In one of recent Vickers Tactical YouTube channel videos, Larry Vickers talks about his current BCM training carbine. He runs the T&E parts and accessories on this weapon. Some of these parts are prototypes and among them, there is a BCM prototype upper receiver. Let’s see what Bravo Company did to improve the AR-15 upper.
First of all, the company has set a goal to design an improved upper receiver that will weigh as much as the standard mil-spec one. That alone is a good starting point. Surprisingly, the importance of low weight is often times overlooked. It may seem that an additional ounce of weight won’t hurt, but as the saying goes: “ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain”.
BCM engineers have discovered that the AR-15 upper receiver has a tendency to flex in the area opposite to the ejection port location. The ejection port weakens the overall part strength but you obviously need one. What BCM did is added (or should I say didn’t remove?) material in that area and as a result, they ended up with a beefed up portion on the left side of the upper receiver, right in front of the ejection port. The question is, how did they manage to keep the same overall weight if they added material? And the answer is on the flip side of the receiver.
On the right side of the upper receiver, BCM made some changes, too. The forward assist portion is minimized as much as possible. The material removed from the FA housing is what compensates the weight increase caused by the added material on the left side. They have also moved the forward assist closer to the ejection port thus opening more space for the shooter’s hand to reach and operate the ambidextrous charging handle.
As you can see, these are quite simple yet well thought out design changes which we see in many BCM products. Once these upper receivers are released to the market, we will let our readers know.
In the mentioned video, Larry also discusses a lot of other parts and accessories of his BCM training carbine. You can find that video embedded below.