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BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle

Duncan Larsen AKA FailureDrill-P099 submitted this article.

 

Recently I was asked if I would do a review of two Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) Gunfighter charging handles for looserounds.com. This all came about after having numerous conversations with Shawn Thompson. We recently discussed the BCM Mod 4 medium Gunfighter charging handle. I have been using the BCM Mod 5 small charging handle for several years now and had recently purchase a BCM Mod 4. Shawn said he had used the BCM Mod 3 large charging handle and found it too large causing it to hang up on his gear.

Top View
Side View

I originally purchased the BCM Mod 5 because I did not want a latch that might dig into me or my gear. I had a lot of experience with the Badger Ordinance Gen1 square latch years ago when I was a police officer and patrol rifle instructor. I remembered during several rifle instructor courses, training days and SWAT trainings how the Badger latch would hang up on gear and dig into you hard. When purchasing one of the three sizes of the BCM Gunfighter I did not what a charging handle that was going to be overly large. The smooth profile of the BCM Mod 5 charging handle appealed to me.

Grip on standard AR-15 charging handle
Grip on BCM Mod 5 charging handle

The BCM Mod 5 has been great. The BCM Mod 5 latch is slightly larger than a standard AR15/M16 charging handle latch. I have always used my support hand, with my index finger and thumb to work the charging handle. The BCM Mod 5 gave me just a little more grip surface over the standard latch. For someone who really wants an as close to standard size latch with just a little more surface area to grab, the BCM Mod 5 might be for you. With the BCM Mod 5 you will not have to worry about it hanging up on gear or digging into you. But, when I think about why I purchase the BCM Mod 5, it was because I had a hangover from that huge Badger Ordinance latch. I was being hyper sensitive about a charging handle that was going to hang up and dig into me as I was moving or transitioning to a sidearm.

Top view of the BCM Mod 5 charging handle
BCM Mod 5 (top)
BCM Mod 4 (bottom)
BCM Mod 5 (left)
BCM Mod 4 (right)

With my next charging handle purchase I decided I needed to give the BCM Mod 4 a try. Wow I sure am glad I did. I was surprised to see it was just slightly larger than the BCM Mod 5. For as large as it looks it still does not dig into my chest or hang up on my gear as bad as other latches. I won’t say that it’s not going to hang up on some gear, but I find it is not as frequent. I think part of this is due to the angle of the latch. As far as function, for me it is the same as the BCM Mod 5, with the technique I use. As it is slightly larger you get that peace of mind of a firm grasp of the latch. For someone who uses the blade of the support hand to charge the handle it is superior. You can fully charge the handle aggressively with or without gloves. I would suggest gloves if you are training hard. The smaller BCM Mod 5 just is not up to the blade of the hand charging. I just can’t get a good, full, aggressive charge on the BCM Mod 5 with the blade of the hand technique.

Using the thumb and forefinger to work the BCM Mod 4
Using the palm to work the BCM Mod 4

Now that I have run both of the BCM Gunfighters for a while I find the BCM Mod 4 is my personal favorite. Both BCM Gunfighters will serve you well but, the BCM Mod 4 holds a slight advantage over the BCM Mod 5 for positive aggressive use. If you are going to spend the money on a BCM Gunfighter for a patrol, entry team or home defense rifle, I would go with the BCM Mod 4. Your just getting more bang for the buck. Either way a BCM Gunfighter charging handle is a must have piece of gear for a serious fighting rifle .

Duncan Larsen.

Loosrerounds on the Web

In case  you came to this site through google or by chance, the blog was referenced in a recent New York Times front page article about CCW clothing.  This drew quite a bit of attention to our little blog.  After this happened our friends over on Tactical Gear news  talked to me about it and about the blog.  If you never been to that website you should give it a look. They have some good stuff going on over there and its better then a lot of other so called  gun related news websites.

www.tacticalgear.com/news/ccw-fashion-firearms-a-chat-with-gun-blogger-shawn-thompson/

There is a link to the article featuring me and talking about looserounds. And of course you can explore the whole website form there.

Like Looserounds  tacticalgear.com reviews  clothing and gear (of course)  and features video reviews and a lot of other cool stuff on training, guns and the usual things that fill all or thoughts while we should be working.  Of course make sure you come here first but then check them out.

Fast review of the FN FNP 45

I week or so ago i got a chance to try out the FN 45.    There are a few things I like about the gun; it comes with two 14 round mags and a 15 round mag.

The FN of course comes with a rail on the frame for the ever popular light, which I think is a must have these days. Being a 1911 guy, I was glad to see that it had a thumb safety. I have to say that it was not in the best position for my hand to easily hit it to fire. The grip was fairly large for people used to a single stack pistol,, but it was not too large. The size of the grip did make it hard for me to reach the trigger. It was workable and easy to use in single action but trying to get to the trigger in double action was a real chore. The trigger was a decent CCW or combat trigger but I would not take it to any matches.

The good things are the safety and the mag release are ambi, which I a feature I always love.  The sights on the gun were easy to see and snag free but not sharp enough to hurt. They are pretty much a FN version of the super popular novak sights.  One thing about the magazines is the effort it takes to load them. It was one of the hardest mags I have ever had to load. The thumbs ached after trying to force in just two rounds. And it was just as hard to load the first round as it was the last. This was very irritating and slowed things down a lot. I am not kidding around or exaggerating at all. I can not stress enough how hard it was to load the mags.

