Sintercore Releases A Simple New Charging Handle

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Sintercore has released their new Tripwire charging handle, which looks to be a very simple, with far less points of failure over a traditional locking handle.  Something that I have always questioned was the need to actually lock the charging handle, and how much of a pain some charging handles can be.

Either you use MILSPEC, which only has a small latch on the left side and is not ambidextrous at all.  Alternatively there are several companies have made great charging handles that make the unlocking portion much easier, and more ambidextrous.  The Rainier Arms Raptor is my personal favorite, and I use them on all of my personal rifles because no matter which side I grab it is the same motion to unlock the charging handle.

Sintercore is now making a handle that uses a very simple rounded latch that doesn’t require the user to unlatch the handle when using the charging handle.  It is simply a grab-and-go handle, which in a high-stress situation could actually be faster and easier to use.

One question I did have was “Well, if the rounded latch doesn’t lock the handle, what if it releases mid-stroke and hits me?” One could surmise that a charging handle to the nose or teeth make for a bad day at the range.

Wondering just how often a handle has come loose, or not been latched and hit someone, I decided to call a friend who is a long time instructor.  In the 15 years of teaching carbine courses to everyone from beginners to SWAT operators he has never seen, or even heard of a handle hitting someone.

Using some google-fu I was also unable to find any internet operators with harrowing tales of being hit by their changing handle when the latch failed (or wasn’t locked properly).  Not evening finding an anecdotal story of it happening to a cousins friends wife’s sister in law who is married to a cop, I would think that however theoretically possible it is, it just doesn’t happen in the real world. Although maybe a reader has seen it, if so let me know in the comments.

So, back to the Tripwire changing handle from Sintercore.   Take a look at their press release below, and check out their link if you are interested.  They are offering a $50 pre-order sale that includes free shipping.

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JULY 10, 2014, GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Sintercore LLC released the Tripwire™ ambidextrous charging handle for pre-order today. The device was designed to help AR-15 firearm users more efficiently manipulate the bolt carrier group from either side of the firearm, presents an ambidextrous handle with fewer points of potential failure compared to competing products, and delivers a more durable, reliable product for those who must go in harm’s way.

Tripwire™ consists of a four-part assembly, with a handle and latch composed of 7075-T6 aluminum that is hardcoat anodized, and a steel spring and roll pin.

Sintercore’s design removes the need for a manually-activated latching system as found on conventional AR-15 charging handles. A simple, pressure-activated automatic locking system controls the release of the Tripwire™ from the upper receiver. Unlike competing products, the Tripwire™ locking system relies simply on friction from a rounded hook that engages onto the upper receiver: no complex cams, gears, rods, or connectors are used to rotate the latch, and the potential for mechanical failure is thereby significantly lessened. The total weight of the assembly is approximately 1 oz.

The Tripwire™ ambidextrous charging handle is only available for a limited time at a pre-order sale price of $50, with free shipping.

Static pictures, an animation of the unit in operation, and ordering information can be found at http://www.sintercore.com/handle




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  • McThag

    BWAH?

    Before you cite the likelihood of the charging handle moving with the bolt carrier, you first have to determine how often they end up unlatched.

    How often is that?

    Now, once they’re unlatched, how often does the bolt carrier grab it?

    All of that is neither here nor there since improving the charging handle is an ongoing quest to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. Every single failure I’ve seen and read about comes from using the thing wrong. It’s supposed to be used with fingers on both sides of the handle, not just one side. When you use it like it was intended… IT. IS. AMBIDEXTROUS.

    Grumble.

    • Joshua

      Yeah and we were supposed to stand bladed and chicken winged, luckily modern fighting techniques have changed and now there is a need for a ambi CH for lefties.

      • iksnilol

        What you said makes no sense (Joshua), how you stand has nothing to do with how you work the charging handle. Personally I don’t understand how people only grab one side, you are supposed to grab it from both sides and pull back. Doing otherwise doesn’t seem smart to me since you are putting much pressure on one side and not much on the other (kintetic/mechanical imbalance if you want to use fancy words), besides you are complicating things.

        • JSmath

          When people work the CH from one side, it is to minimize the time it takes to do so.

          And, in this case, you’re the one complicating things. Bringing the rifle down, grabbing it on both sides, actuating it backward while pushing the rifle forward from the pistol grip, reshouldering the weapon OR taking the firing hand off the pistol grip, reaching over, actuating backward, regrasping the pistol grip, shift weight in case you need to hit the bolt release – you skip half of either of those by just snatching the CH backward with the rifle still shouldered.

          Ultimately though, no, there is no -need- for an ambidextrous charging handle – there is a desire.

