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Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review

The Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2 just might be the only gun you need to protect what's dear to you.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review

(Michael Anschuetz photo)

According to my friend David Faubion, editor of the Book of the AR-15 and other KSE-OSG special publications, Bravo Co.’s BCM4 is “the gun to have if I were only going to have one gun to guard all that’s dear to me.” That’s an awfully strong endorsement, and it carries a lot of weight because David is thick into AR-type guns—rifles, carbines, and pistols. I’ve lost track of the number of special ARs David has built himself, not to mention the myriad factory-made ARs that he’s owned. He hunts with ARs, he trains with ARs, he shoots them for fun, and he’s won more than a few informal industry competition matches with them. His word is gold.

Why does David say the BCM4 is such a good gun? Let’s look at the new BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR model with Bravo’s new MK2 upper for the answer.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
(Michael Anschuetz photo)

Nuts & Bolts

I’ll get to the new MK2 upper in a minute, but first let’s check out the details of the lower. The RECCE-14 MCMR’s lower receiver is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings and is given a hard-coat-anodized black finish per MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2. It is marked “multi caliber” on the left side. It has a magazine release positioned in the usual place on the right side. The two-position safety is located on the left side, as is the bolt release. The controls are not ambidextrous.

The trigger guard is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER component, which is enlarged to allow for gloved fingers, and the trigger is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER PNT unit. The trigger is machined AISI8620 investment casting, and it is heat-treated in a three-step process for the utmost in durability. The trigger and hammer are honed, the pins are centerless ground, and the disconnector is stamped from 1070 material and fine blanked and double disc ground to precise size. The trigger is finished with Teflon-embedded nickel, and the sear engagement surfaces are handpolished.

Why does David say the BCM4 is such a good gun? Let’s look at the new BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR model with Bravo’s new MK2 upper for the answer.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The lower receiver is machined from 7075-T6 aluminum forgings and given a black hard-coat-anodized finish. The bolt release and the two-position safety are in their usual locations. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

All that combines to provide a smooth, consistent trigger pull. In fact, the trigger pull on our sample carbine averaged 7 pounds, 2 ounces for 10 measurements with an RCBS trigger pull scale. That might sound a tad heavy to some readers, but the smoothness and consistency (it varied by only 2 ounces over all 10 measurements) made it feel lighter, and as you can see from the accompanying shooting results chart, it did not adversely affect the accuracy.

The buttstock is Bravo’s collapsible BCMGUNFIGHTER model, and it has six positions. Length of pull ranges from 10 to 12.75 inches. The buttstock has a thin, grooved rubber buttplate; an ambidextrous QD interface port; and a web sling-attachment slot. It has unobtrusive-yet-functional cheekrests on both sides, and it utilizes a patented precision-fit internal latch system that’s made from heat-treated ordnance-grade steel. The company says the latch system’s geometry provides increased torsional strength, eliminates the stress-riser on a conventional rounded pin, and creates precise engagement and fit with the buffer tube.

The pistol grip is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 3 grip. It’s textured on both sides, and the frontstrap has straight horizontal ribs. The grip features a high-rise backstrap; it’s 0.25 inch wider than the company’s Mod. 0 and Mod. 1 pistol grips; and it features a “baked-in” extension that closes the gap between the trigger guard and the grip. It also has a hinged trapdoor on the bottom that provides water-resistant storage of batteries or other small items.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The trigger is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER PNT unit. It is finished with Teflon-embedded nickel, and the sear engagement surfaces are handpolished to provide a clean, consistent break. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Other nice components of the lower receiver include a QD end plate, a mil-spec 7075-T6 receiver extension, a staked M4 locknut, and a USGI H buffer. The RECCE-14 MCMR comes with one 30-round metal magazine with a black Teflon finish and a Magpul Enhanced follower.

