Tuesday, August 27, 2019

BCL factory 102 Charging Handle - what a POS

I've been using the factory BCL 102 charging handle for handful of range trips and it started to really crap out on me.  Actually, I realized it was crap when I first got it and noticed that BCL staked the charging handle roll pin, something I'd never seen before from any other manufacturer.

My buddy had a spare Stag 10 charging handle he had laying around and gave it to me, so I had a back up in case my charging handle crapped out.


BCL 102 charging handle on the left (with the PRI latch) and the factory Stag 10 charging handle on the right.  You can see the hole for the roll pin is quite large with the BCL unit, and this was not from wear and tear, it was already that big from the factory.  It may have actually been two holes on this side, which is probably why they staked it.  You can clearly see the higher quality of the Stag unit on the right.  One neat, clean hole.


It looks like they drilled the hole a bit too close to the edge of the material.  The Stag unit on the right did not require staking.

Anyway, the charging handle obviously didn't come with the PRI latch, but since I was doing a clone inspired build with my rifle, I swapped out the factory latch with a PRI unit.  When I installed the roll pin back in, it was sketchy at best, lol!



After the last range trip, I was cleaning my rifle and the latch on the charging handle started to come loose.  I wiggled it and the pin fell right out, lol!  

Before I swapped the latch over to the new handle however, I had to fit the charging handle to the BCL upper receiver.  God knows why BCL had to make their charging handle proprietary because Stag managed to get their rifle non-restricted without screwing around with the specs.  With the Stag 10s, you can basically use any large frame AR charging handle.





It took some massaging to get an aftermarket charging handle to fit the BCL upper receiver, but once I removed enough material to get it to fit, I swapped over the latch.



With the Stag 10 charging handle, there was no mess, the pin went in with a bit of resistance (as it should be), and no worry about the pin walking out.  *$%&#@ BCL/NEA, lol!

I also noticed that the hammer pin for the rifle would walk out once in a while....actually twice, during dry-firing while at home.  In my mind, I immediately blamed BCL, thinking they probably drilled the holes too big or something.  Anyway, while I was working on the rifle, I decided to use anti-walk pins from my Mk12 build over to this rifle.  I'd never had pins walk out on any of my other rifles, so I figured I wouldn't need them in my Mk12 (more on this in the next post).


I also had a spare Stag 10 two stage match trigger laying around so I decided to swap out the Armalite Tactical Two-Stage trigger set in favor for the Stag unit.  I found the Stag unit surprisingly smooth for a factory trigger, and the break was clean and crisp.  The Armalite unit, though better than a standard mil-spec trigger, was slightly gritty and had a bit of creep.  I understand these units require a bit of break-in, but I figured since I had the better trigger doing nothing, I may as well use it.


The factory Stag 10 trigger breaks cleanly at 4.5lbs.

Anyway charging handle is sorted and I don't need to worry about it, and it shouldn't have any more issues with the pins walking out.  The rifle should be a bit more reliable.  Now I just have to figure out which mags will feed reliably in my rifle.  It seems that some of the mags that work in my BCL don't work that well in my buddy's BCL, and vice versa.




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