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Over at — a website so blissfully ad free it could double as a Zen rock garden — the blogger-in-chief reckons Thunder Ranch gun guru Clint Smith “sounds like a second amendment loving robot who chain smokes cigarettes and drinks battery acid.” 

That’s ridiculous. Smith gargles battery acid. Otherwise, he’d be dead. (I guess that’s why we’re journalists and ENDO is an entertainer.) I only wish Smith had gone full Barbie on our ass, if you know what I mean.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Smith’s message to gun-loving millennials (with low-self esteem and high disposable income) is simple enough: don’t hang sh*t on you “battle rifle.” Except for a light. Because you might shoot Smith’s grandson. Oh, and a red dot (not mentioned, but there it is). Which leaves what? What does your AR wear? Mine has a cigar holder. Really.

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  1. Vortex 1-4 with illuminated reticle and BUIS. I had an AFG on there, but didn’t like it. AR pistol has a red dot and a sig brace.

  2. 10.3″ 5.56 SBR? Red Dot, VFG, Light
    18″ 5.56 SPR? 1-8x, stubby VFG, bipod
    20″ .308 DMR? 5-25×50, bipod, level

    • That ought to cover everything, although that last one probably needs a gunbearer, too.

      Mine usually get an optic, a VFG, a light, and a mounting point for a bipod. The bipod is only mounted if needed, otherwise it stays in the case or a pack. Occasionally they get BUIS, but the way my eyes are heading, that may be replaced in the near future with a small-but-high-quality laser or back-up optic (RMR, MRO, etc.) carried separate from the rifle.

      • Not quite. For people using night vision an infrared laser is a must. For some precision rifle contexts a method to attach the gun to a tripod is appropriate. I occasionally attach my GoPro to my rifle to make videos for my channel.

        You pick and chose based on your requirements. But you don’t just slap shit on there because you want to slap shit on the rifle. And with various QD attachments you can attach and remove what you need beyond the basics.

        • We still live in a free country and if someone can afford to attach a bunch of crap on their rifle I say do what ever makes you happy.
          A lot of people own guns and shoot just because it’s fun, we’re not all going off to battle.

      • I generally don’t go for BUIS on anything with magnified optics. A solid mount makes it hard to remove the optics quickly and generally anything that will disable high quality optics will disable the rifle quite handily. The only irons I even had zeroed are the ones on my SBR.

  3. Mine has a scope for targeting varmints and a bipod. But the scope has a quick detach mount and the gun has flip-up sights for when I want to play warrior against a paper plate.

    Got a link to the cigar holder? I gotta have one.

  4. AR? My personal battle rifle is a GARAND, made in 1943. It’s a well-worn work of military art that was used to kill Nazis. We don’t hang shit on it.

    Also: Clint Smith just made my personal awesome list.

    • Far as I can tell, Clint Smith is a vulgar blowhard and a caricature of what most urban hoplophobes envision when the term “gun owner” is mentioned.

      Incessant foul language and flipping off the camera. Stay classy, Clint. You’re not doing us any favors.

      • Still about 14 times better than James Yeager.

        Please google, “clint smith gun safety” for your firearms safety refresher.

  5. 18″ AR-10 platform – Vortex PST 4-16×50, Atlas bi-pod, mbus pro long range

    20″ AR-15 platform – Vortex PST 2.5-10×32, Atlas bi-pod, mbus pro

    16″ AR-15 platform – Aimpoint PRO, TLR-1 HL, hand stop

  6. I purposely do not put anything on my rifles … the simpler they are the more reliable they are.

    • For absolute, unquestionable reliability and simplicity I reach for my Chicom, milled receiver AK that I purchased back in 1989. It has never had a FTF or FTE after digesting literally thousands of rounds of surplus 7.62x39mm. I still love my ARs though.

  7. Irons sling and if bench rest shooting and that is about it. “A2” and “M4” stuff is largely adequate.

    • Buy one a piece at a time, assemble. Easy to do, and you get the parts you want without having to go back and replace things. Most expensive parts in my experience are the barrel and handguard (assuming you go free floated).

  8. AFG + TLR.

    The AFG was a late addition. After a 2,500 round weekend courseload two years back my wrist begged me for some ergo’s.

  9. Nothing came on my CMMG MK4 RCE. I have a 1-4x non illuminated scope and Diamondhead BUIS.
    The fore end is a 15″ Key-Mod. I refuse to attach picatinny sections. I’m holding out for direct Key-Mod accessories. I have BCM short vertical grip and a sling attachment that are both direct Key-Mod. There is a light attachment that I need next. but that’s it.

