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To Build or Not to Build a Side Charger


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#1 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 08:29 AM

I'd Really like to have one by sometime in the summer. I see two possible holiday sales with July 4 and Memorial Day. But they're not a requirement; I just like saving money.

 

Have been interested in one for a while but now hlhneast's recent build has the build juices flowing. Pretty partial to a carbine length w/ collapsible stock.

 

Now that I'm a bit more comfortable around ARs, I'm considering once again (will this never end?) marching a bit farther and assembling another; specifically a side charger. So from what I gather, I can incur a decent savings purchasing and assembling individual parts and components. At this time though it appears to be within my skill level, I don't feel like dicking with the buffer tube though it's not out of the picture.

 

Currently my "accomplishments"  :snicker: / :tiphat: consist of:

 

1. Installing and aftermarket free float handguard w/ its proprietary barrel nut.

 

2. Removing / reinstalling barrel and muzzle device

 

3. Removing factory gas block and installing low profile gas block

 

4. Removing / installing factory / aftermarket hammer / trigger assemblies

 

5. Removing / installing takedown / pivot pins

 

6. Disassemble / assemble BCG less the gas key

 

Choices as I see them?

 

Complete side charger upper w/ barrel

 

Complete side charger upper w/o barrel

 

Individual side charger upper and individual side charger

 

Individual fcg components

 

Complete lower: Are lowers available only as complete or stripped? No in-between?

 

Any way to guesstimate savings based on a fully assembled, turnkey 1,000.00 rifle? I have the tools.

 

This guy appears to have done well price wise. https://www.thehighr...e-build.825317/

 

I think I wrote too much.  :D:


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#2 OFFLINE   FireMedic569

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 09:00 AM

Stripped lowers are usually the way to go. You can buy lower parts kits minus the fire control group for a reasonable price and that allows you to choose your trigger. If you want a top of the line trigger, go with Timney or CMC single stage. Free float hand guards with proprietary barrel nuts are annoying to me. I prefer the GI barrel nut. The Samson handgaurds use mil spec barrel nuts and a collar system to attach the handgaurd. It’s very similar to the Troy system. So similar in fact that there was actually a lawsuit over it. I don’t have any experience with side chargers so I’m not able to offer any advice there


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#3 ONLINE   Steelborn1

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 10:36 AM

You should absolutely build it. Mainly because we like newly buily ar pics.
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#4 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 10:46 AM

You should absolutely build it. Mainly because we like newly buily ar pics.

Certainly plan on it. Just trying to gather data to minimize expense yet maintain some level of quality. Should be entertaining based on my history.  :laugh:




#5 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 11:12 AM

If anyone knows.

 

I prefer the right side. I shoot left. Anyone know if the brass will hit my face/neck area as the old M16s did (less the old carry handle deflector)?




#6 OFFLINE   devil duck

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 11:38 AM

I'm looking forward to this build, after seeing hlhneast build I am really liking that side charger setup. I'm kinda like you in the rt hand setup but shooting left. Being rt handed I want the firearm set up that way but feel more comfortable shooting left. It stems from when I was very young and trying to hold up shotguns and rifles to shoot. I could hold it up longer and steadier with my right arm forward. Plus I am left eye dominant with 15/20 vision in my left eye (before glasses). But being rt handed I need to be able to work the controls, I can't do crap with my left hand.
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#7 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 12:05 PM

Yep, shooting a rifle left handed I need to work the bolt with my right but at the same time stay out of the burn center. My worst was brass getting wedged between my helmet chin strap and upper neck. Burned the dog crap out of my tender skin.  :laugh:


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#8 OFFLINE   devil duck

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 12:22 PM

Yep, shooting a rifle left handed I need to work the bolt with my right but at the same time stay out of the burn center. My worst was brass getting wedged between my helmet chin strap and upper neck. Burned the dog crap out of my tender skin.  :laugh:

Lol, been there but it was wedged between my shirt collar and neck. Plus I have had more than a few down the shirt. Sux sometimes shooting left handed with a rt handed firearm.
But for some reason that side discharge is really speaking to me. Maybe it's because it is something different but it does look pretty cool. But I would just except the fact that wearing some hot brass is just a fact for those of us who shoot this way. As long as it is not bouncing off your face then you should be golden.
Do you know if they make some sort of deflector that doesn't look like an abomination or screw up the lines that you are looking to achieve?


#9 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 12:33 PM

I ain't wearing hot brass. Now I have too many wrinkles for it to lodge into. "Oh look, grandpa has a brass headband". Not. Never had a problem with M14 or for that matter my little 10/22. I was hoping the designers were so ingenious they engineered the cases to deflect off the bolt knob. Watched a right hand video or two to see if I can determine angle and consistency.




#10 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 07:59 PM

So here's an alternative. A left-side ejecting, right side bolt charging upper. Whatcha think? Never heard of this company? Have you? Thoughts please. Thanks.

 

https://gibbzarms.co...upper-receiver/

 

It also appears they have the same design with an optional non-reciprocating, ejector side, charging handle. I like that  http://gear-report.c...5-uppers-review

 

 

Prices seem competitive. Handguards with anti-rotation tabs won't fit without modification. They have several to choose from.

 

Or I could consider the BCA lefty. 

 

I sure like the option of  left-hand port / right-hand non-recip charger.  :D: I'm researched out at the moment.




#11 OFFLINE   Blacktree

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 08:41 PM

Of course we're gonna say yes to the build. :segrin:

 

My personal preference is to get a stripped lower receiver, LPK without FCG, and a separate FCG. At least, that's what I do on builds where I want a really nice trigger.


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#12 OFFLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 10:24 PM

No, No No!!!!

Side charging AR's are for us cool guy's only!

Please submit the prerequisite paperwork and we will let you know if you can purchase or build one.

