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9 AR-15 Customizations to Add to Your Rifle 

AR-15 rifles are the parts as much as they are the whole. Therefore, knowing where to source the best parts for your rifle makes a difference whether you are a gun collector, enthusiast, or hunter.

Fortunately, the AR-15 is one of the most customizable firearms around, so you can tinker with it and try different parts to test what works best for you. For the more daring out there, you can make your own AR-15 by combining different parts and accessories.

Let’s look at some of the key AR-15 parts and accessories you need to customize your firearm.

1. Triggers

AR-15 Trigger

You can’t shoot without pulling the trigger. It’s a small accessory but plays a critical role in how fast you shoot and the resistance you encounter when shooting.

As with other customizations, what you’re using your gun for will determine the type of triggers you choose.

Some of the available choices include straight or curved triggers and single-stage and two-stage triggers. Single-stage triggers are best when you want the gun to fire immediately when you pull the trigger.

While customizing the trigger, remember to include a high-quality trigger guard to prevent an accidental discharge.

2. Scopes and Sights

Optics are key when shooting a gun. Choosing accessories that allow you to clearly see your target will help improve your accuracy.

When choosing scopes and sight, consider what you’ll be using for your riffle including the shooting range (short, long or mid-range), whether you need night vision optics, magnification, and your budget.

Other than these considerations, think about the mounts to hold these accessories. The mounts should be of the right height to ensure accuracy when shooting targets.

3. Barrels

AR-15 Barrel

Barrels influence a lot in an AR-15. From the outside, it affects the weight and maneuverability of your riffle. But more than that, the barrel determines how fast the bullet moves, and the accuracy of your shots.

When choosing the barrel consider the following:

  • The caliber of your ammunition, which in turn determines the twist rate you should choose
  • The weight of the barrel. AR-15 riffles come in three general weight grades: lightweight, medium, and heavyweight.
  • The materials used in constructing the barrel
  • The length of the barrel – longer barrels give the bullet a higher velocity, increasing their speed. However, you must find a balance where the velocity is optimized without investing in too long or too short a barrel.

4. Grips

The grip of a firearm determines how comfortable it is while you shoot. You don’t want your attention consumed by how unnatural the gun feels in your hands.

When customizing the grips of your AR-15, go for accessories that fit your hand size and are of the right weight for you. You want a firearm that feels comfortable while you’re shooting, so it should neither be too heavy or too light.

5. Stocks

AR-15 Stock

Stocks are an important element in an AR-15. They give the riffle stability and absorb the recoil. You can choose from different types of stocks depending on how you’ll be using your rifle. Here are some types of AR-15 stocks:

  • Fixed stocks
  • Collapsible stocks
  • PDW stocks
  • Minimalist stocks

Some stocks come with additional accessories and features including sling attachments, cheek rests, friction locks, and butt pads.

6. Muzzle Devices

The muzzle of an AR-15 contributes to the management of your gun’s recoil and rise, which in turn affects the accuracy of your shots.

When customizing the muzzle, consider key muzzle devices such as flash suppressors, compensators, and muzzle brakes. These devices work together to control the ‘movement’ of your gun when you’re firing.

Flash hiders or suppressors hide the flash signature of the AR-15 and can be useful in protecting your night vision.

Compensators, on the other hand, reduce the upward rise if the barrel when shooting. It’s a great addition, especially when you intend to fire multiple shots simultaneously.

The recoil of an AR-15 can cause the gun to move forward and backward due to the force of the shot. To counter this, especially when shooting in rapid succession, use muzzle brakes on your gun. Muzzle brakes reduce that recoil, making your firearm easy to control and your shots more accurate.

7. Magazines Releases

Customizing your magazine releases allows you to drop a used magazine and reload a new one faster and more efficiently. Installing an extended magazine release is one id the ways to make your riffle faster. This works because you don’t have to release your grip to discard a spent magazine.

By default, AR-15s come with a right-handed magazine release. Therefore, adding an ambidextrous magazine release makes it convenient for left-handers users to reload magazines more intuitively and faster.

8. Handguards and Rails

The handguard and rail system of an AR-15 add functionality and aesthetics to your riffle. The handguard protects your hand from the heat of firing while the rail provides a place to attach your accessories.

The handguard and rail system can be mounted either as free-floating or drop-in depending on the stability and functionality you’re looking for. Free-floating systems provide more stability and accuracy.

When customizing your AR-15s handguard and rail system, consider the use cases, your budget and other accessories you’ll be adding such as sights and optics. Other considerations include your riffle’s barrel length and gas system.

9. Slings

AR-15 Slings

Slings are an important component when customizing your AR-15. The AR-15 is quite bulky, therefore, having a sling makes it comfortable and convenient to move the gun.

When customizing the slings, ensure to choose sling mounts that work well with your gun and don’t interfere with its performance. The sling itself should be comfortable as well.

Final Word

AR-15 riffles are one of the most versatile firearms that give you the chance to customize its components to suit your needs. As a rule, you should first know what you intend to do with the riffle, so you can purchase the right AR-15 parts for your riffle.

It’s also a good idea to determine how well these parts work together and whether or not they optimize your firearm for its intended purpose.