M16, M4, HK416 et al................
Bravo Company Gunfighter Charging Handle
January 13th, 2010 | Posted by Stickman
Bravo Company MFG (BCM) has released its new “Gunfighter” Charging Handle (CH) for the M16/ M4/ AR15 platform. After spending the past six weeks with it, thousands of round down range, dry fire drills, and teaching a carbine course with it, we’ve found a few things we like.
Bravo Company MFG President Paul Buffoni set out to develop a fix for a weak link in the M16 family, and that weak link is a tiny roll pin that you use every time you charge your weapon.
Modern training doctrine has most of us working the charging handle with our support hand while the primary hand stays on the pistol grip of the weapon. Initially, the weapon was designed for the shooter to grasp the charging handle with their firing hand, and to pull directly to the rear. This straight back method reduced the stress on the charging handle roll pin, but takes us out of a firing position.
Most troops (MIL or LEO) are using the flat of their support hand, or side of their index finger off their support hand to pull back on the charging handle while pushing forward with their firing hand on the pistol grip. This creates a very positive action for loading or clearing malfunction clearances. The down side is increased wear on the charging handle, with most of the charging handle roll pin taking the brunt of the abuse.
Bravo Company MFG teamed up with Vltor Weapon Systems to develop and manufacturer a unit that would create a stronger charging handle which would take the stress off the roll pin and redistribute it throughout the latch and body. Secondly, the latch was designed to keep the force inside the latch to prevent lateral pressure on the charging handle and receiver, resulting in smoother overall operation.
It sounds good in concept, but when it came to execution, Vltor went above and beyond with their typical attention to detail. The Bravo Company MFG “Gunfighter” Charging Handle is CNC machined from 7075 T6 billet aluminum, and hard coat anodized per Mil-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2. It looks like a piece of combat art when compared to its cheaper siblings.
I recently taught a 3 day carbine course, in which the other instructor and myself were using the BCM Gunfighter. Typical Pacific NorthWest weather prevailed, it was in the 40s, and raining most of the time. While higher quality, and increased strength are the main selling points, I found the wider latch with its aggressive texture to immediately noticeable. Even with cold, wet, numb fingers, I had no problem manipulating the charging handle. My training weapon was used by most of the students at one time or another during the training evolution, and was appreciated by all. At the end of the course there was no sign of wear on the ejection port side of the BCM Gunfighter as one would expect from a standard charging handle that had been used and abused, including being mortared several times while using spent casings for malfunction drills, several thousand rounds of live fire, and loads of dry fire drills.
The BCM Gunfighter is available in two sizes. The GFH-MOD3 is the large latch for scoped applications, and the GFH-MOD4 is the standard size that I’ve been working with.
In the below pictures you can see close ups of the BCM Gunfighter. What can’t be shown is the solid feel in your hand. With a street price of $44.95, this is a piece of equipment which has found its way onto my duty carbine, and onto my list of recommended equipment.
Take a look at www.bravocompanymfg.com for more intel as well as ordering information.