View Poll Results: Do the benefits of the VLTOR A5 system outweigh the downsides?

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  • Yes

    93 65.96%
  • No

    29 20.57%
  • I'm too confused to know

    19 13.48%
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Thread: I'm over the A5 system, do you think its worth it?

  1. #1
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    I'm over the A5 system, do you think its worth it?

    I know we have tons of A5 threads, but I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences and throw out a poll on the topic. My eyes gloss over when the same three or four guys start talking mechanical tech stuff in every A5 thread, its just beyond my comprehension so that probably plays a factor. Regardless, this is where I'm at currently.

    Pros:
    1. Increased reliability, decreased parts wear, and maybe recoil mitigation - though it is VERY debatable how much of a real/perceived benefit any of this is for the vast majority of shooters
    2. Increased tune-ability based on available buffer weights

    Cons:
    1. Shit availability - if you're able to find everything in stock, its rarely all in the same place. The VLTOR tube doesn't have as many positions as the BCM or Magpul, so the latter are preferred. However, BCM's kit only comes with an A5-0, which is weird and somewhat pointless. The Springco Green SPring is also typically regarded as better, and again, is not sold in any kit that I'm aware of. On a good day, I'm ordering a buffer and tube from one place and the Springco from another. I'm pretty sure I've had to buy all three from separate vendors before. Then you add the castle nut and end plate, its just obnoxious.
    2. Cost - piecing together all of the separate parts is probably around $125, at best. The BCM mil-spec kit is $57.95.
    3. Extended OAL - not really a big deal in use, but my ARs are just barely too long to fit in the foam inside of my hard case, because of the A5.
    4. Factory lower options - there are plenty of reasons for building your own lower, and I swap most stuff out of a standard LPK anyways. However, there are very few factory options with the A5 already installed and at least the BCM, from what I've seen, only comes with black furniture and a non-SOPMOD stock. I think there re even fewer complete rifles with them.
    6. Proprietary parts - I'm all for spare parts, but if somehow you get caught with your pants down, most LGS will probably have standard carbine buffer parts on hand. Maybe they'll have a rifle tube and spring, but the buffers themselves stay pretty scarce.

    Bottom line, with few people shooting FA and a growing demand for minimalist gas port sizes, I just don't see the increased performance as being worth it. Again, this has just been my experience. I haven't removed my current two yet, so if I'm way off base on the pros side, I'm up for some knowledge, but I think the vast majority of solid-perofring guns out there use the standard system so I'm not sure tht there is anything that could be too convincing.
    Sic semper tyrannis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The other benefit is increased consistency from the spring biased weights, more weights (4 vs 3) and using the longer rifle spring.
    Black River Tactical
    BRT OPTIMUM Barrels - 16" MPR, 14.5" MPC, 11.5" CQB, 9" PDW
    BRT OPTIMUM-S Barrel - 11.5" CQB Suppressor Gas Drive
    BRT OPTIMUM-S Barrel - 11.5" SB Suppressor, 11.5" SBT 25 Deg Tapered Shoulder Suppressor
    BRT Covert Comps 7.62, 5.56, 6X, 9mm
    BRT MarkBlue Gas Tubes - BRT EXT, EXC and PDW Lengths
    BRT EZTUNE Gas Tubes - CAR and MID
    BRT MicroPin Gas Blocks - .750" & .625"
    BRT MicroTUNE Adjustable Gas Blocks
    BRT CustomTUNE Gas Ports

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wake27 View Post
    I know we have tons of A5 threads, but I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences and throw out a poll on the topic. My eyes gloss over when the same three or four guys start talking mechanical tech stuff in every A5 thread, its just beyond my comprehension so that probably plays a factor. Regardless, this is where I'm at currently.

    Pros:
    1. Increased reliability, decreased parts wear, and maybe recoil mitigation - though it is VERY debatable how much of a real/perceived benefit any of this is for the vast majority of shooters
    2. Increased tune-ability based on available buffer weights

