What’s Up With That Side Charge?

AR 15 Rifle Right Hand Side Charge Upper Receiver.

What’s Up With That Side Charge?

AR 15 Rifle Right Hand Side Charge Upper Receiver. The placement of the AR 15’s charging handle was renowned for its location when the rifle was introduced. The unusual charging handle was mounted to the rear of the receiver and completely ambidextrous. This was an excellent configuration for the military where the individual does not design their own service weapon, and right and left handed soldiers are issued identical weapons.

For the civilian market this doesn’t matter near as much, and the only advantage to mass production is cost efficiency. A civilian shooter can customize his or her rifle to their heart’s content.

This means they can change the weapon to a left or right hand side charge upper receiver. This makes the weapon more ergonomic, and easier to do reloads and clear malfunctions. The way these chargers work most efficiently is left side charge for right-handers and right hand charge uppers for left-handers.

This allows the dominant hand to stay on the pistol grip and trigger ready to fire and allows the non dominant hand to work the charging handle. Another option is of course an Ambi side charge upper like the Crosshill technologies XSR 15 to allow equal opportunity for both right and left hands.

Two niche AR 15 products come together when Spartan released their billet side charge upper.

Billet uppers are often more streamlined design and more prone to AR eccentricities and a perfect platform for a side charge upper. This billet upper receiver is made from a solid block of aluminum and reinforced for strength and durability. Billet uppers have design flexibility that other receivers don’t have. Billet upper with side charge handles are often cheaper than forged side chargers.

Side chargers are gaining more popularity and becoming a favorite for three gun competition since they are faster to use, and faster to reload. AR 15 side charge upper receivers may be far from being a stock item with major AR manufacturers, but it’s only a matter of time before we see companies like Colt and FN producing side charge rifles as catalog items. Until they do, we offer a wide variety of different side charge AR uppers here at Joebob’s Outfitters. We back them with free shipping for uppers over 90 dollars and our renowned customer service.