AR-15 Upper Receiver Parts
For many years the AR-15 has been one of the most popular rifles in the United States. The military versions, the M-16 and M-4, have been the weapon of choice for the US military for more than 50 years, and for nearly that long, American gun enthusiasts have had an ever-growing love affair with the AR-15.
A great choice for collectors and competitors alike, it’s becoming more popular with hunters and home-defenders, as well. The AR-15 is one of the most customizable rifles on the market, adding to its popularity and diverse utility. Wing Tactical offers a variety of options for customizing your AR-15, beginning with the upper receiver.
Types of AR-15 Upper Receivers
The upper receiver is the platform from which you can customize your unique AR-15. There are four basic types — A1, A2, A3 and A4. These types generally refer to how the military developed the M16 and M4 over the years, but here are the differences:
- The A1 upper receiver was originally developed in the 1960s for use during the Vietnam War. The M16A1 had the familiar carrying handle everyone recognizes from any images of the M16’s military use. The upper receiver had a rear sight assembly, with apertures for short and long range targets, that was adjustable for windage.
- The A2 upper receiver was developed in the 1980s. The military upgraded the M16, and the upper receiver had slight changes. A brass deflector was added to prevent spent brass from flying back into the face of left-handed shooters, and an elevation adjustment was added to the rear sight.
- The A3 upper receiver has a flat top configuration. The carrying handle is detachable, and it may be equipped with rails for mounting scopes or other optic accessories. This version also adds rifle cuts in the feed ramp.
- The A4 upper receiver also has a flat top configuration. It’s very similar to the A3 upper receiver. However, the feed ramps are designed to complement the barrel of the M4 carbine. The A4 configuration is the most common upper receiver you’ll find on the market today.
All basic versions of the AR-15 upper assembly have a forward assist. Although, with advancements in the rifle, it’s probably only used rarely, if only for immediate action if you have a stoppage. You can upgrade to an upper assembly without a forward assist. You can also use it to tap the bolt carrier group forward if you need to slowly let the charging handle forward to quietly lock and load.
Although the barrel is usually considered part of the upper receiver assembly, you can further customize your AR-15 with the barrel of your choice. Wing Tactical has a wide range of AR-15 of barrels along with our customizable upper receiver parts for sale.
There are some additional issues to consider when purchasing a barrel for your AR-15. You can select barrels with a few different lengths, but you will need to make sure you don’t get one shorter than the minimum legal length in your state. You’ll also have to select a gas tube and handguards that fit that barrel length.
Parts in AR-15 Upper Receiver
Wing tactical has all the AR-15 upper receiver parts for sale you need to make your rifle meet your needs. You can build your own rifle down to the smallest detail or just by choosing your own upper and lower assemblies:
- Upper Receiver. While you can purchase a complete upper receiver assembly from Wing Tactical, if you truly want to customize your AR-15 or build one yourself, shopping a selecting individual parts is the way to go. Make sure when you are shopping for parts that everything from the bolt carrier to the charging handle are compatible. Also, not all upper receivers for sale come with a dust cover or forward assist.
- Bolts and Carriers. You can buy a complete bolt carrier group, or you can customize one with individual parts. If you buy a stripped carrier group, you’ll have to buy the gas key and bolt assembly separately. The weight of your bolt carrier group will affect your rate of fire. If you want to compete in speed firing competitions, you’ll want to select a lighter carrier group. You also want to take the material into consideration. The more durable your bolt carrier group and bolt are, the longer they will last.
- Charging Handles. When selecting a charging handle, make sure you choose one that’s compatible with the upper receiver. If you’re a left-handed shooter — or if you share your rifle with a lefty — you can also purchase an ambidextrous charging handle to make it easier for you to use.
Other AR-15 Upper Receiver Parts
If you purchase a stripped-down bolt carrier group, or if you just need to replace some parts, Wing Tactical also has the following upper receiver parts for sale:
- Ejection port covers or dust covers protect your bolt carrier group and the chamber when you’re not firing. It’s a relatively simple installation, and a quality dust cover will help your rifle last.
