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 Gears of Guns » .30 caliber » Mecharmor Defense Systems TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

Mecharmor Defense Systems TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

As I discussed in the review of my Windham .308 AR, I am someone who likes to be able to get as much meat on a charging handle as possible. I want to be able to grip and rip when I am running my rifle and the milspec charging handle is just too small in my opinion. When I have to pull back a .308 bolt carrier group, I want to be able to do that without losing grip.

The old saying of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” came to mind a lot during my research phase of changing the charging handle on Windham .308 AR. My AR-15 (AWS ZA-15) came with a Mecharmor TacOps-1 charging handle.  I fell in love with it the first time I racked the bolt back. I have used the Mecharmor charging handle in my training and I have committed the feel to memory. As I said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It was obvious that I wanted to get the same charging handle for the Windham .308 AR as I have on my AWS ZA-15.

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review
(Left to Right: Mecharmor TacOps-1 .308, Milspec Windham .308, Mecharmor TacOps-1 5.56)

There is no doubt that the Mecharmor TacOps-1 charging handle beats the Milspec handle by a mile when it comes to size.

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

You can see even with one hand I have a lot of real estate to grip the charging handle and pull back on the bolt

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

Having the Leupold scope mounted where it is normally, you would have to use two fingers to rack the bolt with the milspec.

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

Gears Of Guns | Mecharmor TacOps-1 Charging Handle Review

The Mecharmor TacOps-1 is an ambi charging handle.

If you like the compact size that a milspec charging handle has to offer then the  Mecharmor TacOpst might not be for you.  It could create more snag points for when you are using the sling, but I have never had a problem with snagging, so that is just a theory.

Both of the Mecharmor TacOps-1, the .308 and the 5.56  are just under $70  which is on par with most ambi charging handles.

I am interested in doing some comparison testing with other brands of charging handles which might be something I will try to work on this year. Keep watching for any follow up.


RomeoTangoBravo Product Evaluation Nov/16/2011

IRomeo Tango banner 1ndependant professional evaluations of TacOps-1 Charging handle. For how often charging handles are used they are often overlooked and ignored. Many people just think they will have to make due with what is provided with the rifle. Some take the time to research other charging handle options to better suit their needs. A few of those folks end up purchasing an after-market charging handle that is often better than the standard. But there were some folks that thought they could make a better one. Out of frustration came an idea and with aerospace engineering know how and true combat experts the Mech Armor Defense TacOps-1 Charging Handle was forged.



CNC Machined 7075 T6 Aluminum Billet
Matte Black Anodized
7 lbs. Spring to Prevent Blowback during Suppressed Fire
Ergonomic, Ambidextrous Design
T-Handle is twice the size of a standard handle
Available for 5.56 or 7.62

Used by Police and Military
TacOps-1 Ambidextrous Tactical charging handle is the newest and most effective ACTUAL combat innovation that has been designed specifically for the AR platform in some time. Not just another accessory; but a well thought out concept that dramatically changes and enhances the way your weapon is deployed, especially with optics on-board!After watching our Charging Handle Comparison Video; Mech Armor Defense contacted us to see if we wanted to run their TacOps-1 ambidextrous charging handle through the ringer.

They were very confident in their product and stated that their design had been tested and selected by several Police and Military Units along with independent reviews from folks; such as Paul Howe and Todd Jarrett. How was this handle not on our radar? We had to see one for ourselves!

First Impressions    Bullet and handle

When the TacOps-1 arrived my first reaction was that the handle was huge! I wasn't sure what to think of it. It was defiantly solid, being built of 7075 Billet, I expected as much. At first glance the design seems complex, but on closer inspection it is caveman simple. A larger roll pin for increased surface area, a large one-piece latch that operated consistently and smooth, and finally a stainless steel 7 lbs. spring for strong lock-up. As an added feature the latch is designed to bottom out internally against the handle body restricting latch travel and thereby relieving roll pin pressure. Then I saw a glint of 'gold'! I had no idea what it was or its intended purpose, so I called the TacOps-1's engineer. He told me that it was a brass insert that accomplishes three things:

1.Stabilizes the spring travel

2 .It's domed and acts as a self lubricant to the mating surface of the steel latch for smooth action

3.Fits inside the spring hole to block debris from entering

The majority of ambidextrous handles on the market seem to be an after-thought. A manufacture will take an existing OEM charging handle and 'make it work' from either side. The TacOps-1 is different; you can tell right away that it was designed from the ground-up to be operated from either side more efficiently and with fewer parts than any other competitor. Was this the one charging handle to rule them all?

