Bolt Carrier Group – Best Lightweight Options

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Bolt Carrier Group - Best Lightweight Options

For rifle lovers looking to reduce the number of AR double taps they need to perform, consider a bolt carrier group (BCG) that is both lightweight and low mass.

What is a Bolt Carrier Group?

The bolt carrier group or BCG is the piece of that metal slides back and forth with each shot as it is released. Many firearms aficionados find that the lighter bolt carrier group they use, the less disturbance they will experience between the rifle and sight picture offered by the firearm.

There are plenty of models to consider, and each one comes with various upgrades, too.

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Why Should You Pick a Lightweight Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)?

As mentioned previously, the lower the mass of elements that move on a rifle, the less movement it will experience with each shot.

Minimizing this movement is essential to keeping aim straight. At the same time, it helps to guide a bullet to its target faster while reducing the amount of recoil the firearm can produce.

Graphic of recoil on the lightweight BCG bolt carrier of an AR-15

In most cases, wisdom advises that using a full-auto (FA) BCG will perform in a more reliable manner when compared to semi-auto Bolt Carrier Groups that are lighter in weight.

Are Full Auto Bolt Carrier Groups Legal?

Yes, tt is important to note that Full Auto BCGs are completely legal. After all, a firearm’s trigger group is what makes a firearm perform at Full Auto, not the bolt carrier group.

FA BCGs that come with greater mass makes sure that the firearm operates in a smooth manner.

This statement is especially true when compared to AR-15s, which are over powered and can run on various types of ammo. Such claims are accurate especially when compared to rather poor firing environments.

Side by side photo of a full auto bolt carrier group and semi auto BCQ
Semi-Auto BCG (top) vs Fully Auto BCG (bottom).

For shooters considering a lightweight Bolt Carrier Group, they are most likely already using something like an AR-15 as a means of competition.

Going with another option might very well lead to not having to look around for ammo in battle. This situation means that gunmen who use this piece are able to lower the mass of the things they carry while also guaranteeing that the rifle of choice will operate at 100 percent.

Why Not Use a Lighter Weight Semi-Auto Bolt Carrier Group?

Immediately, some shooters might ask why a lighter weight semi-auto BCG should not be used (please don’t flood my inbox!) In truth, this option only weighs about 10 ounces less than a FA BCG, which typically weighs about 11.5 ounces. The ones contained below in this article will weigh more akin to five ounces.


How To Make Bolt Carrier Groups Lighter

One of the first steps to making a BCG lighter is to remove parts that are unnecessary when the steel carrier is considered.

The second factor to look at is considering the utilization of exotic materials that are likely to weigh even less.

A mixture of these choices is the best options to lowering the amount of mass being used.


What are the Best, Lightweight Bolt Carrier Group Options?

There are five BCGs which are the most popular on the market, and one of these is our favorite.

  1. JP Enterprises Low Mass (LMOS) BCG
  2. JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass BCG
  3. Faxon Lightweight BCG
  4. JP Enterprises LMOS Steel Carrier
  5. Rubber City Armory (RCA) Titanium BCG

Let’s take a look at each.

1. JP Enterprises Low Mass (LMOS) AR 15 Bolt Carrier Group

The JP Enterprises Low Mass (LMOS) BCG, color black is a good one to consider in light of the model's lessened weight ratio

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JP is one of the first companies of a major size to begin investing in BCG models of the lightweight variety.

While their production on these models stopped for a time, JP has begun to produce them once more. Specifically, this companies focus on BCGs that are LMOS.

JP Enterprises Low Mass (LMOS) Ar 15 Bolt Carrier Group Specs:

  • Weight: 8.9 ounces
  • Material: Steel
  • Notes: There are not any serrations when the forward assist is used.

Even with the use of over 1,000 rounds, this model does not indicate any significant signs of wear and tear. Each shot still comes out with relatively low recoil following suit.

Considering this model is made of steel, it does not come at a real surprise that it will keep performing at this level for quite some time.

It is important to bear in mind that this model does not have any kind of forward assist.

However, many firearms competitors do not make use of a forward assist in many cases, so this feature will not be missed. This factor is a good one to consider in light of the model’s lessened weight ratio.

2. JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass BCG

The JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass Bolt Carrier Group in brown

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JP Enterprises has recently released a new BCG that some firearms experts might not be aware of just yet.

This BCG falls into the lightweight category mostly because it is labeled and made to be in the ultra-low mass variety. It is important to note that containing a great deal of weight also indicates a lowered cost, too.

JP Enterprises Ultra Low Mass Bolt Carrier Group Specs:

  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Notes: This model is the lightest BCG available on the market today

Monetary cost is only one of the factors in this situation. The other one falls more in line with the reduced lifespan this model will feature.

Since this BCG is made of the same material as a firearm’s upper receiver, aluminum, wear and tear is bound to show up sooner as the piece faces degradation. In short, a new piece will have to be purchased more often.

