Pro-Defense Tactical Fast Pull Pro Review

TacticalFastPull_001Optics blocking the controls on a firearm isn’t a new problem.  Shooters who have spent time behind a scoped lever- or break-action rifle are probably familiar with hammer extensions that let them manipulate the hammer when it is blocked by the scope.  As the popularity of flattop AR-platform rifles has grown over the past decade or so, allowing optics and accessories to be mounted, this problem has manifested there as well.

A good, by-the-book overhand grip on the charging handle can easily be impeded by rail-mounted optics.  Getting an index finger on the latch and pulling from one side might work if you can get to it, but it can also apply undue lateral stress on a stock charging handle designed for the overhand grip.  If you are using your scoped AR for hunting in cooler weather, wearing gloves can add additional complications into the mix.

There are charging handles with extended latches, but they are often quite expensive and are overbuilt to solve problems that many users just don’t need to solve.  That is why the Tactical Fast Pull from Pro-Defense caught our eye at SHOT Show 2015.  The company founder was at the booth to show us the Tactical Fast Pull (shown above) and Tactical Fast Pull Pro.  Following the show, he sent us the Pro kit to try it out for ourselves.

TacticalFastPull_026The Tactical Fast Pull Pro is a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that simple device that fits onto any stock charging handle.  The original model consists of two halves – one of which acts as the “hinge” side while the other is the latch side – a loop extension and a pin that holds it all together.  The Pro model includes the original model plus a T-handle that can be installed in place of the loop.

Installation is simple and takes only a few seconds:  place one half over the charging handle, pick your extension and put it in place, put the other half over the other side of the charging handle, and place the pin to lock everything in place.

Tactical Fast Pull ProAs far as the intended functionality goes, the Tactical Fast Pull excels in both configurations.  It brings a big, fat place to grab the charging handle well out from under the scope.  Manipulating the charging handle with a finger – even a gloved finger – through the loop is easy, as is charging the rifle using a standard two-finger overhand grip on the T-handle.

But that is not all that the Fast pull does.  Not only does it allow shooters to manipulate the charging handle around your optics, it also adds some “bonus” functionality:  one-handed operation and ambidexterity.  Since the Fast Pull pivots on one side and pulls the latch on the other side, it applies force pretty much evenly on both sides of the stock charging handle.  FastPullTsmThis lets shooters grab the extension with one hand (finger) and pull back on a single point without torquing it to one side.  I have never personally seen a stock charging handle fail from one-handed use, but several companies are raking in the money for beefy parts that solve that crisis – so it is apparently a concern for many but it shouldn’t be a problem when using the Fast Pull.

The ambidexterity “bonus” feature should be self explanatory:  since the Tactical Fast Pull is working the charging handle latch for you, you can get a finger from either hand through the loop or get an overhand grip on the T-handle with either hand and work the charging handle.  There is, however, a caveat to one-handed ambidextrous use.  The handle is offset and pulls from the left side, allowing almost any rearward pull to unlock the charging handle.  However, when using the T-handle, we were able to grab the right arm of the T and pull back-and-left, which did not allow it to unlock the latch.  To be fair, though, we had to try pretty hard to create that scenario with the T-handle and we were not able to duplicate it with the loop handle.

However, one thing to consider is that, unlike charging handles that extend out to the side, the Fast Pull’s extension is rearward – sitting atop the buffer tube or stock.  This configuration is fine in most cases when optics with longer eye relief are used, but is something that should be noted if you use a nose-to-charging-handle cheek weld with shorter eye relief optics, as it will likely interfere.

FastPullRaisedOne other minor nit to pick is that the latch-side of the Fast Pull is slightly taller than the top of the rail.  If you use certain folding BUIS that  come down to or past the top of the rail (Troy), they may interfere with the charging handle operation when they are folded down.

We cycled the action of our test AR several hundred times (boy, was that fun!) with each handle with no discernible damage or wear to the Fast Pull.  The entire thing seems to be sturdy and well made.  Cranking on the T-handle didn’t seem to phase it, even with much more force than would be used to cycle the action.  I would guess that a stock charging handle would break or deform before the T-handle.  And although the loop handle is made from relatively rigid polymer, I could flatten it, spread it out, and even twist it 180° with no noticeable damage – no breaks, cracks, or even discoloration at stress points.

If there were any suggestions we would make for the product, it might be to figure out a way to swing the handle out of the way to allow a more forward cheek weld and to figure out a way to keep the latch side from protruding above the rail.

At $15 for the original model and $20 for the Pro model, the Fast Pull looks like a solid, inexpensive way to solve the issue of not being able to easily manipulate your charging handle when optics block it.  I like the loop handle even without optics since it makes provides easy ambidextrous access to the charging handle even in heavy gloves (and temps been sub-zero here several times this week with wind chills around -30°F, so our gloves are definitely out).

To learn more about the Tactical Fast Pull Pro and other Pro-Defense products, visit their website at www.Pro-Defense.com.  Keep an eye out for first thoughts on their GunSlinger Sling Keeper coming soon.

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