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An Array of AR-15 Rifle Accessories Part 1
Intro To Rifle Accessories For The AR-15
The AR-15 platform is one of the most appealing to gun owners in the United States because of its versatility and the number of customizing options available. Whether you have a lot of money to spend or are operating on a budget, you will have thousands of configuration options available to you, allowing you to build the weapon that fits your needs and budget.
It's this aspect that has made the AR-15 platform possibly the most popular in American culture. When you're ready to buy an AR-15, keep the information presented below in mind.
One of the most difficult decisions a potential AR-15 buyer is confronted with right out of the gate is deciding whether to buy or build one.
You'll have the choice of buying an AR-15 that has already been customized and outfitted with the latest accessories or you can buy a bare-bones model and add the components you desire that will fit your budget best.
If you prefer going the pre-built route and picking up an AR-15 with all the high-end bells and whistles, the Daniel Defense DDM4v1 is a popular option. If you prefer one with fewer components included at the outset, you can find a great selection offered by Colt and DPMS Panther.
The latter choice is the route chosen by many first time AR-15 owners because they know they can upgrade the weapon as needed later on down the road. If you decide to go the pre-built route, the smart move is to choose one with a high-quality base platform but fewer high-end components, and simply add new components as needed and as your budget allows. This way you aren't spending a lot from the start on a lot of high-end accessories you may not even need or want.
Here are a few must-have accessories you should pick up right from the start:
Additional AR-15 Magazines
This is probably the most important accessory for any semi-automatic rifle You can never have enough magazines, so it pays to pick up extras whenever you can. Quality can vary among manufacturers, so you might want to do a little research beforehand to learn which magazines of the most reliable.
Slings and Sling Mounts
You may think a sling is a common sense accessory, but you'd be surprised at how many people forget to pick one up and regret it later. Unless you plan on carrying your AR-15 by its handle, don't forget to get a sling.
This will also require a little research beforehand because different slings are more appropriate for different situations, so be sure to investigate which one will work best with how you plan to use your weapon. Also, don't forget the sling mounts which will be used to attach the sling to your AR-15.
Choosing the correct sling for your situation is key, so you want to make sure you get the one that is right for you so you can access your weapon quickly and reliably should you need to.
The part of the rifle that is placed on your shoulder as you fire your AR-15 is called the stock. Some people refer to it as a buttstock or shoulder stock.
The shoulder stock provides solid support for the rifle and gives the shooter more control which makes it easier to aim. Further, a well-designed shoulder stock will absorb much of the recoil that occurs when the rifle is fired, reducing wear and tear on the shooter's body, especially the shoulder. In addition, a properly designed shoulder stock should prevent slippage, which makes achieving a comfortable shooting stance easier.
Many rifles produced today come with one-size-fits-all fixed stocks that cannot be changed out or adjusted to accommodate the shooter. This is a serious drawback, especially if the stock just doesn't work well with your body. In the real world, all shoulders aren't created equal. With the AR-15, this isn't a problem because you have many shoulder stock options available, including collapsible stocks that can be adjusted to suit the needs of the person handling the weapon.
If you've ever made the mistake of touching a rifle barrel after a session of shooting, you know how hot it gets. By choosing a handguard made out of the appropriate heat-resistant material, you can handle your weapon safely during operation and after without worrying about burning yourself. If you need additional support and versatility, consider adding a vertical fore-grip to your handguard if the two are compatible.
Rails for the AR-15
If you plan on upgrading, customizing, or adding additional attachments and accessories to your AR-15 rifle, you need to pay special attention to rails. Numerous rail configurations are available, for example, quad rails and Picatinny rails.
Picatinny rails are one of the most popular rails when it comes to AR-15 configurations. Also referred to as tactical rails, Picatinny rails are used for mounting items such as flashlights, lasers, and scopes.
Accessories are typically added to the weapon by sliding them over the rail from one end or the other, or by using a Weaver mount that is typically clamped on to the rail via bolts or thumbscrews. Another option is attaching them to the slots usually present and located in between the raised sections of the rail
Charging Handles for the AR-15
The charging handle sometimes called a cocking or bolt handle, is the device that causes the hammer of the rifle to become cocked when it is engaged. Usually, the charging handle in the AR-15 has a hook shape that protrudes from the side of the bolt.
As long as the charging handle is operating properly, the shooter will be able to pull the bolt towards the rear of the gun, which may cause the following to happen, depending on the intentions of the operator:
A spent shell or unfired cartridge will be ejected from the chamber.
A round will be loaded into the chamber by hand or from the magazine.
If there is a jam or blockage, pulling the bolt to the rear should help clear it.
Allows the operator to verify there are no rounds present in the chamber.
Allows the operator to use the bolt as a forward assist if necessary.
If the bolt is locked to the rear as often happens with rifles that have a last round hold open feature present, pulling the bolt backward should release it.
If you're familiar with a slide in a pistol, the charging handle behaves similarly in an AR-15.
Triggers for the AR-15
Everyone knows what a trigger does, whether it be on a rifle or a pistol. When you're ready to fire the weapon, you simply pull the trigger.
The trigger included with your AR-15 rifle when you first purchase it will most likely be a low-cost option that will deliver average performance. For more accurate results, more control over your weapon, and a better shooting experience overall, you should consider investing in a higher-end trigger that has been designed to deliver the reliable results you prefer.