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Old November 19, 2019, 05:27 PM   #1
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AR pistol build... PSA or BCM ??

I'm planning my first AR pistol build. Already have a Spikes lower with brace.

Both Palmetto State and Bravo Company have complete AR pistol uppers available. BCM is more expensive. Which one you prefer and why ??? Which brand is better quality ???

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Old November 19, 2019, 06:55 PM   #2
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I have built 2 pistol builds and used PSA kits. Went together fast and easy with no complaints. I would use them again with out a dought.
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Old November 19, 2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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BCM is likely going to be put together a bit better (materials quality and specs) and likely face a more stringent quality control process.
If this is a gun for defense or demanding training, I'd go BCM.

PSA gets generally good reviews, and some trainers recommend them as budget guns/training guns. If you want a reliable upper, that is 80% as refined/tuned but half the price, go with PSA.

I have uppers from both companies, and they are both fine (I don't have a lot of rounds through the PSA uppers, though).
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Old November 19, 2019, 09:11 PM   #4
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My first build was a 300 AAC Blackout on a AP lower. Used the whole kit from PSA. Lower parts kit with enhanced trigger, SBA3 pistol brace, and PSA complete upper. No complaints what so ever. Went together without any problems, functions well, and is accurate with Sig Romeo 5 optic.
Second build, again a AP lower. This time lower kit, and Mag Pull stock from PSA. With AR Stoner complete rifle upper in 450 Bushmaster from Midway USA. Again, quite satisfied with the results.
You might want to look at MidwayUSA uppers just for grins.
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Old November 20, 2019, 01:13 AM   #5
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I bought a PSA pistol upper. No issues so far (~200 rounds- not saying much). Internals and coatings are nothing special. Functional though. I don't think you're going to wow anyone with a PSA anything.

BCM seems higher end. No experience with them though.
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Old November 20, 2019, 10:25 AM   #6
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Just out of curiosity, what's a pistol upper? It's just a short barreled upper, right? Am I missing something?

Of the two, BCM all the way. BCM makes top notch products and their QC is second to none.
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Old November 20, 2019, 12:41 PM   #7
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BCM would be better quality no doubt. But the PSA will work great too. You need to ask what your budget is. If money isn't a concern, I'd go BCM. But if you want to save some money and use the savings for other things, I would go PSA. My pistol upper is also a "budget build" and it's never failed me in the 5+ years I've had it and hundreds of rounds going through it.
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Old November 21, 2019, 06:59 AM   #8
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I’d go BCM if the gun is going to be for serious use. BCM is generally considered to be of higher quality than PSA.
Originally Posted by odugrad View Post
Just out of curiosity, what's a pistol upper? It's just a short barreled upper, right? Am I missing something?
Yeah, it’s just a sub-16” upper than can be used on a pistol or an SBR. You’re right, there’s really no such thing as a “pistol upper” since a pistol can have any length barrel, even over 16”, but it’s a fairly common term.
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Old November 21, 2019, 11:13 PM   #9
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Don't turn your nose up at Palmetto. BCM makes some good stuff for sure but so far I've had nothing but fantastic dependability from all of my PSA builds.

Granted I'm not buying their budget line stuff, but the sentiment still stands.
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Old November 22, 2019, 09:14 AM   #10
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I own both. The BCM is the superior product, hands down.

Better finish, smoother cycling, and BCM's attention to QA/QC is well-known. If this is a defensive gun, it's a no-brainer.

That said, I own several PSAs in several calibers, and none of them have given me any issues, except for one 9x19mm carbine that required a lengthy trip back to PSA to cycle reliably.
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Old November 24, 2019, 12:40 AM   #11
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BCM for business
PSA for pleasure
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