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View Full Version : What about a bolt-on side charging handle for an AR?


santacruzstefan
06-30-2011, 10:06 PM
I may have just had a stroke of genius. So what if you basically replaced the charging handle with this thing that came around, hugging the left side of the upper, and then bolted on to the rail at the end of the receiver? It would be like a little track, that contained the charging handle, and perhaps it had a little button that would unlock it as you pulled it back. Its hard to describe what I mean, but if it were done cleanly, it wouldn't look very odd and wouldn't get in the way.

What do you think? Possible? Worthwhile?

santacruzstefan
06-30-2011, 10:11 PM
Better idea. It would slide over the rail, basically add a bit of height to the rail, but come down and back to where the charging handle normally would be. The handle would come out the side, and it would still be plug-and-play on existing uppers.

G1500
06-30-2011, 11:22 PM
No offense, but sounds like a cheezy side charger. I really can't picture it but it sounds like it would be kind of flimsy.

How much do you figure something like this would cost compared to a regular side charging upper?

gadjeep
06-30-2011, 11:31 PM
I think that (if well executed) could be a pretty viable accessory. Sort of like a BAD lever on steroids! I personally dont care for the CH position on ARs but I care even less for the price of Non-reciprocating, side charging uppers. This could meet us half way.

Way to have the balls to throw something like this out into the ring. God knows there are enough knuckleheads on here that live to flame anything that wasn't already being produced by Magpul or KAC. :rockon:

G1500
06-30-2011, 11:42 PM
I honestly can't visualize your idea, but the way I am thinking it looks like you might have the case deflector getting in your way.

NorCalAthlete
07-01-2011, 12:26 AM
I think he means it'd attach to the T part of the current charging handle, and wrap around the left side....right? Least that's the way I'm visualizing it. Sort of a U shape with the right "leg" of the U being the current charging handle and the left side being his add-on.

SpeedTribe
07-01-2011, 1:40 AM
Both ideas already in the works. Check YouTube for ar-15 side charging. The sidewinder by RARGUNS and the CAD model video appear to be something like you are describing. Keep us posted on your project. New ideas are always welcome

xxINKxx
07-01-2011, 2:06 AM
Better idea. It would slide over the rail, basically add a bit of height to the rail, but come down and back to where the charging handle normally would be. The handle would come out the side, and it would still be plug-and-play on existing uppers.

What would be the benefit to add more stuff on the rail, while adding weight? Just to have a cool looking side charging latch??

What would make it better then the already proven and very fast to operate extended charging handle latch (BCM mod4 for example)?

CHS
07-01-2011, 8:13 AM
http://www.americanspiritarms.com/images/products/asa-ur-ftsc-woc.jpg

Already done.

NorCalK9.com
07-01-2011, 9:33 AM
If the bolt would lock into the carrier i'd be interested. as far as proven system? Proven for what?

santacruzstefan
07-01-2011, 9:38 AM
On phone,.hard to reply, but CHS, this would work with existing uppers w/o modification. Ill search around, seee about any thing similar. Problem is it would still slide back towards your face since not all internal but perhaps this could be changed.

santacruzstefan
07-01-2011, 9:39 AM
Er, without perm modification, just slide into existing connections

glock_this
07-01-2011, 9:44 AM
http://www.americanspiritarms.com/images/products/asa-ur-ftsc-woc.jpg

Already done.

who makes this?

Bug Splat
07-01-2011, 9:47 AM
I know exactly what you mean. I've been thinking about that design for years. It can be done but I can't figure out a cheap way to do it. For the cost of a bolt-on device you can just buy a true side charge receiver. If you can come up with something solid and cheaper I'd be interested in buying one ;)

cmace22
07-01-2011, 10:12 AM
Why not just do an extended charging handle?

Ive also had this idea. Just extend the charging handle down the right or left side of the receiver a few inches.

