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Experience with Bear Creek Arsenal?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sour Kraut, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I have never owned any of their products, only seen them in use by others, mostly during classes. What stands out whenever I have been in an environment where people were really using their rifles hard was what I said earlier. Cheap AR's are cheap for a reason. They don't work as well as quality AR's.

    It all depends on what the person wants from their weapon. I want a weapon that I can be confident is going to be reliable, durable and accurate long term. That necessitates spending more money. Most AR owners, at least from my observation, want one because it's cool and they want to occasionally turn some money into noise on the range. A cheap AR does that just fine. The problems arise when people think that all AR's are created equal or fairly close. As long as people are honest with themselves about what they're buying that's fine, which is why I didn't just flat out say that the OP shouldn't buy a Bear Creek weapon, I said there's a reason they cost what they do.
     
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  2. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I think, that you think poorly of over 50% of AR owners. Just going out to mindlessly create noise. Although, even if true, it’s their money.

    Just because someone doesn’t drop $3k on STI or Les Baer, or more on high-end rifles, doesn’t mean they just want to make noise. It might mean they bought something for a purpose and wanted something to fill that need and not break the bank. And I bet not many people torture test those high-end firearms either.

    BCA might not be on par with a DD, BCM, or LMT. But they do perform, and do so at a great value.

    But you are correct. We should be honest with ourselves. We aren’t snipers in the suck.
     
  3. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    I have a free floated 7.62x39 upper that has been great. Functions flawlessly with both steel and brass cased ammo and is very accurate. I am very impressed with it.

    I am thinking of picking up a 450 bushmaster
     
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  4. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I was talking about this topic today at work (Not BCA related but another lower cost known manufacturer) with a gun enthusiast co worker. He brought up a pretty good point. He said something along the lines that was more or less like this. If a company makes garbage they will not stay in business because there are several other manufacturers out there that are selling lower cost units that are working good.

    In my opinion he has a valid point. I'm not a big roller and I have to work for my stuff. For my usage I'm not putting my life on the line and as mentioned already definitely not a sniper in the suck. I am happy with assembling a $500-600 AR vs a $3000 rifle.

    I also don't agree with the AR owner just wanting to go out and make noise. Maybe my shooting skill level is self taught but I can shoot pretty decent. I also take pride in saying the rifle you see me shooting was purchased in peices and assembled by myself. I bet I can shoot better than some and keep shooting when you send your rifle off to the Smith for a cleaning.
     
  5. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I bought a Bear Creek Arsenal 7.62 upper earlier this year and coupled it with a lower kit from....PSA I think it was, and some cheap lower I bought a few years ago. I'm not necessarily an AR guy, but insist on accurate equipment. The BCA didn't disappoint. Below is my first group in the 200 yd. sight-in process:

    Bear%20Creek%207.62%20Upper_zpspudjtdmm.jpg

    At some point I'll try handloads in it.

    More money = higher quality used to be true in a time when craftsmen stood over lathes and milling machines and hand fitted parts. But in this day and age with automated equipment, quality products are less expensive than they once were. But some people insist on paying more; I have a buddy who thinks the more he shells out for a firearm, the better off he is. I just smile and nod, because I can still kill more doves with my 96 year old pump Winchester than he can with his $2000 Browning.

    35W
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Think about what it would cost to produce that Model 12 today. That's why it isn't made today, nobody would pay $1500 (and that's on the low end of the estimate) for a pump made like that when a new 870 or Mossberg 500 will do anything a Model 12 can do.
     
  7. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Between friends and family, we have 5, 450’s from BCA. ALL OF THEM run great and are very consistent in their groups.

    I do want to add something to what I said earlier. I don’t want to seem like a hater on those who can afford the high end firearms. We have guys on here who have several thousand dollar firearms. And really, that’s great. I think it’s awesome that people can own things like H&H, Westley Richards, Kreighoff, Les Baer, Wilson, LMT, BCM, and the like. And I love when members (or Moderators) post pictures of them and tell their stories.

    When I was younger, I thought lever action rifles were dumb. Bolt action rifles were the only thing serious hunters used. If you weren’t a wannabe cowboy, or a hillbilly, you didn’t want a levergun. That’s what I’d read and was told. And then I got my first one given to me. Sometimes what you’re told and read, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially from those that have never owned, or even shot one.
     
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  8. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I don't think poorly of them, I think realistically of them based on my observations of them. Of course it's their money, to do with as they please. That has nothing to do with what I said.
    They perform what the average AR owner asks of them.
    You are correct that more money doesn't automatically mean more quality. There is a point of diminishing returns. However, there is also a point on the low end where the quality simply isn't there. I've seen it, many times. Cheap AR's do not hold up to hard use.
     
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  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The M16 A1 I was issued was made by the lowest bidder. It definitely did hold up well. It was made shortly after I was (me 1963, it 1964, by H&R, the lower was anyway) and had been to war. I almost melted a barrel down shooting up leftover ammo after ranges, but that was easily replaced.

    Sure I'd like to own an LWRCM6A1, but the Palmetto, Bear Creek, Alex Arms (MN made!) and CDNN parts in my AR's do the job, and I am well trained in repair/replacement were they to fail.

    There are some names out there I would avoid like the plague. The companies are long gone, but the guns are still around.
     
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  10. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Hmm. The Henderson Range guys on the AR forum said the PSAs *uppers* hold up just as well as their Colt and DD do. They have them mated up with full auto lowers and put 10,000's of rounds through them as rentals in Las Vegas.

