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I have an AR-15. I’ve never shot it. In my defense, Ron Grobman grabbed my PWS rifle for review before I could run the gun. Meanwhile, my outside toy remains a heavy-ass SCAR-16. Prettied-up with a non-UGG boot stock and a rubbery grip. Weighed down with a flashlight, Leupold scope and a cute little CQB red dot (for shooting close-up targets gangsta style). Here she is . . .

I have a cigar clip (not magazine) coming and I’m in negotiations with Keurig for a prototype espresso machine. (The Blue Force Gear sling is the bomb.)

What’s on your AR/AR’s? What’s a must-have accessory, what’s an “it would be nice” accessory and what a “no ‘effing way, mate” accessory?

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  1. Ching sling, MRO, suppressor with quick attach mount with flash hider. Still need a light.

  2. I have a basic AR-15 with a 4X optic on it (just installed it). What more toys and trinkets do you really need? I got it to shoot and it shoots well. I only got the optics because I’m old and don’t see as well as I once did. Most of my other 15 firearms are bone stock.

  3. My SR556 rocks an Aimpoint Pro, Magpul RSA with a MS3 sling, the factory backup iron sights, and a light. No other doodads for me.

  4. I have a Streamlight C4 LED high output with remote trigger switch for the light. I have Magpul pop-up furniture in bus Gentoo sites polymer. I used the Magpul Mo + K to grips. And a mission first Tactical bare minimum List stock mil-spec. And a vortex Sparc red dot. I like to keep my rifles as light as possible. I’m at 6.4 pounds with a free-float handguard buy SLR rifleworks keymod. The lighter the rifle the faster you can move it into action and handle close quarter combat situations especially Home Defense situations only put on there what you absolutely need. Now if you’re using it as a boat gun to take out on your fishing boat I can see putting a blender battery operated on there so that you can make margaritas off the side of your AR when you’re not actually shooting LOL.

  5. Bone stock 1st gen S&W Sport, as in no dust cover or forward assist. Came with decent “iron sights,” really plastic. Not a single malfunction yet and I scrape the bottom of the ammo market. Enjoy it immensely.

    • I second the M&P-15 Sport 1st Gen. not a single problem in 5 yrs and several thousand rounds of brass, steel and handloads. A Sig Romeo5 rides on top with his BUIS friends.

      I did recently swap out the hand guard and stock for magpul. Allows for a flashlight up front.

      Great rifle!

  6. Never been much for a bunch of equipment. I keep it pretty simple with a SPARC II, MBUS, Magpul AFG and a no-name sling.

  7. Any fire-engulfed, soon to be bottom-of-the-sea weapon should have an M203, or some other new-fangled cracker-jack 40MM firing device. If you have to skimp (F the GCA) but you can sling a Spike’s Tactical 37MM launcher. They’re fun, and your AR will feel too light and like it’s missing something without it.

    PLUS, an IR/Green Laser device with nice MANTA products [] rail covers.

    I likes the biggish holographic sites (even if it’s just a Sightmark).

  8. White light (Surefire), sling (Magpul), red dot (Sparc AR) and backup irons (fixed offset). Technically there’s some duracoat on the AR too.

    Front sling mount is in a position and design it doubles as a hand stop when combined with the light mount and front sight. Didn’t plan that out but it’s nifty (will need to shoot with it more to be sure)

  9. My simplest AR has a scope, no backup irons, and a sling. My AR with the most gear has an AFG, red dot, and a light that is activated by a pressure switch. Others are variations between the two. If I don’t use it more than half the time I’m shooting it, I don’t see the point in having it on there. Just build another and come up with a new configuration.

    • No BUIS?!!

      Okay, mine doesn’t have them either but I have a Vortex prism red dot, so I don’t need them. The reticle is visible even when scope is turned off or if the battery dies. A nylon sling with QD swivels and that’s all.

      • Several of the ARs have irons. That particular AR was designed with home defense in mind, so the BUIS were pointless for the purpose. I love my Vortexes.

  10. My ARs have a Midway sling MBUS Irons and one has a 4X fixed scope. I also have a Caldwell bipod I put on from time to time when trying to figure out how accurate my reloads are or aren’t.

