5 Best AR-15 Charging Handles

When looking to upgrade your AR-15, the charging handle is often one of the first pieces to be upgraded. Follow along to learn more about upgrading your charging handle and to see our picks for the best AR-15 Charging Handles.

Ambidextrous Charging Handles

The stock charging handle is generally not ambidextrous, while most aftermarket charging handles are. In a tactical situation, you never know when you’ll need this feature to enhance your quickness and versatility in a range of environments. Brands like Aero Precision, Radian, and Geissele all offer ambidextrous charging handles.

Performance

One reason many people decide to upgrade is performance. An upgraded charging handle can feel smoother than a stock one. When it comes to cycling ammo, this can be a major factor. The finish and material of the charging handle can greatly affect performance. Quality charging handles also can help to properly disperse gas after the shot. This can help keep gas out of the shooter’s face or help with cycling performance. The texture and size of the handle can also affect the shooter's ability to grip and operate the handle with gloves on or in wet conditions.

Style

Lastly, many people upgrade their charging handle just for the style/color to match their AR. Brands like Strike Industries offer a range of colors to give shooters plenty of stylish designs to choose from.

1

Radian Raptor-LT Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly AR-15 Aluminum

The Raptor-LT ambidextrous charging handle by Radian is truly revolutionary in design & function. From rapid palm “blading” or finger thumb charges of the weapon, the motion is fluid & fast from either strong or support side. Made in the USA from aircraft grade 7075 aluminum, the Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle is built to last!

Features

  • Ambidextrous Design
  • Rapid and fluid weapon charges
  • Allows for Rapid Palm Blading or Finger Thumb Charges
  • Custom Polymer Lever

What Customers Are Saying

Very impressed, was hesitant at first

This is my first time owning a Radian Raptor charging handle and am impressed. The only difference that I can find with this LT version and the and the regular version is the ears/tabs are polymer; the original is all aluminum. The ears are plenty rugged and don't seem to be prone to failure. They are also somewhat textured to ensure good friction between your hand or palm. You are covered by the limited lifetime warranty in the event that they would break, but honestly shouldn't be a problem. The price point is good too. Hard to justify a $100 charging handle but $57 seems a lot more reasonable.
- Matt L., 10/5/2017

About Radian

Radian Weapons designs and manufactures the most innovative, professional-grade firearms and components on Earth. Radian focuses on building top-tier, battle-proven products – and they’ve done that by implementing stringent, unrelenting quality standards. Radian’s line of products includes complete rifles, receivers, AR-15 parts, and pistol parts. MidwayUSA proudly carries many of Radian’s top products, including the Radian Model 1 Rifle, Raptor Charging Handles, Model 1 Upper Receivers, Talon Safeties, and Ramjet Barrels. Radian products offer professional-grade craftsmanship so that Customers can expect sub-MOA accuracy, precise quality, and worry-free performance. Radian’s goal is to provide products you’d be comfortable staking your life on – because oftentimes, you are.

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2

Geissele Super Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly AR-15 Aluminum

The Super Charging Handle (SCH) is 3D machined from a solid block of aircraft grade 7075-T6 aluminum. Its ambidextrous design allows for seamless operation from either side of the weapon. The levers are dual contoured similar to that of the charging handle of an M14, where not only the x-axis but also the y-axis receive radius cuts. The handling surface of the lever is also checkered, adding a textured grip aiding to the use when operating with gloves. The heightened rear lip of the SCH aids in mitigating gas blow back to the shooter when shooting with short barreled and suppressed weapon systems. All parts are then Type 3 Hardcoat anodized and are available in black and DDC (Desert Dirt Color).

Features

  • Ambidextrous design
  • Dual contoured levers
  • Checkered handling surface
  • Heightened rear lip mitigates gas blow back

What Customers Are Saying

RIDICULOUSLY smooth

For 100 dollars you should expect a lot from this charging handle. Boy does it deliver! I've been using the raptor for the last year or so and this geissele is much better IMO. It's so much smoother and the charging latches are heavily curved so it really wants to hold on to your finger when you charge the weapon. As with everything geissele makes, this charging handel oozes quality and the price is most definitely justified.
- Trevor J, 10/3/2017

About Geissele

Since its founding in 2004, Geissele Automatics has been known for manufacturing the finest quality firearm components available on the market. Geissele gained popularity due to its quality trigger group offering and has since become a leader in the AR parts industry. Today, Geissele manufactures triggers, upper receivers, receiver parts, magazines, and more. MidwayUSA is proud to offer a wide range of Geissele products, including upper receivers, trigger groups, charging handles, rails, barrels, and much more! With Geissele products, you can experience the latest in weapon technology and next-level precision. Geissele Automatics – We Are Weaponmakers.

