Bear Creek Arsenal Bear Essential Rifle in 7.62x39mm – Video Review

Maddy_A.R with the Bear Creek Arsenal Bear Essential Rifle by Graham Baates

U.S.A. – -( There is no denying the short-to-mid-range effectiveness of the 7.62x39mm cartridge.  There's also no denying the ease of operation and incredible after-market support for the AR-15 platform.  A combination only seems ideal however unnatural it may be.  The challenge comes in feeding the gun.  The AR-15 demands a rather straight magazine while the steep taper of the 7.62x39mm cartridge dictates a curved magazine.  Options exist now that make an American rifle feed an old Soviet cartridge.  ASC Magazines seem to work most of the time and C Products /DURAMAG magazines all the time.  With that solution found can a price-point manufacturer like Bear Creek Arsenal make a rifle in the chambering that works?  It was our goal to find out.

The Bear Essential line of rifles from Bear Creek Arsenal provides just enough to get any shooter started in the world of ARs.  These no-frills rifles have everything you need and nothing you don't, as the name implies they offer the essentials.  We previously reviewed a Bear Essential Rifle in .223 Wylde and couldn't find a flaw with it, especially considering the price point.  GBGuns fans enjoy an extra 5% savings by simply using the code, “GBGuns” at checkout.  These rifles don't claim to be the next best thing, but they do make for a great start at a price that's hard to argue with.  Our coverage of that rifle can be read here.

A look at the build quality can be seen in the tabletop video below followed by product specifications and description taken directly from the product page.

Tabletop Video:

Specifications and Description:

  • 16″ 4150 Parkerized Barrel w/ 1:10 Twist
  • Heavy Barrel Profile
  • 15″ MLOK
  • 7.62×39 Caliber
  • M4 Flat Top Upper Receiver
  • Carbine Length Gas System
  • BCA Standard BCG
  • Charging Handle
  • Bird Cage Flash Hider
  • A Local/State law compliant magazine
  • MSRP: $474.50
  • Sale Price at time of article composition: $365
  • Sale price with code, “GBGuns”: $346.75

Product Description:

“Renowned for its versatility, ergonomics and reliability, the AR platform of rifle is the pinnacle of modern sporting rifle design and should be affordable enough so every American can make one part of their firearm collection – without compromise.

To that end, we created our exclusive line of Bear Essential rifles.  These are the highest quality, most feature packed modern sporting rifles available to the American public.  Our first Bear Essential Rifle is in the popular 7.62×39 chambering and features:

  • AR ergonomics with traditional AK 7.62 x 39 chambering – VERY easy and affordable to shoot!
  • 15” MLOK rail
  • MOA Accuracy Guarantee
  • Durable, high quality parkerized finish
  • Standard 16” barrel length
  • Proudly made in Sanford, NC
  • Limited Lifetime warranty
SKU CR762CHB16110(P)-(15)MLOKCC
Weight 6.0000
Color Black
Charging Style Rear Charging
Caliber 7.62×39
Dimpled Yes
Feed Ramp M4
Finish Parkerized
Flutes N/A
Gas Block System 0.750
Gas Hole Diameter 0.093
Gas System Carbine
Length 16
Material 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium
Platform AR-15
Profile Heavy Barrel
Thread Pitch 5/8 x 24
Twist 1:10

The BCA Bear Essential 7.62 Complete Rifle has a 16″ 4150 Parkerized Heavy barrel, 1:10 twist rate with a 15″ MLOK. This Rifle is chambered in 7.62×39 and machined with M4 feed ramps (both in the lower and barrel extension) and comes with a BCA BCG and charging handle. The BCA Bear Essential 7.62 Complete Rifle, like all BCA products, is subjected to numerous QA/QC checks which for all our firearms include test firing prior to approval and shipment. It's also backed by our BCA limited lifetime warranty. Choose a Complete Rifle designed by a U.S. company and made in the U.S.A. Choose BCA.”

With those formalities out of the way let's get to the performance.  7.62x39mm has never been touted as a precision round, but is that the fault of the cartridge or the rifle it's fired from?  Looking to find out we rounded up loads from Barnaul, Brown Bear, Hornady, Nosler, and Wolf and hit the range.  Looking for real-world practical accuracy both @Maddy_A.R and Graham shot five shots each into the same target from each load.  The result is a ten-shot group form two shooters.  This intent is to look more at the mean results rather than exception.

See the range results in the video below.

I think the results speak for themselves.  The only question I'm left with is what to upgrade first.  I think a better trigger is in order as long as it can provide ample hammer force to set off those stubborn Russian-made rounds.

About Graham BaatesG B Guns

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

  • 30 thoughts on “Bear Creek Arsenal Bear Essential Rifle in 7.62x39mm – Video Review

    1. Graham, take a look at the Hiperfire EDT unit. They are billed as having a mil + hammer spring. I’ve installed the “heavy gunner” version in a PSA AR-AK. Haven’t shot it yet but the hammer spring seems every bit as strong as the OEM. A nice 4.5 pull.

    2. We bought one almost a year ago never had an issue with jams ftf and was accurate with just the basic handle. Gun ran flawless then one day at range bolt froze closed with live round. Mortering n tapping finslly got it out. Fired one more round and it occured again
      Decided to stop firing at this point ans was upset due to gun was fairly reliable concerning customer servive i emailed them about it on a sunday night a had a response within ten minutes from them.
      They sent shippimg stickers and total turnaround tome less than 2 weeks before got it back.
      I have not test fired since repair but customer service seems great and the rifle ran great until that day.
      If it is fixed then i must say they sre a great company and they stand behind product that worked flswlesdly until that one time.

