AR-15 Lightweight Bolt Carrier. Good or Bad?


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hk-sigman
January 24, 2010, 10:38 AM
The complete upper that I just purchased came with a lightweight Colt Bolt carrier group. What are the benefits if any?

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HOLY DIVER
January 24, 2010, 02:00 PM
not sure. my competition H-BAR has the same bolt carrier as you speak of and it shoots great, so realy only thing i can think of is the rifle will cycle faster and i'm not sure if thats good or bad lol but my colt runs great so i don't worry about it

SlamFire1
January 24, 2010, 02:42 PM
I see you have asked this question on AR15.com, maybe a bunch of other forums.

Makers of lightweight carriers claim that it will increase the cyclical rate. A questionable advantage for a semi auto.

I think a lightweight bolt carrier is a bad idea. A heavy bolt carrier is a positive. For AR’s, reducing dwell, by adding weight to the carrier is a desirable feature for reloaders.

Increasing the mass of the carrier is also desirable as it improves function reliability. The best military rifles have high ratios of “carrier” weight compared with bolt weight. The more mass there is available to strip a round from the magazine and close the bolt, the more reliable the mechanism will be.

The AK47 has a particularly high carrier to bolt weight ratio. I have not weighed my PTR91 bolt group, but it is no coincidence that the mass of the carrier is so high.

The AR has never had the reputation of being as reliable as either of these rifles, adding a lightweight bolt carrier would be a step backwards for this design.

In my opinion.

briansmithwins
January 24, 2010, 03:10 PM
The AK47 has a particularly high carrier to bolt weight ratio. I have not weighed my PTR91 bolt group, but it is no coincidence that the mass of the carrier is so high.

You sure about that? I don't have the weights for the bolts separately but the complete bolt/bolt carrier assemblies are actually very close in weight.

I do agree that sticking to the original design as close as possible is a good thing. BSW

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/ARrecipparts.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/AKrecipparts.jpg

Bartholomew Roberts
January 24, 2010, 07:26 PM
Less reciprocating mass means you are back on your target faster. However, it also sacrifices some reliability as described above. The lightweight bolt carriers are popular in 3-gun for this.

The_Hammer_Man
January 25, 2010, 01:39 AM
+1 to the previous posts statement.

The reliability issue can be somewhat mitigated by installing a heavy buffer. That will address the reliability issue but will also cause other problems.

Personally IMHO the whole light weight bolt carrier thing is a solution looking for a problem.

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