5 Best AR-10 Charging Handles of 2020 – An Overview

Best AR-10 Charging Handles

The ArmaLite (AR) is one of the most popular rifles in the U.S.A. as Americans enjoy relying on them as a sporting gun. Unlike the rest, the AR-10 became an extremely successful .308 sporting rifle, specifically intended for AR-platform enthusiasts who prefer to achieve a longer and more powerful punch than the .223/5.56 NATO. 

One of the smallest and easiest upgrades you can make to boost your gun’s performance is to swap out the charging handle. LIke every other rifle part, the charging handle comes in dozens and dozens of different options such that navigating AR charging handles can be a real challenge for some. So, to help reduce some burden, we’ve covered some of the best AR-10 charging handles in this review article for you to consider. 

Charging HandlesNameEditor’s CommentRatingGet The Deal
Badger Ordnance .308 AR Gen 3 Ambidextrous Charging Handle

Most Recommended Option

1. 1. Ambidextrous design
2. Designed to fit a wide range of AR-10 rifles
3. Adjustable settings

10/10Check Current Price
Geissele Super Charging Handle

Premium Option

1. 1. Wide enough for palm blading
2. Lightweight model
3. Prevent gas blowback

9.5/10Check Current Price
Phase 5 Tactical 308 Ambi Charging Handle Assembly1. Rugger construction
2. Designed to fit all AR .308 DPMS Style rifles
3. Ambidextrous design
9.5/10Check Current Price
.308 Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle AR-10, LR-3081. Made from 7075 T6 aluminum
2. Ambidextrous design with extended latch on both sides
3. Works well with Bolt Carrier Groups
7.0/10Currently unavailable
PSA PA10 .308 Charging Handle1. Factory replacement style
2. Requires little fitting and can be installed within minutes
3. Affordable price
7.0/10Currently unavailable

What is a Charging Handle & How Does it Work?

A charging-cocking handle is a vital part that works to charge or load the rifle. 

The charging handle will feed the first round from the magazine whenever the hammer is moved in the ready position as the user pulls the bolt and carrier to the rear. The charging handle also ejects any unfired rounds from the chamber to prevent any malfunctions such as jamming, double feed or misfires. 

In certain firearms with a last-round-hold-open feature, the bolt is locked to the rear after firing off the last round. Once the charging handle releases it, the user will then insert a fresh magazine into the gun and press the bolt release lever. 

Hence, a cocking handle is not just an unremarkable slender, rod-shaped object, but this long piece of T-shaped metal is one of the most crucial AR rifle parts that is very useful, especially in extreme critical situations. 

Benefits of Upgrading your AR-10 Charging Handle

Here are a few perks of upgrading the charging handles on your rifle. 

Versatility

The durability of OEM charging handles are good for casual shooting and for practice at the local firing range. However, a basic mil-spec handle may not meet high volume of ammo and tactical shooting. Plus, a standard OEM charging handle is mainly intended for right-handed shooters. So, you can easily upgrade a mil-spec handle with one that has ambidextrous parts to suit either hand. 

Ease of Use

Another flaw with current charging handle techniques is that the operators can charge the weapon with one swift and strong movement using the support side hand only. To solve this, several charging handles come with enlarged extended latches for use as a tactical cocking handle. The larger surface area allows the operator to engage the charging handle with a gloves on or even by foot. 

Durability

Upgraded charging handles are much sturdier with a bigger grooved bolt latch to enable easier cycle without binding it. On top of that, there are even specifically made charging handles with a ridge towards the back to act as a gas buster to safely manage any inconvenience caused through blowback. 

Reviews of the Best AR-10 Charging Handles

Without further ado, here are some of the best AR-10 charging handles available on the market that’s made it onto our article. 

1. The .308 Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle AR-10, LR-308

Best Overall AR-10 Charging Handle

The AR.308 Radian Raptor charging handle is compatible with most AR-10 rifles and can even cooperate with BCGs (bolt carrier group) amazingly. The 7075 T6 aluminum construction also means that you are dealing with one of the toughest charging handles available that is nearly impossible to damage through thousands of rounds. So, if you want a durable charging handle that will make your shooting experience smooth and reliable, with the 7075 T6 aluminum, it is safe to say that this is the charging handle to go for. 

