Author Topic: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties  (Read 858 times)

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Offline Grendel

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2020, 12:53:39 PM »
Thanks. I know who makes them, I'm interested in people who have bought and used them.
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Offline RSR

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2020, 02:45:32 PM »
For righties,  I really like the Knights Ambi safety.  Left side (3 options to change) screws in, but right is fixed.  Don't know if any similar is available for lefties (screw in on left side instead of right).  I also really like the full length but scalloped on the right lower half option of Knights...

For left hand shooters, Geissele's maritime bolt release is a must.

W/ that G-BR, you're limited to Knights and Troy mag releases AFIAK.  Norgon is doable but crowded.  I have medium hands and large length/long fingers (basically, I'm right between medium and large glove sizes -- hands not fat enough for large gloves while fingers fill the length).   

Troy's mag release is just at the limit of my trigger finger reach when shooting left handed (norgon sits slightly closer).  Knights is behind trigger and sits between hammer and trigger pins.

Charging handles -- no experience w/ side.  For rear, Geissele Airborne if you run low pro rear folder (think Magpul Pro or similar) and forward mount optic OR Geissele Super if you have magnified optic or wider width irons.  I don't have experience with BCMs new charging handles but do have ample experience w/ their old BCM and still Vltor options and only run the ambi option there, but most definitely more jabby than Geissele (but also stronger spring tension to grab/stay closed/prevent accidental release).
No experience w/ the newer BCM, but they look to be solid as well. 
If the charging handle lacks a proper shelf/gas deflector at rear, I skip them, which excludes the popular radian line.

Point being is that you can get nearly nearly the same speed, except for when you first load and charge your weapon when bolt was forward and unloaded, with a few cheaper and more reliable upgrades -- both part and weapon overall reliability.

*For righties -- I like the Norgon safety for when you need to use support hand (thumb activates while gripping mag) with the POF bolt catch (basically the same price as a standard part).  I also exclusively use POF buffer tubes.  AR15 for when running the Geissele 3 wire buffer and spring and AR10 when running A5 system.
The PWS receiver end plates are also where I'm at now as well for that part exclusively.  From botach in bulk, they're the same prices or cheaper than BCM, Noveske, B5, etc, that I've used previously -- AND they include the castle nut.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 03:14:42 PM by RSR »

Offline Grendel

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2020, 03:19:16 PM »
Thanks
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2020, 07:59:06 PM »
Seems like there is a charging handle or two out there that have the release levers on both side of the "T". 

If you use two fingers (left or right hand shooters) the original design works, but sometimes, with a scope/optic it can get in the way of getting two fingers on the charging handle.  I've got one like that and I've noticed it's wearing the right side of the charging handle channel more than the left side due to the unequal pressure on it as I pull the bolt to the rear.

Not saying the two sides release lever charging handle would eliminate that, just saying it would allow you easier use of either hand if you have issues getting a finger on either side of the "T".
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline eastman

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2020, 09:46:03 PM »
Devil Dog Concepts makes a bolt on side charger that attaches via the top rail. Seems like a gimmick to me but it seems to get good reviews and is an option for you.

that looks like a good idea for my rifle if they ever make the AR-10 version
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Offline Rcher

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2020, 04:38:33 PM »
I see a possible drawback of side charge handle design. While it is more convenient to use while shooting (either right hand or left hand) it takes more time to disassemble.
With traditional charge handle design it takes no time to remove charge handle and BCG, so that you can inspect or "boresnake" your barrel. But with "side handle" design you need to unscrew the handle first. (Imagine if you need to do this in field conditions.)

Offline Scorepion

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2020, 12:19:11 AM »
I have 2 cents on a few things.

Ambi Safety: I have Ambi safeties and see a lot of pros to it. I use my trigger finger knuckle flipping it back on a lot. It offers a quicker visual if its on while its side vs looking at the marked drum notch.

