When a writer/reviewer sees dozens of variations of the same part, it becomes clear that there are two major design theories at play when trying to develop a newer and better mousetrap. 1. Engineer the crap out of a part or 2. simplify it as much as possible. This reminds me of a quote often attributed to Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Taking the lowly Ar15 charging handle into this light, we see many examples of extended, bladed handle latches attempting to improve performance and comfort. Then comes the opposite number, the Sintercore Tripwire.
(Quick note: I’ve heard some are under the impression this is a rip-off of a similarly designed charging handle. I’ve looked into the matter and have seen the news releases announcing the Tripwire that were months ahead of the competitor’s initial announcement.)
Looking at the design of the Tripwire (specifically the latch), it seems simplicity was in the mind of creator Neal Brace. The weakest point of the charging handle has been eliminated. There are no roll pins holding in pivoting latch handles. Rather, the latch that engages the side of the upper receiver is a piece of spring-loaded, engineering-grade thermoplastic. All that is needed is rearward pressure on either side of the charging handle, making it truly ambidextrous. The handle is made from 7075-T6 aluminum and is both type III class 2 anodized as well as given a shot of Cerakote Elite series thin film ceramic.
On to the next benefit: Much like the Radian Raptor-SD charging handle (and a few others), the Tripwire is looking to improve shooter comfort when shooting suppressed. This is where the SCV comes from, “suppressor compatible version”. The Tripwire has holes drilled along the length of the charging handle, as well as a 90° port near the rear of the handle. All this is meant to vent excess gas away from the shooters face. While not a huge problem normally, with an already overgassed gun running a suppressor, the resulting toxic fog can quickly cause the eyes of a shooter to tear up, inhibiting vision.
Last bonus? It’s super light, around 1 flat ounce. If it works well, it’s going in the ultralight AR project.
So we’ve talked design this, and theory that. How does it run? The answer: very well. The latch latches. The handle holds firm, even if you buttstroke the ground the handle stays in place. Running the Tripwire with either hand is equally easy and requires no more pressure on one side than it does the other. It took a quick minute to get used to the feeling of having neither a latch to depress nor a pivoting handle. It feels solid and dependable, not flimsy or weak.
How about that gas? I loaded up a mag of the cheapest, most corrosive Russian ammo I had left in my stash. After dumping a full mag (suppressed), I looked around in wonder that I hadn’t been completely gassed out. It makes a major difference in cutting down the amount and severity of crap the shooter has to breathe in.
So it’s lighter, simpler and just as functional as the other ambi/suppressor friendly charging handles on the market. So where’s the catch? The price? Nope. Although the market has shown it will bear $100 charging handles, this one runs $59.98 (currently with a free scope lever as a cross-promotion). 30% lighter than a Raptor-SD, 30% cheaper. Definitely, check this one out!