Charging Your AR-15 From The Side – Is It Worth $150?

People often complain about the AR-15’s charging handle.


It seems to be relying heavily on the Magpul BAD lever he’s got on there.  The only thing this basically does is let you use the side charing handle to get that initial round in the chamber from a closed bolt, or clear any easy jams from the side if that’s what you’re into.

Unfortunately it also still doesn’t solve the problem the AR has of gas blowing back into your face.  I know a few companies make gas buster charging handles to solve that… he should incorporate that into his side charger to give it a bit more value.

I’m not sure why I had to do some intense googling in order to find out where you guys can buy this thing or how much it is.  A simple URL in the YouTube description or video would have done the trick.  Anyway Gunfighter Gear is the place and the price is $150.

Thoughts?  Alright price or too expensive?  Would operate with?



Spectre July 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

It’s kind of funny, my gear guy sent me this yesterday and asked me how many I wanted

SittingDown July 28, 2013 at 05:03 am
Will July 28, 2013 at 06:08 am

How can I make my AR more like an AR…hmmmmm, I have an idea and for only 150! Genius!

Squirreltactical July 28, 2013 at 07:13 am

If only I could lock my bolt to the rear without taking my firing hand off the… oh wait, I already have a BAD lever on here! Problem solved. (O.o)

Regulus July 28, 2013 at 07:28 am

lame. like that guys acog clone….haha

adam July 28, 2013 at 07:46 am

“doesn’t solve the problem the AR has of gas blowing back into your face”
i hear people say that a lot but i never had a problem with it what am i doing different.

dave w July 28, 2013 at 08:20 am

well, like me you are probably dual wielding your ar’s. Some of the non operators on here use one at a time and have to use the sights like noobs.

spencer July 28, 2013 at 07:49 pm

“well, like me you are probably dual wielding your ar’s. Some of the non operators on here use one at a time and have to use the sights like noobs.”

That’s comedy gold, but I’m with adam on this one. I’ve been shooting M-16s and AR-15s for 7 years and it’s never seemed to be an issue for me or anyone else I know personally.

ENDO-Mike July 28, 2013 at 08:28 am

My eyes water like crazy when shooting my ARs for extended periods of time. Maybe you’re not operating hard enough? :P

SSGCasper July 28, 2013 at 09:36 am

Not all receivers or charging handles leak gas, it seems the more broke in or worn they get the more likely they are to leak gas at you. (Also doesn’t help to use hot loads..)

In the High-power competition world we often use a small amount of Black RTV silicone on your charging handle where it meets the receiver and it will seal off the gases. You only need a really small amount to create a seal and stop those gasses from exiting back through the charging handle. Yes eventually it will wear down and will need replacement, but it doesn’t require a special “shielded” charging handle.

ENDO-Mike July 28, 2013 at 04:42 pm

I’ll have to try out that Silicone suggestion, thanks!

Bear July 29, 2013 at 07:25 am

OR you could do what I do — Get a Mini-14 in a tactical configuration :).

Including evil pistol grip and folding shoulder thingy that goes up.

ENDO-Mike July 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Yea but then I wouldn’t be able to hit the broad side of a barn anymore! hahah

You might find this helpful –

McThag July 30, 2013 at 12:40 am

That needs to be a shirt!

dave w July 28, 2013 at 02:38 pm

Quit crying and shoot like a man!
/Arnold Schwarzenegger voice

czbeardly July 30, 2013 at 01:48 pm

The secret is a gas-absorbing beard, operators has know this for years since they found ancient text from Nordic vikings describing how they used beards as a damagedeflector when they was out and about doing raids to pillage and plunder – true story!

MG February 7, 2017 at 05:19 pm

Not sure how old this post is but I’m reading up on the side charger just for kick and giggles. Anyway, ENDO-Mike, you might consider looking at the key on your BCG. There is a sealant (at least if it is a quality BCG) on there that can wear off over enough rounds or enough wear. My brother and I own a BCG company ( and that is one of the things we make sure we have on every one of our BCGs because without it, it leaks gas between the carrier and the key which lowers the efficiency as well as exposed more gas in the general area of the shooters face.

Ross July 28, 2013 at 08:49 am

This guy clearly has a lot of “battlefield” experience for which he designed this clearly “battlefield” tested accessory to get you back in the “fight” faster and “beat the opposition”.

I get that the guy wants to come across as a professional, but he sounds like a total tool.

The fact that near the end of the video he’s dropping the bolt with the BAD lever but insists on doing an awkward little “pull the side-charge handle back, hoooooold it, pop your finger off, look for the button, hoooold it, ok let go!” move. Yeah, that looks operator as shit. Riiiight.

