Iron City Rifles Releases New AR Competition Bolt Carrier

I have enjoyed seeing the plethora of new products and proliferation of mission-specific components. The latest to the game is Iron City Rifle Works of Alabama which has announced the release of new competition-oriented light-weight bolt carrier groups.

The new bolt carriers are made of the standard high-end materials including 8620 bolt carrier, Carpenter 158 bolts, etc. Included in the mix is a Titanium version. All bolt carriers  also keep forward-assist serrations for those doing press-checks or somehow manage to get their pretty rifles all dirty on a stage.


Technical details below:



Full Press Release Below:

Iron City Rifle Works, LLC Debuts New Competition Bolt Carrier

Indian Springs, AL (September 2015), Iron City Rifle Works LLC, designer of specialized

weapon components, announces the release of their new lightweight competition bolt carriers and our ultralight titanium carriers. These are the first products of many that will be introduced in the Fall 2015/Spring 2016 season.

The lightweight competition carriers will be made of 8620 steel and will be coated in four different coatings: Black Diamond (DLC), CopperHead (PVD), C4V (TiN), EVO (NiB EXO). The Ultralight Titanium Carrier will be coated in Black (DLC). All Iron City carriers will feature forward assist without sacrificing any weight.

Using industry leading manufacturing standards along with coatings that have the lowest coefficient friction of any on the market ICRW bolt carriers will provide superior wear resistance, lighting fast cycle rate, increased lubricity and less felt recoil.

Enhanced bolts are also available and are coated to match each carrier. Made of carpenter 158 steel, shot and peened and MPI.

You can find more information on our website

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Holy sh-t, these guys just jumped the shark.
    $500 for a carrier.

    • Daniel

      Retail price man. Street price will be a much more reasonable $400.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Oh, then ill take three.

      • Joshua

        It’s a carrier…

    • ostiariusalpha

      They didn’t just jump the shark, they decided that they wanted those gills on their carrier. Structural integrity be damned!

      • MR

        I’m pretty sure they could have skeletonized it some more. For a few shots, anyway. Modern top fuel engines are completely torn down between every run, and major components are routinely replaced two or three times per weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the upper-tier 3gun competitors are approaching that point. Totally unpractical for mere mortals, but just part of the game for those who wish to compete.

    • Otm Shooter

      It doesn’t even come with a bolt! I’d be out of money and still wouldn’t be able to use it.

    • These are for a very specific market that has shown that they are willing to pay $500 for an ultra light weight carrier.

      Personally I am interested in seeing the weight, and seeing if they can withstand competition practice schedules. As I am in the market for a Ti bolt carrier for my 3 gun rifle.

      • raz-0

        Well, a certain segment that wants titanium carriers will pay upwards of $400. This segment of the market has yet to keep one of the titanium carrier makers in business as such for more than a year or thereabouts. I’m not sure the market is there to support it.

        Their lightened EXo coated one is reasonably priced for the market, and what will likely keep them in the carrier making business if anything does.

    • MR

      Sure, for the most expensive titanium model. The steel carriers are a bit closer to reality, considering the extra machine work done to them. Honda will be happy to charge you $60,000 for a car, but you can also get a brand new Civic for less than $20,000.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        True but the difference in performance between an Acura and a Civic isn’t the same equation for these carriers.

        • MR

          I guess that depends on what you’re after. For my little commute, an Acura would be a waste of money, similar to using one of these carriers in a plinking rifle. But other people have different priorities, opening up the market for products like Acuras, Mercedes, and race gun parts.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I guess I don’t understand the difference between a race gun with fancy parts and a combat rifle with regular stuff that I may bet my life on.

          • MR

            Well if you were being sarcastic this whole time, my responses were totally inappropriate. Sorry, sometimes I fail to read the correct tone into text.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            No I wasn’t I truly don’t understand the difference because I’ve never shot a race gun.

          • MR

            As I see it, with a race gun or range toy, you can sacrifice some reliability in favor of other aspects of performance. With a battle rifle, much of the focus remains on reliability- accuracy and speed are important also, but they don’t get to overshadow reliability as much as they might on a race gun. Just my rational.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            At my age I’ll take reliability over speed.

  • andrey kireev

    What’s wrong with a standard bolt carrier, or just a simple nib coated one ? Did we really ventured that far into a realm of tacticool gimmicks ?

    • Tom of Toms

      Shoot a tuned gas-system with a low mass carrier and you’ll understand that it has its purpose. Whether or not YOU have a purpose for it is all you can say.

      • andrey kireev

        We’re not here to discuss my purpose, but to rag on what seems an overpriced product… for around that price you could buy a Glock (insert modern polymer handgun) or an AK… or a cheaper AR or a lot of ammo to actually shoot your rifle ?

        • Tom of Toms

          100% agree with you there. For most, hard-earned money is better spent elsewhere, especially if we’re talking about making ourselves better marksmen. But, when you’re competing professionally, or are a die-hard tech geek, splitting hairs is the name of the game, and it usually requires a fat wallet to get it done. PCs, cars, guns, RCs…not terribly expensive hobbies to start, but prohibitively expensive to truly compete. (And I don’t mean “just showing up” to compete. I mean “making a Grand Master want to practice”.)

