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The BCMGunfighter Ambidextrous Charging Handle is probably the charging handle that I use most often in my rifles.
I know that I’ve said a lot of good things about other charging handles before. And I’ll admit that the BCMGunfighter charging handle has a weakness or two.
However, it’s still a super solid charging handle. It’s also very well priced. So in terms of value and cost efficiency, the BCMGunfighter charging handle gets high marks. That makes it hard to pass up when I need a charging handle for a new build or as a replacement part.
That’s why this is my most-used charging handle, even though there are charging handles that have a slight edge over the BCMGunfighter in certain aspects.
But, this is a good charging handle. And I have evidence for that claim.
BCMGunfighter Ambidextrous Charging Handle Review: Better than Everyday Ergonomics, Everyday Value
For me the BCMGunfighter charging handle does everything I need. Primarily, that means being ambidextrous.
I’m left-handed. So I almost exclusively use ambidextrous charging handles. And I’m relatively critical of ambidextrous latch designs, since I almost always have to use the offhand side of the charging handle.
With that in mind, here’s why the BCMGunfighter charging handle is an excellent option, even if it’s not perfect.
I pretty much only review stuff that I like. So usually the finish is a strong point, since I’m kind of a stickler for strong finishes.
However, the finish on the BCMGunfighter isn’t the strongest aspect of this charging handle.
It’s a standard mil-spec finish, which is kind of Bravo Company’s thing. Their mil-spec finishes are quality and well-applied. But they’re just mil-spec.
As such, this charging handle turned silver pretty quickly.
Now, the finish is a surface hardening process. Just because the color has worn off doesn’t mean the finish has worn through. So the finish is still intact.
It just doesn’t look quite as good.
But, on the bright side, the finish on the charging handle latch hasn’t worn at all. Therefore, the charging handle looks fine 99 percent of the time, since the silver part only shows when you pull the charging handle back.
Ultimately, the finish is fine. The aesthetics just don’t hold up as well as the finish on some other charging handles.
The ambidextrous aspect of this charging handle is really solid. Many ambidextrous charging handles have hitches in the offside operation of the charging handle.
I’m left-handed. So I almost always use the offside of the charging handle. And I find that most ambidextrous charging handles have some sort of stickiness or clickiness when I pull on the right side of the charging handle. Some of the worst offenders are simply difficult to unlock with your right hand.
But the BCMGunfighter charging handle works pretty much flawlessly when you run your charging handle with your right hand. I’ve never had an issue with this charging handle, even during training, under simulated stress.
Also, I appreciate that this charging handle has serrations along the rear face. I usually put my thumb on the back of my charging handle when I pull it. So why not have a little bit of grip where I put my thumb?
If you’re a right-hander, you’re obviously good to go with this charging handle. And things will be great if you do weak handed manipulations.
I’m torn as to whether this is part of the function or part of the design. But I’ll put it in the function section, since it’s directly related to shooting.
Anyway, there’s a gas redirection ridge along the top of the BCMGunfighter charging handle. I run this charging handle on my 11.5 inch rifle, which I often use as a suppressor host.
That little lip on the charging handle does a pretty good job of keeping the gas from blowing into my eyes, even with my suppressor on.
From a function perspective, this charging handle nails it, as far as I’m concerned. Need a charging handle that just works? Get this one.
I find this charging handle to be super well designed. You can get this charging handle with large pull tabs.
However, I prefer the medium latch tabs.
With the medium tabs, you can still get a solid grip on your charging handle. I’ve never had a problem finding or pulling this charging handle.
But, the medium pull tabs stick out about as far the forward assist. In terms of snagging potential, it’s certainly not any worse than the forward assist. So this charging handle won’t present any issues for running your rifle around whatever gear you happen to run.
Aesthetically, this charging handle looks cool. But the looks are relatively muted. If you put this charging handle on a bone stock AR-15, it won’t look out of place.
On the other hand, if you put this charging handle on a super custom AR, with a dope upper receiver, it won’t wreck the look of your Starship Trooper rifle.
I already mentioned the gas redirection lip. But that’s there. And it works.
Overall, I think Bravo Company nailed it with the design of this charging handle.
I mentioned value earlier. And the price is really what makes this charging handle so cost efficient.
What I would consider to be comparable charging handles—the Geissele Airborne Charging Handle, the Radian Raptor SL Charging Handle, etc.—are notably more expensive than the BCMGunfighter charging handle.
Yes, some of the more expensive charging handles are better than the BCMGunfighter in certain ways. For example, on most of the more expensive charging handles, the color in the finish seems to be more durable.
But none of the advantages you get from a more expensive charging handle are deal breakers. Would I like the black finish on my charging handle to last forever? Yes. But can I use a charging handle that’s been worn down to the silver? Also yes.
Ultimately, the BCMGunfighter charging handle works great. And it’s priced well enough to fit the budget on almost any build.
Overall, the price-to-performance ratio of the BCMGunfighter is better than most other ambidextrous charging handles, even though you can get a slightly improved charging handle if you’re willing to pay a higher price. You might also want to check BCM's gas block which is entirely made from high quality materials and is worth every buck.
Grip It and Rip It
The BCMGunfighter Ambidextrous Charging Handle may not be the most amazing charging handle in history, when you limit your field of view to just the construction and performance.
However, when you widen the scope of your assessment to include the price, it becomes an excellent option for anyone who wants a super solid charging handle without paying all that much.
That’s why I call this the minimum viable charging handle. I wouldn’t want a less capable charging handle, even if I might be able to save a few bucks. And a more capable charging handle is more of a luxury than a necessity.
That’s my case for this charging handle to be your go-to everyday charging handle. But you do what you want. Out.