This is also one of the best ambidextrous charging handles produced by Radian Weapons Company (formerly known as AXTS Weapons System) and unlike its right-handed counterparts that come with an extended lever to the right side, the Raptor SD uses double, heavy-duty serrated latches on either sides of the handle that are further secured with heavy-duty axis pins. 

Considering that the AR-10 gim shoots off a more powerful ammunition, it demands more solid components that are capable of harsh treatment and manipulation. Fortunately this 7074 aluminum charging handle is 70 percent stronger than the 6061 aluminum to take on any abuse.

While the Radian Weapons AR Raptor charging handle is somewhat bigger than the original charging handle. It features smooth machined edges to reduce snags and remain easy on your hands. Another great note to consider is that this AR-10 charging handle allows users to mount their favorite rifle scopes low and back on the upper receiver. 

The ambidextrous design of the charging handle is even wide enough to allow users to perform a rapid palm blading, or finger thumb charges of the weapon like a true operator. The extended charging handles feature two identical independent release levers to offer a lot of space to hand grip even with gloves on. 

The Raptor AR-10 charging handle is a great choice for left-handed shooters. But more importantly, it delivers a smooth, jam-free cycling that will be beneficial across most applications. So, whether you’re a competitive shooter or bearing down on a large whitetail deer, you can trust that this charging handle will ensure you get dead-on performance and malfunction-free functioning. This charging handle will certainly come through the clutch to help you get the job done. 

Many users were impressed with the AR-10 charging handle. Not only does the ambidextrous design means that many left-handed shooters can finally have a better use of their AR-10, but this charging handle even allows for a smooth, reliable shooting and worked really well with most BCGs (bolt carrier group). 

The bottom line is that the Radian Weapons AR 308 Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle is most probably one of the best when it comes to giving you excellent shooting ability. This upgrade will ensure that your AR-10 runs like a well-oiled machine for years down the road. 

Furthermore, the ambidextrous charging handles offer a much more solid grip compared to a standard handle paired with complete functionality on either side with twin latches. 

You would like this if:

You want a durable CH. The AR-10 charging handle is made from aircraft grade 7075 T6 aluminum for enhanced resilience and longevity. 

You are a left-handed shooter. This ambi charging handle even has an extended latch on both sides for positive engagement. 

You might not like this if: 

You’re shopping with a budget. While this is without a doubt, one of the best AR-10 charging handles in the industry, it does come with a price that’s double of other handles. 

2. Geissele Super Charging Handle

Runner-Up for the Best AR-15 Charging Handle

​Check For Best Price

Next on our list is a beast that’s great for shooters of either hand. This is the kind of accessory that will guarantee a much smoother and easier shooting compared to other standard charging handle factory defaults. It is also made from aircraft grade aluminum so you can trust that it’s pretty tough. The charging handle is shockproof and difficult to wear down, perfect for those looking for one that will last them a very long time and to handle lots of applications. 

Not only will this charging handle offer you a smooth shooting ability, but it even goes beyond that of preventing any kind of gas blowback from occurring. You can even say that this will save your face from inhaling clouds of smoke that you don’t really want to breathe in. 

The charging handle is perfect for those who want something with excellent grip, smooth and reliable shooting cycles, and some gas blowback reduction. On top of that, the charging handle is also one of the most affordable options on the market. It is high-quality, reliable, easy-to-install, all at a price that you can afford. 

Recent buyers were happy with the AR-10 charging handle’s simplicity of installation. Considering that this is a lightweight CH, many users noted that it did not add any excess weight to the firearm. They were also very satisfied with the high-quality charging handle’s reliability and how it could deliver smooth cycling with the test shots they made at the range. 

Overall, the Super Charging Handle is a tough, easy-to-install, and easy-to-use model that features a simple charging handle design to make it easier for shooters to make the most out of their AR-10 rifles. On top of that, the charging handle is even priced at a very affordable price to make it a steal of a lifetime. 

