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charging handle

The handle used to charge the firearm, or open the breach to perform safety checks or to remove malfunctioned ammunition. In most cases the charging handle is directly attached to the bolt carrier and moves with it i.e. in the case of the AK47 for example. However, many modern rifles have opted for partially connected charging handles like that of the AR15, which can be used to open the breach and chargre the firearm but does not move while firing and does not lock into a rearward position with the bolt. Similar to this system is the HK charging handle arrangement, which may be locked in a rearward position, but does not move with the bolt during firing.

Pistols do not generally have charging handles, as the charging is done by 'racking' the slide, essentially making the whole top portion the charching handle. However in the case of race guns, optic mounting devices will often obstruct the slide, making an additional charging method necessary. In this case the charging handle is often a metal pin attached to the slide, and arranged around the optic arrangements of the individual user.

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