SSGCasper July 28, 2013 at 09:43 am

Not overly sold on spending $150 for a solution looking for a problem! To me the BAD or even a standard charging handle is just fine, and I can single hand charge/clear/load just fine with them. To me though that side charging handle would be just one more thing to get caught on shit as your moving around.

However I am sure there are enough gear-whores out there who will love these that the guy will make a decent amount of money.

Mitch July 28, 2013 at 09:50 am

I do hate the T-bolt system, but if I hated it that much, I would just get a SIG 550.

ST4 July 28, 2013 at 09:30 pm

I think you mean Sig 556. Have you seen what a genuine Sig 550 runs for? Holy crap!

Andy July 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

It would be useful on a counter sniper platform where you have a large scope in your way. But $150 bucks useful…….

El Duderino July 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

Since I shoot lefty this item is 100% useless to me.

Jeff Baker July 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

This solves a problem that doesn’t exist.

032125 July 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I like it about $60 worth. Even with a BCG Gunfighter and a BAD, this grab seems more intuitive. So yeah, find a way to cut your price point 70% and we’ll talk.

Jon Hutto July 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm

A side charging handle is the future of the AR. NON-RECIPROCATING.
In a gas system, none are better than JP Enterprises.
In a piston system, I really want to try the Faxon Firearms.

AaronY July 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Worthless for $150, cut the price $100 maybe worth it. Also, aluminum? Shit should be made of steel, seems too easy to torque the hell outta of it, breaking either at the end, or inside the upper.

OT a bit, fucking love how the website says DOMINATE THE OPPOSITION, with what? Fake suppressors? Lolz

ENDO-Mike July 29, 2013 at 06:00 pm

hahah dominate the opposition by having them keeled over with laughter.

Al T. July 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I dunno, have to give him creds for thinking outside the box. One of my kin has only one hand, so that may come in very “handy” (yuk, yuk) for him/

As far as gas busting, put a suppressor on an AR and it’s an issue. As SSGCasper notes, the RTV fix works nicely.

Jim P. July 28, 2013 at 04:48 pm

Not worth $150. $50 or less, yes.

2Wheels July 28, 2013 at 06:10 pm

Bleh, stop fussing with the AR design trying to perfect it.

I’d rather spend $150 on ammo.

H8teraid July 29, 2013 at 01:08 pm

I’d give it a shot, but for 150 dollars, not really. Somewhere between 50-80 dollars, at most.

BKelly47 July 30, 2013 at 08:53 am

The guy who made it went full retard on slickguns and is a total fucking tool.

nikonmikon August 1, 2013 at 06:11 am

I invented this and showed someone on youtube :(

Cliff August 12, 2013 at 03:03 pm

I have this with left-side reciprocating charging handle >

I ‘m a lefty shooter and it’s really easy to use.

ScottyP August 19, 2014 at 01:58 pm

I have one and it is freaking awesome! I also have a B.A.D. lever as well!

johpal July 28, 2016 at 09:02 am

Do a review on the Hard Charger from Devil Dogs. What this charger should have been. Even have a Vid of Rep standing on the handle. Still expensive, though. (sigh)

Dude June 10, 2017 at 09:18 am

It already cycles from the left hand, without taking your aim off target or changing your grip. That’s the point of the design. If you want to eliminate gas blowback then get a piston system. They make them just as accurate as gas now from Stag Arms and Adams Arms.

Fallschirmjager July 16, 2017 at 09:13 pm

I’ve been shooting with my original ‘slab side’ AR since 1975 (original Colt). I’ve lost count how many thousands of rounds has gone down range in competition and ‘pinking’ and no gas blowback through the charging handle and, yes, it is the original The gas issue could be from out of spec. handles or uppers. Yea, I know: ” So and so’s uppers are 100% in spec…yada-yada-yada.” I’ve lost count of the number I’ve built from a stack of parts and when a mic. is put to the critical parts made today I can find most out of spec. But these are built within certain prescribed tolerances of = or – values, which isn’t an issue Its when someone figures that a .001 here or there won’t hurt is when trouble begins. As someone said earlier about a “fix looking for a problem” hit the nail on the head. If I am in combat I am not going to screw around with something remotely clumsy, but the ‘T’ handle works and is proven in combat over and over to do the job. Is it the best solution, nope. But it is proven reliable. If you want to see what the AR series rifles were originally desiged to b e charged, look up the history. Eugene Stoner had to change the design because of the political military brass. As for a true side charging weapon, I’ll take my FN-FAL in 7.62 NATO as my battle rifle, which is side charging and piston actuated if I can get to it over just about any other battle rifle. JMHO…YMMV

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