    3. I ordered a upper from them it come with the wrong flash hider sent them a email and they responded the next day said I could send the upper back or they would send me the right flash hider. I had them send me the flash hider and got it in a few days. The upper shoots just fine. I might be the exemption but the customer service was good and I would not have a problem ordering from them again

    4. never had a problem setting of any 7.62 rounds the writer must be biased towards them on average most rifle primers go pop within 7-10 pounds of force thats a general comparison across a spectrum. cant speak to bear creek but i bought an inter ordinance a few years back and i got excellent customer service from them no faults in my ak i bought the m247-t it has well over 2000 rounds in it and still is going fine no issues. ive heard horror stories about i.o but they were great in my book and even has tech specs on file when i was intrested in going full auto and maybe the supressor route. also id like to say that aks arent horribly innacurate. im able to hit a dinner plate at 200 yards with ease and maintain a 2.2 inch shot group even pretty reliable out to 300 yards and tula makes a 154 grain soft nose for the 7.62 as well inerta will help slightly with accuracy. the biggest downfall of the ak series would be its short barell. my ak has a 16 inch free floating barell if the barell were say 18 inches and gave a slightly longer burn time for the powder it would make the rifle a bit smoother and even help out with round accuracy. ars in a 7.62×39 are a good idea but id also like to see a ar chambered in 7.62×45 thatd be intresting.

      1. I can’t say anything about the contentof your comment. I had to stop reading it to decode spelling, insert caps and guess at missing punctuation. To much trouble to continue past line number two. Moral: write like a dope and nobody will pay attention to the message.

        1. How about running your words together? If criticizing someone else you should make sure you are not committing any errors.

        2. This is about firearms quality and experience… IT IS NOT AN ENGLISH CLAS ! Don’t know you .. but you are a rude fool !

    5. I don’t know about this company, but the concept of a 7.62×39 AR is a very good one. I put together one of my own from parts I got on line and it has proved to be a real gem! The trick for reliability is to use a modified firing pin that sticks out a bit further from the bolt face to bust the hard primers. C products magazines work great, but had trouble with an ASC mag until I took it apart and saw the spring was installed backwards. now it works just fine. All of the 10 round mags I’ve tried work perfectly. Next I want to build a 7.62 pistol when I can find the parts.

        1. I’m waiting for Palmetto to get them back in stock because I trust them best. I also built a AR carbine in 5.45 Russian that works pretty well but can be fussy about magazines. Standard C Products 5.56 mags work with that cartridge as well as any.

    6. I made the mistake of ordering from this company on 2 occasions. Terrible guns, terrible support. Never again.

    7. Every person.And I mean everyone I have spoke with that made the mistake of ordering from Bear Creek had said they cannot get a person to answer the phone or return their voicemails they left.They Also said Bear Creek employees will not return one email.You hear this about every company though until the owner of the gun shop I spent thousands of dollars at brought up the subject of Bear Creek had kept his store order for bulk guns and parts on backorder for months and will not talk to him about it.But what they did was take his order and his money then gave him a confirmation number.Then turned around and emailed him everything was on back order.They won’t return his attempts to speak with them and this has went on for months.Also he has had to send multiple firearms back due to them not working correctly only for them not to come back.He finally took the loss and refunded the money to these customers.So you take your chances with Bear Creek.But the post about the undocumented workers makes sense to me after what I’ve saw people go through with Bear Creek business methods and quality of products they sell.

      1. I contacted BCA by email about the return of a complete upper assembly that had a rough chamber in April on a Sunday and had an email response sending me a shipping label on the following Tuesday evening. I shipped it Thursday morning and received a new assembly on the following Wednesday. Granted, I shouldn’t have had to return it in the first place, but I can’t complain about their customer service.

      2. Do you have any physical proof that they employ undocumented workers? And undocumented doesn’t mean unskilled worker, smart guy. You can be an undocumented worker and still have worked in the firearm industry in whatever country you came from. Nice job sounding ignorant, though.

    8. Bear Creek Arsenal hires over 30 illegal alien invaders instead of Americans or Legal Immigrants. They CLAIM they didn’t know, but you damn well know over 30 is about ALL the manual labor you will have in a small factory like them.
      Let them go out of business, pay a few more dollars to someone who actually hire Americans. You’ll spend that much in one range day anyways.

          1. Im from Sanford NC. There was an ICE raid at Bear Creek Arsenal a few months back. Google it 30-40 illegal workers were deported that day.

            1. thanks for letting me know about the low life illegal invaders i was about to buy one of that company’s rifles not now!!!

          2. But the quality of the firearms and accessories built here are worth the prices they are sold.

      1. How do you know this about the illegal’s ? I was thinking about ordering one of their rifles but that would definitely be a deal breaker for me . These illegal’s need to ALL be rounded up and deported . If Bear Creek Arsenal is employing these criminals that is completely unacceptable ..

        1. I read something a few months back about INS raiding the place and loading up a truckload of illegal ” migos “

          1. @chris hale, Apparently you have a fan. I can feel his rage all the way here. That is a lot of simmering wrath. Oh well, I can’t spell in Spanish, either!

          1. Hey, Willie, the racial chip on your shoulder must be really heavy. Why don’t you put it away……

      2. Quote from article “The Sanford raid at Bear Creek Arsenal was part of a search warrant executed by the Department of Homeland Security at the business, and 25 people were charged with criminal offenses and two others with immigration violations, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said.”

    9. At $346.00 it would be a good deal, building cost with parts sale deals could lower the price $50. to $75.+optics.

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