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View Full Version : so whats the deal with side charging ARs


Shady
04-25-2010, 10:55 PM
what are the pro/con

POLICESTATE
04-25-2010, 11:12 PM
Pro is it's supposed to be more tactically efficient, you keep your shooting hand on the grip (finger off trigger) and the rifle on target while you rack the bolt with your off-hand, well pretty much your left since that little latch is on the left.

Cons, sometimes doing this over time can weaken the latch pin, breaking it. There are some charging handles that have this type of use in mind, those you're supposed to be okay racking with only one finger as much as you like.

I rack with my left hand, using the tactical charging handle I have from LMT, it's supposedly designed for this and has a slightly longer CH latch than a standard one. I believe BCM makes a much larger one but I could be mistaken on the brand, I'm sure someone here will point you in the right direction.

kimo308
04-25-2010, 11:21 PM
BCM has the left handed charging handle called the gunfighter which looks great. Been thinking of getting this for my AR but then again, I only take it to the range where I take my time shooting. DO I really need it? But of course there are those who want everything the military has, from rails to accessories, etc, although they will never realistically use it for it's true intended purpose, except for tacticool show n tell, lol.

Josh3239
04-26-2010, 12:05 AM
I am basing this on my experience of the ASA. IMO it is better.

Pro
Don't have to pull my support hand as far back
Don't loose cheek weld when charging the rifle
Easier to charge the rifle in an enclosed space
Locking the bolt back is so much simpler (can probably be done one handed with an ASA side charger and a standard bolt catch but an extended one like the EBRv2 or the BAD will make things much easier)
Overall easier IMO
Charging handle locks and folds out of the way (larger latches on std AR CHs cannot be folded to make them smaller and can potentially snag)
ASA charging handle doesn't seem to have any weak points (unlike most standard AR charging handles ex; snapped roll pins, bent charging handles, etc)

Cons
The small cut on the left side can potentially let foreign matter into the rifle (not one of my concerns at all honestly)
Some free float handguards cannot be used or may need some slight fitting due to the thick billet receiver walls (ex, my TRX Extreme need some material removed but it took about 5 mins with a dremel and DD Lites can be installed but not the way they were meant to)
Carriers must have a milled notch on the side (You can send ASA your carrier, anyone with a mill could do it and for cheap)
$400 for an upper receiver and carrier only; no barrel, no bolt, no bolt parts
People often improperly use it and end up getting bit by the charging handle flying foward (similiar but harder to get bit by an M1)

LasVegasTaxMan
04-26-2010, 6:27 AM
Cons: side charging BCG is expensive, like $250 made by Youngs. If you find it cheaper let me know.

L4D
04-26-2010, 6:52 AM
Just an FYI the magpul BAD won't work with an ASA side charger upper.

Josh3239
04-26-2010, 2:16 PM
Just an FYI the magpul BAD won't work with an ASA side charger upper.

Even with the new charging handle? I just shaved the top of my EBRv2 and it works perfect.

salazar44
04-26-2010, 2:43 PM
LAR also makes this side charged upper. http://www.largrizzly.com/web/guest/ops-4-uppers

Righty, Lefty, and Ambi

Gio
04-26-2010, 2:57 PM
I will let you know when I get my ADDAX ATAC Side Charging 16" Gas Piston Upper ;)

-Gio

L4D
04-26-2010, 3:00 PM
Even with the new charging handle? I just shaved the top of my EBRv2 and it works perfect.

The new charging handle has flatter edges so that a stock bolt release will fit with out any grinding off the top. It still probably won't work with the Magpul B.A.D. it simply will not fit because of the back spacing. I still have the same charging handle you have on mine and I had to shave a couple mills of off my stock bolt release to clear.

Josh, Phase 5 actually carries an unadvertised EBRv2-SC which is cut for SC uppers. Its a top chopped version to clear charging handles, so technically you already have one :p

Addax
04-26-2010, 10:50 PM
Just an FYI the magpul BAD won't work with an ASA side charger upper.