  11. My shorty house gun has a trijicon rx-06 and a surefire light. As soon as one of my suppressors gets out of paper-jail, it’ll get that permantly affixed.
    My long range gun has a millet 6-25X56 and a bipod.

  12. Since I’m in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, I can’t have flash suppressors, adjustable stocks, or bayonet lugs because NJ thinks they magically turn any semi-auto rifle into a baby-killing “assault weapon” of mass destruction, but I manage.
    FDE-color Magpul fixed stock (AWB-compliant),
    FDE-color Magpul MIAD grip,
    FDE-color Magpul trigger guard,
    FDE-color rail covers (to keep the FDE color scheme, LOL),
    FDE color Inforce WML-W-I-R (Weapons-mounted light with both white and IR settings, in case I ever get an NVD)
    Kaw Valley Precision linear compensator (permanently pinned to be AWB-compliant).
    Burris AR-536 5x scope
    Vortex battery holder to hold a spare battery for Burris scope (battery holder weighs less than an ounce),
    QD bipod

  13. Is there a bottle opener in there somewhere? Cause hauling all that weight around is going to generate a powerful thirst!

  14. 20 inch government profife BCM upper with A1 handguards from a real A1. Removable top carry handle with mil spec apertures. A2 buttstock with cleaning kit inside. M1 sling. Hiperfire EDT trigger. Magpull B.A.D. lever (These are on every AR I own). Very accurate and it feels like home every time I put it to my shoulder. Every older military and marine envies it.

  15. My ideal setup for general purpose use (no budget limit):

    1-4/6 optic
    Sling (preferably 2 pt – 1 pt convertible)
    Inforce WML at 12:00
    BE Meyers MAWL IR laser/illuminator (still saving for that!)
    Handstop/vertical grip if you want it
    Short suppressor–Amtac, Delta P Brevis, etc.

    Gives you full 24 hour capability, CQB-medium distance range, slim package, no wires to snag or break

  16. A-2 front sight, magpul BUIS, Vortex Sparc ll cowittnessed with the irons and a M1 sling. Maybe add a light some day. Like it minimul, less to learn, less to fail.

  17. Cupholder for the times when there’s no one around to ‘hold my beer and watch this…’, toilet paper dispenser for when you empty your clipazine and Sir Grizz or Boss Hog smiles and keeps coming.

  18. Knock off spring loaded sights, a sling, a scope, and a bipod on both of my AR’s. Nothing else is needed to run them.

  19. AR-180 built in Japan it needs a new firing pin as the one it has is chipped on the front I have owned it since new in the early 70s love the folding stock and the gas piston action it has the armalite 4x scope with its special mount and the bipod with the pouch for the scope in its bag

  20. Need bearers to carry that thing?
    All that modularity and customizability, it’s a blessing, and a curse?

  21. cheap Amazon 3-9×40 scope illuminated which I don’t use, single point sling, 45º iron backups, and vltor buttstock, all wrapped up nicely on m&p2, need a good light, and bayonet still.

  22. My 20″ PSA has a Burris AR-536 and nothing else.

    My 14.5″ BCM has a 1x Vortex Spitefire (probably going to replace it with a Burris AR-332), Nitecore P10 (to be replaced with an InForce WMLx), and a Blackhawk sling.

    They both have Magpul MOE furniture.

  23. LAME! Add-ons for ARs are lame!
    I decided to go old scool, so…. I’m adding extra crap to my old Marlin 336.

    List as follows:
    1 Cup holder
    2 ash tray
    3 USB port for recharging cell phone
    4 maybe a compass in the stock, but that’d be too cliche

  24. KISS is the principle…I run a sling, an optic (with BUS) and a light. Anything else goes in my rifle bag…

  25. Scope and a short piece of M-Lok rail for a bipod when necessary. Simple and sweet.

  26. Instead of having one AR with lots of “stuff” on it, I have lots of ARs with just one specific sight for its intended role. And backup irons.

  27. Considering most defensive gun uses happen in low light situations, a weapon light was a must along with a red dot optic for like many of have have, older eyes. I have my BSR (Black Scary Rifle) equipped with a Surefire X300 ultra and a Aimpoint T1. If I have a need for my rifle, I don’t want to be a situation where I am saying…..I can’t see shit!
    That’s just never a good thing.

