by David Blazek March 02, 2018

Nickel Boron BCG Disassembled

If you've heard about Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Groups and wondered what all the fuss was about, you've come to the right place!

What are the advantages of a Nickel Boron BCG?  Are they worth the money? Do I need one in my AR15 or my AR Pistol? Below are the top 3 reasons your AR15 might need one. 

Reason #1 - Reliability

Of all AR15 parts, the BCG is without a doubt the most critical component for proper functioning. It is not only the most complicated component but also the hardest working one as well. 

The bolt is the forward-most part of an AR BCG. It must properly contain the high chamber pressures of the 223/556 cartridge (52,000 - 70,000+ psi) or 300 Blackout cartridge (55,000 psi) during firing. It is also responsible for guiding the firing pin to the primer, extracting and ejecting the fired case, feeding the new cartridge into the chamber and, finally, locking properly into the barrel extension.

Ideally the BCG accomplishes all of this even when dirty and neglected time after time without fail. The fact that most bolt carrier groups in most rifles are able to accomplish all of these tasks with boring reliability is a testament to the design genius of Eugene Stoner.

All of these tasks benefit from proper lubrication. Proper lubrication reduces friction between the mating surfaces of the carrier, upper receiver, cam pin, bolt and barrel extension. Lack of lubrication in these areas increases friction and can result in loss of carrier velocity and failures to properly eject cases or feed cartridges.

This is where a Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group really shines. Nickel Boron is an advanced metal finish that offers high resistance to wear and corrosion as well as having an ultra low co-efficient of friction.

When the critical surfaces of a bolt carrier group start out with a low coefficient of friction, everything cycles smoother and less lubrication is required.

What this means in practice is that a Nickel Boron BCG will still be slick even when the lube has burned off or evaporated. This means increased reliability when the rifle is dirty or under lubricated. This is even more important with an AR pistol or a suppressed gun. Due to the short gas systems in AR pistols they tend to get dirty faster than AR15s with longer gas systems. Suppressed guns blow carbon fouling back into the action and can really benefit from the self-lubricating properties of Nickel Boron.

Reason #2 - Easier to Clean

A Nickel Boron BCG with its slick surface will clean up quite a bit easier and faster than a standard BCG with a phosphate finish. The rough phosphate tends to hold the dirt and grit while the Nickel Boron doesn’t. Carbon will still build up on the boat tail and I have not seen that it is much if any easier to clean this area on a Nickel Boron BCG. But it is also not needed since no amount of carbon buildup there will impair the function of the rifle. Still, every other area on a Nickel Boron BCG cleans up fast and easy.

Reason #3 - Aesthetic

This is a subjective area, but a lot of folks tend to like the contrast of the silvery nickel boron finish against the rest of a black rifle. So, if you’re looking for a way to dress up your AR-15 or even if you just appreciate quality equipment that looks good too, a Nickel Boron BCG might be something to consider for your AR.

Those are the top 3 reasons a Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group is an excellent and worthwhile upgrade to any AR15 rifle, carbine or AR pistol. 

Available from several manufacturers including Toolcraft and Fail Zero, bolt carrier groups in Nickel Boron are generally more expensive than ones with other finishes like Phosphate or Black Nitride. Whether the benefits of a Nickel Boron BCG are worth the increased cost is something only you can decide. 

David Blazek
David Blazek


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