Bravo MID-16 MOD 3 5.56mm incorporates a mid-length gas system for greater reliability on today’s hunting and battlefields!
Many fans of the AR are already familiar with Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) for its top-of-the-line AR parts and accessories, and they include among their customers U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as well as every branch of the U.S. military and federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol. But BCM also manufactures outstanding complete ARs, including the new MID-16 Mod 3 carbine.
Meet The Mod 3
This semi-automatic, direct-gas-impingement-system carbine is chambered in 5.56mm NATO and features a mid-length gas system. The mid-length tube is 2 inches longer than that found on a standard carbine, and it moves the gas hole closer to the muzzle, providing less dwell time—the amount of time the bullet spends in the barrel after it passes the gas tube and before it exits the barrel, helping to reduce wear and tear on internal parts as well as perceived recoil.
The mil-spec barrel, made from 11595E steel, features a chrome-lined bore and chamber. The barrel is also high-pressure (HP) and magnetic-particle (MP) certified. While pressure testing is fairly common, MP testing is only required of true mil-spec parts. This process consists of using a magnetic field to detect any imperfections in the surface or subsurface of the part, ensuring that only the highest-quality parts are being used. The barrel also features a mil-spec 1-in-7-inch twist rate, which allows the barrel to stabilize even the heaviest bullets.
The threaded barrel also features a complete manganese-phosphate finish and is topped off with a standard A2-style flash suppressor. The forged front sight is properly taper pinned and F-marked. The rear of the barrel extension also features M4 feed ramps, which are cut wider and lower than on standard AR rifles and help ensure more reliable feeding from the magazine under harsh conditions.
The handguard from Midwest Industries is the SS-series, a two-piece, 6061-T6 aluminum unit with movable accessory rails at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Three rails sections are included, two that are 1.5 inches long and one that is 3 inches long. This handguard features very large and pronounced lightening/ventilation cuts that work well to cool the barrel. Because of this, I experienced no discomfort during two extended range sessions. Five quick-detach (QD) sling swivel points are included, and the continuous top rail extends over the delta ring and meets up with the flattop upper receiver for an uninterrupted 16 inches of Picatinny rail space.
The upper and lower receivers are both machined from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings with a hardcoat anodized finish. The fit between the two was firm and exhibited no play, but the takedown pins could still be used without tools. A Troy Industries rear folding Battle Sight stays neatly out of the way when using optics and deploys quickly when needed with push-button activation. This sight is constructed of 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and is adjustable for windage.
Another welcome feature, especially with optics mounted, is the BCM Gunfighter charging handle, which allows for single-handed, super-fast operation of the action, retracting the bolt with only one half of the handle. Indeed, BCM first came to my attention with this must-have accessory, and the latest version features a newly designed extended charging handle latch and reinforced construction.
The Lower Lowdown
The lower receiver features all of the standard AR controls, with the safety selector and bolt-hold-open/release on the left side and the magazine release on the right. The upper receiver also includes the standard forward assist and dust cover. The safety selector has well-marked “safe” and “fire” settings that are visible on both sides of the rifle, along with a notch on the right side, so the condition can be easily determined.
The standard triggerguard has been replaced with an upgraded Magpul MOE enhanced triggerguard, and BCM has also added its own new, ergonomic Gunfighter pistol grip. This grip is a vast improvement over the standard-issue grip and features aggressive stippling on the sides and horizontal grooves on the front. It also has a sizable, watertight storage compartment and is made from tough, impact-resistant polymer.
The standard six-position collapsible stock, made of polymer, includes a steel sling-attachment point at the toe and encompasses a mil-spec 7075-T6 buffer tube. The tube is secured with a heavy and stacked M4 lock nut, and inside rides the correct-weight H-marked buffer. Heavier buffers offer distinct advantages, slowing down the bolt and bolt carrier travel to ensure proper case extraction and keeping the internal parts from slamming into each other with as much force. This also reduces the recoil signature.
The bolt itself is machined from Carpenter 158 steel and then HP and MP proofed and inspected. The bolt, fully chrome-lined and shot-peened, also has a properly staked gas key using Grade 8 hardened fasteners. Shot-peening provides compressive stress to the bolt surface, increasing metal fatigue resistance and extending the part’s operational life.
The mil-spec bolt carrier group also uses an M16 chrome-lined carrier, which is stronger and heavier than cheaper commercial bolts and helps to ensure longer and more reliable operation. It should be noted that mil-spec M16 bolt carriers are legal to install in semi-auto rifles. The heavier bolt and heavier buffer work in concert to more securely and aggressively chamber rounds and also reduce the incidence of bolt bounce. Bolt bounce can occur when there is insufficient mass pushing the bolt carrier forward, and as a result, it bounces against the receiver extension before finally closing. This can detrimentally affect function in full-auto guns and during fast firing in semi-auto. To ensure superior reliability, BCM has also improved the extractor, using tool steel for strength and installing its extra-strength extractor spring and insert.
During testing, the BCM MID-16 Mod 3 carbine experienced no malfunctions over two range sessions with zero maintenance performed in between. At just over 6.5 pounds unloaded, the MID-16 was very lightweight, extremely handy and well balanced—definitely a plus for a rifle with so many extra features. For accuracy testing, firing at 100 yards from a stable benchrest, I used the Trijicon 3-9×40 TR20-2 AccuPoint scope.
The rifle exhibited a distinct preference for heavier bullets, and I got my best results using match-grade 75-grain .223 ammunition from HPR. The single-stage trigger was excellent and very crisp, with no take-up and minimal creep but a nearly 7-pound pull weight. It’s definitely a tactical trigger.
The BCM MID-16 Mod 3 carbine is an outstanding American-made rifle purpose-built for serious use. It comes out of the box with all the tactical features and improvements most desire, eliminating the need to make any adjustments. For more information, call 877-272-8626 or visit bravocompanyusa.com.