View Full Version : Left handed AR upper

December 19, 1998, 11:05 AM
Just picked up my new DPMS left handed upper yesterday evening. Put it on this morning. Back pin off very slightly. Went in with slight tap from muffled tack hammer. Can't wait to shoot. Have contacted Norgon about some ambi mag catches thanks to Mykl. Looking as I write this at what looks like a mirror image on my carpet; two CAR 15s with pistol grips touching and another 20 barrelled upper with 203 handguards waiting for me to finish making a rear mount so that it can also wear either an Ithaca 37 or a Mossberg 500 slung underneath (haven't decided which).

December 19, 1998, 09:02 PM
Hey FAL308~
I too have been interested in a lefty upper-- how long did it take to receive it? Also, what are the 'internal' differences--ie the bolt carrier, ejector, etc. Are the controls laid out the same otherwise--and do you have a lefty lower also? Mag release on right, etc? And if you don't mind me asking, how much did it thin your wallet. Can't wait to hear how it shoots...

[This message has been edited by spleenandideal (edited 12-19-98).]

December 19, 1998, 09:07 PM

[This message has been edited by spleenandideal (edited 12-19-98).]

4V50 Gary
December 19, 1998, 09:35 PM
Spleenandideal: It's my understanding that only modification to the upper is that the ejection port is cut out on portside. It doesn't have an ejection port cover and there's no shell deflector (for right handed shooters). Another must have item is the bolt itself (it'll take standard extractor & ejector). The lower is the common AR lower (although you can buy ambi safety & mag release).

fal308 - teufel (devil)! You beat me to it and congratulations. Mine's on order and I'm still waiting.

December 20, 1998, 09:43 AM
Gary is right about the upper details. I had a talk with the rep at Knob Creek last spring and he said that the difference in the bolt is the the hole is drilled upsidedown so that the cam pin can be inserted 180 degrees. This is an A2 upper and my lowers are preban, so no problems there. I've also got an ambi safety on the lefty gun. DPMS makes those also. Getting ready to order another one for the other AR. E-mailed off for info on the Norgon Ambi-Catch. Mykl says its a good unit. That's good enough for me. See the thread on Norgon for more info on this unit. As per cost, I got mine at dealer cost because it took so long to arrive; dealer $325. I ordered the beginning of June and it arrived on Friday. We were originally told that it would take 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. Every time we called we got an excuse; for the first two or three months they were waiting for enough lefty orders to make a production run, then they couldn't find anyone that could meet their specs on a receiver, then there were heat treating problems with the receivers, then heat treating problems with the bolt, etc. I'm thinking of grinding off the now non-functional shell deflector, will investigate further before any action taken. Hopefully will get to range this coming week.
One other thing; when it arrived it was coated in something that neither my shop nor I have ever smelled before. A rather thick viscous oil. Have cleaned out already. DPMS website is www.dpmsinc.com

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited 12-20-98).]

December 20, 1998, 10:56 PM
A question -- what advantage does a left hand upper have? I shoot left handed, but have had no problems with several M16/AR15 guns. George.

4V50 Gary
December 21, 1998, 08:42 AM

Like yourself I also shoot left handed and have no difficulties with the AR. Advantage? Probably none. How about just having fun and having the cash laying around? That's why I ordered mine.

fal308 - at $325, does that include the barrel or was it just the upper and the bolt?


December 21, 1998, 10:23 AM
I've had no problem with either of my "wrong" hand ARs. Though if you were hip firing with a full auto I can see where it could be a problem. Just wanted something different. Could be helpful at brass policing time if shooting w/ another 223 shooter on the line.
Looked at my receipt again. The price was $360 not $325. Mixed up prices in my head with Christmas shopping. This included a full upper with bolt and carrier assembly.
Now I need to start looking around for a nice left handed bolt gun. Thinking about a Savage with a Timney trigger.

December 21, 1998, 08:49 PM

It just so happened that I recently purchased a Savage short action lefty in .308, with the 26"stainless barrel. Paid $350 for it last month. Nice gun, but the trigger is horrible. I was told by my dealer that the trigger is really tricky to work on and suggested an aftermarket purchase.How difficult would it be to perform trigger transplant?