Len
07-01-2011, 10:17 AM
who makes this?

http://www.americanspiritarms.com/products/ASA_AR_15_M4_Side_Charger_Upper_Receiver_with_Modi fied_Carrier-38-12.html

BigBamBoo
07-01-2011, 10:21 AM
...........

cmace22
07-01-2011, 10:23 AM
Very crude paint attempt.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b164/cmace22/ChargingHandleAR15-2qwdaqd.jpg

Arisaka
07-01-2011, 10:37 AM
This is a cool idea, but I'm just trying to figure something out: why do people want to change ARs? Gas piston systems, side chargers, etc. There are plenty of rifles that have these (ordinary) features, the AR15 is pretty unique. Isn't that one of the reasons it's cool, because it is different? I'm not trying to crap on this thread or start an arguement, just wondering. :confused:

tomd1584
07-01-2011, 10:38 AM
you mean like the R.A.R sidewinder charging handle? why do people try to keep reinventing the wheel? this looks to put more stress on the charging handle.

as someone said on another board: This thing is a classic Transfer Device. It's designed to transfer $$$ out of YOUR bank account into THEIRS.

Qm_4h0FQpbo

cmace22
07-01-2011, 10:51 AM
you mean like the R.A.R sidewinder charging handle? why do people try to keep reinventing the wheel? this looks to put more stress on the charging handle.

as someone said on another board: This thing is a classic Transfer Device. It's designed to transfer $$$ out of YOUR bank account into THEIRS.

I didnt even know that existed.

In any case they are not getting my money.

mif_slim
07-01-2011, 10:57 AM
Whats so bad about the normal one??

bernieb90
07-01-2011, 10:59 AM
Looks like it gives you extra leverage to bend the charging handle. Bent charging handle is a very bad thing. If the part of the lever that sits on the left side the the receiver was captured in it's own track then it would be a viable system.

glock_this
07-01-2011, 11:01 AM
as someone said on another board: This thing is a classic Transfer Device. It's designed to transfer $$$ out of YOUR bank account into THEIRS.

Nevertheless, for an "add-on", it is a pretty cool and clean clever device and for that, it's hard to hate on to much even it it is not for you. I would love to try one of these personally, but not buy or own mind you. I do love it when people think outside the normal box - like Magpul did with the BAD or AFG - and take the time to create, refine products like this. I can appreciate what they made even if I don't want to own it.

Dark Mod
07-01-2011, 11:03 AM
Sounds like a solution to a problem that doesnt exist...

CHS
07-01-2011, 11:07 AM
This is a cool idea, but I'm just trying to figure something out: why do people want to change ARs?

To be honest, the AR does have some ergonomic shortcomings and design flaws. I think direct impingement is a great method of operation, and would never change an AR to gas piston, but the charging handle is a CLASSIC design flaw with the AR.

It's a weak point in the design and it's difficult to use in many conditions.

The ASA receiver is, in my mind, a logical basic improvement to the AR. And it's about the only one that I would ever make to your "standard" AR.

I'd love to see the M4A2 or M16A5 be a side charger :)

Arisaka
07-01-2011, 11:10 AM
I would like to try an AR with the prototype charging handle (trigger?) inside the carry handle. That looks futuristic and badass even though it's old.

bernieb90
07-01-2011, 11:11 AM
The charging handle is also prone to bending when manipulated from the left side especially with oversized latches. This makes the problem 10 times worse by giving you extra leverage to bend the handle. Just get a BCM/Vltor Gunfighter charging handle, and practice charging the correct way.

IPSICK
07-01-2011, 11:11 AM
I like this one:

http://www.jprifles.com/jp_galleries/152.jpg (http://www.jprifles.com/1.2.1_PSC_11.php)

motorwerks
07-01-2011, 11:12 AM
dislike.

glock_this
07-01-2011, 11:12 AM
Sounds like a solution to a problem that doesnt exist...

yeah yeah that old line.. BUT that is SO true about so many things

-AFG
-BAD
-pMags
-winter trigger guards
-fold down BUIS
-super trick milled out handguards
-tactical latch/charging handles
-takedown pins
-20 kinds of sling plates
-ranger plates

and the list goes on and on

Were any of these really needed and solved a real true "problem"? No IMHO and the history of the weapons platform without them shows that. BUT do they make some arguable improvements in what's there.. sure. And many of us adopt the use of them.

This is just, for better or worse, 1 more of those ideas..

IPSICK
07-01-2011, 11:18 AM
dislike.

Por quoi? It has both side-charging and traditional charging latch.

Sniper3142
07-01-2011, 11:22 AM
As other has asked...

WHY?!?

