Top 7 Best AR-15 Charging Handles You Should Buy 2023 Reviews

A popular “front line” gun, the AR-15 has gained momentum and popularity in several parts of the world. To engage your ammo, as with all guns, you need to pull the charging handle.

While this may sound pretty basic, if you are left-handed, you will quickly notice that the handle on your new AR-15 is not designed for you. For right-handed users, while you may not notice as instantly as left-handers, if you go for an upgrade, you’ll be amazed at the improvements.

The best AR-15 charging handle is heavy-duty, wider, and will provide you a better grip for quick, immediate action.

Sweaty hands, thick gloves? No problem.

These are basics things to expect on the field, and the items in this review are made to handle all situations and will not disappoint. Reliability and usability have been factored into their manufacture.

So, let’s check them out below and find the best AR-15 Charging Handle for you…

What Is a Charging Handle?

A charging handle has three main functions, each of which is important in the proper operation of your AR-15.

Firstly, it pulls your gun’s bolt backward to engage a new cartridge. All things being equal, you will not need to use your charging handle until you have expended all the ammo in your current clip. But, in the rare event that your bullet casing is not ejected automatically (stoppage), the charging handle is your go-to. Tug at it, and you are good to go.

Finally, the charging handle, also known as the cocking handle or bolt handle, will get you out of any jam. These include a double feed, a stovepipe or misfire, or a hang fire.

Without a charging handle, there would be no quick fix to these, and this might cost you an arm or a leg, literally.

Why Should You Upgrade Your AR-15 Charging Handle?

While the AR-15 in itself is a great gun, as with all other products on the market, it has a lot of competition. As such, most of its parts are base model components that are meant just for the regular shooter.

Why settle for the minimum when you can get a decent upgrade, at a great price? As noted, the pre-installed AR-15 charging handle is not ambidextrous; neither does it offer you a proper grip and efficiency in more extreme conditions.

When out on a hunt or even sport shooting, then know just how much adrenaline pumps through your veins when you are ‘in the moment.’ Don’t compromise that by using a not-meant-for-rigorous-activity charging handle.

That said, take a look at these inexpensive upgrades that will make your day, every day you choose to use them.

Best AR-15 Charging Handle Reviews

Top 7 Best AR-15 Charging Handle In 2023 Reviews

1. Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor-LT Charging Handle 5.56

We all love to have a choice, and this charging handle model offers you a fair share of that. Sold in three colors – black, dark earth, and gray, you get to pick a tint that you like best.

Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor-LT Charging Handle 5.56

To its main function, it does not lag. It is manufactured from solid 7075 aluminum that guarantees its lifelong durability. The handle is fiberglass-reinforced to make it more durable, as it gets a lot of action. The overall structure is then given a hard coat anodized finish to make the charging handle corrosion resistant.

No worries for lefties…

This AR-15 charging handle is ambidextrous. Right or left-handed, or if you simply want to try out your other hand, it will provide you with the proper ergonomics. And the interior is grooved so it will offer you a proper grip no matter what.


  •  Three color options.
  •  Solid build for lifelong durability.
  •  Corrosion-resistant.
  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Grooved interior for improved ergonomics.


  •  No known Cons to date.

2. Weapons AR-15 Raptor – SD Charging Handle 5.56

For user flexibility, you can customize this AR-15 charging rifle to any Ceracote color of choice. Not to worry, several gun brands coat their guns with this kind of paint; it is field and combat-tested. Therefore, it won’t compromise on the quality and function of your equipment.

Weapons AR-15 Raptor – SD Charging Handle 5.56

Lifelong durability…

This unique-craft charging handle is designed so that it directs any released gasses away from your face. Once engaged, it directs any gases downward and forward, to eliminate any discomfort.

Also ambidextrous, and with its inner grooves, it offers you great ergonomics and the most flexibility.

This charging handle is manufactured from 7075-T6 aluminum, so will give you lifelong durability.


