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fa35jsf 04-19-2013 11:16 PM

BCG questions
Working on my first AR-15 build. I have a few questions I want to throw out here.

1) How much should a good M16 Bolt Carrier Group cost for 5.56? I am not needing anything super fancy, just a standard mil-spec quality, nothing too expensive.

2) Is the nickel plated or chrome plated ones really any better?

3) Is there any brands to AVOID? - has anyone used West Fork Armory?

4) Does anyone know where to find them in stock online?

bige91603 04-19-2013 11:38 PM

Well the coating depends on what you're going to use the rifle for. If it is just a plinker or range gun then a phosphate coated carrier should be just fine. If you check out they have them in stock. Not the greatest price but not horrible

Overkill0084 04-19-2013 11:41 PM

Disclosure: I'm still an AR novice.

Last I looked, $130 on up depending on brand & finish.
All other things being equal and using my own money I think that a Hard Chrome finish should be about as exotic as most people will really need, opinions vary of course. IMHO, it makes them a bit easier to clean.
No idea about West Fork Armory.
I haven't been searching very hard, but Most AR parts are still very rare.

Quentin 04-19-2013 11:41 PM

PSA has M16 BCGs pop up occasionally. I ordered one last week for $180, a decent price lately. (Haven't received it yet so can't comment on quality.) I've never bought fancy coatings but my milspec BCGs from BCM (2) and Daniel Defense (1) have functioned well while cleaning hasn't been difficult.

As usual it's hit or miss finding a good BCG, IMO BCM is the best. I'd get on email notification lists and check often.

bige91603 04-19-2013 11:44 PM

I would say go with a PSA if you happen to find one in stock

purehavoc 04-20-2013 01:21 AM

The west fork armory bcgs are R guns and are made by a reputable manufacturer , not R guns . $180 is about the going rate . I own a few of these and there has not been any issues

kbd512 04-20-2013 08:16 AM

1. Shop around. A mil-spec BCG is a mil-spec BCG.

2. Nickel Boron and Chromium platings make clean-up easier. Running AR's dry is not a good idea. If regular reapplication of light oil lubricants irritate you, use a high temperature grease.

3. Avoid brands that have poor customer service. Anyone can get on a forum and blather about how Brand X is better or worse than Brand Y. All that matters is that your BCG works for you. The only way you can know that is to run it.

4. Google is your friend. If you absolutely have to have a BCG, try GunBroker, GunsAmerica, GunAuction, ArmsList, etc. Expect to pay premium prices.

In another few months, AR parts are gonna pop up everywhere after the missus makes her boyfriend/fiancee/husband get rid of all that junk he bought because of the non-existent gun ban to pay for Christmas presents.

firemonkey150 04-20-2013 01:05 PM

BCM is good. Don't think they're in stock though. Their Auto bolt carriers were a few days ago, which is honestly the same thing, just a tad bit heavier.

AgentTikki 04-20-2013 03:43 PM

I'd stay away from Midway's Stoner line of bcgs.

I've had bad luck with BRO Black Rain Ordinance Nickel Boron BCG. There's a thread on it, started by X-mark. I will say tho that take it at face value. That was a sample size of 1, so it may have been just plain dumb bad luck.

I've used PSA, Spike's, Daniel Defense, Rock River Arms SA, Ranier Arm's Thunderbolt and BCM with zero problems. Thousands of rounds each, and only have replaced gas rings.

I do have an LMT and a Young's NM, but only put about 100 rounds through them so far.

sweeper22 04-20-2013 05:09 PM

In the old days (a few months ago), you could find a Spike's M16 BCG for $120 or BCM for $150...but you had to be quick. And those values were impossible to beat. I have a funny feeling those prices will increase at least a little on a permanent basis. If you can find either for under $200, you're doing just fine in my mind. The Spike's is probably every bit as good as the BCM, but BCM enjoys a greater coolness and desireability factor.

I have mixed feelings about NiB. Might be great, cost is high, sounds funny when cycling. When I want a finer finish on a BCG, I'm pretty happy with my experience with Cerakote. You can find the Microslicked STS Arms M16 BCGs for $185-230, and I think they're a solid buy. Have them in two of my rifles. Slick as snot, super smooth actions, well-staked, zero complaints. I've seen them going for $175 opening bid, $200 Buy it Now on GunBroker (just search 'ceramic BCG').

You can also get the STS Cerakotes here for $225 + $6 s&h. That's up about $35 from where they were 3 months ago, but everyone's prices have jumped on BCGs due to severe supply/demand issues that were actually already strained before the recent fiasco. This a product I would recommend to anyone hurting for a higher end BCG for under $250.

I'm very much if favor of buying quality when it comes to BCG. Probably the next most important part after your barrel. All of mine are M16s. Mine include BCM (3), DD (1), Spike's (1), and the STS Microslick (3). All excellent.

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