I guess we all have tastes but as for Battle Arms I dumped for Radian. My Battle Arms screw backed out (w Loctite) which I proceeded to break the screw head off (my fault over torquing but it happened) It stuck in the drum and gun was down. Radian Arms uses detents, that just makes sense. Its modular allowing user to choose (try out) 45 or 90 position with positive clicks. Regardless of brand ambi safety is a big pro.

Ambi Charging I do not use the ambi feature so much on the other side, but do prefer the design. Its non-pinchy, easier to grab, palm, glove options.

Ambi bolt I cant speak of personally, but LWRC built-in ambi lowers look appealing.

Side charger My 2nd PCC I went with a Gibbz upper with the charger on the weak side. Gibbz cost few bucks more, but its well made. You also eliminate cost of a charging handle. The side charger is a welcome option and makes it a little different = fun. Getting to the charger without moving my face position is not a problem. This is a lot more appreciated with the 9mm with no BHO feature. As for bolt access it does not prohibit anything. Pop the back and its out. Its quicker to reassemble if the handle is left in while you're under the hood.

 I can't say for sure if side charger mitigates gas in the face suppressed. It transfers it from rear to the side cut. Arguably letting more gas/noise escape. Non reciprocating is a funner experience you may have had with AK VZ types. But this is why CZ gave us the Bren 2 with all the things ;D


Offline Jim E

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2020, 01:34:25 PM »
As a lefty I can attest to the Maritime bolt release. It just works well and the cost is reasonable.
I have used several ambi-safeties. Have not had any problems with any of them. If I had to choose the options again, I would use the same "angle" and style on all the AR's in your collection just for muscle memory.
I just went with the Botach Battle Steel Ambidextrous Magazine Release. On some receivers, it requires a little file work but nothing major. Cost is 20 bucks and works as well as the $80 dollar parts.
As far as charge handles, I have not tried any side chargers. I do recommend the Rainier Arms Raptor. It is pricey but it is as good as it gets in my opinion.

Offline RSR

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2020, 12:54:01 AM »
Ambi Safety: I have Ambi safeties and see a lot of pros to it. I use my trigger finger knuckle flipping it back on a lot. It offers a quicker visual if its on while its side vs looking at the marked drum notch.

I guess we all have tastes but as for Battle Arms I dumped for Radian. My Battle Arms screw backed out (w Loctite) which I proceeded to break the screw head off (my fault over torquing but it happened) It stuck in the drum and gun was down. Radian Arms uses detents, that just makes sense. Its modular allowing user to choose (try out) 45 or 90 position with positive clicks. Regardless of brand ambi safety is a big pro.

As a RH shooter, I use the ambi safety for pretty much weakside shooting only.  The reason I like the Knights is b/c it eliminates the possibly of safety coming loose on the left side of the receiver where I primarily use it. 
As far as detent, it's a viable option, and I actually tried the Troy but never the Radian.  On a milspec lower there was nearly a MM gap (more than double) on side of the receivers I tried IIRC (was about 5 years ago before Troy went full retard), so I sold it.  Best guess is that it was made to fit both milspec and billet receivers.

Side charger My 2nd PCC I went with a Gibbz upper with the charger on the weak side. Gibbz cost few bucks more, but its well made. You also eliminate cost of a charging handle. The side charger is a welcome option and makes it a little different = fun. Getting to the charger without moving my face position is not a problem. This is a lot more appreciated with the 9mm with no BHO feature. As for bolt access it does not prohibit anything. Pop the back and its out. Its quicker to reassemble if the handle is left in while you're under the hood.

Running glock mags?  FWIW, my AR builds run colt mags and mag adapters that retain the LRBHO feature...
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 01:05:21 AM by RSR »

Offline Scorepion

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2020, 01:04:16 AM »
Side charger My 2nd PCC I went with a Gibbz upper with the charger on the weak side. Gibbz cost few bucks more, but its well made. You also eliminate cost of a charging handle. The side charger is a welcome option and makes it a little different = fun. Getting to the charger without moving my face position is not a problem. This is a lot more appreciated with the 9mm with no BHO feature. As for bolt access it does not prohibit anything. Pop the back and its out. Its quicker to reassemble if the handle is left in while you're under the hood.