          • lucusloc

            Pretty much this. This is not a “consumer” product in the traditional sense of the word, this is a specialty product for race guns that anyone who wants to build a race gun can buy. Race stuff is always super specialized and expensive, no matter what hobby you are in. No one really needs a $25k carbon fiber body kit for their car, unless they are trying to shave off fractions of a second from their lap time, then they kinda do.

        • Vhyrus

          I actually bought an AR this weekend from PSA for 430 bucks out the door. This wasn’t a parts kit either, it was a complete lower and upper.

          • Rick5555

            I did the same thing. I bought a complete lower with Magpul SL Stock and grip for $150. And a 10.5″ Nitride Upper that came with a NiB BCG and Charging Handle. This was last weekend deals (9/25-9/28). The upper was $280. Haven’t gotten said items yet. But then we know how PSA is when it comes to shipping. Knowing that in advance. And you won’t get frustrated in their shipping. Now have to wait for my form 1 from the ATF. What fun. But a nice SBR for $ 430. Not sure how PSA does it. But they always have these weekend and daily specials. Which are hard to ignore.

        • And people spend more than a Glock on a barrel for a 1911.

          This is aimed at a specific market, that has specific needs. Because of the small size of the market the product is priced accordingly. But to the people in the market it is worth every penny.

          Not every product is intended for general consumption.

        • MR

          I think he’s trying to explain why it might not be overpriced, depending on your purpose. Which you don’t seem to want to discuss…

    • Steve_7

      You don’t need a full-weight carrier in a semi-auto, it’s meaningless. All Colt’s did was fiddle with it slightly to make it legal, however for a bespoke semi-auto you don’t need all that weight slamming back and forth. With a lighter carrier the gun cycles faster and you have less felt recoil.

      I never understand this fascination with “milspec”. Milspec means made in quantity by the lowest bidder. Or meets some pointless requirement that is irrelevant to a civilian.

      • andrey kireev

        I don’t think it matters all that much. From what I’ve seen it barely has any effect on the recoil….

        • Steve_7

          It does reduce the recoil and it means you can use a smaller compensator to eliminate it pretty much altogether.

  • USMC03Vet

    Looks like some NASA designed space dildo. Yeah I said it.

  • Vitsaus

    Competition guys are ruining guns. Most of the most laughable gimmick junk that comes out is targeted at them.

    • iksnilol

      Oh noes, don’t direct this at me. Only competition guns of mine are heavy and have fancy stuff like diopter sights.

      It’s the dynamic competition guys these are directed at.

      • They have another tactical model being developed.

        • iksnilol

          This, this wasn’t the tactical model!?

          Good God, what’s next? Will they add rails to it so you can attach a light there to light up the barrel when cleaning it?

    • Not_a_Federal_Agent

      Wow, man its such a shame that newer, lighter components are being designed for competition shooters! Its almost like technology that proves itself in that realm may trickle down to every-day firearms that are lighter weight and more reliable as manufacturing processes improve with better materials and designs are fine tuned.

      30-06 is fine, does everything you want it too. Why would anybody NEED anything other than a Winchester Model 70 HUH?

      God I just hate how new things RUIN guns.

      Not that I have any interest in a 500 dollar BCG that is more-or-less a gimmick.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        So you agree with him. Got it.

        • lucusloc

          I think his point was that he did not have a use for it, but the advances that are made in competition guns can provide benefits to regular shooters after all the bug are worked out by the competition guys.

          The same thing happens with cars and race cars. Racers are often used as testing and proving grounds for technology that eventually wind up improving consumer cars.

      • micmac80

        This has nothing to do with the weight of the firearm and is actually bad for reliability. Its about higher rate of fire and faster time to reaquire the target

        Dynamic shooters are all highs speed and low drag for super fast shooting mostly at targets less than 10 yards away ,precision shooters on the other hand use heavy bolt carriers , military use heavy bolt carriers as the both aid reliability and accuracy. Average user is wasting cash going for a light bolt carrier

      • MR

        Yes, yes, let the snark flow through you…

  • Kyle

    Thoae are so.e weird looking BCGs. So do these work with a standard upper? They are all squared off. Wouldn’t that leave empty space around the BCG?

    • We shall see I’m testing the Black Diamond—-

      • Kyle

        I hope you post your results. I’m curious about both effect of the empty space in the upper and if the reduced surface will wear on the rifle. By that I mean if there will be any noticeable additional wear on the upper where the angles are on the BCG.

        /Also sorry about murdering that first sentence in my earlier post. I fat fingered my phone’s keyboard.

        • I will. That’s the whole purpose of getting it is to write a review of it. I am curious about function with lighter weight etc. We shall see.

          No big deal fat fingers happen:-)

    • MR

      If they have their geometry right, the corners will contact the receiver in the appropriate areas to locate the bolt properly, and the reduced mass and aerodynamic drag will improve cycle times for those willing to put in the effort. Not me, mind you, I’ll stick with the standard design. But some competition participants are willing to tailor their firearm around lightweight components and specialty ammunition.

  • iksnilol

    Rule 34.

    That’s how you know what they look like, right?

  • tony

    Light weight carriers == failures to feed, excess bolt speed, less casing dwell time, failures to extract

  • Grindstone50k

    Lifespan: 500 rds.

  • MR

    Shot AND peened? That’s a new one on me, these guys must really know what they’re talking about.

  • Vitor Roma

    I can understand the criticism to those super lightweight bolts but not for those new low friction coatings. Reduced friction is always good, it means less wear, less heat and they usually make the surface easy to clean.