View Full Version : AR-15 upper - Carry Handle vs Flat top

08-31-2009, 8:52 AM
I'm in the process of building my first AR. My only experience with this type of rifle is with the M16 A2 in the Marine Corps nearly 10 years ago. I'm very fond of the carry handle look , and i plan on using my iron sights only for now. Are there any advantages to the carry handle or is this style out-dated and unecessary in the modern AR world?

08-31-2009, 8:57 AM
You can put a carry handle on a flat top AR, but you can't do the reverse.
We were issued a flat top M4 with carry handle attached in Basic, it looked better than the carry handle only upper in my opinion.

For possible future upgrades, I'd go with flat top.

08-31-2009, 9:00 AM
Go with the flat top; you can add the carry handle as mentioned if so desired but it also gives you flexibility with your optic choices

Barney Gumble
08-31-2009, 9:01 AM
There's nothing wrong with liking the look of it. A lot of people do retro builds on the A1 platform too so if that makes you happy, go for it.

From a functional perspective the carry handle concept is outdated. The carry handle isn't used for carrying anyway and it wastes all the rail space. A red dot sight or magnified optic with back-up iron sights is a far superior system.

08-31-2009, 9:01 AM
Flat top is modular, you can throw all the crap thats on the internet on to it.
a2 is just classic, However I do like flat tops with carry handles more than standard a2's I dont know why.

I dont know if there is a downside to flat tops with detachable carry handles compared to a Standard a2 style. As almost all service rifle competitions use a2 uppers.

08-31-2009, 9:13 AM
I would go with the flat top as well. The possibilities with sights are endless. The carry handle look is Classic, but I would rather attach one than having limited options. You can still attach a scope to the carryhandle, but you may need to attach an adjustable cheeck piece for height adjustment. Iron sights will never be out-dated, but if you want something that'll give you faster target aquisition, you may look into an Eotech or other holographic sights for use on a flat top. Don't worry, I'm sure your first AR will not be your last. Post pics when you're ready.