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Old January 19, 2021, 05:28 PM   #1
Kurbsky
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AR charging handle - upgrade or not upgrade?

It looks like some charging handles may be 5 times more expensive than basic ones. I understand that ambidextreous may be slightly more expensive. Beside aestetics, is there any reason to upgrade to a pricey charging handle?
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Old January 19, 2021, 05:35 PM   #2
ghbucky
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I noticed the same thing a while back about gas blocks. A simple, low profile fixed gas block seems to range between $9.00 to $150.

The $9 works a charm on my rifle.
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Old January 19, 2021, 07:21 PM   #3
Chipperman
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If the standard one works well for you, then it may not be worth it.
I'm lefty so I prefer ambi handles. Standard ones can also be hard to grab if you have a scope mounted just above it.
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Old January 19, 2021, 09:53 PM   #4
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I'm right handed and the Mil-Spec is all I need. Maybe I'm a moron, and I can accept that, but without needing left hand ability, seems like a rip-off...
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Old January 19, 2021, 10:45 PM   #5
Shadow9mm
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I really considered the extended and ambi-handles for a long time. In the end, I never had any problem with my mil-spec one and decided to let sleeping dogs lie...
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Old January 19, 2021, 11:17 PM   #6
Kirrich
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An ambi handle is pulled straight back. Less wear then constantly pulling it slightly to the left or right. The roll pin?
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Old January 20, 2021, 01:41 AM   #7
ed308
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I always upgrade, easier to grab. Lately I’ve gone with the all metal upgraded Aero ambi charging handles.
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Old January 20, 2021, 11:00 AM   #8
Txhillbilly
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I shoot LH, and use the standard charging handle on all of my AR's, never been an issue with me. Plus, I run scopes on all my guns.
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Old January 20, 2021, 12:18 PM   #9
Doc Intrepid
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Respectfully, IMHO this discussion overlooks one critical aspect:

You may be assuming that any use of the rifle for actual self-defense will occur in an environment where you have full use of both arms and hands. In fact, many real life examples indicate you may lose use of either a hand or an entire arm during an encounter. You may need to run that rifle using only one arm and hand.

Will Petty has several videos that explain how to do that with both rifles and handguns, and has conducted training in same with numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Note the utility of the ambidexterous charging handle. These videos are worth your review, and perhaps some range time to practice:

AR rifles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghy6akCjEnM

Handguns - similar ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBAcyST32ew

Remember the lessons from the 1986 FBI gunfight with Platt & Matix and Murphy's Law: "whatever can go wrong will, and at the worst possible time". It is true.

It is unwise to expect you will go through an actual engagement retaining full use of all your faculties. Ambidextrous charging handles are worthwhile investments if you ever envision potentially using your rifle in any environment other than a range environment.

Just MHO. YMMV.
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Old January 20, 2021, 01:27 PM   #10
Destructo6
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I shoot right handed, but manipulate the charging handle with the left (support) hand.

The standard charging handle works just fine, but a slightly extended catch works better.
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Old January 20, 2021, 04:07 PM   #11
hub1home
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No, there is no reason to up grade other that looks. Stick to the cheap one.
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Old January 20, 2021, 07:53 PM   #12
Kurbsky
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Thanks... I am getting the standard inexpensive Aero Precision handle then.
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Old January 21, 2021, 04:39 AM   #13
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I prefer extended latches, and preferably ambi. My favorite is the Raptor, but a few of my rifles sport BCM handles. I find them easier to manipulate in actual shooting scenarios, and especially if using gloves.
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Old January 21, 2021, 05:48 AM   #14
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For me its ergonomics. Ambi charging handles with slightly longer handles work better for me. Plus. I occasionally run a scope on mine.
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Old January 21, 2021, 08:07 AM   #15
imashooter
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There are some really flimsy CHs out there. The worst I'm aware of are from PSA. Aside from their CH, I'm gtg with PSA. Many good ones available. For a basic good quality CH, I like Colt or whoever their manufacturer is. For a bit more I like the Raptor LT.
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Old January 21, 2021, 11:53 AM   #16
rickyrick
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I have been thinking about this a lot lately and my spouse expressed more interest in becoming proficient with an AR, and I think better handles will help.

I do attempt to install scopes with enough eye-relief to avoid it being on top of the CH, but that’s not always possible.

I’ve also been practicing things one-handed, and the plain charging handles do make things like that tricky.

I have never owned, or even used anything other than the milspec type.
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Old January 21, 2021, 06:53 PM   #17
Kurbsky
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I will install a scope on my rifle and it will me a sniper scope. I just don't understand why an ambidextreour CH would make a difference. I can intall that scope keepung some distance from the CH. Right?
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Old January 21, 2021, 07:16 PM   #18
Chipperman
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The eyepiece of the scope can end up right over the handle, depending on the mount and how far back you put it. A handle with longer arms makes it easier to grab, it does not necessarily need to be ambi to help.

You can try it first with the standard handle and see how it works for you. Swapping out the handle takes about 10 seconds.

If you get a scope with generous eye relief, you may be able to push it far enough forward as to not matter
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Old January 21, 2021, 07:33 PM   #19
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My stock one works fine.

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Old January 21, 2021, 08:50 PM   #20
GarandTd
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Quote:
My stock one works fine.
When mine was scoped it was set up the same. Stock handle was fine. Got a red dot farther forward now. Stock charging handle still fine.
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Old January 21, 2021, 10:57 PM   #21
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My SP1 has the factory handle, works fine, never even thought about changing it.

My parts box built AR15 has an extended handle, cause when I bought it, all the plain Jane factory style were sold out, and it was the cheapest thing I could find that was available.

The AR10 I just built also has an extended handle, for the same reason as my parts box gun.

I’ve never had an issue using the factory style handles, and would have put them one the two guns I built if I could have found them at the time.

Edit- The parts box gun has a reflex style sight, while the AR10 is scoped, but even shooting scoped rifles with stock style handles on the past, I never had issues using the factory style.
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Old January 21, 2021, 11:43 PM   #22
Geezerbiker
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So where are you finding these 9 buck charging handles? The cheapest I've seen in 20 bucks?

Tony
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Old January 22, 2021, 08:12 PM   #23
Kurbsky
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The one I bought from Aero Precision with all other AP staff was $25 but they just released a new ambidextreous CH for $85 for AR10. It certainly looks very cool but it looks like. I don't really need it.
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Old January 23, 2021, 02:52 PM   #24
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I find it to be a *real* hassle with a scope. When I bought the upper I could have got "side charging handle" for another $20, but I didn't know why I might want it. It's not something an AK guy would think of ahead of time...

I've looked at some of the different charging handles, and at different eye-relief scopes, but the best solution looks like to sell the upper I have and buy a side-charging one.
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Old January 23, 2021, 07:00 PM   #25
rickyrick
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This is how I have one of mine.

I always figure out how much eye relief I need and purchase scopes accordingly.

If all else fails I buy the longest eye relief scope I can for a particular style or magnification of scope.

I even have a flashlight along side the scope on this gun.



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