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3

Aero Precision BREACH Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly Large Lever AR-15 Aluminum

The Aero Precision BREACH® Ambidextrous Charging Handle is a rugged, ambidextrous, precision-manufactured charging handle for the AR15 platform. The BREACH's design utilizes a reinforced 7075-T6 aluminum bar that is up to the most demanding tasks. Its ambidextrous levers feature a patent-pending, dual spring system, that directs the force-of-use into the robust charging handle body. This allows the shooter to use a one-sided charging technique without compromising the part — a pitfall for traditional mil-spec charging handles. The large lever configuration provides an extended operating surface, perfect for a user with bigger hands, or someone who wants a larger surface for manipulation of the charging handle.

 

Features

  • Ambidextrous Controls: Ergonomically designed 7075 Aluminum levers allow the user to easily charge their firearm with either hand, while remaining low profile and comfortable when slung.
  • Robust Construction: Reduced chamfer angles on the 7075 Aluminum reinforced bar design provide a strong foundation for the BREACH® that is resistant to rotational flex or breakage.
  • Patent-pending Lever Mechanism: Transfers force-of-use away from the roll pins and into the top/head portion of the reinforced bar protecting the charging handle in the most demanding circumstances.
  • Gas Deflection Shelf: Aligns with the upper receiver to redirect gas flow away from the users face when shooting suppressed.
  • Functional Design: It is not all just good looks. Stylistic cuts on the charging handle also help to clear stuck on carbon and debris from the upper receiver, while the spacer design seals and protects the lever mechanism from debris.

 

What Customers Are Saying

Excellent Charging Handle

This replaced a mil spec charging handle and is a wonderful upgrade. The space to grasp the mil spec charging handle to charge the chamber was a little awkward. Being left-handed, I wanted an ambidextrous CH to allow it to be pulled with my right hand. The forward assist and LVPO ocular housing caused little space to grasp the CH. This CH provide has wider and thicker arms to get a good grip for a one-handed pull. Excellent quality and works easily. I highly recommend this product.
- Cruiser51, 4/7/2023

About Aero Precision

Aero Precision’s roots are deeply tied to aerospace, and their drive for clean, perfect engineering and machining stems from that. When you’re building something that will fly in the air, there is no margin for error. Aero Precision takes that same approach in the firearms industry. Whether it’s a bolt carrier group, handguard, upper receiver, or lower, Aero Precision ensures its products are machined to razor-thin tolerance levels. MidwayUSA offers a wide range of Aero Precision products, including AR-15 parts, bolt action rifles, and scope mounts. With Aero Precision gun parts, better engineering builds better components. It’s just that simple.

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4

Daniel Defense Grip-N-Rip Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly AR-15 Aluminum Black

The Daniel Defense Grip-N-Rip Charging Handle was designed and manufactured with the features and benefits to enhance every user’s comfort and performance. The Grip-N-Rip is engineered for suppressed fire, with anti-gas features that redirect gas flow upward and away from the face and away from the operator. Independently ambidextrous handles accommodate left and right-handed shooters with each handle independently operating the latch. The 5.56 Grip-N-Rip fits all AR-15 pattern rifles.

Features

  • Light weight enlarged ergonomic handles made from 6061-T6 aluminum and Type III hard coat anodized
  • Main body machined from 7076-T6 aluminum & type III hard coat anodized
  • Latch is made from 6061-T6 aluminum & Type III hard coat anodized
  • Ridge in back redirects gas flow upward away from the face
  • Heavy duty stainless steel roll pins

 

What Customers Are Saying

I would buy again

Excellent device well designed
- John, 9/26/2023

About Daniel Defense

Daniel Defense is a family-owned and privately held firearms manufacturer located in Black Creek, Georgia. Founded in 2000 by Marty Daniel, the company was born from Marty’s vision to create custom rifle accessories for his personal rifles. Daniel Defense strives to control every facet of production and makes nearly every component part it sells. When you buy a Daniel Defense product, you’ll get built-in durability, rich feature sets, modularity, great style, and a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Daniel Defense’s primary offering consists of Rifles, Pistols, Barrels, Uppers, Suppressors, and accessories. MidwayUSA proudly carries many Daniel Defense products, including Semi-Automatic Rifles, Upper Receivers, Barrels, Magazines, Stocks, and more! At Daniel Defense, we celebrate the liberty of our country, the enthusiasm of our Customers and employees, and the quality and accuracy of our products. Daniel Defense – Freedom. Passion. Precision.

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5

Battle Arms Rack Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly AR-15 Aluminum Black

The Battle Arms Rack Ambidextrous Charging Handle Assembly is unlike any other charging handle on the market. Even the best-designed products fail at their weakest point so they have taken the infamous roll pins out of the equation. The RACK was designed with no roll pins. Not another pivoting mechanism to wear out the upper receiver notch, this patented latch system slides parallel with the receiver notch for slick and quick release and simultaneously minimizes wear.

 

Purpose built with asymmetric use in mind, the RACK will handle left or right side pulls with ease. Regardless of your charging handle racking technique, the RACK will perform with consistent and positive assurance. Machined from one single piece of aluminum, the RACK handle was designed with strength in mind. It is also key to the sliding latch and the positive and balanced pull of the charging handle.

What Customers Are Saying

I would buy this product again

Very smooth, it works exactly as it should.
- Jeremy, 6/6/2020 Shop Now