Therefore, JP Enterprises suggests that this model is only used in firearms that are meant for competitions.

This model does feature one aspect that the previous model does not. This ultra-low mass BCG does contain a forward assist option.

However, riflemen who purchase this model need to keep in mind that this piece needs to be replaced after a few thousand rounds or so.

3. Faxon Lightweight BCG

The Faxon AR 15 lightweight bcg bolt carrier group all black is meant to perform at the highest caliber.

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Faxon is known for being a manufacturer of great barrels that are also affordable. This lightweight BCG is meant to perform at the highest caliber.

Otherwise, this model would not be made of steel. This option reduces cutbacks that could lead to lesser metals being used.

Faxon AR 15 lightweight bcg bolt carrier group Specs:

  • Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Material: Steel

Due to that steel construction, this model will last almost as long as models that are semi-auto and FA. Therefore, many rifle fans consider this model to be one of the best lightweight builds, and it runs smoothly for over 800 rounds.

They are also not likely to complain about the price of this piece as it usually runs about $200.00 less than models offered by companies like JP Enterprises.

4. JP Enterprises LMOS Steel Carrier

The JP Enterprises LMOS Stainless Steel Bolt Carrier Group bcg

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The weight of this model is on par with others that have been mentioned this far, which means that a bolt can be purchased, too, without breaking the bank.

JP Enterprises LMOS Stainless Steel Bolt Carrier Group Specs:

  • Weight: 8.8 ounces, with the bolt in place
  • Material: Steel
  • Notes: This model only contains the carrier, so a bolt will need to be purchased from somewhere else. At the same time, it does not contain assist serrations.

Since Faxon’s model sells out rather quickly, we are also including JP’s steel LMOS BCG option for firearms users who are conscious about the price that lightweight BCG aficionados might not mind dealing with in the long run.

5. Top PickRubber City Armory (RCA) Titanium M16 Bolt Carrier Group BCG

The Rubber City Armory (RCA) Titanium BCG, our top lightweight bolt carrier group

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Rubber City Armory brings about the best of both worlds when it comes to making a Bolt Carrier Group.

They contain the lightweight features of aluminum, but it also features the same durability as steel. This combination allows for 32 percent less weight to exist in this BCG in comparison to the other models this article has looked at thus far.

The Rubber City Armory (RCA) Titanium M16 Bolt Carrier Group – Specs:

For those firearms competitors who do not want to face the wear and tear of aluminum models, this option is one of the best.

Competitive riflemen who work with RCA’s models over the years, especially those competitors who have managed to make a piece last for 2,500 rounds or more, will attest to the fact that this BCG is one of the most beneficial models to use for firearm competitions.

Top marksmen and -women are most likely more able to achieve successive double-taps with ease.


Alternative Lightweight AR 15 Bolt Carrier (BCG) Mods to Consider

Many rifle competitors still consider the AR-15 to be one of the best machines that works with multiple parts together.

The downside is 30 percent of the parts being used cannot be changed out without having to modify other pieces surrounding it.

Therefore, someone with this firearm can easily end up replacing most of the parts for much more than just chunk change.

JP Captured Spring

Captured spring bolt carrier group AR 15 silver

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Removing the original spring action in an AR-15 with a buffer-type spring will make it feel more comfortable. This statement is especially true considering the stiffness of the buffer and spring in most lightweight BCGs.

Therefore, competitive firearms users can opt to replace these parts with a spring kit. This task allows for the lightest springs to be used, and the kits can generally be customized to how competitive shooters prefer them.

Superlative Adjustable Gas Block

Adjustable Gas Block Clamp

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Most people who use BCGs will want to work with an adjustable gas block as it will take less gas to move through a lightweight BCG.

In other cases, a fast-moving BCG might also increase the amount of recoil, which can also lead to parts being damaged. This model has a bleed hole that allows for both situations to be met with ease.


Bolt Carrier Group – Closing thoughts

These options are some of the lightest BCG offerings on the market. For various reasons, they are also the best in their class, and they should be giving utmost consideration.

For the most useful, versatile lightweight BCG, we have to go with the Titanium BCG by Rubber City Armory . This holster can be used for strong side, cross-draw, or SOB.

It combines the durability of steel with the lightness of aluminum, so it’s built to last forever without weighing down your rifle.

The Titanium’s light weight and ease of use makes it the perfect option for beginner and advanced shooters alike.

Curious about how to swap out your BCG, or shop around for a replacement? Or maybe we forgot to include one in this article and you think we totally missed it! Please let us know in the comments below.

Chris Browning

Hey everyone I’m Chris. Founder and editor at Gun News Daily. This site was originally started by my father who passed it on to me. Gun News Daily has been reporting on gun news and conservative politics since 2001. We are the original gun news source. Life-long Second Amendment Supporter.

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