Best-Rated AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group

Updated February 3, 2021

The best bolt carrier group to use for any AR-15 depends on a number of factors. Not the least of which is the intended purpose of the weapon followed closely by your budget, firing frequency, and aesthetic appeal. However, before we delve into the minutiae, lets first understand exactly what a bolt carrier group is and the duties it performs.

Just What Is the Purpose of a Bolt Carrier Group?

The major parts the bolt carrier group houses are the bolt, gas key, firing pin, extractor, and cam pin. The unit, as a whole, sits inside the upper receiver. Its job is to chamber a fresh round, cycle the guns “action”, eject the empty brass, and reset the hammer all during one cycle. The BCG is easily the most critical component that decides whether a weapon is reliable and could be considered the heart and soul of the weapon. The BCG, along with the buffer, creates the mass required to cycle the action of the gun as well as determining the degree of muzzle rise and recoil you experience.


M-16 (Standard Mass) Versus Lightweight/Low Mass BCG

There are three main BCG designs, the M-16, AR-15 and Lightweight. M16 and AR-15 style are brothers, however, each has its own purpose. The M-16 version is heavier and has a longer, full-size rear section. Its increased mass remains in battery a bit longer and is designed to withstand the rigors of fully automatic fire and match grade guns.

The AR-15 style BCG is designed for semi-auto fire and cycles faster than its heavier counterpart.

Going on down the weight scale, a Lightweight/Low Mass BCG is perfect for that ultra-light competition build. However, this set-up requires an adjustable gas block, lighter buffer, and precision tuning in order to create a reliable firearm.


Why Upgrade to The Best Bolt Carrier Group at All?

  • Improved Reliability - A heavier steel BCG increases the guns cycle time and reduces the stress on the spent brass, this is a benefit to those who reload. It results in a combination better able to digest a variety of ammunition with minimal adjustment. A steel BCG is commonly used by the military and law enforcement to combat the large number of rounds fired.
  • Improved Durability - The use of titanium or one of the available coated/plated carriers could be an asset. Titanium is lighter and stronger than steel. Therefore, it is better capable of withstanding higher heat and the extreme pressures found in hotter loads. Titanium is the most expensive material and the toughest to machine, therefore, its production is the most costly. A coated/plated BCG has a slicker surface and is much easier to clean, often requiring nothing more than simply a cloth.
  • Increased Speed - A lightweight BCG made from titanium or anodized aluminum decreases its weight and mass. Therefore, the gun will cycle faster and you will get a faster rate of semi-auto fire. Along with control, gained through practice, this could prove beneficial in fast-paced competition.
  • Improved Action Smoothness - Using a light-weight BCG combined with a compatible buffer will give a lighter, smoother cycling action. If combined with advance coatings such as Nickel Boron, Diamond-Like Carbon coating, or Black Nitride, you will enjoy a slicker surface and reduced friction, thus creating a smoother action.

Below we have amassed a list of the 10 best-rated bolt carrier groups and review of each.


Top-Rated AR-15 Bolt Carrier Groups of 2021

Top AR-15 Bolt Carrier Groups  



JP Enterprises Full Mass Bolt Carrier Group   Standard Mass   $355.30
F-1 Firearms DuraBolt Bolt Carrier Group Standard Mass   Varies
Faxon Firearms M16 Bolt Carrier Group Standard Mass   $137.75
WMD Guns NiB-X Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group           Standard Mass         $153.00
Iron City Rifle S1 Bolt Carrier Group   Standard Mass   $219.49
Odin Works Low Mass Bolt Carrier Group   Lightweight   $170.05
F-1 Firearms DuraBolt Low Mass Bolt Carrier Group Lightweight   Varies
Rubber City Armory Low Mass Competition BCG   Lightweight   $228.95
Spike's Tactical Lightweight Nickel Boron BCG   Lightweight   $225.00
V Seven Titanium Bolt Carrier Group   Lightweight   $348.23



2021 Product Review: Top Rated Standard Mas Bolt Carrier Groups


JP Enterprises Full Mass Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $335.30


This top-rated AR-15 bolt carrier group is a drop-in replacement for your weapon. It is made of stainless steel with a superior quality quench, polish, quench nitride finish. Therefore, it gives increased lubricity and hardness along with enhanced corrosion resistance. Featuring extended forward assist serrations and a dust cover notch this bolt carrier group offers increased versatility and performance. All of its sharp edges are radiused and its bearing surfaces are increased 100% for smoother operation and longer life. When properly lubricated this high-quality will make your AR-15 run like chained lightning.

