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Review of Iron City Rifle Works AR-15 BCGs.


The Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) is an integral part of a well-functioning AR-15. In my experience, most reliability issues in the AR-15 can be traced back to an inability for the BCG to cycle properly. The often repeated axiom of AR-15 reliability is, “you can run them dirty, but you can’t run them dry.” The reason why is because if the BCG is lubricated enough, it will still be able to reliably cycle even if in there is substantial carbon build up (fouling) present. Conversely, if there is little or no lubrication present, the BCG will not be able to reliably cycle, resulting in mechanical failures such as failure to extract or failure to feed. So clearly lubricating a BCG is critical to the reliable function of an AR-15. But what if you could apply a hi-tech chemical coating to the surface of the BCG that would make it run like it had a permanently lubricated surface, but that lubrication would never wear off? Such is the idea behind Iron City Rifle Works’ family of Bolt Carrier Groups.

Pictured above is the Iron City Rifle Works Evo S1 – from their line of non-competition, or standard weight BCG’s.  I have quite a bit of experience with the EVO G2 BCG, having put over 5000 rounds through it over the past two seasons shooting 3-Gun.  The only difference between the S1 (standard weight) and G2 (competition) versions is that the G2 version has had material removed in order to make it lighter for use in a competition AR-15 with an adjustable gas block.  Otherwise, they function identically.  I’ve not had any reliability issues in two seasons and over 5000 rounds – the NiB (Nickel Boron) coating on the Evo is amazing.  Keep in mind that a competition rifle is going to be inherently less reliable, as most users are going to adjust the gas block to allow for a minimal amount of recoil.  As such, much less energy is being used to cycle the bolt, which makes it much more prone to experience cycling problems which impact reliability – it won’t take much in the way of resistance to bring the reciprocation of the bolt down to sub-optimal levels.  But again, the EVO has never failed to run reliably for me.  When I do clean my competition AR-15’s (which like many of us isn’t as often as I should) the chore is MUCH easier.  The carbon and copper fouling build up on the BCG from use is greatly reduced thanks to the super-slick EVO surface (Iron City reports a coefficient of friction of 0.08) , and what’s there tends to slide right off with minimal effort.  I’m also quite fond of the “bling” shinny silver aesthetic of the EVO.  It brings some nice “pop” to the traditional all-black AR-15.  The price of the EVO S1 is $249.00.

By way of contrast, the new Ranger Grey S1 BCG has a darker and more subdued matte finish than the EVO S1.  The Ranger Grey S1 has a newer NanoComposite PVD coating technology applied:

The Ranger Grey S1 is Iron City’s new top-of-the-line BCG and is designed to bring the ultimate in performance and reliablity in military, law enforcement, and civilian applications.  The Ranger Grey S1 is priced at $289.00.

As a supplement to this written photo review, I’ve recorded a video which provides some additional information on these two fantastic Bolt Carrier Groups:

I strongly recommend you consider Iron City Rifle Works BCGs for either defensive or compeition use in the AR-15.  Iron City is a great company with great products and provides fantastic customer service.  To purchase products from Iron City Rifle Works, just head over to their website, and be sure to use my own personal discount code to get 10% off!  The code is JH100.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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