May, 19

Side Charging AR-15 Upper: Enhancing Functionality and Precision

Featured in:

When it comes to firearms, the AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in America today. And with good reason – this versatile firearm can be customized and modified to fit many different needs and preferences. One modification that has become increasingly popular in recent years is the side charging AR-15 upper.

The side charging AR-15 upper allows for faster and more efficient operation compared to traditional rear-charging uppers. Instead of having to reach back over or under the rifle, shooters can easily charge their weapon from a side position without losing sight of their target or disrupting their shooting position. This small but significant change can make all the difference in a competitive shooting situation or even during hunting trips.

If you're looking for more information on this exciting modification, keep reading! We'll dive into everything you need to know about side charging AR-15 uppers – from how they work, what sets them apart from traditional options, as well as some top picks on the market today.

Side Charging AR 15 Upper: The Ultimate Guide

If you're a gun enthusiast, then you know how important finding the best upper receiver is for your AR-15. A side-charging upper receiver offers many benefits over traditional models, making it an increasingly popular option among experienced shooters. In this article, we'll be discussing everything there is to know about side charging AR 15 uppers.

What Is a Side Charging AR 15 Upper?

A side charging AR-15 upper receiver is designed with a unique bolt carrier group that allows the user to charge their rifle from the side rather than from above. This design has several advantages over traditional models, including quicker reloads and improved ergonomics.

The bolt carrier group in a standard or mil-spec upper reciprocates inside the rifle's buffer tube during operation. On the other hand, with a side charging system installed on your rifle’s lower assembly gives some benefits in terms of ease of use and functionality.

Benefits of Using A Side-Charging Upper Receiver

Improved Ergonomics

One significant benefit of using an ar-15-side-charging-upper-receiver is improved ergonomics compared to traditional top-mounted chargers. With top-mounted chargers like most standard receivers have that requires overhead force; they are less convenient and can cause strain on shoulders.

Faster Reloads

Side charging uppers also offer faster reload times since they allow for rapid manipulation even when engaging targets or conducting tactical operations where seconds count.

Easier To Clean And Maintain

Another advantage offered by these types of receivers has easy access to internal components which makes cleaning easier as opposed to disassembly within conventional styled designs which often prove challenging when maintenance needs arise such as broken parts replacement or thorough cleaning requirements after usage periods without attention given previously

Comparing Different Types Of Side Charging Ar Uppers

There are several different types of upgraded charges available today – each with their unique advantages and disadvantages.


Non-reciprocating charges are not directly connected to the bolt carrier group, so they don't move when firing your rifle. This type of receiver is ideal for those looking for a side charging system that doesn't impact their accuracy.


Reciprocating side-charging uppers are directly connected to the bolt carrier group, making them more reliable in extreme conditions but also creates movement during firing which can affect accuracy over long-range shooting.

Tips For Choosing The Best Side Charging AR 15 Upper

When choosing a side-charging upper receiver for your AR-15, there are several things you need to consider:

  1. Material: Look out for quality materials such as aircraft-grade aluminum or steel.
  2. Compatibility: Make sure it’s compatible with your rifle's lower assembly.
  3. Cost: Consider how much you're willing to spend and look at options within that price range.
  4. Brand Reputation: Look out for reputable brands known within the industry among shooters who have experience with this particular upgrade.


Side charging ar-15-uppers offer faster reloads, improved ergonomics, and easier maintenance compared to traditional models because of easy access components without difficulty accessing them when needed most after extended periods without attention given previously – all while retaining full functionality including fire capabilities under adverse conditions! Whether you’re an experienced shooter seeking better performance from an already great platform or just starting on this journey towards becoming one yourself – switching over might be worth considering today!


What is a side charging AR 15 upper?

A side charging AR 15 upper is an alternative to the traditional rear charging design of an AR 15. The side-charging system has the handle on the left-hand side of the receiver, making it easier and more convenient for both right- and left-handed shooters to operate. With this design, you can charge your rifle without having to take your eyes off of your target.

The advantage of a side-charging system lies in its speed and ease-of-use. Unlike traditional rear chargers that require you to move your hands away from their grip and sight picture, a side charger lets you maintain control over both while operating it with just one hand. This makes for faster reloads during competition shooting or hunting, giving shooters an edge when every second counts.

How does a Side Charging Handle work?

A Side Charging Handle works by allowing users access to quickly charge or cycle their firearm's bolt carrier group (BCG) using only one hand – no need for any awkward body movements necessary like with rear-mounted handles.

To use this type of handle effectively:

  1. Pull back on bolt catch lever until BCG locks open.
  2. Using strong thumb pressure against rail/upper receiver interface point release bolt catch
  3. Utilize non-dominant hand if needed

This quick process allows users greater safety as they don't have to manipulate other aspects such as muzzle direction while cycling their weapon.

What are some advantages Of Having A Side Charging Upper Receiver On An AR-15 Rifle?

One main advantage that comes with having a Side Charging Upper Receiver on an AR-15 rifle is improved ergonomics; these uppers allow you quicker access when performing tasks such as changing out magazines or clearing malfunctions which means more efficiency overall.

Another benefit includes being able quickly remove any jams/Troubleshoot issues: When used alongside standard mil-spec components like lower receivers etc., these uppers are known for their improved overall reliability. This is due to the new design allowing for greater ease of use and lower risk of jams compared to traditional rear charging handles.

In addition, they offer improved safety by allowing users to keep their eyes on the target at all times while manipulating a firearm's bolt carrier group – an important factor when hunting or in competition shooting scenarios where every second counts.

Can I Convert My Rear Charging AR-15 To A Side Charging Upper Receiver?

Yes, you can convert your Rear Charging AR-15 into a Side Charging Upper Receiver using conversion kits. These kits come with everything needed including the side charging handle itself, installation instructions and in most cases all required hardware such as screws etc.

Note that it is always best recommended consulting with a gunsmith before attempting any upgrades or modifications yourself – especially if you're not familiar with firearms assembly/disassembly.

What Are The Best Materials For Building A Side-Charging AR 15 Upper?

The best materials for building a side-charging Ar 15 upper are typically high-quality metals resistant against corrosion such as aluminum alloys (6061-T6) which provide both lightweight build options along with sturdy construction.

When it comes down to choosing other materials such as coatings/paints/etc., this will vary depending on personal preferences; some shooters prefer military-style finishes like Mil-Spec Type III Anodizing which provides exceptional durability while others might opt for more custom designs/colors according to usage reasons (hunting vs competition shooting). It really depends on what type of application you have in mind but ultimately selecting high-quality components will ensure better longevity over time.

Latest articles

Related articles

Wood Furniture AR 15: The Perfect Blend of Style...

Wood furniture AR 15 - these are three words that hold great significance in the world of...

Reflex Sight AR 15: Enhancing Accuracy and Speed

Reflex sight AR 15 is an essential accessory for any gun enthusiast. The reflex sight technology allows...

Get the Best Deals on AR-15s at AR 15...

Are you looking for the best deals on AR 15 rifles and accessories? Look no further than...

AR 15 Laser Scope Combo: Enhancing Your Accuracy and...

The AR 15 Laser Scope Combo is a popular accessory among gun enthusiasts. It combines the power...

AR 15 Folding Stock Magpul: Ultimate Guide and Review

The AR 15 folding stock Magpul is a popular accessory for many gun enthusiasts and professionals alike....

US Army Colonel Eagle: The Elite Warrior of America’s...

US Army Colonel Eagle, a combination of two distinct symbols that represent power and courage. The eagle,...