  28. My .300 blackout with the lower I milled out myself has a Red Dot plus 3X flip up magnifier for engaging close to medium range, a vertical foregrip, a sling and BUIS. I will buy a Six12 for it when they come out to replace my grip so I can go “pew pew pew, BANG! BANG! BANG!!!!. I don’t like lights and lasers on guns.

    My 5.56 has a sling, a 3X9 scope, BUIS, and a bipod. I don’t love it as much, so it’ll never get a Six12

  29. Just listing parts ‘hanging’ off the rails:

    10.3″ upper – EXPS3-0, lightweight flip-up irons, 1xCR123 vis/IR light, S&S SlingClip, S&S 1-point sling.
    14.5″ upper – Elcan 1-4x, flip-up rear sight, 2xCR123 vis light, IR laser, dual tape switch.
    16″ upper – 2.5-8x Leupold scope
    18″ upper – currently gutted for parts that migrated to the 16″
    20″ upper – carry handle A2 sight

    Common SBR lower – Norgon mag release, Magpul metal trigger guard, BAD selector, Geissele trigger, CQD receiver end-plate, LMT SOPMOD stock w/QD cups converted to HK hook mounts.

    Knight’s can for the 10.3 + 14.5
    AEM can for the 16 + 18

    PVS-14 for IR parts.

    TONS of other accessories in the storage bin that have been dumped for weight, usability, etc. I’m long-past the days where I’d hang everything I could find off my rails.

  30. My CQB Mk18 clone is rocking an aimpoint T1, a nice VFG with a pressure switch for a sure fire M300v (white / IR) scout light. Thinking of adding a green/IR laser, but with Bindon aiming and the T1, there’s not a lot of point to it.

    My M4gery is running a 4x ACOG and that’s about it. The idea was to make a general purpose rifle as light as possible. No lights, no lasers, hell, given the eye relief issues, I even dumped the backup irons to get the ACOG closer to my face.

    It’s all about what you intend to do with the rifle. In some situations, you need lights and lasers. Going room to room without a light and a fixed magnification optic is a nightmare. For a general purpose, all around, rifle, you don’t need much beyond good glass.

    Both rifles are set up to take silencerco QD suppressors over their three prong flash hiders if the Illinois state legislature ever gets their heads out of their collective asses.

  31. No name 2 point sling, no rails, removable carry handle iron sights. Pmag. Pure and simple!

  32. For me, iron sights, sling, and my favorite, the Fab Defense GL-MAG buttstock with integral storage for a 10 round backup SHTF magazine.

  33. Primary Arms 2.5x scope
    backup irons
    BCM short vertical grip
    Inforce flashlight

    Otherwise, my AR is pretty normal.

  34. Depends on the upper.

    Currently I’m running a light competition build to which I added a TBAC 223P-1, Leupold VX-Ui 2.5-8x36mm scope and a VTAC sling. Basically paired it down for weight as much as possible while still having the ability to readily engage unknown sized targets to 500 yards.

  35. I had several really nice AR’s with just the right stuff until that terrible boating accident…

  36. Everything it needs. Bone ass stock. Just like a motorcycle. Chrome and frills don’t get ya home. if ya can’t hit it with a stock rifle you need to practice.

  37. I’ve got a Savvy Sniper sling, a Surefire flashlight, and a Lucid HD7 red dot clinging to my primary lead-slinger.

  38. 1) SIG516 -ACOG, Green Laser, GG&G vertical Grip, Troy BUIS, and Surefire light, Troy 1 pt sling on QD
    2) PSA 16″ Vortex Strikefire 2, Streamlight light, Magpul AFG, A2 Rear sight, Magpul sling
    3) PSA A4gery 1-6x Vortex scope, vertical grip, Surefire light, KAC600 BUIS, 3pt sling

    and AMBI Selectors and Mag Releases on all of them

  39. A flashlight and vertical fore grip on my old Bushmaster house gun, a Nikon 3X P223 scope on my 20″ fixed stock Delton/Anderson, and nothing other than Magpul furniture and sights on a Delton/Anderson carbine. Keeping it simple. I’ve found the Delton upper Anderson lower combination to be a very economical and functional combination.

  40. What’s on your AR/AR’s? – A simple sling, some cheap iron sights, and a butt pad that cost me just over five cents (how could I say no when it cost less than a round of .22lr would at the time).

