Pros and cons of side charging ar

Side charging AR rifles have become increasingly popular in recent years. While they offer many benefits, there are also some disadvantages that need to be considered before investing in one. In this article, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of side charging AR rifles.


1. Easy to Charge: One of the biggest advantages of side charging AR rifles is that they are very easy to charge. Unlike traditional AR rifles, side charging AR rifles have a charging handle on the side of the receiver, which makes it much easier to operate.

2. Faster Reloads: Side charging AR rifles also offer faster reloads than traditional AR rifles. With the charging handle on the side of the receiver, you can quickly and easily charge your rifle, allowing you to get back in the fight faster.

3. Better Ergonomics: Side charging AR rifles also offer better ergonomics than traditional AR rifles. With the charging handle on the side of the receiver, you don’t have to reach over the top of the rifle to charge it, which can be uncomfortable and awkward.

4. Improved Ambidexterity: Side charging AR rifles are also great for left-handed shooters. With the charging handle on the side of the receiver, left-handed shooters can easily charge their rifle without having to switch hands.


1. Limited Compatibility: One of the biggest disadvantages of side charging AR rifles is that they are not compatible with all AR-15 parts. You will need to make sure that the parts you are using are specifically designed for a side charging AR rifle.

2. Price: Side charging AR rifles can also be more expensive than traditional AR rifles. This is because they require special machining and design, which can drive up the cost of production.

3. Limited Availability: While side charging AR rifles are becoming more popular, they are still not as widely available as traditional AR rifles. This can make it more difficult to find the specific model you are looking for.


Overall, side charging AR rifles offer many benefits over traditional AR rifles. They are easier to operate, offer faster reloads, and have better ergonomics. However, they also have some disadvantages to consider, such as limited compatibility, higher price, and limited availability. Before investing in a side charging AR rifle, make sure to weigh the pros and cons and choose a model that meets your specific needs and preferences.

What are the main advantages of using a side charging AR rifle over a traditional charging handle design?

The AR platform is one of the most widely used firearms in the world, and it has undergone many advancements over the years to improve its functionality and versatility. One of the recent developments in this platform is the side charging AR rifle, which offers several advantages over the traditional charging handle design. One major advantage of using a side charging system is that it allows for faster charging and the ability to keep your eyes on the target while reloading. With the traditional charging handle, the shooter has to remove their eyes from the target and reach back to charge the weapon, which can be time-consuming and may result in a loss of situational awareness.

Additionally, using a side charging AR rifle can also be more comfortable and user-friendly, especially for individuals with smaller statures, as it reduces the amount of force required to charge the weapon. The side charging system typically features a handle that is more ergonomically designed, making it easier to manipulate and increasing overall shooting comfort. Furthermore, the placement of the side charging system also allows for easier attachment and detachment of accessories such as optics and lights without interfering with the charging handle.

In conclusion, the advantages of using a side charging AR rifle over a traditional charging handle design are numerous. This cutting-edge technology enhances accuracy, speed, comfort, and customization, resulting in improved shooting performance and maximum situational awareness. Whether you are a seasoned marksman or a beginner shooter, a side charging AR rifle provides a superior user experience that is hard to beat.

Are there any downsides or drawbacks to using a side charging AR, and if so, what are they?

Side charging ARs have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. These rifles offer a variety of benefits over traditional rear charging ARs, such as increased ease of use, improved ergonomics, and the ability to charge the rifle with one hand. However, there are a few downsides or drawbacks to using a side charging AR that should be considered before making the switch.

One potential downside of side charging ARs is that they can be more expensive than traditional rear charging models. The side charging mechanism adds additional machining and parts to the rifle, which can drive up the cost. Additionally, with fewer manufacturers making side charging ARs, there may be a more limited selection of parts and accessories available.

Another potential drawback of side charging ARs is that they can be more difficult to find replacement parts for if something were to break. Rear charging ARs have been around for decades and have a well-established aftermarket support network, whereas side charging ARs are still relatively new to the market. This means that finding parts or repairs for a side charging AR may be more difficult and expensive than for a traditional rear charging model. Overall, while side charging ARs offer many benefits, it’s important to weigh the potential downsides and drawbacks as well.

How does a side charging AR differ from other types of rifles, and what makes it unique?

The side charging AR is an innovation in the world of rifles that changes the way one operates the charging handle. In traditional ARs, the charging handle is located on top of the receiver, which can make it difficult for left-handed shooters and can also cause interference with certain optics. However, the side charging AR solves these problems by placing the charging handle on the side of the receiver, making it easily accessible for left-handed shooters and creating less interference with optics. This feature allows for smoother and easier operation of the rifle, especially for those who prefer the charging handle on the side.

Another unique aspect of the side charging AR is its design. Rather than using a traditional direct impingement or gas piston system commonly found in ARs, the side charging AR often uses a non-reciprocating bolt handle system. This design provides a cleaner look and reduces the movement of the charging handle during cycling, resulting in less wear on the rifle and easier manipulation. Overall, the side charging AR offers improved ergonomics, functionality, and design compared to traditional ARs, making it a popular choice for firearms enthusiasts.

What are some recommended manufacturers or models for side charging ARs, and what should buyers look for in choosing one?

Side charging ARs offer a unique advantage for those who want quick and easy access to the charging handle without breaking their firing position. There are a number of manufacturers and models that offer side charging options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

One popular brand for side charging ARs is Gibbz Arms. Their G4 side charging upper receiver is a well-regarded option for those looking to improve their handling of the rifle. Another solid choice is American Spirit Arms, which offers both complete rifles and stripped uppers for builders. Seekins Precision also offers a limited edition side charging option with a proprietary bolt carrier group.

When choosing a side charging AR, buyers should look for several key factors. First, ensure that the charging handle is easy to use and reliable. Clearances can also be an issue with some lower receivers, so make sure that the upper receiver and lower receiver are compatible. Buyers should also consider the weight and balance of the rifle, as well as its overall fit and finish. Finally, it’s important to choose a manufacturer with a good reputation for quality and customer service.

How does the price of a side charging AR compare to other types of rifles, and is it a worthwhile investment for hunters, target shooters, or other firearms enthusiasts?

The price of a side charging AR varies depending on various factors, such as the manufacturer, materials used, and customizations you may choose to add. Typically, a side charging AR will be more expensive than a standard AR-15 due to the additional production costs, however, compared to other types of rifles, such as bolt-action or lever-action rifles, the price point is relatively competitive.

As for whether or not it’s a worthwhile investment, that depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. For hunters, a side charging AR can be an especially useful investment because of its reliability and accuracy. The side charging mechanism also allows for quick, easy charging and shooting in tight spaces or awkward positions, which can be crucial in the field. Similarly, target shooters can benefit from the precise, consistent shots that a side charging AR allows for.

Overall, while the cost of a side charging AR may be higher than some other rifles, for those who prioritize accuracy and ease of use, it can be a valuable investment. As with any firearm purchase, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the cost and determine whether it’s the right choice for your specific needs and budget.