The Minimum Viable Gas Block: BCM Low Profile Gas Block

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021.

Seasoned Contributor for Minuteman Review and teaches over 100 shooting classes a year.

BCM Low Profile Gas Block

Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) has been one of my go-to manufacturers for certain AR-15 components for quite a while. So the BCM Low Profile Gas Block has become one of my staple gas blocks.

Admittedly, it’s not the flashiest gas block around. But it’s well-built and reasonably priced. That’s a good combination of features.

However, it’s not the only gas block in town. Here’s the scoop on whether or not the minimum viable gas block is for you.


Construction Quality

The big reason I use this gas block so often—even on some lightweight builds—is because it’s a steel gas block.

Steel and titanium are pretty much the only options when it comes to gas blocks, as far as I’m concerned.

The most patriotic gas block you can get.

The School of the American Rifle addressed this recently. He did a great job. But the cliff notes version is that aluminum heats and cools at a different rate than steel. So aluminum gas blocks tend to corrode fairly fast under even moderate rates of fire.

Steel and titanium are the metals that last the longest. And the BCM Low Profile Gas Block is steel. So it will last for as long as your rifle.

Two set screws, confirmed.

Additionally, this is a very well machined gas block. The inside is honed to a super smooth finish, which makes installation easy. And it produces a nice snug fit on the gas block journal.

Lastly, this gas block takes two set screws. I prefer dimpled barrels. So it’s nice to have set screws for those dimpled barrels. And the included set screws are knurled, which keeps them in place very well.

Ultimately, the attention to detail and quality control are evident when you pick this gas block up.


Fit

One of the best aspects of this gas block is the fit.

The interface between the gas tube and gas block is one of the areas where you can lose gas if the fit isn’t right.

When you install the gas tube in this gas block, it’s a somewhat tight fit. The gas tube doesn’t just slide into the gas block without any resistance. You’ve got to work the gas tube into the gas block a bit.

It doesn’t take any tools or anything. But it’s clear that there’s no room for gas to escape around the gas tube, which helps produce a more efficient gas system.

And an efficient gas system is about as much as you can ask for from your gas block.


See? Phosphate finish.

Finish

This gas block is coated in a phosphate finish.

It’s the standard mil-spec finish. It works just fine for resisting corrosion. And the BCM phosphate finish is pretty smooth and consistent.

It doesn’t look as cool as a nitride finish. But it’s usually hidden under your handguard. So it’s probably not a huge deal to most people.

I understand if you prefer the smoother, more polished look of a nitride finished gas block. But, honestly, the finish looks great, even if it’s matte and a bit more gray than some other finishes. BCM definitely manufactures only quality products and speaking of products, you might also want to check their charging handles which is also a work of art.


Turning on the Gas

There’s not much more to say about this gas block. The fit and finish are excellent. And BCM is known to have excellent quality control.

It may not be perfect quality control. But I’ve never had an issue with this gas block. And I’ve used several of them, both on my own builds and as replacement gas blocks on rifles with toasted gas blocks. I feel pretty confident that you won’t get a lemon if you get one of these gas blocks.

The only time that I recommend NOT using this gas block is if you’re building a lightweight rifle with a .625 gas block journal.

BCM uses the same gas block body for the .625 gas block. They just machine a smaller barrel ID. This makes the walls of the gas block thicker. Therefore the BCM .625 gas block is actually heavier than the .750 model.

So you may want to get a different gas block if you want the lightest possible setup with a .625 gas block journal.

But, other than that, the BCM Low Profile Gas Block is definitely good enough to be your go-to gas block for all your gas block needs.