Sootch00 makes a pretty good argument for the top five essentials you need for a fighting rifle.

  1. 1,000 rounds of ammunition (bare minimum, more is always better).
  2. A least 6 quality spare magazines (plus one in the gun).
  3. A quality sling. [A simple two-point G.I. web sling, rigged and used properly, is an accuracy enhancer. -ed.]
  4. Optics. The military has good almost completely to optics because they dramatically increase your hit probability.
  5. back-up irons sights (BUIS).

I’d argue that Sootch made one critical mistake of omission by including a weapon-mounted light (WML) as just a “nice to have,” especially as we’re more likely to use a fighting carbine indoors in a home invasion than on a battlefield or in a zombie outbreak.

I have taken three classes this year with low-light components (including nighttime indoor and outdoor simulators) and consider a good light the single most important accessory after your first magazine and the ammunition to fill it.

You must be able to identify your target and assess the threat. Period.

No one wants to shoot a family member who got up to get a drink of water in the middle of the night, nor the neighbor lady who had several too many glasses of merlot in her “girls night out” and is attempting to open the wrong door in a drunken haze.

While I know many folks in the “I want all the lumens” camp of light ownership, we’ve gotten to the point of absurdity in weapon-mounted lights for in-home self-defense use in your average home.

If you flash a 500+ lumen tactical light at night in a room with windows, light-colored walls with gloss or semi-gloss paint, or mirrors, you start dramatically increasing the odds of blinding yourself instead of identifying potential threats.

Also, if you run blindingly bright light with an optic of some sort, the white-hot center and glare can washout your dot or reticle entirely, rendering it useless unless you leave it on a relatively high brightness setting.

Currently, my home-defense carbine is set up with iron sights (they never wash out) and a 200-lumen Inforce WML with the lever in the “momentary-on-only” setting.

It gives me enough light to illuminate and identify potential threats at every conceivable distance inside my home, without generating a blinding glare off the semi-gloss paint or windows. Frankly, if Inforce manufactured a 100-lumen head for the same light, I’d be thrilled.

Sootch00’s list is very solid advice overall. Decide how you are most likely going to run your weapon system, and develop your rifle enhancement plan around that most likely use.

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