The Beginners Guide to AR15s and Aftermarket Accessories.
You may have
seen a few AR15s in your local store, you have seen some ads in a gun magazine,
or maybe a "guy" you know showed you his “evil black rifle”. You may
have run to the local gun shop and picked one up already. After dumping a few
30 round mags at the range you may have noticed some things that you like, and maybe some things you want to modify.
If you need
some help separating the wheat from the chaff, and have come here to find out
what is best for you. You came to the right place.
I am going to assume you’re not looking to take this weapon into harm's way (as
in a combat situation). While
many of these aftermarket product are more than capable (and designed for) of
doing so, this is by no means an exercise in tactics or an argument for
dependability. The products I will be talking about, for the most part, are
what I like to call “budget friendly”. They are by no means the best of the
best, but they work where it counts and won’t break the bank. With that being
said, I will be pointing out some of my favorites and try and give comparisons to some
of the higher end products.
So where do I start?
question you SHOULD ask yourself, is "what's allowed?" For some states, (I’m looking at
California among others) there are laws
that prohibit the use of things like pistol
grips, standard capacity
magazines, collapsible stocks,
flash hiders, among others. Always check your local
laws BEFORE you make any purchases. While something
might only cost $13.99 online, it could land you in the pokey for up to 10
years and no more guns for you. Not fun. So BE SURE you get something that is
compliant with your local laws. Let's keep going...
Secondly, you should assess your budget. While that fancy [insert high end brand name here] quad rail may be the new
hotness in all of the tactical
training videos, it may mean the difference between having an optic or not. While it is
true that not all parts are made equally, that doesn’t mean that some of the
“budget” choices should be disregarded. Especially when it comes to things like
mounts. I figure if [this] holds a flashlight, and [this] holds a flashlight, and one can save me $60.00 at no
loss in function, than it’s a no brainer.
Before we can get
into the products, lets discuss some of the different setups you could find on
AR15/M16/M4 A1s, A2s,A3s, & A4s – The Rundown
A little history might be in order before we launch into the aftermarket parts.
Primarily because different configurations may limit exactly what kind of
accessories you can use or require additional mounts to use standard optics.
The M16A1 has a fixed carry handle upper receiver, which does not allow for
"dialing" in elevation or windage. Tools (or a bullet tip) are needed
to adjust for windage, and the front sight pin is the only way to adjust for
elevation. Of course, the rear sight does have two apertures, one for 0-200m,
and another for 200m+. There is a
movement that pushes reliability over frills. These people tout the A1 carry
handle as the best, for its simplicity and lighter weight over the heavier A2
and A3 Flat-Top uppers. However, it does not allow for the use of optics
mounted directly to the upper receiver and requires the use of a picatinny rail
adapter. It also limits the use of different styles of rear sights. But, that's
really the whole point. It "simplifies" this.
In the 80's, the US Military went to the M16A2. The A2 uses a fixed carry
handle upper receiver very similar to the A1. With one big difference, the
carry handle has elevation and windage adjustment right on the rear sight. The
A2 rear sight was designed by the Army Marksmanship Unit, and then went into
full production. This is the standard upper on a LOT of LE/Military AR15s. Just
like with the A1 upper, you will need to install some type of scope mount to
use an optic.
The "A3" upper was a commercial design incorporating a flattop upper
equipped with a Picatinny rail, doing away with any type of carry handle. This
is the upper used on the M4 and M16A4, and is by far the easiest to work with
in terms of adding optics to the weapon. I run optics. Lots of people run
optics. I am particularly partial to red dot scopes. For that reason, I like
flattop uppers. If you know you aren't going to run an optic you may want to
consider the A1 or A2 upper. Otherwise go with the A3 flat top. It will just
make things easier, and you won’t have to resort to chopping up your AR15.
The term A4 doesn't refer to the upper receiver so far as this
discussion goes. For our purposes it is the same as the A3.
