@zombieslayer, love the name, are you a left for dead fan?
Anyhow, sorry about your experience with your piston AR. Seems like a lot of people here talk negatively about them as a solution to a problem that did not exist. Why change from direct gas when it functions if maintained properly? In the OP's case though, he has a problem with a direct gas system. Something that none of the other owners of the same rifle has experienced. I'm very interested if the problem was the magazine, ammo, or the rifle itself.