Carry Handles: Why I Like Them

    The humble AR-15 / M16 carry handle is often looked down upon by competition and target shooters, but for applications beyond range duty this old school arrangement is convenient as hell. Besides looking neat and retro, carry handles offer convenience and still an excellent set of iron sights.

    Transcript …

    – [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TMP tv.

    Today I’m gonna talk about AR-15 carry handles.

    Now I know that’s not exactly a sexy topic of discussion, but I have always felt that the humble carry handle has been overlooked by a whole generation of shooters in favor of expensive, fancy optics.

    Now, of course there’s nothing wrong with optics at all, they really do help in a lot of areas.

    Now of course they have detachable carry handles, you’re not married to that old A-1 style carry handle anymore.

    And the new 69-20s and everything on the market pretty much has a rail and, to be honest, I will keep this detachable carry handle on this 69-20 because I like the ability to carry my gun by said handle.

    And now I really have noticed a lot of competition and three gun shooters will scoff at a carry handle because the don’t seem to have the mindset that people use guns for stuff other than competition and target shooting, things like that.

    I really like the idea that I can use the carry handle to basically throw my gun into the back of this vehicle with or tote the gun around, and it is handy as hell to have that.

    And of course in addition to a sling.

    Now I like the carry handle because when you’re going over obstacles like this barb wire fence into this deer plot you can actually grab the handle and raise it up, which is very nice.

    And of course for long treks around property, if you want to relieve some stress off of your shoulder, just grab it by the carry handle which is also nice.

    Also a lot of people will write off AR-15 iron sights as not being quick.

    I’ve always found that they are extremely fast and I can probably line up a shot in about four or five seconds on a coyote.

    And as long as you can do that, I don’t feel the need to drop four or five hundred dollars on a nice aim point.

    Now I would obviously put one on a gun if I was given one because they are fantastic, but for what I do, I think that the iron sights and carry handles on guns suit my needs best.

    And of course they’ve got that retro look which is in my opinion kind of neat.

    Now anybody should be able to make off hand shots at 100 meters with a AR-15 iron sight.

    And here I am using the tailgate of this vehicle to make quick shots, which is also easy.

    Let’s say I came up across three or four coyotes harassing maybe a baby calf, now it’s unlikely that they wouldn’t scatter quickly after the first shot but I guess in my mind I like the idea that in theory I would have the ability to make more shots.

    Now when you take the rifle back to 300 meters anybody should be able to land all their hits on a twelve inch diameter plate, I feel.

    And with an AR-16, M16 rear carry handle, these sights offer the shooter realistically a very precise sight picture that you can do a lot with.

    Now here I’ll just let the gun do the talking.

    Now taking shots kneeling is a little bit more difficult.

    It’s not impossible.

    You can see I get most of the hits here.

    I believe I missed one out of five.

    And that’s why it really does make sense to drop down to prone if you can do that if you have the time, if you’re not gonna scare the coyotes off.

    But at 300 meters you have a better chance obviously than at 100.

    And of course you could quickly use the tailgate of a vehicle or something to give the rifle a bit more stability.

    Now here I use that method to shoot a five shot group.

    And the rifle really does perform pretty well.

    I’m shooting at a color changing target at 300 meters.

    Actually this is probably more like 295 meters.

    I think I moved the vehicle a little closer for this one.

    You know, there’s just something about the carry handles that I like.

    They’re very durable obviously, you’re not gonna break it.

    If you do you’ve really done something bad.

    And I think the results here speak for themselves.

    At 300 meters I made about a, I would say probably a six or seven inch group with standard M193 ball ammunition.

    I feel like I could have performed better with some hand loads or something like that but I obviously didn’t use any.

    I didn’t have the time to whip any up before this video.

    So with any luck, maybe this made you guys take a second look at the carry handle.

    Not the most tactical gun but I can still knock out a pretty rad el presidente drill with the gun quickly.

    Big thanks to Ventura Munitions guys.

    Hope you enjoyed this video and we hope to see you next time.

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.