Running glock mags?  FWIW, my AR builds run colt mags and mag adapters that retain the LRBHO feature...

Yes my side charger lower runs Glock dedicated mags. Not to happy with the lower, would go with Gibbz lower if I did it over.  My other PCC is a Colt mag with Hahn conversion. Same result no BHO.

What adapter do you use with the Colt?

Offline RSR

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2020, 01:17:18 AM »
My first two are are PSA dedicated drop-ins (from top) -- believe the Gen 1 or 2 version, before they offered any glock options.  Also have a Hahn dedicated drop-in (from top) w/ the BHO feature -- think it was only an extra $25 or so, from $175 to $200 IIRC, for that feature.  Hahn higher quality but PSA was selling them for $30 or $40 on clearance a few years back and they function well -- nevertheless plan to upgrade them eventually...   And am actually planning to sell the A2 profile 16 barrel PSA kit rifle as is, b/c there's zero reason for that heavy of a barrel on a 9mm (or really that length for a 9mm either) -- was built prior to the more functional arm braces being available for pistols.
All use standard bolt catches that should be less likely to break than the colt versions.

I also have a PSA colt 9mm lower with milled smaller mag well area (exterior as well as interior) that also maintains the BHO feature but w/ Colt-style bolt catch. 

I've found that 9mm AR builds are more expensive than similar upper-mid quality .223/5.56 builds.  But from a training function (why the BHO is important for me), they do save 1/3rd the cost per round, the greater recoil forces better mechanics, and quieter muzzle blast saves hearing.  YMMV.


Offline Scorepion

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2020, 01:41:02 AM »
Thanks for the info. I sorta accepted the non BHO but secretly still want it lol. I put the Colt together prior to the Glock mags offerings, wish I waited. But they are fun, favoring the side charger.

Not to derail the thread, but hope to try a Extar EP9 soon. Seems like a great bang for the buck on a side charger. Hope it runs as good as others say.

Offline RSR

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Re: 'AR 15' side mounted bolt handle. ambi mag releases & safeties
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2020, 03:23:36 AM »
Thanks for the info. I sorta accepted the non BHO but secretly still want it lol. I put the Colt together prior to the Glock mags offerings, wish I waited. But they are fun, favoring the side charger.

Not to derail the thread, but hope to try a Extar EP9 soon. Seems like a great bang for the buck on a side charger. Hope it runs as good as others say.

I know nothing about that gun, but the price seems right -- really can't build 9mm ARs as cheap as you can find them assembled, and since they're more finicky to the point of potentially damaging your receiver, it's nice to have them "working" from the factory. 

And it it did remind me of three things I wanted to mention to the OP/Grendel:
  • as a lefty, you might want to look at a left side upper receiver from Stag Arms or others, or run a slick side righty -- believe the bolt carrier is the only part that's different other than the upper receiver
  • alternatively, Brownells is selling the early stoner models with the charging handle under the carry handle/charging handle protector (it does get hotter there than rear -- and why it was discontinued, but could probably put some sort of high temp silicone tube on it and be fine) in both 7.62N and 5.56N: https://www.brownells.com/.aspx/bapid=694/ClientPage/brownells-Proto
  • And as a righty, my preference on mag release mod is the Odin Works XMR2 -- my trigger fingernail (trim them short) sits roughly over the far edge of the OE mag release, but that means I'm pushing primarily w/ my fingertip with less than sure purchase, but with the XMR2, the meat/strongest part of the entire last digit of my finger is pushing to activate the mag release which means it's leveraging the strength of the whole finger (and b/c it's scalloped to hug receiver profile, I don't see any significant chance of accidently activating it, which I believe is a problem with both their XMR and XMR 3 that are both relatively flat, so protrude more.

 

anything