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skemler May 28, 2003 10:12

TAPCO Charging Handle: Dimensions Incorrect?
I just purchased a U.S. made TAPCO charging/cocking handle for my Imbel kit. Since installing it, I have noticed that when the slide (bolt carrier) comes forward, the detent plunger on the cocking handle does not engage the recess (hole) on the receiver. The plunger rides on the high spot just before the recess. I have to manually push the cocking handle farther forward to get the detent to snap in place.

I have measured the relative location of the cocking handle stud edge to the tip of the detent plunger on the original Imbel and the TAPCO part. Imbel: ~0.695", TAPCO: ~0.660. When the slide is forward in the receiver, the distance between the edge of the cocking handle detent hole and the edge of the location where the cocking handle stud contacts the slide is ~0.690"

This means that on the cocking handle, the edge of the detent plunger and the edge of the stud needs to be at least 0.690" for the detent to seat properly. The original Imbel part meets this requirement and functions properly. It seems the distance between these locations on the TAPCO part is too close (0.660"<0.690") and in fact will not seat properly in the detent (the plunger is not pushed far enough forward since it is placed closer to the stud).

Has anyone else tried one of these TAPCO cocking handles and had the same problem? I don't think it will have an influence on the operation of the rifle, however, it just isn't right! The cocking handle should SNAP into the detent after I cycle the action.


justashooter May 28, 2003 10:27

yes, they are shit.

W.E.G. May 28, 2003 12:37

On one of mine, the handle likes to shoot just a bit (maybe .050) past the detent sometimes. So, to engage the detent, I have to push it back to get it to "snap" into the detent.

Is this a big issue? Not in my opinion. I recognize that the handle is made of aluminum (not steel). It is designed differently (I love being able to install/remove it without using roll pins and punches). Arguably there are at least some "cosmetic" functional shortcomings, such as we mentioned. On a more serious issue, be sure to use Loctite on the two screws. The more you take them on and off guns, the more those aluminum threads will become loose-fitting. Some owners have epressed frustration when the screws vibrated out at an inopportune time. I haven't experienced this. But, I can surely see how it could happen. With all due respect to justashooter, I've still been very satisfied with the way these handles have performed.

jon@tapco May 28, 2003 15:10

Thanks for taking the time to let us know guys. The problem has been corrected. We discovered that the new lug operates with the majority of the receivers available today; however, some of the manufacturers had small variations that prevented the charging handle from operating properly. We will be mailing out replacement lugs to everyone who purchased a charging handle as well as a self addressed stamped envelop. Please place the old lug in the envelope and return it to us. The new lug will assure proper function in any FAL receiver and will be installed on every charging handle leaving the building from here forward. Thanks for your time and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

skemler May 28, 2003 18:57


When you mention "lug", do you mean the steel stud that protrudes through the receiver and contacts the slide?

If so, I don't see how replacing this part will solve the issue that I am facing. My problem is that the distance between the detent plunger and the farthest edge of the lug are too close...need to be about 0.040" - 0.050" further apart.

The lug I have is already as big at the hole it goes through, so you could only make it more narrow (can't be larger than the hole it goes through)...which would make my problem worse.

In my case, it seems that the holes in the charging handle for the lug and the plunger are placed too close.

The issue that Jeter describes could be fixed with a more narrow lug (~0.050" removed from the edge that contacts the slide).

Other than this minor(?) issue, I am very happy with the TAPCO charging handle. As Jeter describes, it's unique features make it nice to work with, and it looks great!

Thanks for the support.


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