Best AR 15 Charging Handles For 2023 [Guide Included]

AR 15 Charging Handles that Enhance Your Firearm’s Performance

When it comes to optimizing the performance of your AR 15 rifle, upgrading certain components can make a significant difference. One such component would be to look for the best AR 15 charging handles. 

The charging handle is responsible for chambering rounds and ensuring smooth operation of the firearm.

 In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of upgrading to the best AR 15 charging handles and highlight some of the best options available on the market today.

Why Upgrade?

While the stock charging handle that comes with your AR 15 may work adequately, upgrading to a high-quality charging handle can offer several advantages. 

The best AR 15 charging handles can enhance the reliability, durability, and ergonomics of your rifle. It allows for smoother manipulation, quicker reloads, and improved control over the charging process. 

Whether you’re a competitive shooter, a tactical operator, or an avid enthusiast, investing in a top-notch charging handle is worth considering.

Best AR 15 Charging Handles

1. SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle: Minimize Gas Blowback for Suppressed Shooting

Key Features:

The SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle is specifically designed to address the challenges of shooting with a suppressor. It incorporates unique features to minimize gas blowback and enhance the shooting experience. Here are some key features that makes this one of the best AR 15 Charging Handles on the market:

The Gas Defeating Charging Handle utilizes a smart design that redirects gases away from the shooter’s face. This feature is crucial for shooters using a suppressor, as it helps reduce the amount of gas that can be directed back towards the shooter during each shot.

By minimizing gas blowback, this charging handle improves the reliability of your AR 15 rifle when shooting suppressed. It helps prevent fouling of the action and reduces the likelihood of malfunctions, ensuring smoother and more consistent operation.

SilencerCo is known for producing high-quality products, and their Gas Defeating Charging Handle is no exception. It is crafted with durability in mind, utilizing robust materials and precision machining to withstand the demands of regular shooting.

The charging handle is ergonomically designed for comfortable and easy operation. It features an ambidextrous latch, allowing both left-handed and right-handed shooters to manipulate it effortlessly.

Pros:

Minimizes gas blowback: The primary advantage of the SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle is its ability to redirect gases away from the shooter’s face. This feature significantly reduces the discomfort caused by blowback from gas during suppressed shooting.

Enhanced reliability: By preventing excessive gas from entering the action, this charging handle improves the reliability of your firearm, reducing the chances of malfunctions and increasing overall performance.

High-quality construction: SilencerCo is a trusted name in the industry, known for producing top-notch products. The Gas Defeating Charging Handle is built to last, ensuring long-term durability and reliability.

Ambidextrous design: The ambidextrous latch allows for easy manipulation regardless of your dominant hand, adding convenience and versatility.

Cons:

Cost: The SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle tends to be priced higher than standard charging handles. However, considering its specialized design and the benefits it offers for suppressed shooting, many users find the investment worthwhile.

Final Verdict:

If you frequently shoot with a suppressor, the SilencerCo Gas Defeating Charging Handle is an excellent choice to consider. Its gas-defeating design minimizes blowback, enhancing comfort and reducing the risk of gas-related issues.

The durable construction, ergonomic design, and ambidextrous controls further add to its appeal. While it may come with a higher price tag, the benefits it brings to the shooting experience make it a valuable upgrade for any AR 15 enthusiast who values optimized performance when shooting suppressed.

2. Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle: Unmatched Functionality for All Shooters

Key Features:

The Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle is widely recognized for its exceptional quality and functionality. It offers a range of features that cater to the needs of both left-handed and right-handed shooters. Here are some key features of this renowned charging handle:

The Radian Raptor is designed to be fully ambidextrous, allowing for easy and efficient manipulation from either side of the rifle. This ambidextrous functionality makes it a versatile choice for shooters of all preferences.

The charging handle utilizes a unique mechanism that provides a smooth and effortless charging experience. Whether you’re conducting rapid reloads or chambering rounds, the Radian Raptor ensures reliable and consistent operation.

With an emphasis on ergonomics, the Radian Raptor features an enlarged latch that offers a comfortable and secure grip. The enlarged latch enables easy manipulation, even when wearing gloves or in high-stress shooting situations.

Built to withstand the demands of intense shooting, the Radian Raptor is constructed from high-quality materials. It is known for its durability, ensuring long-lasting performance even under harsh conditions.

Pros:

Ambidextrous functionality: The Radian Raptor’s ambidextrous design allows for seamless operation from either side of the rifle, catering to the needs of both left-handed and right-handed consumers.

Smooth and effortless operation: The charging handle’s unique mechanism ensures smooth and reliable manipulation, making it easy to chamber rounds and conduct rapid reloads without any hiccups.

