Innovations in AR-15 Accessories: Spotlight on Left-Handed Uppers

In 1959, ArmaLite gave Colt the rights to the AR-15 because of budgetary constraints as well as limits with regard to labor and manufacturing capability. Colt renamed it as the Colt 601 after making changes (most notably moving the charging handle from beneath the carrying handle, similar to the AR-10, to the back of the receiver). Despite this, Armalite marks were remained on it because of contractual responsibilities to Armalite/Fairchild Aircraft Co. Colt sold the revised rifle to international armed forces, and in January 1962, the U.S. military approved it. In December 1963, the rifle was designated as the M16, and it entered manufacturing and service in 1964.

It was created in 1956 by American firearms company ArmaLite and was modeled after their AR-10 rifle. In order to enable infantrymen to carry more ammo, the ArmaLite AR-15 was developed to be a lightweight rifle that also fires a new small-caliber, lightweight cartridge with high velocity.

For left-handed shooters wanting to start their next build, this stripped AR15 left handed upper is the ideal core. The two main parts required to enable left-handed ejection on AR15 design rifles are the bolt carrier group and left-handed upper receiver, both of which are included in this kit.

Left-Handed AR-15 Round-Up | An Official Journal Of The NRA

Understanding the Need for Left-Handed AR-15 Uppers

Most folks who want to convert their AR-15 to a left-handed layout start with the upper receiver. For right-handed shooters, a right-hand eject upper receiver safely discharges gasses and round casings onto their right side. This implies that every time you shoot, if you’re a left-handed shooter, you can get hit in the face with hot gasses and metal.

By switching to a left-eject upper receiver, you may transfer everything to your left side of the body, preventing burns to your face.

Technological Advancements in Left-Handed Uppers

The AR15 charging handle’s development is a reflection of the weapon’s transformation from a military service rifle to a widely used platform for military, law enforcement, and civilian applications throughout the globe. As shooters’ and operators’ demands and technology change, this progression highlights advancements in ergonomics, materials, and user requirements. 

History and Initial Designs 

Eugene Stoner created the AR15 for Armalite in the late 1950s, and it included a charging handle inside the carrying handle on top of the weapon. This design was directly taken from the AR10, which was its predecessor. This “T” shaped charging handle forced the user to reach across the rifle in order to cock it. While this approach was appropriate at the time, it eventually changed as a result of user feedback and tactical concerns. 

Shift to the Back 

The charging handle was moved to the back of the receiver when the US military adopted the M16, a military version of the AR15. This modification represented a substantial shift in design, enhancing ergonomics and facilitating shooters’ ability to charge the rifle without having to make major adjustments to their grip or stance. This back positioning has stayed the same and will be the foundation for any new developments and improvements in the future. 

The introduction of enhanced and ambidextrous handles 

The need for more user-friendly features increased as the AR15 platform became more and more popular among civilian shooters and found a variety of applications in military and law enforcement settings. Due to this, ambidextrous charging handles were created, making it easier for people to operate the rifle in unusual situations or by left-handed shooters. Larger latches on improved handles also gained popularity because they improved grip and made it easier to operate under pressure or while wearing gloves. 

Advances in Materials and Technology 

Developments in manufacturing techniques and materials are also reflected in the evolution of charging handles. Advanced metals and lightweight, high-strength polymers have been added to the lineup of early models, which were mostly constructed of steel or aluminum. These materials satisfy the need of contemporary shooters for lighter, more agile weapons by providing decreased weight without sacrificing durability. 

Personalization and Unique Designs 

The AR15 charging handle is a hub for innovation and modification today. Designs suited for high-volume shooting, suppressed shooting, and harsh climatic conditions highlight how important the charging handle is to the entire performance and user experience of the handgun. Gas redirection, anti-snag shapes, and color customization are just a few of the new features that manufacturers and aftermarket experts are always investigating. The charging handle is further integrated as a crucial component for the AR15’s personalization and performance improvement. 

Comparing Left-Handed Uppers with Traditional AR-15 Uppers

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between left-handed and traditional AR-15 uppers:

Ejection Port:

  • Left-handed: Ejects spent casings to the left side of the rifle, away from the left-handed shooter’s face and arm.
  • Traditional: Ejects spent casings to the right side, which can interfere with left-handed shooters.


  • Left-handed: Less common and can be harder to find, especially from major manufacturers.
  • Traditional: Widely available from most AR-15 manufacturers.


  • Left-handed: Often more expensive than traditional uppers due to lower production volume.
  • Traditional: Generally, more affordable due to higher demand and production volume.

Ambidextrous Options:

  • Left-handed: May not be necessary with a left-handed upper, but some may still prefer ambi options for controls.
  • Traditional: Can be made more left-handed friendly with ambidextrous charging handles, magazine releases, and safety selectors.


  • Left-handed: May have limited upgrade options due to fewer parts specifically designed for left-handed uppers.
  • Traditional: More upgrade options due to the wider availability of parts.

Here are some additional things to consider:

  • Severity for Lefties: Some left-handed shooters find the brass ejection from traditional AR-15s to be a minor inconvenience, while others find it a major issue.
  • Ambidextrous Alternatives: Many traditional AR-15 parts can be swapped for ambidextrous versions, making them more usable for left-handed shooters.
  • Cost vs. Benefit: Unless brass ejection is a significant problem for you, a traditional upper with some ambidextrous upgrades might be a more cost-effective option.
Lefty AR Upper — Not Just for Southpaws within

Choosing the Right Left-Handed Upper for Your Needs

Since there’s no term for “upper left,” it helps to think about what you’re talking about to get the best direction. There are two possibilities:

Left guitar upper attack: This is the top and rounded part of the left guitar. If you’re looking for a left-handed guitar, the right-handed bout to choose depends on your playing style and tonal preferences. For example, some larger upper shocks project more effective sound, while smaller ones are more comfortable on certain body types.

Left-handed Boxing Uppercut: An uppercut is a style of punching in a boxing match. If you are a right-handed (left-handed) boxer, a left uppercut will be your natural power punch to the top. The success of this punch depends on the technique and style.


Range days may now be enjoyed instead of being a hassle for wrong-handed left-handed shooters thanks to left-handed AR-15s. It is so much easier to live with left-handed controls and a left-handed ejector. Everything you need to construct or purchase a left-handed AR-15 should be in your possession if you’re seeking for one.

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