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Night sights are designed so
that they can be seen regardless of lighting conditions. If you have ever been
shooting at night and tried to make out the front sight post against a dark
background, then you can understand the significance. They usually us either
some sort of tritium based illumination, fiber
optic lines, or both. Electronic sights do exist but in my opinion,
should be ignored. They are in the same price range as the fiber optics and
require the use of batteries. Usually you
can get the front sight only, or the front and rear set.
If you choose to get a red dot or holographic optic, the night sights might be
unnecessary as they could become redundant (and might create a "busy"
sight picture). Your mileage may vary.
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As for optics, the options truly are endless. Different brands offer different
specs at prices ranging from under $50, all the way up to and including
multiple thousands of dollars. When considering an optic for an AR15, the thing
to keep in mind is that you really do get what you pay for… up to a certain
limit. I would say that once you reach four digit prices you are essentially
only paying for the brand and the warranty. The biggest thing to keep in mind
is function. Not only function of the optic but also function of the weapon it
is going on. If you only plan on taking your AR15 to the range, dump some mags,
then put it back in the safe, I personally couldn’t justify spending more that
$200 on an optic. Probably more like $100 actually. And believe me there are
PLENTY of options in the $100 - $200 range.
I have ran a
lot of different kinds of optics on my rifles. I have spent big and little. So
far out of all of them The ones I like the most and currently use are broken
down as follows:
Powered Scope Pick
NcStar Patriot Series
4-16X42, Mil-Dot Reticle, Tactical Rifle Scope - $69.99
I generally avoid a high powered optic on my AR15s but I
have built rifles for some varmint hunting. My first pick was the UTG 30Mm
4-16X56 Full Size A.O. Range Estimating Mil-Dot Scope, and it performed great.
I had absolutely no issues and was loaded with all kinds of features. Locking
open target turrets, illuminated reticle, optional sunshade, 30mm tube, 56mm
objective, parallax adjustment, the works. It also weighed close to 2 pounds
including the mount. Great for a bench, not so much for hunting purposes. I
decided to I wanted something a little more simple and weighing considerably
less. I found the NcStar Patriot series. Here is a link to NcStar’s website.
Basically, they took the Mark III line and reduced it
down to its basic components. No bells and whistles, No illuminated reticle. No
fancy dials. Just scope. And just like the Mark III series, they made a winner.
The glass is definitely in a higher class than the price suggests. And after
trimming all of the other stuff, it weighs in at a mere 16oz. Almost half of
the UTG. I have been shooting with it for about 6 months and are still more
than impressed. Especially because it was almost 1/3 the price of the UTG scope.
Low Powered Scope Pick
5th Generation 4x32 TS Platform Mini
Rubber Armored Scope with Mil-Dot
Most of the
time if I am running a magnified optic, it’s either low powered or its
variable. Generally if its low powered, Its going to be 4x magnification. I
like to move around scopes from gun to gun and this scope is perfect for that.
If I want to use it on a flat-top, it includes the adapter to do so. If I want
to put it on a carry handle than it has a carry handle mount built right in. This
one is definitely another high value, low cost item.
Variable Powered Scope Pick (The Short Dot Scope)
UTG 1-4X24 30mm Long Eye Relief CQB Scope w/ Glass Circle
Dot RGB Reticle & QD Rings –
I have always
been a big fan of the “Short Dot Scope” concept for the AR15 platform. I love
being able to shoot quickly as though it is a red dot and still have the
capability to zoom in on far away targets and shoot accurately. It also helps
when at the range and viewing your target from the bench. But, I have never
been a fan of the price tag on a Schmidt & Bender Short Dot. That being
said, anytime a manufacturer makes their own version of a short dot scope, I
have to check it out. Here is a list of all of the versions that I have tried
Schmidt & Bender
UTG Circle Dot CQB Scope
Bushnell Trophy XLT
Konus Konuspro M30
NcStar Mark III
UTG Accushot CQB
*(prices current when article written - subject to change) **(Rating
based on a 100 point grading scale. Considerations were: Clarity, Features,
Finish, Durability, Ease of use, Warranty, Materials, Innovation, Ergonomics,
& Application. Up to 10 points per category.)
