What is the Best Ambidextrous Charging Handle for the AR 15? - Part 1
What is the Best Ambidextrous Charging Handle for the AR 15?
Gun fighting is an art form many practice, but few ever get to engage in. This is no reason to stop training, stop learning, or stop preparing. Part of this preparation is to have a rifle that is capable of staying in the fight. This involves tailoring the rifle to the shooter, and sometimes rifles are perfect out of the box and sometimes they aren’t.
A major part of being in any gunfight is the ability to reload, and to clear malfunctions. This involves the use of charging handles. Stock AR 15 charging handles are ambidextrous in nature, but are often too small to grip rapidly, especially in a gunfight when everything is moving at light speed. Replacing your standard charging handle with an extended and ambidextrous charging handle like the BCM 4 or the Raptor AXTS is a simple and cheap upgrade to any AR 15 rifle that will decrease the potential for user error and increase the ergonomics of the rifle.
So who makes the best charging handle? I’m glad you asked, and unfortunately I don’t have a clear answer. Honestly two companies take the cake on charging handles, BCM and Raptor. Any kind of BCM ambi charging handle vs Raptor ambi charging handle debate would have to be decided by each user. They both produce wonderful pieces of gear, and both have their fans and users.
So in part one of this two part series we will look at BCM charging handles by Bravo Company. Bravo Company produces a variety of different charging handles with different latch sizes. These latches are what your fingers grip when charging the weapon or clearing a malfunction. This customization allows every user to customize their charging handle for their grip size. The medium latch BCM charging handle is the most popular with law enforcement since both large and small hands can compromise with it and rifles are often issued to a variety of different people.
The BCM Mod 4 charging handle is the pinnacle of Bravo Company’s ambi charging handles. The Mod 4 is available for the AR 15 and available in a variety of different latch sizes. The BCM Mod 4 is designed to place the pressure of racking the bolt at the rear, rather than all the pressure on the roll pin. This gives the Gunfighter BCM mod 4 handle a longer lifespan than a standard charging handle.
The build quality for the charging handle is superb, and feels rock solid in the hand. The BCM gunfighter feels amazing when in use, and the extended latch makes charging the weapon easy as pie. Since the extended latch requires less force to manipulate it’s easier to hold open to clear serious malfunctions. This latch is a simple drop in device that requires absolutely no gunsmithing.
The BCM Mod 4 is a serious charging handle, designed to be tough enough for use with law enforcement and military. For ARs built for defense and duty the BCM gives a serious advantage.