The Test                                     Top view of handle

I headed out to my local range to put some rounds through the TacOps-1 to see how it operated. Being mid-November in Wisconsin I was wearing gloves to guard my hands from the cold and did not realize it right away, but the TacOps-1 was a dream to operate with gloves. The large T-Handle lends itself to easy manipulation with or without gloves.

I first loaded three magazines with a mixture of live and dummy rounds to force the need to clear a 'malfunction'. I did this from the right and left shoulder to see if the operation of the handle changed from either position. I didn't encounter a single issue working the handle from either shoulder (see video of demonstration).

The first three magazines were fired using a red-dot, but Mech Armor says that this handle really shines once you have a scope over it. I don't have any large optics but I still mounted a scope to see if I would be able to operate the TacOps-1 as well as before. Even with an optic over the t-handle I had no trouble clearing any malfunctions. Also worth noting was that at no point did I knock my knuckles into the forward assist; which I do repeatedly with other designs.

AR15 handle comparrison pictureAn issue that plagues several ambi charging handles is that in an attempt to design a truly ambidextrous handle engineers end up adding more parts (springs, pins, handles, etc.). This increases chances of a part failing, especially once debris is introduced. Not the TacOps-1; the section you engage on the rear of the t-handle and the latch in the standard location are the same piece. I wanted to see what would happen once debris was added to the equation. What I found was the TacOps-1 runs like a CHAMP! Remember that brass fitting from earlier? It ensures that sand, rocks, and mud stay away from the spring hole ensuring that, even in the worst possible conditions, you will still be able to charge your weapon.

Conclusion        TacOps handle rear view

While our tests may not have been as strenuous as Colt Arm's Engineering Laboratory (tested in 2010; it passed all of them); it has proven to be a 'to-hell-and-back' design.

It is my firmly held belief that once the word gets out; the TacOps-1 will be the most sought after charging handle on the market. I don't think I will ever use another charging handle again and I'll be able too because the TacOps-1 is guaranteed for life.

 You will receive a call from the folks at Mech Armor to ensure all of your needs are being met and don't forget to tell them RomeoTangoBravo sent you! Independant professional evaluations of TacOps-1 Charging handle.




Independent professional evaluations of TacOps-1 Charging handle


 By Gary Graham , July - 2012

Details of the Recommendation:

"We had tested MechArmor's AR15/M16/M4 .223 Charging handle in 4 out of 5 of our AR15 rifles in 5.56mm, and 6.5mm and the MechArmor charging handle performed outstandingly. Our 5th AR is an AR57 in 5.7mm and not designed to use any normal AR15 components, such as the charging handle, but if it had, the MechArmor charging handle would have outperformed any of the charging handles we have ever tested.

The Weaponeer Channel tests products over a length of time to insure there are no wear problem, and the product continues to work as indicated, and it has performed above our expectations and as a result, we are currently in the production phase of a product review video - [for the TacOps-1].

The results of the testing?   Weaponeer website

The MechArmor AR15 .223 charging handle went above just creating yet another AR15 charging handle, they actually redesigned it, and greatly improved it.

Fit and finish, was and is above all the other charging handles we have tested because MechArmor TacOps-1 has greater tolerances and fits much better, and for suppressor use, the tighter fitting parts means there is much less suppressor blowby making it far more comfortable to shoot.

We have so far only tested the AR15 Charging handle, but if they spend as much time designing any part as they did with the charging handle, then I expect nothing less than outstanding quality.

TacOps handle in Stag Arms rifleThe Weaponeer Channel does not pull a product from a box and do a quick review. as a master armorer on this series of rifles we take our time and test on a number of rifles and upper receivers to insure that when we say that we recommend a product, that it will in no way damage our reputation by being anything less than the quality and performance we state. It takes greater testing and takes time, but our viewers, subscribers, and members know that when we review it, they can trust that review.

I currently have one MechArmor charging handle, and it's installed in my most trusted personal rifle, and I would stake my life on that rifle.  "What more could anyone say about a product or a company."

Weaponeer Independent professional evaluations of TacOps-1 Charging handle. Concluded...


Command Magazine - Tactical Unit - Travis County TX Professional Evaluation of TacOps-1.

Tactical Wire Review of TacOps-1 Tactical Wire Review of TacOps-1[/caption]


Command Magazine Travis County TX. Tactical Unit

Command Magazine
Travis County TX.
Tactical Unit



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