Best Left-Handed AR-15 Uppers – 2020 Complete Review

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If you’re looking for the best left-handed AR-15 upper, then you’re not alone. In fact, you’re probably one of many left-handed shooters who want to enjoy shooting something like an AR-15 rifle.

Shooting a right-handed rifle can be frustrating for a lefty. Not only in the way it has to be handled, but it poses other safety risks for the shooter as well. To help you on the path to find the best left-handed upper, we’ve hand-picked six of the best on the market. These are the uppers that stand above the crappy quality left-handed uppers.

Before we get to our list, we’ll talk about the difference between left-handed and right-handed uppers. Plus, we’ll talk about what makes a left-handed AR-15 upper stick out better than the rest of the uppers flooding the market.

Comparison of the Best Left Handed AR-15 Uppers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Option on the Market
  • Includes a Free-Floating M-LOK Rail
  • 16-Inch Barrel Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO Caliber
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  • Chambered 5.56 NATO Caliber
  • 16-Inch Barrel With a Twist Rate of 1:7
  • Carbine-Length Gas System With a Low Profile Gas Block
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  • Best Option for the Money
  • Made From High-Quality Aircraft Aluminum for Superior Durability
  • Stripped, Skeletonized Upper Designed for the Left-Handed Shooter
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  • Includes an A2 Birdcage Flash Finder
  • 16-Inch Barrel Chambered in 5.56 NATO
  • Made From High-Quality Materials for Superior Durability
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  • 16-Inch Barrel Chambered in 5.56 NATO
  • Handguard is Designed to Resist Heat and Allow for Fast Dissipation
  • Made From High-Quality Aluminum and Hard Coat Anodized for Maximum Durability
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  • Best Stripped Option
  • Made From High-Quality Materials
  • Includes a Picatinny Rail Designed for Maximum Customization
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Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed Uppers: What’s The Difference?

One of the major distinctions that separate a left-handed upper from a right-handed one is the ejection port. A left-handed ejection port is located on the left-hand side of the rifle, while the slide release of an AR-15 rifle will be located on the right side.

Likewise, a right-handed upper will have the ejection port on the right side and the slide release on the left. Here are some advantages and disadvantages for either upper:

Brass Won’t Fly In Your Face

Think about this situation for a moment: you’re a left-handed shooter that can somehow handle a right-handed AR-15. You shoot a few rounds and the brass flies out of the ejection point at a rapid speed. And it hits you right in the face. Hopefully, it doesn’t hit your eye. But the brass hits you at such a high velocity, it injures you.

The ejection ports need to stay away from your face so the brass casings hit the ground and not your face, no matter which type you own. Brass is also hot when being ejected, so it may cause burns if it comes in contact with skin.

The Rifle Still Functions The Same

While there are some differences to the AR-15 in terms of what’s left-handed or right-handed, a majority of the other parts will be designed and function just the same. This means as a left-handed shooter, there are no other parts made to specially accommodate left-handed shooters. That means a lot of time and money saved.

What Makes A Great Left-Handed AR-15 Upper?

A great left-handed AR-15 upper consists of a few things. If you’re a first-time shopper in search of an upper for an AR-15 (especially for lefties), it’s important to know how to distinguish a good one from something considered low in quality. There is no better way to find all of this out than to seek out the answers of those who have bought these kinds of uppers in the past. But to save you time, we’ll compile this short list of recommendations based on purchases made by left-handed AR owners.

Material

The material gun manufacturers use will determine the overall quality of the upper. For example, aluminum and polymer are two of the most popular materials used by gun manufacturers around the world. That’s because they’re proven to take on all kinds of abuse. Since some upper receivers include a stock, the stock is most likely made from polymer. It’s designed to resist damage from weather, cleaning oils, and solvents.

Stag 15L Tactical Uppers feature Stag's high quality and long-lasting durability standards, outfitted with Stag Arms lightweight, free float 13.5" M-LOK handguard.

Design

This is the important thing to pay close attention to. The design of the upper will have the ejector port pointing out the left side of the upper receiver. The side release should be on the right side. If either part is on the other side (i.e--ejector port on the right), then it’s not a left-handed upper receiver. This is where you’ll need to be a little more sharp with your observation skills while looking for an AR-15 left-handed upper.

