PDA

View Full Version : Side charging



stanc
08-07-2011, 01:54 AM
I happened to see the GSR upper on the AA site:

http://www.alexanderarms.com/item/10/147/GrendelGSRCompleteUpperReceiver.htm

While the GSR is probably a bit too heavy for me, I wonder if such a side-charging handle might provide enough leverage that I'd be able to work it. Anybody know how it compares to a Mini-30 in regard to the force needed to pull the bolt all the way to the rear? Harder? Easier? About the same?

And is the ejection pattern of side-chargers safe for left-handed shooting?

StoneTower
08-07-2011, 02:48 AM
Here is a better picture:

http://www.alexanderarms.com/item/19/80/BilletUpperKit.htm

When you say: "I wonder if such a side-charging handle might provide enough leverage that I'd be able to work it"...are you unable to pull a regular charging handle? The upper takes the same force to compress the buffer tube spring as with a standard upper.

Take care,

David

The uppers weigh about 5 ounces more than a standard upper.

RStewart
08-07-2011, 02:56 AM
I have side charging on my WOA match AR. It sure is convenient. I find it easier to charge the rifle with it, than pulling back on the charging handle. My eye relief has my scope farther back and it makes it more difficult to reach the charging handle. Problem solved.

stanc
08-07-2011, 03:10 AM
Here is a better picture:

http://www.alexanderarms.com/item/19/80/BilletUpperKit.htm
Thanks for that. :D

When you say: "I wonder if such a side-charging handle might provide enough leverage that I'd be able to work it"...are you unable to pull a regular charging handle?
That's correct.

The upper takes the same force to compress the buffer tube spring as with a standard upper.
Yeah, I know the spring pressure would be the same, but thought that there might be a difference in leverage.

The T-handle has to be grasped overhand, with thumb and forefinger, or first two fingers.

The side handle looks like it can be gripped underhand, with the palm of the right hand. Plus, it's several inches farther forward, which I thought might help.

stanc
08-07-2011, 03:14 AM
I have side charging on my WOA match AR. It sure is convenient. I find it easier to charge the rifle with it, than pulling back on the charging handle. My eye relief has my scope farther back and it makes it more difficult to reach the charging handle.
I can see how it would be easier, with a scope so mounted.

But, without the scope attached, do you find it any easier?

warped
08-07-2011, 03:39 AM
I would not want one unless it was non reciprocating and left side

I may make one of my own using a charging handle from a FAL and the billet upper I have

brickcues
08-07-2011, 04:36 AM
I am left handed so the charging handle on the bolt works great as I do not have to take my finger off the trigger to charge the bolt. Also if you have an adjustable cheek rest on the butt stock you cannot use the regular charging handle as the cheek rest is in the way.

warped
08-07-2011, 04:45 AM
Yeah,I am right handed so my reasons are the same as yours.

I have a padded foam piece on the only collapsing stock I use, but I shoot it with the stock extended so it is not an issue.

On any other type of stock if you need a cheek riser your scope just might be mounted too high.

stanc
08-07-2011, 05:48 AM
I would not want one unless it was non reciprocating and left side
To each his own. Personally, I like a reciprocating bolt handle. All of the military weapons I got to shoot in my formative years had 'em: M1 Carbine, M1 Garand, M1941 Johnson, M14 rifle...and even the M1919A6 machine gun. ;)

The thing that concerns me now that I must shoot left-handed, is if the ejection pattern is going to be into my face.

Bigbore
08-07-2011, 02:47 PM
I have both handles on my billet receiver because when I use my brass catcher the side handle would hit the catcher frame. I just set the bolt open then unscrew it. If I need to pull the bolt back I use the handle. Either way feels about same resistance.
Bruce

babue
08-07-2011, 04:50 PM
I like this upper at www.hpirifles.com
I have mine setup with the handle on the left and does NOT reciprocate.

stanc
08-07-2011, 05:51 PM
I like this upper at www.hpirifles.com
That's different.
http://hpirifles.com/images/320_P1010263.JPG
Any idea what fore end that is?

This one looks as if it might offer better leverage, but the upper appears to be a gas piston design.
http://cdn5.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/img_5053-tfb.jpg

pappy42
08-07-2011, 06:49 PM
I'm a lefty, and my 6.5G has a right side bolt handle (no charging handle). In answer to the question about the ejection pattern; I have no problems with my setup.

In some situations, I turn the adjustable gas block screw in and cycle the action by hand; from a bench rest; real handy for a lefty.

RStewart
08-07-2011, 07:58 PM
I can see how it would be easier, with a scope so mounted.

But, without the scope attached, do you find it any easier?

