Us firearm enthusiasts love our accessories! See below for some of the best accessories for the AR15.
Buttstocks, Grips and Foregrips
The items listed above are commonly known in the AR15 world as “furniture” like furniture in a home. They come in three common colors which are Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE) and OD Green commonly know as Foliage Green. The manufacturers I personally use are Magpul and Vltor products on my rifles. There are plenty of other cheap uppers manufacturers out there also such as Daniel Defense, Command Arms Accessories (CAA), Tapco and many more to name a few.
Examples of Magpul furniture on the right are a pistol grip, buttstock, handgaurd and trigger gaurd all in Black.
A word about the stocks, all stocks come in two versions which are Milspec and Commercial and both are of same quality. The difference is the diameter of the buffer tube the stock slides onto. Milspec tubes are smaller in diameter so make sure both the buffer tube and buttstock are of the same diameter. Oh and just because its called “milspec” doesn’t mean its better than commercial. There’s a lot of debate on one over the other so don’t get caught up on whether the parts are better than the other.
AR-15 stocks have come a long way from the 1960’s. Sure you can still get a traditional A4 style stock, but the best AR-15 stocks have evolved. You can get everything from lightweight to tradtional, to ones with built in adjustable cheekpieces and most anything else you might want from a rifle stock. However, picking the best AR-15 stock for your next build or upgrade can be hard, there are a lot of choices and not all of them are good, so we did the hard work for you of picking a few. Check ‘em out.
Colt has been building AR-15’s for over 50 years, it’s pretty obvious they know a thing or three about how to do it, meaning it is hard to go wrong with the standard Colt A4 stock. The best AR-15 stock for traditional minded shooters and builders, this is a combat and decades proven stock that really is hard to beat outside of specialized applications. If you are a traditionalist or just like things that work, here is your stock.
Perfect for those living in states that ban or restrict collapsible stocks, this is the best stock if you want the look and feel of a collapsible stock for a fixed stock rifle. Fits standard mil spec carbine length buffer tubes making it a quick and easy conversion to a fixed stock rifle. These are lightweight, rugged and very comfortable, making them some of the best AR-15 stocks for those looking (or needing) something a bit different. Personally I’d consider this even over a traditional fixed stock simply because I love the MOE line of products.
This one is just really cool. If you like minimalist designs, or simply something different, why not take a look at the Sabertube? Little more than a properly sized buttpad and a neat looking vented tube over the buffer tube, this is a pretty slick stock that makes for a fast handling and easy to shoot rifle, and stands out from all the other cookie cutter AR-15’s on the range. The best AR-15 stock is the one you choose because you enjoy it, not because you have to have it. My money is on this being one heck of an enjoyable stock to own and shoot.
An advanced design at an affordable price. This is the best AR-15 stock for those who appreciate or need fine adjustments on the cheek rest and overall length. Designed to fit most any shooter and provide a repeatable custom fit over and over again, this is a rare bargain in the AR-15 stock world. Similar stocks can cost twice as much, and not offer any real improvement to the concept.
What is the Best AR-15 Stock?
From traditional to wild, to semi custom, there is a bewildering array of AR-15 stocks. Fit your shooting needs, local laws and body type to the stock and you are golden!
Handgaurds are used on the upper to provides a place to hold your rifle without feeling the heat from the barrel it covers and also allows the operator to mount various accessories such as lights, lasers, bipods and other items the user desires. We’ll dig into them later down below. Handgaurds are normally plastic or aluminum both to keep weight to a minimum. There are two types of handgaurds and three different lengths. The types are two piece and free float handgaurds. Two piece handgaurds are basically used on rifles with an A2 front sight base and has a delta ring on the back which is spring loaded. Two piece handgaurds are attached at two points on the rifle at the front sight and at the delta ring. Free float handgaurds are attached only at the barrel nut allowing the barrel to “float” inside the handgaurd and almost always lack a A2 front sight. The advantage to free float is better accuracy since no strain is placed on the barrel when you have a bipod or sling attachments to the handgaurd. Most all aluminum handgaurds have picatinny rails on all four sides for attaching accessories. Picture on the left below is a two piece and the right is a free float handgaurd. Note how the front is attached between the two. The three handgaurd lengths are Carbine being the shortest length handgaurd, Mid-length and Rifle being the longest length handgaurd..
