View Full Version : AR chrome bolt/carrier

Mike Baugh
April 20, 2002, 08:08 PM
Has anyone had any experience with chrome bolts and carriers for AR's? I am going to have a varmint upper built and am trying to decide between the MilSpec and chrome version. I know the chrome will clean up easier but was more concerned with excessive wear to the upper and smooth cycling. Thanks, Mike...

April 21, 2002, 09:45 AM
One knock on chrome bolts and carriers is they don't carry the oil as well, and may result in more wear. I don't know this for a fact, but I've never owned an AR with a chrome bolt or carrier either. :)

FWIW, cleaning up the bolt & carrier isn't a problem on any of my guns, I can't see chrome making a significant difference.

4V50 Gary
April 21, 2002, 11:08 AM
I think the wear is more imagined than anything else.

April 21, 2002, 03:33 PM
Probably, but then if the chrome doesn't bring anything positive to the party, why pay extra? :)

Mike Baugh
April 21, 2002, 04:09 PM
The only experience I have with chrome is on several 1911's that I have had hardchromed over the years. They would all clean with just a wipe and cycled much smoother, but that was chrome against chrome, not chrome against aluminum.

The upper I am looking at is around $900 and I dont want to ruin it, but by the same token what is another $80 [the price for upgrading to chrome bolt/carrier] if it is helpful. Thanks, Mike...

April 21, 2002, 04:39 PM
Chrome is harder than aluminum. So as the bolt moves back and forth, that cheap bolt will be protected by the chrome, but the expensive upper will not. So you'll just be causing more wear on the expensive upper.


April 21, 2002, 07:11 PM
I don't know if it'll cause more wear, hopefully being smoother. OTOH, I know of no documented evidence that says it'll cause less wear either. I suspect that most of the benefit from a chrome bolt/carrier will be cosmetic.

Badger Arms
April 22, 2002, 11:13 PM
1) It cleans up easier.
2) Chrome was mil-spec years ago.
3) Chrome is less abrasive than parkerizing!
4) It's shiny and looks pretty.
5) No, it doesn't harm the rifle. I'll relate that many Air Force qualification guns with Chrome Bolt Carriers have gone through hundreds of thousands of rounds and 10's of barrels without the receiver being replaced... Carriers were replaced but not receivers.

And after I've said all that, I still have three AR types and not a one has any chrome parts. Why? Because it AIN'T an issue.

Keith J
April 23, 2002, 05:52 PM
But its benefit there was not justified and regular cleaning is just as adequate.

As far as the receiver wear, all uppers are hard anodized. HA is harder than even chrome plating (anodization is aluminum oxide). After anodization, the receiver is given a dry film moly-disulfide coating to reduce wear of the carrier.

You will find the chrome plating in well-used rifles has been worn away on the carrier raceways. Its the same for the Parkerized carriers.