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Thread: Best Semi-Auto Bolt Carrier Group?

  1. #1
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    Best Semi-Auto Bolt Carrier Group?

    Hello All,
    Brand new member, but long time reader. I am in the process of building an AR. It is a BCM 20" upper on a superior arms lower with an A2 stock.

    I am looking to order a semi-auto bolt carrier group soon. So far, it seems like LMT is the best choice for a semi-auto bolt carrier according to the chart and to the price at $130.

    Before I pull the Visa trigger, are there any other recommendations for the "best" semi-auto bolt carrier group?

    Thanks for the help.

    S

  2. #2
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    Is there any particular reason you want a semi only carrier?
    Last edited by GermanSynergy; 12-09-10 at 12:09.
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  3. #3
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    LMT is a good choice. Just curious though, why do you want a semi auto BCG?
    A.A.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology

  4. #4
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    Colt, LMT, BCM, and Daniel Defense bolt carrier groups are good to go.

    I run LMT bcgs in my carbines.

  5. #5
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    Why not keep your upper all BCM? There's no reason at all not to use their FA BCG.

    With that said, I have an LMT BCG in my carbine, they are GTG. I bought it because it was too hard to get the BCM BCG during the Obama Madness rush on all things AR15.

    .
    Last edited by DTHN2LGS; 12-09-10 at 13:08.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. LMT it will be.

    As for why I want a semi-auto only, I am not comfortable with the legality of it. I am an attorney, though not specialized in firearms law. I have done some research on the issue, including talking to my local ATF agent. The following is the results of my research and is my personal conclusion (i.e. I am not your attorney and this not legal advice, CYA done).

    I realize the consensus on here is that the full auto carriers are legal, I have read the discussions, and I have seen the letters from the ATF. I personally believe they should be legal, and I know there are valid reasons for having the heavier BCG. However, the ATF's position on the subject is not clear which doesn't satisfy me to a legal certainty.

    I think the ATF is deliberately vague on the issue because it allows flexibility in prosecuting people. The ATF letters are not posted as official rulings on their website. I view these letters as analagous to other regulatory agencies which issue "letters" and "rulings." Rulings apply generally and can be relied on by anyone. Letters are written to specific entities and can only be relied upon by the receipient as a get out of jail free card. So it's likely only Colt can rely on the letter to be sure they are not violating the law.

    The only generally applicable guidance I could find was ATF P 5300.4 which states: "In order to avoid violations of the NFA, M16 hammers, triggers, disconnectors, selectors and bolt carriers must not be used in assembly of AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles, unless the M16 parts have been modified to AR-15 Model SP1 configuration." This conflicts with the letters. Again, I think the ATF has not deliberately not resolved the conflict in order to give them the flexibility in prosecuting criminals. If you go trial on this issue, the ATF is going to say the "official" pub told him not to use the full auto carrier. If you pull out the Colt letter, the ATF will argue that only applied to Colt and can't be used as a defense. Depending on the judge, a jury may never see that letter, but they will see 5300.4.

    Finally, I talked to my friendly local ATF agent (truly, he was very friendly). He said "to be on the safe side" don't put it in there. Part of his reasoning was that it's very difficult to turn a semi-auto carrier into a full-auto carrier. I assume the difficulty involves adding the missing metal. He said that modifying the other parts are relatively easily if you know where to look on the internet. Having a full-auto carrier shows intent and puts you in danger of having a "readily restored" machinegun which is the same as having a machinegun to the ATF.

    What is the likelihood of getting charged for having one? I think it is likely someone who gets busted for drugs or some other federal crime would be charged with having an illegal machinegun simply for having a full-auto carrier. I've done some work for the US attorney's office and they typically pile on as many charges as they can think of. Firearms confiscated are routinely sent to the ATF for examination. If you are a meth dealer sitting in federal court, a jury will not be too sympathetic about the ridiculousness of being charged with having a machinegun because you had a full-auto carrier. All they will hear is meth dealer and full-auto.

    What about someone like me: a reservist, no criminal record, no drugs, a family man, a recreational shooter? First, why would a fed be interested in me at all? Second, a jury will like me more. They would listen to my defense and my expert. So, it is more likely than not I would be ok with a full-auto carrier.

