Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

New AR Parts I Like

For the AR rifle a quality charging handle is essential. For one thing this handle allows you to cycle the bolt assembly for loading or clearing malfunctions. (The bolt release should be used for empty reloads.) Problems are created when using a low-quality handle, because as we pull the handle back there is also a tendency to pull it up, which twists the handle out of shape. Once this is done the bolt carrier locks up inside the handle and your rifle is out of the fight.

I’ve always avoided the extended latches on the charging handle for this very reason. The extension provides more torque on the handle as you pull back and up, increasing the probability that it will twist out of shape. When teaching AR classes I always keep a couple of spare charging handles on hand for this very reason. Now Bravo Company (www.bravocompanyusa.com) has come out with their Gunfighter handle, which has an extended latch, but they have completely redesigned the handle and latch to insure function and reliability.

The Gunfighter is machined from 7075 T6 billet, which means it’s heavy duty. The handle itself is redesigned so according to Bravo Company when you pull it the rear “the force is kept inside the body of the handle,” and “it moves directly to the rear and does not angle off to the outboard side.” What I can tell you is that it works. It works really well. I’ve been running a couple of them for about a month now, with the medium size latch, and I’ll be ordering more of them to install in all my AR’s.

Another item that I’ve come to like is Magpul’s CTR retractable stock. (www.magpul.com) I had sworn off adjustable stocks until I tried this one, and after working with it for a while now I highly recommend it for those who need an adjustable stock. The latch for adjusting the stock’s length is protected by a bottom extension on the stock itself. This prevents the latch from being accidentally being bumped and collapsing the stock. The CTR has a locking latch that eliminates the wobble associated with most adjustable stocks, the toe of the stock actually feels comfortable in your shoulder pocket – and spacers can be added to fine tune the length – and on the rear of the stock there are enough areas to attach a sling to satisfy anyone.

Anytime you consider modifying a weapon you need to examine three areas. Does the modification fit your application? A homeowner and patrol officer may need similar weapons, while a SWAT guy or a team patrolling the streets of Iraq will need different equipment. Does the modification or addition actually work for you? I have several boxes full of gear I bought, tried, and didn’t like. Firearms, especially rifles, are very personal weapons, and what works for one person may not fit you. And finally, make sure you train and practice so you are intimately familiar with your gear. This applies to all your weapons, especially your mind.

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September 18, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15

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