Devil Dog Concepts, a company owned and operated buy two former Marine Corp Sergeants, has just introduced their new Left Side Forward Charging Handle which they are calling the “Hard Charger”. This systems replaces your existing AR-15 charging handle with a new system giving you a larger handle that is positioned on the left side and positioned further forward towards the front of the upper receiver thus converting your current standard upper to a side charging upper. At this point, you’re probably thinking “This sounds familiar”. There have been a few different companies who have made side charger systems but what makes this system different is that it incorporates an additional mount that clamps onto the forward most portion of picatinny rail section on the upper receiver. This should address all tilt/binding issues of the Side Charing Systems that have come before.
Side Charging uppers are kind of a touchy subject. Most people are either a die hard fan or staunch critic. There are very few who are on the fence. Whether using this Hard Charger system or a conventional Side Charging Upper, they offer the functionality of a further forward, more comfortable position for the charging handle and offer a larger latch to make charging the weapon easier while in the prone position and when you are using optics with larger mounts, etc.
PRO’s and CON’s
Both types of side charging systems have their own PRO’s and CON’s. Some PRO’s for the “Hard Charger” type of side charging system is that it is non-reciprocating, meaning it does not move back and forth with every shot and that you can easily upgrade your current rifle with it in minutes.
A couple of PRO’s for the conventional side charging system is that it completely eliminates the Charging Handle all together making the use of accessories like Cheek Risers, etc easier and helps with gas blow back so long as the charging handle slot is closed up properly. You can also charge the weapon easier without moving your cheek from the firing position because there is no charging handle coming back at your face. The knob that you use to charge the weapon is also a forward assist.
So as you can see, this comes down to user preference. If you are interested in having a side charger system, you have to decide what type of system you want to go with. For this type of side charging system, the Hard Charger from Devil Dog Concepts looks to be a good option to try. More details and purchase information are available at www.DevilDogConcepts.com.
**Just to clarify, I do not have one of these systems myself. As with most of the articles I write, it is meant to inform our readers of new parts and accessories, not necessarily a recommendation or review unless specifically stated as such.**