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Posted: 12/18/2003 10:15:32 PM EDT
http://www.dpmsinc.com/Products/bcba-1as.jpg

  Do we have anyone who uses a chrome bolt and bolt carrier in their ar's?  I would think logically since a lot of carbon build up is going on within the heart of the weapons internals... having a chrome surface would be extrememly easy to clean.  I sort of got this idea from cleaning my chrome gas rod on my SKS... i just wiped it with a rag and it came back shining...

  Are their any strength issues with chrome being a bolt carrier?  Would it indeed be easier to clean?  Is it worth it?  Those who have it are you pleased?  etc... Any Suggestions?
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 12:25:34 AM EDT
There are plenty of people who use chromed carriers.  There are no problems, there is no flaking, they clean up great.  Unnecessary but worth it IMO.  The LBC is the finest chrome carrier I have seen in both fit and finish.  The only bad thing is that the cost a little more.  My Smith Enterprises "match" M16 carrier assembly has so many machine marks, I don't know if it would be easier to clean or not - get a good one if you do and the LBC if you can.  The Knight's wasn't bad either.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 1:36:51 AM EDT
If I were to buy a chrome bolt and carrier could I just install in the rifle, or is headspace between the barrel and new bolt and carry assy goin to be a problem?
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 2:56:11 AM EDT
Just slip it right in. That's what she said.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 6:34:23 AM EDT
I feel confident someone with much more knowledge on this subject will come along, but I do remember reading somewhere in some military data that chromed bolts and/or bolt carriers are not allowed as the hardened surfaces will aggresively wear more on the receivers.  I think I saw it when I was working in a small arms repair shop at Ft. Lewis, WA back in the mid '70's.

I believe the interior of the Bolt Carrier is the only part allowed to be chromed.

Big Al
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 8:44:44 AM EDT
That is a myth.  "Allowed"?  By who? There is no law.  The chrome has higher lubricity factors.  As long as the carrier does not become out of tolerance due to chrome plating over standard mil-spec, it's fine.  LBC not only machines the bolt to tolerance before chrome plating, but after as well.  Many people are using chrome carriers and they are also used in match uppers.  Les Baer's and Knights's match carriers are chromed, so far no complaints I know of.  I also have a Smith Enterprises "Match" carrier - all chrome.  DPMS makes a chrome carrier, yada yada.  Leave the 70's behind, it's a new millenia - live in the now.  While chrome isn't required, it is not a bad thing in a properly spec'd chrome carrier.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 9:20:09 AM EDT
Where can I get one of these?...Link?


Link Posted: 12/19/2003 9:59:30 AM EDT
AK_MIKE,
What does LBC stand for?
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 11:52:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2003 12:23:04 PM EDT by Russ4777]
I use chrome carriers & bolts in 5 of the 7 ARs I have now.  Absolutely NO PROBLEMS!!!  Beware of urban legends.

LBC (Les Baer Custom) and Young National Match are by far the best.  Actually the LBCs are made by Young but have the LBC logo laser engraved on them.  Both are made to the same patent number.

They are slightly larger in diameter than a standard GI carrier and fit most uppers with a lot less slop.  The patented design uses additional longitudinal ridges that increase the bearing surface area that rides against the inside of the upper.  This means LESS wear of the upper with age, better bolt to extension lug alignment, and more repeatable bolt positioning when in battery.  Another nice feature of the LBC/Young carriers is the full, M16-like hammer ramp on the lower side.  Better protection for the firing pin shoulder and keeps the F.P. Retaining Pins from getting bent by the F.P. if it catches on the hammer during forward carrier motion.

Here's some links for both with pictures.....

[url]http://www.lesbaer.com/ar223b.html[/url]
[url]http://metalcraft-ar15.com/bolts.htm[/url]

DPMS also offers a variety of chrome carriers and bolt.  However, theirs are based on the standard GI/Mil Spec design and the machining is not quite as good....rougher finish and tool drag marks on the O.D.  

Smith Enterprises also makes very nice chrome carriers based on the GI pattern.  

