ATS Equipment Co. gear for Leitner-Wise Rifle Co. to use in a photo shoot. I have no idea when any of that will be in print; that deal was set up by my boss, who's quite good at that. Today we got the gear back, along with a converted Colt upper receiver that belongs to my boss. That upper was supposed to go to South Carolina, but ended up getting shipped to the same address as the other stuff, which turned out to be a cool thing. Its also a bad thing; now I need one of these things, too!

The system is elegantly simple. Instead of running gas directly into the receiver, it runs into a gas piston. The gas never goes any further than the end of the piston. The gas drives the piston into a replaced carrier key that has no hole in it. There's a stout little spring to push the piston back into position for the next round. It really doesn't take up any more room, in practical terms, than the direct impingement system does. My boss had his converted on his 10.5" SBR, which uses a Noveske barrel. It uses LW's rail, which is another elegantly simple system. It looks to me like it'd fit under a standard rail, but LW's allows access to the bolt parts by way of two captured thumb screws (can't lose 'em; good attention to detail there) and some cross bolts on each side of the rail that the top cover locks into. The attachment to the receiver is quite similar to the Samson/Troy rail design. Strong and simple is good!

A complete built upper is a considerable amount of money in terms of my economy, but is definately not out of line for the type of work that is done. They also do conversions, which the upper I've been messing with today is. They're well worth the cost, based solely on the quality of manufacturing. Of course, this one isn't mine, so I have only a little experience with it. My boss Stephen, though, has quite a lot of experience with them, and has had nothing but good things to say about LW guns. He's an experienced combat veteran, and a serious shooter. I trust his experience and opinions. This is definately something I'm going to need.

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