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Old July 26, 2017, 02:22 PM   #1
TrueBlue711
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Bending a charging handle

This is more of a metallurgy question. I have a Sig 556, which has a side charging handle like how the AK does. It is at an upward angle, which can get in the way of optics. Griffin Tactical sells a charging handle at a downward angle to avoid optics, but for $75 a pop. What are the risks of putting the old charging handle in a vice and bending it down to a lower angle myself? Any prep work such as heating it up I should do prior to bending?
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Old July 26, 2017, 07:35 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Try to bend it cold and it'll probably break or crack.

Heating it will very possibly ruin the heat treating and destroy it.

One possible option is to cut the handle off and have a GOOD gunsmith/welder Tig weld the handle back on at whatever angle you want.
Welding is the best way because you can control the heat spread.

Another aid is to buy some Heat-Stop paste from Brownell's.
This also helps limit the spread of heat to critical areas.

For years people heated up Mauser rifle bolt handles and bent them.
They also often ruined them.
The smart gunsmiths used special copper heat sinks that screwed into the stripped bolt and used heat stop pastes.
Now days, the smart gunsmiths cut off the handle and weld it back on at the right angel.

Sig bolt carriers are not cheap or easily available. Botch it up and you're going to be out some good money even if you can get a new carrier.

Best advice: Either find a real expert gunsmith, not the local gun butcher, or cut to the chase and buy the $75 replacement.
That way you still have the original carrier.

Last edited by Dfariswheel; July 26, 2017 at 07:41 PM.
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Old July 26, 2017, 09:16 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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We bent our K98 bolt handles (and some guys welded a new one on) but we made a heat sink for the bolt when we did.

I would look into welding a new handle on.
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Old July 27, 2017, 08:44 AM   #4
TrueBlue711
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Forgot to mention the charging handle is removable. If I screw it up, it's only the charging handle that is messed up and not the bolt carrier. I attached a pic that shows what I hope to do with it.
Gun smith and welding ideas sound more than $75. I'd just buy the extra part before taking it to them.
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File Type: jpg old-new-ch.jpg (21.0 KB, 76 views)
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Old July 27, 2017, 12:12 PM   #5
tangolima
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Just heat it up and bend it in a vise. Don't worry about the heat treat.

BTW, welding affect heat treat too.

-TL

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Old September 3, 2017, 10:19 PM   #6
jjmotsch
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tangolima is right on. Just heat it up and bend it. Hardness is not a factor. It will stay hard enough for your application
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Old September 4, 2017, 08:08 AM   #7
tobnpr
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No problems with heating and bending that part- but it likely will damage the finish so plan accordingly.
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Old September 5, 2017, 05:56 AM   #8
Mobuck
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If you're going to heat the part, better dope the areas you don't want hot with "heat sink paste".
Not sure about the logic. You don't want to spend the $75 to buy a different knob but you're willing to risk ruining a similar part by wanking on it??????
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Old September 5, 2017, 01:32 PM   #9
tobnpr
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It's a charging handle for a BCG.
What makes everyone assume this part has been heat treated? No reason in my mind that it would need to be- and I'll bet it was not from the factory.
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