You would like this if:

You want good ergonomics. This charging handle has a wide enough design for palm blading for an ultra smooth operation. 

You want something premium. Not only is this a lightweight model that weighs only 1.68oz, but it has smooth beveled edges to give it a premium feel. 

You might not like this if:

None

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3. Badger Ordnance .308 AR Gen 3 Ambidextrous Charging Handle 

Best AR-10 Charging Handle for the Money

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This AR charging handle stands in the crowd thanks to its size. And the reason why it’s designed to be a bit bigger than the other standard charging handle models is to allow users to easily manipulate their firearm for a better performance compared to the old charging handle that often results in a disappointing job. So, if you’re looking for a charging handle for better shooting and the freedom to make some little adjustments along the way, then this malfunction-free charging handle will give you free reign of doing so. 

The ambidextrous charging handle is great for AR-10 users who have some experience under their belt. Since it has a few settings to make some manipulations, the charging handle might be a little confusing for a beginner until they learn how to use it. Other than that, the charging handle is similar to the others on the list – made and proven to be durable and long-lasting. But if you’re looking for something to make firing your firearm a bit more interesting by making some changes on the fly, then this could do you some good. 

A lot of new users were intrigued by the overall design that appears to be oversized. But they were all very happy about it after testing it out as the chagrin handle offered smooth, reliable shooting that didn’t allow for a single malfunction even after hundreds of rounds. Installation of the charging handle is also easy without the need for making any additional fitting adjustments and will only take a few minutes with the right kind of tools. 

Overall, the 308 AT Gen 3 Ambidextrous Charging Handle has an oversized design that makes it a lot more fun to use. So, if you want to replace your old charging handle on the AR-10 for something different, then this might be a worthy replacement option to consider. The best part is that it won’t even need to waste time trying to fit it before installation. 

You would like this if:

You are a left-handed shooter. This charging handle has an ambidextrous design that allows it to be used by both left-handed and right-handed shooters with ease. 

You want easy fitting. The charging handle has been designed to fit a wide range of rifles and can easily be fitted if it’s not quite right. 

You want a quality charging handle. The charging handle has a subtle but quality design with the perfect amount of tension on the release springs.

You might not like this if: 

You have a DPMS Gen II. Unfortunately, this charging handle does not fit a few rifles, one of which includes the DPMS Gen II. 

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4. Phase 5 Tactical 308 Ambi Charging Handle Assembly

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This tactical charging handle is very rugged with a gripping feature that allows you to pull it back and push through for easier loading. The charging handle is also smooth moving and is almost impossible to wear down in the long term – it’s simply one of the many best AR-10 charging handles that will stay consistent and work like new even after many rounds and years of service. 

The oversized, ambidextrous style charging handles are created in response to the increasing criticism on stock mil-spec type charging handles that are very inadequate for today’s AR rifles. Phase 5 machined their charging handle from 6061 T6 aluminum (hard anodized) with an ambidextrous battle latch to offer true ambidexterity to suit left-handed and right-handed shooters of the AR-10 platform. 

While the charging handle assembly sports an unusual design with a large, oversized lever that extends to the right side of the latch, it allows left-handed shooters a chance to charge their weapon with their right hand. As an added bonus, the charging handle even has a much wider and extended lever to help clear out any blockages and jams, especially in the dark or while on the move. 

The company has even integrated aggressive serrations on the right side of the handle and oversized grooves on the battle latch to deliver solid, non-slip grip. The increased sidewall thickness and upgraded stainless coiled spring pin with an enlarged diameter of .1875-inch ensures a more rugged construction. 

Since the Tactical .308 Phase 5 charging handle is specifically developed to be compatible with all .308 DPMS Gen 1 platforms, you may encounter several concerns if you’re using the Magpul PRS stock as the cheek pad may obstruct the charging handle from fully cycling. The extended length of the latch may also easily get caught in other parts of the rifle or operator’s gear.

This is a great charging handle for both right-handed and left-handed shooters who are looking for smooth charging and to make every shot count without any jamming issue. If that’s what you need in an AR-10, then this might be the go-to option for those who place durability and longevity in an accessory as a top priority.

