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Posted: 7/31/2003 7:06:49 AM EDT
Why did Eugene Stoner build a rifle with a carry handle. Was he copying the FAL. Was it some sort of weird 1960s smoking cheeva piece of engineering that has held on so long.

Both my ARs have the carry handle upper receivers. Thing is I never use them as a "carry handle". The only thing they serve as a place to put a rear sight and maybe mount a scope on. The scope being so high off the barrel creates accuracy problems. When the cash becomes available I'm going to replace them.

Other upper receivers on the market are much more usable than the carry handle.




What use is the carry handle? Does anyone carry their AR around like a suitcase?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:20:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 7:25:20 AM EDT by mjohn3006]
Have you used your AR in combat? Because that is what the carry handle is probably designed for. If your in a fire fight, trying to drag an injured buddy, I bet having an easy one handed handel on your rifle makes life a little easyer. Or long marches. I know after hours and hours of walking in the woods with a hunting rifle, I would love to have a carry handle to hold it by. I agree that if you are an average target shooter, the carry handle is not a very important feature. But I can see a miltitude of combat applications.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:24:58 AM EDT
Well my guess is that you may not have been in Vietnam (neither have I for the record) and thisis just my subjective opinion, but I would think that after months of jungle humps, firefights, and stadning watch for hours that an easy way to carry the rifle would be a welcomed addition. It would be easy to just grab it by the handle and bug out, when fatigued carry it at a not ready position. Again this is just what I am thinking, but it was most definately designed with the soldiers comfort and ease of carry in mind. My opinion is like an a$$hole everyone else has one too, I just chose to make mine vocal. [:d]
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:38:16 AM EDT
The carry ahndle was the original location for the charging handle, it appeared as an upside down "trigger", the loop that became the carry handle protected it. The idea was to be ambi dextrous, the charge handle as it is now, came later, why the change I don't know, why not omit the carry handle after the change I don't know.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:39:41 AM EDT
Military folks please correct if wrong, but don't most DI's instruct you that the carry handle ain't for carrying?[stick] Of course that is a non-combat situation, but I believe I have heard this before.....
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:43:49 AM EDT
I guess i always assumed that it was some bad decision whereas they thought that since they were making a straightline stock that they needed to move the sights up. I think the carry handle is a p-poor excuse for anything: if your carrying your rifle that way youre covering everyone in front of you with your muzzle, its no quicker to get into action than by grabbing it around the delta ring, if you're too tired to carry it that way you should sling it, and if i was dragging a buddy to safety and was that concerned with his rifle i would grab it by the sling. I took the carry handle off of my carbine FAL as well.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:46:39 AM EDT
Shivan, You're right on! Do not carry your AR by the "carry handle." 1. Everyone will know you have not spent a day in the service. 2. It's real easy to mess up your sight adjustments.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:48:02 AM EDT
The carrying handle is NOT for carrying. Slings are. The only weapons that require CH's weigh "just a wee bit more" than the AR/M16 family of weapons, the LMG maybe, but even that comes w/ its own carry handle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:50:41 AM EDT
Further, if I was in combat, for which I hope never to have to volunteer, for at that point we are in DEEP DEEP shit..... I will have my finger as close to the trigger as possible AT ALL TIMES. BTW, the early AR's had those bakelite hanguards that were EXTREMELY fragile, per the curator of arms at Aberdeen's Armory. They would crack if handled roughly. I can see using the carry handle in rough situations in that case, so at least you would have handguards later. [;D]
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:00:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mjohn3006: Have you used your AR in combat? Because that is what the carry handle is probably designed for. If your in a fire fight, trying to drag an injured buddy, I bet having an easy one handed handel on your rifle makes life a little easyer. Or long marches. I know after hours and hours of walking in the woods with a hunting rifle, I would love to have a carry handle to hold it by. I agree that if you are an average target shooter, the carry handle is not a very important feature. But I can see a miltitude of combat applications.
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Actually, (IMO) the carry handle is a temptation to handle your rifle incorrectly. I don't know how others have been trained, but I know that if anyone in my old units used that handle to carry their rifle on a patrol or road march, they would have gotten a slap in the side of the head from me. During tactical movement or on guard post, the weapon should be held [b]at the ready[/b] (or at the very least, port arms). I had a DI in basic that beat this into us. In fact, he used to say that if he had his way, there wouldn't even be a sling on the weapon at all during training. He felt the web slings promoted bad habits.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:09:14 AM EDT
The carry handle is not for carrying. it looks like your carrying a g-damned purse carrying it like that.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:12:26 AM EDT
like others said, it was the origional location for the charging handle. See Pic. [img]http://www.armalite.com/sales/specials/ar10BWholeLarge.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:16:19 AM EDT
I like the fixed loop I think its a more solid platform for the iron sights,I only have an aimpoint,its not governed by a paralax so it can still be used in the handle with no problem,and in my book my primary sights are the iron sights,having a flat top just encourages more reliance on optics and gadgets that are a waste,if Im going to use a telescopic sight ill carry my M14 type rifle,for the type of combat the M16 was designed for200 yds and under wich is about effective as 5.56 is good for anyway,the fixed handle is stronger and my iron sights will always be well protected and ready to be used.Thats why only socom uses the M4A1 there are still regular M4s still in use by tankers,artillery or any other role where a small compact rifle are needed,I shoot with plenty of people who have flat tops and with some of the optics they use could shoot the head of a nail,but when they go to iron sights they couldnt hit the broad side of a barn,and if your shooting 10,20 or 30 yds away at someone,you can see them and they you,both eyes open and iron sights are all you will need.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:23:44 AM EDT
At the time Stoner designed the AR-10, few military rifles had scopes. And yes, I expect that he did pick up the carry-handle idea from the FN FAL as suggested above.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:51:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cross_Steel: The scope being so high off the barrel creates accuracy problems.
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One must remember, that the AR was designed as a combat rifle, not a precision rifle. It mearly needs to be able to hit a man size target. Spec ops units have used optics mounted on cary handles for quite a few years, before flat tops became more prolific, with much success. The Israeli's use A2's in quite large numbers, with Acogs mounted on them, and are very successful. You have to keep this in mind. Having your sights/optics sitting 3-4 inches above the bore line will not prevent you from hitting the upper torso area of the average human being.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:56:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 9:57:53 AM EDT by HipFiredGun]
In point of fact the carry handle was marketed specifically as such by Armalite on the AR10. Due to the nature of the charging method, it was necessary to mount the rear sight above the charging handle and in order to protect the charging handle the rear sight housing was continued forward. It was also marketed as a rigid base for a telescopic sight, but always refered to as a carry handle. With the development of the AR15, this design feature was carried over even though the original charging handle was replaced by the T handle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:38:08 AM EDT
So is it fair to say the carry handle has outlived it's usefullness?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:46:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cross_Steel: So is it fair to say the carry handle has outlived it's usefullness?
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Since all M4's and a lot of the M16's are flattops, yes. But, if one is going to be issued an M16 or M4 with no optics then you might as well have the carry handle instead of a BUIS which could more easily be "screwed" up or caught on something and knocked off.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:47:57 PM EDT
Another thing that has been brought up is that the carry handle can reinforce the reciever without adding much weight. I think the handle looks better than one of the chopped, fixed rear sights. However, I agree the rifle should be short and light enough that carry all day by the pistol grip is not impossible.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 1:02:19 PM EDT
I have a Bushy flat-top, and my fingers won't even fit through the hole in the detachable carry handle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 1:27:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SHIVAN458: Military folks please correct if wrong, but don't most DI's instruct you that the carry handle ain't for carrying?
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While its been a while since I heard his sweet voice in the air, I recall words something to the effect of... "You aint John fucking Wayne and that aint your Grandmas purse. What the fuck is your hand doing in that area?"
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 1:42:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By curt: ...they thought that since they were making a straightline stock that they needed to move the sights up.
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BINGO. They thought right, too. Have you ever noticed that the straightline stock design forces yor head to sit up higher, thus making the sights also need to sit higher. There was no standardized rail design back then. Why have a stubby rear sight mount when you can make something practical with what you have to deal with? (and yes, it originally protected the charging handle) For those of you former military talking crap about it - have you forgotten how you were taught to high crawl?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:15:24 PM EDT
Everyone knows it's there because Matty Mattel designed it that way! LOL
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:36:16 PM EDT
I served after Vietnam , but I was an FO/RTO in a mortar platoon , and I carried my M16 by the handle in the field. ------------------------ ( THIS PICTURE IS NOT ME ) ------------------------ [img]http://www.mca-marines.org/Leatherneck/aprhill3.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:55:15 PM EDT
The charging handle was moved because "it got too hot on sustained fire, and also could not be operated while wearing Arctic gloves". (quoted from "The Black Rifle")
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 3:31:16 PM EDT
To this day, I can't carry an AR15/M16 by the carry handle. In boot camp and the fleet, it was beat into you to never "John Wayne it." Dan
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 3:48:05 PM EDT
I think the carry handle is just a feature added to better accomodate long-term and emergency carrying of the rifle. [i]Of course[/i] you would want to have your rifle in a more ready position in a combat situation, but I think the CH is more for long hikes behind the lines and carrying the rifle in addition to other items around basecamp and the like. While I've never been in combat, from everything I've read and heard, being ready to shoot the enemy is often a secondary consideration. Even while under fire, soldiers sometimes have to "forget" the enemy and, for example, pick something else up, carry an ammo can to an MG position, talk on a radio, and so on. A carry handle can help facilitate those things.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 3:52:16 PM EDT
I have picked up my rifle numerous times by the carry handle and really i find it an awkward carry. Rifles really need a sling to be efficient. A guy i went to 11B school with asked our DS why there was a carry handle when we're not supposed to carry it by it. He did about 400 push-up and low-crawled the sawdust field a couple times and never got an answer. At the end of training our DS sat us down and explained that the charging handle in the original design required a protective cover. Design for the rifle after the charging handle was moved wasnt changed, probably just because nobody had thought of it and because it was a handy way to mount the iron sights.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 5:46:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AJjer_Bullets: I think the carry handle is just a feature added to better accomodate long-term and emergency carrying of the rifle. [i]Of course[/i] you would want to have your rifle in a more ready position in a combat situation, but I think the CH is more for long hikes behind the lines and carrying the rifle in addition to other items around basecamp and the like. While I've never been in combat, from everything I've read and heard, being ready to shoot the enemy is often a secondary consideration. Even while under fire, soldiers sometimes have to "forget" the enemy and, for example, pick something else up, carry an ammo can to an MG position, talk on a radio, and so on. A carry handle can help facilitate those things.
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Never saw ANYONE carry their M16 by the carry handle in 7 years active duty. Everybody has a sling and that's how you carry it if not at ready.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:00:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AKsRule: I served after Vietnam , but I was an FO/RTO in a mortar platoon , and I carried my M16 by the handle in the field. ------------------------ ( THIS PICTURE IS NOT ME ) ------------------------ [url]http://www.mca-marines.org/Leatherneck/aprhill3.jpg[/url]
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I wonder if removing the sling was common in Vietnam. Hmmmm . . . it might catch on things in the jungle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:50:44 PM EDT
I was told by An SF cadre that we were not F*&^ing business men, and we were not carrying F&*^ing briefcases. The carry handle is not used in the military by anyone with an ounce of tactical sense. It may have been different back in the 70's, but it's not used now. Your weapon has to be ready to be used. If you're carrying it by the handle, it takes longer to get your rifle into position. How long do you think the firefight is going to wait for you to get ready? Oh, and Adam White, sorry to disagree sir, but when I went through basic, we didn't use the carry handle to high crawl. That said, when are we going shooting again? [:D]
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:37:14 PM EDT
I know Stoner had at least one "system" of guns built around some common modules, including some lmgs, and other belt fed versions. Is it possible that the handle is also a vestige of some of the modular planning? Back in the old days the military basically though of slings as over the shoulder carry and accuracy assists. It's somewhat easier to carry several by the handles than by slings unless you don't mind banging them around.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 9:33:50 PM EDT
As I recall on a documentary about Vietnam, it showed a GI running for cover and he was holding his rifle by the carry handle. The documentary was Vietnam-The 10,000 Day War.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:16:58 PM EDT
i use the carry handle....infact....those flat tops just arnt my thing. removable carry handles i'll buy...but if it doesnt have some sort of carry handle, either detachable or not, i wont take it.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:17:29 PM EDT
People can carry their AR15s however they want, but as posted earlier, it simply screams you were never in the military. Yes, I understand people in the military have grabbed their rifles by the carry handle, but they were never trained to do it. When I was in the only people who I saw ever grab their weapons by the carry handles were the admin pogues going out to shoot a qual, and knowing they would never pass. They still got jumped for it.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:52:05 PM EDT
The only times I have ever used the carry handle as such were casual, non tactical situations when the rifle was unloaded.Range bags in hand and other weapons slung, the handle can be used to advantage. The comments from former DI's in other posts remind me of one SSGT. Stobart at Ft. Knox in 1979. John "Duke" Wayne had died the day before and we were shooting the M60. He said "The only men in the world authorized to fire this weapon with one hand were Audie Murphy and John Wayne and they are both dead. I better not see any of you try it." Funny how those old things come to mind.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 5:27:14 AM EDT
carry handle = rear sight assembly
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 5:44:57 AM EDT
I'm not saying that using the carry handle is right or wrong. In fact, I think the stories about doing push-ups and getting chewed out because someone asked about the handle are amusing. I personnally don't carry my rifle by the handle but then again, I am not going to far with it either.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 2:49:39 PM EDT
I'm gonna put a sling on my briefcase.[:D]
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 5:49:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PaDanby: I know Stoner had at least one "system" of guns built around some common modules, including some lmgs, and other belt fed versions.
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The AR-10 was a system that you describe as was the Stoner 62 (and the later Stoner 63) and I THINK the Stoner 86 was also but I know very little about the Stoner 86.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 5:55:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Originally Posted By PaDanby: I know Stoner had at least one "system" of guns built around some common modules, including some lmgs, and other belt fed versions.
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The AR-10 was a system that you describe as was the Stoner 62 (and the later Stoner 63) and I THINK the Stoner 86 was also but I know very little about the Stoner 86.
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Edited to add: I just remembered that by 1963 when ArmaLite designed the AR-18 Stoner and Sullivan and Fremont - all the original AR-15 design team - had departed and the AR-18 had NO carry-handle. (Art Miller designed the AR-18.) Now ArmaLite did design the AR-18 and the later AR-180 to be shot with or without a scope but the scope mount was integral to every AR-18/AR-180 made. No carry handle.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 6:50:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2003 6:51:15 PM EDT by Dan0341]
I know Stoner had at least one "system" of guns built around some common modules, including some lmgs, and other belt fed versions. Is it possible that the handle is also a vestige of some of the modular planning?
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Here's a pic of a Stoner 63a. As I know it, none of the models have a carry handle as found on the M16. [img]http://home.ix.netcom.com/~brownhen/_uimages/stoner1.JPG[/img] Here's a pic of the Stoner 86. It was not a modular weapon system like the Stoner 63 and does not have a carry handle either. [img]http://home.ix.netcom.com/~brownhen/_uimages/stoner86.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 7:45:45 PM EDT
The true real purpose of the carry handle is its a fine place to clip the rifle to a carabiner while one uses hands to handle other parts while in the portajohn
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 8:22:02 PM EDT
Dan0341: None of the rifles you show have the same engineering issue that the AR15 faced - namely a cheekweld that placed the user's eye too high above the receiver. Why have a huge rear sight tower when you can incorporate it into something practical, and less snaggable?
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 9:05:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dan0341:
I know Stoner had at least one "system" of guns built around some common modules, including some lmgs, and other belt fed versions. Is it possible that the handle is also a vestige of some of the modular planning?
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Here's a pic of a Stoner 63a. As I know it, none of the models have a carry handle as found on the M16. [url]http://home.ix.netcom.com/~brownhen/_uimages/stoner1.JPG[/url] Here's a pic of the Stoner 86. It was not a modular weapon system like the Stoner 63 and does not have a carry handle either. [url]http://home.ix.netcom.com/~brownhen/_uimages/stoner86.jpg[/url]
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Both the AR-10 and AR-15/M-16 were mostly designed in the 1950's when about the only scopes on the battlefield were used by snipers. The FN FAL had a carry handle and with no thoughts of scopes the carry-handle likely seemed a good idea at that time. (The FN FAL, AR-10/AR-15/M-16(with carry handles) and the M-14 are all difficult to scope accurately. I heard just a murmer in December of 2002 that the Stoner 86 LMG might yet be produced. Nothing since. Other than the FARC, The '86 is the only gun Stoner ever designed for the 5.56/.223 round.
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 4:50:07 AM EDT
I was a participant in the Southeast Asia War Games. Granted I was there late in the game and we did more carrying then shooting. We often used the carry handle because we took the slings off because they made to much noise at night when you were trying to move about quietly. I was originally trained in boot camp on the M-14 and received M-16 training at the advanced infantry training school. Some folks have been discussing not using the carry handle on patrol, or standing post. This was true during heightened alert periods, however the vast majority of time is spent in endless walking and the carry handle was used just to give you some relief because it was cumbersome at best to carry a rifle using the sling when you have a full pack on your back. As a side note if I remember right it was easier to shot the M-16 with a gas mask on then it was the M-14. Keep in mind as a 20 year old Marine I did not dwell on the finer points of rifle design. I simply was preoccupied with keeping my body from spring leaks.
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 5:32:07 AM EDT
I once carried my M16A2 in boot camp by the "carrying handle" and ended up having to carry it by the bayonet lug for the rest of the march and standing on the line at attention with the rifle straight out in front of me. I was told the Army carries by the "handle", we don't. We're Marines. So here is my question. Was the bayonet lug ever ment to be doubled as a carrying handle? I don't thing so, but I will tell ya I have never carried it by the "carrying handle" ever since.
Link Posted: 8/2/2003 8:55:40 AM EDT
I've always disliked the carry handle and never carried it that way in twenty years of active service. From a cosmetic standpoint, I think it helps foster an image that the M-16 is a toy, because it looks like something a kid would come up with. While there may be a functional reason for having it, it doesn't appear to add anything significant to the combat capability, but then, I haven't tried to shoot irons from a flat top, either. Just because a DI threatens to skin you alive for carrying it by the handle, doesn't make it wrong, especially if it's your own life your defending. The biggest concern they probably had was it just doesn't look military to carry it that way. I too, took the carry handle off my FALs, except for the occasional photo op.
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 9:32:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Palm: I was a participant in the Southeast Asia War Games. Granted I was there late in the game and we did more carrying then shooting. We often used the carry handle because we took the slings off because they made to much noise at night when you were trying to move about quietly. I was originally trained in boot camp on the M-14 and received M-16 training at the advanced infantry training school. Some folks have been discussing not using the carry handle on patrol, or standing post. This was true during heightened alert periods, however the vast majority of time is spent in endless walking and the carry handle was used just to give you some relief because it was cumbersome at best to carry a rifle using the sling when you have a full pack on your back. As a side note if I remember right it was easier to shot the M-16 with a gas mask on then it was the M-14. Keep in mind as a 20 year old Marine I did not dwell on the finer points of rifle design. I simply was preoccupied with keeping my body from spring leaks.
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First congrats on keeping your body from springing leaks... [8D] I'm not sure what things were like then but in my experience, we were only issued weapons when we were training or when at high alert levels. Bad habits picked up during training have a nasty tendency to surface during a fight. So... at least in the units I was assigned to, carrying a 16 by the handle was a nono. There were exceptions. Our armorer found the handles... well... handy for lugging more than one weapon around.
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 11:54:45 AM EDT
While on a road march at Ft.Benning during Basic Training a guy was seen to be carrying his M-16A1 by the dreaded carry handle. One of the Drill Sergeants sauntered up to him and loudly asked "What do you think that is, a f***ing carry handle?" I'm not sure there was ever an answer to that question, but the point was made. I think that on the new M4's and A4's the detachable carry handle is pointless. First off, it's difficult to get your hand through the damn thing due to the decreased space. Secondly, the upper receiver should have an INTEGRAL rear sight (like a Daewoo or Galil) with rail space in front of it to mount optics. BTW, anyone know why no one made/makes an upper with an integral rear sight and no carry handle?
Link Posted: 8/4/2003 12:02:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2003 12:02:51 PM EDT by knightone]
Originally Posted By ABNAK: I think that on the new M4's and A4's the detachable carry handle is pointless. First off, it's difficult to get your hand through the damn thing due to the decreased space. Secondly, the upper receiver should have an INTEGRAL rear sight (like a Daewoo or Galil) with rail space in front of it to mount optics. BTW, anyone know why no one made/makes an upper with an integral rear sight and no carry handle?
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Not a factory made upper, but these guys can cut your existing A2 upper and install a rail in front of the rear sight: [url=http://www.shawnstactical.com/cqb.html]Shawn's Tactical Specialty[/url]
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