  •  Unlimited color options.
  •  Solid build for durability.
  •  Directs expelled gases away from your face.
  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Solid all-weather grooves for a proper grip.


  •  No known Cons to date.

3. Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor Charging Handle 5.56

Manufactured with aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum, you can count on this charging handle to have your back. Aluminum is all-weather resistant and offers you lifelong durability. It is fully cast, so it is corrosion and rust-resistant. And to make it even more wear-resistant, it is then MilSpec (Military Spec) anodized to make it all the more durable.

Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor Charging Handle 5.56

This coat makes it fluid and allows for fast on-the-field action. Little wonder it is the preferred choice of veterans.

Get a grip…

This best AR-15 charging handle is also ambidextrous. From either side, it works superbly.

For the most practicality, it has deep grooves on its interior that provides a proper all-weather non-slip surface.


  •  Solid build for durability.
  •  Rust and corrosion-resistant.
  •  MilSpec coated for faster response time.
  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Grooved interior non-slip surface.


  •  Single black color variant.

4. Bravo Company AR-15 BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle – Gen 2

Proudly wearing the Gen 2 tag, this best AR-15 charging handle by the Bravo team promises to be much better than regular MilSpec charging handles. While it is manufactured with the same 7075 T6 aluminum construction as previous models, its forging goes through a special process to make it stronger and more robust.

Bravo Company AR-15 BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle – Gen 2

It’s new, slightly altered symmetry makes it easier to use. It takes the stress off the latch pin and directs it all to the handle. Thus, when you use the handle, it requires less effort and feels more comfortable.

The handle is also designed to be slightly larger, so will be easier to locate and grasp.

Built to last…

All possible snags have been calculated and accounted for with the design of this cocking handle. Its upgraded shield protects you from spent gases by directing them away from you.

This unit is given a class 2 hard coat anodized finish. This not only improves surface strength but also makes your charging handle rust and corrosion-resistant. Also resistant against wear and shock, this unit will last you a lifetime.

Even better, it can be used by both right and left-handers. Fitted with deep grooves on the interior, it provides you a proper grip at all times.


  •  Solid build for lifelong durability.
  •  Special design to make it easier to use.
  •  Large handle head for easy handling.
  •  Directs expelled gases away from your face.
  •  Rust and corrosion-resistant.
  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Grooved handle interior for non-slip.


  •  Single black color variant.

5. Geissele Automatics LLC AR-15 Airborne Charging Handle

The Geissele’s AR-15 charging handle is sold in two colors – black or desert dirt. These are the colors used by the Marines, and either will look great on your rifle.

Specially designed for the USA elite forces, this is a military-grade weapon at your fingertips.

Geissele Automatics LLC AR-15 Airborne Charging Handle

What do you get with this product?

This best AR-15 charging handle will work with any other gear that you have mounted on your firearm. As noted, given its special crafting for the Marines, it has a low-profile lever. This is however easy to reach, with or without any additional equipment, such as a red dot sight, you have coupled onto your rifle.

The lever has concave radius cuts that provide you a solid non-slip surface. Also ambidextrous, it can be used by anyone.

Safe and comfortable…

This unit is manufactured with 7075 T6 aluminum for durability. To make it the most practical, the aft end is raised into a shield. This directs expelled gases away from you and leaves you both safe and comfortable at all times.


  •  Two color options.
  •  Solid build for durability.
  •  Can be used conveniently with several other gun-mounted pieces of equipment.
  •  Directs expelled gases away from your face.
  •  Non-slip handle grip.
  •  Ambidextrous design.


  •  No known Cons to date.

6. Geissels Automatics LLC Super Charging Handles

Again sold in the same two colors – black and desert dirt, you can choose whatever matches your style. Of military-grade likewise, this AR-15 charging handle will be able to withstand the environments.

This model from Geissels Automatics is manufactured with industrial-grade 7075-T6 aluminum for durability. To add, this material is rust and corrosion resistant, so will last a very long time.

