The iconic AR-15 series rifle has earned a place in American lore along with Winchester and Remington as one of the best long guns ever made. Whether you use it as your go-to semi-automatic hunting rifle, a home defense weapon, or for target practice, it is one of the finest guns available to the public.
Since the 1950s, when Colt first introduced the rifle and sold its successor, the AR-16, to the military, manufacturers have developed and marketed a wide variety of accessories and upgrades.
Here is a guide to some of the best and most useful add-ons available.
The grips are the location on the stock or barrel where you hold the weapon as you fire it. On the AR-15 there are lots of different options. We have divided grips into three basic types: Pistol grips, vertical grips, and specialty grips.
1. Pistol Grips
Pistol grips get the name from its resemblance to the grip that handguns have. These types of grips are very comfortable, ergonomic, and easier for women or men with small hands to grasp.
Colors and sizes vary. For example, the Magpul MIAD receiver grip comes in a variety of and also offers palm and finger groove options for any size hand.
Other grips have anti-slip coatings and other features to help you customize your AR.
2. Vertical Grips
Vertical grips allow excellent handling and stability. Although legal on rifles, using a vertical grip made for a rifle on a handgun is illegal in some states.
Some versions attach to the existing Picatinny rail while some manufacturers sell non-Picatinny handguards.
3. Specialty Grips
Certain grips, such as the Magpul AFG, are similar to a vertical grip but with an angle. This lowers the profile while at the same time allows you to stabilize the gun and keep your hand from reaching the muzzle on the shorter versions of an AR15.
Slings and Sling Plates
Carry slings are an important component useful for an AR15 owner, especially if you go shooting frequently.
There are many varieties, including end plates for sturdy sling attachment and quick-release endplate replacements. The available slings include ones that allow one and two-point attachments.
The tough sling used by the military is also available for civilian purchase.
The right trigger can assist with improving your accuracy. This is the most common accessory AR15 owners like to customize.
A trigger should provide you with a comfortable degree of resistance. Your trigger should also be durable and reliable no matter what the conditions.
Opting for a single-stage or two-stage trigger depends on the type of shooting you expect to do. Competition shooters generally like two-stage triggers, and you can squeeze then tweak and line up your shot better.
One-stage is perfect for home defense as you pull the trigger and it immediately fires around.
There are even custom kits that allow you to create the exact amount of trigger pull you desire.
Traditional iron sights are not enough for most shooters today. Upgrading your optics exponentially improves your accuracy. A clear and unambiguous sight picture makes all the difference in terms of hitting your target first time, every time.
Your choices for optics include red dots, scopes, lasers, holographic sights, and a few others.
Before choosing an optic, consider how you use your rifle. If you use your rifle for work, one kind of optic might make sense more than another type.
Certain optics weigh more than others do. Many are bulky, others very small. Some, like red dot optics, come in two different styles that mount near the end of the rifle barrel or further down the body of the weapon.
AR15s have more accessories available than most other rifles in its class. You can customize an AR15 to fit your exact specifications: Your style of shooting, type of shooting, the size of your hands, and personal preferences.