Enhanced ergonomics: The enlarged latch provides a comfortable and secure grip, allowing for easy and efficient charging even in challenging shooting scenarios.

Exceptional durability: The Radian Raptor is built to last, utilizing high-quality materials and precision manufacturing. It can withstand the rigors of regular shooting and maintain its performance over time.

Cons:

While the Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle offers many benefits, it’s important to consider potential drawbacks as well. Here are a couple of cons to keep in mind:

Price: The Radian Raptor charging handle tends to be priced higher than standard charging handles due to its ambidextrous functionality and premium construction. This may be a deterrent for budget-conscious buyers.

Compatibility: Although the Radian Raptor is compatible with most AR 15 platforms, it’s always advisable to check compatibility with your specific rifle model. In some cases, minor fitting or modifications may be required.

Final Verdict:

Despite the potential cons, the Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle remains an exceptional choice for AR 15 owners who prioritize ambidextrous functionality and smooth operation. Its ambidextrous design allows for easy manipulation regardless of the shooter’s dominant hand, providing versatility and convenience.

The charging handle’s smooth and effortless operation, combined with its ergonomic design, enhances the overall shooting experience.

While it may come with a higher price tag, the Radian Raptor’s premium construction, durability, and reliable performance make it a worthwhile investment for shooters who value optimized functionality and control.

3. BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B: Rugged Design and Enhanced Control

Key Features:

The BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B charging handle is highly regarded for its rugged design and focus on enhanced control. Let’s explore its key features:

The standout feature of the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B is its extended latch. The extended latch provides a larger surface area, offering an improved grip and increased control during weapon manipulation. This feature is especially beneficial when wearing gloves or operating the rifle in challenging shooting conditions.

BCM designed the Gunfighter Mod 3B charging handle with user convenience in mind. It features a straightforward installation process, allowing AR 15 owners to quickly and securely upgrade their rifles without the need for extensive modifications or additional tools. This user-friendly installation adds to the appeal of the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B.

BCM is renowned for producing high-quality firearm accessories, and the Gunfighter Mod 3B charging handle lives up to that reputation. It is constructed from durable materials, ensuring its ability to withstand the rigors of heavy use. The robust design guarantees consistent performance over time, even in demanding shooting scenarios.

Although the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B is not fully ambidextrous, it does offer ambidextrous support in its design. The extended latch allows shooters to manipulate the charging handle comfortably and efficiently with their support hand.

This ambidextrous capability provides flexibility for both right and left handed shooters, ensuring smooth operation and ease of use for all individuals.

Pros:

Enhanced Control: The extended latch of the Gunfighter Mod 3B provides improved grip and control, allowing shooters to manipulate the charging handle with ease and confidence.

Easy Installation: The charging handle’s straightforward installation process makes it a convenient upgrade for AR 15 owners, saving time and effort.

Durability: BCM’s reputation for producing high-quality products extends to the Gunfighter Mod 3B, which boasts a rugged design and durable construction for long-lasting performance.

Ambidextrous Support: While not fully ambidextrous, the Gunfighter Mod 3B offers ambidextrous support, catering to the needs of both right and left handed shooters.

Cons:

Limited Ambidextrous Functionality: Compared to fully ambidextrous charging handles, the Gunfighter Mod 3B’s ambidextrous support is more limited. Shooters may prefer a fully ambidextrous option if complete ambidextrous control is a priority.

Final Verdict:

The BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B charging handle is an excellent choice for AR 15 owners seeking a rugged design and enhanced control. Its extended latch provides improved grip and control, allowing for confident manipulation of the charging handle.

The easy installation process and durable construction further add to its appeal. While it may not offer complete ambidextrous functionality, the Gunfighter Mod 3B’s ambidextrous support still caters to the needs of a wide range of shooters.

Overall, the BCM Gunfighter Mod 3B is a reliable and high-performance charging handle that delivers on its promise of ruggedness and enhanced control, making it a valuable addition to any AR 15 rifle.

4. Geissele Airborne Charging Handle: Reliable Performance for Demanding Conditions

Key Features:

The Geissele Airborne Charging Handle is renowned for its reliability and performance, especially in demanding shooting conditions. Let’s explore its key features:

The Geissele Airborne features an ergonomic design that prioritizes ease of use and functionality. It incorporates an extended and textured latch for a secure grip, allowing for smooth and efficient manipulation even in high-stress situations.

Geissele is known for its commitment to quality, and the Airborne Charging Handle is no exception. It is built with durability in mind, utilizing high-quality materials to withstand the rigors of demanding shooting scenarios. This ensures reliable performance over extended periods of use.

