- Sling Attachments
- Weapon Mounted Lights (WML)
- Rail System
- Forend Grips
- Pistol Grips
The mission determines the gear, not the other way around.
This is very important. Before you start spending hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars on a rifle and accessories, ask yourself, “how do I anticipate using the rifle?”. Do you see the rifle being used defensively in an urban environment (less than 200 yards), or zapping coyotes and small game, and keeping the family safe in a rural area (out to 400 or 500 yards)? Once you have answered that question, you can now intelligently go about procuring the right weapon system, configuration, and accessories for your needs.
Military personnel have the need to reconfigure their weapons to fit their particular mission. They need to be able to mount optics, lights, lasers, and grenade launchers. With the exception of grenade launchers, civilians have almost the same selection of accessories. At civilian firearm ranges I see rifles with all sorts of expensive bells and whistles added. These accessories add weight to the weapon and limit its mobility and shootability. Most of the operators of theses heavily accessorized rifles are mediocre shots at best. They spend all their money on accessories, but don’t spend the time or money to learn to really shoot the rifle. In my humble opinion civilians should keep their weapon systems as simple as possible. If the accessory doesn’t help me shoot the weapon faster and more accurately, or add reliability to the system, then I feel that it doesn’t belong on my rifle. Keep the weapon system simple and spend the money on weapons training and ammunition.
The Order That You Should Follow When Accessorizing Your Rifle Is:
- Weapons mounted light.
- Optic or red-dot (Check out Savannah Arsenal’s Tactical Rifle Optics page).
The Life Cycle Of An AR-15 Owner:
I found this quote on by jblomenberg16 on AR15.com. It’s too true.
- Buy a cheap AR because it’s all I can afford.
- Tapco-fuck it because it’s all I can afford and I’ve seen pictures on the interwebs about all the things I need to put on it.
- Hate how heavy my rifle is with all this cheap Chinese crap on it.
- Take crap off, put some name brand stuff on it because I saw it on ARFCOM.
- Hate how heavy my rifle is with all this name brand crap on it.
- Take a few carbine courses, realize some of the crap helps, but most is dead weight.
- Streamline my rifle…keeping nothing more than a light on the rail, a good sling, and a stock that fits me.
- Enjoy shooting my rifle so much I shoot it more, and realize that its pretty accurate and I should spend some $$ on optics.
- Buy a knock off Aimpoint. Works well but batteries last 2 weeks. Liked the fake-point enough I decide I should save up for a real Aimpoint.
- Buy a real Aimpoint. WORKS REALLY DAMN WELL and still running on the same batteries years later.
- Decide that batteries might not last forever, and I might need some magnification, and that being able to see the reticle in low light is a good thing.
- Buy an ACOG and pay more for it than the rifle cost me in the first place.
- Realize I really like AR’s and shoot them really well.
- Start reloading because I shoot so much.
- Shoot more because I reload so much.
- Decide to build special purpose rifles for unique applications (20″ with scope for long range and varmits, 10.5″ Silenced SBR, KISS truck gun, M4gery, M16A4gery, ….)
- Decide FDE is the coolest color, so replace all my furniture with FDE parts.
- Find out the cool kids are now running UDE, so sell FDE for UDE.
- Realize that what I really should do is rattle can it and throw it down the driveway, so sell all the UDE stuff for plain black, and paint it up.
- Remember when I just had one AR and how much simpler, yet boring my life was, and how much extra money I had for things like food and clothes.
Sling Attachment Hardware:
Type of Attachments:
- Coming soon.
- Coming soon.
Weapon Mounted Lights (WML):
- Surefire brand lights and illumination accessories
- L-3 Insight brand lights and illumination accessories
- Streamlight brand lights and illumination accessories
- UTG brand products,
- N-C Star brand optics and accessories.
On my M-4 I use a 130 Lumens Streamlight Polytec LED attached with a quality one inch diameter scope ring. It has been mounted with over 1000 rounds fired and still runs like a champ. It is unbelievably bright indoors, and will easily illuminate a target within 50 yards.
Railed Forends and Handguards:
Philosophy and General Information:
Quality AR-15 Gear:
- Magpul accessories
- Daniel Defense accessories
- Midwest Industries accessories
- Yankee Hill accessories
Good AK-47/74 Gear:
- Coming soon.
There is absolutely no reason to spend the money on a rail system that free-floats the barrel on a short barrel M-4. You will spend a lot of money and not see noticeable improvement in accuracy. However if you are a serious shooter and see yourself varmint hunting or precision target shooting at long-range with a full-length AR-15, then it may be worth the money.
If you are on a budget there is no reason to go spend over $100 on a dedicated rail forend system. You can spend much less and add a single light-weight rail to the bottom of the forend. Lights can be easily attached and removed.
If you decide to change the stock of your rifle it will be very important to know if you have a Mil-Spec version or a commercial version rifle. Below is the difference.