Now about the new MK2 upper. Bravo says the MK2 upper was redesigned using information learned in battle after the attacks on 9/11, and as a consequence, it is 30 percent more rigid than a standard mil-spec M4 upper with only 0.33 ounce of additional weight. Bravo does that by removing material from non-essential areas and beefing-up the material in other areas that have proven to be the weak points in standard mil-spec receivers. Forged from 7075-T6, the new design improves barrel alignment and consistency. Because it is more rigid, it improves accuracy by limiting barrel deflection from external devices, such as bipods and vertical grips. It also reduces barrel deflection from moving components and helps prevent wear and damage to the barrel lugs and the bolt. The forward assist has been repositioned to allow more clearance for right-handed charging handle operation and for end plate mounted slings. The new upper retains compatibility with all USGI bolt carriers, charging handles, and barrel assemblies.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The grip is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 3, and it features texturing on both sides, ribs on the frontstrap, and a hinged trapdoor on the bottom for storage of batteries or small items. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

The RECCE-14 MCMR’s MK2 upper has an integral flat top with numbered rail slots (13 of them) for optics or back-up iron sights. The receiver is finished in hard-coat-anodized black. The front edge of the upper receiver and the back end of the handguard match up perfectly. The charging handle is a BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 3B part.

The RECCE-14 MCMR’s barrel is 14.5 inches long and comes with Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 1 compensator, which adds another 2 inches to the total barrel length. Chambered in .223 Rem./5.56 NATO, the barrel’s twist rate is 1:7. It features an M4 feedramp extension, and the bore and chamber are chrome-lined. The carrier and gas key are also chrome-lined. The gas system is mid-length, and the gas block is low profile and fits inside the free-floated handguard.


The handguard is Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER MCMR, and this one is 13 inches long. It is octagonal in shape, and the top side has an integral optics rail with 32 numbered cross-slots. The other seven sides are perforated with seven M-LOK slots each.

The RECCE-14 MCMR weighs 6 pounds, 4 ounces empty. There aren’t any sights, so I installed a nifty little Aimpoint CompM5b for this report. It adds just 9 ounces to the weight of the carbine, and that’s just about half the weight of a fully loaded magazine.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
Bravo Co.’s new MK2 upper is 30 percent more rigid than a standard mil-spec upper, and one of its modifications is the repositioned forward assist that allows more clearance for right-hand charging handle operation and for end plate mounted slings. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

If you’re not familiar with the Aimpoint CompM5b, this red-dot sight allows users to adjust the position of the reticle to compensate for ballistic drop depending on the distance to the target. Interchangeable turrets are adapted for different calibers. It also allows wind compensation adjustment in three levels. Eye relief is unlimited, and the sight is compatible with Aimpoint’s 3XMag-1 and 6XMag-1 magnifiers as well as all generations of Night Vision Devices. It’s powered by one AAA 1.5V alkaline or lithium battery, and battery life is more than 10 years of continuous use at positions 1 to 4, more than five years at position 7, and more than one year at position 8.

The high-strength aluminum sight comes with an LRP mount and flip-up lens covers. It features a 2-MOA red-dot reticle and measures 3.4 inches long and 2.8 inches high.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The RECCE-14 MCMR upper features Bravo’s BCMGUNFIGHTER charging handle, and it is stamped Mod. 3B. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Range Results

I rounded up eight different .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO factory loads and headed to my shooting range. Actually, I had accumulated the ammunition over the last couple of years, and it was a good thing because with this ongoing ammunition drought, trying to buy new ammunition these days is a hit-or-miss deal. Anyway, you can see from the chart that I included Hornady, Browning, HSM, Federal, SIG SAUER, and Winchester ammunition with bullets ranging in weight from 50 to 77 grains. Bullet styles included FMJ, JHP, Spirepoint, and Match OTM types.

Overall, the RECCE-14 MCMR performed really well. It averaged 1.54 inches for the eight factory loads. That’s for three, five-shot groups with each load fired from a benchrest at 100 yards. Two loads averaged under an inch.

