SOLGW vs BCM

#1
I'm trying to decide on a rifle to buy for personal use. I'm an LEO and while I have a rifle for duty provided by the department, its obviously not the highest of quality. I have heard good things about SOLGW and everyone everywhere says BCM is good. I don't think I wanna go into KAC or Hodge price territory but if I'm sacrificing quality by going somewhere else then I'll go there. Mostly I'm wanting some education on SOLGW vs BCM and what I'm getting and losing with each brand. Thanks.
 
#2
I don't really think it matters much anymore. A lot of good contenders out there in the "better-than-a 6920" class for a work gun. I like the FN Tac II line personally. DD was once in that list (though their current pricing is not in line with where they sit in the heirarchy), Geissele's is getting vertically integrated in the game if you're into that.
 

Wake27

Regular Member
#3
I'm trying to decide on a rifle to buy for personal use. I'm an LEO and while I have a rifle for duty provided by the department, its obviously not the highest of quality. I have heard good things about SOLGW and everyone everywhere says BCM is good. I don't think I wanna go into KAC or Hodge price territory but if I'm sacrificing quality by going somewhere else then I'll go there. Mostly I'm wanting some education on SOLGW vs BCM and what I'm getting and losing with each brand. Thanks.
I think you’ll only find very minor things. Personally I’d go with BCM because they’re a bigger/more established company with a longer track record and I’ve had great products and experiences in the past. None of that means you’d necessarily be giving something up by going SOLGW. If you do go SOLGW though, I personally wouldn’t buy direct from them. It’d be easier to get exactly what you want because you can customize a lot on their site, but I’ve seen (and had) too many issues with their ordering and fulfillment process.


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#4
I don't really think it matters much anymore. A lot of good contenders out there in the "better-than-a 6920" class for a work gun. I like the FN Tac II line personally. DD was once in that list (though their current pricing is not in line with where they sit in the heirarchy), Geissele's is getting vertically integrated in the game if you're into that.
Thanks for the input. Yeah FN seems quality as well and Geissele has their new rifles out...if only there were any reviews on the geissele super duty line of rifles out there. Their BCG and CHF barrel has me wondering if that wouldn't be a good option.
 
#5
I think you’ll only find very minor things. Personally I’d go with BCM because they’re a bigger/more established company with a longer track record and I’ve had great products and experiences in the past. None of that means you’d necessarily be giving something up by going SOLGW. If you do go SOLGW though, I personally wouldn’t buy direct from them. It’d be easier to get exactly what you want because you can customize a lot on their site, but I’ve seen (and had) too many issues with their ordering and fulfillment process.


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Thank you for the help. BCM seems to be the new standard these days. I have never ordered from either so thanks for the input.
 
#6
but I’ve seen (and had) too many issues with their ordering and fulfillment process.
I didn't want to bring that up, but my name can be found under that big 'ol SOLGW thread on M4C as one of those unhappy campers.

Re: Geissele...While I mentioned it as an example to my point, I'd skip them from an availability stand point.



Don't forget Forward Controls Design. Centurion is also making some decent guns with FN barrels (with the gas ports on the upper end of the general range).
 

Nate Osborne

NateMac
Staff member
Moderator
#7
I have both, and I would say that either of them are just fine. I like the springco extractor spring in the SOLGW over the o-ring/rubber insert on the BCM, and I also like that you can get SOLGW BCGs and LPKs from Primary Arms on some pretty great sales if you are willing to wait. I think the complete BCM uppers that are available are really good, and if you like the idea of a chrome-lined barrel more than nitride, then BCM is your best bet. SOLGW also has great uppers, and you can get them from resellers which means fast shipping. Honestly flip a coin and you will get a good option. One way to decide might be to see what options each company has, and which is closest to your personal preference. I like the barrel profiles from BCM better personally, but the wedgelock forends might be better than the KMR/MCMR from BCM. Really when it comes down to it we are splitting hairs.
 
