One issue that many AR users run into, especially with today’s often over-gassed guns, is a hot blast of gas to their face. This is particularly noticeable when using a suppressor. Not a deal-breaker, mind you, but one that puts a crimp on creating a more comfortable and enjoyable shooting experience.
While visiting with SilencerCo in Utah last October, I sat down and talked about that sometimes aggravating problem.
Jacob Turnblom, one of SiCo’s engineers, me he had purchased several AR-pattern charging handles billed as reducing gas blowback over the years, for his own use. Most of these handles used side ports or channels to divert those remnant gasses away. Even before that, a common hack for users was to put RTV silicone sealant around the top edge of a GI-style handle, to try and buffer the gas away.
“I shoot almost exclusively suppressed,” Turnblom said. “So, I was really just on a mission to see if this was just all snake oil or if one of these actually worked better than the other.”
With that, he started a project where he pitted every charging handle he could find that was advertised as having a gas-taming enhancement, loaded them in a stock Colt M4 with a GI handle, and ran the tests.
“We took some really close up high-speed video, down in our test range, of the backs of these charging handles, to see if they lived up to the hype,” he said.
With that, SiCo developed the Gas Defeating Charging Handle, a “gas busting” handle that actually works.
More in my column at Guns.com.