The AR15 rifle has been called America’s rifle and has been outselling more traditional bolt and lever action rifles for the past decade. There are a number of reasons for this from a younger gun culture indoctrinated to the shooting sports via action movies and military-themed video games. All the way to soldiers, sailors and Marines returning from wars that have raged in the Middle East for over a decade seeking comfort in a civilianized clone of their familiar service rifle to the fact that the rifle is accurate lightweight and extremely versatile.
We will focus on the last part of that statement as today’s AR 15 rifle is markedly different from the versions of 20 to 50 years ago. The older versions did not lend themselves well to customizing without changing parts. The development of the SOPMOD rifle by the US Army changed that by introducing Picatinny rails on virtually every square inch of the AR 15’s chassis.
The Best AR-15 Accessories
Below you will find a list of some of the best ar 15 accessories currently on the market. The accessories below will range from flash suppressors to tactical lights. Feel free to browse through all of the items listed and find the ones that you like the best!
- 1 MagPul MBUS PRO
- 2 Smith Enterprises Vortex Flash Hider
- 3 Advanced Armament Corporation’s Blackout Flash Suppressor
- 4 Tango Down Stubby Vertical Grip
- 5 CSM Tactical Single Point Sling
- 6 Midwest Industries Two-piece Forend
- 7 SureFire Mini Scout Weapon Light
- 8 Blackhawk Butt Stock Magazine Pouch
- 9 Multitasker AR15 Multi-Tool
- 10 Chip McCormick AR15 tactical trigger
When it comes to AR15’s, there is a definitive leader in the world of aftermarket accessories and its name is MagPul. Initially known for producing a magazine accessory, the company has evolved and moved on to bigger and better things such as the MBUS (MagPul Back up Sight) PRO.
With more and more people forgoing the carrying handles of yester year in order to run quality optics, there is the dilemma of what to do if the optic fails or the target is too close or simply what to use while the optic you want is on back order.
The MBUS is a spring loaded set of folding iron sights that can be put into action instantly by the flick of a finger and pushed down and out of the way when using an optic. Constructed from Melonite coated steel as opposed to the standard plastic MBUS sights that MagPul is known for, these quality sights are built to last several lifetimes.
Most AR-15’s are manufactured with a threaded barrel in 1/2X28” to allow installation of a muzzle device such as a flash hider, sound suppressor or muzzle brake. One of the best of the non-NFA (National Firearms Act) muzzle devices is the Vortex flash hider by Smith Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) of Mesa, Arizona.
The Vortex is said to be capable of reducing 95 to 99% of visible flash on an AR15. This is important because the flash from a rifle can damage a shooter’s vision at night time and can make using an optic difficult.
SEI’s latest version incorporates grooves in the tines to allow easy removal of a quick-detach sound suppressor such as the company’s Wind Talker model.
Like the aforementioned Vortex, AAC’s design destroys visible flash to protect the shooter’s night vision, but is really intended for another purpose: it allows the shooter to quickly mount one of AAC’s sound suppressors such as the 556SD.
Sound suppressors are regulated by the NFA and require a $200 transfer tax, but most QD designs need to mount on a proprietary muzzle device. If you are using AAC’s silencers, you do not want to be without one of these mounts on each of your rifles so you can share the suppressor with other rifles you have available.
Vertical grips that attach to the forend of an AR15 are controversial. Students of precision rifle shooting hate them because of their tendency to cause the shooter to “muscle the rifle” and cause shaking while firing. Tactical shooters like them because they make the rifle easier to control. Most models make storage problematic due to their length, but Tango Down addressed this by making their grip in a “stubby” configuration.
The grip has an internal storage compartment for spare batteries or other small parts and it quickly mounts to any MilSpec Picatinny rail. The grip works perfectly as a hand stop to prevent the shooter’s hand from moving forward of the barrel.
The CSM Tactical Single Point Sling is designed by a team staffed by Spec-Ops veterans from Marine Recon and other branches of the US Military who know how gear should be designed and their single point sling is one of the best out there.
Constructed from 1” nylon webbing, it allows for secure cross shoulder carry while making the rifle quickly available to the shooter.
Most factory AR 15’s ship with a set of plastic hand guards and adding a rail involves removing the barrel, destroying the retainer ring and sometimes removing the front sight.
Midwest Industries offers a low cost alternative with their easy to install rails that simply replace the hand guard. Made from aircraft grade aluminum, these MilSpec rails are every bit as strong and durable as the competition’s offerings.
A visible weapon light is a must have accessory for identifying targets at night or in low light situations. For over 2 decades SureFire has lead the way with innovative lighting technology specifically designed for the heavy recoil of firearms.
The Mini Scout Weapon Light boasts a blinding 200 lumens powered by a single CR123 battery and controlled by either a tail cap button or tape switch.
Having a spare magazine is essential to keeping rounds going down range, but when it is an emergency situation and you only have a chance to grab a rifle, those spare magazines will stay in the pouches on your chest rig and you may have to rely on the one that is inserted in the rifle.
Blackhawk Tactical makes a nylon butt stock pouch that holds one spare magazine and mounts to the butt stock of the rifle, ensuring that extra magazine is ready when you may need it most.
Sometimes a rifle can go wrong when you are far from your work bench and you need to get the rifle back into action immediately. The AR-15 Multi-Tool from Multitasker has just about every tool you need to get an AR15 up and running as quickly as possible.
More than just a pair of pocket pliers, this tool has AR15 specific tools for removing the barrel nut, hex head drivers, a carbon scraper and a spanner designed to interface with the products of LaRue Tactical.
If there is a weakness in a stock AR15 rifle, it has to be the trigger. A host of manufacturers offer improvements, but one that screams value and is as easy to install as driving out and replacing two pins is the tactical trigger by Chip McCormick.
This smooth single stage trigger is set for a 3.5 pound pull.
Hopefully the list above will help you find the right accessories for your gun. There is a ton of different options when it comes to the AR 15 so the list above should give you a good selection of items to choose from. If you are specifically looking for an AR15 barrel then you can check out our page that is fully dedicated to them.