There is a new Phase 5 EBR V.2 for the ASA Side charging Upper (as you just mentioned).

We offer it to our customers who purchase a side charging Piston or DI upper from us.

Chris

L4D
04-26-2010, 11:13 PM
There is a new Phase 5 EBR V.2 for the ASA Side charging Upper (as you just mentioned).

We offer it to our customers who purchase a side charging Piston or DI upper from us.

Chris

Thats golden because the ergonomics of a left handed side charger screams for some form of extended bolt release.

you could possibly whack your thumb by the charging handle (if its left with the carrier after charging) while using a stock bolt release.

pyro3k2
04-26-2010, 11:30 PM
Side charging Ar's are like HD T.V.'s sure you may not notice or even see the difference and wonder why you spent all that money...UNTIL you go back to the old school ones then you wont be able to shoot anything else :)

Josh3239
04-26-2010, 11:36 PM
you could possibly whack your thumb by the charging handle (if its left with the carrier after charging) while using a stock bolt release.

That is improperly using it. You should return it forward and lock it down. That is equivalent to pulling the charging handle back, locking the bolt, and never returning the charging handle forward.

Jpach
04-26-2010, 11:45 PM
Side charging Ar's are like HD T.V.'s sure you may not notice or even see the difference and wonder why you spent all that money...UNTIL you go back to the old school ones then you wont be able to shoot anything else :)

You mean for MOST side charging ARs :p

IMHO this is the best side charger available. You dont need your hand super close to your face or even need to move your face/head at all. Im getting one of these conversions for my 7mm-08 AR. Booya!

http://www.thekaiserworks.com/images/KR7-ad8.jpg

Mendo223
04-27-2010, 12:05 AM
i love my new BCM charging handle...cant believe i used a stock one for so long.

Josh3239
04-27-2010, 12:05 AM
I would hope that charging handle isnt recirpriacting. Very interesting design.

L4D
04-27-2010, 12:42 AM
I would hope that charging handle isnt recirpriacting. Very interesting design.

non-reciprocating, ambidextrous charging system in a comfortable spot. its the tits. hopefully they come up with more options.

Ride5C2
05-19-2010, 4:17 AM
I am basing this on my experience of the ASA. IMO it is better.

Pro
Don't have to pull my support hand as far back
Don't loose cheek weld when charging the rifle
Easier to charge the rifle in an enclosed space
Locking the bolt back is so much simpler (can probably be done one handed with an ASA side charger and a standard bolt catch but an extended one like the EBRv2 or the BAD will make things much easier)
Overall easier IMO
Charging handle locks and folds out of the way (larger latches on std AR CHs cannot be folded to make them smaller and can potentially snag)
ASA charging handle doesn't seem to have any weak points (unlike most standard AR charging handles ex; snapped roll pins, bent charging handles, etc)

Cons
The small cut on the left side can potentially let foreign matter into the rifle (not one of my concerns at all honestly)
Some free float handguards cannot be used or may need some slight fitting due to the thick billet receiver walls (ex, my TRX Extreme need some material removed but it took about 5 mins with a dremel and DD Lites can be installed but not the way they were meant to)
Carriers must have a milled notch on the side (You can send ASA your carrier, anyone with a mill could do it and for cheap)
$400 for an upper receiver and carrier only; no barrel, no bolt, no bolt parts
People often improperly use it and end up getting bit by the charging handle flying foward (similiar but harder to get bit by an M1)

Josh,
Do you have pics of where you had to dremel the TRX to fit the ASA receiver? I'm looking at changing the barrel & handguard on my current ASA build and will need to do this before sending to a gunsmith to be assembled.