[url]http://www.smithenterprise.com/buy/boltcarriers.asp[/url]

There are other suppliers that carry chrome parts.  Keep checking around.

Aside from being much easier to clean, the chrome just looks better IMHO.

Go look at this for fun.....

[url]http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5,551,179.WKU.&OS=PN/5,551,179&RS=PN/5,551,179[/url]


Link Posted: 12/19/2003 5:28:59 PM EDT
It is impossible for an object with a coating with a better coefficient of friction to wear the upper more.  If a hard chromed carrier or bolt is not properly heat treated to release hydrogen accumulated from the plating process, hydrogen embrittlement can occur and cause the metal to fatigue easily.  There have been a few reports of DPMS bolts breaking at the cam pin.  The likely cause is lack of proper heat treatment after hard chroming.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 5:42:34 PM EDT
Exactly what DevL said!  I hate when people on this site suggest that wear would be worse.

Common sense would tell you that a slicker surface would decrease wear.  Not to mention that it would take a trillion rounds to notice any significant receiver wear.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 5:56:10 PM EDT
Any opinions on sending out my current carrier group to be hard chromed and who will do this work?
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 6:00:36 PM EDT
Accurate Plating will do it for a reasonable price.  I used Armoloy for hard chroming 3 of my revolvers but they use a vapor honing process on the base metal which will leave it matte (slightly bead blasted look) but makes carbon removal a pain in the butt and its less slick untill it wears in and you get shiney spots in wear areas anyway.  AP&W (Cogan Customs) is your best bet.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 6:09:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DevL:
Accurate Plating will do it for a reasonable price.  I used Armoloy for hard chroming 3 of my revolvers but they use a vapor honing process on the base metal which will leave it matte (slightly bead blasted look) but makes carbon removal a pain in the butt and its less slick untill it wears in and you get shiney spots in wear areas anyway.  AP&W (Cogan Customs) is your best bet.
View Quote


What would be the name of finish type to ask for?

Thanks for your good info.
Link Posted: 12/19/2003 10:13:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2003 10:14:07 PM EDT by KZ45]
What's the min. you'll pay for a LBC bolt and carrier?

Anyone have any concerns that the reflection of light off of the bolt could give their position away ? Just trying to think of  neg's.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 7:51:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KZ45:
Anyone have any concerns that the reflection of light off of the bolt could give their position away ? Just trying to think of  neg's.
View Quote


Just keep the dust cover closed and you have one less thing to worry about.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 12:49:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KZ45:
What's the min. you'll pay for a LBC bolt and carrier?
View Quote


I'd go as low as accepting one for free. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 4:56:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2003 4:57:16 PM EDT by Russ4777]
LBC's direct price for a complete Carrier & bolt assembly is $189.00.  See the middle of this page......

[url]http://www.lesbaer.com/pricnga.html[/url]

Not a bad price when you consider the chrome finish, the improved design carrier, a titanium firing pin, McFarland gas ring, and a REALLY heavy duty extractor spring with black buffer insert.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 5:11:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 8:26:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy:
Still, I'm not sure I would trust the low-end models to take all of the steps necessary to get the desired result.  As others have mentioned, hydrogen embrittlement is a real problem that MUST be addressed if the parts are going to last.  But since these processes (to solve the hydrogen embrittlement problem) aren't outwardly visible to the end user, it's easy for a company to skip, at a substantial costs savings.  By the time the customer has a problem, changes are that the customer won't bother to try to get a refund/exchange.

I would have no problem trusting the Les Baer KAC, or LMT parts, though.  Those guys are experts, and will get it done right.

-Troy
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Words of wisdom worth repeating!
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 10:59:10 PM EDT
I use the chromed extractors and ejectors for a year now and they are great.Im thinking of the cam pin and carrier key next.Now if they would just chrome the entire inside of the carrier  out to the rear and the inside firing pin tract of the bolt you could still have a parkerized bolt and carrier with just the vital parts exposed more to fouling chromed I would be all set.
Link Posted: 12/20/2003 11:22:14 PM EDT
Well, I think that you should be hesitant about using chrome bolts and carriers for this reason.  What would happen if the universe had this electronic pulse go through it and all chromium atoms instantaneously froze to each other, and welded you bolt into your weapon system. Now that would make you tactically ineffective.   Food for thought as you go to bed tonight jar3ds.

