Unlocking the Versatility of the A2 Carry Handle: A Comprehensive Guide


The A2 carry handle is an iconic and versatile component that has become synonymous with the AR-15 rifle platform. Originally designed for the M16A2 service rifle, the A2 carry handle has evolved beyond its military roots and found a place among civilian gun enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and various uses of the A2 carry handle.

 History and Origin:

The A2 carry handle traces its roots back to the late 1980s when the United States military introduced the M16A2 rifle. The carry handle served a dual purpose as a mounting point for optics and a convenient grip for carrying the rifle. Over time, as optics technology advanced, the A2 carry handle became less popular in military applications but found a new life in the civilian market.


Integrated Sight System:

   One of the standout features of the A2 carry handle is its integrated rear sight. The adjustable rear sight, paired with a front sight on the gas block, provides a reliable and durable iron sight system. This setup is robust and requires no batteries, making it an excellent choice for backup sighting options.

Carrying Convenience:

   As the name suggests, the carry handle is designed for easy transportation of the rifle. Its ergonomic design allows for a comfortable and secure grip, making it a practical choice for those who prefer a classic feel.

 Mounting Platform:

   The flat top of the carry handle serves as a mounting platform for various accessories, including optics, red dot sights, and scopes. While modern AR-15 rifles often feature a flat-top upper receiver for direct optic attachment, the A2 carry handle provides a nostalgic and functional alternative.

 Optics Mounting:

While the A2 carry handle may seem old-fashioned compared to more modern optics mounting solutions, it offers several advantages:

Classic Appeal:

   The A2 carry handle provides a classic aesthetic to the rifle, appealing to those who appreciate the traditional look of the AR-15.


   Shooters can mount optics directly to the carry handle or use a Picatinny rail adapter for more flexibility. This versatility allows users to customize their optics setup according to their preferences.

 DIY Modifications:

Optic Mounting Adapters:

   Some enthusiasts have developed DIY optic mounting solutions that enhance the functionality of the A2 carry handle. These adapters may include risers or additional rails to accommodate a wider range of optics.


   The A2 carry handle is a canvas for customization. Users can experiment with different optics, accessories, and grips to create a personalized and unique firearm.


The A2 carry handle may have originated from military applications, but its adaptability and classic design have ensured its enduring popularity among civilian gun owners. Whether for its integrated sight system, carrying convenience, or nostalgic appeal, the A2 carry handle remains a symbol of the AR-15 platform’s rich history and adaptability. As the firearm community continues to evolve, the A2 carry handle stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of this iconic rifle.