Geissele designed the Airborne Charging Handle for easy installation, allowing shooters to upgrade their AR 15 rifles quickly and effortlessly. The straightforward installation process ensures that users can benefit from the charging handle’s performance enhancements without hassle.

The Geissele Airborne is designed to be ambidextrous, catering to both left-handed and right-handed people. It enables easy manipulation from either side of the rifle, providing versatility and convenience for users with different preferences.

Pros:

Reliability: The Geissele Airborne Handle is renowned for its reliability, making it an excellent choice for shooters who value consistent performance in various shooting conditions.

Enhanced Grip: The extended and textured latch of the charging handle ensures a secure and comfortable grip, facilitating smooth manipulation and control.

Durability: Geissele’s commitment to quality craftsmanship is evident in the durable construction of the Airborne Charging Handle. It is built to last, withstanding heavy use without compromising performance.

Ambidextrous Design: The ambidextrous functionality of the charging handle accommodates both left-handed and right-handed consumers, offering flexibility and ease of use for all individuals.

Cons of Geissele Airborne Charging Handle:

Price: The Geissele Airborne Handle is often priced at a premium due to its high-quality construction and enhanced performance. This may be a limiting factor for budget-conscious buyers.

Final Verdict:

The Geissele Airborne Charging Handle is a top choice for shooters seeking a reliable and high-performance charging handle. Its enhanced design, rugged construction, and ambidextrous functionality make it a versatile option for AR 15 rifles.

While it may come with a higher price tag, the charging handle’s reliability, enhanced grip, and easy installation process justify its value. If you prioritize reliability and performance in demanding shooting conditions and appreciate the convenience of an ambidextrous design, the Charging Handle by Geissele Airborne is an excellent investment for your AR 15 rifle.

5. Aero Precision Breach Ambidextrous: Versatility and Ease of Use

Key Features:

The Aero Precision Breach Ambidextrous charging handle is known for its versatility and user-friendly design. Let’s explore its key features:

The standout feature of this charging handle is its fully ambidextrous design. It features bilateral latches that can be easily manipulated from either side of the rifle, catering to the needs of both right and left handed shooters. This ambidextrous operation enhances versatility and ease of use.

The brand is recognized for producing high-quality firearm components, and the Breach Ambidextrous charging handle is no exception. It is constructed with durable materials to withstand demanding shooting conditions, ensuring reliable performance and longevity.

The Breach Ambidextrous charging handle incorporates an extended and textured latch, providing an improved grip for smooth and confident manipulation. The enhanced grip ensures secure handling, even in high-stress situations or when wearing gloves.

Aero Precision designed the Breach Ambidextrous charging handle for easy installation, allowing AR 15 owners to upgrade their rifles with minimal effort. The straightforward installation process ensures a hassle-free experience.

Pros:

Full Ambidextrous Design: The Breach Ambidextrous charging handle offers complete ambidextrous operation, making it suitable for both left-handed and right-handed consumers. This versatility provides convenience and ease of use for all individuals.

Enhanced Grip: The extended and textured latch of the charging handle ensures a secure grip, enabling smooth manipulation and control. This feature enhances overall shooting experience and confidence during weapon operation.

Durability: Aero Precision’s reputation for producing high-quality components carries over to the Breach Ambidextrous charging handle. It is built to withstand rigorous use and maintain reliable performance over time.

User-Friendly Installation: The charging handle’s easy installation process allows for quick and hassle-free upgrades to AR 15 rifles, ensuring that users can benefit from its features without complications.

Cons:

Limited Customization Options: The Aero Precision Breach Ambidextrous charging handle may have limited options for customization compared to some other models. If extensive customization is a priority, shooters may need to explore additional aftermarket options.

Final Verdict:

The Aero Precision Breach Ambidextrous charging handle offers versatility and user-friendly operation for AR 15 owners. Its full ambidextrous design caters to the needs of right and left handed shooters alike, providing convenience and ease of use.

The enhanced grip and rugged construction contribute to its reliability and durability. While it may have limited customization options, the Breach Ambidextrous charging handle remains a solid choice for those seeking an ambidextrous solution with straightforward installation and dependable performance.

Whether you’re a left-handed shooter, a right-handed shooter, or someone who values ambidextrous functionality, the Aero Precision Breach Ambidextrous charging handle is a reliable option to consider for your AR 15 rifle.

6. Fortis Clutch: Ergonomic Design and Enhanced Control

Key Features:

The Fortis Clutch charging handle is known for its ergonomic design and focus on enhanced control. Let’s explore its key features:

The Fortis Clutch charging handle features an ergonomic shape that promotes a comfortable and natural grip. The design allows for easy manipulation, ensuring smooth charging and reliable operation of the rifle.