Link Posted: 12/21/2003 4:00:58 AM EDT
Can I polish chrome with metal polish and will it smooth out even more? Any ill effects?

Would a lube like militec-1 adhear to chrome surfaces with heat? (Militec guys know what im talking about)
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 8:18:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2003 8:19:14 AM EDT by bigbore]
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 10:01:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Matth3wdean:
Well, I think that you should be hesitant about using chrome bolts and carriers for this reason.  What would happen if the universe had this electronic pulse go through it and all chromium atoms instantaneously froze to each other, and welded you bolt into your weapon system. Now that would make you tactically ineffective.   Food for thought as you go to bed tonight jar3ds.

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holy shit dude, that has to be the funniest thing ive read here in about the past month.

if we ever meet, the first one's on me.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 10:14:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2003 10:15:00 AM EDT by Russ4777]
Knife_Sniper:

You cannot easily "polish" a hard chrome finish.  This stuff is not decorative chrome as on a truck bumper and is not dispositioned on the part with the same process.  Hard chrome is as the name implies....It's harder than shit!!  It does not respond well to conventional liquid polishes or buffing wheel compounds.  About the only way you can further smooth it out is with a carbide or diamond impregnated rubber wheel like the Dremel polishing points.


Link Posted: 12/21/2003 6:09:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hapjack:
Originally Posted By DevL:
Accurate Plating will do it for a reasonable price.  I used Armoloy for hard chroming 3 of my revolvers but they use a vapor honing process on the base metal which will leave it matte (slightly bead blasted look) but makes carbon removal a pain in the butt and its less slick untill it wears in and you get shiney spots in wear areas anyway.  AP&W (Cogan Customs) is your best bet.
View Quote


What would be the name of finish type to ask for?

Thanks for your good info.
View Quote


They have a matte, polished and regular hard chrome.  You just want regular hard chrome.  The polished and matte is from how they bolish the substrate metal and not the process itself.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 8:58:42 PM EDT
My DPMS M4 came with a chromed carrier, and I love it.  Admittedly, it does have some machining marks on it, but it is smooooth when the action cycles, and cleaning can be done with noting more than a rag to wipe it off. It also looks quite snazzy with the ejection port open [8D]

I should also mention in response to some urban legends that the carrier has yet to flake off chrome bits or shatter catastorphically. no, really, the DPMS chrome carrier has not exploded in to little pieces just from tapping the forward assist [rolleyes]

Is it necessary?  No.  Is it nice if you have the extra money.  Sure, I would go with it.

Just my two cents worth...
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 10:36:02 PM EDT
Oh yeah, (just the west side of the) LBC gets their carriers from good ole Ronny.
Link Posted: 12/21/2003 10:36:13 PM EDT
After reading this discussion I think I'll pick up an LBC bolt and carrier. It won't arrive in time, but I'll just call it a late stocking stuffer.

Thanks to Russ4777. Your post sealed it.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 1:02:16 AM EDT
It is the best machined carrier of them all for certain.  Its bolt is second only to the LMT unit.
Link Posted: 12/22/2003 7:28:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AK_Mike:
That is a myth.  "Allowed"?  By who?
View Quote

How about the United States Army for all weapons that are deployable (meaning they may see combat).

Its covered on Page 3-17 of Change 5 of the -23&P (part of the inspection procedure).

also on Page 3-101 per Change

There is no law.
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There is an Army regulation on it.  I tend to follow their procedures as they are the ones with the most operation experience with the M16 series.


so far no complaints I know of.
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I've heard of a couple with the DPMS carriers non funtioning right.

And I've heard of more than a few people breaking chrome bolts (some on this board) due to hydrogen embrittlement.

