Here is the best AR15 charging handles to improve your factory rifle. It helps you fire your gun, ejects used shells and unfired rounds, and clears any jams. Most AR-15s come with a standard charging handle, which is fine for casual shooters.
But if you shoot a lot, you might find that a standard handle isn't enough. Plus, if you're left-handed, a standard handle can be hard to use, especially with a scope. So, upgrading your charging handle can be a great idea.
Here are our top five picks:
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Radian Raptor Ambi
This is the top pick for many AR15 owners. It's super sturdy, easy to install, and it's tactically efficient for both left and right handed users. Plus, it's lightweight and the grip texture doesn't slip.
Radian offers various color options and options for gas and piston driven receivers.
Aero Precision Breach
The Aero Precision BREACH® charging handle is a rugged, ambidextrous and affordable for most AR15 platforms. Its reinforced 7075-T6 aluminum bar ensures durability and strength for demanding tasks. The patent-pending dual spring system directs force into the robust charging handle body, allowing one-sided charging without compromising the part.
The large lever configuration provides an extended operating surface, ideal for users with larger hands. The ambidextrous controls are ergonomically designed for easy firearm charging, while the reduced chamfer angles and patent-pending lever mechanism enhance the handle's strength and resistance.
Additionally, the gas deflection shelf redirects gas flow when shooting suppressed, and the functional design aids in clearing carbon and debris.
BCM Gunfighter Large Mod 3B
The Bravo Company MFG charging handle is a high-quality accessory forged from 7075 T6 aluminum and features a hard coat anodized finish. It is available in two variations: GFH - Mod 3B with a large latch and GFH - Mod 4B with a medium latch. The Mod 3B latch extends about 1.14" beyond the main body, while the Mod 4B latch extends about 0.91". Even though its not ambidextrous, it's one of the most popular AR15 charging handle on the market.
This charging handle is compatible with Mil-Spec AR-15 Direct Impingement Weapon Systems but not adjustable gas keyed bolt carrier groups. It has undergone design refinements based on real-world combat operations feedback, optimizing its profile for easy manipulation and offering both ambidextrous and MIL-SPEC controls. The redesigned handle distributes energy effectively and is proudly manufactured in the USA.
There's a belief that ambidextrous charging handles are essential for left-handed shooters or for improved versatility. However, many right-handed shooters find standard charging handles perfectly functional and comfortable to use without needing an ambidextrous design.
Geissele Super Charging Handle
The Geissele Super Charging Handle (SCH) features a unique dual-contoured shape, reminiscent of the charging handle found on the M14, with radius cuts along both the x-axis and y-axis. Adding to its functionality, the lever's surface is checkered, providing a textured grip that proves invaluable when operating with gloves.
To effectively minimize gas blowback for users of short-barreled and suppressed weapon systems, the SCH® incorporates a raised rear lip. Furthermore, each component undergoes Type 3 Hardcoat anodization, and you have the option of choosing between the sleek black or the distinctive DDC (Desert Dirt Color) finish.
Precision Reflex (PRI) M84 Gas Buster
The Precision Reflex Gas Buster Charging Handle stands head and shoulders above the typical AR-15 charging handle, delivering exceptional quality and performance. It is an invaluable upgrade that deserves a place in any build. However, its true brilliance shines when it comes to safeguarding you from gas and debris while using a suppressor.
As suppressors tend to generate increased gas blowback, the Gas Buster takes charge, expertly deflecting a significant portion of that gas, oil, and grit away from the shooter's face and redirecting it to the right side of the weapon. Most suppressed AR15 users rely on the Gas Buster, and this accessory is an absolute must-have.
How To Pick The Right AR15 Charing Handle
When examining a charging handle, the first aspect a experienced user considers is its ergonomic design. Are the latches suitable for both left and right-handed shooters? Is the handle lightweight?
These straightforward criteria are crucial for evaluating whether the product aligns with my requirements. That's honestly the biggest criteria. The larger the latch is the better it is for the user to operate without shearing the handle against the upper receiver.
For suppressor users, Radian Raptor makes charging handle that features gas port along the charging handle bar to reduce gas blowback.
My AR-15 Charging Handle Doesn't Feel Smooth, What's Wrong?
If your charging handle feels stiff or has that grinding through sand paper, it's mostly because the upper receiver and the bolt carrier group need a bit of lubrication and deep cleaning.
Another tip to have a smoother bolt cycling experience is to get a nickel boron BCG.