Shooting the gun for general drills was easy but the gun is flippy in recoil. I would often loose my grip on the gun with my alternate killing hand. This is purely a training  issue, but it was something I had to work hard to overcome.

For accuracy testing I used my normal method of slow fire off a bench. I shot at 25 yards with WWB ball 230 grain ammo.

I feel the gun has better accuracy to offer then my results. I am a 1911 guy through and through so  I don’t always do my best with a DA pistol. But regardless the pistol was pretty good since I was using walmart fodder. the above target was shot off of the bench.

This group was shot off hand slowfire at 25 yards with some odd results. Thumbusting magazine shown in picture to weigh down the paper.

I liked the FN in the time I had with it.  If I was wanted a DA pistol that held 15 rounds of 45, this would be my choice.  I was able to hit a man chest sized steel gong with the gun at 100 yards off hand with the handgun easy. This is a test I do on any of my guns I carry CCW or for more serious potential use. I think if you have a pistol that can give you that performance, you can trust it to fill in for a rifle in the worst of situations.  The FN  past my 100 test with ease. I will have more time with the FN in coming weeks, so I will try to do a part 2 write up with more detail and testing with better ammo.

The Warbelt

These days it seems to be that the idea of the warbelt is a very popular line of personal gear when it comes to fighting or training or just looking cool.  I do not want to get into the whole 1st line 2nd line 3rd line  gear  discussion right now, but I do like the idea of increasing layers of kit to add or take away from depending on what you need or  have time for.  I consider a  EDC  as my 1st line though I have met others that do not.  I always have a pistol reloads a knife and a few more no martial things on me every day, so it might as well be called 1st line in my mind.

The next step up from my EDC  is going to be pretty substantial. Since I already have a pistol and two spare reloads, a light and a knife, if I don not feel that is enough, then I really figure on needing a considerable amount of gear if my EDC  will not cut the mustard.  Also I can slip a belt on and just transfer whatever I carry everyday on to the belt with minor hassle.

I like the warbelt concept for a lot of different reasons. Mainly its because i can slip it on fast and it has more then enough to help win any fight a civilian would  likely ever find their selves into. Also, it can be worn under a plate carrier with comfort and take the bulk of your gear. I like to leave my PC as slick as possible.  I feel there is no r4eason to really load a PC down anyway, it is already heavy due to plates and suck and if you dont need a PC, or at least do not want to use it, you do not have to worry about moving all of your gear over to the belt. The belt is also a lot cooler and comfy while carrying all you need.  On a side note, I have never understood why some people will buy a PC and load ot down with everything and not even have soft armor or plates in it. They are not comfortable or cool and restrict you from having 100 percent freedom so I have no idea what the point of a PC with no armor is.

So to take a quick look at my belt, and whats in it for my purposes.


My belt is simply the Blackhawk Molle belt. Nothing super fancy or pricey but not junk and I like it. On the left side I have a Blackhawk single stack mag pouch made out of the same stuff as the Serpa. Next in line are two Fastmags from BFG. They can be used on a normal pants belt or a MOLLE belt. I LOVE these mag pouches. They retain loaded mags great and it is easy to draw a mag out. They can eve be mounted upside down or anyway you can manage yet still hold the mags in place no matter what. You can also double up on them thanks to slots in the front that allows the tabs to thread through. There is even as slider adjustment piece on the back to add tension if needed. The Fast mags also hold USGI, Pmags, Lancers etc all the same. They are great and I just can not say enough stuff about them.

Next is a leatherman tool stored in a pistol pouch. You never know.  Next to it is a SDS general purpose/canteen pouch.  I think pretty highly of these pouches as well even though they are not popular, They will hold a canteen, 7 mags , medical gear, NVG gear or anything you want. They are NOT padded though so you might not want to put anything  in there that needs padding. In the pouch is once smoke grenade and one tear gas grenade, The tear gas canister spews LEO grade CS for 28 seconds. I like to have these because sometimes  you may need to get away or screen your self at a time shooting just would not be doable. I am sure you can think or plenty of situations they could come in handy without my help.

Next up is my IFAK. It is simply a US Army issue IFAK with a few minor additions by me. I added some extra quikclot and bandages. It has all the normal stuff, CAT ,curlex, Hbandage, pressure bandages etc etc.  I always have one of these in my Jeep and always in a pack  or belt.  Of course I have more then one when doing anything if a gun is being used. Of course do not ad stuff you have no idea how to use, but you can ditch that stuff and add as much stuff you want.

And last is my trusty 1911 that I go no where without. It is my rail gun in one of the Darkstargear holster I had custom made. They will fit to MOLLE or your normal pants belt.

Lastly are suspenders I use to keep the belt from falling around my ankles like a cheerleaders panties on prom night. It helps with the weight if I add a dump pouch or  water etc. I hate to admit, but I forgot what brand they are. Even with all that on my belt ( and its not alot compared to others) it all wears great. I can easily wear it under my TAG Banshee PC with comfort and nothing gets in the way of anything on te PC. It is important to think hard about gear placement. You do not want to put everything together, then find out you can not draw your side arm because a pouch is in the way.  Another small thing I like, is that I can loose the IFAK to make the belt slimmer, and hide it under a long sleeve button up shirt or under a jacket if I ever needed to keep a low profile but still needed my gear. This would be worth its weight in gold in a city while trying to get out of town after some major unpleasantness.