The AR-15: If You Don’t Have One, Get One
Dr. John Woods 07.19.15
The AR rifle platform is the most popular rifle format for prepping, survival, property protection, offensive/defensive shooting, and even general hunting. One of the secondary reasons the gun platform remains so prolific is the flexibility to customize the rifle to suit personal needs, interests, and features. The best part is that most of the add-ons can be done with simple tools by the rifle owner.
Every day can be Christmas for the AR owner. If you shop a well-stocked gun shop, big box shooting department, or cruise the internet, you will be overwhelmed with all the options available to customize an AR. There are numerous AR supply catalogs out there, too, from outfits like Cabela’s, Brownell’s, and Cheaper Than Dirt with dozens of pages of accessories for the AR rifle.
Starting from the muzzle end and working your way back, you can begin by changing out the muzzle brake/flash hider to any number of unique configurations and bizarre looking pieces. On top, you can opt for a wide variety of BUIS (Back Up Iron Sights) sights, the fold down type being most popular. Down under you can quickly add a hand support/stop accessories to help hold up the barrel and keep your hand from sliding forward.
Housed over the barrel is most often a modular rail forend. This is usually a 4-sided set of Picatinny slots for mounting all kinds of accessories, including flashlights, scope mounts, red dot mounts, forend hand grips, lasers, assorted rail covers, fold down bipods, and other new accessories coming out all the time. ARs also accommodate many types of sling attachments.
The typical hard plastic AR grip can be easily changed to a soft rubber pistol grip for extra comfort and firm, gripping power. The trigger guard can be replaced with a larger one for use with gloves. The charging handle at the rear of the action can be changed out offering larger “wings” to grab to cycle to load/unload the action. Many types of rear BUIS are available.
Below the action, AR shooters can find numerous types of magazines from 5-10-20-30-40 round capacities plus rotary magazines holding up to 100 rounds of ammo. Magazines come in aluminum, steel, and thermoplastics. Mags can be fitted with grab plates and rubber finger grabbers for a quick pull release.
To the very rear an AR owner can change out the buttstock to many configurations from a fixed stock, adjustable length stocks, and even target type cheek rest stocks.
ARs are the most accessible firearms there are. Get one and start your own customization today.