    But, and it is a big but, why risk it at all? Just because the ATF's all-seeing great flaming eye (geek reference) isn't focused on this issue right now doesn't mean it can't suddenly decide to make an issue of it. I personally don't feel comfortable with the legality of it until I see a ruling. The expense and stress of a trial, even a successful one, is horrendous. Federal pound you in the a** prison is not where I want to spend any amount of time. There are few attorneys who understand firearms and finding one to adequately defend you would be hard and expensive. Most of my fellow attorneys lean far to the left and view "thundersticks" as malign entities.

    Again, I do not specialize in firearms laws. I know there are some attorneys who do, and they may have more in depth knowledge on the subject. Sorry for the uber-reply, but I thought I would give as complete answer as I can give.

  7. #7
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    every single rifle that ships from BCM, colt, daniel defense, and noveske, and, up until about a year ago, LMT- all come with standard carriers. NO ONE has been prosecuted.

    the modified ("ar15") carrier is a thing of the past..

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    I think there should be a mental disorder which describes the completely out of context fixation one feels about guns and certain risk averse aspects which have an extremely low possibility of ever impacting one.

    The broad group should include "overpenetration", "being prosecuted during a good shoot for using an 'assault' rifle, a 'magnum cartridge', or to be prosecuted for using an F/A BCG in an AR.

    Seriouslly. To build your entire phobia around one aspect of gun ownership is strange. The possibility of being prosecuted for something as mundane as using a so-called F/A BCG is so remote as to be laughable. I don't mean to single out the OP, but it is interesting to note how many gun owners have these kinds of completely unreasonable fears.

    It's ok. put the BCG that normally comes with a BCM upper in it and forget it.
    Last edited by 120mm; 12-09-10 at 14:20.

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    Written by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), Chief of the Firearms Technology Branch
    ...M16 bolt carriers are not designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun and are not any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled. Further, an M16 bolt carrier is not a firearm as defined in the GCA or a machinegun as defined in the NFA. An M16 bolt carrier is simply a machinegun part and as such its domestic sale and possession is unregulated under the Federal firearms laws. It is not unlawful to utilize a M16 machinegun bolt carrier in a semiautomatic AR15 type rifle.

    Prosecution for something like this would stir up such a shit storm someone on this board would know about it and the NRA would be on that like stink on shit.
    A.A.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology

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    I guess I'm in trouble since my Colt's came from the factory with f/a carriers. Anyone buying BCM, DD, and Noveske rifles are also all going to jail.

  11. #11
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    Silliest post I've read all day, and I just spend the last 45 minutes browsing Arfcom GD.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by S in MT View Post
    I am an attorney, though not specialized in firearms law.
    ...
    Having a full-auto carrier shows intent and puts you in danger of having a "readily restored" machinegun which is the same as having a machinegun to the ATF.
    ...
    What is the likelihood of getting charged for having one? I think it is likely someone who gets busted for drugs or some other federal crime would be charged with having an illegal machinegun simply for having a full-auto carrier.
    Last edited by Chameleox; 12-09-10 at 21:57.
    The advice above is worth exactly what you paid for it.

  13. #13
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    Take off the tin foil hat and get the m16 BCG...my BCM, Smith and Wesson, and Daniel Defense AR's came from the factory with the M16 carrier. How can the ATF prosecute me for that?!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hottnucks View Post
    Take off the tin foil hat and get the m16 BCG...my BCM, Smith and Wesson, and Daniel Defense AR's came from the factory with the M16 carrier. How can the ATF prosecute me for that?!
    99% of FAL have fullauto carriers and that part is a factor in select fire operation. The ARGYs even made some semi auto carriers.

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    Guns are only used to kill................. legally protect yourself around that.......

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    OP made up his mind about what he wants to do based on his own research. I don't blame him for being cautious.

    Plus, it sounds to me like there should be an inexpensive FA BCG for sale soon.

  17. #17
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    We all know how silly the "semi auto" carrier debate is. I think the question has been answered and we'll leave it at that.





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