In the video below, NRA commentator Colion Noir gives us a loving look at his heavily modified HK MR556. A gun that somehow lacks a Cigar Minder Clip (not magazine). After justifying his many mods, the firearms fashionista — a man for whom The Robb Report was created — asks “Are these Heckler and Koch rifle upgrades worth it?” Rhetorically. “I am in love with this rifle,” he concludes. Which raises the question . . .

Is this AR-modification love a form of sickness? An obsessive, endless search for perfection that can never be satisfied? Or is it just a fun hobby that keeps rifle owners occupied and the American firearms industry happy and healthy?

57 Responses to Question of the Day: Are AR Modifications Addictive?

  1. I think it depends on how you go about it.

    You can build out different rifles or just different uppers for different things you might want to do. That’s kind of the beauty of the platform. Will some people go “too far”? Eh, probably but if you’ve got the money, who cares what you do with it?

    To me the “problem” arises where people stick a bunch of shit they don’t need on their rifle just because they can and end up with a 17 pound monstrosity of really cool tech that they have no idea and no capability to use. I’ve seen people who don’t own any type of NODS throw a ton of money at a PEQ-2 type IR laser just because they want one on their rifle.

    Again, it’s their money but I just find that kind of thing silly.

  2. Some people constantly upgrade their cars, I just do the same to my guns. But it’s only good if it’s functional. I highly doubt Colion wears night vision and fires his rifle so the PEQ/ATPIAL is useless. But, it’s his money.

  3. Not ‘addictive’, but ‘deductive’. From your wallet.

    It seems every little doo-dad costs a ‘minimum’ of a hundred bucks (Some, like a nice can, *many* hundreds).

    In no time flat a base-model AR is pushing 3 *grand* reasonably kitted-out, and pushing 10 K with nice IR imaging gear on it.

    And it’s so damn *easy* to do little here, little there, and the next thing you know, you wonder where all your damn money went…

  4. $1000 IR light / laser + <$200 light. Come now. There's a reason why only surefires go on my guns. The V versions give you white / IR capability that also lets you save money and go with a simpler laser module.

    My AK is running my PEQ with a m300 scout, but my mk18 clone SBR is running a m300v with a simple IR / visible laser module. Saves a lot of bulk and weight. Plus the light and laser cost less than the PEQ.

    • Have you tried a BAD lever? or personalized dust cover? You could add a JP Silent captured buffer spring and nobody would have to know.

      Ha Ha ! Peer pressure!

      • I simply don’t understand Bad levers. Why? I was shooting my boss’s AR a little while ago and he had a rather nice setup. Plus a Bad lever. He was trying to tell me how it makes it easier to maintain your sight picture while reloading, but come on. Unless you can reload with the hand that is simultaneously holding the grip, your thumb is already RIGHT FRIGGIN THERE when you pop in a fresh mag.

        • Whoa, I had trouble picturing all of that for a second.

          I use a BAD lever. . . [AND NOW THEIR IMPOSSIBLE TO BUY FROM TACTICAL LINK UP IN KS, NO THANK YOU MAGPUL, AND THE BENT MAGPUL ONES DON’T WORK WITH AMBI-CONTROL LOWERS BECAUSE THE METAL BOSSES AROUND THEM GET IN THE WAY (plus no one makes one for an AR-10)].

          . . . to lock the bolt open when I rack the charging handle with my off side hand (Left-Hand Charging). Then, once loaded / unloaded, use the BAD lever with my trigger finger to release the bolt to send it home.

          It keeps you from having to change hands to ‘rack your weapon’. You can rack your weapon with your strong-side / shooting hand, but you’ll need your off hand to both support the weapon and hit the bolt hold-open lever, but it (IMHO) is better to keep your Right shooting hand on the pistol grip the whole time, and do the pinch-rack of your charging handle with your left [the BAD lever is more made for R/H shooters but can be made to work with your L/H] and engage the BAD lever to hold the bolt open with a slight movement of your trigger finger. Again, a slight tap of your trigger finger on the BAD lever sends the bolt home.

  5. He should use an AFG instead of that vertical grip based on his hold. So he needs to get another part.

    • Does anyone else see a problem in the repetitiveness of he or she should add Chechen more money in the aftermarket Market LOL. And I’m not making fun I’m one of you guys as well I have to actually have packages delivered when my wife is at work so she doesn’t see another box from Brownells show up. LOL yes I’m afraid it’s gotten that bad. It’s been less than 7 days since my last purchase of such illegal substance known as AR-15 extras. LOL all legal Parts just not legal in my house under my wife’s rules right now apparently she has been checking my Sporting Goods savings account and has noticed over $4,000 go bye bye in the last month. I’m just waiting for someone to come out with the 12-step program. LOL

  6. I bought a quality AR (left handed Stag + package) second scope I tried was a keeper, moe+ grip, acs stock, two point sling and a grip pod. Done. I have a 5.56 Ar pistol with a AFG and a red dot. Done. I dont get hanging 10 lbs of shit off an AR.
    Flashlight on a pistol I get, but flashlights and lasers hanging off a rifle is a bit much.
    I bet I added no more than 1 lb. to my rifle all in.