Josh3239
05-19-2010, 11:57 AM
If you'd like I can get some pictures up of my rifle zero'ed in on where the handguard meets the upper. But basically the ASA has very thick receiver walls, much thicker than a standard upper. The TRX Extreme has this little nub that sticks out that helps you align the TRX top rail with the flat top rail of the upper (pic here (http://www.gandrtactical.com/images/archive/TROY/TRX_end.jpg)), that nub was made for smaller receiver walls on standard uppers. Since the ASA is thicker it would actually make contact with this nub and the TRX wouldn't rotate into place. What I did was used a sanding drum on a dremel and basically sanded down underneath that nub.

The process I basically did was screw on the included barrel nut. It doesn't have to be torqued to spec, we just want to see how the handguard fits. A hand tight barrel nut would be acceptable. The TRX handguard is put on off set and then turned into the upper. So turn it and make note where it contacts the receiver, remove the handguard and hit the area it contacts the upper with the dremel. Keep doing that until it stops contacting the reciever. For me that small area was a bit hard to hit with the thick sanding drum and I did end up removing some material inside the handguard I didn't intend to but no damage was done.

windrider
05-19-2010, 1:18 PM
the point is you never take your hand hand off in a zombie attack situation and you have to train yourself to shoot like you would when zombies come alive

killshot44
05-19-2010, 3:18 PM
Ooh, that KR7 with a PRS stock would be the sex.

/ must look away and never return to thread...

IsaacGlass
05-19-2010, 4:10 PM
There is a new Phase 5 EBR V.2 for the ASA Side charging Upper (as you just mentioned).

We offer it to our customers who purchase a side charging Piston or DI upper from us.

Chris

Chris,

Any new news on the .308 GPU?

Ride5C2
05-19-2010, 4:13 PM
If you'd like I can get some pictures up of my rifle zero'ed in on where the handguard meets the upper. But basically the ASA has very thick receiver walls, much thicker than a standard upper. The TRX Extreme has this little nub that sticks out that helps you align the TRX top rail with the flat top rail of the upper (pic here (http://www.gandrtactical.com/images/archive/TROY/TRX_end.jpg)), that nub was made for smaller receiver walls on standard uppers. Since the ASA is thicker it would actually make contact with this nub and the TRX wouldn't rotate into place. What I did was used a sanding drum on a dremel and basically sanded down underneath that nub.

The process I basically did was screw on the included barrel nut. It doesn't have to be torqued to spec, we just want to see how the handguard fits. A hand tight barrel nut would be acceptable. The TRX handguard is put on off set and then turned into the upper. So turn it and make note where it contacts the receiver, remove the handguard and hit the area it contacts the upper with the dremel. Keep doing that until it stops contacting the reciever. For me that small area was a bit hard to hit with the thick sanding drum and I did end up removing some material inside the handguard I didn't intend to but no damage was done.

Thank you for the detailed response. And one last question :) it doesn't sound like any of the mods are visible externally. Thanks again.

Addax
05-19-2010, 10:16 PM
Chris,

Any new news on the .308 GPU?

As soon as we release our new system/uppers this summer, we will be working on the .308 model due to the increased requests we have received for a .308 piston driven upper/rifle over the past 6 months.

Probably early 2011 by the time we are ready.

thmpr
05-19-2010, 10:25 PM
Addax,
Do you have the Diablo available with a Side CH?

Josh3239
05-19-2010, 10:44 PM
Thank you for the detailed response. And one last question :) it doesn't sound like any of the mods are visible externally. Thanks again.

Yes, the handguard would have to be removed and looked inside to see the work done. Here is a pic I took of it externally here (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y124/airsoft76/VTAC002.jpg).

Sniper3142
05-20-2010, 4:52 AM
I would hope that charging handle isnt recirpriacting. Very interesting design.

While the KR7 is non-recirpriacting, most side charging uppers aren't and IMHO, that is one of their biggest weaknesses.