    Cons:
    1. Shit availability - if you're able to find everything in stock, its rarely all in the same place. The VLTOR tube doesn't have as many positions as the BCM or Magpul, so the latter are preferred. However, BCM's kit only comes with an A5-0, which is weird and somewhat pointless. The Springco Green SPring is also typically regarded as better, and again, is not sold in any kit that I'm aware of. On a good day, I'm ordering a buffer and tube from one place and the Springco from another. I'm pretty sure I've had to buy all three from separate vendors before. Then you add the castle nut and end plate, its just obnoxious.
    2. Cost - piecing together all of the separate parts is probably around $125, at best. The BCM mil-spec kit is $57.95.
    3. Extended OAL - not really a big deal in use, but my ARs are just barely too long to fit in the foam inside of my hard case, because of the A5.
    4. Factory lower options - there are plenty of reasons for building your own lower, and I swap most stuff out of a standard LPK anyways. However, there are very few factory options with the A5 already installed and at least the BCM, from what I've seen, only comes with black furniture and a non-SOPMOD stock. I think there re even fewer complete rifles with them.
    6. Proprietary parts - I'm all for spare parts, but if somehow you get caught with your pants down, most LGS will probably have standard carbine buffer parts on hand. Maybe they'll have a rifle tube and spring, but the buffers themselves stay pretty scarce.

    Bottom line, with few people shooting FA and a growing demand for minimalist gas port sizes, I just don't see the increased performance as being worth it. Again, this has just been my experience. I haven't removed my current two yet, so if I'm way off base on the pros side, I'm up for some knowledge, but I think the vast majority of solid-perofring guns out there use the standard system so I'm not sure tht there is anything that could be too convincing.
    #4
    SOLGW offers customizable lowers with A5 options. We also use the Sprinco green springs with those.
    SOLGW allows you to choose many options for your lower. FCG, selectors, bolt catch, cerakote etc...

    The A5 system is great in that it's more forgiving and less sensitive to input.

    I'm seeing a lot of this minimalist gas port stuff, but I don't think it's a solution to anything.
    It's nice to see more people paying attention to gas port math, but having your rifle on the ragged edge of working is a bad idea, IMO.



    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Let me give you another choice option for your poll.. If building a rifle from scratch I would use A5 components again but I wouldn't retrofit a rifle that is running good as is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Just throw some quarters in the buffer tube and use a std carbine buffer spring n buffer if you need a weekend fix

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    I always seem to build from the ground up, so I end up with a rifle that simply costs an extra few dollars in the end. Not the biggest deal when looking at $1000 or more builds. I buy most parts blemished from Vltor, so the costs difference remains minimal. As far as a rifle going down, its quicker to go grab another rifle from the safe than parts from a store, and I'll just place an order online. Availability is it's own issue, but is getting better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    @Wake27,

    I agree with your concerns over A5 and accept your viewpoint as perfectly valid from the end user perspective. My biggest complaint about A5 is using non-standard buffer tube and buffer. I'm not too concerned about A5 availability as you can almost always can find it in stock nowadays at Midway, BCM, SOLGW, and VLTOR itself. Price-wise it's not really an issue long term as it will probably cost an extra $20-40 realistically speaking.

    Another HUGE Question for me is why VLTOR never offered a spacer for their tube? I would love to get one to be able to switch between A5 and a regular spring/buffer.


    From the reliability perspective I'm extremely happy with A5. I don't think it's worth switching good quality mil-spec buffer tube to A5 unless there is a very specific use/purpose for it. However, for stripped lowers I don't see a downside except for keeping different parts.
    On the other side of the spectrum I would say that Geissele 42 which is highly popular now is really not worth it (at least for me) as it also adds two proprietary components with questionable benefit/value over a milp-spec spring and buffer of proper weight.

  8. #8
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    A5 works great for me. I have two identical 11.5 SBRs, one with and one without an A4 system. Clear difference between the two rifles. Now both of them have an A5.

  9. #9
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    Not to sidetrack but the "minimalist" gas port thing is for people who shoot mil-spec vs shit ammo. I'm far from an ammo snob but I don't buy shitty Wolf or Tula unless its for an AK. My AR's get 5.56 NATO pressure loads. The trend of barrel makers to make over-gassed guns is for the cheap-asses and their shit ammo. If that's what you want to shoot, fine. But for those who prefer to use 5.56 NATO it would be nice to see a choice in port sizes given by the major manufacturers. To make barrels for the masses has been done for quite some time, but I'd prefer one made for mil-spec ammo. I believe some barrel manufacturers (or their end-buyers) have spec'd tighter gas ports for the more discriminating ammo users, and that is good to see. I hope that trend continues, with port sizes for both mil-spec as well as shit ammo.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  10. #10
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    Daniel Defense went from a 0.076 to a 0.069 on their 11.5" barrels and thats still aways from a minimalist or right on the ragged edge. Its probably damn near a perfect size gas port for the 11.5"
    I'm very happy with the A5 performance but I consider it an enhancement rather than a must have.
    Last edited by prepare; 04-15-19 at 20:14.

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