PAFOA - NRA Instructor Product Evaluation of TacOps AR15/M4 Charging handles
I have had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to use a MechArmor Defense TacOps-1 and a TacOps-CQB extensively over the past 8 or so months. It is in my opinion that MechArmor makes one of the best, and most under-rated charging handles in the industry today.
Starting with the construction, their charging handles are CNC machined from aircraft grade Alcoa 7075 T6 Billet aluminum. Again, they are machined from a billet. That is an important distinction. One of the things that immediately stood out to me was the roll pin. Upon contacting Van Barker for some information, I discovered that their charging handles feature a 42% larger roll pin than any other charging handle on the market, as well as having a 7 pound stainless spring that helps it to lock up tighter. This greatly reduces the potential for breakage. The steel latch design bottoms out against the inner T-handle body, which aids in reducing all stress applied on roll pin. Simply put, it is INCREDIBLY stout and well-built. In fact, you could almost say that it is over-engineered.
It is difficult to quantify how something "feels," and even more challenging to convey that feeling through a written medium. The charging handle feels extremely solid. Really, really solid. It isn't light, but then it isn't designed to be light. It's designed to be tough, and it is. Very tough. I have no problem admitting that I flat-out abused it during the 8 months I've used it, rarely using the bolt release. All charging and reloading was done with the handle itself, both strong hand as well as weak. No matter how hard I ran it, or how roughly I treated it, there was never a hiccup or moment of doubt that it wouldn't function.
TheTacOps charging handles are also ambidextrous, and in a unique way. The arm that you see extending out the back is the same piece that is used to release it on the front. The latch is one solid piece. Unlike the Raptor, which in my opinion is overly complicated, there is MUCH less to go wrong here. Simple designs are better. It's the same reason we love GLOCK pistols. Overall, I cannot speak highly enough of the charging handle. It's rare that I am this impressed with a product. It really is that good. My experience was mirrored by my PSP friend, who put it through its paces, as well. He was equally impressed. Of equal importance, I cannot speak highly enough of the company, nor of Van Barker. Mr. Barker was always available to answer questions, and is genuinely a nice guy. His company is American-owned and American-operated, and his products are American-made, featuring a lifetime warranty. It doesn't get any better than that, guys.
I encourage you to check them out:
ETA Disclosure: This was given to me by the company. That said, everything I shared was my true and honest experience with it.
NRA Instructor: Pistol, PPITH, PPOTH, RTBAV. RSO. Utah CFP Instructor.