As the standard-issue rifle for several wars and a mainstay in many gun owners’ collections, the AR-15 has become one of America’s most iconic rifles--if not the most iconic. With such a prolific reputation, the list of conventional AR-15 mods to unique AR-15 accessories for the rifle is extensive. We’ve compiled an “AR Accessories Must-Have List” for you, including optics, stocks, mags, and more!
"Set Your Sights" On These AR-15 Upgrades
Upgrading the original sights on the rifle is one of the first AR-15 mods that many make to improve their shooting experience. The variety of options to choose from may seem daunting, but zeroing in on the perfect sight for your rifle comes down to just a handful of factors.
Though iron sights come on the base model of the AR-15, buying a new set could be an affordable upgrade in the right direction. As bare-bones as they get, this variety of sight won’t burn a hole in your wallet, but that also means the features of even the best iron sight won’t be much to write home about. However, the hardiness of iron sights compared to optic sights make the irons a great back-up accessory for when all else fails.
While iron sights specialize in toughness and affordability, optics boast improved ease of subject acquisition, faster speed of focus, further range of accuracy, and a greater field of view.
As far as AR-15 upgrades go, sights are one of the first recommended AR-15 mods that will be sure to offer a more defined shooting experience. Depending on your needs, this type of sight has the potential to improve your clusters and make for a better range experience.
The price-point for premium optics (red dot/scope), can make this accessory a significant investment for some.There are, however, plenty of cost-effective options for those looking for quality optics without breaking the bank. No matter your budget, purchasing from a reputable manufacturer will better ensure that you’re getting high-quality items--especially for unique AR-15 accessories.
AR-15 Upgrades to Help You “Get a Grip” On Some Solid “Stock Options”
As two of the primary points of contact on the rifle, the stock and the grip are two parts that you won’t regret improving. These AR-15 upgrades maximize comfort and enhance accuracy, all while adding customization to your rifle.
Since shooting requires total control of the firearm, the end goal is to find a grip that fits your hand for comfort and control in any weather or setting. From there, you could go for a featureless grip (mainly used in states that require it--like CA), a pistol grip, or a finger-grooved grip. Prices range between varieties, but it all comes down to personal preference and how the texture, friction, thickness, size, etc. fit in your palm.
An upgraded buttstock has to be included on any AR accessories must-have list. Comfort and adjustability for cheek positioning on your rifle platform are two elements that can be improved by making this one of your AR-15 mods. Buttstock change-outs can be one of the simplest and most generic or one of the most unique AR-15 accessories you can make to your rifle.
AR-15 Mods for Magazine Upgrades
Reliable magazines are high on the AR accessories must-have list for all shooters. Improving the comfort and sights of your rifle are a great place to start, but getting your hands on reliable magazines in 10 round, 20 round, 30 round, or a drum magazine, will help you be prepared for anything.
If you’re looking to improve or even just expand the capacity of the magazines you already own, Taran Tactical AR15 Basepads are one example of easy AR-15 mods you can make. Basepads provide better protection when dropping magazines in a swap out, but add only minimal length to allow usage while in a prone position.
Unique AR-15 Accessories to Beef-Up Your Muzzle
Given their size, the right muzzle accessory can improve a surprising number of firing factors. Upgrading the muzzle should be a priority AR accessories must-have for anyone looking to improve their AR-15. While suppressors are great to have on your rifle for hearing protection at the range, self-defence, or a hunting situation, below are some of the more easily accessed AR-15 mods you can find.
Muzzle brakes help manage the recoil of the firearm. Rather than allowing all of the escaping gases to propel out of the front of the muzzle, a brake redirects a portion of the gases. Also known as a recoil compensator, some of them can reduce recoil enough to prevent the muzzle from rising while firing, though this varies from model to model.
Note before purchasing, however, that getting one of these unique AR-15 accessories installed may require a professional gunsmith’s expertise.
If you want to get rid of that flame-burst that the muzzle naturally expels while shooting, a flash hider is a great option for your AR-15. As the name implies, this muzzle device minimizes the flash associated with firing a round. In low-light firing conditions, this accessory can be a game-changer by preserving your night vision and eliminating the blinding flash after firing a round. With some basic tools, you can even add this to your cache of AR-15 mods in no time.
AR-15 Upgrades: One Gun - Endless Options
Almost every feature of the AR-15 has an accessory associated with it, or an upgrade available for it. AR-15 mods like sights, grips, stocks, or magazines are just a few features that can always be revised and improved. Whether you’re looking for customization or to enhance the performance of your own rifle, this AR accessories must-have "basics" list is a great place to start.