Side handle charging AR upper


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rc109a
February 19, 2009, 12:33 PM
Does anyone know of a manufacturer of Side Handle Charging AR uppers? I have found a few, but they are only doing complete guns. I am looking to build my own, but I don't have the means or ability to cut the upper and modify the BCG. Thanks...

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Howard Roark
February 19, 2009, 12:42 PM
John Holliger at White Oak might sell you an upper.

All a side charging upper is, is an upper that has been cut out with an end mill to allow the handle to cycle. I've cut several over the years.

rbernie
February 19, 2009, 12:43 PM
Fulton Armory sells the uppers and bolt carriers.

taliv
February 19, 2009, 12:49 PM
i was thinking about getting one of these for a special project a while ago. be sure to report back if you find a good one

Shung
February 19, 2009, 12:52 PM
what are the advatanges of such a solution ???

I mean, I have this setup on my 22lr conversion upper, but I cannot see any positive advantage..

1858
February 19, 2009, 01:05 PM
what are the advatanges of such a solution ??? I mean, I have this setup on my 22lr conversion upper, but I cannot see any positive advantage..

Ummm ... have you ever tried pulling the charging handle on a "normal" AR, particularly if you have a scope mounted? Based on your post I would say not or else you'd know what the advantages are. I would LOVE to have side charging handles on my ARs like the AR-180 and AR-180b. I don't think it's as easy as machining a slot in the upper, and drilling/tapping the bolt carrier. One of the regulars at the range I go to has that modification on one of his 6mm type AR uppers and he mentioned heat treatment of the bolt carrier ... :confused:

:)

Howard Roark
February 19, 2009, 01:14 PM
A side charging handle is mandantory on butt stocks like this. (http://www.whiteoakprecision.com/parts.htm)

rc109a
February 19, 2009, 01:33 PM
I am building a 6.8spc and I hate using the standard charging handle with a scope. I know people will suggest a larger latch, but that is still not a very good fix (yes, I have several like this). What I want to know is what happens to the old charging handle? Is it still in the upper? I want to do away with this. Thanks for the fulton link. I like that design, but the White Oak Precision is pretty neat idea. They put the bolt handle on the left side allowing you to keep your shooting hand on the grip.

Shung
February 19, 2009, 01:37 PM
have you ever tried pulling the charging handle on a "normal" AR, particularly if you have a scope mounted? Based on your post I would say not or else you'd know what the advantages are

huuum, yes.. i do sometimes ;) ... (those are mines.. only the one on bottom is side charging)

http://i64.servimg.com/u/f64/11/94/71/06/th/5ar10.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=471&u=11947106)


never found it difficult, even on my mk12-

1858
February 19, 2009, 01:46 PM
Shung, VERY nice collection you have there and you obviously have plenty of experience charging a typical AR. So you don't feel that your .22 conversion with the side charging handle has better ergonomics?

:)

rc109a
February 19, 2009, 01:51 PM
Shung
My hunting rifle is close to the second one from the bottom, but the scope is just a bit lower and about 2 inches to the rear. My hands have a difficult time grabbing the charging handle. There is no problem when using with my rifles with ACOG's, Aimpoints, or EOTECHs. It is just the scoped versions.

gga357
February 19, 2009, 02:23 PM
Sig 556 has side charge and piston. Double the improvements. I want to change both my other uppers to piston, but side charge would be good too.

erict
February 19, 2009, 02:49 PM
Sig 556 has side charge and piston. Double the improvements. I want to change both my other uppers to piston, but side charge would be good too.

My buddy just bought a 556 SWAT and it is so sweet. I might get rid of an AR or 2 and try one myself. I really like the side charging handle, it would not be fun for a lefty though.

rc109a
February 19, 2009, 03:05 PM
I like the Sig, but I am buildling an AR. I would not even start to try and compare the two since they are signifigantly different (apples and oranges). Many will argue the statement "double the improvements" though. What I like is the charging handle on the left side of the BCG. That configuration works with both left and right handed people...

gga357
February 19, 2009, 03:14 PM
Agree that the handle to one side makes it harder for lefties. I think the SCAR allows for the hande to be switched to either side. Maybe that will be my next rifle.

I was thinking that I would use my first and only AR as an expierement gun like my 10/22. add all kinds of cool stuff. first thought was piston conversion. Maybe someone will post an upper that has the side charge and piston kit in one. maybe in 6.8 spc or 450 socom.

Shung
February 19, 2009, 04:11 PM
So you don't feel that your .22 conversion with the side charging handle has better ergonomics?

Yeah, to say the truth, I am right handed, and for me, with a scope, side charging handles aren't that cool. You must flip the rifle to action it, and i dont like it.

Even on my SiG550 or AK-47, I don't feel it is "better" than the AR system.

now, for the scope that maybe a good reason. But as you see, on my mk12, the scope is a bit forward because of the BUIS:.. maybe that is the difference. But i'd rather have a tactical latch..

rc109a
February 19, 2009, 05:10 PM
Well I asked White Oak Precision if they will sell a upper and BCG and this was their complete response:

"I do not think that would be a good idea. " After asking more questions he said "The handles are not intended for continuous use, as a competitive shooter we only use it occasionally. They routinely come loose, and have been known to fly off. Not a big deal on the right side, not so good on the left."

This is good information to know.

everallm
February 19, 2009, 05:43 PM
Have you thought about the Robinson Arms XCR?

