Bravo means quality
After the September 11 attacks, the first global war of the XXI century began, the war on terror. It was also the first truly media war in which the struggles of the coalition forces were widely broadcast and reported, also on the Internet. It wasn't long before American gunners, whose right to possess firearms are protected by a second amendment to the constitution, wanted to have weapons as close as possible to those used by American commandos in Afganistan and Iraq - the M4A1 rifles.
The case was greatly facilitated by the removal of the ban on possession of "assault" weapons introduced by the Bill Clinton administration in 1994 (Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994). This enabled the sale of weapons with a dangerous construction such as a flash hider or telescopic stock. Behind this change, many new manufacturers of AR-15 rifles, often modeled on military M4, began to appear, with the shortest legal (without additional registration) 16-inch barrel, mounting rails and an adjustable stock, such as the Colt 6920 visible below, one of the most popular rifles of that time.
One of them was the Bravo Company, founded in 2003 by Paul Buffoni, a veteran of the US Marine Corps, in Hartland, Wisconsin, with Bravo Company Manufacturing abbreviated BCM two years later. The name came from the company in which Buffoni served during his service in the Corps - Bravo (B in the NATO/ICAO alphabet). He also liked the positive association of the word - after all, when we applaud, it means that we like it.
Feeling a patriotic duty, Paul abandoned the well-paid job of a pharmaceutical sales representative to be able to start his own business. He knew that most of the AR-15 rifles offered at the time in the US civilian market were far inferior to weapons that met military requirements. In addition, at that time, even the main producer of rifles for the US armed Forces, Colt had problems with quality control, especially in the intensively used by M4A1 commandos, in which bolt carriers were cracking.
At the beginning. BCM focused on the production of military-grade uppers that can be quickly attached to any AR-15 lower receiver. These and complete BCM rifles began to be produced since 2008.
However, BCM did not satisfy strict adherence to mil-specs (military specifications). The materials used, optimized tolerances, fitting and production methods allowed to significantly exceed military specifications. Bravo Company is famous for its strict quality control, the level of which is one of the highest in this industry. Where military specifications allow a tolerance level of +/- 0.05 inches, Bravo only allows 0.03. In addition to the standard M197 pressure test, the quality of each barrel is controlled by a flaw detector (MPI) to detect structural defects. A lock is also subjected to a similar examination.
Triggers used by Bravo Company on all rifles are another good example. Although they are designed to meet mil-spec requirements, PNT triggers are polished and then coated with a layer od nickel and Teflon to reduce the resistance of the mechanisms (approx. 3 times). A significant advantage over standard triggers (which are often equipped with more expensive AR-15 rifles) is in resistance and smoothness of work. This allows precise shooting from the BCM rifle right out of the box and does not limit the high accuracy potential of this weapon.
Also other improvements not found in mil-spec have been introduced to BCM rifles. One of the most important was the gas system.
AR-15 works by removing powder gases through a gas pipe directly onto a slide that acts as a piston. This system still causes a lot of controversy, but its undeniable advantages include simplicity, reduced weight and recoil compared to traditional piston systems. The disadvantage is the impact of hot powder gases directly inside the weapon, which requires more careful care to make it work reliably. The selection of the correct length of the gas system tube and gas hole is a key determinant of the AR-15 platform rifle.
BCM was one of the first AR-15 manufacturers to use a gas system in 14.5 and 16-inch barrels (368mm and 406mm) in their mid-length rifles. Compared to the carbine length system, the gas pipe is about 2 inches longer (about 50.8mm). Due to this, the powder gases have a much lower pressure at the gas hole. For example, for a gas carabiner system it is about 26.000 PSI (179.2 MPa), and for mid-length it is about 21.000 PSI (144.2 MPa)
Combined with the optimally selected size of the gas hole, we get a smoother reload cycle, greater reliability, reduced recoil impulse and lower weapon wear. In addition, the potential accuracy is increased due to the fact that gasodynamic vibrations have less time to affect the projectile's path. Of course, due to the fact that gunpowder gases are taken before the projectile's outlet from the barrel, you cannot extend the system too much because the gases would come out of the barrel too early, without providing adequate pressure for the automation of weapons. This means a blocked or jammed weapon. However, it turned out that even for 14.5-inch barrels the system still has a large margin, the traditional belief that for the reliable operation of the AR-15 platform the gas hole must be at least 7 inches from the barrel outlet turned out to be wrong. US Navy tests have clearly demonstrated the advantage of this length of the gas system over the carbine in every aspect of the weapon's operation, including reliability and muzzle velocity.
The innovation that brought the most fame to BCM was undoubtedly the KMR hanguard from 2014. The Keymod negative assembly system has been combined with an aluminum-magnesium alloy structure. Hanguard has an ideal ratio of strength to weight, which significantly improves the balance of the weapon. The redesigned barrel nut distributes stress and heat evenly, ensuring ease of installation and tight adhesion to the upper receiver without contact with the barrel, which increases potential accuracy. KMR has been quickly appointed one of the best metal hanguards for the AR-15 platform by reviewers and users. In 2017, a new version was introduced to the market with another mounting system - M-LOK, which definitely replaces the Keymod system, just like the Blu-ray format pushed HD DVD or Betamax VHS;)
The Bravo Company offer is diverse and also includes more specialized rifles. An example of this is the PRECSION line, which includes the AR-15 for precision applications. Match barrels made of SS410 steel - phenomenal focus (there are often groups with a focus of 0.7 MOA - 2cm per 100m), retaining a large part of the legendary durability and reliability.
The AR-15 platform has become very popular on the civilian market including Polish shooters. A multitude of producers does not help an unrecognized consumer to make a choice. There are only a few companies proven enough to let their rifles be entrusted with life. Rifles, components and accessories of the Bravo Company were tested in battle and were delivered, among others to: US SOCOM, USMC, US Army, US Navy, DHS, private security companies and other law enforcement and anti-terrorism services from around the world. Also many of the most famous shooters, such as Larry Vickers or Travis Haley, use BCM weapons on a daily basis. It should also be noted here that Paul Bufoni's company is constantly improving its products while working with many advanced users.