While chrome isn't required, it is not a bad thing in a properly spec'd chrome carrier
View Quote

Note a 'properly spec'd carrier' is not chromed - its phosphated.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:18:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Forest:
How about the United States Army for all weapons that are deployable (meaning they may see combat).
Its covered on Page 3-17 of Change 5 of the -23&P (part of the inspection procedure).
also on Page 3-101 per Change
View Quote


Are you entirely sure about that?  I may be off, but the SPR's I have seen all had chromed carriers, and they (SPR's) are issued.  Also, how much you want to bet that those regs will never change (to reflect newer and better gear, some of which I am already using)

There is an Army regulation on it.  I tend to follow their procedures as they are the ones with the most operation experience with the M16 series.
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Like I said, there is no LAW.  I am not in the military, and the military does not have the same requirements as I or some other civilians do.  While it's a good rule of thumb, I have access to products that they do not, products that they haven't made a deal on, want, or can afford.  They do not have unlimited funds to just go out and get what they want, much less get what they need it seems these days.  This extends to other weapons platforms as well.  They should all be carrying Sig P226's, not Berettas, but that is a whole other story...

If you want to follow Army regs, I am happy for you, me - I will choose what I want regardless of what military is limited to.

I've heard of a couple with the DPMS carriers non funtioning right.
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Rightly so, I don't buy DPMS crap and I don't recommend those products.  Oh for sure, they make some good stuff, but I buy the BETTER stuff.  I have never heard a complaint about LBC carriers, nor LMT, nor KAC.  DPMS is waaaay out of that league.

And I've heard of more than a few people breaking chrome bolts (some on this board) due to hydrogen embrittlement.
View Quote


That's why I stay away from the crap.  That occurs when the bolts are not PROPERLY chromed, and I would not be suprised at that happenening with outfits other than LMT, LBC, and KAC.

Note a 'properly spec'd carrier' is not chromed - its phosphated.
View Quote


I didn't say MIL-SPEC, I said SPEC'ED.  Big difference.  I am refering to dimensional tolerances.  Please do not put words into my mouth.  The LBC carrier is chromed, and the LMT bolt is nickeled, neither are mil-spec but they are superior nonetheless.  Do you think phosphated is the best finish?  Whoa!  Not in my book.

No offense, but I have experience with all the products I mentioned - do you?

Remember, just because the military doesn't issue it, doesn't make it bad.  Civilian products are innovative.  They are not always tied to what the military thinks is best, what they want, or what they can afford.  If you think the military is never wrong about the gear it uses or asks for, you are really missing the big picture.  Did you notice how they ask for, acquire, and issue gear that may end up failing?  That's why the MIL-specs keep changing.  Civilians are the ones who primarily design and invent the gear, which the military may or may not end up buying off on.  As a civilian, I am not as limited in choice, and that is a good thing.  In the military, you are issued what you are issued - good luck and hope it doesn't fail in the field.

If you want to go another round picking apart statements, by all means...  I am having fun this time around.  I hope you take mine in good fun as I take yours...
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 5:30:45 AM EDT
I really don't see carbon build-up on the [i]carrier[/i] as a problem - where exactly is it supposed to be building up?  On the bolt itself, I get some build-up at the back end, but not on the carrier, and I think there's an Armalite tech note out there that says the carbon on the back end of the bolt is not a problem.  

I don't have any problem getting the carrier clean just by squirting a little CLP on it and wiping off.  
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 6:59:04 AM EDT
Well, I've made this offer before, but here goes again[:D]

I have, in my parts box, an early Colt carrier key from an early M16. About half the chrome is worn off the sides.  I've even instant blued it, so you can immediately see where the chrome is worn off. Now if someone can give me a reasonable explanation as to where that chrome went, if not into the aluminum innards of the upper, I'll be happy to send it to you free of charge.

The carrier it came off of also had plating worn off the bearing surfaces, but the Atlanta Braves ball player I sold it to just had to have a chrome carrier in his AR; so we put a parked key on it, and it went out the door.

