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Side Charging AR15's


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#1 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 04:49 AM

I know several members here whose opinions I trust who are devoted 

to the side charging AR as their favorite operating system for the AR.

 

We have even more members who are building them to "have something different".

 

 I would really appreciate an objective list of Pros and Cons

of the side charging system compared to the traditional operating system. 

 

Bear Creek has not been on my radar for long, but I am picking up that they are 

GTG for quality parts.  True ?  What other companies are offering quality side charging 

parts that don't break the bank ?  Or is Bear Creek my best bet ?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

John

 

 




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#2 ONLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 06:32 AM

John,

 

Honestly, I shoot side chargers because that style of charging a weapon is what I was used to.

Shot my M1A for years before getting an AR.

 

It is a proprietary system. your going to have to keep an Allen wrench with the weapon to remove the handle to take out the BCG.

I keep one in the handle storage of the MOE pistol grips I use.

 

Bear Creek Arsenal quality seems to be hit or miss. 

I purchased two BCA stripped side charging uppers a little while back. One was in good shape, the other I have to send back to BCA. 

This is not the first issue I have had with a BCA side charging upper.

 

There is a company called Sanders Armory that makes a side charging upper. Saw one a two weekends ago.

Not a bad looking upper, has a hinged flap for closing off the rear of the gas key channel.

About $ 200.00 for the .223/5.56 upper and BCG. Other calibers are more.

There are other companies that make dual charging, side charging and rear charging. they can be pricey.

 

That is about all I can think of right now, have to go to work.

Hopefully this helps,

 

Thanks,

Glenn

 

 

 




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#3 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 06:35 AM

Thank you, sir.


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#4 OFFLINE   dfairclothrra

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 07:26 AM

John i am building mine for hunting. with a variable 3x9 or 4.5x14 power scope  with gloves on in cold weather the rear charging handle can be difficult at times.where the side charging lever  will be easier.

Lantac,  CMTtactical,  Gibz, ASA  and i am sure i am missing other side charging uppers.

bolt carriers: Young,  ASA, Davidson Defense are what i can think of right now.

 

Dan  


Edited by dfairclothrra, Jun. 13 2018 - 05:34 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   longie

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 11:34 AM

JP makes or made a side charger as well


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#6 OFFLINE   bamashooter

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 02:29 PM

I built a lefty side charger. It ejects to the left (great for a left handed shooter) and "charges" from the right. I like it primarily because it's easier and quicker to stay precisely on target if the need arises to charge the weapon. Mine is "non-reciprocating" meaning the charging handle stays put (forward) as the bolt cycles. 

 

If I shot primarily right hand I would get the upper with the charging handle on the left side and extraction to the right. Thinking about doing a pistol with the same lefty side charger (Gibbz).

 

The Gibbz has a hinged door in place of the conventional charging handle. It secures in place when the upper is mated to the lower. The small door keeps the gasses awy from your face and works very well.

 

Some side chargers also include the conventional charging handle.

 

Some don't. Plugs (cheap) (inserted in place of the conventional charging handle) can be purchased to minimize gasses coming to your face.


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#7 OFFLINE   hlhneast

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 06:37 PM

John, I have a BCA dual charger and I bought a plug like Glenn mentioned and did away with the rear charge.  I happened to catch the upper on sale with the bolt and the rear charge handle for about $125 IIRC.  Sometimes you will catch them on sale for about $160 but typically they are about $250.  Most of the other stripped uppers are  in the $250 range and you have to buy the bolt another $125 or so.  I am sure their price reflects their quality altho I have no complaints with the BCA.

 

Ive only shot my BCA about 5 times and havent been back to the range.  So far it seems to be fine.  If you arent in a rush, sign up for their emailing and you may catch the $125 or the $160 deal.  If I was going to buy another one it would be a Gibbz probly.and a left charge, right discharge.


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#8 ONLINE   akpls

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 10:01 PM

I built a couple of side chargers, one 5.56 and one 300 BO, using Bear Creek side charger parts.  I've had no problems with either.  I got both sets while they were running the BCG/Upper combo sale at $125.