This is considered to be the best AR BCG by many and does not disappoint on any level. Along with this carrier comes years of shooting and engineering experience giving you every advantage of a Mil-Spec part and much more. The superior design comes together with an impeccable finish to produce a flawless bolt carrier group. With its incredible engineering and high-quality this could easily be considered one of the best AR-15 bolt carrier groups on the market. These are available as just a carrier or a complete bolt carrier group that includes the JP Enterprises AR-15 Enhanced Bolt Assembly. Being easier to clean and yielding superior accuracy than your standard Mil-Spec part makes choosing the JP Enterprises Full Mass Bolt Carrier Group easy.

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F-1 Firearms DuraBolt AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group

Price: Varies


In terms of reliability, it’s hard to go wrong with the traditional F-1 Firearms DuraBolt AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group. This BCG is easy to maintain and designed to withstand extended periods of use. It’s made with case-hardened steel for durability, while our selection of coating options allows you to customize it for aesthetic appeal and resistance to corrosion and wear.

The F-1 Firearms DuraBolt is heat treated and rated for full-auto fire, ensuring complete ease of use and flexibility that suit a variety of firearms and shooting applications. This BCG has a heavy-duty design and a shrouded firing pin that will keep it reliable on even the longest range day.

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Faxon Firearms M16 Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $137.75


Sometimes, bigger does mean better. With the Faxon Firearms M16 Bolt Carrier Group, you’ll get a durable BCG that can handle anything from a weekend shoot to a stream of full-auto fire. Its steady, reliable cycle rates make this BCG ideal for just about any build or situation.

All our Faxon Firearms BCGs are heat treated and designed with a nitride finish for high-quality wear resistance. Thanks to its strong steel components, expert machining and meticulous inspection, you can expect this BCG to provide long-lasting performance. 

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WMD Guns NiB-X Nickel Boron AR15 Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $153.00


Another top-rated AR-15 bolt carrier group comes from WMD Guns with their NiB-X Nickel Boron offering. It can be had in a Mil-Spec full-auto or semi-auto version, with or without a hammer. Either one will legally drop-in your AR-15 upper and run without fail. The WMD proprietary NIB-X Nickel Boron finish is strong, reliable, corrosion resistant, and extremely smooth. It prevents carbon fouling from sticking, therefore, it’s very easy to clean. By having this finish, it provides the best BCG for AR15 high volume fire rates, especially when suppressed or run in a short-barreled set-up.

The WMD Guns NiB-X Nickel Boron bolt carrier group has to pass a stringent Magnetic Particle Inspection before it can wear the WMD brand. This procedure will detect the most minute flaw, even below the surface. So, when you get your hands on one you know you have a high-quality bolt carrier group. Even its gas key is crafted from tool steel and properly staked with Grade 8 hardened fasteners, not Locktite, so, you can be certain it will stay where it’s supposed to. With a WMD part, you can expect no less than the best.

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Iron City Rifle Works S1 Drop-In 5.56 Bolt Carrier Group

Price: from $219.49


Have you ever asked yourself what if I could have the best AR-15 bolt carrier group that will deliver competition quality and performance at a reasonable price? Well, you can, it’s here, and we have it. It comes in a nice tight package called the Iron City Rifle Works S1 Bolt Carrier Group.

It’s been said for years that you can run an AR-15 dirty, but you can’t run it dry. Instead of just continuing the standard practice of spraying oil at the problem, Iron City addressed the problem. They tasked their engineers to come up with a chemical coating that when applied to the surface of the metal it would behave like a lubricant but never wear off. The solution came with the EVO Gen2 NiB finish. The improved Nickle Boron treatment turned out to be harder, stronger, and have a lower coefficient of friction than traditional Nickle Boron. This best-rated AR-15 bolt carrier group has a surface that is extremely slick and very resistant to carbon fouling. What carbon that does cling, easily cleans away with a wipe. So, if you want a very reliable, competition quality bolt carrier group, the Iron City Rifle Works S1 deserves a look.

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2020 Product Review: Top-Rated Lightweight Bolt Carrier Goups 

Odin Works AR-15 Low Mass Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $170.05


The Odin Works AR-15 Low Mass BCG offers more than its lightweight convenience. It’s also built to deliver a smooth, silky performance every time that will make you wonder how you ever used any other AR-15 solution. The steel Odin Works BCG comes with a Salt Bath Nitride finish and a durable coating, which protect it against excessive friction and wear. 

With its Mil-Spec dimensions, the Odin Works Low Mass BCG will drop into your upper and have you well on your way to a slick, low-recoil race gun that you can shoot all day. With a little tuning, this BCG will give you outstanding performance and low felt recoil, letting you stay on target and nail quick follow-up shots.

