Recently I was gifted a new Gen2 Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) Gunfighter Mod 4 medium charging handle, (stocking stuffer). The very first article I wrote for Loose Rounds was on the original BCM Mod 5 small and Mod 4 medium Gunfighter charging handles. see here – (http://looserounds.com/2012/06/09/bcm-gunfighter-charging-handle-guest-writer-duncan-larsen/)
I have been using the BCM Mod 4 charging handles for years and it is my go-to charging handle on all AR type platforms. I have not purchased the newer BCM charging handles since they modified and changed the design about two years ago (to the Gen2 design).
When I first opened the packaging and threw the new BCM Mod 4 into my new AR, I was surprised that the medium latch appeared to be a lot smaller than the older original Mod 4 charging handles. I was immediately thinking I might have to go with the larger Mod 3 charging handle because there might not be the same amount of latch surface I was used to running.
I pulled one of my older BCM Mod 4 charging handles and compared it to the new Gen2 BCM Mod 4. The new charging handle is a lot sleeker/compact and does not protrude out as far sideways or forward with the latch.
After running the new Gen2 BCM Gunfighter in the same manner I have used the older BCMs, I really see no functional/operational difference even though it is slightly smaller. I can still run the Gen2 medium with the flat/palm of my support hand or with my index finger and thumb grip. With a shooting glove it is even easier as you can be extremely aggressive with the charging handle. I would suggest gloves if you are training hard.
The new serrated cuts in the back of the charging handle latch assist in the index finger and thumb grip, that I primarily use. The additional serrations provide a very positive grip and I can see it working well with a stuck case or having to aggressively charge the handle to clear the weapon or a malfunction that does not require mortaring your AR. This is still enough latch to kick start the thing if you are unfortunate enough to have to do this.
I do not feel it is necessary to move up to the Mod 3 Large charging handle with the new Gen2 design. With the new lower profile of the updated Gen2 BCM charging handles, I do not feel I am losing anything function wise, but it would appear it is even more snag free on gear.
Now if you have one of the older BCM Gunfighter charging handles, do you need to switch it out for the new design? No. If you are getting a new AR and want to have the same function and size as the older BCM charging handles, stick with the same size in the Gen2 BCMs. Is the new design an improvement over the older charging handle? I believe it is. The BCM Mod 4 medium charging handle is still the best option for snag free and positive function compared to the other sizes. If you have a G.I. charging handle, upgrading to a BCM of any kind is a must IMO. The Mod 4 medium is the best all around size. I have seen them for under $40.00 dollars at several places. If AMBI charging handles are your thing, BCM has them as well.