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Posted: 10/1/2004 7:09:09 AM EDT
Are there any advantages to a chrome bolt carrier? For some reason I thought that all bolt carriers were chromed or either polished? but when I got my ar I noticed it was black, and then when I started looking around at other ARs the bolt carrier was black also. I have seen some rifles with a shiny bolt carrier, and was wondering if their is any advantage to this at all or whats the major difference. I did a search on gunbroker and found that DPMS makes a chromed bolt carrier. Thanks
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:18:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bunn19:
whats the major difference.

About 40-80 bucks depending on where ya purchase it.......

Not necessary, but plenty have and use them, IMO had I a FA M16, I'd probably think it a better value and more useful, but I don't and for semi-auto rifles I've never had an issue arise beacuse of a standard parkerized BC.

Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:25:56 AM EDT
Chrome lining inside the carrier. Thats what you want. Chrome on the outside will wear out your upper faster.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 8:04:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 8:05:33 AM EDT by mr_wilson]

Originally Posted By BB:
Chrome on the outside will wear out your upper faster.

Sorry, not certain where ya got this info, but I believe this is total BS. Too many folks have run chrome carriers for too long for this to be true.

Take 2 rifles (FA rifles) one w/ standard BC, one w/ a chrome BC, run them till the uppers fail and betcha $100 bucks the guys running 'em give up due to the cost of replacing barrels, buying ammo, broken extractors or bolt parts long before the upper wears out......., think about it. It would take hundreds of thousands possibly millions of rounds before ya wore out an upper due to bolt carrier friction.

Add to that the fact that chrome BCs are slicker and produce less friction (especially if both rifles are frequently and properly lubed and one of the primary sellin points of havin a chrome BC) which considering this fact alone goes "directly" against the above statement as worded and you'll see why I feel this is........


ps - no flame intended BB, just it ain't so IMO.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 8:44:05 AM EDT
I agree BS.Alot of highpower shooters use them and I think when the army ditched them it was because it was too shiny nothing to do with premature wear hell they are probably still being used in training rifles here that are just not used when troops are deployed..Chrome has its own slippery properties and like Mr Wilson said less friction god this reminds of the "steel maga will wear out your magwell"myth.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:17:38 AM EDT
The way I understand it, chrome plated bolt carriers were first used back in the 60s, they helped reduce corrosion and made cleaning easier. But then it was found that they caused excessive wear on the upper receiver, because chrome (while slippery) is significantly harder than steel.

Call BS all you want, but thats what I've heard for 10 years and thats what I'm going with.

Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:11:43 PM EDT
BB mentioned the cleaning aspect, and I think that is about it- other than the shiny appeal factor

It cleans up much easier
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 1:08:05 PM EDT
Chrome WILL wear off in time, and if it's on the the outside of the carrier, the microscopic bits that wear off will imbed themselves in the walls of the upper, and tend to start acting as an abrasive, rather than a lubricant. For anyone that doesn't believe this, send me $5 for shipping and packing, and I will happily send you the carrier key I pulled off a chromed Colt M16 carrier about 20 years ago, with 1/2 the chrome worn off the sides.

This is peobably only an issue w/M16 type rifles used with a lot of full auto fire. I doubt that an AR fired semi auto only would ever be likely to have the problem, even after many thousends of rounds. For my own use, I have an original chrome bolt/carrier assy on my AR copy of the original Air Force model M16, but it's purely for authenticity, not function. All my other ARs have the standard parked units, with only the inside of the front chamber chromed.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 2:06:20 PM EDT
Thanks for all the info guys. One more question, do you know of anyone else besides DPMS that sells a chrome bolt carrier assembly? Thanks
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 2:40:34 PM EDT
Excessive upper wear? +1 on the B.S. call.

Les Baer makes the best one. Available from Brownells too. Awesome carrier, I'll post pics when I get home.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 2:40:36 PM EDT
Probably Brownells
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 2:53:15 PM EDT
Les BEar uses the Young carrier which is the finest carrier made. It has much smoother finish and machining than any other carrier and thus will wear the upper SIGNIFICANTLY less that a parked carrier even though this amount of wear will never occur in your lifetime of use of your rifle.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:08:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 7:28:02 PM EDT by Ellery_Holt]
Here are the photos of the Les Baer carrier I just got from Brownells.

By the way, these carriers weigh the same as an M16 bolt carrier, meeting original design weight but without the girly-man worry factor some have about putting a true M16 carrier in their rifle.

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 12:14:49 AM EDT
I must also call BS on the increased wear. Both chromed and non-chromed will wear, both of which are harder than aluminum (anodized). Flakes from either will not necessarily embed into the receiver unless you are someone who doesn't oil the innards. Lubed receivers should float much of the flakes away unless run dry.

Rather than see a worn chrome carrier key, I would be far more interested in the receiver it ran it - what kind of damage is there? More than one using non-chromed carrier key???

The LBC is still my favorite carrier, finely finished with tight tolerances. It has in its design increased bearing surface for less pressure wear. However, from what I have seen, the SS JP bolt carrier is smoother - it's pretty much polished whereas the LBC still has fine machining lines. The biggest advantage of the LBC is it's the heaviest carrier out there - same as the M16 carrier without all the autopart paranoia.

I don't know if it's just the individual merchants but the SPRs I have seen come with chromed carriers - either KAC (which are chromed LMT's) or LBC match carriers, just an observation.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:15:32 AM EDT
AK_Mike and I are always posting in the chromed-carrier threads. Great minds...
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 7:41:05 PM EDT
Chromed carriers is always one of my pet threads, along with legality of autoparts in an AR-15, green lasers, and accuracy of short barrels. I'm going to have to start canning my responses for easier posting...
Link Posted: 10/14/2004 10:01:50 AM EDT
This is awesome guys, thanks! I now know what to put into my first AR I'm building
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