- The forward assist may not be used very often, but you can reduce the overall weight of your AR-15, even if only slightly, with a high-quality replacement forward assist from Wing Tactical.
- Every bolt will have gas rings, but if you need a replacement or you simply want to upgrade, you can select Enhanced Gas Rings from JP Enterprises to replace the usual three rings. This solid ring will provide a better seal inside the bolt carrier, leaving you with less fouling to clean after you’re done for the day.
- A Life Coating Firing Pin from VooDoo Innovations is another great upgrade for your bolt carrier group. The proprietary coating enhances the firing pin’s durability, resists corrosion and provides integral lubricity.
- A Nickel Boron Cam Pin from AB Arms may be another upgrade or replacement that interests you. The nickel boron compound provides natural lubricity for smooth operation, and it’s highly resistant to corrosion.
Top Rated AR-15 Upper Receiver Parts
Whatever your needs are, Wing Tactical has AR-15 upper receiver parts for sale that will meet them. You can also rely on the reviews of your fellow customers to fill you in on the details and quality of the parts available:
- Upper Receiver. The 2A Armament BALIOS-Lite Stripped Upper Receiver gets high marks for being super lightweight as part of a build that came in under four pounds. This Gen II AR-15 Billet Upper Receiver from Spike's Tactical gets five stars for it’s great looks and high quality.
- Bolt Carrier Group. If you’re upgrading your bolt carrier group, you can look to Fail Zero’s Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group, which is a great choice based on its high quality and ease of cleaning. And it doesn’t take much use to show that the Enhanced Full Auto Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group from LANTAC works extremely well.
- Bolts. If you only need to replace the bolt of your AR-15, this Spike's Tactical AR-15 Nickel Boron Bolt gets five stars for its flawless, “smooth as silk” functioning.
- Charging Handles. You may not think that a charging handle can make much of a difference, but they can. This Radian Raptor AR-15 Ambidextrous Charging is heavy duty and is ideal for “cross hand/awkward stance loading” in addition to being great for left and right handed shooters.
Wing Tactical carries the top brands for upper receiver parts on the market. If you’re partial to a certain one, you can find it on our brands page. Here’s a run-down of our brands that make AR-15 Upper receiver parts:
- 2A Armament offers high-quality parts for your upper receiver — including the receiver itself, and the bolt carrier group — that are made in America. Their products are all lightweight without sacrificing performance or durability.
- AB Arms, the American Built Arms Company, makes a variety of parts for the AR-15. It’s a veteran-owned company that makes products with the highest stakes of combat in mind. Their nickel boron bolts, cam pins and bolt carrier groups are built for function without failure.
- Black Rain Ordnance AR-15 upper receiver parts are made in the United States. We carry their corrosion-resistant nickel boron bolt carrier group and their ejection port cover. The ejection port cover features “Let it Rain” laser-engraved on the inside.
- Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) makes parts for both the upper and lower receiver. We carry their basic upper receiver assembly, buffer tube assembly, stocks along with their charging handles. Their ambidextrous charging handle is second to none, and their standard charging handles are designed to prevent roll pin failure.
- Core15 has a five star, large latch charging handle that offers enough size to enhance grip without being so large that it would catch on your gear and cause fumbling when you need your freedom of movement the most.
- Fail Zero’s nickel boron bolt and bolt carrier assemblies are top quality. Their nickel boron coating is inherently lubricious, meaning they will provide the action for your AR-15 to minimize the need for liquid lubricants. The surfaces simply wipe clean. You can opt for a bolt carrier group that includes a nickel boron hammer as well.
- Fortis Manufacturing is one of the top firearm manufacturers in the United States. We’re proud to carry their high-quality upper receiver parts. Their Hammer AR-15 charging handle has unparalleled durability and incredibly smooth action. Their flat top upper receiver is available both with and without the ejection port cover and forward assist.
