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which BCM barrel?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by bithabus, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. bithabus


    Jul 6, 2008
    Austin TX
    Thinking about getting a midlength BCM upper. I notice they offer standard, BFH, and SS410. Each jump is about $100. Are either worth the extra cost?
  2. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    Standard is more than fine, for me anyway.

  3. RMTactical

    RMTactical CLM

    Oct 7, 2000
    Behind an AR-15
    Mine is the standard. I am perfectly happy with that. I'll save my $100-200 for my next AR15 build... :)
  4. I have had my BCM middy for about 2 months.
    I opted for the BFH as they were on sale, but
    when I get ready to buy another, I will get the
    standard and use the saved money towards
    extras or ammo.
    The stainless 1/8 twist may shoot a little
    tighter group and be easier to clean, but for
    what most of us AR shooters are looking for
    in a rifle the standard chrome lined 1/7
    does just fine.
    I can't say enough about BCM's quality and
    service and I will be getting another middy in
    the future.
  5. markman


    Dec 30, 2004
    N. IL
    Stick with the standard CLB and save yourself some money.
  6. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    Standard for an all-purpose gun, stainless for a target or "DMR" -type gun. It's worth noting that they use the much tougher 410 stainless, not the 416 or 416R most companies (even Noveske) use for cost savings.

    The hammer-forged barrel craze is a marketing fad. The hammer-forged barrels might retain a bit more strength under sustained, arduous full-auto fire, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that they have no edge in terms of chamber/throat erosion rates over normal 4150 CMV barrels.
  7. bithabus


    Jul 6, 2008
    Austin TX
    Thanks for all the input.

    According to the website, only the SS410 barrels use 410, and those are $200 more than the standard barrels. Did I read that wrong?
  8. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

    Feb 9, 2005
    You're correct. I meant that for their stainless, they use 410. The only other company, off the top of my head, to use this steel in an AR barrel is Sabre. BCM's normal barrels are mil-spec 4150 CMV steel, which is good stuff.
  9. IBreakStuff


    Jan 30, 2010
    the 32nd state
    Your not going to see any noticeable difference in accuracy with any of these barrels unless your shooting match grade ammo.
  10. USMC03


    May 3, 2001
    Southern Colorado
    Stainless barrel is stainless steel and is a different material than a chrome moly barrel. Stainless steel 410 is a harder stainless steel than stainless 416. 416 is what most manufacturers make their stainless barrels out of.

    BFH is a cold hammer forged barrel. Cold hammer forging is a process of making a barrel:

    Accuracy. A few things to consider when talking about accuracy. Many guys get wrapped around the axel about group size instead on staying focused on "practical accuracy".

    Often times I see guys getting in heated debates about 1/2" between two different guns and a majority of their shooting will be done at less than 100 yards, with a non-magnified red dot sight, using 55 grain ammo (not match ammo) that they got at Wal-Mart or the local sporting goods store.

    If you look around the internet, you'll hear a lot of chatter about how much more accurate a stainless barrel is over a chrome lined barrel.

    Generally a stainless barrel is more accurate than a chrome lined barrel, but not always by a huge margin. One example of many, take a look at the info Molon posted in the link below. Compare the group sizes of the Noveske 16" stainless barrel (0.92" average) to the Noveske 16" N4 barrel (1.24" average): The difference is just slightly more than 1/3" (one third of an inch).

    When considering accuracy a few things you may want to ask yourself: Are you going to be shooting ammo (ie. match ammo), with optics (ie. 10x or greater), in conditions (ie. a bench), at distances, etc. that 1/3" is going to matter? Also is your skill set good enough that you can consistantly see 1/3" to 1/2" difference between two barrels on a constant basis?

    More food for thought when thinking about accuracy:

    03designgroup | Which Carbine Is More Accurate [​IMG]

    I wrote this in another thread a few weeks ago (chrome lined vs. stainless). You may find it useful:

    Generally a stainless barrel will be more accurate than a Chrome-Moly-Vanadium (CMV) barrel. Not by a huge margin. One example of many, take a look at the info Molon posted in the link below. Compare the group sizes of the Noveske 16" stainless barrel (0.92" average) to the Noveske 16" N4 barrel (1.24" average): The difference is just slightly more than 1/3" (one third of an inch)

    Generally a stainless barrel will have a slightly shorter service life. Don't take this comment to the extreme.

    Generally a stainless barrel will usually be a heavier countour and thus will be slightly heavier than a CMV barrel.

    Weight comparisions:

    03designgroup | AR15 Upper Receiver Weight Comparisons [​IMG]

    With this being said, Pat Rogers has 29,000 rounds through a standard BCM 16" mid-length barrel, and it's still going strong. Consider that this barrel has been used in a training class enviornment it's entire life. Everytime the gun is rented to a student it's being shot 8+ hours a day and having approximately 1,300 rounds put down range in a 3 day class. None of use have the time or money to abuse a barrel like that.

    For most of us, practical accuracy is much more important than group size. I don't have a problem hitting smaller than average targets out to 425 yards with a 3.5x ACOG or Leupold 1.5-5x with my BCM standard, BFH, or stainless barrels.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010

    HAIL CAESAR Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    In my shop
    USMC03, Great post!:wavey:

    I love the 'axle wrapped" comment, I use it all the time.:rofl: