1) the charging handle is held into the receiver in it's closed position by a small spring-loaded catch which engages a mating recess. then the charging handle is manually drawn rearward to pull the bolt and bolt carrier assembly back, a cartridge pops into place, and it is then released which allows the big spring to push the cartridge into the chamber and lock the bolt into battery. you are all with me so far, right? BUT what happens if the small spring-loaded catch on the charging handle does not engage the receiver recess, you sight the rifle using normal "nose to charging handle" practice, and then you fire the weapon? will the unlocked charging handle be pushed rearward (ostensbily into your face) by the drag of the bolt carrier assembly on the charging handle?
2) how do the pros "silently" charge their weapon? if, by surprise or stupidity, you are caught without a cartridge in the chamber, how would you get your rifle into "stand to" mode with the least amount of noise?
A) would you slowly draw the charging handle back, lock the bolt back, gently click the charging handle forward into it's locked position, and then wait to hit the bolt release immediately prior to firing? (risky, i know -- if the rifle fails to feed the first round from the mag you're gonna need your sidearm in a big God damn hurry!)
B) would you draw the charging handle back, then ease the charging handle forward by resisting the pressure of the big spring, avoiding the "slap" of the normal "let go of the charging handle" method, and then use the forward assist to ensure that the round is seated and the bolt is locked in place? (risky twice over -- if the first round doesn't strip off the full magazine easily OR if the bolt is not fully locked into battery you're again gonna need your sidearm in a big God damn hurry!)
C) (your solution goes here)
thanks for any thoughts on my two questions!
1. To allow the bolt to lock in place, the charging handle has to be all the way forward into the locked position. Also, even if the charging handle latch is broken, most people shoot with their nose against the handle, and this light pressure is more than enough to hold the handle in place. The charging handle only catches the front of the key to charge the weapon/pull back on the carrier. When the carrier comes back, the only carrier pressure against the charging handle may be the slight friction of the carrier key as it moves down the U-channel of the charging handle. 2. To silently load a round, pull back on the charging handle, then slowly ride the handle forward, at the same time reach up with your right thumb, and softly give the FA a few jabs to get the round out of the mag, and lock the bolt. On a broken-in rifle, the FA is only needed twice, and if you’re good, an ant's fart will be louder than you charging the rifle.