ADCOR Defense is the manufacturer of an AR described as the “world’s only AR platform with a non-reciprocating, ambidextrous forward charging handle.” Here’s a look at it on the range. A more detailed video with an excellent (and simply put) explanation of the weapon system is below. I think it’s worth watching, particularly for the everyman, as it explains some fundamentals common to all rifle systems.
ADCOR’s A-556 Elite rifle utilizes a ringless, gas-driven piston that is built into the top of the forward rail system so it doesn’t touch the barrel; it also has an adjustable cyclic rate and no carrier tilt and a free floating barrel. The non-reciprocating forward ambi charging handle (meaning from the side, far forward of traditional charging handles). The charging handle detaches without special tools and returns to locked position once used (folding forward into a recess) and can be easily switched from side to side. It only engages when the weapon is charged or cleared. The rail system is also interesting, as it is “button operated” for attach/detach. it is available with barrels in 10.5 in., 14.5 in., 16 in., 18 in. and 20 in. lengths.
The A-556 GI Elite is a gas impingement rifle with similar features to the Elite; it uses a multi-position gas regulator with removable gas tube, is available with or without the ambi forward charging handle. It is available with 16in. or 18in. barrels.
I haven’t personally had an Elite on the range, so I cannot attest to how it performs. I like what I’ve seen so far, though my biggest concern after 2 1/2 decades of “traditional” charging handle use would be habit and muscle memory. I suspect I’d have difficulty (under stress) remembering to go forward to clear a stoppage – that’s a training issue, though, and nothing to do with what seems to be a very well designed rifle.
by David Reeder