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Benelli M4 -- Bolt Handles Compared


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Recently I had a chance to get a hold of a Freedom Fighter Tactical 1/2" Titanium bolt handle to compare against an OEM, carriercomp Gen2 and a Design Concepts bolt handle.


One of the nice things about the Freedom Fighter Tactical bolt handle is it is actually obtainable. Out of pure luck was I able to get my black carriercomp bolt handle a year ago. Their limited quantity is certainly the only negative aspect about the unit.


From my measurements, here is the production weight for the units;

Benelli OEM: 12.5 Grams

carriercomp 1/2" Titanium: 9.6 Grams

Design Concepts: 8.5 Grams

Freedom Fighter Tactical 1/2" Titanium: 10 Grams

GG&G Steel 3/4": 24.5 Grams


Of all the the units I've used, the carriercomp Gen2 is my favorite. I like the steel shank. It really does help with limiting wear on the tip of the bolt handle. I also find that the knurling is superior to all the other offerings. Knurling clean knurls on titanium is a superbitch to do.


Given that Design Concepts is no longer in business, it really only leaves Freedom Fighter Tactical as a go to source for bolt handles. Their production quality is quite good.


Here is a couple of photographs.




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Titanium is stronger than steel if both materials weigh the same. Kind of like how spiderweb silk is stronger than steel, by weight.


A common misconception about titanium is that it is super-lightweight metal. Aluminum is actually lighter than titanium.


When titanium and steel bump uglies, steel wins.

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If it's stronger than steel, why does it wear though? Not sure I understand...

If I am not mistaken, there was something in the description of the cc bolt handle about the steel part being heat-treated to make it stronger than just steel.

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I thought Titanium was stronger than steel?


If it's stronger than steel, why does it wear though? Not sure I understand...


I answered this for you about a month ago the last time you asked:




Titanium has a better strength-to-weight ratio than most steel, but titanium is much less dense than steel is more prone to deformation. Aluminum also has a better strength-to-weight ratio than high strength steel but as you probably know, aluminum will deform more easily than steel.
Edited by RDA1
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In time when the FFT unit has been used more. Here is a side by side of the carriercomp and the Design Concepts. You can see how the titanium deforms from the steel detent.




Cool. I am curious though regarding the FFT due to the fact that they advertise it's Rockwell hardness at 36. I'm assuming it's 6AL-4V since that is what that particular alloy comes in at. I've seen that pic of your DC bolt handle before and am curious to see if the FFT fares any different. I'm assuming that it won't but am curious nonetheless.


The one thing I wish these guys would do is make it known that these will spin if you apply enough force. They are not technically spinners like the GG&G but they will rotate none the less. The OEM handle is difficult to rotate just because of it's small OD but the 1/2" ones from CC and FFT will rotate fairly easy due to the positive grip from the knurling. I suspect more deformation occurs from that and the removal versus being engaged in the bolt.

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Its not really about the density that makes it softer or harder. Lead is more dense than steel and is softer, but tungsten is more dense than both but much harder. Its more about that lattice structures and how each system deals with dislocations.


Also steel is a very vague term with a huge variety in types and characteristics. With different microstructures like spherodite, bainite, martensite.... and different heat treatments and cold work input. Basic A36 construction steel has brinell hardness of around 180 and aircraft grade titanium has a brinell hardness of 330.


Long story longer, the steel vs titanium comparison is much more complicated than it appears. In this case the steel used is hardened either through carbon addition, cold work input or alloy, and the titanium is softer because it's theoretically modified less.

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I am not trying to hijack the thread but I thought I would post some pics of the KZ handle.

I have been running one for a while with no issues.

I like it because it is just an enlarged factory piece. I don't have a micrometer but the shaft SEEMS a tad larger.

There is some wear on it but I don't think it is anything to be worried about. I do keep it wet when inserted into the bolt.

I ran it hard during an all day shotgun course where it was manipulated hard for various drills and it never let me down.

Like the factory unit it will spin but only if you twist it with your fingers.

Pics below. I have 2 of the bolt hole itself. Pics aren't the greatest but it doesn't appear to be wearing on the bolt.

Edit: It appears KZ makes two versions. This is the "Ergonomic" version: http://www.botachtactical.com/kzbeerchha.html





Edited by 12508
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What a great thread! I'm new to the forum and new to shotguns so I am soaking up everything I can from this forum.


I did just purchase an FFT Ti Bolt handle. They offer two sizes the large size pictured in this thread and one that is the same size as the Carriercomp. I ordered the smaller Ti bolt handle and a full length Ti tube.

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I'm intersted in buying the Carriercomp Black Titanium Bolt Handle. Maybe someone WTS this product?


BTW As far as I know Carriercomp is now 100% concentrated on the 7 round mag tube orders so it's kinda hard to get it directly from the producer.




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If your willing to wait they will have them again. If you need it today, good luck. I asked when I got my tube and they said they are focused on all of the orders for them before anything else. They are slammed. I am going to wait since theirs seems to be the best.

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