SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle Review

Gas Defeating Charging Handle
SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Given the large variety of AR-15 barrel lengths, gas system lengths, bolts, and buffer weights, it’s no surprise that there’s a wide range of gas pressures kicking back into the upper receiver.  This normally isn’t much of a concern to the shooter, so long as reliability is unaffected.  When you screw on a suppressor, however, backpressure is increased and can often lead to the shooter inhaling an obnoxious amount of pew exhaust.  The new SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle (GDCH) isn’t the first product to address this issue, but it may be the last you’ll need to hear about.

SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle
SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle

Before we get into hands-on testing, let’s cover tech specs as provided by SilencerCo.

  • ­­Uses a gasket seal to redirect blowback
  • ­­Machined from aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum
  • Type III Hard Anodize finish
  • Features ambidextrous design for intuitive manipulation and smooth charging
  • MSRP of $114.00
Gas Defeating Charging Handle
SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle

On initial inspection, the Gas Defeating Charging Handle looks just like any upper-echelon charging handle out there today.  Ambidextrous handles held with fat roll pins (to prevent shearing), the usual hard-anodized finish, the GDCH looks like most.  Flip it over and inspect the underbelly, and you’ll see what makes this different.  A U-shaped gasket lives where the rear flat of the charging handle mates up with the upper receiver.  Normally there’s a tiny gap there, enough for high-pressure gas to vent out, right next to your nose and eyes.

If you’ve shot a rapid string of fire from a suppressed rifle that runs on the gassy side, you’ll know why this is a problem.  If you haven’t, let me tell you why the GDCH and other products of its ilk exist.  Once that gas gets into your eyes, they can start watering to the point where it’s hard to see.  In your nose, it can induce coughing and sneezing when you least need to deal with that.  Some will say if a gun is that gassy, you should use a regulated bolt carrier or adjustable gas block.  Sometimes though, the guns runs extremely well the way it is set up, and the solution least likely to change how the gun operates is best.

Gas Defeating Charging Handle
Arrow indicated where there’s normally a small gap for gas to vent at you.

So how much does the GDCH reduce this obnoxious issue?  To find out, I took my most excessively gassy upper to the range.  I fired five rounds quickly, then took notes on how bad the gas was.  I swapped in the Gas defeating Charging Handle and did it again.  Five more rounds with a normal charging handle, and then another five with the GDCH.  I really didn’t need to have bothered taking notes, the result is pretty obvious.  With a stock charging handle, it’s a gassy mess.  The GDCH is like a good haircut, you don’t notice it because everything is as it should be.  Gas is vented out the ejection port, away from the shooter and the air he/she needs to breathe.

O-rings do wear out eventually, though in this application, it doesn’t seem like a severe wear point.  SilencerCo does include a spare gasket with every Gas Defeating Charging Handle.

It’s a simple review for a simple product.  You don’t need to dump a thousand rounds to figure out if it works or not, it’s evident immediately. If I had the ear of the tech at SilencerCo, I’d suggest that in V2.0, they add porting holes Á la Radian’s Raptor-SD charging handle.

Gas Defeating Charging Handle
SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle

As it stands, the Gas Defeating Charging Handle is an effective tool that can help reduce the primary drawback of shooting suppressed.  With an MSRP of $114, some may opt to keep breathing gas for a while or slap on some rtv silicone until the street price comes down to double digits.  If you’re building a rifle designed around suppressed shooting, I’d suggest you buy once, cry once.  Or cry every few gassy rounds!


About Rex Nanorum

Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fishery and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”

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TGP389

My wife complains constantly about pew exhaust…

musicman44mag

Gee, shooting with a suppressor, that might be nice, wouldn’t know.

OrGONEISTAN

Cam

Just move to Texas, they just added the suppressor freedom act hb 956. That said Texas suppressor are ok without fed approval. Course there is no immunity from federal prosecution. They need a test case. I’m sure it will be ok. They have pretty much left states marijuana legalization alone! Right?