Looking at this, there is one scope that just plain stands out. The UTG
Circle Dot 1-4x24 is WAY outside of its price range in terms of rating. High
value with a low cost? In my eyes that makes it a clear choice and it continues
to sit on more than one of my AR15s.
Comp Tactical Red Dot Sight w/ Cantilever Mount – $99.99
What separates a good red dot from a bad red dot? Paralax. Plain and
simple.More information on parallax can be found here. The whole idea of a red
dot is that as soon as the dot drops on
the target you can start sending lead. Lots of lead, very quickly. Now shooting
fundamentals always apply but when speed is the primary goal, some things get
sacrificed and in my experience a good and proper cheek weld is one of them. If
the parallax on your red dot isn’t set up correctly, depending on where your
head is in relation to the reticle, the dot may or may not actually represent
the zero that you worked so diligently to achieve. In other words, you won’t be
able to hit a thing. Now no matter what manufacturers may tell you, there is no
such thing as parallax free (they should say something like parallax reduced).
But some of them are pretty close. These are the Eotechs, the Aimpoints, the
C-Mores & the Trijicons. All fine pieces of equipment but for the price of
one of them you could probably buy a new rifle. For those not looking to spend over
$200? Here is a list of red dots that are more wallet friendly and have
acceptable parallax settings, along with some higher end red dots for comparison:
Now once again, there is one that
jumps out at me as above its peers in terms of value and it is the Sightmark.
For all intents and purposes it is basically a clone of the Aimpoint and it
even has the same dimensions so things like the rubber covers fit on it. It has
found a home on one of my AR15s permanently and that is saying a lot.
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BUIS (Back-Up Iron Sights)
If you have an
AR15 that has a fixed front sight or an A1 or an A2 upper receiver than this
may not apply to you.
This is one part of an AR15 that I absolutely WILL NOT accept sub-par
products on. These are what is going to keep you shooting when everything else
fails. I have tried every kind of BUIS that AR15outfitters.com carries and then
some. Things I check for are:
Is it solid
Is it Solid
adjustments accurate & secure?
reasonably weighted/sized? (most of the cheaper sights are overly bulky)
If a sight
can’t answer all 4 of these questions as yes, then I don’t take a second look
Here are my
contenders here are pretty easy to see so I guess the question comes down to
plastic or aluminum. Personally, I run both the Aim Sports and the Magpul and
both have done the job for me. The MBUS are about .4oz lighter if that is the
deal breaker. Although I have heard stories of them melting when placed on gas
blocks. Your call.
In addition, Command Arms has recently released The FFS and the FRS. I havent been able to take them out shooting yet but they seem solid enough. I dont think that i would be putting these on a gas block either.
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simple. They are just legs for your AR15. Find one that has the features you
need and get it. The options out there include adjustable legs, folding,
fixed, swivel, barrel
mount, rail mount, stud mount, quick release, & rubber
or steel feet.
Avoid anything made out of plastic as every
single one I have owned made from “High Impact Polymer” has broken in a bad
way. You want aluminum or steel.
NcStar Adjustable Precision Grade Bipod - Compact - Notched
Legs - $34.99
This can mount
to any AR15 right out of the box, has rubber feet, is spring loaded, and is
adjustable. The only thing it doesn’t do is swivel, but I have never come
across a situation when I thought I needed it to swivel.
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word on AR15 Gas Systems and Handguards
The normal DI (direct impingement) AR15 gas system is composed of the gas port
(located under the front sight base), which the gas block covers and redirects
the gas back into the upper receiver through the gas tube. The handguards cover
up this tube which is just made of thin aluminum.
Why is this
important in regards to aftermarket AR15 accessories? Because one of the most
beneficial modifications you can make to your AR15 is adding a rail system and the best place
to do that is with the handguards.
