When a firearm platform has been around for a little while, major fixes to its shortcomings are addressed. When a platform has been around as long as Eugene Stoners AR-10/15 has, the big issues have been taken care of and new products offered for that line are either designed to add functionality or to correct issues in the small-to-medium range.
Vid courtesy of Falcon 37’s youtube channel
Such is the design of Falcon 37’s product, the Habu. It is a combination charging handle and cheek rest, but advertises an improvement that is more than the sum of its parts. Lacking the traditional charging handle latch, the shooter places the off/weak/less abled hand on top of the Habu and racks it much like a pistol slide, using gross motor skills. Gas venting out the rear of the upper receiver is ostensibly done underneath the cheek riser portion of the Habu, away from the shooter’s eyes. The cheek riser not only raises the shooters ear to proper vertical level for most magnified optics, it also should allow a consistent and comfortable cheek weld when using PDW stocks. The whole operation can be done with either hand in true ambi-fashion. These are the advertised benefits, which I am excited to put to the test.
The Habu is a two-piece affair. The 7076 T6 aluminum charging handle portion, and the polymer cheek rest portion. The two are joined together with a pair of screws. There are a couple extra holes so you have two options when it comes to how far back or forward you want the cheek riser portion to rest. Assembly is caveman simple. Put synthetic piece on aluminum piece, insert two screws with a dot of loctite. Done.
So far I’ve tried this out on a couple of rifles for dry-fire practice. My first range day was cut very short by an (unrelated) parts failure that sidelined my test upper. I’ll have another (much longer) range day after SHOT show, but here’s how I’ve felt about this so far.
- It takes some getting used to. Not only the “pistol racking motion” used for charging your rifle, but the cheek positioning. It may well be a faster, more ergonomic method of running the gun, but as with any product that changes your habits, it takes a little time.
- It’s more comfortable on a PDW, maybe. I’ve tried this with two different PDW stocks, the NEA CCS and the Safety Harbor KES. It is nice to have an improved cheek rest over the near nonexsitant one provided by a PDW stock, but when using the NEA CCS the Habu can possibly run into the front of the “buttpad” portion of the stock, preventing full cycling of the rifle. The KES had no such issue.
3. It’s fast. I’m still working on practicing to get the consistency needed, but when it runs the way I want, the Habu runs fast and comfortably.
With a product like this, dry fire practice is needed and live fire testing is essential. I like the way the Habu is thought out. After some more range time I’ll let you know how I think the design works on the end-user level. The Habu runs $89.99. If you have hands-on experience with the Habu, sound off in the comments below.
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