Ironsights are used on AR15’s without a front A2 sight post or a rear carrying handle with rear sights. Ironsights listed below are used on flatop uppers. You don’t have to have them on your flatop when you’re incorporating some type of optic but I recommend you have them in case your optic fails, battery dies or damaged in some way or another. You’ll always have your ironsights at the standby in case something happens to your optics which we’ll dig into next. There are a ton of quality ironsights like the ones pictured below. On the left are some Troy Industries sights and are made of aluminum. The ones on the right are made by Magpul Industries and are made of polymer.
Red Dot Optics
Red dot optics are aiming devices you DON’T want to skimp on and go cheap. There are four brands that I like and they are Trijicon, Aimpoint, Eotech and a quality optic at affordable prices is Vortex Optics. The majority of red dot optics are non-magnified and are great for CQB excercises when you need to aquire targets fast. Its best to shoot with both eyes open when using non magnified optics which increases your peripheral vision for aquiring targets. With practice it’ll become second nature. Trijicon ACOG, Aimpoint and Eotech are the three major players the military uses. Trijicons are considered the cadillacs of optics known for their very high quality build and does not use any batteries. Their Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight aka ACOG is the recommended model to use on AR15’s. They rely on fiber optics to capture ambient light and directs it to the reticule. They also come in low magnification models mostly from 1.5x to 6x magnification. Aimpoints are also high quality optics and are known for long battery life, up to 5 years left on with a single battery! That’s plain crazy and great if you’re in the military and leave them on not having to worry turning it on when engaging the enemy at any time. They come in various models with different size red dots in 2MOA or 4MOA meaning Minute Of Angle. Some aimpoints are night vision compatible and some without. Both Trijicon and Aimpoint brands can take a serious beating in the harshest of environments. Eotech is another one of the top brands and they use a reticule with a 65 MOA circle withe 1MOA red dot in the middle. Eotechs are know to be really fast in aquisition of targets and a moderate battery life of 600 hours or more on a single battery left on. These are also high quality optics and are weather resistant. Eotechs use a holosight technology where it doesn’t matter where the position of your eye is in relation to the reticule. As long as the dot is on the target, you’re going to hit it. From left to right below are Trijicon ACOG, Aimpoint and Eotech. Can’t go wrong with any of them. CAUTION!!! Be careful where you buy the above three brands. Only buy form authorized dealers such as the merchants on my links page. There are many clones made oversease that look exactly like the real thing. Its hard to distinguish them unless you know what to look for. Don’t spend your hard earned cash on a fake and they will not be covered with a warranty!!!
Rifle scopes are used for medium to long range shooting. There’s a vast selection of scopes out there and sometimes you may find yourself lost in the long list of selections available to the consumer. First let’s take a look at the breakdown on how to read the magnification and power when looking for a scope. I’m going to use a popular magnification and power as an example below which is a 3-9×40.
In a 3-9X40 scope, the 3 means three power, or 3X. This means that the image you see through the scope appears three times (3X) closer than it does with your naked eye. The 9 means nine power, or nine times (9X) closer than it appears with your naked eye. The forty (40) is the objective lens diameter in millimeters. This is a variable scope because you can vary the magnification of the scope from three to nine, stopping anywhere in between. You would describe this scope as a “three to nine by forty.” The more magnification you have, the less light you get to your eyepiece. The larger the objective lens, the more you get through your eyepiece.
Red Dot Magnifiers
If you’re using a red dot and don’t want to switch to a riflescope for medium range shooting, a magnifier may just be what you need. Magnifiers mount directly behind a red dot scope and can magnify your target. Aimpoint and Eotech magnifiers currently only come in 3x models. Mako magnifiers makes models from 3x to 7x models. Pictured below are from left to right Aimpoint, Eotech, Mako