4V50 Gary
December 22, 1998, 12:20 AM

Wow, are we straying off the path from southpaw ARs? I looked into the Brownell's catalog and couldn't find a Timney Trigger for the Savage (p 106). If there's no aftermarket, you may want to visit your local gunsmith and if there's no dealer in town, drop a posting on Geo. Stringer here at TFL. Maybe he can help.

BTW, the trigger is why I chose Remington over Savage in 1976. Since then Savage has dramatically improved and if they had made a real short action in .223 (not just a long action chambered for .223), I would have bought it. Remington beat them to it this year with their Varminter.


[This message has been edited by 4V50 Gary (edited 12-22-98).]

December 22, 1998, 11:20 AM
A company called Sharp Shooters Supply makes a trigger for the Savage series, including the new short actions. Go to www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/4263/trigger.htm.
If you want to try and adjust the factory unit go to www.snipercountry.com/trigger.htm.
Sniper Country is a good site for long range precision shooting.

4V50 Gary
December 22, 1998, 02:15 PM
Yep, just opened my Jan. 1999 issue of Rifle magazine and the short action Savage is featured. It does mention the aftermarket trigger by SharpShooter and shows a photo on adjusting the trigger. Check it out.

December 22, 1998, 05:16 PM
The reason for purchasing the Savage was due mostly to the fact that Remington doesn't make a lefty in .308 anymore. I do have a 30-06 Remington 700 in lefty friendly configuration, but I was really itchin' for a .308. The Savage LOOKED really good for the $$, but I guess you get what you pay for. I heard that Rem is supposedly coming out with a varminter lefty 308 sometime this spring, but cannot find info on this either. In the meantime I'll keep shooting the ARs until I get around to fooling with the Savage.
Happy Holidays!

4V50 Gary
December 22, 1998, 09:50 PM

I'm not knocking Savage - they've improved a heck of a lot in 20 years time. Remington is making a .308 Varminter in left hand and production was suppose to be this past Oct. (If I had known they would do this eight years ago, I would not have had one made by HS Precision).

Here's a tip: call the factory and find out which large distributors received those varminters. Then call each distributor to find if they have any remaining in stock and the price. Ask them to reserve one for your dealer and rush to your dealer and have him/her order it, muy pronto! That's how my brother and I got our .223 left handed Varminters. We literally got the last two remaining guns from the first production run that way.

The target you shoot doesn't care and won't be able to discern whether the bullet was delivered from an Ilion made barrel or Westfield barrel. Enjoy!

December 23, 1998, 07:25 PM
Wouldnt another modification be a trick bolt carrier? The normal BC holds the bolt so the ejector throws it out to the right. It would have to be altered to allow left side ejection.
Or am I just stupid or something?

Kenetic Defense Institute
[email protected]

4V50 Gary
December 23, 1998, 07:51 PM

Nope, same bolt carrier. Locking and unlocking are the same (so that the torque action won't dissipate itself by warping the receiver - just made that nonsense up for fun ;) sorry )on the left handed receiver as the normal right handed one. The only thing different on the bolt is to have the ejector and extractor on different sides (so the spent case is popped out towards the port side ejection port and not the solid right side).

December 24, 1998, 10:25 AM
Does that mean I have to fire both my left handed and right handed ARs at the same time so that torque and reverse torque will cancel themselves out?): Could that be the perfect state of blissful awareness when all is right with the universe and all the bad things go away?
Seriously, Gary is correct about the BC. Though it would be neat to have both sides opened up with selector switch. Seem to me I read about just such a selector on a weapon a while back. Think it was on an experimental shotgun.

4V50 Gary
December 24, 1998, 02:14 PM

No, you're not suppose to shoot them side to side. Shoot them butt to butt such that they become the functional equivalent of recoil-less. Doing this allows the torque-counter torque forces to cancel each other out too! Opps. I gotta duck now since Rich is sending a "naughty person" memo my way. :)


Warning: The entry above is humor only and is DANGEROUS. Always keep the muzzle in a safe direction and be aware of what is beyond the target.