          There are few situations that the sporting use of an AR would cause the charging handle to smash someone in the face. It is inadvertently bound to happen during military operation, however. One solid door kick, butt stroke or a small fall/tumble.. It’s not even the ridiculous threat of the charging handle hitting a person – just one brush up against a wall, rock, or any solid cover on the offhand/outboard (held) side of the rifle causing the the bolt to pull out of lock or battery – that would be catastrophic.

          If you’re inclined to say “Then no one should ever brush up against something [with the rifle]” – you’ve either never been in a combat portion of the military or lack fundamental understanding of it.

        • Mike

          Pretty much everyone uses them from one side now… because it’s easier, especially with a better latch. This includes the military. I’m not sure if they are formally teaching it that way, but as a Marine and NCO who frequently PSOs ranges, I’ve noticed that pretty much everyone operates them using the pinch technique… It’s just easier.

        • Joshua

          Sure it does, my point was we modified how shooting stances over time. We have also modified how we operate the rifle over time, and the current way to manipulate the CH is one handed.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Precisely! It’s an issue of training, nothing more. Finger on each side of the charging handle, rip and release. Back in the fight. Next problem?

  • I have one in my possession for review. ETA early next week!

  • Andrew Duffey

    Back in Basic a guy got a bloody nose when his charging handle reciprocated with the bolt. Didn’t break it and it was pouring blood, just a little drible.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Another solution for a problem that doesn’t exist, except MAYBE if you’re a lefty- I’m not so I can’t comment.
    The milspec charging handle works, and works well. There’s no need for anything else if you’re right handed- and honestly, none of my shooting friends or fellow soldiers that were lefties complained about the milspec handle. It’s a handle. It pulls the bolt back. That’s it. Problem solved, no further development needed. Grab it, yank it, forget about it.
    I’m constantly amazed at all the chi-chi useless crap mall ninjas think they need.

    • Joachim

      Lefty here. I never had a problem with the standard milspec handle. I just grab it on the left side with my firing hand and pull it straight back. Works even easier (for me) when the weapon is shouldered. Never did like those ambi handles with a latch release on the right side – hard to manipulate because of the forward assist. Those that stuck out far enough to completely clear the forward assist really dug into my side and back when the rifle was slung.

    • Cymond

      When I put together an AR lower for the first time, I decided to buy a BCM upper. It came with their ‘Gunfighter’ charging handle. My second AR uses a CMMG dedicated rimfire upper, with their polymer anti-jam charging handle. I installed a clone of the Badger Tactical latch, and then later a PRI latch.
      .
      Several months have passed, and I’m working on my third AR. I originally thought the extended latches were just ‘nice’ to have, but now I find the standard latch tiny. It really doesn’t respond well to simply pulling the charging handle with an open palm or hooked finger. I’m going to swap the BCM ‘Gunfighter’ around for now, but I plan to buy another fancy charging handle eventually. The new one will go into the ‘main’ gun while the BCM will go into my ‘secondary’ gun.
      .
      My point is that it’s hard to see the value of an extended latch until you’ve used one for a while. At some point, it becomes hard to even go back.

      • Phillip Cooper

        I was trained on the milspec handle, and it requires no thinking or fiddling to manipulate. I’m not a lefty. It’s fine, problem solved, problem staying solved.

        I just think there’s better places to spend one’s time and money, having been an Infantry soldier and being quite familiar with the weapon. That might be different if I was a lefty, or if I wasn’t into cars. What do I mean by that last? I spend my need to tinker working with Jeeps and automobile interests, not figuring out a better way to pull a bolt back.

        • Cymond

          Ok, the milspec latch works well for you, I get that.
          .
          But have you ever used a nicer charging handle for very long?

  • tirod

    If DOD has seen no need to change the handle in 45 years, what’s the issue? Oh, we changed the way we use it, apparently.

    How often is that? Charge the rifle before leaving the wire, done. Why would you need to charge it again when it 1) loads itself, and 2) holds the bolt open when you need to change the empty mag?

    Because somebody is doing something wrong, like banging on the gun because they are desperate and haven’t practiced, or using bad ammo. Really bad ammo. Ammo so bad that one charging handle video of recent note had to simulate a reason for it’s existence by loading 4 bad rounds in the magazine.

    AK owners aren’t complaining that the import fodder is that bad, why do we think the surplus and mil reject ammo is? Cause if you are having four bad rounds per 30, that’s about 13 a hundred. If you were going to battle knowing you had 39 bad rounds in your ten mags, what would you do? Keep using the same ammo, and buy a really expensive charging handle, too?

