Ambidextrous charging handles are indeed a lifesaver for many and today most gun owners invest in ambidextrous charging handles. Since you are here, we guess you'd probably also be interested in making such a move. Because there are a lot of variants available in the market, chances are that you are going to end up confused with choosing the right one for your AR15.
This confusion is what we are going to address in this article. Stay with us till the end to know more about charging handles and on choosing the right one for your AR.
What is the purpose of Ambi charging handles?
Standard charging handles conform to MIL specifications and are mostly designed for a casual firing practice at a firing range. Well, these are only a perfect fit for firing practice and not for intense shooting activities.
Apart from these, to keep the design compact, these standard MIL spec charging handles only have a latch on one side (mostly on the right side). This can get difficult especially if you are a lefty and it can become difficult for you to reach the charging handles especially if you have a scope mounted.
Ambidextrous charging handles are designed to solve this issue. These charging handles have a latch on both sides enabling them to be used with equal proficiency with both hands without much stress to your AR. Ambidextrous charging handles are also durable and come in a reasonable price tag making it a highly sought-after product in the aftermarket pool.
Now that you know the importance of Ambi charging handles comes the big bang question, what’s your perfect option? While there is no universal answer for the same, we would like to present you with some best options and guide you through choosing the right one considering the output you expect.
Popular Ambi charging handles available in the market
BCM, Strike industry, Radians, and Geissele are leading market players in this category and each have their selling points and fan base. We review them based on their performance and selling points that keeps them alive in the market
1. BCM by Bravo companies
BCMs have a larger share in the market with a legacy of more than a decade. These aluminum-made MIL-certified products have been improving from their very advent. From the very first instinct you keep your hands onto the handles you will feel the heaviness and how sturdy they are. Later you will admire the way it balances the force of pull away from the roll pins.
While there are many models available, their Mod 3x3 and Mod 4x4 only are ambidextrous. We keep our discussion limited to Ambis only.
- BCM Gunfighter MOD 4×4
Bravo companies made it for the lefties, with the charging on the right side. But right-handed users are finding it no difficulty in doing it. The design is kept simple and compact even though a latch is featured on both sides. They are one of the premium options available in the market at a much affordable price.
Keep in mind that they are not compatible with adjustable gas-keyed BCGs.
- BCM Gunfighter MOD 3x3
They are also forged out of 7075 T6 aluminum but have a larger latch than the 4x4s. They extend past approximately 1.14” from the main body where the 4x4s extend to 0.9” for a comparison. It offers much more leverage in operation. The smooth and easy latch release sound is nothing less than pleasing to the ears.
Radians rank higher up in the order in most of the reviewers. That is because of the legacy they have. Those ‘mature’ gun owners would suggest going with radians as the brand might be as old as their passion.
Uncompromising quality and performance have earned them a huge following which they managed to keep up to date. known for having wide, easy-to-grip, deep-textured handles made of 7075 aluminum and are mil-spec anodized to keep the blading technique optimized.
Of the three main available models, only the original raptor is ambidextrous.
- Original raptor ambidextrous
While there are many derived models from his core one, the original one maintains its popularity. Known for its strength and durability, it isn’t touched with any other material. It hence comparatively weighs more than its derivatives. It features double latches on either side of the handle, enabling you to operate it using either of your hands.
It ranks top on the quality checks handling more than a million cycles ensuring its reliability on and off the range. You would hardly find a negative review about the raptors in any forum.
3. Strike industry
Strike industry models are known for their affordability. They offer mil-spec models at a reasonable price in the market and are hard anodized and smooth in operation. The difference in models is hard to find with a naked eye but in operation, they can be felt
- Strike Industries ARCH
Made from 7075 aluminum and mil-spec styled they are nothing fancy but nice and operational.
The fine finish outside and the textured inner make it a perfect balance in design and compact in operation. A smooth finish helps it effortlessly to charge, clear the jams, and whatnot. The textured inside comes in handy when using gloves or the hands are slippery.
- Strike Industries ARCH with extended latch
People usually ignore this option as they come as low as 30$. They are cheap but haven’t made a compromise in quality in the model.
The extended latch offers that additional grasp and is quicker in operation. It approximately extends to about half an inch outward from the body. While most of the features of the ARCH were carried to this model as well, the extended handle is on the left side. This makes the product not a buy for the left-handers.
To Sum Up
To make it in a nutshell, the markets are crowded with choices of ambidextrous charging handles. We presented here with the most sought-after products from popular brands. Since technology is improving day after day, there are many more to add to this list.
One such model is Gorilla Machining AR-15 Billet T6 6061 Ambi Charging Handle. It’s made of T7 7075 aluminum and type 2 anodized which is better than any of the charging handle mentioned previously according to veteran gunsmiths. It offers better grip and ergonomics and improved performance. It looks fancy, smart, and colorful that gains attention.
Visit our online store to know more about the Gorilla Machining AR-15 Billet T6 6061 Ambi Charging Handle, and to get your hands on it.