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The beauty of the AR’s modular design is no more evident than the simple charging handle, a winnow-thin strip of aluminum with a latch mechanism that has to be one of the easiest parts to upgrade. After all, removing it is standard practice for general cleaning and maintenance. While a factory-installed charging handle will work perfectly fine, functionality, convenience and ease-of-use can increase with an aftermarket upgrade. There are many charging handles from which to choose, and 18 of the best follow.

 

 

1. AXTS TUNGSTEN GREY RAPTOR

2. PHASE 5 BATTLE LATCH STANDARD 3. FALKOR DEFENSE DRAGON TAIL 15

Platform: AR-15

AR-15

AR-15

Weight: 1.30 ounces

1.50 ounces 1.45 ounces
Overall Length: 7.00 inches 6.88 inches

6.75 inches

Handle Thickness: 0.42 inches

0.61 inches

0.65 inches

Handle Width: 2.57 inches

2.65 inches

2.78 inches

Body Material: 7075 Aluminum

7075 Billet Aluminum

7075 Aluminum

Latch Material: Steel

7075 Billet Aluminum

Steel

Finish: Anodized

Type III, Class 2 Hard Anodized (MIL-A-8625)

Anodized

Ambidextrous: Yes

No

Yes

MSRP: $100

$75

$75

AXTSWEAPONS.COM PHASE5WSI.COM

FALKORDEFENSE.COM

 

4. DOUBLESTAR

TAC LATCH

5. ANDERSON RIFLES

PULL FOR FREEDOM

6. BRAVO COMPANY GUNFIGHTER MOD 3

Platform: AR-15

AR-15 AR-15

Weight: 1.40 ounces

1.15 ounces

1.25 ounces

Overall Length: 7.00 inches

6.88 inches

6.88 inches

Handle Thickness: 0.42 inches

0.43 inches

0.50 inches

Handle Width: 2.63 inches

2.08 inches

0.55 inches

Body Material: 6061 Aluminum

7075 T6 Aluminum

7075 Aluminum

Latch Material: Steel

Steel

7075 Aluminum

Finish: Anodized

Anodized

Anodized

Ambidextrous: No

No

No

MSRP: $45

$31

$50

STAR15.COM ANDERSONRIFLES.COM

BRAVOCOMPANYUSA.COM

 

 

7. STRIKE INDUSTRIES

ARCH-EL

8. GREY GHOST

PRECISION SL-400

9. BRAVO COMPANY GUNFIGHTER A44
Platform: AR-15 AR-15

AR-15

Weight: 1.10 ounces

1.19 ounces 1.25 ounces

Overall Length: 6.84 inches

7.00 inches

6.88 inches

Handle Thickness: 0.46 inches (at latch) 0.41 inches

0.50 inches

Handle Width: 2.09 inches

2.60 inches 2.65 inches
Body Material: T-6 7075 Forged Hard Anodized 7075-T651 Billet Aluminum

7075 Aluminum

Latch Material: Aluminum

A36 P&O Black-Nitride Coated 7075 Aluminum
Finish: Anodized Hard Coat, Type III Mil-Spec Anodized

Anodized

Ambidextrous: No

Yes Yes
MSRP: $36 $60

$73

STRIKEINDUSTRIES.COM

GREYGHOSTPRECISION.COM BRAVOCOMPANYUSA.COM

 

 

10. DOUBLESTAR

STANDARD

11. MEGA ARMS

M401-MEGA GRIP

12. FORTIS MFG

HAMMER

Platform: AR-15 AR-15

AR-15

Weight: 1.00 ounces

1.15 ounces

1.40 ounces

Overall Length: 6.81 inches

6.88 inches 6.88 inches

Handle Thickness: 0.42 inches

0.44 inches

0.65 inches

Handle Width: 2.05 inches 2.07 inches

2.44 inches

Body Material: 6061 Aluminum

7075 Aluminum 7075 T6 Billet Aluminum
Latch Material: Aluminum Steel

Steel

Finish: Anodized

Anodized Nickelene
Ambidextrous: No No

No

MSRP: $25

$33 $70
STAR15.COM MEGAARMS.COM

FORTISMFG.COM

 

13. AXTS RAPTOR

FREEDOM BONE

14. LWRC

AMBI

15. PHASE 5 BATTLE

LATCH AMBI

Platform: AR-15 AR-15

AR-15

Weight: 1.40 ounces

1.80 ounces 1.60 ounces
Overall Length: 7.00 inches 6.88 inches

7.50 inches

Handle Thickness: 0.69 inches

0.44 inches 0.49 inches
Handle Width: 2.41 inches 2.42 inches

2.43 inches

Body Material: 7075 Aluminum

7075 Aluminum 7075 Billet Aluminum
Latch Material: Steel 4140 Steel

7075 Billet Aluminum

Finish: Anodized

Anodized Type III, Class 2 Hard Anodized (MIL-A-8625)
Ambidextrous: Yes Yes

Yes

MSRP: $110

$100 $80
AXTSWEAPONS.COM LWRCI.COM

FORTISMFG.COM

 

 

16 PALMETTO STATE

ARMORY PSA AR15

17 WMD GUNS

NIB-X

18 PRECISION REFLEX

GAS BUSTER

Platform: AR-15 AR-15 AR-15
Weight: 1.05 ounces 1.80 ounces 1.75 ounces
Overall Length: 6.81 inches 6.81 inches 6.81 inches
Handle Thickness: 0.44 inches 0.42 inches 0.72 inches
Handle Width: 2.06 inches 2.04 inches 2.50 inches
Body Material: T7075 Aluminum 7075 Aluminum T6 7075 Aluminum
Latch Material: 6061 Aluminum Steel Steel
Finish: Anodized Nickel-Boron Anodized
Ambidextrous: No No No
MSRP: $27 $33 $90
PALMETTOSTATEARMORY.COM WMDGUNS.COM PRECISIONREFLEX.COM

 

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2016 print issue of World of Firepower.

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