    * edit for clarification
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  11. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Not to derail the OP topic, I have put together some low-cost ARs using BCA as my go-to assembled uppers with no complaints so far. Service has been quick, no major finish flaws, all have run out of the box without problems.
     
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  12. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Got a link?
     
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  13. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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  14. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I have bought 2 of their barrels. One I shot a lot of ammo through and it was accurate enough. 3” 5 shot grips at 100 yards with iron sights and my eyesight. ;)

    The latest barrel seems okay but I haven’t shot it near enough to say one way or the other.
     
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  15. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    That's a fantastic thread. The best way to read it is to scroll the page and only read the posts by HendersonDefense.

    His thread on shotguns is interesting as well. Essentially he says that both Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are disposable guns that fail after 3-4 weeks of use.
     
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  16. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Oh right. I remember seeing that thread before. I'll just say this and leave it at that. The way you wrote it, I thought you meant that they were using PSA rifles, but the only PSA part on it was the upper, not the whole weapon. FWIW, generally speaking, the upper is one of the least problem prone parts on an AR. I'm not saying that lower budget AR's are all total garbage (I think PSA is probably the best of the low budget ones, from what I've seen), I'm just saying that people need to be realistic about what they're buying.
     
  17. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    The OP was asking specifically about buying an upper, not a completed rifle.
     
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  18. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Perhaps you know something the rest of us don't. That's certainly not what he said.
     
  19. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    So I’m curious, what AR’s did you decide to buy? Why did you choose them? What real world return did you get for your investment?
     
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  20. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Not gonna say. This thread isn't about my AR's.
    The confidence that comes from knowing I have a quality tool that's less likely to let me down when I need it most.
     
  21. smike223

    smike223 Member

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    Hmmm, this thread sure is similar to one on the firing line forum, titled low price=malfunction. Thankfully, we live in America where we can argue about such trivial things. Happy thanksgiving everybody.
     
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  22. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    I think that every one pretty much has more or less made excellent points without the garbage throwing on this topic that occurs on some other forums. Bearcreek is probably accurate in that most folks buy an AR for more or less a range rifle or because it might be banned or some other such reason. I think that it is fair to say that more people probably go through handgun training than for long arms and even fewer probably go through long arms tactical type training in the dirt, rain, etc. Henderson Defense in that famous long AR thread, even indicates as much as the folks going there fire mag dumps at relatively close range but they are not playing Audie Murphy when doing so. Others are chiming in with their real life experiences with Bearcreek products and most seem to be satisfied with their purchases.

    As a personal disclosure, I assembled uppers using Bearcreek barrels and they were acceptable enough for what I bought them for. One was for an AR 7.62x39 pistol upper and I had no desire to build an accurized $1000 upper for an essentially crippled AR without a stock using blaster quality steel cased ammo. After what happened with bumpstocks, I really did not want to spend a lot of money for something that I might have to get rid of.

    The other was a cheap bone stock M4gery 16" barrel using iron sights. I have no desire to crawl around in the mud, cold, etc. as I have been there and done that and the M4gery functions well enough for my 2-3 MOA expectations using range fodder 55gr ammo. If I did, I have other AR's to do that with. On the other hand, Bearcreek had a period a few years ago where apparently some folks on forums reported that they had some issues.

    AR's and their parts are one of those things that has become a commodity. Nitriding barrels used to be extremely expensive, now it isn't. Quad rails used to be the price of budget bolt rifles, now they are in the remainder bin at Numrich, and so on. For awhile, chrome lined barrels were very expensive versus chrome/moly as were stainless steel barrels, both have come down in price related to chrome/moly. Triggers ditto.

    AR's have essentially become a mass market item compared with twenty years ago or so. Thus, to distinguish themselves (and to get a higher price for their goods), all sorts of distinctions by manufacturers are made, some are cosmetic, and some are not. Some aim at specific niches such as 3-gun competitions or using non-standard innovations such as POF. Other sellers aim at the low end of the market where something usually has to give to some extent, in some cases it is fit and finish, advertising, and service. For other makers it may be that critical parts such as barrels and bolts may vary more in quality, and the cheaper may be using generic parts from the lowest cost supplier (usually from China or thereabouts). I see the same thing in the computer industry.

    The major issue, assuming no actual faulty parts, is the quality of the assembler in making a rifle work. Knowledgeable folks willing to do some handfitting when assembling themselves or returning out of spec parts or rifles, can get a functioning AR rifle for cheaper than the "brand names".

    Those that do not want the hassle factor can buy name brand and pay the freight and return the sucker if not perfect. Those that want a rifle to excel above and beyond the generous military accuracy std. and function usually for a niche function such as 3-gun, combat type training, or long range shooting, will usually have to pay for what they want.

    And so it goes where you place your bets and take your chances.
     
  23. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Anyone tried any of the BCA pistol barrels?

    I had never heard of the company until reading through this thread, ended up buying a threaded stainless glock barrel for about $50 shipped.
     
  24. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    They seem fine from what I've seen. There 1 moa guaranty is good to the 10.5 inch barrels and up.
     
  25. James Fonteneaux

    James Fonteneaux Member

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    The Army saw fit to issue me an M16A2 with a lower made by Hydramatic Division of GM. I didn't get a choice in the matter. Luckily I only had to use it on the training ranges, but it performed that duty with aplomb. Even in VERY sandy conditions. I have no doubt there are echelons of performance in what you can buy, a person should buy the best they can afford. I've bought a couple of BCA uppers and been very happy with them so far, but the round count is pitifully low, so get back to me in a few years. You don't need a Ferrari to go to the grocery store...
     
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