SHOT Show Delivers the Forward Charging AR

Operating in the same manner as a pump-action shotgun, the Forward Charging AR from Bilson Arms moves the control that allows you to manually cycle the bolt from the extreme rear of the upper receiver out onto the handguard. A thumb tab locks it in its forward-most position and, like a typical rear charging handle, it doesn’t reciprocate while firing.

I played with it a bit at the show and it appears to function well. I locked the bolt to the rear and used the bolt release to drop it, and the charging handle rocketed forward and locked into place. I was concerned that its mass might slow down the bolt drop but it seemed solid. There’s very little wobble and it doesn’t bind.

The pump is cycled all the way to the rear in the photo above.

And in this photo, all the way forward.

I’m not sure I’m sold on it conceptually — whether it’s an improvement or not to the standard layout — but it seems to work and it’s well made.


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