Long gas system? Short gas system? Bravo Company’s MID-16 carbine…

Long gas system? Short gas system? Bravo Company’s MID-16 carbine in 5.56mm is the best of both worlds. Shown equipped with a Hi-Lux 1-4×24 scope.

When we discuss the direct gas impingement AR-style rifle, there are currently three different gas system lengths available. Most shooters are familiar with the rifle-length or A2 style. Of course, there is the shorter-length M4 version that seems to be the most prevalent of the three. However, many gun folks don’t realize that there is a mid-length or middle option.

Downsizing the 20-inch-barreled M16A2 to the 14.5-inch M4 Carbine naturally required shortening the length of the gas tube. The jury is still out regarding whether or not the shortened tube has increased the gas pressure to the point where it has caused reliability issues. I don’t intend to fight that battle here. Nonetheless, the more I work with mid-length gas system ARs, the more convinced I am that they are the way to go at least as far as carbine-length guns are concerned. For military/LE and SBR guns with barrels less than 16 inches, a short gas tube is simply par for the course. However, when we are discussing standard AR carbines with 16-inch barrels, the mid-length gas system would seem a logical choice.

Another standard mil-spec feature is the A2-style muzzle brake/flash suppressor at the front of the chrome-lined, 16-inch barrel.

Bravo Company has become the one-stop AR shopping center. Most readers will be aware of the fact that you can purchase almost every part made for the modern Stoner-based rifle from BCM. What you might not realize is that Bravo Company also sells completed rifles and carbines that are built with great attention to detail, like the BCM MID-16 Mod 0 featured here.

The author equipped the MID-16 with a Hi-Lux CMR 1-4×24 optic as well as a SLAP single-point sling attachment plate.

Gun Details

The BCM MID-16 is chambered for a true 5.56x45mm NATO. As the name would indicate, this particular long gun has a 16-inch barrel and mid-length gas system. A full-thickness barrel is used, as opposed to the ubiquitous M4-contoured version. The barrel also features a 1-in-7-inch twist rate with a chrome-lined bore and chamber. The muzzle brake/flash suppressor is standard A2 spec.

A Magpul forearm surrounds the barrel. Up front is a standard A-frame front sight housing with quarter-click elevation adjustments. Affixed to the flattop rail is a Yankee Hill Manufacturing flip-up/fold-down adjustable rear sight. As you would expect, the charging handle is a BCM Gunfighter model. All manual controls are standard AR configuration.

The MID-16 employs a mid-length, direct gas impingement system of operation concealed under a Magpul handguard

The six-position retractable stock and pistol grip are standard M4 design. Directly in front of the standard AR pistol grip is a Magpul MOE enhanced triggerguard. The upper and lower receiver bodies are 7075-T6 forged aluminum components. The trigger is standard AR, but it had a crisp feel. There was no slop or play in the trigger press.

Before heading to the range I wanted to add just a couple of items to the BCM MID-16 carbine. The first item would be a single-point sling adapter. However, this was no ordinary adapter; this was the SLAP (Single Loop Ambidextrous Plate) available from The SLAP is genius in its simplicity. This replacement back plate for the M4-style carbine allows the end-user to attach a single-point sling to his or her gun with nearly any common hardware, including the Mash hook, Clip hook, HK hook, etc. If you don’t have some type of hook hardware for your sling, the SLAP plate is wide enough to thread a 1-inch sling through. With the new adapter in place, I attached a BlackHawk single-point nylon sling.

Recently, I also picked up a couple of new TUFF1 gun grip covers. They are essentially soft rubber grip sleeves that slip over your hard plastic pistol grip. The TUFF1 cover offers a bit of sticky texture and cushion to the standard plastic grip. They are easy to install and naturally less expensive than completely replacing your pistol grip. TUFF1 grips come in various colors and grip designs, such as the Double Cross, Boa (snake skin), and Death Grip (skulls).

My friend and fellow gunscribe, David Fortier, recommended a new optics company to me a few months ago, and this gun test was my first opportunity to give the scope a thorough field test. The riflescope came from Hi-Lux Optics, the parent company of Leatherwood Arsenal. The model featured in this review is the CMR 1-4×24 variable-power riflescope. The CMR uses a 30mm tube and, as the name would indicate, adjusts from 1 to 4X magnification with a 24mm objective lens.

It is the CMR reticle that makes this particular optic unique. This reticle was designed for close- to medium-range engagements, the kind you might anticipate with a 5.56mm rifle. The CMR reticle varies from the norm, as it is not only includes vertical and horizontal ranging lines but it also has a central focal point with an open circle. The circle and dot can be illuminated with a green light. To mount the CMR scope to the BCM carbine, I chose a LaRue QD 30mm scope mount.

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