Top accuracy came with the .223 Rem. HSM 55-grain Blitz-King JHP loading, and it averaged 0.88 inch. Averaging 0.99 inch, just barely making it in under the 1.00-inch mark, the .223 Rem. Federal 55-grain FMJ loading came in second. And third place went to the 5.56 NATO Hornady Frontier ammo loaded with a 55-grain FMJ bullet; it averaged 1.18 inches.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The RECCE-14 MCMR comes with a 14.5-inch barrel and the BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 1 compensator, which adds 2 inches to the length. The handguard is a 13-inch MCMR model with integral slotted rail on top and M-LOK slots going all the around. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

I also fired some three-shot groups with each factory load, and those groups were considerably tighter. You can see from the chart, the three-shot groups were, in general, a bit more than half the size of the five-shot groups.

As for velocities, the load with the lowest extreme spread (E.S.) and standard deviation (S.D.) was the .223 Rem. SIG SAUER 77-grain OTM. The E.S. was just 27, and the S.D. was 10. It wasn’t as accurate as the other bullet weights, but I wonder about that. A lot of run-of-mill AR-15s have 1:9 twist rates, and they generally don’t shoot the heavier bullets as accurately as AR-15s with faster twist rates like the BCM4’s 1:7. Perhaps, in this case, it is shooter error. But the point is you have to try all bullet weights in whatever AR you’re shooting. The 68-grain Match BTHP bullets loaded in the .223 Rem. Hornady Frontier ammunition also were at the bottom of the pack in terms of accuracy for me, so I’m going to say this particular barrel prefers the lighter-weight bullets.

I’ve seen reports on AR-15s and .223 Rem./5.56 NATO ammunition with velocities fluctuating all over the place. Sometimes the E.S. goes triple digits with the S.D. in the high double digits. I didn’t experience that with any of the ammo I fired in the BCM4. The highest E.S. was 86 and the highest S.D. was 37.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
Aimpoint’s CompM5b red-dot sight is a perfect setup for the BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR carbine. It’s lightweight yet rugged, and it features a 2-MOA red dot. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

A lot of ARs are affordable under normal circumstances, but lately I’ve noticed that they are commanding premium prices at the gunshops I frequent, and they seem to be selling at those prices. In other words, they aren’t sitting around on the dealers’ shelves for long. That said, the BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2 carries an MSRP of $1,500. These days, that’s a darn reasonable list price, considering the great quality Bravo Co. is known for and this particular sample exhibits.

Overall, I am very impressed with the RECCE-14 MCMR. It shot great with a variety of loads, and it never choked. It ejected spent casings robustly, consistently sending them six feet to the right and four feet to the rear. It is relatively lightweight, comes to the shoulder quickly, and feels very well balanced. I really like the buttstock with its built-in cheekrests and the trigger. Granted, the pull measured on the high side, but because it was so consistent and crisp, it felt great and took only a short time to get used to.

All in all, I can’t find one thing to counter David’s bold statement about this being the one gun I should own. I’m going to think long and hard about sending this sample back.

Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
The BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR’s bolt carrier group is machined from mil-spec Carpenter No. 158 steel and is high-pressure tested and magnetic particle inspected. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR (MK2) Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Bravo Co;
  • Type: Direct gas impingement autoloader
  • Caliber: .223 Rem./5.56 NATO
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
  • Barrel: 14.5 in. (16+ in. with welded compensator)
  • Overall length: 31.5 to 34.5 in.
  • Weight, empty: 6.25 lbs.
  • Stock: BCMGUNFIGHTER collapsible buttstock; BCMGUNFIGHTER MCMR handguard; BCMGUNFIGHTER Mod. 3 pistol grip
  • Length of pull: 10 to 12.75 in.
  • Finish: Hard-coat-anodized black
  • Sights: None
  • Trigger: 7.13-lb. pull (as tested)
  • Safety: Two-position
  • MSRP: $1,500
Bravo Co. BCM4 RECCE-14 MCMR MK2: Full Review
(Michael Anschuetz photo)

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