Now that bolt/carrier assy may have been used to fire 100,000 rounds; I have no idea. Just don't kid yourself that chromed bolt/carriers don't ever wear.  That being said, I do own having an original Colt M16 (unnotched) bolt/carrier on my Air Force M16 clone. The plating is in good shape, and I doubt I'll ever shoot it enough to wear the chrome off [:D]
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 8:18:37 AM EDT
Oh it wears, just as all metal does.  An unchromed carrier wears as well.  It's just that with a properly chromed carrier, I don't think you are going to have chunks of chrome flaking off, just normal wear like all metal.  I have wear on my unchromed carriers as well, the metal went the same place the worn chrome did.  Chrome lined barrels wear as well, as do bolts and any other chromed parts.  I would like to think it has a little more endurance to wear than just blued or phosphated steel though - but I don't really know.

It's something that is unnecessary, but if you want the benefits of chrome, and get a quality chromed carrier - I do not see a problem.  I'll be the first to post when any of my chrome carriers or bolts fail.  Heck, I don't really care about chromed bolts, I like chromed carriers though.  I do like the nickled LMT bolt though, besides it being as advanced as it is.  In my box, I have a Smith Enterprises chromed assy.  It's supposed to be a "match" assy.  It's a piece of crap, and I won't even use it.  Way too many machining marks and poor chrome job around the bolt retaining pin and bolt head/extractor.  They said they start with a "mil-spec" carrier assy, but it's still crap.  However, the LBC is a different story, as is the KAC carrier.  The KAC chrome carrier came with my military SPR.  I say military because it was built by the same people who build them for the military.  The bolt is non-chromed and fitted by Compass Lake.  I bought the LBC carrier as that is what MSTN normally provides.

Of course, NONE of these carriers are mil-spec, besides the obvious finish, no AR-15 carrier is mil-spec due to the larger cutout in the rear.  The LBC is nice because of the design, it weighs just as much as the M16 carrier does.

So Forest, since you like to use what the military does, do you use a mil-spec M16 carrier?  (It's legal, and many people do, but that again is another story).  It's odd how the really premium rifles ($$$ ones like KAC, LB, etc...) are offered with chromed carrier assy's.  I wonder why?  I'm not being sarcastic, I really do wonder why.  I'm not sure if the bolts are all chromed, but I am assuming they are.  I also wonder about the characteristics of the most expensive and advanced bolt, designed for the military - the LMT unit - is not phosphated and not even chrome - it's nickel plated.  Yet the LMT carrier is not.  All interesting.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 8:20:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2003 8:24:58 AM EDT by EL_TIRADOR]
Although I don't care for chrome bolt carriers.  I had one in my issued M16 (not A1 or A2) in Iraq.  While I was there, I burned about 3,000 rounds through it with no malfunctions.  I have some pictures if you guys can post them.

Dave

www.airfieldops.com
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:18:40 AM EDT
i own quite a few DPMS products and have had NO difficulty with any of them.  LBC is a late comer and OVER RATED and PRICED.  
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:49:04 AM EDT
While I understand the advantage of a chrome bolt with regards to clean-up, what's the advantage to a chrome carrier?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 1:28:52 PM EDT
Gunrunner2, have you actually examined an LBC carrier?  It's expensive, but it's more than just a chromed carrier.  It has design features like the fluting that increases bearing surface, decreasing wear, enhanced like the others with the extended firing pin hood and smaller rear cutout, but most importantly it is the heaviest semi carrier that I know of and that may be of importance to the shooter, especially match shooters.  I don't think it is over rated personally, it is far better than the rest of the standard semi carriers (not including that stainless steel jobby or other odd designs).

Bradd, as far as a standard chromed carrier over a non chromed, besides easier cleaning, the increased lubricity factor usually means equal or less wear in your receiver, and better resistance to corrosion and wear.  Other than that, I don't know of any other increased benefit other than looking cool.

Again, it's not necessary, the standard carriers are just fine, always have been, always will be, but chrome can give you some additional benefits.  Barrels are the same way, you don't have to have a chrome lining, but it's nice for the increased ease of cleaning and resistance to corrosion and wear.
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