One of the biggest draws of the AR-15 platform is how easy it is to upgrade and accessorize. It’s pretty easy to get carried away with buying accessories for your weapon, so what is actually important?
Obviously, the answer to this question kind of depends on your use for the weapon. If you’re getting a survival weapon, your accessories are going to be different than someone who is competitively shooting. However, there are a few accessories that we feel are always necessary, regardless of use. In this article, we will discuss these accessories.
Many of these accessories require some type of handguard in order to mount. Whether it’s a KeyMod handguard, M-Lok, or a picatinny rail, some type of handguard with the ability to mount accessories is almost necessary.
Sure, modern sights are awesome. From simple reflex sights to variable magnification scopes and beyond, there are some really awesome sights out there. These high-tech sights will definitely improve your shooting, especially at longer distance, but they do mostly have one thing in common. They rely on electronics.
It used to happen every time we went to the range when I was in the Army. Every single time, someone’s scope had dead batteries. Most of the time, it’s because the weapon was stored with the optic left on by accident, which is a silly mistake, but it does happen. There’s nothing that will ruin a range day or a hunt more than a dead battery.
For this reason alone, I always recommend having some simple flip-up sights on your weapon. They aren’t as sexy, and they may not look super cool on your weapon, but they always work. I love the MBUS sights from Magpul.
If you’ve never handled a weapon with an improved pistol grip, you’re missing out. They make it easier to shoot, because they are usually wider and “grippier.” This allows you to have a more firm grip on the weapon, which will then improve your shooting. I like the Hogue rubber grips, but there are some other options out there.
This one seems dumb, but slings are an absolutely essential accessory for your AR-15. Obviously, it’ll make the weapon easier to carry, but believe it or not, they can also improve your accuracy. If you’ve never used a sling for this purpose, it may take a little to learn the technique, but it’s pretty easy overall. (link to sling article maybe?)
Regardless of your use for the rifle, you should have some type of sling. There are a couple different types of slings, and each one may be better suited to a specific rifle use. Check them all out, and make a decision from there. Make sure you’ve got your sling attachment points!
Some will disagree with me on this, but I always shoot better with a foregrip. I find that they improve my stability, especially when paired with a sling. I find that they improve my target acquisition speed, and make it easier for follow up shots. I like the angled foregrip from Magpul, but vertical foregrips are another option.
An improved buttstock can be lighter and more comfortable than the standard, mil spec buttstock that you commonly see. Magpul makes a pretty inexpensive buttstock that I really enjoy. It’s easy to use, but it’s also got a wide top, which makes it easier to get a better sight picture every time you shoot.