Geissels Automatics LLC Super Charging Handles

A solid grip…

To use this handle is simple. And its ambidextrous design makes it compatible for use with both right-handed and left-handed folk. The interior is ridged with concave radius cuts, so you get a solid grip.

Even with a glove on or with wet hands, these grooves are designed so that your hand never slips from the surface, no matter what.

And again, this charging handle from Geissels Automatics deflects gases away from you. So, it’s always a pleasure to use.


  •  Two color options.
  •  Solid build for durability.
  •  Directs expelled gases away from your face.
  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Non-slip handle grooves.


  •  No known Cons to date.

8. Phase 5 Tactical – AR-15 Extended Latch Charging Handle

Specific about its function, the Phase 5 tactical is for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. At this point, this may seem pretty basic. However, this charging handle holds a lot of promise.

Phase 5 Tactical – AR-15 Extended Latch Charging Handle

So, what do you get with this product?

The Phase 5 Tactical is manufactured with industrial-grade aluminum for durability. To make it the best fit for real-life scenarios, the handle is built with heavy-duty aluminum to ensure that it lasts longer, and can handle more stress.

This unit is manufactured with thick ridges that allow for easy access when needed. These provide a quality non-slip surface that works well, either with or without gloves on.

Built to last, this AR-15 charging handle will also project gases away from your face to keep you safe.


  •  Ambidextrous design.
  •  Solid build for durability.
  •  Directs expelled gases away from your face.
  •  Grooved handle interior for non-slip


  •  No color variants.

Best AR-15 Charging Handle Buying Guide

The main reason why someone upgrades their AR-15 charging handle is to get a better experience. Of course, all manufacturers promise this, but some deliver it far better than others. So, let’s take a quick look at these key features to find out how to make the best pick for you.


All the top units listed in this review are manufactured with quality materials, so, there are no concerns there. However, what we didn’t mention earlier, is that they all come with a lifetime guarantee, which they all live up to.

However, you do need to decide on what weight is best for you? If for example, you have a lot of gear mounted to your rifle, then we recommend that you go for a lightweight unit. While the weight difference may seem quite small, if you spread it across all of the “extras” on your gun, you will be surprised as to how much it adds up to.

Also, check for color, and buy one that matches your gun and your style the best.


This is another unique reason why several people go for charging handle upgrades. We would recommend that you go for an ambidextrous latch, but again, these top units all are. Also, they all provide protection from gas and dust to your face after firing your weapon.

But you do need to check out the height and the length of the latch. A shorter latch will provide better clearance if you have other mounted equipment.

While you may not see the immediate need for this if you use your gun bare, you should still lookout for this feature. As time progresses, you may find that it was a great choice.

On the other hand, the length should be longer. This eliminates fumbling and allows you to have easy access to it, even in poor visibility or with gloves on.

Most importantly, though, it should have a properly ridged surface that provides you a solid non-slip grip at all times.

So What’s The Best AR-15 Charging Handle?

As humans, we never stop. Even with widely applauded best products, improvements are still made. Minor or major, these go a long way to improve the user experience and the function of a unit.

In essence, the charging handle is a rather small component. However, it is a major game-changer. Offering you an intuitive all-the-time experience, this cannot be ignored; you need one of these! A good one!

While all of these products are the best AR-15 charging handles on the market, going through our buying guide is advised. In it, we have outlined the two basic things to look out for when buying the best AR-15 charging handle.

But there has to be a winner, and that is the…

Geissele Automatics LLC AR-15 Airborne Charging Handle

Crafted for the marines, it has all you need, and more!

With this unit, you get a solid non-slip grip, an extended latch, and a low-profile lever. This makes it compatible with all kinds of applications. It’s also superb for discharging gas away from your face.

As with the popular advert: “just do it.” You should, and it will be one of the best decisions you ever make.

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