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Old October 15, 2021, 12:52 PM   #1
kymasabe
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Bear Creek Arsenal Side Charging Upper...

So, while I'm busy fooling around with my stuck-like-chuck cases in my Bushmaster barrels, I decided to roll the dice on a complete BCA side charging upper receiver. It's heavier than I expected, I'm not a fan of phosphate coated barrels (prefer nitride), and not sure if I'm in love with the side charging handle set-up. I'm on the fence about whether or not to keep it.
Is .223 Wylde, 16 inch barrel, carbine length gas, 1:8 twist, free float 12inch M-LOK handguard, A2 flash hider.
Paid $220.00 for it with free shipping.
This is another example of why I should not window-shop online at 2:00AM when I can't sleep.
Anyone have any experience with these things that might help me decide whether to keep it or send it back?
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Old October 17, 2021, 11:54 AM   #2
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I have several, both first and second Gen side charging. I like them, but it's going to be a personal preference thing....you like them or you don't. I like side charging, but I don't like the harder takedown and cleaning due to having to remove the handle. It's a tradeoff.
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Old October 27, 2021, 06:37 AM   #3
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I have the Stoner AR side charging upper from Midway. I like it very much. Similar to yours, not sure if the same.
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Old October 27, 2021, 04:31 PM   #4
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I've only owned one side-charging upper (9mm from FM Products), but it was a no-go for me... way too many years using the rear-charging AR, and way more of them in the rack. I sold that upper shortly after getting it.
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Old October 27, 2021, 09:03 PM   #5
7.62 man
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I do own a few BCA uppers & they are all top notch.
If you are having problems with yours get in contact with them they have a very good customer service team.
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Old October 27, 2021, 11:57 PM   #6
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BCA is garbage tier, as far as quality control.
Don't buy cheap unless you know the brand.
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Old October 28, 2021, 01:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
BCA is garbage tier, as far as quality control.
Don't buy cheap unless you know the brand.
Agreed. If I were in OP's position, I'd sell off the barrel, gas block, and handguard. Toss the bolt in the spare parts bin. Bolt carrier itself is decent. And replace barrel, gas block, bolt, and handguard with known good parts. Have a quality side charger.
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Old October 28, 2021, 06:00 AM   #8
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Update: well, turns out I really like this side charging thing. I had AK's for a decade before selling them all and switching to AR's, so right side charging doesn't feel "wrong" to me. And, as much as I want to dislike Bear Creek Arsenal, I gotta say...this upper runs great, no jams. I've only function tested, haven't scoped it yet for ccx accuracy and probably won't. My only complaints with it is the barrel is supposed to be M4 profile, but looks fat and is heavy as heck. BCA says it 2.5 lbs barrel. So, my plan is to disassemble the upper, toss the barrel, gas block and handguard in the parts bin, and the plan us Faxom Gunner barrel, or KAK lightweight barrel, with a delta ring and handguard cap so I can use a light polymer handguard, preferably Magpul MOE SL. Then, red dot and done.
Regarding BCA customer service...has been excellent so far. My side charger arrived with a chips in the finish in the end of the charging handle, emailed BCA and sent a pic of the handle, they responded within a day and sent me a new charging handle, arrived a few days later.
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Last edited by kymasabe; October 28, 2021 at 08:16 AM.
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Old October 28, 2021, 08:42 AM   #9
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Glad to see you enjoying the side-charger. They should have been manufactured that way from the get go. I love these dudes who are certified manufacturer/brand experts. Unless you have documented 90+ % no-gos from several users, disregard their BS. No brand is perfect. I have a higher end Gibbz and feel certain, were it forensically-examined, flaws and negative comments would arise.
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Old October 28, 2021, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
I love these dudes who are certified manufacturer/brand experts.
Well, considering I've used more than a handful of key components from them, including barrels, bolts, and receivers, I'd say I'm allowed to speak on my own experience. My last barrel from them had a bore that looked like they pounded a threaded rod down it with a hammer. I also had one of their bolts shear a lug in under 1000 rounds. I will say customer service took care of me both times, but I just wish their CS wasn't needed as often as it seems to be.
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Old October 28, 2021, 10:00 AM   #11
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Good to hear that you like it. Hopefully, it will hold up for your use.

