July, 15

AR-15 Side Charging Handle: Discover the Best Options in 2021

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When it comes to AR-15 rifles, the charging handle is a crucial component. It's responsible for chambering rounds and clearing malfunctions. The traditional location of the charging handle on an AR-15 is at the rear of the rifle, but many people prefer side-charging handles due to their ease of use and accessibility.

That's where the best AR 15 side charging handle comes into play. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose one that suits your needs perfectly. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about side-charging handles for your AR-15 rifle so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing one.

If you're looking for a reliable and efficient way to upgrade your AR-15 rifle, investing in a high-quality side charging handle could be just what you need. So sit tight and read on as we dive into this topic in more detail!

Best AR 15 Side Charging Handle: A Comprehensive Guide

The AR 15 is a versatile rifle that, when configured properly, can be the perfect tool for many purposes. One critical component of an efficient and user-friendly AR 15 is the charging handle. The charging handle is responsible for chambering rounds into your rifle’s barrel and ensuring smooth operation.

In recent years, side-charging handles have become increasingly popular among gun enthusiasts due to their ease of use and ergonomic design. If you're looking to upgrade your AR 15's charging handle, we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide on the best side-charging handles available in the market today.

Top Picks for Best AR 15 Side Charging Handle

  1. Radian Weapons Raptor-SD Ambidextrous

    • This sturdy aluminum-alloy charging handle boasts an ambidextrous design that works well with both right- and left-handed shooters.
    • It features a low-profile latch system that prevents snags yet still allows quick access to perform reloads.
    • The Raptor-SD has been tested under extreme conditions, making it one of the most reliable options in its category.
  2. Rainier Arms Ultramatch Billet

    • CNC machined from billet aluminum alloy, this lightweight but strong charging handle provides excellent ergonomics.
    • Its oversized lever makes it easy to operate even while wearing gloves or during high-stress situations.
    • With its sleek black finish and corrosion-resistance properties; it has earned rave reviews from gun enthusiasts around.
  3. Aero Precision Ambidextrous
    * Made in America with precision machining using aircraft-grade aluminum alloy material,
    Aero Precision offers expertly crafted components suitable for demanding tactical applications
    * Designed as an ambidextrous option – accommodating left-and-right-handed operators alike –
    featuring large levers on both sides for easy, user-friendly manipulation

Benefits of Using a Side-Charging Handle

If you're still not convinced why switching to a side-charging handle is worth it, here are some benefits that might change your mind:

  1. Easier to Use
    Side charging handles allow for easier manipulation by either hand and make it much simpler to chamber rounds while keeping your head on the rifle.
  2. Reduced Recoil
    By using a side-charging handle, you can mitigate recoil more effectively since there's no need for your arm or head movement during operation.
  3. Better Ergonomics
    When compared with traditional rear-mounted charging handles, these handles' ergonomic design allows shooters to optimize their movements and posture.

Tips When Choosing an AR 15 Side Charging Handle

Choosing the right AR 15 side charging handle can be tricky as there are numerous options available in the market today. Here are some tips that may help in making this decision:

  1. Consider Your Needs
    Before buying any firearm component; one must know precisely what they want & need from their gun;
    A shooter who requires rapid action should opt for lightweight models or those with oversized levers.
  2. Material Quality
    It's necessary always to consider materials used when purchasing any component of firearms
    Choose one made from high-quality material such as billet aluminum alloy or aircraft-grade aluminum alloy will last longer than others.
  3. Compatibility
    Check compatibility of components before purchasing them because not all parts will work correctly together.

Final Thoughts

The Radian Weapons Raptor-SD Ambidextrous is our top pick among the best AR 15 Side Charging Handles currently available on the market today due its reliability under tough conditions and ambidexterity feature designed by expert engineers.

However, choosing between different brands depends upon individual needs and preferences; make sure always check out reviews before finally deciding on which one to buy. A good charging handle is a crucial component of an efficient and easy-to-use AR 15, so take the time to find one that will fit your needs perfectly.


What is a side charging handle for an AR-15 and why should I consider one?

A side charging handle for an AR-15 is a replacement for the traditional rear charging handle. It's located on the left-hand side of the rifle, typically around the area where you would find your support hand. The main advantage of using a side-charging handle is that it allows you to maintain better control over your weapon while cycling rounds through its chamber. As opposed to reaching back behind your head and pulling on a rear-facing bolt, with this type of set up, you can easily manipulate the bolt from either shoulder position without breaking eye contact with your target.

By incorporating an ambidextrous design into their rifles, manufacturers have made it easier for left-handed shooters or those who prefer shooting off their non-dominant shoulder to operate them more efficiently in situations such as tactical training scenarios or hunting expeditions.

How do I choose which type of side-charging handle works best?

When shopping for aftermarket accessories like these handles there are some important things you need to consider first before making any purchases – build quality and compatibility. A well-built option will withstand frequent use without developing play between moving parts (which may lead to jamming) while compatibility ensures that whatever brand you choose will fit flush against either 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington caliber AR-style platforms.

You also want something that fits within budgetary constraints but still includes all necessary features such as anti-rotation tabs so when under recoil forces won't turn loose from its position; high-quality coatings guaranteed not peel away after prolonged exposure outside; easy installation instructions provided by manufacturer documentation available online if needed!

Are there any other benefits besides functionality when upgrading my stock charging handle?

Yes! Some custom-designed versions come equipped with unique features not seen in traditional designs such as serrated grip surfaces providing tactile feedback during manipulation cycles allowing proper finger placement while wearing gloves or in wet environments. Also, some models include enhancements like larger latch tabs that can increase leverage when pulling the charging handle rearward; this feature is especially helpful if you have a stronger grip and prefer a more aggressive pull.

Can I install this myself or do I need to take it to a gunsmith?

The installation process is usually straightforward with most aftermarket products requiring only basic hand tools for fitting – i.e., Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, etc. However, before making any modifications or additions to your firearm's hardware always read through manufacturer documentation and recommendations thoroughly. Some brands might require specific bolt carriers as well so research which options work best for your desired rifle setup.

If you're uncomfortable performing complex tasks such as drilling holes into receivers or tapping threads properly during installations (common examples of what may require professional assistance), then consulting an experienced gunsmith would be recommended.

What price range should I expect when shopping around?

Prices will vary depending on build quality and brand name recognition but typically fall anywhere between $50-$150 USD; however, don't let lower prices trick you into purchasing from lesser-known manufacturers without doing proper research first! It's important always to prioritize quality over cost-cutting measures because not all items are created equal in terms of durability and longevity. Opting for higher-end models can save money long-term by reducing the likelihood of damaging components due wear-and-tear caused by frequent use over time!

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