The magazine-fed, gas-powered AR-15 is one of the most popular models of semi-automatic rifles on the planet. Introduced in 1964, it was the semi-automatic version of the military’s M-16-and Colt did something right with this versatile rifle. The AR-15 is lightweight, easy to shoot, and accurate. Today, there are quite simply too many versions and modifications out there, but with some basic knowledge, the average shooter can choose the right rifle or carbine, along with some first-rate mods for upgrading your AR15.
First off, choose the right AR for you. One of the main differences in the AR-15’s out there today is rifle or carbine. A carbine generally has a shorter barrel and is a compact version of the rifle. They also come with collapsible buttstocks and are often used in an urban setting. If tactical runs through plywood mock towns are for you, then go carbine.
One of the best AR-15, carbine versions out there for your money comes with mod-ready specs. The Daniel Defense M4 has just that. Made with new, modern metal alloys, they sell to special forces on a regular basis. The model comes with a collapsible buttstock, pistol grip, and barrel grip in place. This a carbine to think about if you’re looking to purchase something with modifications already present. The only thing left is to decide on optics with this AR, which we’ll talk about later.
Going the opposite direction.
In other words, looking at more or less building your own AR,-will take more time, but overall, end up saving you money in the long run. You can find some AR-15 guide on the market aimed at showing beginners how to do this. Building your own gives you the opportunity to build the rifle exactly to what you’re going to use it for. For example, if you’re going to use your AR for hunting, building your own lets you chamber the rifle with a larger caliber.
The right pistol grip mod for your hand can really bring extra stability when holding the rifle. Models with larger grooves for fingers can help maintain a firmer grasp on the rifle during recoil. Allowing for minimal adjusting when sighting in your next target. Any mod that helps you maintain that first-sight picture, without having to re-situate the butt of the rifle in the small of your shoulder is a good buy.
Let’s talk scopes for a little bit-there are hundreds out there after all. A big factor in deciding between scope and optic mods usually falls with the optic magnification factor. A great scope is going to have magnification adjustments, allowing you to see targets up close within the scope. Usually, scopes featuring less than 10 times magnification, are going to be better suited for the shooter aiming at targets less than 500 yards. Whereas scopes greater than 10x are more often used for engaging targets at a distance greater than 500 yards. At this range shooters typically are aiming from a prone supported position with tripods or sandbags.
Optic sights can improve a shooter’s aim at close distances, and there are many, many different models to choose from. Red dot sights vary greatly in style and size of the beam. They are simpler to use as well as affordable, compared to their counterpart-the holographic sight. Holographics can offer magnification of up to 3x, along with laser-guided aiming points. The viewing style of holographic optics does enable you to incorporate more of your peripheral vision. A good, but expensive mod to go with when trying to improve your ability to engage multiple targets at short distances.
But if your pocket can’t handle buying quality optics just yet, go for iron sights. They’re cheaper, lighter, more durable, and reliable even during inclement weather. Use them to improve your aim and positioning further.
For one who looking for upgrade your AR-15 with an optic, you can read a great resource from Travis Pike who’s covered many scope options for the AR-15 as well as everything you would need to look for when you scope your AR-15.