The extended latch of the Fortis Clutch provides a larger surface area, facilitating a secure grip and enhanced control during weapon manipulation. This feature is particularly beneficial for shooters who wear gloves or operate the rifle in challenging conditions.

Fortis is recognized for its commitment to durability, and the Clutch charging handle reflects this. It is constructed from high-quality materials, ensuring its ability to withstand heavy use and maintain reliable performance over time.

The Fortis Clutch charging handle is designed for easy installation, allowing AR 15 owners to upgrade their rifles with minimal effort. The straightforward installation process ensures a hassle-free experience.

Pros:

Ergonomic Design: The Fortis Clutch charging handle’s ergonomic shape provides a comfortable and natural grip, enhancing overall control and ease of use.

Extended Latch: The extended latch offers a larger surface area, facilitating a secure grip and improved control during manipulation, particularly in challenging shooting conditions.

Durability: Fortis’s commitment to durability is evident in the Clutch charging handle’s rugged construction. It is built to withstand heavy use and maintain reliable performance.

Easy Installation: The charging handle’s easy installation process allows for quick and hassle-free upgrades to AR 15 rifles, saving time and effort.

Cons of Fortis Clutch:

Limited Ambidextrous Functionality: The Fortis Clutch charging handle does not offer full ambidextrous operation. It may not cater to the specific needs of left-handed shooters who require complete ambidextrous control.

Final Verdict:

The Fortis Clutch charging handle is a solid choice for shooters who prioritize ergonomic design and enhanced control. Its ergonomic shape and extended latch offer a comfortable and secure grip, promoting smooth manipulation and reliable operation.

The charging handle’s durability ensures long-lasting performance, and the easy installation process adds to its overall appeal. However, it’s important to note that the Fortis Clutch does not provide full ambidextrous functionality.

If complete ambidextrous control is a requirement, shooters may need to explore other options. Nevertheless, for those seeking an ergonomic and reliable charging handle, the Fortis Clutch is a worthy consideration for their AR 15 rifles.

7. LWRCI Ambidextrous Charging Handle: Enhanced Functionality and Accessibility

Key Features:

The LWRCI Ambidextrous Charging Handle is known for its enhanced functionality and accessibility. Let’s explore its key features:

The LWRCI offers complete ambidextrous operation, catering to the needs of both left-handed and right-handed riflers. It features bilateral latches, enabling easy manipulation from either side of the rifle.

The extended latches of this charging handle provide an enlarged gripping surface, facilitating a secure hold and improved control during weapon manipulation. This feature is particularly advantageous in situations where a reliable grip is crucial.

LWRCI is known for producing high-quality firearms and components, and this Charging Handle is no exception. It is constructed with durable materials, ensuring its ability to withstand rigorous use and maintain consistent performance.

This charging handle is designed to provide smooth and reliable operation. The bilateral latches and ergonomic design contribute to a seamless charging process, enhancing overall shooting experience.

Pros:

Full Ambidextrous Operation: The LWRCI Charging Handle offers complete ambidextrous functionality, making it suitable for both right and left handed shooters. This provides convenience and ease of use for all individuals.

Enhanced Grip and Control: The extended latches of the charging handle offer an enlarged gripping surface, ensuring a secure hold and improved control during manipulation. This promotes confidence and stability during weapon operation.

Durability: LWRCI’s reputation for producing high-quality firearms and components extends to the Charging Handle. Its rugged construction ensures long-lasting performance and reliability.

Smooth Operation: The charging handle is designed for smooth and reliable operation, allowing for a seamless charging process and enhanced shooting experience.

Cons:

Price: The LWRCI Ambidextrous Charging Handle may have a higher price point compared to some other options on the market. This could be a limiting factor for budget-conscious buyers.

Final Verdict:

The LWRCI Ambidextrous Charging Handle is an excellent choice for shooters seeking enhanced functionality and accessibility. With its complete ambidextrous design, it caters to the needs of both right and left handed individuals, providing convenience and ease of use.

The extended latches contribute to an improved grip and control, promoting confidence and stability during manipulation. The charging handle’s durable construction ensures reliable performance, and its smooth operation enhances the overall shooting experience.

While the price may be a consideration for some buyers, the LWRCI Charging Handle delivers on its promise of functionality and accessibility, making it a valuable addition to any AR 15 rifle.

Charging Handles – Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Right Fit for Your AR 15

Standard Charging Handles: Keeping it Simple

Standard charging handles are the most basic and common type found on AR 15 rifles. They feature a single latch on the right side of the handle and are primarily designed for right-handed folks.

