Published on November 17th, 2013 | by Mark Miller1
Gun Fighter Gear AR-15 Side charging handle, drop in, no gunsmithing required!!
Thinking about converting your AR rifle to a side charger? Gunfighter Gear lets you convert to side charger for a fraction of what a side charging receiver costs and no gun-smithing is required.
Just replace your existing handle and start shooting.
Many left handers find the controls on the AR awkward. Right handers might find an advantage working the bolt and bolt catch with one hand.
The body of the GFG side charger is CNC machined from billet 7075 aerospace grade aluminum with heat treatement for extreme durability. The internal components are machined from steel.
The side charger knob is knurled for maximum control. The Gen2 version uses type 3 mil spec hard coat matte black anodizing.
I read about these on Calguns.net and ordered one to test. I have used other rifles (like the FN SCAR) with left side chargers. There are some advantages to operating the handle while maintaining your grip. The guys at the HK school suggest that you never shift your “Master Grip” on the pistol grip while manipulating the gun. Using the bolt hold open and clearing complex malfunctions can be a challenge with the AR. A side charger lets you do all that with one hand from the left side.
The way it works, as you pull back the handle the first half inch, it unlocks the handle. This is much faster and easier than grabbing the normal AR handle. Pulling back unlocks and retracts the bolt. The handle does NOT reciprocate with the bolt. That is good.
Couple of drawbacks. While it works with most optics, a 1/4 riser is required for clearance with some sights. If you have knobs on your rail adaptors, you may have to shift things around. There is a bit of flex with lateral torque on the handle. This doesn’t seem to affect function, but it is a little disconcerting at first. I found that with a little practice, I could hold the bolt open and lock it to the rear easily with one hand. When operating the bolt, it requires no fine motor skills.
A little pricey, these side chargers are great for 3 Gun. I want to spend some more time with mine before I endorse it for gun fighting. I have put 500 or so rounds through it. I find that it works much better for jam clearing, particularly double feeds and bolt overs.
Available from Amazon, the GFG side charger goes for $149.00.