#8
I have both, and I would say that either of them are just fine. I like the springco extractor spring in the SOLGW over the o-ring/rubber insert on the BCM, and I also like that you can get SOLGW BCGs and LPKs from Primary Arms on some pretty great sales if you are willing to wait. I think the complete BCM uppers that are available are really good, and if you like the idea of a chrome-lined barrel more than nitride, then BCM is your best bet. SOLGW also has great uppers, and you can get them from resellers which means fast shipping. Honestly flip a coin and you will get a good option. One way to decide might be to see what options each company has, and which is closest to your personal preference. I like the barrel profiles from BCM better personally, but the wedgelock forends might be better than the KMR/MCMR from BCM. Really when it comes down to it we are splitting hairs.
Do you have one of the wedgelock rifles? The EX02 rail looks good but the M476 is pricier (obviously because of the A5 extension etc) but the way the rail is cut on the 76 makes it look not as strong as the EX02 or even the MCMR because of the cuts which I assume are to cut down on weight.
 

Wake27

Regular Member
#9
but I’ve seen (and had) too many issues with their ordering and fulfillment process.
I didn't want to bring that up, but my name can be found under that big 'ol SOLGW thread on M4C as one of those unhappy campers.

Re: Geissele...While I mentioned it as an example to my point, I'd skip them from an availability stand point.



Don't forget Forward Controls Design. Centurion is also making some decent guns with FN barrels (with the gas ports on the upper end of the general range).
There have been a lot of those, and while the owner usually throws his personal cell number out there to solve the issue, that’s not the right answer on such a frequent basis. Hell I ordered an A5 kit that turned out to be out of stock and it took several emails and I think over a week to get it cancelled after I was notified that it was OOS.


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#10
If you're looking in that BCM / SOLGW price point it may also be worth considering:

- Midwest Industries - full builds and uppers with FN and Criterion barrels at a competitive price (and their rails are very light).
- Primary Weapons Systems (PWS) - long stroke piston design, various lengths available and suppress well.
- Triarc - great options for barrel lengths, add ons, and the tri-lock rails are very nice.

Weapon Outfitters does a good job on custom built uppers as well with lots of options from components (including Hodge barrels) to gunsmith services like pin/weld.

What are you looking to do with the rifle? General all-around? Home defense? Classes? Close quarters or mid distance capability? Suppressed or no? Red dot or LVPO? Do you care about proprietary parts?

All of these factor in to the choice. For example - if looking for a general all-around close-to-mid distance rifle that I don't want to SBR I'd probably look for a mid-length gas 13.9-14.5 pinned and welded. If weight is a concern such as with a LVPO or you're going to have the rifle slung for long periods, maybe a lighter upper is worth while - such as a hybrid profile Midwest Industries upper or a similar BCM. If using laser aiming devices, something with a sturdier rail may make more sense (such as Geissele super duty or wedge-lock type). If SBR or pistol is an option, 11.5" - 12.5" may suit your needs. If you don't want any proprietary parts, that rules out a bunch of companies (KAC, anyone making a piston upper, etc).

According to Triarc they're getting comparable velocities out of their 13.9 to a standard 14.5 barrel, which is kind of neat.

Personally, if I were looking for an all-around hard-use defense and training carbine I would probably spec:
- 13.9"-14.5" Pin/Weld to 16" direct impingement with quality barrel and choice of muzzle device
- Forged upper receiver
- Pinned gas block
- M-Lok Rail
- Quality BCG
- Quality trigger
- Quality red dot or LVPO
- Modlite or Surefire WML
- Quality sling

Of the companies listed that would leave Weapon Outfitters/other custom build, SOLGW and Triarc. That being said, you can't go wrong with BCM - some things just come down to personal preference and tradeoffs that are acceptable to your end use.
 
#11
If you're looking in that BCM / SOLGW price point it may also be worth considering:
Of the companies listed that would leave Weapon Outfitters/other custom build, SOLGW and Triarc. That being said, you can't go wrong with BCM - some things just come down to personal preference and tradeoffs that are acceptable to your end use.
Since you mentioned it:
I've been meaning to ask; whats the consensus on doing a Weapon Outfitters custom build? Does that fall into "dont rely on frankenbuilds" territory?
 

user12358

Regular Member
#12
I've been meaning to ask; whats the consensus on doing a Weapon Outfitters custom build? Does that fall into "dont rely on frankenbuilds" territory?
I had them pin gas block when getting a pair of 12.5" Hodge barrels and the work was well done. However, no matter how good the parts are put together you still don't have a guarantee of proper functioning in a wide variety of conditions or even functioning at all with a frankenbuild like you do when you buy a factory rifle and leave it in factory condition.