There are also
piston systems that have their own set of benefits and issues, especially when
it comes to customizing your AR15. But that is for another discussion. For this
discussion I will only be dealing with DI gas systems.
There are three
lengths of gas systems for the AR-15. They are:
An interesting note in regards to AR15 gas systems, is that the carbine length
gas system was designed to be used with 11.5" barrels (as in the Colt Commando) When the M4
stuck a 14.5" barrel on there (and later commercial manufacturers used
16" barrels) it made the short gas system extremely harsh on the carbine,
leading to the what is called "hard extraction". To overcome this, a
bolt upgrade was needed. The bolt in a carbine length gas system should have a black insert under the
extractor spring. This helps the symptom, but commercial manufacturers went one
step further and fixed the problem by creating what is now known as mid-length
"middy" is less harsh on the action, resulting in smoother extraction
and less felt recoil like its big brother, the rifle gas system. The mid-length
naturally gives the shooter a longer sight radius than the carbine. It's an
excellent compromise if you are going to run a 16" barrel, and it is even
the correct dimensions (length from flash suppressor to FSB) for the USGI bayonet to fit. The
downside is there are far fewer aftermarket accessories for a mid-length gas
system than there are for the carbine or rifle.
The rifle length gas system is the original gas
system used in the M16, and generally has less problems associated with it.
However, it necessitates the use of an 18"+ barrel. If length isn’t an
issue, go for it. The extra barrel length will increase the velocity of your
bullet, helping with both accuracy and effectiveness of the round.
This is a hybrid of sorts and is a term coined only so it could have a name. It
in no way affects bullet flight, but instead creates a weapon platform that the
user might be more comfortable with. It is known as the "Dissipator".
I have no idea why that name was chosen as it doesn’t really “dissipate”
anything. It uses a carbine length gas system via a low-profile gas block which
fits underneath the 12" (or longer) rifle length handguards. Sometimes a FSB
and handguard end-cap is stuck on the end of the barrel for the 12"
handguards to fit, but does it not serve as the gas block. The idea is that it
gives the shooter a longer sight radius as well as offering more surface area
to grasp the weapon or attach accessories to. This concept has become popular
lately and even more options for aftermarket accessories (like 15” handguards)
have become available. Some
manufacturers are even putting out AR15s from the factory in this
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The standard handguard that will come on a carbine length AR15, will either be
CAR handguards or M4 style handguards. The M4 handguards will be subdivided
into single heat-shield, or double heat-shield handguards. While these protect
the shooter from the hot barrel, they don’t offer much in terms of aftermarket
accessories and parts. Still, it's nice to have the clean military type look of
the standard handguard. If you are dead set on using these handguards than any
manufacturer of them is just as good as the next. They are all made from pretty
cheap plastic as far as I have seen. The exception being the Magpul MOE style
Here is a list
of ones that we carry:
Magpul MOE Drop In Handguard in Black, OD, Foliage, or Dark
Mako Carbine Poymer CAR Handguard - MultiCam
Mako Carbine Poymer CAR Handguard - OD Green
Mako Carbine Poymer CAR Handguard - Black
UTG Shorty M4 Hand Guard w/ Liner - Black
UTG Shorty M4 Hand Guard w/ Liner - Tan
there is hope for these handguards and it comes in the form of the handguard
accessory rail. There are many
different styles but they all do essentially
the same thing and that is to add a rail to the standard handguard. If you dont have the money to put a quad rail on your AR15. This is a great option.
Command Arms Offset Triple Rail Handguard Mount – $16.99
This keeps the
sleek lines of a standard CAR or M4 handguard while giving you TONS of mounting
options for accessories like flashlights,
lasers, bipods and grips.
Remember the center rail is removable and can be installed independently of the
other two rails. It’s hard to tell that from the product images that are
usually found online.
The other type of handguard is the railed or modular forearm. While certainly
popular, railed handguards can add a significant amount of weight to the front
of your carbine. This weight is well worth it in certain circumstances, but you must decide how you want
to set up your rifle beforehand. There are mainly two types, The free float, and the drop-in. Both have their plusses
and minuses, and both can be one of the most challenging pieces of aftermarket
furniture to decide on. Prices are all over the place and there are more brands
that I could count. There is polymer
as well as aluminum.