- JP Enterprises is dedicated to constant improvement. The president of the company, a man with 40 years’ experience as a competitive shooter, tests all their products. They offer added levels of customization with full, low and ultra-low mass bolt carrier groups, both with and without their enhanced bolt assembly and enhanced gas rings.
- LANTAC has a reputation for quality, and their upper receiver parts we offer live up to that reputation. Their sturdy and durable upper receiver includes their CP-R30 cam pin, which contains no moving parts. Its circular head prevents wear along the cam channel. Their Enhanced Full Auto Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Group is a durable and reliable replacement.
- Northtech Defense is an Oregon company dedicated to providing high-quality parts that are worth the investment. They make one of the most reliable upper receiver assemblies on the market. It includes their Titanium Forward Assist Assembly, which is also available separately.
- Noveske Rifleworks strives for perfection. We offer their Chainsaw Forged Mil-Spec AR-15 Upper Receiver. Any part that doesn’t pass their high standard for appearance will have a chainsaw marking under the forward assist. You can contact Noveske directly, and they will inspect, replace or repair chainsaw marked products you suspect have a functional defect.
- Odin Works offers parts and accessories that live up to their dedicated mission to provide parts that help make their customers better shooters. Their Full Mass Black Nitride Bolt Carrier Group provides mil-spec reliability, and their upper receiver, with dust cover included, has a sleek “no forward assist” look.
- Phase 5 Tactical has top-notch, rigorously tested parts to customize your AR-15. For your upper receiver, we carry both their standard and ambidextrous Battle Latch Charging Handles. We have their Electroless Nickel and Black Phosphate Bolt Carrier, as well as their full Electroless Nickel Bolt Carrier Group.
- Radian Weapons has a few versions of their Raptor ambidextrous charging handles, including the Silencer-Optimized Raptor-SD Ambidextrous Charging Handle, which is designed to push gases from the upper receiver forward and away from your face. We also carry their Full Mass Black Nitride Bolt Carrier Group and their Titanium Forward Assist.
- Seekins Precision was founded to develop parts that were durable enough to handle the rigors of a hunt without adding to the weight of the rifle. Their Precision Billet Upper Receiver and their Battlefield 14.5" SPBRv3 Complete Upper Assembly fully live up to that standard.
- Spike's Tactical offers American Made and designed products to serve you well, no matter what your skill level is or how you use your AR-15. Their Nickel Boron Bolt and 16" Carbine-Length 5.56 M4 Barrel ST-15 LE Upper are both great choices for your custom AR-15 build.
- Strike Industries is operated by passionate AR shooters. They offer a broad range of parts to upgrade or customize your rifle. For the upper receiver, we have their charging handles, ejection port covers and forward assists.
- Troy Industries’ Ambidextrous AR-15 Charging Handle is ideal for left or right handed shooters. With full functionality for either side, this charging handle is easy to operate, whether you’re using your dominant hand or firing with the opposite hand around a barricade.
- Vltor Weapon Systems gives you a Modular AR-15 Upper Receiver, with or without a forward assist. It's slightly thicker walls promote stability and accuracy. Even with the forward assist, it comes in under ten ounces.
- VooDoo Innovations has one of the best firing pins for you to upgrade or customize your bolt carrier group. Their Life Coating Firing Pin with its proprietary coating offers durable, corrosion-resistant performance with a finish that won’t wear off, even with the heaviest use.
Info on Wing Tactical
At Wing Tactical, we aim to provide the highest-quality parts for your AR-15, whether you’re upgrading, customizing or simply replacing worn-out parts. We want you to have the parts you need. Our mission is to provide you with exceptional customer service, quality merchandise and real value. We offer next day shipping on all orders and 30-day hassle free returns.
If you’re looking for upper receiver parts for your AR-15, you’ve come to the right place.