Somehow I have been drafted as “The Charging Handle” guy here at TFB. At first, I was suspect of the role, but have grown to enjoy it immensely. I have been witness to innovation on one of the most benign and often neglected AR parts. Also, I have been witness to some… interesting ideas. How did this one fare? The Sintercore Tripwire is in the innovation category; it will just need solid execution during manufacture.
So what sets this model apart in a market replete with plethora of options? Basically, the Sintercore Tripwire is an actual charging “handle.” It has no latch what-so-ever, just a spring-loaded arm that takes advantages of the cut-outs on the upper receiver. As Sintercore calls it, the “trip” is shaped like a latch, but rounded on the front and rear contact surfaces. It is held in place by friction on the receiver cut-out only provided by a strong stainless spring.
Features (Courtesy of Sintercore):
- Automatic locking and unlocking with a simple, hands-off latching system
- Instant, one finger bolt manipulation from either side of the AR-15, without the need to actuate a separate lever
- The latch is rounded and automatically “trips” (rolls off the upper receiver) when either side of the handle is pulled back
- For the AR-15 and all compatible firearms
- Width: about 2.5″ and does not extend beyond the forward assist
- Weight: about 1 oz
- Material: Bar stock 7075-T6 with type 3 class 2 hardcoat anodizing
- Patent pending
Thoughts on the Sintercore Tripwire:
Sintercore sent TFB a prototype Tripwire for evaluation. It arrived timely from Sintercore in a non-descript padded USPS envelope. Even with the prototype status, the handle was in good form. No machining marks or flaws in the finish were visible and it inserted easily into my Del-Ton upper for initial testing. It likewise worked in a Adam’s Arms and Bushmaster upper receiver. The Tripwire did not work in a Houlding Precision upper which was also available for testing. I notified Sintercore and they promise this will not be an issue in production handles.
Eager to see if the concept was sound, I immediately started testing the trip mechanism in the upper. The Tripwire slides in and out of battery easily. With the bolt locked to the rear and handle with it, the handle has no issues going into battery when the bolt is released. Racking it without a bolt inserted was likewise easy with no hang-ups on the receiver.
The handle is designed to be low profile. The “wings” as I will call it are very thin compared to a other handles with further machining to reduce weight (which is near a single ounce). The front and back manipulation surfaces have vertical striations to ease manipulation. I tested the handle on a hot day, and not once did my handle slip on my fingers laterally, but the vertical cuts didn’t quite hold perfectly. My sweating fingers could move a bit, but they never did come off the latch during manipulation.
Shooting with the handle was just like any other… and that is a good thing. Without the flat rear surface, my concern was the Tripwire would jar from battery. Not the case. Using a DI receiver with mid-length gas and Federal XM193, the handle did not move a bit, even during rapid fire.
Quite simply, it worked.
- Works as advertised
- The trip never came loose under rapid fire
- No issues going into battery every time
- Wicked cool aesthetics
- First-run pricing is going for only $50 on their website. (Note, this is for pre-orders).
- If this is machined, why not add a hood like the Armageddon Tactical latch for suppressed shooters?
- Needs horizontal cuts or checkering to complete the package.
- Fit in MIL-SPEC uppers without issue, but did not fit into a Houlding Precision upper receiver. The tabs were just a bit too long. (The manufacturer says this will be addressed in production handles).
I am honestly disappointed I had to send it back. It worked well in my MIL-spec AR’s and is fully ambidextrous for only $50. Solid two thumbs up on the Tripwire.
Note to the readers from Phil:
I spoke with the owner about the glitch Nathan S had. As it turns out the problem was the difference between a forged and billet upper. The owner/designer contacted me to let me know the problem was a simple fix and the needed change was made for the production units. It’s since been tested on billet uppers with no problems.