Generally I stay away from the polymer handguards as they all have a little bit
of play after some rough handling. Not so good for having your laser hold a
zero. Ill try and break down the two types.
Free float forends will allow you to mount optics on your forend instead of
just on the upper receiver. Basically they attach so securely that they extend
the upper receiver forward. This is advantageous if you have an A1/A2 upper,
and do not want to change over to the A3, or if you just prefer the red dot or scout scope to be further out from your face in a “scout” configuration. Lasers
can also be mounted to free float forends without worry.
its name suggests, it “floats" the barrel. A very long explantionation could be given
about barrel harmonics and such but suffice to say that it has a positive
impact on accuracy. On an aesthetic appeal, free float handguards are a lot
more "solid" than drop ins, and mounting VFGs on them doesn’t
"flex" the handguard.
Most free float tubes are "one-piece", and require the removal of the
FSB to install, but there are a few that are "two piece" and can go
on with the FSB in place. Get the one that you like better, and be sure you
have the skill handle the installation (or get a gunsmith to do it!). Keep in
mind that installing any free float handguard requires the use of specialized tools and should be
considered in the cost of the handguard itself if you don’t have these tools
It’s a TIE!
UTG PRO AR15 Rifle Length 13" Free Float Quad Rail
System – $99.99
ATI AR-15 Modular 15" Free Float Aluminum Forend – $169.99
But hey! I have
a carbine length gas system. How am I supposed to use a 15” or rifle length
I am glad that
you asked. This is one of my favorite modifications to an AR15 and that is
“hiding” the gas system. All you need is a
low profile gas block like this:
Once you get
that, all sorts of free float handguards open up to you.
I like the ATI
15” because it almost completely shrouds a 16” barrel right up to the muzzle.
Also it is completely modular, meaning you can put rails in places where a quad
rail will need an offset mount
to get to. Perfect for flashlights.
The UTG PRO
line is a new player in quality handguards and I have to say that I am very
impressed. I installed the rifle length on one of my carbines and it has almost
everything I want in a FF handguard. It extends the same rail plane off of a
flat top upper, it is very lightweight (15oz), and it has a perfectly matte
black finish. Top shelf features on a very affordably priced item. Win!
These handguards are simpler to install, as they quite literally replace the
plastic handguards. Sometimes they come with set screws to make them more
stable, but other times they do not. These are fine for VFGs, bipods,
and lights, but not for optics or lasers. They generally won’t hold a very good zero. These are
usually a lot cheaper than the free floats.
AIM Sports Weaver / Picatinny AR15 Carbine Length Quad Rail
Hand Guard - $39.99
It has all of
the features that should be standard on a 2 piece quad rail. It installs very
easily, has four solid locking set screws which keep it as secure as it is
going to get, and includes rail covers. Not the best rail covers, but at $39.99
for it all. Definitely a good deal.
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Weaponlights, Torches, Taclights, and Flashlights (All names for a
There are two types of lights, incandescent (Xenon) and LED. Incandescent lights
need a shock-isolated bezel. They usually run in the yellowish spectrum of
light. Also they tend to eat CR123 batteries like candy. LED lights do not need
shock-isolated bezels. They generally have a longer battery life than Xenon,
and in some cases have programmed functions built in to them. LEDs can have
different light properties, and by that I mean most “white” LEDs are actually
in the blue spectrum. I prefer LEDs but it comes down to preference and budget.
Most LEDs are much more expensive than Xenons with similar functions.
UTG Combat 5-Function LED Flashlight - $55.49
everything you need in a good flashlight. Multiple brightness settings, 1” tube
diameter, VERY solidly built, 120 Lumen max output. The only thing it is
missing is a mount to attach it to your weapon. If you want to put it on a rail
system I recommend this. If
you don’t have/want a rail system, than I recommend this or this.