  7. Hi, my name’s Joe, I’m an addict to AR (and other weapons) modifications.

    I like my Spike’s Tactical HAVOC launcher, it makes my AR feel heavy enough and I like launching flare and lume rounds while I am shooting on an outdoor range, If you don’t need a standby fire extinguisher at the range you are doing it wrong. I like to modify my weapons by adding other weapons on to them.

    • Please forgive me, a Spike’s Tactical HAVOC launcher, is not even considered a weapon, it’s a safety device, and I would like to keep it that way, I don’t have much in the way of feelings, less that I would like to express here, but, if I were to have them, I would say that yes, maybe my Spike’s Tactical HAVOC launcher makes me feel safer in a 2nd Amendment or FU sort of way.

  8. soon after acquiring one, i will determine the best surface on the ar for opening bottles. maybe someone has already done the research.
    then i will not have to hang one on mine. minimalist.

    it’s obvious on an ak.

    • I actually have a friend who is a machinist and he has just made some stainless steel bottle openers that will go on to M lock or key mod or picatinny rail sections so you can open a long neck adult beverage or if you can find them an old school Coca-Cola bottle or any bottle cap that requires a pop off type opener system. I believe he’s charging $12.99 plus shipping.

      • mmm…sounds like a good accessory for when I bust out a cooler full of Mexican Fantas, but on the other hand, that’s what the Makarov is for…

    • The 10, 2, 4 and 6 o’clock positions on many quad rails will pop off a bottle top…

      Not that I’ve ever done such a thing *shifty glances*.

  9. We’re not like a bunch of schoolgirls who all express their “individuality” by dressing alike, talking alike and thinking alike.

    Because the AR-15 is so commonplace and intentionally generic, it makes sense that a gun guy would prefer to customize his rifle in a way that says, “this gun is mine and there are none like it.”

    Modifying our rifles to be as different as we are is a fun (but expensive) exercise in individuality.

    • “Don’t have an AR, don’t ever intend to have one…”

      Many of us uttered those same words at some point.
      🙂

      C’mon, Mama, you know you want one!

  10. I probably have enough stuff to just about build another AR15 with the leftovers from changing parts. I have mine pretty close to the way I want it, maybe a different barrel would be the only thing I would change but that’s expensive.

    • This! I ended up building my fourth AR-based firearm JUST to use up all the take-offs/upgrades from the first three. That worked, because it was built as a gift(lure) to waylay an on-the-fence-about-ARs family member into the forest. It worked quite well, and now he has quite an impressive collection of his own take-offs/upgrades too!

  11. Not for me. I can see how endless tinkering is a thing for some AR owners, but not me. I’ve certainly spent enough on AR’s, but once they get to the point where they fulfill their purpose (in terms of precision, cartridge or handiness), I’m done, I quit trying to make the wheel rounder.

    But I can see how it could become something of an obsession for some AR owners, and I’m all for that. Experiment away, as long as you’re safe and you’re realistic in what you’re expecting.

  12. It’s basically every platform. AR15s are just a gateway drug. Soon you’ll be adding stuff to .308 ARs, magnum ARs, bolt guns, and SCARs, stippling your Glocks and M&Ps, fitting things on AKs, SKSes, revolvers, and 1911s, etc…

  13. AR ownership is for people who can’t afford a Harley Davidson.

    Both get modified for the same reasons, i.e. “because I wanted to.”

  14. I’d rather shoot it than toy with it.
    Bought a good one. Added optics, a sling, a short forward grip, will get a light soon.
    That’s it. No desire to treat it like a Barbie doll.

  15. I can confirm that dreaming up your dream rifle is addictive. Not that I have money to actually purchase any of that kit currently. :p

  16. Given the disposable funds many people will customize their guns. But few will ever seek training even if they had the money for it. At least Mr Noir admits that the customization is just his preferred tactical dress up for his rifle.

  17. To the point of insanity. There is more BS to glue to the outside of those popguns, it gets to the point that it’s a bad spoof

  18. Eh, I’m reasonably satified with just a sling plate, BUIS, a red dot, a flash light, a forward sling mount, a custom dust cover and new muzzle device. Unless prices on higher end red dots drop off a cliff, my next purchase will be more gear to carry mags.

  19. I am completely bored with AR’s
    I just bought a CZ Scorpion
    Now I need a laser, flashlight/red dot, folding stock, etc.
    I just saw that skeletonized angled foregrip…I want that, too!
    Sent in my form for the silencer
    This time it’s different!

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