There aren’t many useful options.
There are several options for mounting optics on top of the carry handle, but this method set the optic so high that the shooter can’t get a good cheek weld on the stock. With the optic mounted excessively high (as seen in the photo to the right) there isn’t any way to zero the rifle that won’t destroy the fantastic flat trajectory of the .223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO cartridge that you normally enjoy when optics are properly mounted with the dot, reticle, or crosshairs 2.5″ above the center of the rifle’s bore as the fixed sights are.
Another option is to add a mount to the carry handle that carries holographic or red dot optic forward of the carry handle over the forend. It can hold an Eotech or Aimpoint optic so that the reticle is co-witnessed with the iron sights of the rifle. Note that you can’t mount a magnified scope forward of the charging handle as you would never be able to get proper eye relief on the optic.
Some models of Trijicon’s ACOG magnified optics are designed to mount in the channel of the carry handle. There is a small hole through the mount so that you can still use the iron sights on the rifle should the ACOG be put out of commission. This may be your best way to mount a magnified optic to the top of the carry handle as low as possible. You still won’t have the optimum cheek weld or ballistics, but you can make it work. Check out the cheek riser option next.
If you mount an optic to the top of the carry handle then you might want to think about adding a cheek riser to your stock (as seen in the photo to the right). This will allow you to properly position your head behind the optic. There are cheek rests for both fixed and telescoping stocks. Research carefully before purchasing your cheek riser as some may block the operation of the charging handle unless the stock is fully extended. If you mount a holographic or red dot optic forward of the carry handle then you won’t need a cheek riser.
- Savannah Arsenal’s AR-15 / M4 / M-16 Page
- Savannah Arsenal’s Tactical Rifle Optics
- Savannah Arsenal’s AR-15 — Sights and Optics Considerations
- AR-15 — Rear Sight & Optics With Front Sight Base
- Savannah Arsenal’s AR-15 — Mounting Backup “Iron” Sights (BUIS)
- Savannah Arsenal’s AR-15 — Mounting Removable Carry Handles
- Savannah Arsenal’s AR-15 — Methods For Zeroing A2 Type Sights