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Side handle charging AR upper

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rc109a, Feb 19, 2009.

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  1. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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...
     
  2. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Member

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    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.
     
  3. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Fulton Armory sells the uppers and bolt carriers.
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    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
     
  5. Shung

    Shung Member

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    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..
     
  6. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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:

    :)
     
  7. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark Member

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  8. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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.
     
  9. Shung

    Shung Member

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

    5ar10.jpg


    never found it difficult, even on my mk12-
     
  10. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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?

    :)
     
  11. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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.
     
  12. gga357

    gga357 Member

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    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.
     
  13. erict

    erict Member

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    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.
     
  14. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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...
     
  15. gga357

    gga357 Member

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    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.
     
  16. Shung

    Shung Member

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    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..
     
  17. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  18. everallm

    everallm Member

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    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
     
  19. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    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...
     
  20. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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  21. CAVMEDIC

    CAVMEDIC Member

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    AMERICAN SPIRIT ARMS makes a left side charger with the carrier ,the handle does not cycle with the weapon
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  22. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    http://www.americanspiritarms.com/p...er_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?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  23. sgunn911

    sgunn911 Member

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    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.
     
  24. 68wj

    68wj Member

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  25. chrome_austex

    chrome_austex Member

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    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.
     
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