View Full Version : Noob AR Question (Bolt Carrier Group)

January 4, 2013, 12:58 AM
Guys sorry for the noob question but I'm working on putting the parts together as I can find them to build my first AR Fankengun! My question is this, I recently found a stripped upper with the forward assist option, I am unsure as to what type of BCG to purchase, do some of them have an orientation for forward assist vs non forward assist?? I have only seen one bolt carrier group that specified either way. I just want to make sure that I don't order the wrong part once I find it!

Thank you guys so much for all your help! :)

January 4, 2013, 01:36 AM
Most BCGs have the serrated carrier for a forward assist and they also will fit in a receiver without the FA. I have heard of smooth carriers for ARs without the FA (which would prevent the FA from functioning in a rifle with the FA) but honestly those carriers are rare so I never gave it a thought when buying a BCG. I don't think you have much to worry about and as hard as it is to find a BCG today, maybe you'd better get one if you stumble across one.

January 4, 2013, 01:46 AM
Quentin, that was a perfect reply and I really appreciate it! So in summary I won't worry about the forward assist on the BCG as the gun will still function regardless, hopefully I don't end up with a smooth bolt but I will not worry about it for now if I do. It seems to be one part that is nearly impossible to find at cost at the moment. Are there any companies that would be good to back order one with that will not make me waite a year? :rolleyes:

January 4, 2013, 02:13 AM
SK, yes if you were incredibly unlucky and somehow ended up with a smooth carrier the rifle still should function properly except that the forward assist couldn't grab the carrier and thus wouldn't function. That would be the only feature that wouldn't work.

I'm a milspec guy and like the full auto/M16 quality BCGs from BCM, Daniel Defense, Colt, PSA and a few others. I have two from BCM, one from DD and never an issue with any of them. You'll find a lot of people who say it doesn't matter whether the milspec steels and other specs are adhered to but I say why not go with what the military demands, they do know a thing or two about the M16/M4 after 50 years.

Anyway all that may be moot now. The commercial BCGs should work and it's hard to find anything so you may have to jump on something, anything if you're desperate. I don't know how backorders are handled by the various vendors but hopefully someone else who has bought lately can chime in. The only thing I've seen is some of the boutique BCGs like Black Rain, FailZero and Young tend to be available since they cost about $250+. Good luck!

January 4, 2013, 02:21 AM
Quentin, thanks again for all the great feed back, I decided to place a back order for the Daniesl Defense BCG on the Brownells site (http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/bolt-parts/bolt-carrier-parts/bolt-carriers/ar-15-m16-bolt-carrier-groups-prod27650.aspx), if I come across another one I will grab it as BCG's are a part that you should have a back-up for anyway or so I'm told.

I am not super concerned about it as I just purchased a new at cost Noveske yesterday (right place, right time) (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510976) which I'll have soon, this is more of a fun project for me :D

I currently have a LAR lower, lower parts kit, stripped upper reciever, barrel, and Magpul furniture in OD green. So this project may take awhile but I'll definitely grab the parts as find them. I am really likeing this site and am glad I joined you fine folks!

January 4, 2013, 02:42 AM
Oh yeah I did read your post about scoring on the Noveske! Congrats, that's one fine rifle! And it comes with a milspec BCG so you'll have it to compare to whatever BCG you end up with. Hope you can also score the DD BCG, I like the one I got 2.5 years ago.

In a pinch you could borrow the Noveske BCG to test your new upper.

Yeah it's not a bad idea to have a backup BCG but every spare I've had has morphed into another AR instead. :D

January 4, 2013, 10:33 AM
BTW if you don't want the FA and don't want to spend the $ for the unwanted parts, there's neat little delrin plug that fills the FA hole and is held by the roll pin. I put one on the 300 AAC I just finished and it looks pretty good.

January 4, 2013, 02:10 PM
Mobuck, that's a great tip which I will keep in my pocket for future builds. I was lucky enough to find both a stripped bolt carrier and complete bolt carier group in stock today and jumped on them, I noticed that they bolth had the side serations (now that I know what they are for :D) for forward assists from the photos. Thanks again, you guys have been great!

January 4, 2013, 03:20 PM
Now that your question is answered, can you tell me where you found a BCG of any kind for sale? Looking for one myself.

OOPS! Just read your post where you back ordered it.
BTW, I can't imagine why anyone would tell you you need a back up BCG. Not much there to break or wear out. I could see possibly needing an extra extractor with spring and pin and maybe even a gas key after a very high round count but the carrier itself is pretty much a solid piece of steel. I have never needed any spare parts due to wear or breakage in 36 years of shooting M16s and AR15s. Now I have lost a spring here or there.

January 4, 2013, 03:43 PM
Slappy, if you had had a spare BCG you wouldn't be looking for one now! :p

Sorry, just kidding. Couldn't resist. Anyway, you're right, you don't need a spare until you need a spare.

January 4, 2013, 04:25 PM
You do have a point. :D

January 4, 2013, 05:33 PM
Some carry a spare BCG so that if something breaks while you are using the rifle you can just insert the whole spare BCG and go on shooting. Repairs to what ever broke in the unit can be repaired later on at a more convenient time.

January 4, 2013, 06:35 PM
Yes but, my point was that in 36 years of military and civilian use of the AR/M16 I have never had a part break on me to where I needed a spare, in the field or otherwise. I know it is possible, especially the extractor but it just isn't something I would be too concerned about personally.

January 4, 2013, 06:58 PM
All great input! I just noticed that the BCG I linked above is curiously no longer available for backorder so glad I ordered it when I did, I will now potentially have 3 BCG's, one if the site comes through, the one on back order and a third bolt stripped carier, I don't mind as I'm sure they will all simply morph into rifles :D.

I will also have a spare stripped upper and 14.5" barrel to work with as well so my third AR is quickly takeing shape.

I didnt know how addicting this would be. My next project will be to purchase an AK kit for the reciever I have. I plan on getting all the tools to put it together which is pretty expensive but people who have them and know how to put them together are very rare and I think they may become very handy very quickly all things considered.

I managed to build my own home from the ground up cash (took me 8 years) and I'm only 35, I'll be building a workshop under the house so this crazy hobby of mine may become something more with a proper tooled shop! :D

January 5, 2013, 01:25 PM
plouffedaddy has a channel on youtube and he made a great video about what BCG to get

January 5, 2013, 02:01 PM
Slappy, I haven't had a flat tire on any of my last 3 pick up trucks and over 400,000 miles of driving. Would you recommend I throw out the spare tire? :)

January 5, 2013, 03:52 PM
Well if your tires were made out of steel I certainly would. :D Can you say apples and oranges?