I can use my left hand with my BCM Gunfighter CH so I feel it is the best of both worlds. :)

ar15barrels
05-20-2010, 9:28 AM
People often improperly use it and end up getting bit by the charging handle flying foward (similiar but harder to get bit by an M1)

Don't leave the charging handle back after you lock the bolt back and then hit the bolt release on a side charging upper.
You may get this:

http://ar15barrels.com/gfx/thumb.jpg
That's after healing for 2 days, it was really nasty when it first happened!

You need to return the charging handle forward.
Then it will be safe to charge the rifle by hitting the bolt release.

L4D
05-20-2010, 10:38 AM
Don't leave the charging handle back after you lock the bolt back and then hit the bolt release on a side charging upper.
You may get this:

http://ar15barrels.com/gfx/thumb.jpg
That's after healing for 2 days, it was really nasty when it first happened!

You need to return the charging handle forward.
Then it will be safe to charge the rifle by hitting the bolt release.

Ouchies! B.A.D. FTW

Addax
05-20-2010, 7:01 PM
Addax,
Do you have the Diablo available with a Side CH?

Sorry, but we do not.

The shortest ATAC GPU Side Charging Upper we build (custom ordered) is 11.5" using the PWS Long Stroke System.

We do not build the Diablo's, those are built only by PWS.

Chris

Addax
05-20-2010, 7:11 PM
Don't leave the charging handle back after you lock the bolt back and then hit the bolt release on a side charging upper.

You need to return the charging handle forward.
Then it will be safe to charge the rifle by hitting the bolt release.

Or they can install the Phase 5 EBR (Extended Bolt Release) V.2. for the ASA Side Charger, and utilize this to release the bolt using their trigger finger.

http://www.adxtactical.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=1588&idcategory=0

Gio
05-20-2010, 7:11 PM
Ouchies! B.A.D. FTW

The BAD does not work well with most Side Chargers, but the new EBR v2 does I believe there is also a EBR v2 SC (Side Charging) one as well. It is suppose to have a small notch in it to give more space for the hammer pin to come out if it needs to be removed. I ordered a EBR v2 and sold my BAD I had so I can useit with my SC Addax ATAC SC :D

L4D
05-20-2010, 7:38 PM
The BAD does not work well with most Side Chargers, but the new EBR v2 does I believe there is also a EBR v2 SC (Side Charging) one as well. It is suppose to have a small notch in it to give more space for the hammer pin to come out if it needs to be removed. I ordered a EBR v2 and sold my BAD I had so I can useit with my SC Addax ATAC SC :D

I didn't mean the Magpul BAD, I just meant a battery assist device in general.
I too have a Magpul BAD sitting around now due to this particular circumstance.

Heres the EBR-V2SC on my ASA setup
http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt66/jeremy_ayson/Web%20Stuff/sidecharger6.jpg

Set4Success
05-20-2010, 7:45 PM
I have never seen this one before, it looks PERFECT!


You mean for MOST side charging ARs :p

IMHO this is the best side charger available. You dont need your hand super close to your face or even need to move your face/head at all. Im getting one of these conversions for my 7mm-08 AR. Booya!

http://www.thekaiserworks.com/images/KR7-ad8.jpg

Gio
05-20-2010, 7:51 PM
I didn't mean the Magpul BAD, I just meant a battery assist device in general.
I too have a Magpul BAD sitting around now due to this particular circumstance.

Heres the EBR-V2SC on my ASA setup
http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt66/jeremy_ayson/Web%20Stuff/sidecharger6.jpg

Nice, I think I just ordered the regular v2. I am waiting for Y/M to finish my SC BCG so that Chris @ Addax Tactical can finishup my upper, test fire it and ship it to me.

L4D
05-20-2010, 7:58 PM
Nice, I think I just ordered the regular v2. I am waiting for Y/M to finish my SC BCG so that Chris @ Addax Tactical can finishup my upper, test fire it and ship it to me.

If you ordered direct and it hasn't shipped yet, Im sure they can change it for you. Ken was very helpful when I ordered.
Ill be waiting to see your setup! sounds awesome.