AR15 side charging question.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Electricmo, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Electricmo

    Electricmo Member

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    Im thinking of doing a side charge on my next AR build. Has anyone here done one and how do you like it? My biggest concern is if the bolt handle will stay put in the bolt and not get loose or bend or strip out.
     
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  2. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    In before everyone suggests Gibbz etc non reciprocating (left) side charging handle designs.

    I've built several side chargers. I vastly prefer the manual of arms. A little blue lock tight & the handles don't go anywhere.

    I personally recommend this (lightweight & works with pretty much any handguard you want) https://www.cmttac.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=122

    With this bolt carrier http://eisenacharms.com/right-side-charge-bolt-carrier-ea-15/
     
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  3. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I made one for my 300 blk sbr and even without loctite it stays put. I recommend buying a bolt carrier already set up for it though, drilling and tapping the carrier was not that easy... Love the side charger though. Will be building more in the future.
     
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  4. NR53

    NR53 Member

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    I'm built five for myself and friends. The side charging is nice, and I use blue locktite on the charging handle, and have never had any problems with it coming loose. The traditional receiver with the rear charging handle is a lot easier and faster to break down for cleaning. I guess I'm a little lazy in that regard. LOL The next one I am building will be with the rear charging handle.
     
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  5. MagnumWill

    MagnumWill Member

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    I put together a Sanders Armory 6.5 Grendel side-charging upper.

    I was really excited for it, but then some things definitely tempered my enthusiasm. First, when they heat-treated the bolt, it warped the threads for the cocking knob and it was stripping out any bolt I put in it.

    I was able to re-tap the threads and get a new screw to work. My biggest issue I had with it is you need to constantly undo the cocking knob in order to get the bolt out to clean it. After doing it twice, I decided to put a standard upper back on the rifle - as all it'll take is being a little overzealous with an allen wrench to damage the threads again.

    If it was larger than 10-32, I wouldn't have a problem but there's very little meat in those threads. I may put it on a range-only gun in the future.

    I mean, it certainly looks and feels awesome but if I had to do it again I'd rather do a Devil Dog bolt on instead of this thing.
     
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  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I have had 4 side charging AR15 uppers built off of Bear Creek Arsenal upper. 3 of them were dual charging, and one was side charging only. I also had a side charging AR10 from Eisenach Arms. I really really like side chargers, and I especially like the dual charging upper that retain the rear charging handle.

    The bolt handle just needs to be snugged up with an allen wrench and they do not come loose. If you thread the handle on finger tight they will come loose. I keep the correct size allen wrench in my handgrip, and I also drill a hole in the handle so that they cam be removed with a bullet tip or a key or anything handy. Your definitely not going to strip out the bolt hole. The bolt carriers are very hard. You do need to take off the handle to remove the BCG but I am not anal about cleaning and I rarely take the BCG out anyway. If you are one of the guys that insists on scrubbing the rifle clean every time you use it then you will not like it.
     
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  7. MySuomi

    MySuomi Member

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    Like Someguy2800 said it complicates a complete takedown. I only have one side charging AR and its a 9mm. While I have not had any real trouble, you lose the options of replacing the charging handle with an upgrade. Mine just feels wobbly and very plastic. Given the choice to do over, I would go back to the traditional charging handle. Maybe I just did not spend enough money on the upper. It does not feel as robust as my HK clone side charging weapons or my CZ Scorpion.
     
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  8. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    They do make side chargers that retain the rear charging handle. I prefer this style because if the side charging handle were ever lost or broken or you just don't want to use it for whatever reason you are still in business. Actually a friend of mine was in South Dakota shooting prairie dogs with a side charging only upper and his son lost the charging handle from his rifle. They had to rack the bolt for the rest of the trip with a screwdriver shoved in the bolt carrier.

    image.jpg
     
  9. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    Yes, this is the only style I'll use.
     
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  10. Electricmo

    Electricmo Member

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    Didn't know there was a dual charging system. Don't know where I have been sleeping. Thanks guys for the info. I will be scoping this gun for deer hunting and thought the side charger might be quieter in the woods when loading and unloading while getting in my stand or crossing fences.
     
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  11. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    works well for that

    100CDE92-F90C-40F8-B794-EA144E0D8D9D.jpeg
     
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  12. Carolina Tater

    Carolina Tater Member

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    20200123_234214.jpg This is my first AR build, I went with a Bear Creek Arsenal, if you care about having both side and rear I believe they do make one that has both, I just went with side only because I hate rear charging but that's just me, so far I've had no problems with my bolt handle coming loose, just gotta make sure it's tight
     
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  13. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I just got my BC side charging upper up and running. If I were to do it again I would probably stick with the rear charging style. The plug in the rear of the BC upper is not threaded correctly so the the flat faces down. I found a small O ring helps to take up the slack and holds it firmly in the position.
     
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  14. Carolina Tater

    Carolina Tater Member

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    I noticed that with mine but when the upper and lower are together it dosent seem to be much of a problem since it can only actually come out when the upper is detached
     
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  15. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    The problem is where I live if you don't want to have a featureless rifle you have to have a locked magazine. I have had my side charging upper on a lower with the AR maglock. Every time I changed mags you are technically separating the upper from the lower.
     
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  16. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Sorry a little off topic but just thought I would suggest this for @Waterboy3313

    I wonder how well these work, the video seems real promising for California laws, it would allow for greater feature acceptance with a pinned magazine. I saw them when they first came out and sent the link to a couple of California friends but haven't heard if they work well or not. Something to consider.

    https://www.meanarms.com/products/detail/ma-loader-for-ar15

     
  17. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I like side chargers, and reciprocating bolt handles, and REALLY don't like the rear handles. So now most, if not all, of my future builds will be BCAs.
    I've had a couple now and no problems.


    I use an oring on my rear plug also, haven't had an issue but I don't need to break open my AR.
     
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  18. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Another nice thing about eliminating the rear charging handle is when shooting suppressed one doesn't get the gas leaking out the charging handle gaps.
     
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  19. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    No suppressors here so I wouldn't know. I have always wondered about that and figured maybe that's why they came up with some of the ridiculously expensive charging handles with the funky cuts on the long part.
     
  20. Carolina Tater

    Carolina Tater Member

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    Ok yeah I could see how that could be a problem in your situation
     
  21. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    The mean arms loader actually looks pretty neat. I've heard about loading through the ejection port before but I didn't know it was that efficient.
     
  22. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I mean I like side chargers and I want one but it just seems wrong on a bcg that reciprocates so fast. Like kind of a violent cycle for that little appendage.
    Now it makes more sense on an AK with that slow cycle.
     
  23. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    That would not work on a side charging upper since the port opening is different and it would interfere with the charging handle.

    I would bet an AR with a properly tuned gas and buffer system has no faster of a bolt carrier speed than an AK. They cycle pretty soft with an adjustable gas block. Just to see what would happen I have shot mine with my palm pushing on the bolt handle. You can stop the bolt from cycling with your hand on the charging handle. Its really not as violent as one would think.
     
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  24. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Yeah I realize that, I was just suggesting it because he had mentioned on how it’s a paint to have to separate the upper and lower to load the magazine with the fixed magazine.
     
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  25. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    BCA does offer ambi reciever, tho I'm not positive on how they work as I've not owned one...It LOOKS like the handle just goes on the other side....
    Anyway, if you could get that thing mounted it would probably work on those.
     
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