Black Creek Labs, or as most call them up north BCL, have come up with their newest version of the BCL 102 — the BCL 102 MK7, and it has a host of awesome changes. For those who don’t know, AR-15’s and AR-10’s are range-use only rifles in the restricted category in Canada. These require a higher license than the basic one that allows you to get hunting and sporting guns and comes with other storage requirements. Thankfully, companies like Black Creek Labs did the leg work in order to bend the silly rules, making an AR-10 with minor changes so it’s approved to be non-restricted and able to go where our other firearms could. For all intents and purposes, this is a DPMS spec AR-10 with some slight changes to the upper and lower.
Let us start with some of the changes to the rifle that we certainly appreciate. The rifle is now almost fully ambidextrous, adding in the bolt catch from the previous version of the BCL 102. Now its just the magazine release that is not ambi, although we must admit the new magazine release and its oversized paddle is a welcome addition compared to the standard AR-15 magazine release we are used to. The right side bolt release is positioned perfectly so that your middle finger can easily reach it without excessive maneuvering. The charging handle has been upgraded and feels much nicer and like the majority of new handles these days, it is ambi also.
102 MK7 Furniture
They have now gone with Magpul furniture as a standard. In the case of the MK7, you get a CTR stock and MOE K2 grip. Gone is the stupid A2 grip which my large hands despise due to the silly finger bump. It also comes standard with a Magpul magazine pinned to 5 rounds due to our silly laws.
The upper receiver uses a standard DPMS pattern barrel nut and the handguard it comes with is pretty standard with a full-length Picatinny rail on top and M-LOK slots on the sides and bottom. The rail does have QD sockets on the sides right where the barrel nut lives. This is an issue though as most quick detach sling cups we have on hand here can’t seat deep enough to lock-in.
We spoke with the company on why they decided to do this. They said that due to the relatively thin aluminum of the handguard, a longer QD sling mount would move around too much — potentially coming out and destroying the metal. Steel beats aluminum, however, we would have liked them to skip the socket hole in the front entirely and just supply a M-LOK one. The rear socket built into the endcap where the buffer tube screws in works perfectly fine with all of our sling swivels on hand.
BCL 102 MK7 Performance
Now the moment we have all been waiting for — how did this rifle perform? We tried it with everything from standard hunting ammo, to 175gr Federal Gold Medal Match ammo. BCL had notified us before we received the rifle that they spec’d the rifles to run best with heavy ammo and they were certainly not wrong. We found the rifle to perform the best on Black Hills 168gr Sierra Tipped Match King (TMK) rounds. When shooting 5 round groups we managed to get 4 rounds in exactly a half MOA which is fantastic for a semi-auto that doesn’t even have a match barrel in it.
Now I see you looking at this saying why a 4 round group. Well, the 4 rounds were all so damn close we wanted to run down and get a picture like fools. It was colder than your ex-wife’s heart outside so this was a silly decision. We should have just sent the 5th round. When we returned to the bench and fired the 5th round the group opened up to 1.10 MOA, which is still really good. We found the trigger to hold us back the most as it was just a standard MIL-SPEC trigger. They do offer a more advanced version of the Mk7 called the MK7X that comes with a TriggerTech trigger and an IBI barrel which we eagerly wait to try out.
All in, we’re just shy of 1000 rounds through our sample of this rifle, with one failure to eject. That happened with steel case Norinco surplus, which we might add, grouped at 1.21 MOA. The ergonomics of the rifle are spot-on, and the furniture was not an afterthought for once, unlike some manufacturers. The upper and lower receivers are nice and tight and the only wobble comes from the stock. If Black Creek Labs exchanged the QD socket in the rail for an M-LOK one, this rifle would be pretty much perfect.
These are coming in at $1500 CAD. If you look at the current exchange rate, that comes in around $1000 USD. For a rifle like this with these features, its a pretty damn solid deal in either country.
Declare for Morning Wood!