I don't think anyone here would consider Hodge barrels to be a subpar but when adding a suppressor the guns were wildly over gassed and required sizing the gas ports down to 0.046 & 0.049 based on the buffer system being used even though they are advertised as 5.56 and suppressor only barrels. Unless you know how to tune a gun and are prepared to put the thousands of rounds through it to prove it out I wouldn't recommend doing anything other than putting an optic, light, and laser on a factory system from a reputable manufacturer for a duty gun.
 

Gypsy EDC

Regular Member
#13
I wouldn't recommend doing anything other than putting an optic, light, and laser on a factory system from a reputable manufacturer for a duty gun.
So many people don't get that if your intention is to acquire a weapon for serious use, make sure it's a serious weapon. If it's for a hobby, then hobby grade components and assembly are ok.
For hd carbines I only run factory uppers if not complete rifles. Seen too many failures to risk it.
We are mostly a PWS house but for DI we've been happy with BCM and the newer DD uppers
 
#15
I don't think anyone here would consider Hodge barrels to be a subpar but when adding a suppressor the guns were wildly over gassed and required sizing the gas ports down to 0.046 & 0.049 based on the buffer system being used even though they are advertised as 5.56 and suppressor only barrels.
Interesting. I'd have figured that a .062 port would be perfect for a "suppressed 50% of the time" 12.5 barrel. Seeing as the industry standard for a 12.5 seems to be around .070. Am I missing something?

Also, who reported the over gassing? Not trying to interrogate you btw, just curious to know more.
 

user12358

Regular Member
#16
Interesting. I'd have figured that a .062 port would be perfect for a "suppressed 50% of the time" 12.5 barrel. Seeing as the industry standard for a 12.5 seems to be around .070. Am I missing something?

Also, who reported the over gassing? Not trying to interrogate you btw, just curious to know more.
The first barrel was where I found the overgassing. The gun was throwing brass at 1:00 to 1:30 and excessively impacting the receiver extension during cycling with a Surefire 556 Mini can, A5H4 buffer, and Tubbs AR-10 buffer spring while firing standard pressure 5.56 which is pretty ridiculous. You don't want to use that much mass and spring regulation as that is just a band-aid fix. As the gun sits it has a 0.049" gas port with an M4-2K, A5H1 buffer, and Tubbs AR-15 flat wire spring. When perfectly clean and in warm temperatures it throws brass at 3:00 and by 1,400 to 1,700 rounds without cleaning the ejection will have moved to around 4:30 to 5:00 and the gun will start to have issues a little over 2,000 rounds without cleaning with the ejector spring and ejector getting so gummed up from all the blow back that the gun will start stovepiping or just plain ramming cases into the ejection port. Obviously, I clean the gun far before those intervals but I like to run any new gun to failure a few times to proof out the system and find the upper limits.

The other barrel is in a buddy's build which has a 0.046" gas port, Surefire 556 RC can, and a JP SCS H2. It throws brass at 3:30-4:00 when clean and is a joy to shoot at distance with the K16i on top. I am not sure on its failure schedule. The Hodge does seem like it should be a good compromise gas port size and I honestly have not attempted to shoot either gun in their current configuration without a can to see if it would cycle but I doubt they would. For my use case though the gun will never be unsuppressed, it will never be fired unsuppressed, and I wanted the least amount of visual signature at night which is why I am using a high back pressure can. Using shorter cans, over bored cans, or less aggressive baffle designs all help create less variance in gas drive requirements between suppressed and unsuppressed but all three have trade offs. At the end of the day every manufacturer seems to err on the side of too much gas because it results in less headaches for them and is easier to fix for the end user.
 
#17
Both are great brands but the end user support and especially support for LEOs gives the edge to SOLGW. SOLGW will replace any parts that wear out and they'll give a temporary replacement duty rifle to LEOs in case their patrol rifle gets taken as evidence.
 
#18
I am currently piecing together an upper build with components from both companies:

BCM MCMR-13
BCM Upper Receiver
SOLGW 13.7 Barrel
SOLGW Nox
Forward Controls Gas Block

I’m excited about it as I’m switching from an Aero Precision complete upper. If I remember, I will post about it here after I’ve got some rounds down range.