  10. MFT vertical grip, SPARK II, magnifier & co witnessed BUIS
    I’ll get around to the flashlight one of these days.

  11. I picked up a CAI CETME years ago for dirt cheap, and it turned out to be a not-lemon. Even so, it had a trigger more at home on a staplegun than a rifle, a stock with no sling attachment points, a plastic handguard that did nothing for heat mitigation, and a magazine release impossible to reach without breaking grip or dislocating my wrist.

    After improving the trigger and restoring the paddle magazine catch, for much less than a basic DMR AR10, I still built an anti-AR Lego DMR. Though it weighs almost as much as an M82, that’s what the bipod and tripod is for.

  12. Being able to add a photo would be nice. I like an AFG of some kind or short vert grip, buis, dot or scope depending, maybe a light depending, some grip panels most of the time, sling attachment and for good measure an assault Keurig attached to the stock for a quick cup of coffee. It ain’t a battle without a cup of coffee.

  13. An MRO, Sling with QR attachments, sometimes a Streamlight TLR-1 HPL on a riser, and sometimes a Sig SRD338TI-QD.

    • I have six ARs and five of them have open ended flash hiders on them. Two B.E. Meyers, two Smith Enterprises, one AAC, and a Spikes Tactical Barking Spider ( i.e., a three piece AKS74U style that also provides extra back pressure for my Dissipator )
      In my mind any annoyance from the ping of the open ended flash hiders is outweighed (1) by the even louder report of a 5.56mm and (2) the benefit of not producing a huge fire ball.

  14. Typically:

    • BUIS
    • Aimpoint or low-power optic
    • Sling – Maybe

    Special-purpose stuff:

    • Longer-range MSR: Higher-power optic, bi-pod, different stock with riser

    • TTGBITN: Light and tritium red dot or tritium irons.

    Or just run nekkid with an F-post and fixed rear. Because, gun works.

  15. As far as the light goes, I agree, a defense gun needs a light. However, I think it would be a good idea to mount it so that the lens extends beyond the handguard. I have heard the argument that you will get fouling on the lens from the flash hider but on Clint’s gun, he had another five inches from the end of the handguard to the muzzle device.

    • Youll definitely need to clean the lenses of your lights periodically, its more about the barrel shadow for me than anything when it comes to light placement. The Mossie midnight mounts that go onto an A2 style post are nice, Ive got a mossie with a surefire on my 10.5 pistol and an HSP thorntail mount with another surefire on my 18″.

  16. An afg, vfg, flashlight, pulse light, laser, polymer nutsack, 1x optic, 4x optic, bipod, tripod, monopod, ipod,centermass laser, backup sites, muzzlebrake with rails, a bayonet, single point sling, and a dustcover that says… fuck off…

  17. Just a carry handle/A2 rear sight for the AR. Nothing special.

    I did the olive drab Magpul MOE handguard and pistol grip for the AK63D. I don’t normally like to trick out my guns, but it ironically looked more like a plastic toy with the blond-finished wood furniture and the 63D’s OE pistol grip isn’t very comfortable.

  18. I want a LEGO kit to build that rifle with.

    If I design one, ya think the company will make it an official kit?

  19. Lets take this fascination with practical weaponry a step further.

    Hordes of aliens, zombies or communists are unlikely to storm your house. If they did, your AR (lightweight and unencumbered though it may be) won’t save you.

    Use a HANDGUN to defend your home. Walking around your house solo with an AR is a pain-in-the-ass: doors need opening, blind corners need navigating, grandchildren are shitting their pants.

    Plus with a free hand you can wipe the tears from your grandson’s face. He is crying because his angry, paranoid grandpa marches around the house at night with an AR (and won’t let him play with legos).

    All that said, you should definitely still own an AR and hang whatever lego shit you want off of it.

  20. Can I just skip all the silly add-ons and get a lefty AR and a right handed AR, and just marry them together? Is that legal?

    A double barreled AR would SO rule!!

      • So it has, thanks for the link. And from reading about it, it makes MORE sense that all tge lego BS that I COULD add. For all the “practical/tacticool” stuff to add, maybe 2 rounds from 2 barrels is really practical.

        I want one.

  21. It needs a barrel a trigger and some sights, if you can’t get it done with that then your dead meat. Also if it ain’t chambered in at least .308 it’s a damn toy.

  22. 1-4×24 Mueller Speed shot w/ Magpul MBUS on top and Magpul vertical grip on the bottom.

    2-point sling coming soon…

  23. My Mosin Nagant has nothing on it that didn’t get issued with it. It even had the bayonet removed.

    ARs are for little girls and reporters that claim trauma and ptsd when firing one. Mosin Nagants, Mausers, Lee Enfields, Enfields, Springfields and M1s are for real men.

    • All in on that M1.

      So what happens when the gadgets don’t work?

      I’m ok with a scope on a sniper rifle.

    • I prefer my H&H double rifle chambered in 30x173mm. Just iron sights, double triggers, hard wood stock and no fancy doo-dads. The depleted uranium projectiles do produce a hell of a kick but that’s the price you pay for manliness.

