Vendetta Precision has introduced a new extended and ambidextrous AR-15 charging handle called VP-25. You can tell it is really extended because the overall width of the latches (tip to tip) is 4″! Why would anyone need such a huge charging handle? Vendetta Precision has some reasons for making it.
First, this charging handle offers an advantage for left-handed shooters. They’ve noticed that the forward assist plunger makes it difficult to access the right latch of ambidextrous charging handles for single-handed manipulations.
Second, the competition shooters can use the palm of the hand to charge the rifle quicker and with a decreased chance of missing it.
And third, it is designed to allow easier access to the charging handle for hunters. As Vendetta Precision says, some of the short eye relief hunting scopes come over the charging handle making it hard to access. So these super extended latches are supposed to make it easier to reach below the scope. It should also be better for use with gloved hands.
Vendetta Precision VP-25 charging handle is CNC machined out of aluminum. It has a hard coat anodized finish. It is available on manufacturer’s website at an MSRP of $75.
The main disadvantage that I can think of is that it may cause some inconveniences by catching on the clothes, gear and whatnot. At the same time, it can really be useful in situations described by the manufacturer. I think they should make a version with one side of the latch being normal size and the second one – extended like it is. In any of the described cases, you probably need only one of the latches to be so overly extended – the one you use the most.