[Big 3 East] Devil Dog Concepts AR-15 Side Charging Handle

    Three Veterans from NY came up with this Hard Charger side charging handle concept. Two of them are active duty law enforcement and the idea came about after a malfunction due in part to the charging handle and one of the officers. One of the officers was racking his AR-15 charging handle and his hand slipped. His hand kept moving back and he punched himself in the nose. So due to that slightly embarrassing moment, they came up with a side charging handle that works on all forged mil-spec flat top upper receivers.

    The Hard Charger is made out of 7075 aluminum and weighs just 5 oz.



    There are three different variants of the HCR. They differ in terms of where the HCR mounts to the flat top receiver. Your basic HCR mounts to the forward most picatinny slot of the upper receiver. For tactical shooters there is a Tactical HCR that allows a rear back up sight to still be mounted and the use of a red dot. The third option is for 3Gunners and the HCR mounts to the rear most slot of the receiver allowing for the use of the long scope mounts typically used in 3Gun. They offer 5 different choices of handles. Large handles for competitions and all the way down to small handles for tactical shooters who do not want the handle to catch on gear.


    One concern might be the side charger catching on gear. Well the guys at Devil Dog Concepts addressed that fact. They have been using this set up for their rifles for some time. When their ARs are slung, the Hard Charger sits just below their tactical vests. An added bonus to their Hard Charger is that you can operate it with just your forearm or rack it off a hard surface like a barricade or hard cover in the event that your support hand is not operational.

    The HCR retails for $154 and is available on their website. Additional knobs are $18. At the moment they do not have an ambidextrous version or left handed version.


    Edit: Camaron Hillman, President and Co-Founder of Devil Dog Concepts sent me this email to address and clarify a few things.


    The three of us who operate the company are Former US Marines who are Combat Veterans from Iraq, two have Service Connected Disabilities, with nearly four years or more in Iraq combined, and have served in support of operations such as the Battle of Fallujah, River Blitz, and the first elections.
    All of us are from the Southern Tier area of New York, not Buffalo.
    The product was invented and designed by one of us, which is myself.
    The concept is the Side Charging Handle System.  The name of it is the Hard Charger.
    Two of us are active Law Enforcement Officers with around 10 years each on the job, and 8 years each as SWAT team members and Snipers for Departments in the Binghamton and surrounding areas.
    One is a former Detective and current Patrol Sergeant.  Both are Armorers.  One is department Training Officer and the Training Director for the New York Tactical Officers Association.
    The other member of our company is also a former contractor with Blackwater.
    The product:
    The idea for the product came following a SWAT training day where we were conducting malfunction drills during high stress incidents, and happen to slip off of a standard charging handle and hit myself in the face.  Thought there had to be something better and more reliable.  So after looking into other options and trying them, nothing worked properly or reliably for what we do and demand.  Also, was not allowed to rebuild the department rifle to create a built in side charger.  So sat down and started drawing to create something that would work, and the Side Charging Handle System was created.
    The three mounting variants are the different styles of the Hard Charger Receivers which are;
    The Hard Charger which mounts to the foremost picatinny slot,
    The HCR (Hard Charger Rear) which mounts to the rearmost picatinny slot and is designed for 3Gunners,
    And the HCT (Hard Charger Tactical) which mounts to the third picatinny slot allowing the mounting of a BUIS then the HCT then your electronic sight which is the most common tactical set up.
    You were pretty close on the 5 different variants of the Pull Handles.
    All of the Pull Handles, Hard Charger Receivers, and other parts are all interchangeable for customization depending on optic set up, shooting style, gear, ailment or disability, tac set up, and preference.
    The Hard Charger’s (HC) MSRP is $154.
    The design also assists with bi-lateral shooting so ambidextrous it technically is.  We do not have a left handed rifle version nor an AR-10 variant.
    You left out a some very crucial specifics in the design that were created to fix issues with the original design while making the operation more userable;
    It is field strippable, has a dual support design to reduce torque on charging handle, a disengagement design to remove stress on release lever and roll pin, and a back-up charging option aside from the side charger.
    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]