What's your favorite nonstandard AR charging handle?
I have a couple of BCM handles (medium, I think) and like them quite a bit. Easy to operate, rugged, no issues.
I just ordered a couple of the Geissele Super Charging Handles because Black Friday and I wanted to try them out.
What else is out there. I have heard of the Raptors but have never seen one live.
What do you like and why?
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All of my ARs have BCM Mediums.
I like the BCM medium and actually like my old school standard GI handle with the Badger Ordnance tactical latch.
Supposedly the weak point of a larger latch on a standard handle is the amount of stress that can be placed on the roll pin. I haven't managed to break mine yet, but I am hesitant to drop $150 on a charging handle.
I do favor some style of increased sized latch, I have had my hand slip off of a standard latch when trying to charge fast on the clock as mandated in a 3-gun stage. So if speed matters, I think a larger latch is good.
Too big can be detrimental if you spend a lot of time with the rifle slung.
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I used to like the original BCMs but eventually some of them would pinch my finger when charging.
Moved on to the Geissele SCH and sold the BCMs. Really dig the Geissele SCH, I use them on all my scoped ARs and the smaller latched ACH version on rifles with RDS.
Granted the most I ever paid for the ones I have was $65 and I bought more this weekend for $50. For MSRP of $89.99 it's a bridge too far.
For those not familiar with the difference
I have several Raptor ambidextrous charging handles. One that I have had for a few years gets regular heavy rapid operation use. It’s smooth and shows no sign developing any problems. It’s a little more positive than the old standard design with the tab in the middle because pulling on any part of the latch works. I’ve never been a fan of the ones with the large, oversized latches.
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Yeah, when I spend my own coin, this is what I buy.
I was issued a rifle with the Raptor on it, and I have snagged the handle on my plate carrier and sling a bunch. So much so, I considered going back to a GI charging handle, but haven't yet.
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BCM Medium on mine. I like to operate the charging handle with my left hand, and the Medium gives me enough area to reliably grip without being big enough to snag on stuff.
Oh, by the way, which one's "Pink?"
I believe I have medium BCM handles on all my ARs. They just do what I want them to do and they are sized properly for my needs. I see no reason to spend more money on a handle that may, or may not, do what the BCMs do.
Really liking Aero's Ambidextrous changing handles. Especially the price. I've got a lot of BCM large latch charging handles on my ARs. But like the Aero Ambi better. Easier to grab in my old age.
I was gifted a BCM Medium and I really like it. I put it on my main carbine and have not had any issue with snagging it. I will eventually put one on my other rifles.
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Radian Raptor on my Ar-15
Tried a POF Tomahawk on my .308 AR that worked well and looked cool.
Swapped it out for a Radian Raptor as well.
Almost my experience to a T.
I really liked the original BCM/VLTOR design and still have several installed in my go-to ARs, with no plans to replace them in the immediate future.
I am not a fan of the new split-rear-end style gunfighters. This is specifically because the old VLTOR style had a solid lip (like that on Geissele's SCH) that was very effective as a base for applying RTV gasket-sealer to eliminate suppressor squirt-eye.
My former coworkers at the shop share this opinion. I even know one who told me "If I know someone is getting rid of their old one, I'll offer to trade him for a new style gunfighter."
BCM's discontinuing of the old style kind of left me in a lurch. The only choices I can see now are upmarket or downmarket. I have a Strike Industries ARCH-EL that's in the wings for a budget-oriented build (if I should ever be in the mood). I also have a Geissele SCH sleighted for any higher-end build I might consider, with a few more Geisseles, including an airborne, on the way from the recent black-friday sale.
I've never demanded that my charging handles be ambidextrous (I feel like it's one of the least important controls in terms of needing to be ambi), but with the loss of the old-style BCM/VLTOR style CH and Geissele's $50/SCH/ACH sale, the time was right.
I previously had BCM charging handles on all three of my ARs. Right now the two I use the most both have Raptors. I do like the ambi style even though I am and shoot right handed. I find it easier to lock the bolt back and to do chamber checks by just turning the carbine a bit and manipulating the right side of the charging handle.
I have not tried the Geissele SCH yet but plan to on my next build.
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I've got three Raptors, but just ordered two of the Geissele units because of the sale. They'll be going in two 14.5" guns, or maybe some mix and match with my LMT SBR.
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I really like the Radian Raptors and I have a Geissele I like. I tried a Ranier Arms one that I haven't really taken a shine to and I think I'm going to replace it with a Geissele.
Be careful of the latch size on the new BCM charging handles.I read thread a while back that the size of the latch of the new models is different from the old models. Don't remember the specifics.
|Fighting the good fight|
If that's true, I'd be interested in some more details.
It's been a couple years since I've bought any BCM charging handles.
The standard style served millions of GI’s well for nearly half a century and continues to do so. Not sure why you’D need to use anything different- I do understand there are some issues if you run a suppressor but since I never have not sure of the nuances there
I bought my first BCM handle in 2013 - the medium size with the very pronounced handle and I liked it a lot. Went back this month to buy another only to discover they've redesigned them. It's a much more streamlined designed that's less likely to snag on gear, but the new design just isn't as positive in my hand. I've found the current large latch good enough, but not as good as the previous gen.
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So you are running a 1975 era AR15 then? It served well in Vietnam and all.
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