TFB Exclusive: BG Defense's Contractor AR Piston Series

Matt E
by Matt E

Now I can already tell some of you are reading the title wondering who BG Defense is and I can understand why. They are a growing custom AR manufacturer in Grand Rapids, MI and they are somewhat of a rarity. In a sea of small AR manufacturers, these guys live and breath AR-15s. They do mostly government and Law Enforcement contracts for various departments around the country but are pushing more into the commercial market. I can hear some of you guys groaning saying get on with it and talk about the rifle.

“The Contractor”

The Contractor is BG Defense’s newest addition to their AR lineup with a brand new short stroke piston design. Now I know a lot of you guys aren’t all fans of piston driven guns on here. I know some on here prefer direct impingement rifles, but the piston system is the Contractor’s party piece. The 14.5 Contractor Rifle weighs in at 6 lb 13 oz and the pistol weighs 6 lb 0.5 oz. For comparison, BG’s standard direct impingement SPR rifle weighs 6 lbs 10.5 oz. For a piston variant to only add 2.5 oz to the overall set up is fairly amazing when it used to add at least a pound if not more.

Both the pistol and rifle variants will come with a laundry list of upgraded parts as standard. On the rifles, there will be 14.5″ barrels with pinned and welded Silencerco ASR muzzle brakes. They will also come with a Titanium Nitride bolt carrier group as standard. The Contractor Pistol comes with an SBA3 brace as standard, along with the ASR Muzzle brake as well.

Other things caught my eye as well, like the fact every rifle and pistol are hard coat anodized and then Cerakoted for a longer lasting finish. Not many companies are doing that and it honestly impressed me. I enjoyed the fact everything is built in the United States and it’s a veteran owned company.

Overall First Impressions

Both systems are in the final stages of prototyping and BG Defense is set to start shipping sometime by the end of summer. I’m very impressed with the overall weight of the Contractor compared to a standard DI gun. Luckily, I had the opportunity to shoot the guns in their shop. Both guns seemed to be very soft shooters without having a much muzzle blast. They each had crisp 2 stage triggers in them as standard. I will be ordering a contractor to do a longer write up on so stay tuned this summer for that. If you guys have any questions please feel free to contact me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Let me know what you guys think of the gun in the comments below. Stay safe out there and stay tuned for more information on these new ARs.

Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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  • Nomar Vazquez Nomar Vazquez on Jun 15, 2019

    anybody here had any good experience with piston-driven ARs though?

    • See 5 previous
    • Nomar Vazquez Nomar Vazquez on Jun 26, 2019

      @ Thank you for the information, sir.

  • RegT RegT on Jun 16, 2019

    Adams Arms makes excellent piston kits, based (an almost exact copy) on the AR-18/180 piston system. They are lightweight, too. I've had one on a Bushmaster for the last eight years, and I love it. Chamber and bolt stay clean, ammo in the mag stays clean. No issues at all after over 4000 rounds of various weights of 5.56 and .223.