The standard CH works just fine. And with a high quality one like the BCM Gunfighter Mod4 (Medium), you can easily use it with your single non-shooting hand (for righties).

Like this...

http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/wp-content/blogs.dir/5/files/bcm-gunfighter/img_4497-800-mt.jpg

santacruzstefan
07-01-2011, 11:27 AM
Sidewinder is essentially my idea, except it would be contained within. It could be either on the side, in a track, or on top, covering the rail on a flat top upper. It could still have rail on top for optics use. This would be cleaner looking/ less obtrusive, and stronger than coming down the side. Downside would be adding height to rail, but that could be negligible with the right design. Still on phone, will respond to other comments later. Yes, ar works great now, beautiful design, but almost anything can be improved.

CHS
07-01-2011, 11:29 AM
yeah yeah that old line.. BUT that is SO true about so many things


No, not really:


-pMags
-winter trigger guards
-fold down BUIS

Were any of these really needed and solved a real true "problem"?


Yes.

PMAG: Ever accidentally stepped on a USGI mag? It will flatten and become instantly worthless. While mags are, theoretically, disposable, your average civilian shooter does not toss away his mags and needs good solid reliable STURDY magazines. You can accidentally step on a PMAG, brush it off, and keep using it. If you step on a USGI mag, throw it away. That's a pretty damn good solution, in my opinion.

Winter trigger guards: Dude, the AR15/M16 platform came with a winter trigger guard from the very beginning!. EVERY SINGLE AR15/M16 lower parts kit COMES with a winter trigger guard to this day!

Fold down BUIS: What else are you going to use if/when your EOtech/aimpoint runs out of batteries, or breaks. What else are you going to use if/when your ACOG cracks/breaks/fogs up?

IPSICK
07-01-2011, 11:34 AM
That picture shows the problem. You have to get off the gun to charge it. A side-charge allows you to stay behind the gun.

As other has asked...

WHY?!?

The standard CH works just fine. And with a high quality one like the BCM Gunfighter Mod4 (Medium), you can easily use it with your single non-shooting hand (for righties).

Like this...

http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/wp-content/blogs.dir/5/files/bcm-gunfighter/img_4497-800-mt.jpg

TMC
07-01-2011, 11:43 AM
Very true. Plus it you get energetic with this set-up you're going to bend the hell out of it.


you mean like the R.A.R sidewinder charging handle? why do people try to keep reinventing the wheel? this looks to put more stress on the charging handle.

as someone said on another board: This thing is a classic Transfer Device. It's designed to transfer $$$ out of YOUR bank account into THEIRS.

Qm_4h0FQpbo

glock_this
07-01-2011, 11:49 AM
PMAG: Ever accidentally stepped on a USGI mag? It will flatten and become instantly worthless. While mags are, theoretically, disposable, your average civilian shooter does not toss away his mags and needs good solid reliable STURDY magazines. You can accidentally step on a PMAG, brush it off, and keep using it. If you step on a USGI mag, throw it away. That's a pretty damn good solution, in my opinion.

Winter trigger guards: Dude, the AR15/M16 platform came with a winter trigger guard from the very beginning!. EVERY SINGLE AR15/M16 lower parts kit COMES with a winter trigger guard to this day!

Fold down BUIS: What else are you going to use if/when your EOtech/aimpoint runs out of batteries, or breaks. What else are you going to use if/when your ACOG cracks/breaks/fogs up?

Let's be clear about a few things.. First, I said these things could be "argued" and this, your arguing them. And that's fine. I also said IMHO.

I simply look back at the history of the weapon and it functioned fine without many of these items.

No, you did not NEED pmags. Period. Are they better than a metal mag, arguably sure. Have I stepped on a USGI, no. Sure, could it be damaged, yes. But come on man.. you can go endless with "what ifs" like this. Simpel fact is, metal is and does work and works fine now and in the past. Was it improved with the pMag, sure.. was it needed, no.

"EVERY SINGLE AR15/M16 lower parts kit COMES with a winter trigger guard to this day!" huh? .... not true. That is why in the several RRA parts kits I have bought, I bought specific RRA winter trigger guards. I just looked at some DPMS, Stag, RRA kits and all I looked at came with straight not curved winter trigger guards.

fold down sights.. so before all of the fancy optics... what was used? Solid sights. Just like many still use a solid front A2.. somehow the solid A2 worked, but now many use fold downs.

