How to Choose The Perfect AR 15 Charging Handle
In uncertain times like these, it’s natural to feel, anxious, scared and, yes, as we can all agree, incredibly bored. Because of the stay at home orders, we are all stuck inside staring at the same walls day in and day out. There’s only so much bread we can make and Netflix we can watch before we need a new hobby! So, now is as good a time as any to upgrade your AR-15.
Luckily, one of the many benefits of owning an AR-15 rifle is its modular design and construction, which makes replacing parts a breeze. There are many AR 15 parts and accessories to choose from, but some parts are simply vital. One of those critical parts is a charging handle.
Though an AR-15 charging handle is hugely important and easy to replace, its unassuming appearance makes it all too easy to overlook! Though it appears like nothing more than a thin, rod-shaped object, a charging handle is actually an essential upper receiver part.
Firstly, it cocks the hammer and moves the bolt into the ready position, which is what allows you to move the bolt to the rear during cocking. The other important function of the charging handle is to eject unfired cartridges from the chamber and clear malfunctions. Despite its underwhelming appearance, a properly functioning charging handle is vital to the success of your rifle!
Understanding The AR-15 Charging Handle
When you first bought your automatic rifle, it probably came equipped with a standard charging handle, which should be sufficient if your typical uses for your firearm involve more casual recreational activities.
However, if you typically use your firearm for more intense shooting practices, that standard charging handle may no longer suffice. In addition, a standard right handed charging handle will prove very difficult to reach while using a scope if you are left handed.
Luckily, there are various AR-15 charging handles available that will allow for an easy upgrade, as well as drastically improve the function of your rifle.
The ambidextrous version of an AR-15 charging handle tends to be the preference of those who want to use it as a tactical charging handle. This version can be used with equal proficiency with either hand, and the adequate surface area allows for fast and easy access from either side.
The extended version of a charging handle features a larger, extended latch that makes it easier for the shooter to engage the charging handle with a gloved hand. That makes it suitable for night time activities. It is also useful in stressful situations, as the larger surface area enables the shooter to charge by foot, which can be necessary in a self defense instance. If those uses sound familiar to you, an extended charging handle may be the one for you.
Finally, the gas buster version of a charging handle works well not only in normal firing situations but also when shooting rimfire AR-15s and suppressed rifles. The primary advantage of this version is that they prevent gas blow-back in your face when firing, hence the name. The main thing to keep in mind when choosing which version of a charging handle is right for you, is to consider your intended use for your firearm.
Now that you know a little bit more about charging handles and the various features, let’s discuss some of our top picks. Let’s give the underrated charging handle the recognition it deserves!
Made in the USA, The Radian Raptor is revolutionary in design & function. As an ambidextrous handle, it features a rapid palm “blading” design and finger thumb charges, which allow for fluid and fast charging from either hand. It is MILSPEC anodized and made from only the finest aircraft grade aluminum. If you are on the market for an ambidextrous charging handle, this is one of the best!
Geissele Automatics’ Super Charging Handle is 3D machined from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum. With an ambidextrous design, this handle allows for seamless operation from either side of the weapon. The checkered handling surface adds a textured grip to make operation with gloves easier.
Finally, the heightened rear lip of the SCH helps mitigate gas blowback to the shooter when firing with shorter barrelled or suppressed weapon systems. Geissele charging handles rank consistently high in performance, and we highly recommend you try them out.
Impact Weapons Components has formulated the amazing “SCAR Charger,” which lowers the contact point for the Operators hand, providing clearance for your knuckles to pass freely under the Optic Mount. This will help to avoid injury, keeping your knuckles from taking a beating.
The center section increases the amount of edged contact surfaces on the SCAR Charger, improving grip, with or without gloves. This charging handle is virtually the same weight & length as the factory FNH Charging Handle, ensuring the weapon functions and cycles as designed. Give it a look, we think you’ll find it is a huge improvement over the factory FNH Charging Handle.
If you are looking to upgrade your AR-15 Charging Handle, remember that picking the right one can hugely improve the function! If you’re on the market, take a look at the selection we have in stock at Milspec retail.