I originally bought my upper to shoot XTC and Mid-Range Prone. The recommendation for getting the side charging handle was from an experienced prone shooter. With the open sights on it I needed a cheekpiece to allow me to see my sights without strain. To accomplish this I installed a Magpul PRS stock. With the cheekpiece up it would have intereferred with the rear charging handle. But I never had to worry about it. Where I found the side charge to be of biggest benefit was once I was in position, I could load, charge the rifle and fire only using my right hand. My left could stay in place in the sling. I just reached up and underhanded pulled the charging handle. When I switched out the open sights to optics, I also changed the PRS back to an A2 stock. This allows me to adjust the rifle by sliding my left hand forward or back on the stock in FPR. And I use the charging handle as explained earlier.
It has been a great convenience for me, but can I say it is easier? It takes about the same amount of energy to charge the rifle either way, but it does keep me behind the rifle rather than having get off the scope and lean out to charge it, if I have to. So I can't really say one way or the other about easier.

warped
08-07-2011, 10:26 PM
I'm a lefty, and my 6.5G has a right side bolt handle (no charging handle). In answer to the question about the ejection pattern; I have no problems with my setup.

In some situations, I turn the adjustable gas block screw in and cycle the action by hand; from a bench rest; real handy for a lefty.

Yep, prone is always easier/faster with an opposite hand action.

Variable
08-08-2011, 01:23 PM
Yeah, I know the spring pressure would be the same, but thought that there might be a difference in leverage.

The T-handle has to be grasped overhand, with thumb and forefinger, or first two fingers.

Hmm, I had already assumed you had tried cheating... possibly not. I'm guessing you use a bipod and shoot at the bench? If so, put the butt of the rifle against your chest, while pulling rearward on the charging handle with both hands. You can have one on each lobe of the charging handle. That's what I was thinking when I suggested using a PRI big latch. Pretend you're a feudal Brit cocking a crossbow on a castle wall, and the charging handle is a string. One hand on each side and draw directly rearward towards your chest.....

noone
08-08-2011, 04:16 PM
I am always interested in new modifications to firearms. I try to figure out what problems the new designs will fix, and what problems they designs will cause.

Having more openings, slots, or no ejection port cover on the receiver makes it easier for junk to enter into the mechanism and cause jams. Having a reciprocating bolt handle makes the handle prone to catching on things and cause a short stroke.
Having anything other than the standard charging system makes it harder to acquire replacement parts if the need arises.

Having a left hand, non reciprocating handle would make it easier to cycle the bolt while keeping your right hand on the handgrip and close to the controls. Having a right hand reciprocating handle makes initial charging of the weapon easier for left handed people.

I'm sure there are other problems and benefits that I haven't thought of. For now, I haven't seen enough problems with the original design to make me want to get a different charging system.

StoneTower
08-08-2011, 05:37 PM
"Having more openings, slots, or no ejection port cover on the receiver makes it easier for junk to enter into the mechanism and cause jams. Having a reciprocating bolt handle makes the handle prone to catching on things and cause a short stroke."

My Benelli SBE (which has a reciprocating bolt handle as do most automatic shotguns) never seems to have any problems and I use that shotgun in some of the worst conditions that a you can find unless you are a Navy Seal. I believe that the reciprocating charging handle catching on something and causing s short stroke is a myth for most applications. If you put the right side of the rifle up against something and the ejection port is partially covered, the empty case can get jammed between the ejection port and the bolt too. I have this problem with my brass catcher on my AR10 from time to time.

If it was not for the extra weight, I would have one as I believe that it would make loading the rifle silently while hunting easier. You could control the forward pressure on the bolt carrier until the bolt goes into battery where now you have to rely on the buffer spring to strip the first round off the magazine and then use the forward assist to close the bolt if you ease the charging handle down.

stanc
08-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Hmm, I had already assumed you had tried cheating... possibly not.
Not. :o I was standing at the counter, looking at a brand new carbine. There didn't seem to be any way to try alternative methods of pulling back the T-handle.

I'm guessing you use a bipod and shoot at the bench?
Considering the tremors, I would most likely have to shoot from a bipod or bench rest.

If so, put the butt of the rifle against your chest, while pulling rearward on the charging handle with both hands. You can have one on each lobe of the charging handle. That's what I was thinking when I suggested using a PRI big latch. Pretend you're a feudal Brit cocking a crossbow on a castle wall, and the charging handle is a string. One hand on each side and draw directly rearward towards your chest.....
Understood. That'd be easier if that darned forward assist wasn't so close to where the fingers of my right hand have to be. That's one thing I always hated about the design, but the only way around that is to get a custom upper assembly made with a Les Baer "slick side" receiver.

Last night I watched a youtube video with a guy showing the operation of a BCM Gunfighter charging handle. That appeared to make cocking somewhat easier. And there was another video of a very large handle (don't recall the make/model) that might be excellent for your crossbow method, although it really protruded quite a ways to the right of the receiver.

stanc
08-08-2011, 05:54 PM
I believe that the reciprocating charging handle catching on something and causing s short stroke is a myth...
I agree. Perhaps the people who say that are too young to realize that rifles with reciprocating bolt handles have been used quite successfully in major combat. Some examples: M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, SKS45, and of course, the AK47.