While they may lack some of the bells and whistles of more advanced options, standard charging handles are reliable and get the job done. If you’re a right-handed shooter looking for a straightforward and cost-effective solution, a standard charging handle should suffice.

Extended Charging Handles: Increased Grip and Control

Extended handles are an upgrade over the standard version, featuring a larger latch or an extended handle. The additional surface area provides a better grip, making it easier to charge the rifle, especially in high-stress situations or when wearing gloves.

The enhanced grip and control offered by extended charging handles can improve your shooting experience and overall efficiency. If you value a more secure and comfortable grip, consider opting for an extended handle.

Ambidextrous Charging Handles: Versatility for All Shooters

Ambidextrous handles are designed to cater to the needs of both left-handed and right-handed people. They feature bilateral latches, allowing for easy manipulation from either side of the rifle.

This ambidextrous operation ensures that all shooters, regardless of their dominant hand, can comfortably and efficiently charge the weapon. Ambidextrous handles provide enhanced versatility and convenience, making them a popular choice for shooters who value ambidextrous functionality.

Gas Busting Charging Handles: Mitigating Gas Blowback

Gas busting charging handles, also known as “gas defeating” or “gas redirecting” charging handles, are specifically designed to redirect excess gas away from the shooter’s face during the charging process. This is particularly useful for shooters who frequently shoot suppressed or use short-barreled rifles, as it helps reduce blowback from gas.

Gas busting charging handles feature special channels or vents that redirect the gas, providing a more pleasant shooting experience. If you engage in activities that result in increased blowback, such as suppressed shooting, a gas busting charging handle can be a valuable addition to your rifle.

Choosing the Most Suitable Charging Handle for You

When selecting a charging handle for your AR 15, consider your shooting style, preferences, and specific requirements. If you’re a right-handed shooter seeking a simple and cost-effective option, a standard charging handle will suffice.

For those who prioritize a secure grip and control, an extended handle is worth considering. If ambidextrous functionality is a priority or you switch between shooting positions frequently, an ambidextrous charging handle will be the ideal choice.

And if you frequently encounter blowback, a gas busting charging handle can significantly enhance your shooting experience.

Ultimately, the right charging handle is a personal choice that depends on your specific needs and shooting preferences. Consider the factors that are most important to you, weigh the pros and cons of each type, and choose the charging handle that best aligns with your requirements.

By selecting the right charging handle, you can enhance the functionality, ease of use, and overall performance of your AR 15 rifle, ultimately improving your shooting experience.

Conclusion:

Choosing the best AR 15 charging handle can greatly enhance your shooting experience by providing improved functionality, ease of use, and enhanced control. We have explored several top options in this article. Each charging handle offers unique features and benefits, catering to different shooting preferences and needs.

When selecting a charging handle, consider factors such as ergonomics, ambidextrous operation, extended latches for a secure grip, rugged construction, and ease of installation. These features contribute to the overall performance and reliability of the charging handle.

Additionally, it’s important to assess your specific shooting requirements and determine which features are essential for your shooting style.

By upgrading to a high-quality charging handle, you can improve the ergonomics, efficiency, and control of your AR 15 rifle, ensuring a more enjoyable and effective shooting experience.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Can I install an ambidextrous charging handle on any AR 15 rifle?

In most cases, yes. Ambidextrous handles are designed to fit standard AR 15 rifles and can be installed without any major modifications. However, it’s always a good idea to check compatibility with your specific rifle model and consult the manufacturer’s instructions before making a purchase.

What are the advantages of an extended charging handle?

An extended charging handle provides a larger surface area for a more secure grip, making it easier to manipulate the charging handle, especially in high-stress situations or when wearing gloves. It enhances overall control and can contribute to smoother and more efficient operation of the rifle.

Are gas busting charging handles necessary?

Gas busting charging handles are designed to redirect excess gas away from the shooter’s face during the charging process. While they can be beneficial for shooters who frequently shoot suppressed or use short-barreled rifles, they are not necessary for every shooter.

Consider your specific shooting conditions and preferences before deciding if a gas busting charging handle is necessary for you.

How difficult is it to install a charging handle?

Installing a charging handle is typically a straightforward process that can be done with basic tools. Most charging handles can be installed by simply removing the existing charging handle and replacing it with the new one. However, it’s always recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation.

Are ambidextrous charging handles worth the investment?

Ambidextrous charging handles provide convenience and ease of use for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. If you frequently switch between shooting positions or have specific shooting requirements, an ambidextrous charging handle can be a valuable investment.

It ensures that you can manipulate the charging handle comfortably and efficiently, regardless of your dominant hand.

Leave a Comment