    What’s a must-have accessory? – sights or an optic of some kind.

    What’s an “it would be nice” accessory? – infrared optics for shooting pigs at night, nice scope with backup sights, silencer. I’ve never bought an AR I needed, so all the “it would be nice” items have to wait until I have spare money in the gun budget for them. Depending on what’s going on in the silencer market, that might be the first item.

    What a “no ‘effing way, mate” accessory? – There is plenty I won’t ever pay for that goes on a gun, but no much that I wouldn’t put on there. Not that it would stay there. The only things that I would refuse are things that are unsafe or harm the gun.

  41. Something I learned in the sandbox. Fobbits and officers have bullshit on their guns. The guys who have to lug them every day prefer a minimalist loadout. PAC-2 or -4, scope, 203 if you’re the grenadier. Mine was a 2 and an ACOG. That’s it. Now on my AR I have an Aimpoint and a set of backup irons. Excess bullshit on your AR tells me you aren’t serious about what you do. And god help you if you put a fucking bipod on it.

    • My mid has a Leupold scope and that’s it. My rifle has a scope and God help me, a bipod. But I only have to carry that heavy bastard to the bench.

    • “Excess bullshit on your AR tells me you aren’t serious about what you do.”

      The key words here are “excess” and “what you do.” If what you do is precision shooting or sit and wait hunting, a bipod is a good thing. If what you do is wait for the bump in the night, a flashlight is a good thing. If what you do has nothing to do with what you did in the sandbox, then what you learned in the sandbox may not apply.

      • Hammer, meet nail. What you’re doing with it is the key.

        I have an upper that I use ONLY for coyote. Slap that thing on a lower and you’re talking somewhere around 11.4lbs. It’s meant, very specifically, to shoot to near the end of the range for 5.56 and kill dog sized targets. It’s heavy because it’s meant to be. It has overpowered optics on it so you can see farther than you can shoot as you call the coyotes in. It’s rocking a bipod for stability on long range shots. It’s a precision AR really pushed about as far as you can get out of the platform in 5.56.

        Conversely I also have a stripped down upper that’s a much lighter unit meant for competition. It has a single rail on the bottom but is still equipped with optics and a bipod as well. However, there are no BUIS or anything else and the scope is probably about right for an AR but also the lightest you can get with magnification over 6x. Why? Because it’s going out this fall to run a competition where weight really, really matters due to the distance you have to hoof the rifle but you have to engage targets of unknown size at unknown distance out to 500 yards. For each target you get a max of four rounds before you can’t get any points and you lose points for missing each shot. So it’s a balance. Sure, I can hold it out in front of me like a handgun but I could also strip more weight. I don’t strip more weight because… it’s a balancing act. I don’t add features because… it’s a balancing act.

        It all comes down to what you want to do. If you want to operate operationally then… well IMHO, this is dumb. Yes, lighter is better to a point at which point you’re just cutting weight because you’re out of shape and if you really were operationally operational it wouldn’t matter for your Saturday morning Mall Ninja work because you’d be fit and strong enough to carry that extra pound or so for the 1/2 mile you walk around the food court.

        This is the USA, not Fallujah. The considerations are different. What’s been learned in the sandbox is applicable to a lot of situations but not all of them.

        • And since this is still America, there is the venerable time tested argument of “fuck you, that’s why.”

          That’s all the justification I need to do what I do and/or how I do it.

      • I don’t understand this disdain for having tons of gear mounted to a rifle.

        I’ve got all kinds of heavy crap bolted to my M4gery including a PVS-14, an Aimpoint CompM4, both co-witnessing the front fixed sight wearing a tritium insert, a DBAL, an old-school Surefire weapon light/forearm grip upgraded with IR and white light capabilities, plus ambi-controls and charging handle and a nice sling. That’s just the stuff that I can remember…

        I know it is heavy. I also understand pounds = pain. My rifle is meant to be able to do its thing in many different scenarios. All of the gear can be removed in less than one minute as everything is installed with quick mounts. If the SHTF and the weight were ever to become an issue, I don’t think that I would hesitate to start stripping off and discarding unnecessary components based on the particular situation that I found myself in.

        Stand Proud! Go Heavy!

