WWSD: The Charging Handle

The charging handle seems, on the surface, to be one of those parts of an AR15 that doesn’t matter that much. You can spend a lot more on a charging handle but the $12 aluminum mil-spec charging handle will work just fine most of the time. By comparison, a gritty mil-spec trigger has the potential – and some would say the probability – to impact your accuracy with the rifle.

I will admit to not having given it too much thought. I have a couple of blem BCM charging handles and just ordered a Radians Raptor charging handle because I got a good deal on it. Then this morning I watched the video below by Ian McCollum and Karl Kasarda of InRange TV about their What Would Stoner Do project.

They have given it much more thought than I had and brought up points I hadn’t considered about charging handles. I very well may consider the Geissele the next time I find them on sale. Given I use their triggers perhaps I should also be using their charging handle on some of my ARs.

3 thoughts on “WWSD: The Charging Handle”

  1. I absolutely hate the AR top-mounted charging handle. Always have, always will. It is dumb. There is no after-market, high-end charging handle that will fix the fact that the AR platform uses it.

    I appear to be grumpy today. I should get off John's lawn before he kicks me off.


  2. Ian really knows his stuff.

    From my experience a charging handle that is non-reciprocating and on the weak hand side of the receiver is ideal, like the FAL. On the AR15 platform I run a GIBBZ Arms side charger that behaves the same. With that said, in my 7yrs in 3gun I've rarely had to break cheek weld because of malfunctions, but appreciate no interference with the optics and the additional speed it affords.

    Stages frequently require starting from a bolt closed, unloaded rifle and side charging is the ticket.

    Also, don't be a left handed (like my son). It's just plain wrong and bad karma.

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