July, 18

AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly and Charging Handle: A Comprehensive Guide

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The AR-15 bolt carrier assembly and charging handle are two vital components of this popular firearm. These parts must work seamlessly together to ensure the smooth operation of your rifle. If you're a gun enthusiast, then understanding how the AR-15 bolt carrier assembly and charging handle work is crucial.

The AR-15 bolt carrier assembly is responsible for loading rounds into the chamber, extracting spent casings from the barrel and ejecting them out of your weapon. The charging handle is used to manually move the bolt back and forth, which loads ammunition into your magazine or clears malfunctions in case they occur. Both these components need to be in perfect working order to make sure that your rifle operates correctly.

If you want more information on these critical parts or have some questions about their function, then stay tuned! In this article we will go over everything you need to know about AR-15 bolt carrier assemblies and charging handles so that you can become an expert on this topic too!

AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly and Charging Handle: An Overview

When it comes to assembling or upgrading your AR-15, the bolt carrier assembly (BCG) and charging handle are two critical components that should not be overlooked. The bolt carrier group is responsible for loading rounds from the magazine into the chamber while also cycling spent casings out of the rifle. Meanwhile, the charging handle provides manual control over engaging and disengaging the BCG.

In this article, we will dive deeper into what makes a quality BCG and charging handle for your AR-15 build or upgrade. From comparing different materials to discussing benefits and tips for maintenance, we've got you covered.

Comparing Different Types of Bolt Carrier Assemblies

There are various types of bolt carrier assemblies on today's market with varying levels of quality. When selecting one for your AR-15 build or upgrade project, it is essential to consider several factors such as material type, durability level required based on intended use-case scenario(s), weight management needs etcetera.

Materials Used in BCGs

The most commonly used materials in constructing a BCG include:


Steel is an excellent material choice due to its strength properties which make it ideal for heavy-duty applications such as military usage scenarios where robustness is key.


On one hand titanium boasts lighter weight compared with steel which results in faster cycling times when shooting fast-paced sequences like target practice sessions where speed dialling may come into play; however some users complain about reduced durability compared with steel based alternatives because they may wear down quicker due porous microstructures within their construction process resulting from temperature changes during fabrication process.

Benefits of Upgrading Your Charging Handle

While often considered a minor component in comparison to other rifle parts like barrels or triggers ,the truth remains that upgrading your charging handle can provide significant benefits towards enhancing overall shooting experience .

Here are some notable advantages you gain by upgrading your charging handle:

  • Improved Ergonomics: The traditional Mil-Spec charging handles are relatively small and can be difficult to use in certain situations, especially when wearing gloves. Upgrading to a larger or ambidextrous charging handle can mitigate this problem and provide an improved grip for smoother operation.

  • Faster Cycling Times: A high-quality charging handle with extended latches allows for quicker engagement of the BCG, resulting in faster cycling times between shots.

Tips for Maintaining Your AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly

Proper maintenance of your BCG is critical towards ensuring optimal performance over time . Here are a few tips that we recommend implementing into your regular maintenance routine:

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning the bolt carrier assembly regularly will help prevent corrosion from building up on its surface which could decrease its lifespan considerably .


It is important to lubricate all moving parts thoroughly using quality grease or oil after cleaning , as this helps ensure smooth cycling operations by reducing frictional forces present within working mechanisms.


What is an AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly (BCG) and Charging Handle and what does it do?

The AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly (BCG) and Charging Handle are essential components of the firearm that work together to load, lock, fire, unlock, extract spent cartridges and eject them out of the chamber. The BCG is responsible for feeding rounds from a magazine into the chamber while also acting as a buffer for recoil. It consists of several parts including the bolt carrier itself which houses other important pieces such as the bolt that locks in place when firing.

On top of the BCG sits another crucial part called a charging handle (CH), which allows users to manually operate their weapon by pulling back on it causing it to engage with either side of your receiver's upper portion unlocking or locking your barrel in place depending on where you're at during use.

Both components work together seamlessly when cycling ammunition through an AR-15 rifle allowing you quick access to all functions without having any hiccups along your way making changing magazines or clearing malfunctions nearly instant!

Can I upgrade my current BCG?

Yes! Many brands offer upgraded versions of their stock parts. Upgrading these two components can greatly enhance performance just like swapping out any other component while creating more options tailored specifically towards personal preference such as weight reduction or improved reliability using metal coatings rather than standard finishes.

One popular upgrade option involves switching from traditional steel alloys used in many standard mil-spec designs over aluminum alloys known for providing similar durability but lightness creating less weight fatigue after prolonged use. Some manufacturers also include additional features like integrated gas vents which help manage excess gas pressure generated during firing cycles keeping maintenance down over time while ensuring smoother operations overall

How do I clean my AR-15 BCQ + CH?

Cleaning these two critical components should be done regularly following manufacturer recommendations included within product manuals themselves helping prevent premature failure caused by dirt build-up grime and general wear-and-tear.

Begin by using a cleaning solution such as Break Free CLP or Hoppe's No9 gun cleaner and your preferred cleaning brush to remove any debris from the BCG's various parts, including its gas rings which should be replaced often. Once this is complete, inspect all internal surfaces for corrosion or damage before reassembling.

For charging handle maintenance, use a small amount of lubricant on both sides of the part where it contacts with your upper receiver rails ensuring smooth movement when cycling through rounds without resistance while keeping dirt out making sure its always ready when needed most!

What type of AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly (BCG) + Charging Handle should I buy?

The best BCGs and CHs are dependent on personal preference but they generally fall into two categories: mil-spec designs that function as intended or premium models that offer upgrades for those willing to invest more money in their rifle.

If you're just starting out with shooting an AR-15 style firearm then consider purchasing either Mil-Spec models such as AIM Surplus' Nitride Finish which has been tested extensively by military personnel providing reliable performance at an affordable price point Alternatively there are higher-end brands like Bravo Company Manufacturing who offers enhanced features like chrome-lined barrels with aluminum coatings instead standard finishes creating less weight fatigue after prolonged use alongside other benefits if budget allows.

Ultimately it comes down to how you plan on using your weapon whether target practice hunting home defense etcetera – so make sure whatever option chosen fits accordingly meeting individual needs in addition overall quality durability reliability expected from these essential components!

Can I replace my AR-15 Charging Handle alone?

Yes! In fact replacing only the charging handle without touching bolt carrier assemblies can be done rather easily regardless of skill level required since they are simple drop-in replacements. This makes swapping between different styles (such as oversized ambidextrous handles) very quick allowing for customizing your rifle to meet the needs of different shooting scenarios.

To install simply pull back on the current charging handle then push out its front retaining pin exposing its internal components.

Carefully remove any remaining pieces before installing your new component aligning it with the receiver's rail system and sliding it in making sure not to over-tighten anything during assembly or lubrication which should take care of everything!

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