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What’s the Best Left-Handed AR-15 Upper? Review & Buying Guide

left handed ar 15 uppers header

Gone are the days when a left-handed upper was like a needle in a haystack. Left-handed shooters can either build their AR 15 from scratch or purchase a fully assembled one. Here’s a review of 5 left-handed AR-15 uppers to help you decide what’s best for you.

OUR #1 RATED

Stag Arms – Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm 

Stag Arms - Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm Left Hand

OUR #2 RATED

Stag Arms AR-15 Upper Receiver 5.56mm 

Stag Arms AR-15 Upper Receiver Assembly 5.56mm Left Hand

OUR #3 RATED

Stag Arms AR-15 Stag 15L Varminter Complete Upper Receiver 

Stag Arms AR-15 Stag 15L Varminter Complete Upper Receiver Left Hand

1. Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm

SA elite left-handed upper receiver is chambered in 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO rounds. It has a fully fluted 18-inch barrel, which can dissipate heat quickly and allows easier cleaning maintenance. This A3 upper receiver assembly fires faster with an assembled 3Gun, offers the best fitment among most 5.56 NATO calibers, and comes with a black finish.

Upper receivers as this are usually constructed from stainless steel material, making them exceptionally durable. This particular left-handed upper comes with a rifle gas system with a low gas block. The barrel is covered by a Stag-made M-LOK handguard coated in Type 3 hard coat anodized finish to protect it from rust buildup and corrosion. Its 1:8 barrel twist rate can deliver maximum shooting accuracy.

Stag Arms - Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm Left Hand

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2. Stag AR-15 Upper Receiver 5.56mm

If you want to build your own AR rifle from the ground up, this left-handed upper receiver is a good choice. It’s a well-defined A3 upper receiver assembly model designed for 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO cartridges. It comes with a preinstalled forward assist and a dust cover, ensuring your gun’s reliability and accuracy.

It’s a mil-spec left-handed stripped receiver that lacks barrel, handguard, gas system, and rail. Hence, it’s highly customizable. This left-handed stag upper receiver is compatible with .250-inches diameter pivot and takedown pins. It’s covered in Type 3 hard coat anodizing, which helps resist moisture, rusting, and abrasion.

Stag Arms AR-15 Upper Receiver Assembly 5.56mm Left Hand

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3. Stag Arms AR-15 Stag 15L Varminter Complete Upper Receiver

If you want an AR-15 rifle solely intended for your hunting missions, this stag complete A3 upper receiver assembly is your best choice. It is chambered in 5.56 NATO and will also accept 223 REM. It’s constructed from 410 stainless steel, making it quite sturdy and resistant to rust and corrosion.

Stag AR-15 Varminter complete upper receiver comes with a charging handle, a bolt carrier group, a free-floating handguard, and a rifle gas system. It’s fitted with a match-grade 24-inch bull barrel to help you get high bullet velocity.

Stag Arms AR-15 Stag 15L Varminter Complete Upper Receiver Left Hand

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4. F-1 Firearms LLC AR-15 Billet Stripped Upper Receiver

Tagged as a universal stripped upper as it is compatible with any mil-spec lower receivers, it fits with 5.56mm NATO ammo and comes with a black finish. It offers the signature F-1 Firearms 3G skeletonizing for weight reduction.

This stripped upper receiver is not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly customizable with parts of your choice. It’s the best choice for competitive shooting, self-defense, and tactical exercises.

F-1 Firearms LLC AR-15 Billet Stripped Upper Receiver

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5. Bravo Company AR-15/M4 Flattop Upper Receiver

This can work with many guns and accept different cartridges. It is chambered in 223 Remington, 223 Wyle, 6 5 Grendel, 5.56 mm NATO, 6 8 SPC, 224 Valkyrie, 450 Bushmaster, 458 Socom, 6 5 Creedmoor, and 300 Blackout.

It has a factory-installed forward assist and ejection port. It comes with a Picatinny-style rail so you can add many accessories. The T-marks on the rail enable easier removal and accurate positioning of the parts. The interior has dry, firm lubrication to help reduce wear. It accepts M4 barrel extensions that are slightly undersized for a tighter fit and accurate shooting.