So so far, none of these things were needed nor solved a true "problem" as I see it. As I clearly said before, they certainly improve thing, but are they needed and did they solve a problem experienced by all.. no, I don't think so.

This is one of those lame arguments we could go around and around about and really get no where but throwing out opinions. My goal was to make a bigger point and I think the true point is made.

CHS
07-01-2011, 12:21 PM
"EVERY SINGLE AR15/M16 lower parts kit COMES with a winter trigger guard to this day!" huh? .... not true. That is why in the several RRA parts kits I have bought, I bought specific RRA winter trigger guards. I just looked at some DPMS, Stag, RRA kits and all I looked at came with straight not curved winter trigger guards.


See, you don't even know how to use the winter trigger guards that are staring you in the face.

Hint: Take a look at that spring-loaded detent on those straight "not winter" trigger guards.

Arisaka
07-01-2011, 12:35 PM
See, you don't even know how to use the winter trigger guards that are staring you in the face.

Hint: Take a look at that spring-loaded detent on those straight "not winter" trigger guards.

This is interesting, but I don't get it. What are you talking about?:confused:

jumbopanda
07-01-2011, 12:38 PM
This is interesting, but I don't get it. What are you talking about?:confused:

You push the detent and fold the trigger guard down.

glock_this
07-01-2011, 12:40 PM
This is interesting, but I don't get it. What are you talking about?:confused:

What he is absurdly saying is that your suppose to carry something small enough to manipulate the detent pin to swing open the trigger guard so that you have more room.. much like a winter trigger guard that requires you to do and manipulate nothing to use it :rolleyes:

tomd1584
07-01-2011, 12:54 PM
What he is absurdly saying is that your suppose to carry something small enough to manipulate the detent pin to swing open the trigger guard so that you have more room.. much like a winter trigger guard that requires you to do and manipulate nothing to use it :rolleyes:

you mean something like a bullet tip?

Arisaka
07-01-2011, 12:56 PM
Oh gotcha. So winter trigger guard=open trigger guard with bottom hanging down. I kinda wondered why you pinned one end and the other had a detent. Genius, actually. One more example of the innovative design of the AR 15 that (IMHO) doesn't really need fixing.

CHS
07-01-2011, 12:57 PM
you mean something like a bullet tip?

^^^This :)

Boltz
07-01-2011, 4:39 PM
There seem to be a lot of haters here. Although this proposed charging handle may not be for everybody, what's wrong if someone wants to take a shot at making it better? I'm sure people complained when Ford changed the Model T.

G1500
07-01-2011, 5:16 PM
That picture shows the problem. You have to get off the gun to charge it. A side-charge allows you to stay behind the gun.

The OP's idea along with RAR's design you need to get off the gun as well, otherwise you will get hit in the face.

glock_this
07-01-2011, 5:29 PM
To bad it seems like a mute point. This thing is not on their site for sale and just seems to have died on the vine. I researched it a little more and there was a flurry of activity by them early in the year with some claims to getting ready to field test it.. and then.. nothing. I found one post that referenced a price tag of about $125.

santacruzstefan
07-01-2011, 5:48 PM
OP here. Yeah, the sidewinder style (basically how I had first thought of it) seems a little flimsy and in-the-way. However, the one that slides over the rail (post 2) would be much sleeker. The main problem that I hadn't considered was even though it would be easier to pull with a cheek weld, it would still come back and hit your face (depending on where your face is/ length of your stock). How to remedy this, while still being "plug and play" on existing uppers, is something of a quandary. Perhaps it could incorporate a small cheek pad, that would contain the part of the handle that moves out of the gun. That seems rather inelegant, though.

Maybe this is a solution in search of a problem. I've heard many folks say they'd like a side charging AR, though, and one which didn't reciprocate and wasn't the "handle screwed into bolt carrier/ channel drilled along right side" variety. After folks mentioned the sidewinder, I looked it up, searched around. The folks on m4carbine really hated that thing, with a passion. I think if one could be designed properly, it would be popular. Good points were brought up, though, chief among them that the CH isn't used that often, and with a side charger, it makes manually locking the bolt back difficult if you don't use something like a BAD lever or have ambi controls. I dunno, I still think it would be useful.

