An Inside Look at How AR-15 Barrels Are Made: DC Machine

U.S.A. –-( DC Machine is the biggest machining company you may never have heard of. However, you are likely familiar with Palmetto State Armory, located in Columbia, South Carolina. PSA is one of the fastest-growing gun companies in the history of ever. While the operate a handful of retail stores, they sell lots and lots of guns and shooting gear across the country online and through other retail outlets. As it so happens, Palmetto State Armory and DC Machine are sister companies. I recently had the opportunity to tour the DC Machine operation and get a first-hand look at how quality barrels are made.

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10 Responses to An Inside Look at How AR-15 Barrels Are Made: DC Machine

  1. Eod1sg Ret says:

    I’ve built two rifles with PSA barrels and other components and bought one of their AR-10s. I would not recommend their bolt carrier groups, especially the AR-10 BCG, but am very happy with everything else they make and sell. They stand behind everything they sell. Might not be as responsive as some would like, but they’ll repair or replace anything defective and you can’t beat their prices. I’m running FailZero BCGs in all my builds.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I haven’t had any problems at all with any of my builds using PSA parts or kits.

    • says:

      What possible problem could you have had with the BCG?

      • Wirecutter says:

        I had gotten one (not from PSA) that the BCG would fit in the upper it came with, but none of my other uppers, just a little too long. I sold that rifle shortly after I got here.

  2. Ohio Guy says:

    PSA BCG’s come in a variety of hardness levels and coatings to fit you budget. Nitride MPI, nickle boron with carpenter 158, aircraft quality, machine gun steels, just to name a few. You could spend $50 to $250 for just a BCG alone. It just depends on the hardness factor and coating that you desire. Just to be clear, one’s main battle rifle should have a quality bolt carrier group. One that’ll spit out about 3000 rounds before encountering problems. And have spares. Thanks for this article, Ken.

    • The Other Jack says:

      > One that’ll spit out about 3000 rounds before encountering problems.

      is that not an expectation for nearly any rifle made today? I would think even the no name low-end cardboard box specials at the gun show should be good for a few thousand rounds.

      • Wirecutter says:

        I think he probably meant 30,000 rounds. If I’m paying a hundred bucks for something it damned sure better last more than 3000 rounds.

  3. Bob M says:


    Is this a good buy?

  4. Rick says:

    I bought a 224 Valkyrie upper from them and the chamber was way short. I sent it back, they returned it, and said it was good to go, because they fired 20 rounds and it ejected every one.
    That upper wouldn’t shoot less than 2 inch groups, it’s sitting in the closet until I decide how to destroy it.

Play nice.