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Discussion Starter #1
OK. As many of you know I recently picked up a S&W M&P 15 MOE-MID-SL. It is an absolute blast to shoot and I really like the platform. So I am looking to take advantage of the modularity of the platform and pick up a second upper in a larger caliber. I have narrowed the field down to .450 Bushmaster for the cartridge, and I have two uppers in mind. Both have pros and cons. Main usage would be target and possibly deer/whatever else. I have heard that the .450 bushmaster has less recoil than the .45-70 Gov't, which would be good. I'm not fond of the .45-70, unless I'm wearing a sweater and a heavy coat.

My two choices are based largely on the concept that I want to keep this as budget as possible, but still want a decent quality rifle.

Choice 1 is a Bushmaster FLTTOP REC with a 20" barrel, what appears to be their own design handguard, rifle-length gas system, and chrome lined barrel and chamber.

Choice 2 is a Bear Creek Arsenal upper with Mlok handguard, 18" barrel, mid-length gas system. Barrel is NOT chrome lined.

Both are 'heavy barrel' profiles, the BCA is listed as 4150 steel, Bushmaster doesn't say. I believe both are Parkerized.

Here's the deal. I can get the BCA for about 275 shipped from Bear Creek, and I can get the Bushmaster for 463 from Buds or 436 from Classic Firearms (not likely to buy from them based on reviews, unless you good folks have had good results with them.)

Given the stated uses, and the fact that I would rarely shoot out past 150 yards with it, would YOU go with the BCA or the Bushmaster? I'm sort of leaning towards the BCA, solely for the budget price, but cheaper isn't always better.
 

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Chrome "lined" barrels are generally employed for the sake of durability and not accuracy. The bore isn't plated until after it's rifled, and the plating has a finite thickness which can not be closely controlled. Absent a post-plating operation to ensure uniformity of bore diameter - which I think no one does - a quality steel barrel will have overall a better bore surface and uniformity than a chrome-plated barrel.

What's the practical difference to the end user? Very little. If you expect to run tens of thousands of rounds through your gun, I'd opt for a chrome-plated bore. If downrange accuracy is more important, then I'd go for a 4140 or similar quality steel barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chrome "lined" barrels are generally employed for the sake of durability and not accuracy. The bore isn't plated until after it's rifled, and the plating has a finite thickness which can not be closely controlled. Absent a post-plating operation to ensure uniformity of bore diameter - which I think no one does - a quality steel barrel will have overall a better bore surface and uniformity than a chrome-plated barrel.

What's the practical difference to the end user? Very little. If you expect to run tens of thousands of rounds through your gun, I'd opt for a chrome-plated bore. If downrange accuracy is more important, then I'd go for a 4140 or similar quality steel barrel.
Thank you, sir. Along with Bad Bob's comment, that's the kind of input I'm looking for. The Bear Creek is a 4150 CMV barrel. At 1.25-1.50/rd, I sincerely doubt I'd be putting tens of thousands of rounds, so that info helps a lot, too.
 

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Thank you, sir. Along with Bad Bob's comment, that's the kind of input I'm looking for. The Bear Creek is a 4150 CMV barrel. At 1.25-1.50/rd, I sincerely doubt I'd be putting tens of thousands of rounds, so that info helps a lot, too.
At the price of AR barrels and the simplicity of installing one I would not sweat it.
 

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The current Bushmaster is not the same company or quality of the old (made in Maine) Bushmaster. Like Bad Bob said Bear Creek would definitely be a better choice! Good luck!
 

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The current Bushmaster is not the same company or quality of the old (made in Maine) Bushmaster. Like Bad Bob said Bear Creek would definitely be a better choice! Good luck!
Thank you, sir. I'm definitely going with the Bear Creek. You're not the first to mention that Bushmaster of today isn't like Bushmaster of old. Now it's a matter of waiting for it to be back in stock. (I was ready to go there yesterday and buy, but the 18" is now out of stock. But it's a lower price out of stock, so there's that ... )
Once I get it, and put a scope on it, I'll report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, it came today via UPS. I was able to get it for the lower price, too, and keep the military discount. It'll probably be sometime next week before I can try it out, but it sure looks nice.

Bear Creek Arsenal .450 Bushmaster complete upper, 18" Barrel, Mid-length gas system, 15" MLOK handguard.


BCA-450-BUSHMASTER-SMALL.JPG
 
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