Arisaka
07-01-2011, 6:24 PM
I'm not hating, I think it's cool to be able to take features you like and put them on an AR. I was just curious as to why at first but it makes sense now. I think it would be cool to have an HK style handle on an AR but I don't know how you could swing that.

biglou
07-01-2011, 6:51 PM
If you do make one, make it alot cheaper that the one from ASA. I thought the one from ASA would be cool for my AR pistol until I seen the price. $350.00 plus you have to modify the bolt. For that price I'll stick to my old model T plain charging handle. :)

L4D
07-01-2011, 8:00 PM
I built a sidecharger using the ASA upper. Like the standard charging handle, it doesn't get much use. The last range trip if I recall I used it once, lol.

sleepur606
07-01-2011, 9:56 PM
Not to discourage you, but I would rather just have a side charger. I like the Young MFG side charger and matching Mega upper receiver. A lot cleaner look and it'll work...so long as you don't mind a reciprocating charging handle.

sleepercar
07-01-2011, 10:39 PM
you mean something like a bullet tip?

What? Don't be silly now.... They couldn't have possibly designed this weapon in such a manner as to have the actual bullet be the tool.... that's just out....ra..geous..... oohhh................. OH! My Jesus, look at that.
;)

Tank 57
07-01-2011, 10:57 PM
I would like to try an AR with the prototype charging handle (trigger?) inside the carry handle. That looks futuristic and badass even though it's old.

I have an old original AR-10 built on an H&H semi receiver.Reason for changing from that style charging handle is it gets hot enough to burn your fingers.Does look cool.

patriot_man
07-02-2011, 12:27 AM
Monolithic upper + Charging handle located up near the front of the gun where the hand guards are would be a winner in my opinion. Non reciprocating of course as well as ambi.

morfeeis
07-02-2011, 12:49 AM
The charging handle is also prone to bending when manipulated from the left side especially with oversized latches. This makes the problem 10 times worse by giving you extra leverage to bend the handle. Just get a BCM/Vltor Gunfighter charging handle, and practice charging the correct way.
I hate you:eek:
Just yesterday i ordered a ambidextrous charging latch, are you saying that since i fire left handed i run the risk of bending my CH? wHY IS THAT?

NorCalAthlete
07-02-2011, 3:10 AM
Monolithic upper + Charging handle located up near the front of the gun where the hand guards are would be a winner in my opinion. Non reciprocating of course as well as ambi.

ADCOR B.E.A.R.

http://www.adcorindustries.com/defense/uppers.asp

patriot_man
07-02-2011, 5:05 PM
ADCOR B.E.A.R.

http://www.adcorindustries.com/defense/uppers.asp

Thanks! Lol didn't even know it was made.

aileron
07-02-2011, 6:24 PM
Wow... didn't know folks didn't understand what the detent was for on the trigger guard.

In fact Magpuls cool looking curved trigger guard takes that option away from you, which I felt was a design flaw on Magpuls part.

CHS
07-02-2011, 6:53 PM
In fact Magpuls cool looking curved trigger guard takes that option away from you, which I felt was a design flaw on Magpuls part.

They used to make a version that swung down like the USGI one, but I don't believe they do anymore.

MasterYong
07-03-2011, 12:15 AM
LOL @ "the CH on an AR is perfect" crowd.

Why then do I have to unshoulder the weapon to manipulate the CH??? Every OTHER rifle I own, I can cycle the action while the rifle is shouldered. Such a feat is a physical impossibility for me when using an AR.

grunz
07-03-2011, 5:25 PM
In the big picture the AR CH location and function is just fine, the real ergonomic issue on ARs is locking the bolt back without removing your firing hand from the pistol grip because the bolt catch is only on the left side of the receiver. This has zero to do with the CH location or function.

See video below from Viking Tactics on malfunction clearence and see that most of the fumbling and less elegant operations have to take place when the shooter is moving his hands around to engage the bolt catch/release in order to lock back the bolt....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TqLnBd1udM

If you make a side charging CH without addressing the bolt lock issue on ARs you havent helped one bit - IMO.

Some new toys like Magpul BAD or new lowers (see video below) or gadgets that engage the bolt catch with the mag release button are helping here and are an interesting area of innovation.

For example this product below is a hell of a lot more useful than some side mounted CH..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxPmsIesJu8