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Big latches are a no-go for me. What say you? Login/Join 
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I recently swapped the big latches on my gasbuster charging handles out for regular latches. Other than the gasbusters, I stopped using aftermarket latches and handles on my guns about a year ago. I found that they too often got snagged on equipment and made racket and/or pulled the bolt out of battery. Has anyone else run into this? Big latches seem to be more-or-less the standard nowadays, but I see more cons than pros. On anything with a LRBHO, you don't need to mess with that charging handle unless you're initially loading the weapon, or the weapon malfunctions. One of those happens before you're in a situation that requires any sort of real immediacy, and the other shouldn't happen all that often. I understand people like to plan and train for the worst, but I think an emphasis on training with the regular latch will have you covered. On the AR, optics sit high enough, relative to the receiver and CH, that it really isn't a problem. On a weapon like the SCAR or 553, you can run into real issues; I'll still take a regular handle. There are extended handles out there for weapons like those that are just plain ridiculous. Of course, if the handle is on the outboard side, you don't have the equipment snag hazard, but I think practice with the regular handle is still preferred. I know there are some folks out there that agree, as I recall discussing similar things in a thread about ambi controls, but I am sure there are plenty of people who love the big handles and latches. Either way, I am curious about folks experiences and opinions.
 
Posts: 420 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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I agree. The most common training and practice course I often shoot a couple of times a week requires operating the charging handle several times to chamber a round or clear a malfunction, and yet I have never felt the need for a latch that I could hang an elk from.

I do like the Radian Raptor latches because they seem to be a bit more forgiving of how they’re engaged to release them and although it’s unlikely I’d ever need it, the ambidextrous capability is a nice backup feature. Size wise, though, they are plenty big for me.




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Posts: 44492 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sort of a competition part that carried into other areas for no good reason. I have over sized charging handles on my three match uppers and I'm glad I do, they have served me well, being able to quickly work the action with the palm of my left hand without releasing my shooting grip and body position.
On my other uppers that are used for general shooting and hunting, their usefulness would be limited and be off set and surpassed by their getting in the way.


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Posts: 19069 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I split the difference. I don't like overly large charging handle latches, but I do like something slightly larger than stock. Makes it easier to work the charging handle using just the side of your support hand, especially when wearing gloves.
 
Posts: 27895 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would agree. I bought into the bigger, both sides charging handles. Through handling & training I found out they are virtually useless. I can see where if you needed to "put a boot" to one without it snapping off might be necessary (although you should mortar it).
I have a box of expensive, fancy charging handles that I replaced with the originals.
As was said, it's rarely used, sans initial charging or locking back the bolt & really, when was the last time you had one break?


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Posts: 506 | Location: NW Ohio but Montana is always home. | Registered: September 30, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
I split the difference. I don't like overly large charging handle latches, but I do like something slightly larger than stock. Makes it easier to work the charging handle using just the side of your support hand, especially when wearing gloves.


This. If you train in using the knife edge of your hand the larger handles give you more to catch.

I agree that they can foul on things like chest rigs and whatnot, so it's a trade-off. If I hadn't been trained to use my reactionary hand to operate the handle, I wouldn't switch them.
 
Posts: 323 | Registered: June 11, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't use a bladed hand to operate the handle. I do use my "off" hand. I pinch and pull the latch side of the handle with my index finger and thumb. There is no "splitting the difference", in my opinion, as I was referring to "mid-sized" handles/latches in my OP, not the laughably big ones. I am not saying I am right and "splitting the difference" is wrong; just clarifying my OP. Everyone trains a bit different and, at the end of the day, if it works for you, then do it.
 
Posts: 420 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Big" is relative. If you mean anything larger than the standard latch is "big", then maybe that should have been identified in the original post?

I've played with several oversize latches during the last 30 years or so and found that I prefer the Badger Ordnance latch ( https://www.midwayusa.com/prod...100329860?pid=987629 ). I really like this latch. Just like I really like oversize mag catches on some of my pistols Wink.

I use my support hand index finger to manipulate the charging handle while maintaining a firing grip with my dominant hand.

So many options for so many different users Cool


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Posts: 8557 | Location: UT | Registered: December 05, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is definitely relative. I should have been clearer in my OP, and attempted to clarify it in my preceding post.

I agree with cas' post. It's likely a carry-over from the competition realm that has somehow become the "standard" for anything other than a "mil-spec" gun.

I had no idea so many people knife-hand their charging handles. I guess a bigger latch would be handy, if that's what you like to do.
 
Posts: 420 | Location: Northeast GA | Registered: February 15, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I favor the old style BCM Model 5, a robust part. This particular version is no longer available and was the smallest latch available on BCM charging handles when I purchased mine about six years ago. I think it's just about perfect. I would not want some big honkin' lever sticking out, 'cause I'm not an operator nor do I play one on TV. It seems to me all a big lever would do for me would be to get in my way, poke me in the chest when the rifle is slung, and have a greater chance of banging into something.



I do have a couple of scoped ARs, and on these I have the AXTS (now Radian Arms) Raptor ambidextrous charging handles, and these are perfect for me. I habitually charge these rifles by pulling back on the right side of the CH, something, of course, you cannot do with a milspec CH.
 
Posts: 95703 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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I've gone the other way in general I have swapped out the tiny hard-to-operate latches with big(er) ones.
Usually Badger or Black Rain and maybe I've tried some others.
Never had any obstruction or other related issues.
I guess it is just a preference - no right or wrong answer.
 
Posts: 19705 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
I favor the old style BCM Model 5, a robust part. This particular version is no longer available and was the smallest latch available on BCM charging handles when I purchased mine about six years ago. I think it's just about perfect.


The OEM of that charging handle is Vltor. They still offer the charging handle under their own name, except the ambidextrous version.

https://www.vltor.com/shop/ar/...556-charging-handle/
 
Posts: 5950 | Location: Romeo, MI | Registered: January 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
I guess it is just a preference ....


Which was the original question: “What say you?”

I admit, though, that responses like my exaggerated “hang an elk from” are the sort of thing that contribute to this process in threads like this:
Statements of preferences > justifications of preferences > aggressive defenses of preferences > nasty attacks on others’ preferences.

We haven’t gotten close to stage four in this thread and it’s much less common on this forum in general, but it is something that sometimes happens even when the original question is just, “What do you like?”




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 44492 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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