I glanced through Cryptic Coatings website to see why my brother was so intent on buying one of their bolt carrier groups. I wondered to myself on how these can be better than a standard BCG. I had only ever used a standard BC, usually a Colt and I KNEW it worked perfectly well. Could these really do something that a standard bolt couldn’t? My brother placed his order and there would only be one way to find out.
The bolts are made by Toolcraft and are well known for being able to function well without any coatings. My brother had selected one of the coated BCGs with the “Mystic Silver” color for the .223/5.56 platform, this ran him about $250. This shocked me a bit, but we were willing to give it a chance and see the potential that this company could offer. Cryptic Coatings went above and beyond in their packaging compared to anything that I had seen before. The bolt arrived in a box with the Cryptic Coatings name and logo printed on the box, inside the box was a decal, a microfiber wipe cloth to clean carbon,
Are Bolt Coatings Worth It?
Inserting the bolt into the upper receiver is what made me change my views about bolts with coatings. The bolt just slid to the front of the receiver with little to no resistance and as you tilt the receiver forwards and backwards the bolt just glides like butter on a warm pan. I was a bit skeptical at first thinking that the Cobalt Kinetics receiver set had better tolerances, so I decided to put it to the test with my Colt bolt that was new as well. The Colt bolt did not glide around and sounded rough and almost gritty. Bolt coatings DO make a difference.
My brother and I finished his build while he came home for Christmas exodus from the Army. When everything was torqued to spec and then I made plans to go to my buddy Roger’s range on his property. The rifle was nothing short of impressive from all the parts that Frank had chosen for his first build. The bolt glided with each shot and there was very low recoil impulse from the Cobalt Kinetics proprietary buffer system, on top of that the CBC Industries barrel has a built-in compensator that constantly drove the rifle downwards.
After several magazines of brass cased ammunition, we removed the bolt and the carbon was easily removed with just a swipe of the finger. Clean-up of this bolt is very simple compared to sitting down for several hours and scrubbing with a brass brush, like the way I was taught to do in the military, which can be extremely detrimental to the longevity of the bolt and rifle. The Cryptic Coatings bolt carrier group there is no need to use any sort of lubrication as it is a self-lubricating coating. This allows for smoother operation, reduced recoil, increased cyclic rate, and reduced carbon fouling.
One of the few issues that was noted was the use of steel cased wolf ammo that failed to feed reliably, this is typical because of the way the casings expand when they are fired. Not related to the bolt, there was issues feeding ammunition while using ETS magazines with the tritium followers. Standard GI magazines fed perfectly fine, Hera magazines worked, and I did not have the chance to test Magpul magazines yet.
My mind was changed after getting some trigger time with the Cryptic Coatings bolt. If you are going to spend extra money on any part of the rifle, it should be done on the bolt. Cryptic Coatings is not only functional, but it is very aesthetically pleasing. I highly recommend that you should at least drop by their website and check out what they have to offer.