I have tried the standard A2 grip
and it doesn’t fit my hand at all. Grips are mostly personal preference. Get
the one you like that fits your hand. This is one of the cheapest aftermarket
parts for the AR15, and one of the easiest to install.
I like the Magpul MOE grip,
personally. I first tried one on a Smith & Wesson M&P15 carbine, and absolutely
loved it! I now have one on three of my AR15s, and there they will stay.
Magpul makes the MIAD that is
completely configurable. It seems pretty nifty, but kinda steep if you want the
"full" kit. This is what I have on my varmint setup I was talking
about previously. It is considerably more expensive but includes some oversized
back straps that I like for prone shooting. If you live in the northern regions where there are long winters and you
have to wear gloves (warm ones, not shooting gloves) to go shooting, I'd get a Magpul enhanced trigger guard.
It opens up the trigger guard perfectly. The MIAD grip used to come with a
front strap that had a built in triggerguard but they no longer include it with
the kit. That is a sad story as it made the MIAD an easy pick. Without it, my
pick is going to be the MOE as it is ergonomically correct at a very reasonable
Magpul MOE Drop-In Pistol Grip – $18.39
I have heard
great things about the Ergo grip.
They have a few different models, right-handed, and ambidextrous, and also
either standard, or "suregrip." This means it has a rubbery surface.
I will be getting one of these next, especially because you might be seeing a
lot more of them around here in the near future.
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Vertical Fore Grips (VFGs)
Here is another item that there
are literally hundreds if not thousands of options. Common features include
storage, quick release, angles, long, short, aluminum, polymer, steel, pressure
switch slots, built in lights, built in bipods, angled, folding, built in light
mounts (with or without light activation switches)…etc…
When it comes
to vertical grips, I like to keep it very easy. Is it solid? Does it get in the
way? The correct answers to those questions should be ye and no, in that order.
This is a list of some of the VFGs I have used and liked.
My picks (with
Some of the
fancier options include the "Mako T-Pod", which is a VFG that has
drop-down legs to become a bipod. Pretty neat, but pricey ($129.99). For
another $80 they even make one with a built in LED flashlight. Nice.
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There are ALL SORTS of options when it comes to AR15 stocks. Let's look at some
of the military style stocks first, then we'll look at some aftermarket stock
choices for your AR15.
The original M16A1 came with a fixed triangular shaped stock that fit well into
the role of the combat arm. It fit most people, and allowed the shooter to get
in a combat position, squared with the target while touching the tip of the
nose to the back of the charging handle for a reference point. This provided a repeatable
"cheek weld." It was important that the shooter could face the target
and bring the weapon straight up in front, which positions body armor towards
the threat, giving maximum protection. That being said most manufacturers do
not offer this configuration anymore as it has for the most part been replaced
The Army Marksmanship Unit developed the M16A2 to win shooting competitions. As
they developed the rifle, they added a longer "target style" stock.
This fixed stock is designed to be used while "bladed" to the target.
The shooter does not put the weapon straight up in front of him, but instead
brings it up alongside the body and stands perpendicular to the target. This
stock (along with the entire rifle) was designed for target shooting. As such
it was immediately adopted by the commercial market. For the most part if you
are looking to put a fixed stock on an AR15 than you will probably be looking
at something with a little more features but if you want that traditional look
and feel than you will be looking at one
position CAR stock
The original CAR stock was originally an aluminum two-position stock with "in" and "out." Positions
only. This eventually progressed into the
current offerings that are made of plastic and generally have four
positions. They are lighter than the 6 position M4 stocks, and collapse just a
little bit shorter.
6 position M4 Stock
This stock has the sling swivel on the toe, and has "ribs" along the
side to increase its rigidity. It usually uses a six position buffer (the number
of positions is determined by the buffer tube, not the stock body) and is the collapsible
stock that comes standard on most commercial AR15 carbines. So many
manufacturers make them and they are all so close in specifications I won’t go
into too much detail. Suffice to say that I would just find the best deal I can
if purchasing one of these. Also keep in mind that this item can be purchased
in all of the popular colors as well.
