What should you know about AR-15 uppers?

What should you know about AR-15 uppers?

August 28, 2020 Off By Leo

AR-15 uppers are certainly considered the most important part of this rifle after its lower parts. There are so many vital components in this segment of this gun that you must know to gain knowledge about the rifle.

History of the upper part

The upper part of this pistol has gone through a few changes and revisions since its inception. The upper part is certainly regarded as a key aspect of the modularity of this gun. Two simple pins can be used to remove the top of this weapon from its bottom half.

Aluminum shells have been the same since their inception. The disappearance of the old school type carrying handle is a visual distinction. In this model, the rear sight is quite exceptional and versatile, while most other guns have iron sights. Optics need to be a little elevated for allowing proper cheek weld in this model due to its recoil system. Few gun manufacturing companies add such elevation in their optic designs in this model.

Standard inclusion of the forward assist is seen in this model. This forward assist is to push the bolt into position. It becomes quite useful if this gun gets dirty while in action. Forward assist allows end-users to force out of the battery gun into the action.

What does the upper segment do?

The upper receiver of this gun holds the bolt carrier group and barrel together. This is to house the charging handle, which a user eventually uses to manipulate the bolt carrier. This also incorporates forward assist. The last part in the upper receiver is a dust cover- a flap-line door that closes off the chamber and thus keeps crap out of this gun.

Holding barrel and bolt carrier groups is not known to be optional. But forward assist and dust covers are optional. Several gun manufacturers may leave either or both of these off. It could either be a personal preference or a cost-cutting measure. If this gun is not to be used for fighting purposes, these two things can be left off. But adding these two features may come in handy in emergencies.

Various types of uppers

There are to be various types of uppers to start with. Not every upper is to work with a gas or barrel system. In the case of the piston-driven model of this gun, it is to accommodate a piston. This should also have a bolt carrier alongside this piston. Few upper models could be propitiatory.

Apart from the piston, various other tools were added and customized in the upper segment of this gun. This is why different kinds of uppers are there that you are allowed to go for.


There are some differences in materials between the lower and upper parts of this gun. In this regard, mainly 3 types of materials are utilized in the upper part of this gun: forged, milled, and cast. Forged aluminum billets are molded to make the upper part quite durable and strong. The forged upper part is also likely to incorporate milling. Regarding cast material, casting molten is also used for creating a loose crystalline structure. Among these 3, the cast upper is most brittle.