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Discussion Starter #1
While Doing some Type #1 Malfunction drills today I noticed after the completion of the drill that my charging handle felt a little ruff or gritty. Not having cleaned my rifle in some time I assumed that it was just dirty, so I finished up and striped the bolt and charging handle to give it a wipe down. As I was wiping off the Charging handle it became very clear what the problem was, I had 2 large cracks going down the forward area of the Charging handle. I use a PRI Big Latch and love it, but its so easy to pull that the charging handle couldn't take the force. I hope that this is not going to be a common place occurrence and if it is I will either have to get a stronger charging handle or loose the Big Latch. This is a colt charging handle but it has been used a great deal by me and I'm anything but gentle. This is a rather new charging handle as well so I will have to do something to insure this dose not happen again, I just really don't wanna loose the Big Latch.



Anyhow just wanted to let everyone know its all to possible and keep it in mind when doing drills and whenever using the Larger Charging handle levers.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Very interesting. I have not seen that before. I have manages to bend one, never break. May have been a material flaw.
Thanks for the post!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I have never heard of that happening before. I will keep an eye on mine, though. Thanks for the post... you must have been giving that thing hell!
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Its a Colt Charging handle and its only about 18 months old, now be advised I do malfunction drills and reload drills daily so it gets a lot of use.
This is the second handle I have destroyed in this way , its easy to do when doing timed drills. If you were ever forced to use your gun in combat this is very well a possibility as you will be under stress and unable to pay attention to the force your putting on it. I think I'm going to buy a LMT this time and buy a pair.


Never had an AK do that..............:wink:
WOW great observation:rolleyes: If the AR15 dose this every 12 months I would still take it over most any other rifle out there, if you have ever timed your Mag drill, malfunction drill, or timed shooting courses you would know why.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
nikon777 said:
The charging handle is the achilles heel of the AR design. Not uncommon.
Actually this type of break is uncommon, but not unheard of. I have destroyed one before but that was from bending it. The only reason I believe it failed in the way it did is I added a aftermarket PRI BIG LATCH that allows you to put much more force on the handle, it has a much larger finger pad to aid in gripping the handle. In any case this in no way effects my opinion of the AR15 I still hold it as the best option in battle rifles to date. There are again aftermarket fixes such as steel charging handles and if this happens again I will switch to one of them.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
sharpstick said:
Actually this type of break is uncommon, but not unheard of. I have destroyed one before but that was from bending it. The only reason I believe it failed in the way it did is I added a aftermarket PRI BIG LATCH that allows you to put much more force on the handle, it has a much larger finger pad to aid in gripping the handle. In any case this in no way effects my opinion of the AR15 I still hold it as the best option in battle rifles to date. There are again aftermarket fixes such as steel charging handles and if this happens again I will switch to one of them.
Agreed.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
sharpstick said:
Thanks thats the cheapest price on one I have seen yet, I was scared I would have to buy the Gas buster one.
For 45$ I might get one too. I have not dealt with this company. I just used my Google-fu!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I'm curious how a Big Latch allows you to put more force on the handle to the rear, which is what apparently caused the break. I could understand if your hand was slipping off the stock handle, which I don't believe it does. I don't think your arm is pulling faster or with more strength simply because you have a wider lateral purchase on the handle. In the AR design specifically, one finger or two on the handle doesn't allow you to suddenly apply LOTS more force (maybe a little, but the delta can't be that great)... the only way that would be true is if you couldn't hold on with one finger and therfore were pulling softer... if it did allow you to apply, say, 5% more force, it is pretty disheartening that our charging handles may be designed with that small of a FoS... with that small of a margin, a guy who is a little stronger than the norm could break these without intending to...
 
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Discussion Starter #15
WilliamWallace said:
I'm curious how a Big Latch allows you to put more force on the handle to the rear, which is what apparently caused the break. I could understand if your hand was slipping off the stock handle, which I don't believe it does. I don't think your arm is pulling faster or with more strength simply because you have a wider lateral purchase on the handle. In the AR design specifically, one finger or two on the handle doesn't allow you to suddenly apply LOTS more force (maybe a little, but the delta can't be that great)... the only way that would be true is if you couldn't hold on with one finger and therfore were pulling softer... if it did allow you to apply, say, 5% more force, it is pretty disheartening that our charging handles may be designed with that small of a FoS... with that small of a margin, a guy who is a little stronger than the norm could break these without intending to...
Seems that the increased size of the big latch means a better grip, and a better grip would mean its easier to apply more force. Kinda like removing a lug nut from your car wheel with a screw driver vs. a standard cross style lug wrench.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
WilliamWallace said:
I'm curious how a Big Latch allows you to put more force on the handle to the rear, which is what apparently caused the break. I could understand if your hand was slipping off the stock handle, which I don't believe it does. I don't think your arm is pulling faster or with more strength simply because you have a wider lateral purchase on the handle. In the AR design specifically, one finger or two on the handle doesn't allow you to suddenly apply LOTS more force (maybe a little, but the delta can't be that great)... the only way that would be true is if you couldn't hold on with one finger and therfore were pulling softer... if it did allow you to apply, say, 5% more force, it is pretty disheartening that our charging handles may be designed with that small of a FoS... with that small of a margin, a guy who is a little stronger than the norm could break these without intending to...
Before all is said and done be aware my charging handle gets cycled near 100 times every day despite if I'm shooting or not, it receives a substantial amount of ware it a way that is anything but gentle. Every drill is done with the same force one would use when it matters so there is excessive force, but necessary force.

The Big Latch supplies a much easier surface to grip and the angle of the latch insures you finger wont slip off, this results in all the extra force being transfered directly to the charging handle. With the standard handle believe it or not you finger dose slip off , it just happens so fast it almost like releasing it, either way the extra force is not transfered to the charging handle. It also increases the length allowing more are to contact the fingers increasing the force I apply once it has reached the end of its travel. Most people will never use there handle enough to remove the finish , some will, I posted this for them who will.

Here is a pic so you can get a better idea of the amount of ware on this handle, keep in mind this is about 18 months old possibly 20.



As you can see from the next pic it is a much larger latch and much easier to ally to much force.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
sharpstick said:
Before all is said and done be aware my charging handle gets cycled near 100 times every day despite if I'm shooting or not, it receives a substantial amount of ware it a way that is anything but gentle. Every drill is done with the same force one would use when it matters so there is excessive force, but necessary force.

The Big Latch supplies a much easier surface to grip and the angle of the latch insures you finger wont slip off, this results in all the extra force being transfered directly to the charging handle. With the standard handle believe it or not you finger dose slip off , it just happens so fast it almost like releasing it, either way the extra force is not transfered to the charging handle. It also increases the length allowing more are to contact the fingers increasing the force I apply once it has reached the end of its travel. Most people will never use there handle enough to remove the finish , some will, I posted this for them who will.
wow, ok... thanks for the info. so it isn't simply the handle alone, but the handle coupled with a TON of real-world use... cool! :)
 
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Discussion Starter #19
wow, ok... thanks for the info. so it isn't simply the handle alone, but the handle coupled with a TON of real-world use... cool! :smile:
not real world use, just use, I have never seen the Elephant.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I have had one break on me, but it broke at the rear where the latch is, not at the front. I believe that it had a Tac-Latch on it.
 
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