AR/M16 bolt carrier maker question


July 17, 2007, 07:27 PM
I just ordered a new AR bolt-carrier assembly from a small aftermarket company which has a good reputation on ARFcom. They claim that the parts are truly mil-spec and made by the same company that subcontracts for FN. I know that, despite all the AR gun and parts dealers, there are literally like one and half actual makers of this stuff. Still, how likely does the whole "FN subcontractor" thing sound?

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Don't Tread On Me
July 17, 2007, 07:52 PM
A lot of the parts found in AR's do come from a few places only.

Like uppers. Many companies use the same forge for uppers as a source. Colt, Bushmaster, and even the junk M1S kit guys have used the same.

Same goes for bolts, carriers, trigger parts.

That's not what matters. What matters is what that company does with those parts after they get them.

For example, Colt proof load fires and MPI inspects each and every single bolt. Bushmaster is said to do batch tests. Others do nothing at all.

CMT makes Colt's lower parts kit. But I can tell you right now, that the trigger parts in my Colt are absolutely not the same quality as the CMT parts I've used in other ARs. Colt hand selects the best finished parts. They test them. They finish parts better and smoother. A Colt employee told me the same thing, and I believe it as I've seen the difference with my own eyes beforehand.

So like I said, they might come from the same factory, but they are not all assembled the same, finished the same, tested the same, inspected the same ....

Also, most forges build to your spec. If you order one grade of steel, they will produce in that grade for you. If you order something cheaper....

July 17, 2007, 08:02 PM
Yeah, these "no-name" parts can be a pig in a poke. On the other hand, this same company's house-brand uppers turned out to have Wilson barrels on them according some posts I've read, so that's a good sign. I guess I'll wait until I throw the parts in my upper (which is 100% GI surplus) and see how they run.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 17, 2007, 08:04 PM
Not to mention that parts that don't meet one company's standard have to go somewhere - usually they go to a company who isn't so picky. So it is possible to have parts from an FN subcontractor - parts that FN wouldn't accept for one reason or another (I'm not saying that is the case here; I'm just making the point that having the same subcontractor doesn't necessarily mean the same quality)

July 17, 2007, 08:23 PM
Which Wilson barrel? Wilson Combat or Wilson Arms? Wilson Arms has been mass producing barrels for numerous manufacturers from Ruger to Cooper - in various grades - since 1954.

July 17, 2007, 08:32 PM
Sorry John, not too sure about that one. If necessary, I could always cancel my order and grab something else.

July 18, 2007, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the input, folks. I cancelled my order and got another bolt carrier group directly from CMT/Stag. For exactly the same cost, I now have the benefit of knowing exactly what I'm getting. Stag also claims to MPI their bolts, so that's icing on the cake.

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