Bravo Company AR-15/M4 Flattop Upper Receiver Assembly

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KEY Factors to Consider

key factors

Pricing

High-quality left-handed upper receivers generally have hefty price tags, and it’s one main concern for those who have budget constraints. But more than the price, it is best to examine the overall quality of your upper since it is pivotal to your gun’s accuracy and reliability. You can do a little bit of research to get the best right-handed and left-handed uppers at an affordable price that’s good enough for your preferences.

If you’re looking for economical mags, check out our review on these Taurus G2C Extended Magazines

Barrel & Gas System

The barrel is the central part of your AR-15 upper that has a direct impact on the performance, twist rate, and accuracy of your AR-15 rifle. Your barrel has to be at least 16 inches long to make your AR-15 rifle work just as well as it should.

Barrel length can significantly affect your AR-15. Too much length means too much gas flows into the receiver, causing excessive recoil, abrasion, and wear. Too little means less air is flowing into the left or right-handed receiver causing stove-pipes, failures to eject and feed, and jamming.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose pistol, carbine, mid, and rifle gas systems. Many gun users prefer carbine length and mid-length. Most 16-inch barreled AR-15 has a carbine length.

Material

Gun manufacturers mostly prefer aluminum, steel, and polymer materials for left-handed upper receivers as they can withstand all kinds of abuses. These materials make your upper receiver and AR-15 rifles highly durable and long-lasting.

An AR-15 upper includes a stock that can resist damage from weather, cleaning oils, or solvents. Left or right-handed uppers become more durable when coated with anti-rust and anti-corrosion materials like a hard coat and anodized finish or Cerakote.

left handed ar 15 uppers material

Design

When purchasing an AR upper, always examine where the ejector port is pointing to make sure that it’s safe for you. For lefties, the ejector point should be on the left side.

A high-quality complete upper comes with every component of an upper receiver, whereas a stripped upper doesn’t. A stripped upper receiver is easy to install and highly customizable. You can go with #1, #2, or #4 on our list if you want to design your own AR-15 rifle from scratch and add any accessories of your choice. But if a complete one appeals to you, then go with #3.

For better grip control, check out our review on the best AR grips for precision shooting here

Handguard

Handguard allows shooters a firm grip on their firearm and facilitates proper stance and positioning for shooting. It protects the palms of the shooters from the high temperature of AR barrels. It allows you to mount scopes, sights, slings, lights, lasers, bipods, and so on.

Drop-in handguards are easier to install than free-floating. However, the former provides more heat resistance than the latter. It’s best to go with a free-floating as this gives more mounting options and augments your firearms’ accuracy.

Durability

Receivers are guaranteed compact and heavy-duty due to their excellent materials and composition. Their durability is further intensified when they are coated with protective finishes.

Furthermore, those made from 7075-T6 aluminum are considered the hardest and most durable. With proper use and maintenance, your receivers and firearms can last for long periods of time and suffer only minimal damage or degradation.

left handed ar 15 uppers durability

Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)

BCG is used to make the rifle functional. It consists of a firing pin, bolt, cam pin, extractor, and gas key. It determines whether your gun is functioning reliably and smoothly.

This is responsible for loading your firearm, making sure that rounds are fired correctly and spent shells are ejected properly from the chamber. You can buy a preassembled BCG or its individual parts and put them together yourself.

Manufacturing Type

An AR-15 upper can be billet, forged, or cast. The first one requires multiple steps and the best operations, so it takes longer to machine than forged. It has thicker walls to minimize flexing. Hence, it’s a rigid platform. It’s easier to assemble, more customizable, and more refined than forged.

Forged is the most economical chassis due to less machining needed. It’s heavy but extremely compact and durable. Meanwhile, the cast isn’t your best bet. It’s a compromise of the two and doesn’t have the strength and durability to resist abuse.

left handed ar 15 uppers manufacturing type

And the #1 Left-handed AR-15 Upper is...

The best left-handed AR-15 upper based on our review is the Stag Arms-Stag 15 3GUN Elite Upper Receiver. It’s a top-of-the-line upper that offers the best fit for most 5.56 calibers.

This upper is a practical investment for most AR 15 left-handed shooters as it can deliver maximum shooting accuracy, ensures rapid heat dissipation to protect your hands from burns, and allows uncomplicated assembly and maintenance.

Looking for some solid AR stocks, here’s our Magpul SL and SLK comparison

Stag Arms - Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm Left Hand

Our #1 Recommendation

Stag 15 3Gun Elite Upper Receiver 5.56mm 

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