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AR15 Stocks by Manufacturer
This isn’t a complete list but it comes close. In my opinion there is no such thing as a “best”
AR15 stock. There are so many options and so many variations of the same thing
that it comes down to how much you are willing to spend. I can say that there
are some stocks that aren’t worth even looking at. Mostly because the cost to benefit
ratio is way off. I chose not to link them above. That’s all I have to say
Tactical Intent TI-7 – $89.50
This thing has almost all of the features of another stock, at 2/3 the price. Holding one in your hand the
quality is absolutely top notch. Get one and you won’t be disappointed.
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This could be the possible weak point in the AR-15. It doesn't HAVE to be weak,
but oftentimes it is. The problem with any AR15 magazines, is that the magwell
of the AR-15 was designed to feed from the straight 20rd mags used during the
Vietnam era. When the 30rd mags came out, they had to have a very unique
design. The top half is straight but the bottom is curved. This design is not
very good for smooth feeding from a large capacity box magazine. I generally
stay away from the USGI style aluminum and steel mags as the steel usually have
a hard time dropping free and the aluminum are so easily damaged.
Shooters today have all sorts of choices for a quality magazine that is sure to
Here is a list of the one I have used and like:
CDMAG – $31.49
Gen II 30 Round Magazine – $21.99
Cammenga 30 Round Easymag – $31.99
Magpul Pmag 30 Round
Magpul Pmag 20 Round
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A rifle without a sling is like a handgun without a holster. Get one! They come
in three different configurations. These are 3-point, 2-point, or one-point
A three-point sling has a strap that runs the length of the rifle on one side,
and then has another strap that forms a loop that you put over your head and
one shoulder. This allows the weapon to be worn at an angle, hanging down the
"off" side. Three-point slings are sometimes known as "patrol
slings", because they allow the shooter to let go of their weapon and walk
naturally. I wouldn’t use one for target shooting but they are great for
hunting on the plains where you have to do a lot of walking.
Tactical Rifle Sling – $14.49
A two-point sling just attaches to the front and back of the rifle. These are
generally the ones that are made of simple nylon and come with a rifle. They
will usually fall off your shoulder if not held tight. This is the most basic
form of sling and if often called just a “strap”. There are some very nice “rubberized
2-point slings out there
Blackhawk Kudu Stretch Sling - $27.49
Single point slings attach to the rifle in one place which is usually towards
the back of the receiver. A single-point sling plate or a nylon adapter strap, is
usually required to give you something for the sling to clip into, but some of
the aftermarket stocks (Magpul CTR,
TI-7, RRA Operator) have quick detach sling attachment points built
right in. Basically, the sling is a loop, that goes over your head and shoulder
and hangs the weapon straight down in front of you. The barrel usually ends up somewhere
between your legs. Not so good for running but great for weapon retention.
AIM Sports One Point Bungee Rifle Sling - $12.99
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Brakes & Flash Suppressors
This is one item that I am all over the place on. There are so many out
there and I have liked every single one I have ever owned for different
reasons. My suggestion would be to find the one you like and ask questions
about it. Heck even the plain jane A2 flash hider is good in its own right. Just
like with the free float handguards, make sure you are equipped to do the
installation or contact a gunsmith. Just keep in mind that different
manufacturers may have different requirements as far as using a crush washer is
concerned. That’s why I say ask questions first, then buy. Another thing to
mention here is that some states are not too friendly on the term “flash
suppressor” and instead will only recognize “muzzle brake” as “sporting”. Beats
the living daylights out of me as to why but that’s the way it is for now. Do
your research. Then buy.
My “current” pick:
Troy Claymore Muzzle Brake – $82.99
It says “Front
Towards Enemy” right on it. Nuff said.
I hope this has
been informative to all you AR15 owners out there. I sure wished that some of
this information was out there when I first started building ARs.
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