  24. I keep it simple,

    One has Vortex Strike eagle in American Defense QD mount and BUIS
    My lightweight AR has Sparc 2 in American defense QD mount, BUIS, inforce light
    10.5″ .300 SBR (in progress) will have a TBD rds, and a handstop.

    Hang whatever ya want on it, to each their own, but I find the heavier an AR gets the less pleasurable it is to shoot.

  25. 6.5 grendel upper is sporting a vortex crossfire II 2-7x scope and 45 degree offset sights (hey… I like them for close range shots when the scope magnifies too much.)

    The 6.8 spc upper has a vertical fore grip, irons, co-witnessed red dot, and a flashlight.

    Both use the same lower for now and share the magpul sling.

  26. Just iron sights and it’s not an AR.

    Was taught marksman skills with iron sights 45 years ago in the Army and that’s what I run with.

    Old school.

    • 30 years ago here. It was with an M16 and I have an AR but the Garand is my go to.
      That being said, my pistol is on my nightstand. I’ll use that first in my house.

  27. I have a Hogue free float front end that is round and you can’t attach anything to it. The PSA stock has a sling attachment point, but I don’t have a sling. My upper doesn’t have a shell deflector or a forward assist (and it works just fine). There is a Bushnell red dot on top, and an A2 flash hider at the end of the medium contour barrel. And I am good to go with my paper puncher.

  28. Don’t have an AR but my Tavor sports a Meprolight optic and spare-mag holder front grip thingy. Hang on, I’ll see if I can find a link…

    Yeah, that thing. Every time I think about it, I think, “I need to take that ludicrous thing off.” Then I grok the gun itself and go, “Yeah, that still works for me.” Of course, I also own a bullpup Mosin Nagant so…

  29. I found out in the military that too much crap gets in the way of actually using the gun. Therefore, I’m a minimalist.

    10.5″ PISTOL: EOTech, Troy DOA back up sights, VTAC sling, Surefire Scout light
    14.5″ CARBINE: Trijicon ACOG 3.5x, VTAC sling, Surefire Scout light
    20″ RIFLE: Nightforce 3-10×42 scope, VTAC sling, Harris Bipod

    Additionally, I have a PVS-14 and DBAL that I can use when I conduct my black ops at the local mall with the rest of my friends.

  30. This varies for me but general set up is meant for going after coyotes/varmints:

    Troy Mid length quad rail (all that rail space is not necessary but it was cheap and nearly as good as a SureFire option)
    T-Pod foregrip/bipod
    Redfield 3-9×50 scope w/mount
    A few XTM panels in places you might rest your hand while shooting
    TBAC 223-1 suppressor
    Troy Industries back-up rear sight.

    I’m currently in the process of building a 2nd upper for other uses based on the RRA NM CMP A4 16″ upper.

    That will have a different scope (undecided)
    the same TBAC

  31. Have folding iron sights , added a short rail to the lower fore end for a forward grip , stock magazine pouch that’s it . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  32. A range I used to frequent had a lot of shooters whose life goal seemed to be purchasing every AR accessory in the Cheaper Than Dirt catalog. Most didn’t seem to shoot any better than my lever action 45 colt, and many were noticeably worse. To each their own, but I think most people would benefit more if they took their rifle decorating budget and spent it on some quality training.

  33. My ARs all have
    Optic (1 vortex 1-6x scope, 1 vortex strikefire, 1 ACOG)
    Vertical grip or afg

    1 does have a green laser but I use that for night time pig hunting.

  34. Tic Tacs, because when I am deep in the woods fighting Walking Dorks you never know when a tousled yet becoming Hollywood modelette is gonna warily approach and ask to join your group.

  35. To strych9 regarding BUIS at 1′ o’clock…

    Yes, my rifle is a Windham SRC chambered in .308. The particular sights I installed are from GG&G and they call them “45 Degree Transition Sights”. Plenty of aftermarket companies ( i.e., Troy, Diamondhead, Knight’s Armament, Deuck Defense, Magpul. ) all make various non-folding and folding off-set BUIS that mount to picatinny rails. Just Google “Offset BUIS for AR 15”

  36. Ah, yes, we have snowflakes in the gun community as well. No cussing, no harsh language, no citing real world experience, etc. as it might make the sensitive “gun guys” feel inadequate. Sheez. Go back to your mom’s basement as leave the rest of us the hell alone.

  37. I’ve taken a few of Clint’s courses at Thunder Ranch-Oregon and he is no Luddite when it comes to AR accessories like Red Dot optics. But I can tell you he’s no fan of extended bolt releases. I quote “Doc, first thing you need to do is get rid of that Mickey Mouse Coast Guard shit on your rifle”.

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