    Nope, we are seeing the market sell something because they can, not because there is an actual life or death need. About the same as $65 razor sharp pronged muzzle devices, or free float tubes with fancy holes in them. We may have our favorite, but all they are is a very expensive accessory base. And yet we spend more for the base than the accessory.

    Same for fancy charging handles. Nobody has changed the way they should load the weapon, what has changed is that many of the weapons are now used in competition, not combat, and everybody is after the last split second in a mandatory reload at that special station on the course.

    It’s not about life and death, it’s more important, it’s about ego and money.

    • Austin

      The DoD has occasionally changed the charging handle, depending on application. For example, the PRI gasbuster has been used on the Mk12 SPR, because it’s easier to charge the weapon with a scope mounted- which, to my mind, is a more valid reason to use an extended charging handle than ego or money.

      Also, the DoD really isn’t the be-all, end-all for smart acquisition choices. Most of the time, they wouldn’t recognize or implement a smart upgrade or idea if it danced naked on their desk to a Miley Cyrus tune.

    • Cymond

      “Charge the rifle before leaving the wire, done. Why would you need to charge it again when it 1) loads itself, and 2) holds the bolt open when you need to change the empty mag?”
      .
      Or, you know, clearing a malfunction. They do happen sometimes, especially with dirty guns, or worn/damaged magazines.

      • Sam Schifo

        Or sometimes just because.

    • RickH

      Your last sentence says it all. Most of the accessories I’ve seen in the past 10 or so years seemed to have come about because of the rise in carbine classes for the urban commandos.

  • Andrew

    SLR Renegade is even simpler, and looks like a better design

    • Lets see what Nathan comes up with after his review next week.

      • Cymond

        It would be really, really nice if Nathan could review both, with compare & contrast. This “no latch” concept is certainly interesting.

  • dan citizen

    My charging handle came unlatched and popped back into my face…. In a doodle I drew at work.

  • noob

    maybe the traditional milspec latch has nothing to do with the weapon during firing, and is simply there to stop the charging handle from rattling or something?

  • Squirreltactical

    Just gonna throw this out there: No one who is anyone charges their AR-pattern rifle with the “rabbit ears” grip, unless they are conducting remedial action. Horrible waste of motion and time, and bad juju when your fine motor functions start shutting down under stress. Most lefties I’ve seen just roll the rifle inboard a bit and still use the single-side method.

    That said, this CH looks pretty cool. Hopefully it’s priced reasonably. Isn’t Sintercore the company selling that $300+ compensator?

    • Phillip Cooper

      You just contradicted yourself-
      -rabbit ear grip – is the definition of gross motor skill. Make claw. Swipe at bad charging handle. Raaaawwr!
      -pinch the single side of the handle oh so delicately and cycle it back while holding onto the small protuberance. This is the definition of fine motor skills.
      Try again?

      • You don’t have to pinch. If you have a charging handle with an extended latch, you can just sweep it with the edge of your hand, even if you happen to be missing a couple fingers.

      • Squirreltactical

        I understand where you’re coming from, but the way I do it (and the way I see it commonly done) is to make a loose fist, press it against the receiver, catch the CH latch between the first and second knuckles of the index finger, and then rip backwards towards your shoulder. It requires no individual finger movement or spreading, works well when your hands are gloved, cold, wet or all of the above, and the exact same movement can be done when shooting from the left shoulder by rolling the rifle inboard.

        Now, someone is going to argue against rolling the carbine because of some reason, but what I and everyone in my battalion always use and teach is “observe, tap, cant, rack, bang” instead of just “tap, rack, bang”.

        Hope that clears it up a bit.

  • Ben M

    I am skeptical of anyone who claims they have had a charging handle “punch” them in the nose or the teeth… it would just be really impossible for that to happen and the rifle to still be functioning at the same time. The part of the charging handle that grabs the bolt carrier sits in front of the carrier when in battery, which not only locks the handle in place during battery, but also makes is basically impossible for the charging handle to actually move with (and at the same speed as) the carrier as it recoils.

    That said, I have had my CH come back on me. It happened when I was (incorrectly) using a JP Silent Capture Spring system in a Magpul UBR on my AR-10. The UBR tube is somewhere between a carbine and rifle tube in length, and the JPSC was setup for a carbine tube. This caused it to “long-stroke”, at which point the carrier key would make contact with the handle part of the CH at the end of the bolt stroke, popping it off its latch and “kissing” my nose before snapping back into place when the carrier rides back into battery. And when I say “kissing” I mean difficult to even notice it was happening. I think it took the CH staying out on my last shot before I even noticed it at all.