Why You Need A Side Charging AR-15 Upper

Project ar15 Oct 19, 2023
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AR15 Side Charging Upper Receiver

Side Charging Ar15 Upper Receivers Gaining Popularity Among Enthusiasts

The AR-15 platform has seen a myriad of innovations over the years, and one such innovation is the side charging upper receiver. This modification alters the traditional manual of arms and offers distinct advantages and disadvantages, making it an intriguing option for firearm enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the world of AR-15 side charging uppers, highlighting their pros and cons, particularly focusing on the advantage of gas management and mentioning Bear Creek Arsenal's offerings in this category.


What Positives Am I Likely To Experience With AR-15 Side Charging Uppers?


Improved Gas Management: One of the significant advantages of AR-15 side charging uppers is their efficient gas management. Unlike traditional rear charging handles, side chargers do not have an open area in the rear of the upper receiver for gas to escape. This design significantly reduces the amount of gas that can escape, especially when AR pistols are equipped with suppressors. Suppressors tend to increase gas blowback, but side chargers mitigate this issue, providing a cleaner shooting experience.


Accessibility and Ambidextrous Operation: Side charging uppers are typically more accessible and offer ambidextrous operation. This makes them ideal for both left-handed and right-handed shooters, as the charging handle is conveniently located on the side of the upper receiver. This design change can lead to faster and smoother charging of the firearm, improving overall efficiency.


Enhanced Ergonomics: Users often find side chargers to be more ergonomic. The side placement of the charging handle allows for more natural movements and can be particularly advantageous in dynamic shooting situations. This improved ergonomics can contribute to increased accuracy and control.


What Are Some Drawbacks of AR-15 Side Charging Uppers?


Increased Reciprocating Mass: One minor drawback of side charging uppers is the increased reciprocating mass compared to traditional AR-15s. While this extra mass is generally not a significant concern, it may slightly affect the overall balance of the firearm. However, this is a relatively minor detail and may not be a significant issue for most users.


Change in Manual of Arms: Transitioning to a side charging upper requires a change in the manual of arms for AR-15 users. Traditional AR-15s have a rear charging handle, whereas side chargers necessitate a different technique. While this adjustment may take some getting used to, it is manageable with practice, and many shooters find the benefits outweigh the learning curve.


Bear Creek Arsenal's Selection of Side Charging Uppers


Bear Creek Arsenal, a reputable manufacturer in the firearms industry, offers a great selection of side charging AR-15 upper receivers. Their products are known for their quality and reliability, making them a top choice for those considering a side charging upper for their AR-15. It's essential to do your research and choose a reputable manufacturer like Bear Creek Arsenal to ensure you get a reliable and well-built product.


AR-15 side charging uppers offer several advantages, including improved gas management, enhanced ergonomics, and ambidextrous operation. While they come with a minor drawback in terms of increased reciprocating mass and require a change in the manual of arms, many shooters find these modifications well worth the benefits they provide. If you're considering upgrading your AR-15, Bear Creek Arsenal's selection of side charging uppers is certainly worth exploring for a more efficient and versatile shooting experience.