10 must-have accessories for your AR-15
The AR-15 is America's rifle. Here's how to make it your own.
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The AR-15 rifle is America’s rifle. Derived from the venerable M16 rifle platform, the AR is highly versatile, operating in calibers from .22 Long Rifle to .50 Beowulf. We use our rifles on everything from plinking to hunting to self-defense, and often with a few new accessories you can quickly change the rifle’s purpose.
Half the fun of having an AR-15 is buying new stuff to use with it. With that in mind, here are 10 accessories every AR-15 owner needs.
Recently cleared by the U.S. Marine Corps for active-duty use, the third generation of Magpul Corporation’s original PMAG polymer magazine is better than ever. Featuring a window for easy round count, enhanced curve geometry, and a new four-way, anti-tilt follower, the Gen 3 PMAG will carry on Magpul’s reputation for “boring reliability,” ensuring your rounds feed every time. Available in Sand, Coyote Tan, and Black.
Back-up irons are a must-have for those who run their ARs hard. If an optic fails, you need a sighting system to ensure you can keep shooting accurately. The Bobro Lowrider Back-Up Iron Sights are designed to be “extremely low profile” so as to not interfere with optics and Picatinny rail attachments, yet sturdy enough to survive abuse. Despite their thin profile, these pop-up sights can still be adjusted for windage and elevation. The sights include a M16-style front sight post and a rear peep sight.
At less than one ounce, the Sintercore Tripwire is the lightest charging handle on the market. The handle is made from 7075 T-6 hardcoat anodized aluminum, while the latch itself is made from 3D printed carbon fiber — hence the name. The Tripwire’s unique design does away with a lever, locking in place automatically. It’s also ambidextrous and comes in both 5.56 and 7.62-millimeter versions.
For the precision shooters out there, the Luth-AR MBA is designed to make the buttstock more comfortable and accommodating than ever. Made of glass-filled nylon, the MBA allows for both length of pull and cheek-weld adjustment, making sure you have good contact with your weapon before you send rounds downrange. The stock attaches to a standard rifle or carbine buffer tube and is available in flat dark earth, black…and pink.
The standard mil-spec trigger sold on many AR-15 rifles is…just okay. It’s nothing to write home about. For those looking to upgrade and reach new heights in accuracy, Geissele Automatics’ G2S trigger is a nice, two-stage trigger design that won’t break the bank. The first stage is two-and-a-half pounds, and the second is two pounds. Recommended for law enforcement, home defense and hunting, the G2S is made from tool steel. You’ll never feel a gritty trigger again.
Do you remember when you last swapped out those hard-to-find batteries on your red dot? With the Holosun Paralow, that’s not a problem: The Paralow has a 20,000-hour battery life, which translates to two continuous years of being left on. What’s more, it automatically adjusts dimness to match ambient light levels, saving battery juice, and even has a solar panel on top for supplementing battery power. The Paralow features a 6061-T aluminum housing and a 2 MOA red dot or EOTECH-style 65 MOA circle and 2 MOA red dot. The sight comes with both absolute and lower one-third co-witness mounts to fit your shooting style.
There are all sorts of good reasons to police your brass. You might want to keep wilderness areas pristine; you might want to avoid sweeping under the watchful eye of the range officer’ or you might be a reloader for whom every spent casing is money in the bank. Whatever the reason, the Caldwell Brass Catcher is a great solution. The hook and loop design covers your ejection port, catching the brass in a black net.
Picatinny rails are a great way to hang lasers, optics, foregrips, and other things securely from your rifle, but they’re also a hard, bumpy, abrasive surface that’s uncomfortable to hold. Basically, they’re like putting teeth on guns. Ergo rail covers are an inexpensive way to cover unused areas, protecting your surroundings from the rail and vice-versa. Also available for Keymod and MLOK-equipped handguards.
Compact riflescopes are getting more sophisticated, and the Vortex Strike Eagle is no exception. The Strike Eagle features a 24-millimeter tube and adjustable magnification from 1x to 6x. The reticle is glass-etched and illuminated, with subtensions for 5.56-millimeter rounds and a horseshoe for fast acquisition at short ranges. Lenses are fully multi-coated for excellent light transmission. The generous 3.5-inch eye relief makes it suitable for .308 rifles too.
Going shooting in the damp woods and telling yourself you’ll just magically find a piece of cardboard out there you can shoot prone from? No you won’t. The Primary Arms Compact Shooting Mat is waterproof, has an anti-bacterial coating and grommets on all four ends for staking purposes. Unrolled it measures 72 inches by 30 inches, enough room for your range bag to lie next to you on the wet ground. Perfect to throw in the back of the truck until you need it.