New from M&H Machining: Side Folding Charging Handle for SCAR 16S/17S

Folding SCAR Charging Handle, c Nick Leghorn

After joining the Team FNH USA, the only “big” rule they laid down was that I needed to shoot FNH USA’s guns. Go figure. That meant the SCAR 16S. If you read my review of the 17S, the reciprocating charging handle was a bit of an issue for me. I didn’t like it one bit — I felt like it was either going to bash the crap out of my hand or I was going to get it tangled on something. If I was going to be shooting a SCAR all year, I wanted to see if I could do something about that. So, working with the folks at M&H Machining, we’ve come up with a folding charging handle for the SCAR 16S / 17S rifle . . .

The charging handle is a drop-in replacement for the existing SCAR handle, meaning no modifications need to be done to the gun. It also doesn’t add enough weight to impact the operation of the rifle, thanks to the weight-saving design. Suppressed or normal, the gun still functions.

Folding SCAR charging handle, c Nick Leghorn

My hopes for the design were that it would fit within the rails on the side of the gun (so if the gun was pressed against a wall, the charging handle would move freely and the gun would cycle just fine), but stick out further than the original charging handle when extended (to clear any bolts sticking out of the optics mounted to the rail). The final design meets and exceeds both of those expectations.

The original concept for the new charging handle operated on momentum and friction, but the final design incorporates a spring to keep the extended latch firmly against the side of the gun when not in use. The curved inner side of the latch allows you to quickly get it open when you need it, meaning no time is wasted fumbling with an uncooperative gadget. And if the worst case scenario happens and the latch becomes detached, the remaining nub is still large enough to allow you to operate the gun.

SCAR Charging Handle, c MH Machining

I really like it, but then again I helped design it. I’ll be getting this over to someone else on staff for a proper review. In the meantime, you can pick one up for $99 at mhmags.com.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

15 Responses to New from M&H Machining: Side Folding Charging Handle for SCAR 16S/17S

  1. avatarHal says:

    As a SCAR 17 owner… meh.

    • avatarPeter says:

      As a fellow SCAR 17 owner, I have to say that the existing charging handle is less than ideal, but several solutions to that deficiency are already on the market. For those interested, I’d start with Tango Down or Stryker Enterprises.

      Speaking as a guy who also owns an M1A and a Sig556, I’ve never understood the aversion to reciprocating charging handles. Just keep your hands clear of the damn thing, and otherwise enjoy as usual.

      • avatarwarriorshonor says:

        THIS: I own a SIG 556 rifle and I must say I love it, never had a problem getting “caught” my the charging handle. I guess it might be more of an issue firing it offhand from a moving vehicle or something tacticool like that but for most users it will never be an issue.

  2. avatarRoll says:

    They couldnt make it like the L1A1′s charging handle? That thing looks like it belongs on a kitchen cabinet for a “modern” home.

    • avatarJeff says:

      It looks like a production prototype to me, but who knows. IF I were making it, it would be anodized black and use a staked pin rather than a machine screw with nut.

  3. avatarracer88 says:

    At $100… they are proud of it, eh? :-) Will they be anodizing it (colors)?

    I’ve never had the issues (with my SCAR-16S) that are often cited and attributed to the reciprocating charging handle. It’s not something I’ve ever had to even think about when firing the rifle. I guess my hands just don’t naturally go where they’d get whacked.

    • avatarSD3 says:

      Geeez, Louise, guys…

      When you *shoot* it, it flaps back & forth, providing natural, abient cooling for the daggone bolt!

      It’s TACTICAL, bitches!!!

  4. avatarSammy says:

    Similar to the (ambidextrous) charging that’s on my RRA PDS carbine, but mine’s not reciprocating. In the different strokes for.. you know, I’ve heard a lot of negative things about having charging tabs in these positions, but I like it much better than conventional DI systems. The main reason I like the HK type non reciprocating handle is I can clear the chamber/reload with my sights still (or closer to still on the target) and keep my strong hand on fire control. Still can’t understand why the RRA PDS guns were not more popular. They are kind of like an AR-47. And NO carrier tilt.

  5. avatarPhoenixNFA says:

    I didn’t feel that the oem CH was that bad when I fired the 16 honestly. I have less than 30rounds behind one but not one of those rounds was faulty or the gun failed to go into battery due to my grip.

    I honestly think this would cause more failures than the stock one due to the forward angle.

    I guess that has yet to be proven though. I assume this will be on your comp gun nick?

  6. avatarCharlieKilo says:

    Or, you could use an EACH from Stryker. I use it on my SCARs, 16 and 17. They work great on my 3 Gun SCARs and on my range SCARs. They are angled, large, and out of the way. If you are getting bit by an EACH or by the stock handle, you’re doing it wrong.

  7. avatartomjonesa22 says:

    I am not sure how people complain about the scar. If you hold the rifle the right way you wont notice it.

  8. avatarTotenglocke says:

    As soon as I saw the title I thought “This will be something that looks neat, but is massively overpriced”. Sure enough, it seems to be about three times the cost of other SCAR charging handles.

  9. One of the problems with the AR platform is the charging handle function. It is much easier to charge a weapon with a side handle, as opposed to the awkward AR 15. Also, it is easier to know what the nature of your malfunction is by looking quickly at the charging handle on a SCAR than by trying to guess by looking at the bolt on an AR.

    This is no biggie when the rifle is being used in non-life threatening emergencies, but it definitely is a downside in real world combat situations.

    Most battle semi-autos have side mounted charging handles, and have had them historically. There is far less awkward manipulation contortions when using a side CH, particularly when you want to keep your firing hand on the weapon.

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