One very common upgrade for the AR15 platform that you see is an upgraded charging handle. Most guns ship with the normal mil-spec factory charging handle that, to its defense works. The downside is that it’s pretty basic and it doesn’t work for all circumstances.
The main reason I personally upgrade my own charging handle is for a sealed ledge on the back. I mainly shoot suppressed so if you have a basic handle, the gas likes to bleed out the back of the upper where the gap between the charging handle and upper is. That gas will make the biggest badest guy you can think of cry while shooting. It’s basically just hot, chunky carbon spat into your face with each shot. So I like charging handles like the Geissele Airborne. They have bigger latches. They are ambidextrous and have a raised ledge on the back to seal the charging handle to the upper and keep the gas out of my face.
Another popular reason is so you don’t have to rack your knuckles on your optic. Lots of times when you’re running a scope or a magnifier or just a bigger optic in general. There isn’t always a ton of room left for you to grab the charging handle itself and actually rack the weapon. I think most people would agree that they have been in the situation where they needed to clear a malfunction or something by racking the gun back and forth, just to bust their knuckles on the mount or the optic and get frustrated because of it. It also just doesn’t feel nice. The Strike ARCH and the BCM Mod4 are great examples of fixes. They offer extended latches that allow you to grab on the side of the charging handle and extend past where the optic typically is placed.
The final reason would be for those crazy Lefties out there. If you’re a lefty it’s pretty difficult to have to charge the weapon with your trigger hand. There’s really no good way or technique to do it that isn’t chunky or slow. So an Ambi charging handle basically has a pivoting paddle on each side. That way you can charge the rifle from either side and not have to worry about swapping hands. Plus even for the right-handed guys. You just never know when you’ll be in a situation where you might not be able to charge the gun like you normally would. So it’s a win-win upgrade either way.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap charging handle just to finish a build or for the perfect one to upgrade your current gun. We typically have tons of options in stock and plenty of availability. If you’re local, as a reminder you can stop into the showroom and we have most of the popular ones on the display wall for you to rack and mess with and see what fits your hands the best!