Price

If you’re a budget shopper, chances are the price will play a role in choosing an AR-15 left-handed upper. The price should not be your “be all, end all” decision to buying something, though. So you’re going to have to look for some secondary aspects that will help make it worth the investment. Quality is something you should pay more attention to, especially if the price tag appears to be affordable. Often times, many people associate cheap and low prices with low-quality parts and accessories.

Quick Take - The Best Left-Handed AR-15 Uppers

Review of the Best Left-Handed AR-15 Uppers

Below are six of the best left-handed AR-15 uppers currently on the market. If you're looking to make an upgrade or if you're adding onto an AR-15 building project, one of these uppers will probably be an excellent addition.

As you're looking through each list, be sure to carefully take note of some of the features, along with what's included in the upper itself. Some include some much-needed parts and some won't. Also, take note of any personal needs you may have (i.e.--Which parts do you want to be included? Which parts will need to be bought separately?). Now, let's begin by kicking off our list with our "best overall" choice:

Pros

  • Accuracy is Top-Notch.
  • Customization is Simple.
  • Muzzle Jump and Recoil are Greatly Reduced.

Cons

  • Add-Ons Like the BCG and the Charging Handle Will Cost More.
  • Various State Compliances. May Differ From State to State, So Choose Your Modification Wisely.

First on the list, we’ll be taking a look at the Stag 15L Tactical Upper. This is a fully assembled upper receiver that includes a rugged looking free-floating M-LOK rail. So right off the bat, you’ll notice that this will give you the opportunity to customize it to your liking. So if you happen to have an extra optic or scope lying around somewhere, you’re going to want something as awesome as this.

This has a 16-inch barrel chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. Also included is an A2 birdcage flash hider, designed to help reduce a good amount of recoil and keep muzzle jump to a minimum. This upper will definitely give you a boost in your accuracy game. So if you hold that to a high standard, this might be the upper you’ll want.

Also included are additional add-ons like your BCG, charging handle, and handguard. However, if you choose these add-ons, it may be an extra charge on your end. So if you can swing it and if you think these additions are worth it, get them. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a rugged looking product that will allow for maximum customization and accuracy, the Stag 15L Tactical Upper might be worth the investment.

Bottom Line

This more than deserves the “best overall” honor. It’s a rugged, jam-packed upper option that will give you a full-on customization ability and help you improve your AR-15 rifle’s accuracy. On top of that, it’s also more accommodating to left-handed shooters.

If you’re a lefty that just wants to have fun shooting one of these rifles, you’re probably going to want to build one for yourself. If you choose to go down that route, you need some of the best accessories to help make it into a left-handed force to be reckoned with. It starts with an upper receiver like this.

Pros

  • Super Durable
  • Construction is Quite Solid
  • Shots are Very Accurate Thanks to the Flash Hider

Cons

  • None

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Stag 15L Bones Upper. This is also another excellent left-handed option made by the fine folks at Stag Arms. It has a 16-inch barrel designed for rifles with carbine-length gas systems.

This includes a low-profile gas block that will get the job done and help propel your shots with a fast, high-performing velocity to make your AR-15 rifle the envy of the range. The upper is manufactured using high-quality 7075 aluminum, making it a very durable upper. If you want something that can handle all kinds of abuse, this upper might be worth the addition to your currently existing rifle or your building project.

The upper half of this product will also allow you the customize this to your advantage. So if you have an optic or scope you want to add onto your rifle, you’ll have just enough rail space to pull it off.

Let’s not forget that this also includes an A2 Birdcage flash hider. This means you’ll get a considerable reduction in recoil. Plus, muzzle jump will no longer be something to worry about.

If you’re looking for an upper that will get rid of muzzle jump and recoil and give your AR-15 head-turning performance, the Bones Upper will make your left-handed AR-15 build stand above the rest.

Bottom Line

The Bones upper is a pretty solid alternative for your AR-15 if the idea of a free-floating M-LOK rail doesn’t impress you. Other than that, it still functions the same as the other Stag 15L upper. This is a very durable upper that aims to last you a long time.

So if you’re looking for one that might be the last one you’ll buy for a long period of time, the Stag Arms 15L Bones is probably the best choice for you. This is the perfect option if you’re planning on having a carbine gas system for your AR-15 rifle.

Pros

  • Super Strong
  • Easy to Install
  • Easily Customizable

Cons

  • May Not Match Up With Some AR-15 Handguards.

If you’re looking for a high-quality left-handed upper for your AR-15 but you’re on a budget, then we might have just the one for you. Our choice for the budget shopper is the F-1 Firearms Left Stripped Billet Upper Receiver.