FAL type charging handle
AK style piston system,
No DI, adjustable gas system
Quick Detach barrels with kits to convert from 5.56, 6.8SPC, 7.62x39

www.robarm.com

rc109a
February 19, 2009, 05:51 PM
I have the lower, barrel is on order. I have a LPK, and several other pieces. I think I will continue to work on this build. When I am done if I use a standard upper it will cost me around approx $500. I cannot beat the price unless it was free...

carnaby
March 3, 2009, 07:39 PM
I think Mega makes a billet upper like that. Don't know who carries them though.

http://www.megamachineshop.com/ar15.html

CAVMEDIC
September 5, 2010, 01:24 PM
AMERICAN SPIRIT ARMS makes a left side charger with the carrier ,the handle does not cycle with the weapon

Tirod
September 5, 2010, 02:57 PM
http://www.americanspiritarms.com/products/ASA_AR_15_M4_Side_Charger_Upper_Receiver_without_Carrier-124-12.html

Left side charger FAL style, non reciprocating. It allows support hand charging while the right hand stays on the grip, pushing the carbine against the shoulder.

All the big tactical latch charging handles still don't let you keep your nose on the back of upper, you must break cheek weld. With this one you don't have to.

Before high rates of firepower were considered superior, handles were usually on the right and forced the operators hand off the trigger. Now, most combat weapons have left hand chargers - FNFAL, HK, SCAR, ACR, ARX, XCR, etc. An immediate ability to fire after charging is considered superior to the leisurely manipulation of a bolt and reacquiring a target once the finger finally gets back to the trigger. It's another finesse point, like having a bolt hold open, or mag release the trigger finger can operate.

If you're right foot's on the gas pedal, why make it operate the clutch, too?

sgunn911
January 11, 2011, 08:19 PM
American Spirit Arms' upper is a complete failure. I owned one for quite a while, got one of the first ones they sold and used it on a build. It is way over-engineered and just too complicated for it's own good. The idea is to make charging easier and quicker, they made it more complicated and more likely to break. It is almost impossible to operate in very cold weather with gloves on.

The way that Mega Machine, Alexander Arms and even LWRC ses on their new REPR is the way to go. The handle may reciprocate, but it is solid function and even doubles as a forward assist.

The comment from White Oak is interesting, Surely this problem has been resolved for a company with the reputation of LWRC to use it on their flagship rifle.

68wj
January 11, 2011, 09:52 PM
Since you are building a 6.8 anyway, check with AR Performance. http://www.ar15performance.com/inc/sdetail/2424 They can probably set you up with the receiver, carrier, and barrel.

chrome_austex
January 12, 2011, 01:22 AM
I've got a side charger from Fulton Armory, similar to the white oak I guess. Bought it and a barrel and had a local guy build the upper from parts.

You still retain the use of the normal charging handle, which is good, because the side-charger is only held into the bolt carrier by a few screw threads, and it does tend to come loose if you don't check it frequently. I've seen where people would replace it with a plug, but I agree with White Oak.. keep the normal charging handle too.

You do loose the shell deflector and dust cover, if that matters to you (or the guy immediately behind you to your right). Having the handle does help in a few specific circumstances, and its great for shooting 3-position in highpower competition, but I could see how left-side may be a more optimal configuration on a defense carbine. You can also use it as a slide release too.

brian923
January 12, 2011, 07:32 AM
Seems to me that a mag change without moving my head would be a lot tougher and fell to weird. Expecially if it were in the middle of a fire fight. I would want to see exactly what I was doing through the reloading process. Just my opinion.

Tirod
January 12, 2011, 10:41 AM
The standard AR allows a mag change without moving your head. The bolt hold open allows that. The last shot fired keeps the bolt back, dump mag, insert new with LEFT hand, tap bolt release, shoot.

Only if you have to get the bolt back does the charging handle come into play. That is likely on malfunctions. If going out of the wire, you load BEFORE leaving, safety on.

Because of that, and the extremely low chance of needing to cycle the bolt while having the target in the sights for range or hunting use, I couldn't support the $300 premium for an upper and bolt that would be proprietary. I understand the NEW ASA's are a different product, quality wise, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a significant cost increase for a small return. It does nothing for accuracy, either.

The same thinking goes for tac latch charging handles, if there's a bolt hold open and you are knowledgeable enough to use it, the very few situations charging the weapon don't happen to most recreational shooters. It's mostly to clear malfunctions, and that goes to a lot of shooters using reject military or surplus loads, even if they are full power. Very few large quantity shooters use premium ammo, they might reload, but even with the best intent, bad ammo can show up at a critical moment in a three gun or precision match.

Rather than push a internet commando extreme risk scenario, I just bought a LAR blem upper - and the $300 difference can go to the barrel. I'm used to the M16 from 22 years in the Reserves, no sense at this late date relearning something I already know.

Take THAT, EBRD. It can be managed.

451 Detonics
January 12, 2011, 03:56 PM
Young Manufacturing does a BCG, you can have any upper milled for it...

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/rifles/SideCockCloseup-400.jpg

LARS does a complete upper in right hand, left hand, or ambi in both forged or milled.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/rifles/larupper.jpg

WoofersInc
January 12, 2011, 09:01 PM
A little more on the LAR uppers..


http://www.largrizzly.com/web/guest/ops-4-upper-assemblies

Hatterasguy
January 12, 2011, 09:10 PM
Cool, I prefer side chargers since I don't own an AR. Whenever I shoot one the rear drives me nuts.

I like how LWRC does it with the Repr, left handed charging is nice.

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