SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle


Late last year, I had the opportunity to become better acquainted with silencers. I also learned about some of the nuances that come along with them. One of these is hot air.

When I started competing in service rifle, I realized sometimes some of the gas came back after the shot. It almost felt like the beginning of an eye exam. Some people I knew put silicone or other sealant around the charging handle to close the gap and prevent the gas from being blown back into their face. It was more annoying than anything, except with a freshly cleaned AR. That sent little bits of leftover lubricant splattering towards your face at high speeds for extra fun.

Before testing SilencerCo’s new Harvester EVO, I was warned shooting a gas gun with a silencer results in even more hot gas coming back towards your eyes. This is the price you had to pay for diminished recoil and sound. Expecting much worse, I was surprised when I finally took a few shots at how little gas actually came back. It was comparable to what I’d experienced previously, perhaps even less. Surprised, SilencerCo unveiled the secret: their gas defeating charging handle.

SilencerCo’s Gas Defeating Charging Handle (GDCH) creates a seal between the rear upper and lower receiver, eliminating the direct path of gas to the shooter’s face. This charging handle has an ambidextrous design and is easy and comfortable to pull back. Machined from aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum with a Type III hardcoat anodized finish, the secret lies in a gasket underneath the rear of the charging handle. This O-ring seal prevents blocks off gas from its most common exit point for a more comfortable shooting experience with AR-15 platforms. One of the benefits of shooting suppressed is the reduced recoil and sound, which makes shooting palatable and enjoyable for a wider variety of people, especially women and kids. Hot gas in the face alarmed me when I starting shooting as well as disrupted my thought process and ability to take good shots. I’m not alone. Though this may seem like just another charging handle, it represents an opportunity to continue to introduce more people to firearms without making a trade-off.

The GDCH retails for $114.00 and is available through SilencerCo’s website and local dealers. It comes with a spare O ring, but SilencerCo has gone one step further, providing instructions for users to create a DIY gasket if theirs is no longer blocking gases. Any dash 015 O-ring will work, though an O-ring with durometer 55A or 60A and made out of Fluroelastomer rubber performs best.