This is a completely stripped upper made from billeted aluminum, making it a very durable unit for your AR-15. And it’s a mighty fine addition to have on either your current rifle or the AR-15 rifle you’re currently building.

This is designed specifically with the left-handed shooter in mind. On top of that, it’s lightweight and easy to install. So once this is added on, you’ll notice there isn’t any added weight. That’s usually a good sign if you hate the idea of carrying a heavy rifle around all day long.

This is the left-handed item you’ll want for your AR-15 rifle if you don’t want to break the bank. You’d be surprised with how a good budget upper receiver can perform in terms of function and quality. In fact, this is the best quality upper you can afford. So if you’re looking for a product that will best accommodate the lefty shooter at a price that will fit most budgets, get the F-1 Firearms product.

Bottom Line

This is definitely one of the best on the market if you’re looking for a stripped upper. This will give you a chance to customize and install the parts to make your AR-15 more reliable. It’s even better that the product itself is designed for left-handed shooters.

Best of all, this is an upper that will fit many affordable budgets. Even if you have money to play around with, you’ll probably like a product that will allow you to add on whatever you like. If that’s the case, get the F-1 Firearms upper.

Best From Stag Arms:
Stag 15L LEO Upper

Pros

  • Very Accurate Shooting
  • Can Withstand All Kinds of Abuse
  • Little to No Muzzle Jump. Recoil is Also Considerably Reduced

Cons

  • None

Next, we’ll be returning to the Stag Arms brand. This brand is probably one of the best when you’re looking for all things left-handed for an AR-15. If you’re looking for the best from the brand, we give you the Stag 15L LEO Upper.

This upper has a design used for law enforcement officers (hence the name LEO). It’s also designed with the left-handed shooter in mind. This is made from high-quality materials to make it one of the most durable upper receivers on the market. And it’s designed to be battle-tested and just might be the closest thing to military-grade as it can get. If that’s something you’re looking for, the LEO upper from Stag might just be what the doctor ordered.

This includes a free-floating quad rail. The rail will not only help improve the quality and accuracy of your shots, but will also allow you the opportunity to customize your rifle to exactly how you want it. If you got an optic or a scope you plan on using, this might just be a perfect fit for it.

Let’s not forget that this includes a 16-inch barrel chambered to work with 5.56 NATO rounds. If you’re a fan of the Stag brand, you’ll want something that’s considered the best from the brand. The Stag 15L LEO Upper might just be the one you’ll want if you don’t want an upper from other less reliable brands.

Bottom Line

If you’re a fan of the Stag Arms brand, there might be nothing quite like their LEO upper. This is an easy to install upper that best fits the left-handed shooter who desires excellent accuracy and something close to what the military and law enforcement personnel have in terms of their AR-15 rifle.

This is the perfect product when you’re in a target shooting or home defense situation. But regardless of the purpose, you will have an upper receiver that is reliable and will allow you to customize it to your advantage.

Best Complete Upper:
Stag 15L M4 Upper

Pros

  • Easy to Install.
  • Solid Construction.
  • Shot Accuracy is Quite Consistent.

Cons

  • BCG and Charging Handle Are Not Included in the Standard Package. But Can Be Added for an Additional Cost.

If you’re more of a fan of the complete uppers, then odds are you might like the Stag 15L M4 Upper. Right off the bat, you’ll notice this has a 16-inch barrel with an added flash hider to ensure that recoil is reduced quite considerably.

At the same time, you won’t find any muzzle jump that would otherwise throw off your shot. If you’re looking to keep your shots consistent and accurate, this upper will provide you with that ability. This includes a thermoplastic heat shield designed for rapid heat dissipation and will also keep your hands protected from burns due to accidentally touching the barrel. A pretty nice convenience, if we say so ourselves.

Bottom Line

We get it. Not everyone will be thrilled with the idea of working with a stripped upper receiver. That’s totally fine, we’re not judging at all. If you’re looking for a product that includes the parts you need so you can easily install it on your rifle and be ready to go, the Stag 15L M4 Upper might be the best thing you’ll ever invest in.

This will save you not only money, but a lot of time trying to track down the parts that are supposed to go with an AR-15 upper receiver.

Pros

  • Can Handle Most Optics and Scopes.
  • The Components Fit Nicely Without Any Issues.
  • Best for Those Who Fancy Themselves Fans of Mil-Spec Accessories.

