May 13, 2020
By David Fortier
It seems like everyone and their brother is making an AR. There are so many manufacturers/assemblers out there that it can get fairly confusing. It’s important to understand that while they all might look alike, some are indeed built better, using higher-quality components, than others.
One name that stands out is Bravo Company Manufacturing or BCM. Based out of Hartland, Wisconsin, Bravo Company has evolved from offering AR accessories, parts, barrels and upper receiver assemblies to now offering complete rifles.
Bravo Company Manufacturing was founded in 2005 to meet the demands of the private Protective Services Detail (PSD) market. While PSDs performed missions that were similar to the military, they were not in the military supply chain and needed a commercial alternative they could depend on.
The BCM product line was subsequently built with these needs in mind, following the philosophy of “no shortcuts.” You didn’t need to wonder about the quality of steel used in a bolt or barrel or if the piece was properly made.
The 16-inch AR-15 I reviewed is the company’s MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR model. It’s chambered for .300 BLK, and a similar rifle is also available in 5.56.
The foundation is a Bravo Company flattop upper receiver. This good-looking rifle sports T-marks that aid in remounting optics, iron sights or accessories to the same location. The upper has standard features such as a forward assist, brass deflector and ejection port door cover. Riding inside the upper is a BCM bolt carrier machined to military specifications. It has a Parkerized exterior while the interior is chrome lined.
Fitted to the carrier is a proper mil-spec gas key that is chrome-lined and heat-treated. It is secured by two properly staked Grade 8 fasteners, and the bolt assembly is machined from mil-spec Carpenter No. 158 steel and shot peened for increased strength. It’s fitted with an extractor and ejector machined from tool steel and Bravo’s extractor spring. It is also High Pressure Tested (HPT) and Magnetic Particle Inspected (MPI).
At the rear of the upper you’ll find a BCM Gunfighter charging handle. Racking a standard charging handle straight back with the support hand can place a lot of stress on the 1/16-inch roll pin, and under hard use the roll pin/latch can fail. This is especially true if you run an extended latch.
The Gunfighter latch is an extended latch, but it’s been redesigned internally to take the load off the roll pin and place it onto the body of the charging handle itself. The latch and handle feature limiters, which strengthens the design, and the latch itself has been beefed-up.
Mated to the front of the receiver is a 16-inch, cold-hammer-forged barrel. The barrel is machined with a continuous taper from mil-spec 11595E, HPT and MPI steel. It is fluted from the chamber to the rear of the gas block to reduce weight, increase surface area and aid balance. It is chrome lined to enhance service life and has M4 feed ramps. Barrel twist is 1:7, which allows use of a wide range of bullet weights. The muzzle features 5/8x24 threads and has a Bravo Comp Mod 1 to aid control.
The carbine-length gas system is the traditional Stoner direct-impingement design. A low-profile gas block is fitted and tucks neatly beneath the 13-inch MCMR handguard. The aluminum handguard is free-floating with an M1913 rail at 12 o’clock and M-Lok slots around its circumference for a wide variety of accessories.
Bravo Company mounts the upper to one of its forged lower receivers. This was nicely outfitted with a Bravo PNT single-stage trigger group that provides a crisp reset. To facilitate use with gloves, an oversize BCM trigger guard comes standard. A BCM QD end plate is fitted for easy attachment of a sling.
Furniture consists of a Bravo Company Mod 3 pistol grip with internal storage compartment and a BCM collapsible stock. The stock is robust, easy to adjust and nicely contoured. A rubber buttpad keeps the butt from sliding around, and there are multiple sling attachment points.The MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR weighs in at 6.1 pounds without magazine or accessories and is only 32.5 inches in length with the stock collapsed. Included is a BCM 30-round magazine.
In the hands the MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR is light, quick handling and well balanced. The handguard is small in diameter and comfortable to hold. The stock adjusts easily, has zero play and provides a bit of cheek support.
During my initial examination, I noted the bolt carrier reciprocated smoothly, the controls all functioned as they should and magazines dropped cleanly free. The finish is nicely applied, and I found zero issues to gripe about.
For testing I attached a Leupold Mk4 1.5-5x20mm scope with a .300 BLK BDC reticle using a Geissele one-piece mount. I chose this scope because it has hold-over points for both supersonic and subsonic .300 AAC BLK loads. Test ammunition consisted of both supersonic and subsonic loads ranging in weight from 110 to 220 grains from Barnes, Hornady, Remington and SIG Sauer.
Accuracy was checked shooting from a rest at 100 yards. Despite rather gusty wind conditions, the MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR performed well for such a lightweight carbine. Cartridges fed smoothly, chambered without issue and extracted and ejected flawlessly. The single-stage trigger is a bit heavy but broke cleanly. Recoil is very mild, and it is a comfortable rifle to shoot. It is also a great deal of fun.
Accuracy results are found in the accompanying chart. I did note a significant point of impact change switching from supersonic to subsonic loads, which is to be expected. Subsonic loads impacted 10 to 14 inches lower on the target.
From the bench I moved to shooting paper and steel silhouettes from 25 to 100 yards. Here the MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR really shined. It’s quick to the shoulder, handles well and has a smooth recoil impulse. It’s easy to control shooting fast. I shot drills from both shoulders, and switching back and forth, with no issues.
Next, I extended the distance a bit and moved to shooting prone off the magazine from 280 to 500 yards. While the .300 BLK is at its best inside 300 yards, I just wanted to see what I could do pushing it a bit farther just to have some fun. At 280 yards the MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR shot a nice 5.5-inch group in the center of the silhouette’s chest.
My next berm is at 400 yards, and while the cartridge struggles a bit in the wind, it did very well at this distance. I simply held using the reticle, adjusted for the gusting wind and fired. The Bravo Company carbine held the center of the chest without issue. Past this, I had to be on my game due to a gusting wind and the size of the 20x11-inch LaRues I was aiming for. At 500 yards I made frequent hits, but the Kansas wind was getting the better of me.
I switched from supersonic ammunition to Hornady’s 208-grain subsonic. Using the Leupold’s BDC marks, I was able to put 10 rounds out of 10 on a steel silhouette at 280 yards. Yes, the subsonic bullets take a while to get out there, but if you can dope the wind, you can have quite a bit of fun shooting them beyond 100 yards.
I love the AR-15 and its ability to be easily tailored to my tastes. The .300 BLK simply increases the versatility of this wonderful platform. While suggested retail of the MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR is not inexpensive at $1,500, it is a well-made piece. If you are looking for a quick-handling, reliable and accurate .30 caliber semiauto carbine for use inside 300 yards, I’d seriously consider Bravo Company’s MK12 16 300 BLK MCMR.
Bravo Company MK12 MCMR SpecsType:
30-round detachable box magazineBarrel:
16 in., tapered w/fluting, chrome-lined, 1:7 twistOverall Length:
6 lb., 1 oz.Stock:
BCM Gunfighter collapsibleFinish:
BCM PNT single-stage; 5 lb. pull (measured)Sights:
None; optics railSafety:
Bravo Company; BravoCompanyUSA.com
Bravo Company MK12 MCMR Accuracy Results