I've never heard of any complaints about the handle of those weapons getting caught on something, and they were used in conditions far worse than shooting from a bench.

LRRPF52
08-08-2011, 06:50 PM
I've never had any issues with reciprocating charge handles in field conditions. I personally like the Stg44 and the Belgian FAL handles a lot. The Garand, M1 Carbine, AK, M14, FNC, SKS, SVD, and Mini-14 have always operated without any interference with equipment, stance, etc. Most of those actions are very exposed to debris entering them though, so the AR has one of the most closed and protected receiver and charge handle designs for use in the field. Even the AK's loose assembly allows large dirt particles into the trigger mechanism, while the bolt assemblies of the Garand-type and SKS actions are totally exposed to the elements.

I'm not a huge fan of the AR's charge handle location, but moving it usually involves making another opening into the action that will bring large dirt or sand with it. With some of the different charge handle options available out there for the AR, charging it is a lot more conducive to good gun-handling skills using your non-firing hand while keeping your firing hand firmly in position on the grip.

The PRI Gas Buster and VLTOR/BCM Gunfighter are the top two that I prefer.

stanc
08-08-2011, 07:53 PM
...put the butt of the rifle against your chest, while pulling rearward on the charging handle with both hands. You can have one on each lobe of the charging handle. Pretend you're a feudal Brit cocking a crossbow on a castle wall, and the charging handle is a string. One hand on each side and draw directly rearward towards your chest.....
Did some more searching, and found a charging handle that looks perfect for that technique:
http://badgerordnance.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/249-38.jpg

warped
08-08-2011, 09:49 PM
Yep, Marty must have had you in mind!

stanc
08-08-2011, 10:53 PM
I'm not a huge fan of the AR's charge handle location, but moving it usually involves making another opening into the action that will bring large dirt or sand with it. With some of the different charge handle options available out there for the AR, charging it is a lot more conducive to good gun-handling skills using your non-firing hand while keeping your firing hand firmly in position on the grip.

The PRI Gas Buster and VLTOR/BCM Gunfighter are the top two that I prefer.
Reasons?

MrSurgicalPrecision
08-08-2011, 11:59 PM
I would not want one unless it was non reciprocating and left side

I may make one of my own using a charging handle from a FAL and the billet upper I have

A company called AB Arms is working up a prototype left side charge non-reciprocating upper receiver that is also nickle boron coated inside and out. It has a huge advantage over other left side chargers in that it will use a standard style carrier/gas key. I shot with the owner of the company a few weeks ago in West Virginia and he's going to send me a sample to T&E once he has a solid working prototype.

z06man
08-14-2011, 03:57 PM
Understood. That'd be easier if that darned forward assist wasn't so close to where the fingers of my right hand have to be. That's one thing I always hated about the design, but the only way around that is to get a custom upper assembly made with a Les Baer "slick side" receiver.



The VLTOR MUR, DPMS Sportical and Mega Billet all are smooth sided and come without a forward assist. The Mega has a side charge option also.
The Megas and VLTOR can be seen on this page, http://www.rainierarms.com/?page=shop/browse&category=ar15/m16_receivers-upper&keyword=&pagenumber=3.

stanc
08-14-2011, 04:59 PM
The VLTOR MUR, DPMS Sportical and Mega Billet all are smooth sided and come without a forward assist.
Yes. I was incomplete in what I wrote. The Les Baer upper is the only one with a standard ejection port cover and an integral case deflector.

I must shoot left-handed, so I wouldn't trust the DPMS Sportical and Mega Billet uppers because they have no case deflector. That they lack an ejection port cover is also undesirable.

And I ruled out the VLTOR MUR due to the sharp edges on its case deflector.

StoneTower
08-14-2011, 05:27 PM
Yes. I was incomplete in what I wrote. The Les Baer upper is the only one with a standard ejection port cover and an integral case deflector.

I must shoot left-handed, so I wouldn't trust the DPMS Sportical and Mega Billet uppers because they have no case deflector. That they lack an ejection port cover is also undesirable.

And I ruled out the VLTOR MUR due to the sharp edges on its case deflector.



What do you do with your rifle that you require an ejection port cover? If you drop your rifle in the mud while you are hunting you might get dirt in the magazine well, but I try not to do that :) My Benelli has no shuch cover, but I never seem to get mud in it either.

stanc
08-14-2011, 06:23 PM
What do you do with your rifle that you require an ejection port cover?
You seem to have a mistaken impression. I didn't say that I really need an ejection port cover. :p :D

Rhino-1
08-22-2011, 07:18 PM
What do you do with your rifle that you require an ejection port cover? If you drop your rifle in the mud while you are hunting you might get dirt in the magazine well, but I try not to do that :) My Benelli has no shuch cover, but I never seem to get mud in it either.

Yes, but a shotgun also has looser tolerances and does
Not typically have the fcg under the chamber area.