Thank you,

The Side Charging AR Overlords of District 27... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if you believe the above statement, I have some prime real estate to sell you in the Everglades.   :bye:

 

All kidding aside. 

Gibbs makes a left eject, right hand charging upper that fills your requirements.

 

7am79Sy.jpg

 

MQKNZ1s.jpg

 

It would be a pricey proposition though.

Gibbs left eject, right hand non-reciprocal charging handle upper goes for about $250.00. Then you need to add a left hand BCG. They are not cheap either.

My right hand charging, ejecting side charging AR's do on occasion toss a case to a four to five o'clock position.

So that might put a hot case where you don't want one, being that you shoot left handed.

 

Thanks,

Glenn

 

 

 

 


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#13 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 10 2018 - 10:45 PM

It is a bit pricey but not "rich man only pricey". Unless I'm mistaken, I could come in under a thousand (16")easily nicely equipped; don't ya reckon? I would just have to know that their quality is worthy of their prices. Or I could come back to reality and go with a  left / left. It ain't like my finger is across state lines when charging the weapon. You know they actually instruct crossover charging with assorted side chargers. I need one now! Maybe I can sue my wife for advanced weekly allowances.  :)


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#14 OFFLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jan. 11 2018 - 12:01 AM

Never handled a Gibbs side charging AR.

Have seen good reviews online.

Hickok45 did a review on the Gibbs Arms side chargers.

 

I remembered Quality Arms makes a true ambi side charger. It will eject left or right side.

Not sure if you need to order it with a left eject eject BCG.

They have a Gen II version on the website. $ 485.00 for the upper and BCG.

You will have to do your due diligence with these since I have no other info on them.

They used to post on this forum, but I have not seen a post in some time.

 

Never crossover charged with my side chargers.

I shot a M1A for years before owning an AR.

So I charge my side charging AR's like my M1A.

Did make sure I put in a two stage trigger to mimic the M1A also.

 

Thanks,

Glenn


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#15 ONLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jan. 11 2018 - 12:08 AM

Thanks buddy. Yep, lots of time with a M14 and my own (decades ago) Springfield M1A. Bought it around 77 for  little under 300.00 and when I deployed I sold it to another unit's armorer for about 300.00. Dumb.


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#16 OFFLINE   hlhneast

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Posted Jan. 12 2018 - 03:54 AM

I am glad I can spread BRD around.  I was going to try and hunt this weekend but my DIL wants me to look at a food truck 4 hrs away Sunday.  So this leaves me much needed range time Saturday.  The casing discharge never entered my mind as an issue so I will report back those results as well.

 

As far as the "semi stripped" lower, I havent seen one.  As mentioned tho, you can get a LPK minus FCG and grip.  The CMMG kit I bought from JoeBobswas like that because I am not thrilled with an A2 grip and I like to choose my FCG.  Lower receivers arent hard to put together and you already have the skills necessary to build one with what you have done already.  There are vids on Youtube on assembly and we are here to help.  Other than a few errant pivot pin springs flying off into the hinter lands, its not that hard.  Even that can be completely overcome with the proper $5 tool.

 

As far as the upper, geepee probly has the most varied experience with them.  I decided on the BCA because of the price, they will do clearance pricing every now and then.  If they are at full retail like now, it put theam close to the others on the market so you can get exactly what you want for bout the same pric across the board.  I snagged mine almost a year ago when the dual charge went on clearance for about $130.  The typical sale price is about $160 so if you keep and eye out and get on the mailing list to watch for it.  Midway used to sell them or still does so watch them as well.  It was kinda a back burner project for me because the right price popped up and I grabbed it.

 

Good luck with it!


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#17 ONLINE   Flesh Wound

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Posted Jan. 12 2018 - 12:34 PM

Build it! You seriously have to ask us whether to build a new EBR? :segrin:


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#18 OFFLINE   pierceg

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Posted Jan. 12 2018 - 04:44 PM

I'm strongly considering building a side charge AR in the 9mm flavor.


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#19 OFFLINE   hlhneast

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Posted Jan. 12 2018 - 06:45 PM

I'm strongly considering building a side charge AR in the 9mm flavor.

I have not seen one of those but that doesnt mean much as I am not a 9mm fan.  Now if a .45 came up, well, BRD would strike again.


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#20 OFFLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jan. 12 2018 - 11:07 PM



As far as the upper, geepee probly has the most varied experience with them.  I decided on the BCA because of the price, they will do clearance pricing every now and then.  If they are at full retail like now, it put theam close to the others on the market so you can get exactly what you want for bout the same pric across the board.  I snagged mine almost a year ago when the dual charge went on clearance for about $130.  The typical sale price is about $160 so if you keep and eye out and get on the mailing list to watch for it.  Midway used to sell them or still does so watch them as well.  It was kinda a back burner project for me because the right price popped up and I grabbed it.

 

Good luck with it!

 

Thank you Sir,

Your giving me a little more credit than what I deserve.

I have been using right hand side charging uppers since I got into the AR "game" and have not looked back.

While I do research what has become available, and sometimes disappears. I'm shooting basically the same type of upper. Even though the manufacturers are different.

So in real life I have only used one style of side charging uppers. But I try to keep appraised of what is available. 

 

By the way, I have gotten the major parts I need for my LAR side charging uppers.

These are going to make you jealous Hlhneast.

Check out the markings on the bottom lower, although both bear the same markings.

 

GfJYDFa.jpg

 

OPS-6.5, It is just too bad I do not shoot that caliber. 

Made out good on the prices to put these together. LAR/Crosshill Technologies quality at close to Bear Creek Arsenal cost.

 

Thanks,

Glenn 


Edited by geepee3, Jan. 12 2018 - 11:45 PM.

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