Cons

  • None

For our final upper on the list, we’ll be taking a look at the A3 Flattop Upper Receiver Assembly. This is a left-handed upper that comes with a Picatinny-style rail. You can customize it to your advantage with a lot of optics or scopes that will best fit this kind of rail.

If you have a scope or optic you want to put to good use and can easily fit Picatinny rails, look no further than this upper receiver. This is designed with the left-handed AR-15 shooter in mind. And it is probably the closest thing you can get to mil-spec.

Also included is a dust cover and forward assist, which will improve the rifle’s overall ability. Since this is a stripped upper, you can choose the parts you want to include. It’s also the best choice if you’re more into building an AR-15 rifle as opposed to getting something that’s fully assembled.

All you have to do from here in install a barrel, gas system, handguard, or rail and you’ll be in business. There is nothing more satisfying than putting together an AR-15 rifle for lefties. It’s also satisfying when you’re putting it together piece by piece knowing that no other manufacturer can make it better than you. If you’re looking for an upper receiver fit for a lefty, the A3 upper receiver assembly might be exactly what you’ll need.

Bottom Line

If you’re more of the builder type, a stripped upper receiver is probably one of the best places to start with your project. Especially when you’re trying to build an AR-15 for left-handed shooters, whether it’s for yourself or for a gunsmithing customer.

Either way, you’ll need something that will provide the shooter with customization options and also give them the ability to add whatever else they want to include to make it even more complete.

Cautious Considerations Before Buying

Prior to purchasing a left-handed AR-15 upper, you’ll need to consider some other additional aspects. These should be taken seriously and must never be ignored. Here are a couple of things to consider while shopping for an AR-15 upper:

Legality

As you may notice, there are different versions of upper receivers. That’s because they need to be compliant with gun laws in certain states (like New York, Illinois, New Jersey, or California to name a few). To be on the safe side, always check your local and state laws prior to purchasing an AR-15 upper. Not all compliance laws are all the same and depend on the state itself. One state may allow barrels shorter than 16 inches. Meanwhile, a state like New York will only allow barrels 16 inches or longer to be used.

Gas Systems

Because of the legality issues, you’re limited to which gas systems you’ll be using. Specifically, you’ll probably be limited to either rifle gas systems or carbine gas systems. That’s because some gun laws only allow you to use an AR-15 if you have a certain barrel length or above. The gas system you choose will depend on personal preference, but your options will be limited to either/or.

What Are The Components of an Upper?

Regardless of whether you’re buying a fully assembled upper or building one from scratch, it’s important to know what’s included in the upper receiver of an AR-15 rifle. The following are commonly found in an AR-15’s upper receiver:

Barrel

Obviously, the barrel is a central part of your rifle’s upper half. This will determine the accuracy of your rifle. The length of the barrel will vary, yet, they tend to measure at about 16 inches. The barrel twist rate of an AR-15 will usually be 1:7. This barrel twist ratio is ideal for rounds that weigh approximately 55-grain to about 70-grain. It also plays a role in making your rifle more accurate.

Rail

One of the best parts of an upper receiver is either a rail or a handguard. There are different types of handguards and rails designed to give you more customizable options for your AR-15 rifle. For example, a Picatinny or Weaver rail might be useful if you have an optic or scope that is compatible with these types of rails. There are even free-floating rails you can install on your rifle designed to give you a better boost in accuracy. These are also easy to install and won’t take any kind of gunsmithing skills.  It just requires the right kind of tools and at least 10 to 15 minutes of your time.

Bolt Carrier Group (BCG)

The bolt carrier group or the BCG is a part that is used to make your rifle functional. It is the equivalent to an engine for a vehicle. Without it, it’s useless. This is what also makes the difference in smooth firing and reloading from one that is full of glitches.

Conclusion

Finding the best left-handed AR-15 upper doesn’t have to be a challenge. But if you know exactly what to look for, you’ll find the search to be much easier. Whether you’re looking for something fully assembled or stripped, you’ll know exactly what you need in order for an upper to work properly. Just find the right parts and add them to your currently existing rifle or your new build.

Either way, if you’re a left-handed shooter, the AR-15 is a rifle that’s quite fun to fire in target practice and hunting applications. It can also save your life in a home defense situation, as well. No matter what, anyone can handle an AR-15, no matter what their dominant hand is.   

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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