Armalite AR-10 cocking lever


November 27, 2004, 09:43 AM
The cocking lever is located in the opening of the handle of the Armalite AR-10. Unique design but later changed to what we have on our current military rifles. Can anyone shed some light as to reason for its original location at the top of the rifle?

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Quintin Likely
November 27, 2004, 09:50 AM
So the charging handle could be operated by lefties or righties, I'd imagine. And with the design of the M16 and variants there of, there was no way (at the time of their design) to put a side charging handle on. Although nowadays, manufacturers make side charging uppers, and for the highpower match rifle folk, sometimes the bolt carrier is drilled and tapped for a charging handle since the adjustible buttstocks that are used sometimes interfere with the standard charging handle.

November 28, 2004, 12:05 PM
I want to install the AR10-type charging handle in an AR-15... is there any way to do this (I'm aware that it will require quite a lot of milling and drilling)? Could I just cut the slot in the upper receiver and have build a special charging handle?

Quintin Likely
November 28, 2004, 12:22 PM
I've never looked at an AR10 up close, how's it different from the AR15 charging handle? Other than being bigger, I guess?

November 28, 2004, 12:50 PM

Quintin Likely
November 28, 2004, 01:08 PM
That's a weird place for the charging handle. I thought for the longest that they were the same as an AR15, just on a bigger scale.

November 28, 2004, 01:43 PM
Well, I coulda sworn that the original AR15 had the same charging handle location....

November 28, 2004, 02:51 PM
Modern AR10s as manufactured by the "new" Armalite most all have the same charging handle as your stock AR-15.. but biggier. Original AR-10s (or at least some prototypes) as manufactured by the "old" Armalite, have the charging handle like is pictured above.

The new/old Armalite story is the subject of an article in this month's American Rifleman. Go get your NRA membership and read up if you haven't seen it. ;)

Which "new" and "old" AR10s had which charging handle I'm not certain of, but I'm sure someone who knows more'n me about such things will be along shortly.

Oh, and MagKnight.. anything is possible, given enough money. :)
Other options to look at (unless you just really like how cool it looks) are the Badger TacLatch and competitors, as well as side-charging receivers of various types. Since all are on the market already, they'll be easier on your wallet if all you want is an easier-to-work charging handle.

That said.. I don't see why it couldn't be done...

November 28, 2004, 03:08 PM
The french made FAMAS has its cocking lever in the carring handle just like the ancient AR-10 above. i like this idea and wish they would make current production uppers with this feature.

Zak Smith
November 28, 2004, 03:25 PM
Um, guys. Y'all know that the HK G36 has the charging handle in the same place as the original AR10, right? It just looks different 'cause it "paddles" out to either side.

The primary problem with this location is that it makes a proper optics rail above the receiver impossible.

November 28, 2004, 05:21 PM
The trigger-like cocking handle in the carry handle, like the original AR-10 or FAMAS is a little hard to use with gloves on, or if the gun is really stuck. Even the AR-15's rear-mounted one is not that easy to grab if you really need to yank it.

The G.36 flapper seems like a good middle solution. The FAMAS Low-Profile is going to something similar as well, due to ripping off the carry handle. One improvement though would be letting it stay locked outward upon request. The G3 handle can be left sticking out for a moment, which is needed if you want to barricade cock it. The G.36 one is much harder to use this way.

While we are here, a rant: Who really thinks the AR-15 cocking piece is ambi? Its got this stupid latch on the left side, making it a right hander's gun. Why not just a centered ball detent (like the FAL) or something?

Quintin Likely
November 28, 2004, 07:33 PM
I was thinking ambidextrous in that it's not hanging off one side only of the rifle. Although it is biased towards right handed folk, since you gotta press the little detent to unlock it.

AZ Jeff
November 29, 2004, 12:40 PM
The original AR-10's and early AR-15's had the charging handle in the opening in the top of the reciever. It worked fine from an ambidextrous perspective, but had a drawback--when retracted, the top of the reciever was opened up to foreign material getting in through the slot for the charging handle

The Army insisted on moving the charging handle on the AR-15 to the rear position to eliminate this issue. Only after Armalite reintroduced the AR-10 did the larger rifle get the later style charging handle.

November 29, 2004, 01:37 PM
The "new" ArmaLite still offers a variant of the AR-10 with the top mounted "trigger" cocking handle and the old-style handguards. It's the AR-10 B, if I'm not mistaken. I'd like to have one just for the sake of owning one, but the obvious difficulties with mounting optics keeps me away.


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