Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Charging The Weapon

A couple of weeks ago I did an in-depth review of the Magpul BAD lever, a piece I employ on my AR's exclusively. I think it's very useful and speeds up reloads considerably. (If you missed that piece, it's HERE.) When manipulating the bolt carrier on an AR-15/M4 to load the chamber, there are basically three options. I'll list those in order of how purposeful I believe they are.

1. Use a battery assist device to release the bolt: There are a couple on the market, notably the Magpul and Troy variations. This is a device that attaches onto the standard bolt catch ping pong paddle and allows the shooter to release the bolt with his trigger finger of his right hand (for a right handed shooter). It allows a *SLIGHTLY* faster reload time as you eliminate a step in the speed reload process (moving your left hand to the ping pong paddle before putting it back on the handguard). This is the method I employ. After repetition and practice, it becomes second nature and really speeds up my times. Keep in mind, you might only benefit from this piece if you are a competitive shooter and want to shave time on stages; if you want dead reliability, its an extra piece that could potentially break during a fight.

All it takes is a flick of your trigger finger......

2. Rack the charging handle: A dependable but slower way to release the bolt. Having an upgraded charging handle such as the VLTOR Bravo Company Gunfighter charging handle really helps this method. You add a step to the reload process as you have to rack the charging handle with your left hand after you insert the magazine, and then have to get your left hand back on the handguard to resume shooting.

I really like the Gunfighter Charging Handle

3. Hit the ping-pong paddle: The standard way of releasing the bolt that's been employed for years. That doesn't necessarily mean that the process couldn't be improved upon. It's dependable and works, but what I don't like about this method is the extra time it takes to complete, especially if you miss the paddle and have to fish around to hit it a couple of times. Your left hand has to insert the magazine, find the ping-pong paddle, release it, then move back to the handguard. FOR ME, this takes twice as long as using a BAD lever.

Whichever method you choose to employ, find what works best for you and train over and over again until it becomes second nature. For me, I want the fastest method with the least wasted motion. As they say, "Your mileage may vary..."

Be safe and see you next time.

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