For proud owners of “America’s rifle,” there’s always a way to make the shooting experience more enjoyable or to further customize the platform. Some people even choose to create their very own rifles from build kits or parts kits so that they can enjoy that custom fit, finish and performance the very first time they charge the rifle and pull the trigger.
For tinkerers and others who are serious about shooting sports, you’ll see these AR15 accessories listed over and over again as essential. There’s a reason for this: they’re some of the best. Check out these AR15 parts and accessories that you can use to make awesome upgrades to your favorite platform.
1. Grips and stocks: Grips and stocks may not impact the functional operation of the action, but they are some of the most important accessories out there when it comes to getting a custom feel from your firearm. Pistol grips are really a matter of preference, but an upgraded stock will impact the performance of your rifle. Without a stock that fits you well (or an adjustable stock) the rifle’s length of pull may not be amenable to the experience.
2. Handguards: The handguard protects your hand from the barrel and serves as the forend on a shooting rifle that is vital for extra stability. Most if not all handguards come with KeyMod or M-LOK systems or lengths of Picatinny rail that are highly useful for attaching additional accessories like red dot sights, scopes and folding grips.
3. Slings: Slings take a huge load off your shoulders and free up your hands to carry other gear, and come in a variety of formats, shapes and sizes. Many AR15 slings are made with nylon or even paracord that can be unwoven in a pinch and used for emergency cordage.
4. Bipods: Bipods give you the ability to form a stable shooting platform which is critical in the field. Without a stable shooting platform, it’s basically impossible to place tight groups downrange; luckily, a bipod makes that possible at the drop of a hat.
5. Mags, magwells and oversized mag releases: Obviously, a new magazine can give you the ability to carry more rounds between reloads, which is useful in situations such as competitions. Magwells make it easier for you to reload a new magazine in a shorter amount of time and oversized mag releases cut down on the time between swap-outs as well.
6. Optics: Optics such as scopes and red dots revolutionize your ability to create tight groups, especially at range. Some shooters have a dead-eye even over iron sights, but for the rest of us there are reflex sights like red dots, laser sights and even scopes.
7. Ergonomic charging handles: When it’s really cold or you’re under pressure, reaching and engaging the charging handle can be a bit of a challenge. This is true if you’re wearing heavy gloves even when it isn’t cold. In many cases, you can upgrade your current charging handle with a larger, more ergonomic model with only a little bit of work.
While these AR15 accessories are some of the most valuable for the largest numbers of shooters, there are many, many more that are highly useful as well. AR style rifles are highly modular and are practically made to be upgraded. Other great products and useful AR accessories include muzzle devices, bolt carrier groups, trigger assemblies and much more.