Russn8r

Every R state should follow suit. Let the federales claim it’s “interstate” commerce & risk overturning a century of subversive, unconstitutional, bad faith SupCt decrees.

Wild Bill

You forgot impact on interstate commerce. See U.S. v Heart of Atlanta Motel.

TexDad

Ah yes, the old commerce-clause-means-we-control-literally-everything argument. That one needs to fall, or the Tenth Amendment has no meaning whatsoever.

Wild Bill

I agree and I hope that the S. Ct is looking for a limit on the use of the Commerce Clause. I hope that the Texas silencer statute proves to be a vehicle to limiting Congress’ abuse of the Commerce Clause!

Russn8r

So now you’re talking out of the other side of your mouth. Nice.

Wild Bill

Could it be possible that you misunderstood.

Russn8r

You’re so CUTE when you’re being coy. Not.

DDS
Russn8r

Nice. I suspect the federales would lose on Texas intrastate silencers & thus lose a lot of unconstitutional power. Wild cards: John Obamacare Roberts & Trump’s 3 Blue-Light Federalist Society picks: All voted for The Big Steal.

Wild Bill

Good case. I’m keeping it. Five to four on what should have been 9-0. Thanks

Russn8r

“That one needs to fall, or 10A has no meaning.”

Yep, nor does the Commerce Clause itself, nor the word “interstate”.

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2020/07/17/three-supreme-court-cases-that-twisted-the-commerce-clause/

Russn8r

Really? You support that subversive decision which relies on earlier subversive decisions?

Everything “impacts” everything else.

Coming out of the closet again? I suppose you’ll miss Roe v Wade too.

Wild Bill

I can see that my writing has not been clear. A new case would have to overrule those subversive decisions based upon subversive decisions; and thus limit Congress’ abuse of the Commerce Clause.

Russn8r

Oh, give it a rest. You were trying to start something, as usual. You can’t help yourself.

Wild Bill

One does not try to “start something” by taking the fault upon themselves. You misunderstand, and if it is not attributable to my writing, then I must look for some other reason.

Russn8r

Right. I believe it when you stop stalking me altogether.

musicman44mag

You are right but there is more to it than that. How about sanctuary states for illegals and here in OreGONE all drugs are legal to possess and take so long as you don’t have enough that it looks like you are selling them and you can’t make them. They leave that for the illegal MS13 drug cartels in Klamath Falls that the ATF, DOJ and other agencies are afraid to go in and clean house. I have read article’s about the problem but I haven’t seen anything about them cleaning them up and we all know how these alphabet… Read more »

musicman44mag

Is it legal without a federal permit?

Ope

It’s still an NFA item requiring b/g check and $200 tax stamp.

TexDad

Would be nice to see a comparison between this and the PRI, Radian, and Griffin offerings. This one seems excessively pricey, and if the others have comparable effectiveness, avoiding the consumable gasket seems desirable.

Wild Bill

I think that writers don’t like to make direct comparisons among similar products because it is bad for business. But there is a magazine that does that. I can’t think of its name just now.

TexDad

I think you’re right, but it’s a shame, especially when the author makes statements like “[The GDCH] isn’t the first product to address this issue, but it may be the last you’ll need to hear about.”

Really? PRI has had this covered, at least for righties, since 1999.

Wild Bill

He did kind of open the door on direct comparison with others.

Wild Bill

Don’t think that my comment was a personal criticism of you. I was merely guessing at the reasons why such articles are not written. Thank you for making an explanation. I am always impressed with an author that is willing to answer his readership.

Cam

“A U-shaped o-ring lives where the rear flat of the charging handle mates up with the upper receiver.”
This is a u shaped gasket with a round cross section. Not an o-ring, o rings are torus which is donut shape. hence O which is for the circular cross section and ring which is for the round shape.

Ope

This article has reminded me to order a charging handle to the replace the ambidextrous one on my AR10. I just don’t care for them.