New users were happy with the charging handle’s ability to accommodate left-handed as well as right-handed shooters. In addition to that, they were also impressed with the charging handle’s gripping ability that allows for complete control over the handle and firearm itself. Some even said that the charging handle was in excellent working order and made his rifle’s cycling very smooth and free from errors. 

The bottom line is that the Phase 5 Weapons Systems Ambidextrous Charging Handle is a solid, easy-to-use option that will make your AR-10 rifle stand out from the rest. So, if you’re looking for an upgrade or a charging handle to include to your current building project, then you may just want to give this charging handle a closer look, especially if you need something to handle the consistent back and forth movements while firing. 

You would like this if:

If you want a well-made CH. The charging handle has a rugged construction that provides equal stress distribution to add durability during long-term or extreme use. 

You want versatility. The charging handle has been designed to fit all AR .308 DPMS type rifles. 

You want an easy-to-use charging handle. The charging handle has an ambidextrous handle and battle latch for easy hand or foot charging while the extended latch makes for easy manipulation in stressful situations.

You might not like this if:

You have a Magpul PRS Stock. Unfortunately, you may encounter several problems when trying to fit this charging handle with a Magpul PRS Stock. 

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5. PSA PA10 .308 Charging Handle

This is another one of those charging handles on the market that are considered affordable for most budgets. Despite the fact that it’s considered to be a factory replacement, the charging handle is tough, lightweight, and does exactly what a charging handle can do by providing a good amount of smooth performance with no jams or malfunctions. 

This tough and affordable charging handle is great for someone who just wants something simple, durable, and easy to install for the purpose of better shooting and overall rifle functioning. This is one of the best factory replacement style charging handles that is not too complicated in design, nor difficult to use. All you need to do is install it onto your rifle and you’re good to go. 

Recent buyers have expressed satisfaction with this charging handle for multiple reasons. First is its durability. The tough and stout charging handle can take on consistent movements each time they fire off their AR-10 rifles. Next is the simplicity of installation that only took a matter of minutes. Customers were overall very happy with what they call the closest thing to a factory replacement. 

The bottom line is that the PSA PA1- .308 charging Handle is perhaps one of the best charging handles you can find if you want a model that can handle the heavy-duty shooting of an AR-10. Although it’s not cheap by any stretch of imagination, it is affordable enough for most to put it to good use when other charging handles are far out of reach financially. This charging handle is still tough as nails and reliable enough to last you through hundreds of shots. 

You would like this if:

You want a simple design. The charging handle has a durable and non-flashy design. 

You want easy installation. This charging handle requires very little fitting and can be installed onto your firearm within minutes. 

You want something affordable. This charging handle comes at a very affordable price tag to suit most budgets. 

You might not like this if:

You want a 7075 T6 aluminum construction. Although this is not made from 7075 T6 aluminum, it is still very tough and durable enough to last through years of heavy usage.

Conclusion

The main key word in upgrading a charging handle is ergonomics. The charging handle has evolved from being located under the carrying handle to the rear of the upper receiver on the currently produced AR-10 for better comfort and usability. 

Whether you prefer a side-charging upper receiver to improve chargeability or at the rear, there are an adequate number of long lasting aftermarket charging handles to match the quality of your rifle and improve your experience exponentially. 

Hopefully today’s article on the best AR-10 charging handles has given you enough recommendations to decide on which would make an excellent investment for your AR-10 rifle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the charging handle the same on an AR-10 as it is on an AR-15?

No, the charging handle is not the same on an AR-10 as it is on an AR-15. While both AR-15 and AR-10 have plenty of interchangeable parts, the AR-15 charging handles are specifically built for .223/5.56 while the AR-10 charging handles are built for .308 calibers, so these parts are non-compatible between the two rifle types. 

If you are thinking of using your AR-15 parts for your AR-10, it is best to really search thoroughly before assuming so. A fairly good example would be a Genuine Armalite AR-10 charging handle measuring at 8” while the BCM Gunfighter 5.56 charging handle measures at 6 13/16” long. 

 

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