Advantage Arms has shown on their website a new AR-15 forward charging handle. It is ambidextrous with actual handles folding forward for a slimmer profile. The large handles allow easy access and must be good in a firefight when fine motor skills vanish under stress.
Advantage Arms points out the ease of clearing various malfunctions with this forward charging handle. Here is how they explain it:
Optimized for speed shooting, Advantage Arms’ Forward Charging Handle allows the shooter to clear spent or misfired ammunition without dismounting from the firearm.
Imagine clearing type 1-3 malfunctions without taking your rifle off your shoulder, losing your firing grip, or breaking your stance to reach back with your support hand, and without losing sight of the target. Just a simple rotation of your wrist to point the ejection port downward, then a quick rack back to clear the round. Flip your wrist to observe your chamber, then you’re back on target, ready to engage.
Never again will you have to reach around your optic to charge your weapon.
Without having to fumble for the Bolt Catch, your Forward Charging Handle is in clear peripheral vision. A quick slam rearward, you’re back into the fight.
For the more technical malfunctions like a “Stuck Cartridge Malfunction,” you can hold the bolt open with the Forward Charging Handle and maintain better and more efficient control over the weapon during a “mortar drill.”
This handle system is not available for purchase yet with a “Coming Soon” status on Advantage Arms website. There is also very little information available. However, we can make some assumptions based on what we can see on the released pictures.
The handle looks to be a drop-in accessory clamping on rifle’s top rail. It provides a rail section for the scope on top of itself. So the scope is mounted directly on the handle assembly without a riser because the handle frame itself works as a riser. There is also a small rail section where front iron sight is normally located. However, conventional backup iron sights won’t work well if mounted on top of it, because they’ll be positioned too high.
I assume this system either replaces the AR-15 charging handle or simply links it forward. If you look closely you can notice that it extends rearward (atop of the buffer tube) quite a bit. One of the main advantages of forward charging handle over the conventional AR-15 one is the ability to work the handle without a need of breaking your cheek weld. So this handle probably gives that advantage with a tradeoff of having that rear extended portion.
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