I built a rifle around a MEGA SBU side-charging upper receiver and Young Manufacturing BCG some time ago. Too heavy.
I liked the side-charging. But it was far too heavy for the application.
That upper went through three or four reconfigurations (where it was still always too heavy) before it ended up being combined with a heavy barrel, heavy free float tube, and heavy gas block, and ended up as a varmint rig that weighs in at a ridiculous 13 lbs.

Good application for it. Just not at all what I had envisioned when I bought it.


Quote:
I love these dudes who are certified manufacturer/brand experts.
Did you know that it is possible for a company to put out both good and bad products, and for those products to go to different people? And, amazingly, the probability of a person getting bad products more than once increases as the company's level of quality control decreases?
Shocking and incredible, I know.

Quote:
I will say customer service took care of me both times, but I just wish their CS wasn't needed as often as it seems to be.
^That.

They are the Lee Precision of the AR world.
"It was bad right out of the box and never should have left the factory? Really. Well, send us the parts and pay for shipping, and roll the dice on whether we'll send you another bad part from the same lot or one that actually represents what you paid for."
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Old October 28, 2021, 07:07 PM   #12
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^ ^ ^ Sounds a lot like current production Ruger, S&W, Taurus,, Kimber etc. ^ ^ ^

Nearly all large volume makers just do sampling these days, and don't examine every item. Sadly, attention to detail slips away in that way of doing things. Even worse, consumers rarely demand they do better 'out of the box' but will be quick to praise the customer service.

Welcome to the 21st century.
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Old October 29, 2021, 07:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankenMauser View Post
Good to hear that you like it. Hopefully, it will hold up for your use.

I built a rifle around a MEGA SBU side-charging upper receiver and Young Manufacturing BCG some time ago. Too heavy.
I liked the side-charging. But it was far too heavy for the application.
That upper went through three or four reconfigurations (where it was still always too heavy) before it ended up being combined with a heavy barrel, heavy free float tube, and heavy gas block, and ended up as a varmint rig that weighs in at a ridiculous 13 lbs.

Good application for it. Just not at all what I had envisioned when I bought it.



Did you know that it is possible for a company to put out both good and bad products, and for those products to go to different people? And, amazingly, the probability of a person getting bad products more than once increases as the company's level of quality control decreases?
Shocking and incredible, I know.

^That.

They are the Lee Precision of the AR world.
"It was bad right out of the box and never should have left the factory? Really. Well, send us the parts and pay for shipping, and roll the dice on whether we'll send you another bad part from the same lot or one that actually represents what you paid for."
Previously stated. No brand is perfect.

If implying this company has a documented history of selling an increased number of poor products due to inadequate QC, post the hard data or just shut ....
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Old November 7, 2021, 09:48 PM   #14
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Still running strong, love this thing. Only complaint is that it's heavy as hell.
https://www.bearcreekarsenal.com/cal...uard-scg2.html
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Old November 13, 2021, 09:36 PM   #15
berettaprofessor
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Funny thing. I’m on my 5th BCA upper, both rear and side charging, and they’re all accurate and run well. But for that matter, my side-charging FM9 is one of my favorites.
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Old November 14, 2021, 05:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
If implying this company has a documented history of selling an increased number of poor products due to inadequate QC, post the hard data or just shut ....
A thirty second search of the interwebs will provide you with what you need.
If that is too much, try some introspection and the search terms, "burden of proof fallacy."
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Old November 14, 2021, 07:43 AM   #17
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"Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe." 'Nuf said.
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Old November 21, 2021, 08:35 AM   #18
kymasabe
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Update: I had written a mostly, but not completely, good review on this product, my complaints were its weight.
Review was live for a little while but I now see is gone, which has me wondering...
1. If Bear Creek Arsenal censors their reviews.
2. And if they do, then none of their reviews can be trusted, and therefore BCA themselves can't be trusted.
(...or am I just extra-paranoid on this chilly Sunday morning?)
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Old November 21, 2021, 03:06 PM   #19
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They are known to delete reviews that are not what they believe to be favorable.
BHW/CRA does the same thing.
Post a negative review, it gets deleted. If you post a not-quite-positive review, they'll hold the review and contact you within 48 hours to try to persuade you to change your mind. If you don't, the review goes into the shredder.
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