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F-1 Firearms DuraBolt Low Mass AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group

Price: Varies


If you’re on the market for a high-efficiency bolt carrier group that combines durability and low mass, you’ve come to the right place. As one of the best-rated AR-15 bolt carrier groups, the low-mass version of the F-1 Firearms DuraBolt is known for its precision and easy handling. Meanwhile, its lower overall mass reduces its recoil and creates a smooth, comfortable user experience.

With an innovative design that's both lightweight and visually striking, this F-1 Firearms Durabolt product is an upgrade that's guaranteed to impress. Better yet, thanks to its case-hardened 8620 steel construction and precision engineering, it'll keep your AR turning heads for years.

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Rubber City Armory Low Mass Competition AR-15 BCG

Price: $228.95


Your bolt carrier group is the workhorse riding inside your upper that will make or break your day. In competition speed is good, however, it doesn’t mean much without a durable, reliable part. That’s where the RCA low mass competition AR-15 bolt carrier group shines. It is among the top-rated bolt carrier groups that can be had.

It wears the Blacknitride+ Enhanced finish which looks good and wears even better. This finish not only hardens the steel and improves its corrosion resistance, but it also serves as a built-in lubricant. Therefore, the guns cycle rate goes up as the carbon fouling goes down. Everything combined means this bolt carrier group is going to run longer without issues.

It is considered to be the best-rated AR-15 bolt carrier group that is designed to drop right into either your existing upper or finish off that new build. Do remember that when you change the weight of the carrier you change the mass as well. So, to realize the true benefits of this Rubber City Arms upgrade you have to go a bit further. You have to mate this BCG with a good adjustable gas block and buffer system in order to match the mass of the bolt carrier group. Put it all together and you get less recoil, less muzzle rise, therefore, you can keep your eyes on the prize.

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Spike's Tactical M16 Lightweight Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $225.00


When you’re in the market for the best lightweight AR-15 bolt carrier group on the market, take a look at Spike’s Tactical M16 Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group. The bolt carrier group is one of the most mission-critical components of your weapon. Therefore, it would be silly to go cheap and opt for second best or worse than that some imitation from overseas. This is about the best low mass AR BCG available in the full-auto M16 profile. It’s an easy drop and swap into your M16 or AR15 and will run flawlessly in either full-auto or semi-auto mode. Just like any M16 rated bolt carrier group you will find a shrouded firing pin inside. Many shooters swear by this design because the M16 style shrouded firing pin is not likely to puncture your primers, as you can imagine, blowouts are no fun.

This top-rated bolt carrier group is Nickle Boron coated inside and out. It provides a finish that is smoother than chrome ever dared to be, that will never chip, peel, or flake away. I wouldn’t be surprised if you looked up slick in the dictionary and it said: “see Spikes Tactical Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group”.

This BCG comes with Spikes Tactical Lifetime Warranty that was earned, not given. It’s a good-looking, hard-working BCG that you will be proud to own.

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V Seven Titanium Bolt Carrier Group

Price: $348.23


When you want to be your best, you have to have the best. There's nothing more crucial to the performance of your AR-15 than the bolt carrier group. And, if you want the best bolt carrier group working for you, then you're going to want the V Seven Titanium BCG. I know, at first blush the price might make you say hmm. However, there’s a huge difference between price and cost. If you pay an initial price for a quality item that will perform well and last a lifetime that’s one number. Opt for something that’s cheaper and save a few bucks and then, guess what? Another number comes into play. The part will prematurely fail and you lose not only the initial price of the part, but you also lose your time and the cost to replace that inferior part. That’s the real cost of a bad choice.

The V Seven Titanium BCG is the best AR-15 bolt carrier group that you’re going to find. It’s lighter than steel and stronger than either steel or aluminum. It’s both Magnetic Particle Inspected and High-Pressure Tested, pass those and you’re the best of the best. Also, the V Seven comes in full-auto rated M16 design that will run great either in a full-auto or a semi-auto gun. Add a lifetime warranty to all of that and suddenly the price is right.

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It All Comes Down to You

What really matters is that you find the best AR-15 bolt carrier group to fit your needs. God only knows that if you keep shooting to any degree, this BCG you order today won’t be your last. That’s not because the BCG won’t last, more directly, you know you will buy or build more weapons, and that is how it should be. Send us an email here at Wing Tactical, and we will make sure that you get what you need, this time and every time.

The best colt carrier group for one person just might be terrible for another. The self-defense, on-duty, or military gun needs to be very dependable. Whereas a rifle used in three-gun competition can bear more severe modification. Whether your shooting habits are simply a box or two of shells a month, or you run through thousands of rounds makes a difference in which is the best bolt carrier group for you. If you’re looking to upgrading your BCG, take a look at the large number of bolt carrier group Wing Tactical has to offer and pick out the one that’s right for your needs today.

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