Edited by akpls, Jun. 13 2018 - 10:02 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 10:42 PM

John, I have a BCA dual charger and I bought a plug like Glenn mentioned and did away with the rear charge.  I happened to catch the upper on sale with the bolt and the rear charge handle for about $125 IIRC.  Sometimes you will catch them on sale for about $160 but typically they are about $250.  Most of the other stripped uppers are  in the $250 range and you have to buy the bolt another $125 or so.  I am sure their price reflects their quality altho I have no complaints with the BCA.

 

Ive only shot my BCA about 5 times and havent been back to the range.  So far it seems to be fine.  If you arent in a rush, sign up for their emailing and you may catch the $125 or the $160 deal.  If I was going to buy another one it would be a Gibbz probly.and a left charge, right discharge.

Thanks. I think a side charger might get me interested in a build.

Brownells had a complete too set on sale for 90 bucks.

Then I read the wrench was junk and nothing was iccluded to tighten the castle nut. 

So I let it go.


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#10 ONLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jun. 13 2018 - 11:04 PM



Thanks. I think a side charger might get me interested in a build.

Brownells had a complete too set on sale for 90 bucks.

Then I read the wrench was junk and nothing was iccluded to tighten the castle nut. 

So I let it go.

 

Putting together a billet side charging upper you will need a few different tools.

Standard vice blocks will not work. I went with a Geissele reaction rod.

A Magpul BEV block will work. And less expensive too.

 

Right now I have two BCA stripped uppers in my line up. 

One in TAC 30 and one in 6.8 SPC.

Both run like a champ, but I am running another manufacturers bolt carrier in both.

I was running the BCA BCG in the TAC 30. But changed it out with a NIB bolt carrier. The BCA BCG ran fine.

 

Will leave you with this John;

 

iXW8oh0.jpg

Rifle in the front is the TAC 30 with the BCA stripped upper. Rear AR has the old Crosshill Technologies upper.

 

Thanks,

Glenn




#11 OFFLINE   Retcop

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Posted Jun. 14 2018 - 12:46 AM

I built a couple of side chargers, one 5.56 and one 300 BO, using Bear Creek side charger parts.  I've had no problems with either.  I got both sets while they were running the BCG/Upper combo sale at $125.

 

Thanks, akpls, I appreciate it !

John

 

Maybe you could post some pics.

Gun porn goes over very well here.   :segrin:




#12 OFFLINE   captainbarred

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Posted Jun. 14 2018 - 06:50 AM

Ret, I have 2 of these :

 

http://www.joebobout...recip-upper.htm

 

JB-NON-RECIP-UPPER-2.jpg

 

Company named Gibbz also makes them.

 

 

Quite happy with them so far.

 

One is a 9mm upper for a pistol build, the other is a 7.62x39 build.

 

Whats nice is you replace the cam pin and your good to go.

 

 

I feel that the place where they really shine is when paired with the Law side folder.

 

With the right length tube/stock/brace, you can side fold and "block" the charging handle so you know you need to unfold the stock before you rack the action.

 

Not mine, but Like this:

 

xhSRugq.jpg


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#13 ONLINE   akpls

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Posted Jun. 17 2018 - 08:57 PM

Here's the couple I did. First one is a 300 Blackout with Primary Arms red dot. The upper is Bear Creek, but I must have got the BCG elsewhere since it's NiB and I don't believe they have any NiBs. Second one is a 5.56... it's got a Bear Creek BCG for sure. I'd like to build another one in 204 Ruger, but that's a long term project. 42fde0a15539b4a17c5a89e4f89e58fe.jpg6b9729be84e17136037fc637a8b277ab.jpg

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#14 ONLINE   geepee3

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Posted Jun. 17 2018 - 09:30 PM

42fde0a15539b4a17c5a89e4f89e58fe.jpg
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Nice rifles.

I noticed the build above seems to be missing the rear plug.

 

MmJRQT9.jpg

This is what is needed.

 

Thanks,

Glenn




#15 ONLINE   akpls

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Posted Jun. 18 2018 - 08:13 AM

 
Nice rifles.
I noticed the build above seems to be missing the rear plug.
 
MmJRQT9.jpg
This is what is needed.
 
Thanks,
Glenn

Yes, you're right. That upper isn't dual charging and I didn't think to go back and grab the plug when I saw that. They look to be in stock so I can order one up. Would have been a little gas to the face I imagine!

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