        • “All of the gear can be removed in less than one minute as everything is installed with quick mounts.” That’s another key point because, whether most of us admit it or not, most of our guns are toys. Until they’re not, and it only takes a few seconds to transform the gun from “this is fun” to “oh shit, the government is gone and the peasants are revolting.” We’ll probably have some time to transition if the government collapses.

  42. I don’t have any accessories, but I did buy a bunch of nonstandard parts for my build (free float tube, ambi charging handle, extended bolt release, easy-push pivot/takedown pins, MBUS sights, etc.).

    In fact, I think the only milspec parts I have are the upper/lower receivers, buffer tube, A2 flash hider, gas tube, and the mag release.

  43. vortex diamondback 2-8×32

    streamlight 2l-x 500 lumen

    standard magpul buis 45 degree offset mounted

    alg defense qms trigger

    thats it

    less than $1000 invested in the rifle including optic

    printed a 10 shot 7″ group with it at 300 yds with factory ammo

    im happy

  44. Suppressor, exps 3-2, atpial, light, flip up sights, foregrip. Great for taking down hogs with a clip on thermal sight.

  45. My new Colt Expanse came with a front sight only. I’ve added a rear sight. Oh, and a couple of extra mags… and some ammo. Shoots just fine.

  46. Well my AR has a lever under it. But… my wife’s AR, I dressed that up in some nice Mag pul MOE in OD green and stuck a Redfield 2-7x sc ope on it and a $35 muzz le brake. And that’s about it.

  47. I added a 15in midwest industries mlok handguard, a tlr1 light, magpul vertical grip, and a Vortex red dot sight. Flip up sights as well.

  48. My preference it to keep my firearms rather spartan and clutter free. To that end:

    It’s a flat topped receiver with no front sight post and just an Aimpoint red dot optic. Came from the factory w/ a freeload bull barrel and match trigger. It never had iron sights and I bought it with the intent of mounting the red dot. As I bought this during the ’94 AWB AWB back in 1999 there’s no flash hider.

    Removed the BUIS and installed Sig Romeo 4B red dot (my favorite at the moment).

    MPX (carbine)
    Removed BUIS and installed Sig Romeo 4B. Cut down and reshaped the long factory hand guard it came with.

    HK UMP Conversion
    Nothing but the factory iron sights.

    HK MP5
    Nothing but factory iron sights.

    PTR 91
    Nothing but factory iron sights. However, I’ve picked up two different hand guard, two different grips, two different stocks and a bipod for this thing. So easy to swap furniture around.

    Nothing but the factory red dot sight and mount that comes on some models.

    Ruger 10/22
    Setting this up for Project Appleseed (highly recommended) so I’ve recently installed the Tech Sights, a paddle mag release, and I’m adjusting an ancient leather sling my dad had mounted on it. It had a flash hider at one point that I had to remove to install the front Tech Sight but if I grind away at the hider I can re-mount it. Which I’ll do. At some point.

  49. My Scar 16s is many things, but heavy is not one of them. Maybe that aftermarket rail has something to do with it?

  50. I live in a place that requires a license to buy guns. The attorney general made ARs illegal right after I got my license. Worse, if I attach anything, it becomes illegal-er. Gotta love it.

  51. There is such a thing as over accessorizing. It’s a rifle not a Swiss army knife. Some of you shooting with just your iron sights or a decent optics system, good on you. Maybe a tac light and a reconfigured stock or grip for comfort and that’s all you need. Even the tac light could get 86’d for most real life situations. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid

  52. Your’re supposed to put stuff on the gun?

    Man I’ve been doing it wrong…

    J/K, I’ve gussied one up with a sling and suppressor. Red dot will be eventually next.

  53. I only have a gray Magpul MOE hand guard, grip, and stock on my M&P Sport II. Other than that, it’s as it came from the factory. I hope to get a sling and a red dot for it someday when funds allow.

  54. 20in as bull barrel.
    Rifle length gas system.
    Triangular foregrip, A2 buttstock A2 pistol grip all in solid can machined Walnut.
    Removable carry handle rear sight.
    Flip down triangular gas block front sight, with bayonet lug.
    Caldwell pic rail mounted brass catcher.
    Vintage Vietnam bayonet.
    It will borrow the bipod from my bolt gun when bench shooting.

    Really wish images were supported here.

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